Calathea have the most beautiful foliage that look straight out of a beautiful painting. They come in so many varieties and make exceptional centerpieces for your plant collection, they also help clean your air. Over time, Calathea can grow into nicely compact bushes between 2’ and 3’ tall and wide, though some varieties can be even larger. Our plants are greenhouse grown and acclimated to thrive in an indoor environment.
- Prefers moderate to bright, indirect light; avoid direct sunlight
- Direct sun will burn foliage
- Likes to stay consistently moist; never let it dry out
- Water roughly once a week
- Certain varieties are more sensitive to chemicals and metals in tap water; distilled or filtered water can help reduce browning.
- Requires high humidity; a humidifier, misting daily, or keeping it on a bed of wet pebbles, is beneficial
- High quality moisture-retaining potting soil mix
- 50 percent potting soil, 20 percent orchid bark, 20 percent charcoal, and 10 percent vermiculite/perlite
- Non-toxic; great choice for cat owners
- Brown spotting and crispy leaves are a sign of chemical burn from tap water
- Not tolerant to cold temperatures
- May go dormant during winter; cut back watering during winter
Who should get this plant: A good plant for those with a watering day, consistent waterers, or if you are observant and can train yourself to notice signs of thirst in your plant. If you are new to owning plants, don’t be afraid of Calathea, they are incredibly beautiful and communicative plants - meaning, if they are unhappy they will tell you in dramatic ways, like leaf curling and flopping in time to fix the problem.
In depth care:
Light: Calathea will thrive in bright, filtered light, but can tolerate moderate light too. Direct sun will burn the leaves unless it’s limited to only very early morning light. In a space with very little natural light, a grow light can be added to ensure the plant’s ability to photosynthesize and grow.
Water: Always keep your Calathea’s soil moist, never let more than just the top layer dry out or your Calathea may wilt and dry. When you repot it, make sure it is in a high quality moisture-retaining potting soil mix.
Humidity: Calathea like humidity, this is a great plant for a bright bathroom, or slightly moody corner of your space where you have a grouping of other humidity loving plants. Grouping plants together helps increase the humidity in the area immediately surrounding the plants. You can also supplement with a humidifier.
Temperature: Calathea are good office plants, but if your office (or home) is temperature controlled, it’s important not to put Calathea in the way of any vents or breezy windows.
Pests: Spray Calathea leaves above and below with Neem oil monthly to prevent pests like spider mites from infesting your plant.
It’s normal for this plant to have strong reactions to temperature fluctuations or hard water. If you have hard water or water with a lot of chlorine, filtering your water will help. You can also bottom-water your Calathea by filling a bowl with water and sitting your plant in the water for about 10-20 minutes while the soil saturates with water, then promptly remove the water dish. Never let a plant sit in standing water to avoid root rot.
If your Calathea leaves are curling, it can mean the sun around it is too bright or it needs more humidity. It is normal for a few leaves here and there to occasionally curl or dry out. Dry leaves and dry edges can be clipped off with clean scissors.
Dormancy: Calathea can go dormant, if this happens, don’t worry, it will come back. Lessen your watering routine slightly and be patient for a few months while you experience the natural cycle of these beautiful plants.