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Calathea plants are very popular as indoor plants because they are not so difficult to care for and because there are so many varieties- some are natural variegations while others are hybrid species created by men. Calathea naturally grows in Central and South America, Africa, and the West Indies-all humid tropical areas.  All the Calathea varieties belong to the plant family Marantaceae which is why they are often called Prayer plants, although that is the name for their cousin from the same family – Maranta Leuconeura.

In this guide I will be talking about:

  1. Different Types
  2. How to Grow Calathea
  3. Light and Temperature Requirements
  4. Watering
  5. Pruning
  6. Propagating
  7. Soil Requirements and Fertilizing
  8. Repotting
  9. Problems and Solutions
  10. FAQ

Caring for Calathea plants is easy once you get a hang of what they need, so if you are a beginner, make sure you get very well informed in order to avoid stressing out.

Different types of Calathea

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If you have ever gotten confused when you saw a striking plant at your friend’s house or in a flower shop and the answer to “What’s this plant?” was “Calathea!” and the plants did not look alike at all then you probably figured out that Calathea plants come in a variety of shapes, colors, and names.

There are oval-leafed ones, than those that have lance-shaped leaves, smaller, longer, then pink, white, cream, in the shades of green… Yes, they are all different species of Calathea plant family and there are over 300 species.

Whichever one you choose – or commit to collecting them all – caring about each species is almost the same, with some slight differences in terms of light requirements (and that is especially true with highly variegated types).

I grow and care for a lot of Calathea types in my garden, so I made a list of them so you can find your Calathea and the information you need quickly.

If, possibly, you have a species which I do not, write to me or leave a comment, and I will try to get you all the information and make another Calathea guide.

Here is the list of my Calatheas.

  1.  Calathea Rufibarba
  2.  Calathea Zebrina
  3.  Calathea Lancifolia
  4.  Calathea Vittata
  5.  Calathea Medallion
  6.  Calathea Leitzei
  7.  Calathea Makoyana
  8.  Calathea Roseopicta
  9.  Calathea Network
  10.  Calathea Ornata
  11.  Calathea Orbifolia

There are a few others that I didn’t mention, and you can check them out in 12+ Stunning Calathea Types. The ones included are  Calathea Veitichiana,  Calathea Warscewiczii, Calathea Crocata, and many others.

Do not make me pick my favorite, I am a proud mama of them all.

How to grow Calathea

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How to grow Calathea

Now let’s get to specific parts of the Calathea care regiment that you need to master in order to have your hands at a healthy and happy plant.

Whichever the variety, the basic care is simple.

They prefer filtered to direct light, temperatures as high as 23 degrees Celsius, and not under 18 degrees.

The humid environment will help them thrive as well as moist but not soaking-wet soil.

Light and Temperature requirements

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When I was first starting to care for tropical plants I uneducatedly thought that tropicals need a lot of light and a lot of heat.

Luckily, I learned quite fast and did not kill any of my tropical beauties.

The thing about tropical plants is that they actually prefer moderation in terms of both light and temperature.

What does this mean for you?

Light

When it comes to proper lighting, Calathea plants can easily grow in medium to low light, although the best choice is an environment rich in filtered light (near the light source but protected by a thicker curtain for example ) or partial shade.

This is because Calatheas are bushy plants growing not taller than 2feet, and are, in their natural environment always protected by the taller plants and trees of the tropical rainforests.

When you think of that, it is quite logical that bright, direct sunlight will not be good for your plant.

This kind of sun exposure will make the variegations pale and become indistinctive, and longer exposure can cause the leaves to turn yellow or even become scorched.

The variegations will be at their most vibrant in filtered light, but if you have to choose, choose low light instead of direct sunlight.

In low light the variegations can also become less prominent, but, if the darker shade of green the leaf is the lower light it can take.

So, those deep dark varieties can thrive even in low light.

This characteristic makes Calathea a great gift since practically anybody has a shelf or a table away from the window.

If placed in the proper light, Calathea will reward you with vibrancy and color, and even movement since the leaves fold at night and open in the morning affected by the light.

If there is too little light, the movement might be a no-show.

Temperature

When the perfect temperature is in question, again, moderation is the answer.

Calathea plants do not like low or even very high temperatures.

Your best option is the temperature between 18 and 23°C (65°-80°F ), although they do tolerate temperatures as low as 15°C (60°F) and as high as 30°C (86°F).

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You can have your Calathea pots outside in a shade during the warmer months, but if where you are the winners are cold, make sure to bring them in before it gets too cold.

Humidity

Another thing to pay attention to is ventilation and humidity.

Calathea plants like well-aired rooms but do not keep them on a drought or near an AC since both can damage the leaves and cause the plant to dehydrate.

