Table of Contents
What’s A Calathea?
Calatheas are striking plants with vividly patterned foliage. During the night, the leaves of the majority of Calathea species fold up slightly, exposing the striking undersides of their vibrant leaves, which are frequently colored.
Although calatheas are regarded as being relatively low-maintenance plants, they prefer higher humidity levels and consistently moist soil.
Types Of Calathea
There are dozens of Calathea species, including:
- Calathea orbifolia: The large leaves of this species have stripes that are silver-green.
- Calathea makoyana: This species, which is also known as the peacock plant, has stems that are red and leaves that are a variety of colors including dark green, cream, purple, and pink.
- Calathea ornata: Because of its deep green leaves with pink stripes, this species is known as the pinstripe plant.
Factors That Calathea Plant Needed
Calathea prefers warmer climates to tropical plants. These indoor plants won’t mind if it gets warmer and the temperature rises closer to 85°F; however, a typical room temperature above 65°F is fine.
Calathea plants should not be placed close to exterior doors, drafty windows, or vents, especially during the winter. During the warmer months, be careful not to place anything close to air conditioning vents.
This plant is a good option for homes with lower lighting levels due to its light requirements, but please be aware that direct sunlight can bleach the leaves on these plants. A location in the room that receives low to strong indirect light is where you should put your prayer plant. The lower the light requirements, as a general rule, the darker the foliage, as with calathea ornata.
Although many varieties of prayer-plants can tolerate lower levels of humidity, they prefer a humid environment. The ideal humidity for them is 50 percent or higher, with more delicate varieties needing higher humidity levels of 60 percent or more.
Use a humidifier to raise humidity levels, or set the plant’s pot over a tray containing pebbles and water. The pebbles will prevent the pot from being completely submerged in water, and the water’s natural evaporation will keep the surrounding air moist.
Additionally, prayer plants like to be grouped together, which raises the humidity level. Be careful not to mist them directly on the top of the leaves, even though some individuals may enjoy being misted. Misting is preferable to spraying from the bottom up and higher overall humidity.
Calathea is slightly more demanding than other houseplants, and they all enjoy filtered or dechlorinated water. Fill your watering can then let the chlorine evaporate overnight. Use distilled or filtered water instead if there are additional chemicals in your tap water.
The ideal growing medium for all calathea is potting soil, which should be rich in nutrients and organic matter while also having good drainage properties. Most coco coir or peat-based potting soil blends are sufficient, but check to make sure they don’t contain water-retentive crystals, as these can keep the soil perpetually moist and lead to root rot. Try making your own potting soil if you’re feeling daring!
According to the variety, fertilizing your calathea can aid in promoting new growth and even blooms. A full-strength liquid fertilizer that has been diluted is a good choice. You can also add worm castings, fish emulsion, or seaweed to the soil when re-potting. Fertilizing Calathea during the growing season will be advantageous. During the colder months, when the plant is dormant, these indoor plants don’t require fertilization.
Calathea prefer moist soil; they do not like wet soil. Try a blend of 50% potting soil, 20% orchid bark, 20% charcoal, and 10% perlite.
Additionally, they detest being dried out. Check to see if the soil feels dry by putting your finger in it every few days. If it does, water liberally and make sure the extra water has been drained.
Calatheas can be easily multiplied, and doing so will enable you to do so with plants that have particularly lovely coloring and patterns. Given that calathea grows quickly during spring or summer, these seasons are ideal for propagation. Root division is the most effective method of calathea propagation, but it should only be used on healthy, two-year-old parent plants. Here’s how:
- The day before you intend to divide your plant, water it to ensure that the roots have enough time to absorb moisture.
- To avoid destroying the plant’s roots, carefully dig up the plant.
- To divide the plant into two parts, slowly separate the roots. To pull apart difficult roots, a garden fork may be useful.
- The new sections should be replanted at the same depth in their new growing locations. to hydrate the soil with water.
How To Grow Calathea From Seed?
When it comes to planting calatheas, nursery plants are the most popular choice. The success rate of starting them from seeds varies. But given that seeds are generally inexpensive, it’s worth a shot if you’re trying to save some money. Early spring is the ideal time to plant seeds. Here’s how:
- A seed-starting mix should be put into little jars or a seed tray. Ample drainage holes should be present in every container you use.
- Wet the seed-starting mixture.
- Press the seeds just a little into the mixture.
- Put the container in a warm location with bright, indirect light and cover it with clear plastic wrap to trap humidity.
- In two to four weeks, you ought to observe germination if you keep the soil only slightly moist—never soggy.
Calathea plants are susceptible to fungus gnats, which thrive in moist environments and prefer a humid environment because they prefer that environment. They are typically harmless to plants and are easily eliminated with neem oil. Aphids, mealybugs, spider mites, and scale are some other typical pests. Numerous applications of horticultural oil or insecticidal soap can be used to treat many of these problems.
How To Get Calathea To Bloom?
Flowers on spikes are typically purple, white, or yellow and appear on Calathea species from early spring to late summer. The flowers are tubular in shape and have three petals and sepals. Additionally, they smell lightly citrusy. When a plant is in bloom, it doesn’t need any special care; just keep giving it the right amount of water, humidity, and heat.
Calatheas are picky about having their exact natural growing conditions to produce flowers, so it is uncommon for them to bloom indoors. If you’re hoping for flowers to accompany the plant’s vibrant foliage, consider the Calathea crocata species. It will occasionally, but not always, bloom under the ideal indoor circumstances.
Common Problems With Calathea
Calatheas are generally trouble-free when grown in their ideal environment. However, issues can develop if the environment is even slightly off.
Leaves Turning Yellow
Calatheas are surprisingly picky when it comes to the type of water they receive. Their leaves can turn yellow because they are sensitive to certain minerals that are typically present in most tap water. To prevent this, water your calathea with filtered water, rainwater, or tap water that has had the chlorine and fluoride allowed to evaporate overnight.
You know you need to increase your watering frequency if the edges of your calathea’s leaves start to brown or wither. Give your plant some water if you can feel dryness when you stick your finger an inch or two into the soil.