calathea plant profile
Calathea’s fancy foliage truly makes it a work of art. They feature beautiful and brightly colored leaves. Many varieties of calathea feature leaves with a burgundy color on the underside and vibrantly patterned tops. Calathea is an excellent tabletop plant due to its slow-growing nature and max height of around thirty inches. Calathea can be a bit fussy in comparison to some beginner houseplants such as pothos and philodendron, but their exotic look makes them well worth the extra effort. This calathea plant care guide gives a basic intro to their needs.
how do you care for a calathea plant?
Calathea does best in low to medium light. Be sure to place your plant in a location that receives filtered light as too much direct sunlight will cause its gorgeous leaves to burn and fade. Water just enough to keep the soil moist, but not wet. Brown leaf edges are a sign of under-watering. High humidity is a must when it comes to calathea. If the air is too dry, the plant will become crispy brown. You can raise the humidity in your plant’s vicinity by placing it atop a tray of pebbles and shallow water. The pebbles are necessary and serve as a riser to keep the plant out of the water. Feed monthly with a standard houseplant fertilizer at half strength from spring to fall to encourage growth.
quick care guide
Moderate Watering Needs
Purple, Red, Pink, Green, Variegated
frequently asked questions
Water just enough to moisten the soil. Take care not to water too much or allow the plant to sit in water as this can cause it to drown.
Calathea can be difficult to care for. Here are some reasons your plant may be dying:
- Direct sun can cause leaf burn and colors to fade
- Poor water quality (hard, soft, high amounts of chemicals) can cause leaf burn
- Allowing the plant to sit in water or over-watering
- Not keeping the soil moist
- Temperatures are too low or too high (they prefer 65-80 degrees)
- Humidity levels are too low
This plant requires a high humidity environment to survive. While misting is certainly an option for increasing humidity, it is not the most effective.
It prefers low to medium indirect lighting. If the plant receives too much direct light, its leaves will begin to burn and its beautiful colors will fade.
Drooping leaves are typically a sign that the plant is under-watered. Before watering, check the soil to confirm it is dry so as to not over-water. These plants can be highly sensitive to watering issues.
Brown leaf tips are a sign that the humidity is too low for these tropical plants. Try placing the plant in a tray of shallow water. Use pebbles in the water to elevate the plant just above the water. This will help increase the humidity in your calathea’s immediate vicinity.
calathea fun fact
Calathea plants are commonly mislabeled as ‘prayer plants.’ However, Maranta is the only true ‘prayer plant,’ receiving its name because of its leaves that fold up at sunset as if praying.