When we talk about humidity levels Calathea plants prefer we are talking about 50% and even 60% humidity for some varieties.

Aside from watering adequately (more on that later), you need to make sure that the air humidity levels are adequate for your Calathea.

If you have a hygrometer (a humidity monitor) you just need to watch the levels and maintain the right ones.

If you do not have a hygrometer, you will need to experiment with the humidity and watch your plant closely to see if it needs more humidity or not.

One of the giveaway signs that your Calathea needs more humidity is the leaves turning brown on the edges.

To keep the humidity right your best and probably easiest option is to purchase a humidifier.

You can easily set it up to maintain the right humidity levels, and you do not even have to keep it turned on every day- a few times a week would be enough (Not to mention that air humidifiers will improve the air quality for you, too.)

Another way you can manage the humidity is to mist the leaves once or twice a week using a spray bottle. Depending on the water quality this may be a good approach but if you can, choose filtered or distilled water.

If you think that this is too much work, you can simply place some pebbles or stones in a tray and fill it with water.

Place your Calathea pot on top of it and the water from the pebble pot will gradually evaporate and release just enough humidity to satisfy the plant’s needs, and it will look quite interesting.

And here is a pro tip for you: I found it extremely helpful to place all my Calatheas close together (you can also place them near other plants that prefer the same humidity).

In this way the bushy Calatheas “have a feeling” that they in fact are in a warm and humid rainforest, they keep the warmth and humidity between them.

You should occasionally wipe the leaves with a damp cloth removing the dust and helping the plant breathe.

Related: Best Plant Humidifiers and a Buying Guide.

Watering Calathea

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When we say that some plants come from the humid tropicals, we imagine a lot of heat rain and soggy soil for the plants to grow in.

In this case, the soggy soil is not the answer to proper Calathea care.

Calathea plants prefer moist to soggy soil, which you may think is hard to achieve, but there are a few tricks that can help you.

The choice of soil will play a large role here, but I will talk about it later.

So, how do you achieve the right level of soil moisture and make a good watering regiment?

Overwatering the Calathea plants can cause root rot which is difficult to heal because it usually takes a lot of time to figure out that this is why your plant is struggling.

Keeping the plant dry will cause yellow and brown leaves and eventually the plant will die, so that does not work either.

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Self-Watering Systems

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Hanging Planters

Watering Calathea

I like to say that the best way to know when to water is to simply “ask” the plant itself.

No, I am not crazy, it was just easier to remember what to do that way.

By asking I mean stick your finger in the soil every other day for example, and if the top 1in (1-2cm) is dry it is time to water; if it is still moist, wait a day or two and “ask” again, and if it is dry even below that one inch- watering it is long overdue.

This will help you determine the watering timetable as it will depend on many factors like the actual temperature, the season you are in (watering will be more frequent in the summer months than during winter), the quality and type of the soil, and the plant itself.

Sometimes you will need to water every other day while sometimes it will be required as rare as once a week.

So, check like this until you get a hang of how often you need to water your Calathea.

After that, you will probably know when to water without having to go from pot to pot.

You can also invest in a ***moisture monitor*** and not think about it at all, but it is really not necessary as the method proved successful.

When it comes to water quality, you can use distilled or filtered water.

If you want to use the tapped water it is still fine but you should leave it to rest overnight for two reasons:

First, the water you are using should be room temperature since the cold water will shock the plant, especially during the summer months.

Second, tapped water is full of chemicals that are harmful to the plants- most notably fluoride and chlorine, and leaving the water to rest overnight will give the chemicals time to evaporate.

If you water with water straight out of the tap you will soon see brown posts that are essentially chemical burns. (This is the same of you are using tapped water to mist your plants).

Aside from the filtered or distilled water, probably the very best option is collected rainwater.

It has the best Ph levels and it will not harm your plant.

You can use it both for watering and misting, and collecting it is easy- just place a bucket outside when it is raining, and voila!

Pruning Chalathea

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Sometimes, pruning a plant can be such a time-consuming work that you would rather let the plant become all leggy and grow all over your planting area.

Other times, pruning is necessary so that the plant does not break or overpower the area, and if you desire to grow a plant in a certain shape you will have to prune it in order to shape it.

Certain risks come about with pruning, for example, diseases brought upon by unsanitary tools, and stunted growth and complete opposite from what you originally wanted to achieve with pruning if you do not know exactly where to cut.

Luckily, Calathea plants do not require any of that shaping related pruning moments.

Calatheas are bushy and do no grow over 2 feet, which only means that pruning in order to control growth and shape is not required.

You would only need to change the pot size as it grows and watch it and admire it as it does.

The only required pruning you would definitely need to do is removing dead, diseased, or damaged foliage.

You will recognize the likes of them if they are going yellow, brown, or have burnt, dead segments.

