2021 New Calathea Rattlesnake Care Guide for Beginners
calathea rattlesnake held in a hand with roots showing

2021 New Calathea Rattlesnake Care Guide for Beginners

This Calathea Rattlesnake care guide will prepare you for bringing this new plant into your home or office! Native to Ecuador, the Calathea Rattlesnake, formally known as the Calathea Lanifolia, is an attractive member of the prayer family that is characterized by its long crimped green leaves with deep green brushstroke markings. This gorgeous plant is also known by its common name of “prayer plant.” This family of plant is called a prayer plant due to the way that their leaves will fold up at night.

Calathea Lancifolia Overview

The Calathea Rattlesnake is part of the family Marantaceae. This plant is native to tropical and subtropical climates. They are easily recognizable for their crinkly, spotted leaves and dark purple bottoms of leaves. Follow the rest of this guide for more of how to properly care for this beautiful home addition.

Looking for more beginner plants that are easy to start your home’s indoor garden? Read our No Fuss Plants guide for a few more ideas of easy starter plants!


Watering is the most challenging part of calathea care. Underwatering results in the plant wilting, and the contrary can cause root rot. Based on our experience, we recommend watering the plant every 7-10 days. Adjust the watering accordingly throughout the seasons, and take note of whether your plant is situated under a heating or cooling vent, as that can impact moisture levels. Additionally, make sure the planting medium is dry before watering. When watering, thoroughly water the potting mix, then allow it to drain.


calathea rattlesnake held in a hand with roots showing

Lighting and Humidity

Although Calathea Rattlesnake can survive in lightly shaded conditions, it does better in filtered light environments. Avoid direct sunlight, as the leaves can get sunburnt. Extremely low light conditions will result in delayed growth.

Calathea Lancifolia Humidity Needs

The tropical plant does well in high humidity environments. During the winter, when the air is dry, try to artificially raise the humidity by misting the plant or grouping it with other plants. Keep the plant in temperature ranging between 65-75°F; ensure temperatures do not fall below 50°F. 

Soil and Fertilizer

Use well-drained soils with moderate water retention capacity. For optimal growth, create a potting mix using 50% peat moss and 50% perlite. You can cover the soil mix with worm compost soil. During the summer, apply a balanced liquid plant food every third time you water. This will ensure your plant achieves a maximum growth rate. During other seasons, apply the solution once in a month.

If you’re loving the tropical paradise look with your Calathea Rattlesnake, make sure to check out: 10 Plants to Turn Your Home into a Tropical Paradise

calathea rattlesnake in pot held by hand

Cleaning and Pruning

Sometimes the Calathea Rattlesnake can get browned leaves when not watered properly. Growers can quickly bring it back to shape by cleaning and pruning. Clean using a damp towel or take it out in the rain. Alternatively, take it to the shower and allow water to run over the plant. When the plant gets bushy, prune it using a pair of clean, sharp scissors. You can actually even turn those pruned pieces of plant into propagations – keep reading to learn more!

Calathea Propagation

Calathea Rattlesnakes are propagated from leaf cuttings. The process involves cutting mature leaves with a steam with at least two leaves at the base. Fill a new pot with soil and insert a few cuttings into it. Keep your new propagations in a sunny, warm area (about 73°F). You can also place a plastic bag on top of the cuttings, but you will need to remember to give your plant 10-30 minutes of fresh air every day.It is also important to keep the plant evenly moist.

This process can take a few weeks for new roots to grow. Once the time has passed, you can replace the rooted cuttings into other pots.

Repotting a Calathea Rattlesnake

Repot Calathea Rattlesnake to a pot one size up when the plant has outgrown its current pot. Its roots are can get a little leggy, so repot roughly every 12-14 months. To repot, prepare the potting mix as described above, transplant the plant to the new pot, and water it thoroughly. Allow water to drain and return it to its place. It is suitable to do repotting during summer when the growth rate is high. You can also wait 24 hours before watering – experts advise to do either way!

If you are more of a visual learner, you can also watch this great video of how to repot the Calathea Rattlesnake: Watch Video

Calathea Rattlesnake Care Final Thoughts

The Calathea Rattlesnake is not a problematic plant; however, its lovers must observe watering frequencies to minimize risk of root rot and keep an eye on the light needs. They should also ensure the plant is not exposed to cold conditions. The plant can be attacked by spider mites – always watch out for white webbing on the undersides of leaves and stems. You can treat pests with neem oil, should that become a problem. The Calathea Rattlesnake is not toxic to humans and pets.

Are you now obsessed with peperomias? Check out the Calathea Freddi and Dottie!

Plant Care with Cellar Door Plants

Cellar Door Plants aims to help bring nature into your home. We feel like people nowadays are more distant from nature than ever before. How can we protect the earth with so much distance from everything living around us? While we are based in Seattle, Washington, our greenhouse is located in San Marcos, California.

We are avid plant lovers so every plant sold is packaged and protected with care to guide it to your home safely. We have a wide selection of houseplants with care requirements ranging from easy-to-care-for home additions for beginners to more complicated varieties that require a more experienced grower.

If you’re interested in adding a Calathea Rattlesnake to your home, head over to our plant shop to purchase!

However, if you’re still not sure which plant is for you, check out our Mystery Plant Subscription Box and you can have a different 4″ indoor plant delivered to your front door every month. This subscription box is perfect for plant lovers who have a hard time deciding on just one!




Frequently Asked Questions

Does the Peperomia Green Bean need sunlight?

Yes! While the Peperomia Green Bean does not like to be in full, direct sunlight, it prefers to live in places of medium to bright, indirect light. Although the plant can tolerate low light areas which is why this is such a good beginner plant for its low maintenance needs.

Do Peperomia Green Bean succulents like to be misted?

While the Peperomia Green Bean is a variety of succulent, they prefer high humidity environments versus dry deserts. Their leaves are designed to hold water but misting helps to add moisture to the air around the plant allowing it to thrive.

Are Peperomia plants easy to care for?

Yes! Their easy nature makes the Peperomia Green Bean a great starter plant for beginner gardeners.

How do you take care of a peperomia plant?

Proper sunlight and water habits are crucial for the care of a Peperomia Green Bean.

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8 months ago

These are my first I’m so excited. And their beautiful to start. About how big can they get? I got a 4 in rattlesnake, a 4 in evergreen, Lady Valentine and a beautiful 4 in Maranta red. And I am taking them with me to Fairbanks, Alaska. So I will be misting alot..

Karen L Barone
Karen L Barone
9 months ago

I just received my Calathea Rattlesnake plant. It is a beautiful plant. I’m so glad I ordered it!

Priscilla Dyson
Priscilla Dyson
8 months ago

Just received my Calathea Rattlesnake today. Do I need to wait to water, if so how long?

Joan E. Traylor
Joan E. Traylor
8 months ago

Hi 👋
I need help 😫 with my rattlesnake plant 🪴.
The leaves appear to be curling inward.

Joan E. Traylor
Joan E. Traylor
8 months ago

Hi 👋
Need help with my rattlesnake plant 🪴. The leaves are curling inward.

Barbara Jones
Barbara Jones
7 months ago

I Got My Rattlesnake Plant Today And It Looks Great. So Excited!

4 months ago

Just received my prayer plant and they are beautiful. I hope I don’t kill them like I’ve done to others.


[…] Care for a Rattlesnake Plant If you are looking for a unique and interesting addition to your home or office, consider a rattlesnake plant. These plants are easy to care for and will bring a touch of nature to your home or office. […]

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