The Calathea is a stunning tropical houseplant known for its bold stunning foliage, you can usually tell a calathea apart due to its maroon underside to its leaves. This plant folds up slightly at night which is how it gets the nickname of the prayer plant.
Calathea’s natural habitat is ground foliage on the floor of tropical rainforests. So this can help point you in the right direction for caring for your Calathea.
Calathea’s need a bit more specific TLC in order to thrive. They prefer to be in a consistently warm spot with bright in-direct sunlight. Keep them away from any bright direct sun! Keep its soil consistently moist (but not over saturated) is what most Calathea’s prefer. Keeping the humidity levels high is where they are most comfortable as well.
In general, placing your Calathea somewhere that it can receive lots of bright in-direct light is ideal. The Calathea can handle a low light environment – however to maintain its beautiful colours looking vibrant it is best to place it in bright indirect light.
A well-draining potting soil that is rich in organic matter is ideal for your Calathea. A slightly acidic to neutral pH soil is the best choice for this plant.
Calathea’s are known to have above average needs when it comes to watering. Give your Calathea and thorough watering when the top few inches of soil feels dry to the touch.
While the Calathea may be a thirsty plant, they still like to dry out a bit between waterings. It is important to allow its soil to dry out slightly between waterings as keeping its soil overly saturated can still lead to root rot which can bring a host of issues to your plant.
Another important variable with Calathea is that they are known to be “diva’s” especially with the type of water they prefer to receive.
Watering your Calathea using filtered or distilled water is ideal. Using tap water may contain different minerals or compounds that can be damaging to its leaves.
Brown edges along the edge of its leaves can be an indication that the water is high in salt or contains chlorine, chloramine, bromide, or fluoride.
Fertilizing your Calathea can promote new growth and encourage new blooms depending on the variety. Adding a liquid organic fertilizer diluted to half strength or follow the directions on the bottle. It is best to fertilize your Calathea only during its growing season.
Being a tropical plant, Calathea’s enjoys warmer temperatures. Temperatures above 18 °C (65°F) is where Calathea’s do best. Anything above 29°C (85°F) may become too hot for your plant.
Avoid placing your calathea near exteriors doors, windows and away from any drafts or HVAC venting – especially from heat in the colder months and Air Conditioning in the summer.
Propagating a Calathea can be quite straight forward. The best way to propagate a Calathea is through root-division. However, this should only be done during spring or its growing season. As well as the plant should be healthy and at least 2 years old.
Yellow or brown tips on your calathea can be from either underwatering or overwatering. It is important to find the mid ground as to how much water your Calathea will need to stay happy. Keep adjusting your plants watering needs and frequency to find out the main issue for this.