Calathea Care Guide

Calatheas: Types of Calatheas:

There are a variety of Calatheas; some of them include the Ornata, the Medallion, the Rattle Snake Plant, and the Roseopicta Medallion Zebra Plant. These plants usually live for several years if they are cared for properly and set in the right conditions. Continue reading to ensure your Calathea lives a happy and healthy life!

Background:

Calatheas are from the family Marantaceae and are naturally found in low lit jungles under shaded trees. These vibrant plants usually have wide and colorful green leaves in order to help them absorb as much light as they can possibly get. Since they are naturally found in shaded conditions, these little guys are perfect for low-lit rooms and offices that need a touch of brightness!

Water:

Be careful when watering your Calathea. They love moist soil, however, too much water can drown them. Water your Calathea when they have about 1-2 inches of dry soil, and make sure to use room temperature distilled or purified water. Calatheas require normal watering in the summer months and less frequent watering in the winter months. If you notice that your plant’s leaves are drooping, it might be thirsty. Sometimes browning and yellowing of the leaves can indicate a lack or overconsumption of water. On top of watering, it’s always a good idea to dust your plant’s leaves and spray them with water. Because Calatheas are used to humid conditions, spritzing your plant with purified water helps them absorb moisture. Placing your Calathea near a humidifier will have the same effect as well. To make your plant grows evenly on all sides, consider rotating it after every watering.

Light:

When deciding where to place your Calathea, keep in mind that they naturally grow in shaded conditions. Make sure to place your Calathea in an area with bright indirect lighting. If your Calathea is placed in direct light it can cause their leaves to burn and lose their vibrant coloring. If you decide to move your plant, move it to a place with similar lighting. Moving any plant into a different light condition can cause it to go into shock and may delay its growth.

Pruning:

Good News! Calatheas do not require any pruning except for the removal of browning or yellowing leaves. Easy!

Propagating:

The best time to propagate your Calathea is when you repot it. Since they have natural divisions in their roots, Calatheas are propagated by division. When you repot your plant, gently divide your Calathea where the natural separations occur. Simply replant, and there you have it! Another Calathea!

Soil:

When it comes to soil, Calatheas need moist soil and efficient drainage. An African Violet potting soil is recommended for Calatheas; however, any standard soil can be used as long as it holds moisture. Consider placing your plant in a pot with a drainage hole so your plant does not drown.

Fertilizer:

Calatheas need very little fertilizer. If you decide to fertilize your Calathea, try a kelp fertilizer diluted in a liter of distilled water. If your plant’s leaves begin to yellow, droop, or wilt, it could be a sign of over-fertilization. Remember, when it comes to Calatheas, less is more!

Signs of Unhealthy Plant and Ways to Bring it Back:

Usually, signs of an unhealthy Calathea include the browning, yellowing, wilting, or drooping of leaves. It can be difficult to pinpoint the exact cause of these signs, but they usually have to do with improper watering, placement, or fertilization. If you notice browning or yellowing, check your plant’s soil and make sure it is moist. This could also be due to over fertilization of your plant. If you notice that your Calathea’s leaves are lacking their usual vibrance, try placing them in a spot with less direct light. Another sign of an unhealthy Calathea includes unusual spots on their leaves. Such spots can indicate diseases such as pseudomonas leaf spot, psuedomonas blight, alternaria leaf spot, helminthosporium leaf spot, fusarium, root rot, and cucumber mosaic virus. If your plant does not recover, you may need to repot your Calathea in new soil.

Toxicity:

More good news! Calatheas are safe and pet friendly! In fact, they purify the air in your home and create a vibrant and lovely indoor environment.

Repotting:

Make sure to repot your Calathea every 12-18 months. If you want your plant to grow wider, consider replanting in a pot that has a 2-inch larger diameter than its previous pot.

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