Calatheas are generally watered at least once a week. It may only require watering every 7 to 14 days if misted and kept close to a humidifier. And in this article, we will discuss various watering situations.
Table of Contents
When To Water A Calathea
The finger test will tell you when the top two inches are drying but not yet wholly bone dry. When adding more water, this information is crucial.
Moisture meters can work well, but you’ll still have to figure out what measurements correspond to the plant’s needs based on touching the soil as well.
Weight testing the plant is less effective since Calathea doesn’t change weight significantly during drying because it stays damp enough.
How Often To Water Calathea Plants?
Calatheas are typically watered at least once per week. If misted and kept close to a humidifier, it might only require watering every 7 to 14 days.
Signs Your Calathea Is Underwatered
The first signs of a Calathea that has been submerged are droopy and curling leaves. The edges and tips of the leaves may start to turn crispy brown or yellow if they are allowed to dry out for an extended period of time.
When these symptoms appear, it’s a good idea to water your Calathea thoroughly until you see water coming out of the drainage holes.
Before watering, always make sure the soil is dry. The natural drooping of a calathea’s leaves during the day can occasionally be confused with thirst.
Signs Of Overwatering In Calathea
Your calathea will quickly develop yellow leaves if left in soggy soil. The soil may start to grow a mold or fungus on top, and the petioles (leaf stems) may start to droop.
Root rot could eventually result from this. Check for root rot by taking your Calathea out of its pot and looking at the root.
Yellowish and firm roots are ideal. Your plant has root rot if the roots are soft, brown, or black, and mushy. Repot into a sterilized pot with new potting soil after completely removing all the old soil and dead roots.
Factors Affecting The Need For Water
Your calathea’s water requirements will depend on many different factors. These are important to keep in mind because if any of these conditions change, your plant may require more or less water.
Calathea will require more water when it receives a lot of light—up to medium indirect light—because it will be growing more. In contrast, your calathea will require less water if it is in a darker environment or receives less sunlight during the winter.
Calatheas enjoy humidity! They are jungle plants, so this is normal for them. Your calathea will be content when it is exposed to enough moisture in the atmosphere. Your calathea may develop crispy edges on its leaves if the humidity in your home is low; in this case, the plant will also require a little more water.
The ideal humidity range for Calathea is between 50% and 60%. You might require a humidifier in the winter to raise the humidity.
Calatheas are extremely temperature-sensitive plants. They dislike cold weather, including cold water. When the temperature drops below 60°F, their growth will slow, and they won’t need as much water because they won’t be expanding as quickly.
Also Read: Do Plants’ Leaves Burn When Watered in the Sun?
The type of soil your calathea is planted in will affect how frequently you need to water it. You will need to water more frequently in soil that contains a higher percentage of sand or perlite because it will drain well. Less watering will be required because soil that is rich in organic matter will retain moisture.
Your calathea’s watering requirements will vary depending on the type of pot it is in. Clay, terra cotta, or wood are porous materials that can wick moisture away from the soil in pots. Although this is a great way to avoid overwatering, you must watch carefully to make sure your calathea does not dry out too quickly.
Materials for non-porous pots include plastic and glazed clay. The pot’s moisture will be preserved by these components. Because they like their soil to be a little bit on the moist side, catheas will typically prefer these materials.
Never forget to check that the bottom of your calathea’s pot has at least one drainage hole! Keep your calathea in a plastic nursery pot and put it inside the decorative hole-less pot if you really want to use a pot without drainage.
How To Water Calatheas
As important as how frequently you water a Calathea is how you do it and the tools you use.
The Fundamental Importance Of Good Drainage
Calathea plants require good drainage because they prefer a slightly damp environment. This prevents the roots from rotting from standing water.
Their roots spread into the loose bark and leaf litter that mature jungle trees naturally drop. For best results, mimic the texture of this material’s draining properties in the potting soil. To act as a sponge and hold water, organic material is necessary.
Poor plant health brought on by improper drainage may attract common Calthea plant pests and diseases.
What Type Of Water Is Best For Calatheas
Fluoride in particular makes calathea very sensitive. These plants require filtered or distilled water, as is well-noted in commercial cultivation manuals, to avoid leaf death spots.
If you see dead spots, change the water you’re using. Calatheas are too sensitive for this trick, which involves letting tap water stand to reduce fluoride. Rainwater can be effective.
It takes some patience to water the bottom, but it is better for a Calathea. Top-down watering is possible, but you’ll need to apply enough water that any saucers will probably overflow.
Pour the water into the soil around the stems if top-down watering is the only option, making sure to keep splashes away from the foliage. Move evenly around the pot to thoroughly soak the soil.
Placing the pot in a bucket or other larger container than it is is all that is necessary to water the bottom of the pot. Up to 3/4ths of the height of the pot, fill the container with water. After soaking the plant until the soil on top feels damp to the touch, let it drain in a sink or bathtub until the dripping stops.
How Much Water to Add
Smaller Calatheas in 3–4 inch pots probably only require 8–10 ounces to saturate their soil.
Large plants that are close to reaching their maximum height of 2 feet will likely require closer to a quart or more to fully satiate them.
Pour off the runoff after watering the plant if it is in a saucer or tray. Calatheas are extremely sensitive to being submerged in water.
Watering During Summer Vs Winter
Due to the fact that the calathea is a tropical plant, it grows best in the summer, when it is warm and sunny. It will grow more slowly during the winter and require less watering.
You should be able to water your calathea as frequently as once per week during the summer. Your calathea will grow more during the summer and consume more water as a result of the increased light and warmth.
In general, more light promotes growth, but you must be careful not to overexpose your calathea to intense light. For this plant, direct light or even bright indirect light will be too much and could result in leaf burning or wilting.
Your calathea’s growth will slow down in the winter, which means it won’t require as much water. You should be able to decrease the frequency of its watering to once every two weeks.
During these times of dormancy, you should pay extra attention to your calathea’s water requirements by regularly checking the soil’s moisture level. A moisture meter would be a wise purchase to keep in the soil of your calathea if you are having trouble accurately estimating the soil’s moisture level. You can quickly determine if the plant needs water or not by looking at this.
The humidity and temperature changes, which we’ll cover a little further down, are other wintertime considerations to be aware of as they may impact the amount of water your calathea needs.
Watering Calatheas FAQs:
Should You Think About Misting The Calatheas?
Misting Calathea every day or every other day is beneficial. To prevent brown spots on the leaves, use a simple mister and distilled or rainwater if you can.
Is Sitting On A Humidity Tray Beneficial For Calatheas?
Calathea would rather have more humidity in the air than humidity trays can provide. For better color maintenance, use a small desktop humidifier for an hour or two each day.
Which Method Of Watering Calatheas Is Best?
For these moisture-loving plants, bottom-up irrigation works best.