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2021 New Calathea Rattlesnake Care Guide for Beginners
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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!

In partnership with Good & Planty 

Water 

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.

FAQs

The bottom leaves of my Calathea are dying but I am still seeing new growth. Is this normal?

Totally normal! Calatheas shed old leaves as they grow new ones all the time. When you see the old leaves salting to die, use sterile scissors to cut that leaf off at the base, allowing the plant to focus its energy on growth.

My Calathea is getting big and starting to outgrow its pot, what do I do?

First off, congrats on being a great plant parent! Growth is a great sign. It’s time for a re-pot. You will want to size up your pot at least 2 inches in diameter and simply move the plant into the new pot with new, fresh soil. Allow the plant about a week to get adjusted to its new home before adding any water or fertilizer. A good rule of thumb is that you will have to do this about every 12-18 months.

Why are the tips of the leaves browning?

Your Calathea is working hard to photosynthesize, and in this case, it might be getting a little bit too much direct sun. Try moving it to a spot that’s a bit less sunny and more humid.

I am going out of town and am worried about my plants, how should I keep them alive?

Automatic plant waterers (https://shop.cellardoorplants.com/collections/accessories/products/ automatic-plant-waterers) are going to be your new best friend. While you’re away simply install this into the pot and you are free to relax!

I love all the Calathea plants but I have 4 dogs at home who are curious about everything. Will they be ok if they accidentally nibble on a leaf?

In this case, curiosity didn’t kill the cat! Calatheas are non-toxic and pet friendly! You and your furry friend can enjoy the pure air that they put off.

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Corby
Corby
1 year 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
1 year ago

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

Priscilla Dyson
Priscilla Dyson
1 year ago

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

Joan E. Traylor
Joan E. Traylor
1 year ago

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

Joan E. Traylor
Joan E. Traylor
1 year ago

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

Barbara Jones
Barbara Jones
10 months ago

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

Frieda
Frieda
7 months ago

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

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