When that happens, remove the leaf in question by either pinching the leaf off if it will go smoothly.

If there is resistance you should take clean disinfected scissors or a knife and cut at the stem, forcefully pulling the leaf can damage the entire plant.

Also, do not go crazy cutting each and every leaf that is starting to show the signs that something is not right.

Check if the lighting is adequate, adjust the watering and humidity, fix the problem by fertilization or step back a bit and let the plant bounce back, especially if the majority of the foliage is in bad condition.

Cutting “bad” leaves, in that case, can leave you with a plant with only a couple of healthy leaves which will eventually have the same fate since the conditions are not right.

Resort to cutting only when everything else is fine and the leaf has just come to its natural end.

You can even remove only the damaged parts of the leaves, but it will leave your plant looking chipped and shabby, so it is better to remove the entire leaves once they are too far gone.

Propagating Calathea

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Propagating Calathea

There are various ways in which plant propagation is possible,  yet Calathea only supports two- propagation by division and propagation from seed.

The propagation from cuttings, although the easiest form of propagation and most favorite among gardeners is not possible with Calathea since the tissue in the stems and leaves is not adequate for supporting new growth.

Before I start explaining the two processes, let’s take a look at a few important facts about Calathea propagation

  • Some Calathea species are easier to propagate than others. – The larger and more delicate the leaves are the harder it is to propagate successfully.

The thing is, varieties fitting this description will take more time and will need more nurturing after the propagation than others.

So, if you plan to propagate the likes of Calathea orbifolia, Calathea warscewiczii, or Calathea makoyana you will need to be more careful during the process and especially after with providing just the right conditions, than if you want to propagate, say, Calathea rubifarba or Calathea lancifolia.

  • Always propagate a healthy plant. – Unless excess fertilization or root rot is the issue with the plant in which propagation and repotting may actually help the plant, avoid propagation if something is wrong with your Calathea.

Removing the root rot or fungus from the roots will cure the plant, and changing the soil if you over-fertilized will also help.

If you propagate a diseased plant, the chances of it making it after propagation are slim since the propagation itself is also a shock to the plant.

  • Propagation time. – If you want to propagate choose spring as it is the only logical time for propagation. 

This is when the plant is starting to grow and develop naturally so getting used to its new home will come as less of a shock than in winter for example when the plant is dormant and generally does not like to be moved.

When you notice your Calathea sprouting some new foliage, you can propagate with maximum chances of success.

  • Reasons to propagate. – The most common reason to propagate is that you simply want more pots of your beloved Calathea, you can also use the offsprings to gift to all those who are admiring your plants, and since the propagated plant should be the same as the mother plant, you will be sure that, with proper care, the new plant will grow as beautiful.

Growth control is another reason.

So, if you do not want a big Calathea bush, dividing it is a great way to control it and keep it at the desired size.

If, in fact, you prefer that the Calathea be big, just repot it in a bigger pot and skip the propagation altogether.

Propagation by division

As I have already said, this should be done in the spring when the plant is waking up, and these are the steps to the process.

To prepare the plant for propagation water it the day before.

It should soften the soil and enable you to easily separate the roots without damaging the plant.

Prepare the new pots by filling them with 2/3 peat moss and 1/3 perlite potting mix. Fill it up to a third since you need the space for the plant, you will fill the rest afterward.

Remove the plant from its current pot gently by lightly squeezing the pot if it is possible, or use a clean knife to separate the soil from the inside of the pot (if you have watered the day before, this should be fairly easy)

The next thing would be to gently remove the soil from the roots. Do it with your fingers so you wouldn’t damage the delicate roots.

Do not force the soil off; a bit of soil from the mother plant will actually help the offspring to bounce back more quickly.

Once you have removed the loose soil check for any diseased (rotten sections) and remove them a few millimeters above the diseased part with a clean, disinfected knife.

Once you have done all that, locate where the roots have naturally divided and gently and carefully separate them using only your fingers. Do not cut. (Usually, you will divide your plant in two, however, if it is very large plant more divisions are possible.)

After you have divided the mother plant into offsprings place them in their new pots and fill up with soil.

Now, here is the crucial thing you need to do to make sure that the propagation succeeds-place a plastic bag on the plant after you have watered it and drained the excess water.

The plastic bag will provide constant moisture to your plant and you will not need to mist it.

You will remove the plastic once you notice new growth which should take about 2-4 weeks.

Now, post-propagation care is critical since not all plants “survive the shock”.

What you need to do besides keeping it warm and moist with plastic is keep the plant in lower light (even lower than you would the mother plant), and you really need to make sure that the temperature does not fall below 18°C (65°F) and that you keep it away from any cold air or draught.

To make sure that the conditions are good, resort to placing the pots close together to retain warmth and on top of a tray with pebbles for increased moisture.

