How To Care For Calathea- Complete Growing Guide

how often to water calathea

Calatheas are indoor plants that are generally low-maintenance and easy to care for. 

Calatheas prefer bright indirect light, well-draining potting soil or mix, and higher humidity, if possible. Water every 1-2 weeks, allowing the soil to dry out halfway down between waterings. Expect to water more frequently in brighter light and less frequently in less-bright light.

What’s A Calathea?

Botanical Classification: Calathea Roseopicta

Calatheas are striking plants with strikingly patterned foliage. The undersides of the striking leaves of most Calathea varieties are often colorful because of how slightly their leaves fold up at night.

Calatheas are regarded as being fairly easy to care for, but they prefer a place with higher humidity (such as a kitchen or bathroom) and their soil to remain consistently moist.

Most Calathea varieties are pet-friendly.


How To Care For Calathea


A prayer plant will thrive in an area with medium to strong indirect light. Calathea can survive in low light, but more light can help preserve the vibrant colors and patterns on the foliage. Colors may fade if exposed to direct sunlight, which can be damaging.


The water requirements for calathea plants are high. When the top inch of soil is dry, thoroughly water these houseplants. Calathea houseplants thrive in soil that drains well and in drainage-equipped containers. Even though calathea are thirsty indoor plants, they prefer to let their leaves dry out slightly in between waterings.

When watering calathea, the type of water can have an impact. Tap water may contain various minerals or substances that can harm leaves. A sign of high salt content or the presence of chlorine, chloramine, bromide, or fluoride in the water is the presence of brown edges along the leaf margins. If you believe tap water is unfit for your calathea, it may be best to water the plant with filtered, distilled, or water gathered from a dehumidifier.


The ideal growing medium for all calathea is potting soil, which is rich in nutrients and organic matter but still has the ability to drain well. The majority of peat- or coco-coir-based potting soil blends are sufficient, but check to make sure they don’t contain water-retentive crystals, which can keep the soil perpetually moist and lead to root rot. Try making your own potting soil if you’re feeling daring!


Calathea prefers warmer temperatures because they are 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.


For calathea, high humidity is essential. If there is not enough humidity, the leaves may start to curl or the edges may become brown and dry. Calathea indoor plants thrive in a kitchen, bathroom, or any other room where the air is particularly moist. Calathea can benefit from additional dampness, which can be provided by using a humidifier or a pebble tray filled with water. How can the humidity around your indoor plants be increased?


Depending on the variety, fertilizing your calathea can help encourage new growth and even blooms. The best option is a full-strength liquid fertilizer that has been diluted. You can also add worm castings, seaweed, fish emulsion, or fish meal 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.


How To Propagate And Repot Calathea?

Calathea is one of the indoor plants that can’t be propagated from stems or nodes because of their shape and growing environment. You should split your plant from the roots if it is growing too large and you would prefer two smaller plants.

Do You Need To Prune Calathea?

Calatheas don’t require any pruning unless their leaves turn yellow or brown. Due to their slow growth, they will maintain their relatively bushy shape even without pruning. They are even more appealing for being simple to maintain because of this! Eliminating leaves that are dead or yellow may promote new growth.

Pro Tips

  1. Calatheas thrive in moist environments, but excessive watering can cause a variety of issues. To control the dampness and promote plant growth, make sure the plants receive lots of bright indirect light.
  2. If you see the leaves of your calathea starting to curl or the stems drooping, don’t worry too much. These indicate dehydration. Although it’s crucial to pay attention to these warning signs, after receiving water, these hardy houseplants can usually recover within a day or two.
  3. The only method of spreading Calathea is by division. By growing their root system and emerging new shoots through the soil, these plants naturally reproduce. When repotting a mature plant, gently separate the roots to create multiple smaller plants from the main plant. You can pot each new plant in its own container. Those new plants will fill in with time and the right care.


How Come My Calathea’s Leaves Are Drooping?

Calatheas are frequently referred to as “prayer plants” because they close their leaves at night and then reopen them in the morning, mimicking the motion of praying! Because this is a natural movement, do not be alarmed by drooping leaves.

It may be a sign of a thirsty plant if you see the leaves drooping for an extended period of time. A quick watering will help you rehydrate, and you’ll get upright leaves in return.


What Is Causing My Calathea’s Leaves To Turn Brown?

There are several reasons why leaves might be turning brown. You’ll figure it out with a little experimentation and have a flourishing plant in no time.

First, you need to completely remove any leaves that are brown or yellow. A plant may be shocked if more than 20% of its leaves are removed at once, so this is frequently best done in stages.

Even after you’ve cleaned up around your plant, the water quality is frequently to blame if the leaves are still turning brown. The majority of people use tap water to rehydrate their plants, and while this may seem like the simplest solution, a lot of tap water contains chlorine, minerals, and fluoride, which can cause the tips of leaves to curl and turn brown. You can prevent this by leaving water in an open container or jug overnight so that the nasty toxins can filter out, or you can buy a filtration jug.

How frequently you water your Calathea may also be a factor in brown leaves. Check that the top few inches of soil have dried out before replenishing to make sure you aren’t over- or under-watering.