Once the new foliage has formed you can go back to caring for your Calathea in a bit more relaxed manner.

If you want to keep on propagating your plants, they should be ready for another set of propagation the next spring.

Propagation by Seed

Seed propagation is not as common as propagation by division for a simple reason- the seeds are not that easy to find.

If you do, however, manage to buy seeds, try to buy them from a trusted source, if for nothing else, to avoid stressing out about it growing the way it is supposed to.

Seed propagation would go like this.

Prepare small pots or propagation trays and fill them with a seed starting mix. An alternative to it would be a mix of peat and coarse sand (1:1).

Spray some water to make the mix moist and place the seeds at about 0.5-1cm of depth.

Place the tray in indirect light on a warm place; you could use a seedling heating mat to make sure that the temperature is appropriate.

You can gently pull out the seedlings and place them in their respective pots once they are about 3-4cm tall.

Remember, handle the plants gently and patiently to avoid damage and you should have a new healthy plant on your hands in a few weeks.

Soil requirements and Fertilizing

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Since I have already talked about what kind of environment and watering practice Calathea enjoys, if you are not a complete beginner, you can deduce that the perfect potting mix for all Calathea plants should be able to retain moisture but also be able to drain the excess water, as well.

I haven’t come across a type of soil targeting Calathea specifically, yet, you can use the African violet soil as it has similar properties to what your Calathea needs.

Watch your plants’ behavior and change if you see that they do not react adequately.

Luckily, there are alternatives to this.

If you have other plants in your indoor garden you have probably come across Miracle-Gro Potting Mix, its versatile and as such a very common and reliable choice of many gardeners, yet to make it suitable for Calathea you will need to add a bit of perlite to make the soil more porous and looser.

Use 2 parts potting mix to 1 part perlite.

There are other options that you can create by yourself.

There is a general percentage and you can use the alternative if you wish.

 To make this mix you will need:

  1. Potting soil or Coir compost ( 30%) (eco-friendly, peat-free, and lightweight and it is made of coconut husk fibers. It improves the drainage properties of the soil mix)
  2. Perlite or pumice (25%) – perlite is natural and Ph neutral derived from volcanic rock, some people do not like that it works its way up on top of the soil mix so they choose pumice instead, which has larger particles.
  3. Orchid bark or coir chips (25%) – this provides aeration and improves moisture retention by absorbing excess water at first and releasing it back into the soil for the plant to use as the mix gets dry.
  4. There are two optional ingredients which are charcoal (5%) and Hydrodrain (15%).

With charcoal pay attention to add activated charcoal and not the regular one.

Activated charcoal is much more porous while regular barbecue charcoal can be quite toxic to your plant.

Hydrodrain is a clay substrate that stores water and helps increase humidity.

If you want to keep things simple make this mix:  50% potting soil, 20% orchid bark, 20% charcoal, plus 10% perlite.

Fertilizing

Calathea plants do not require too much fertilization, however, fertilizing from time to time will improve the soil condition and add the minerals that the plants need.

A good option for Calatheas is a 15-15-15 fertilizer or any other that has a higher nitrogen value.

When it comes to the dosage follow the directions provided on the pack since they do depend on the manufacturer.

And here are some general guidelines for fertilizing Calathea plants.

Fertilize only during the active growth period which is spring and summer. You can extend the practice through fall, yet you should avoid fertilizing in winter.

Fertilize as often as every two weeks or even less frequently if you see that the plant is growing well.

Never fertilize a propagated plant before the new foliage starts coming out, which is at least two weeks after propagation.

No matter how mild and gentle the fertilizer is, water after fertilizing to help the soil drain the excess if there is any since overfertilizing can do more harm than good.

Repotting Calathea

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Repotting Calathea

Calathea plants are not very fast-growing, and their roots are gentle so you have the option of not repotting as often as you would think.

Depending on the size of your pot, you can even re-pot every other year.

The reasons for repotting

The plant is root-bound. – Root-bound plants have overgrown their current pot, and you can sometimes notice that the roots are coming out of the drainage holes. When this happens, your plant is susceptible to disease and needs a bigger pot.

Choose a pot about 2cm larger than your current one to allow the roots to develop.

Another “symptom” of the plant being root-bound in the stunted growth.

The soil needs change.- In this case, you can only change the soil in the current pot without placing it in a larger one. The new soil will give the plant more nutrients it needs to grow.

How will you know that this is what your plant needs? It will not grow anymore, it could become droopy or turn yellow. 

Propagation.-I are already talked about propagation at length but yes, it is one of the reasons for repotting.

The repotting process

To adequately re-pot your Calathea consider the reasons for it and pick the right container.

If you do not need a bigger one, you can put the plant back in the same one it is currently in, just make sure you wash it and disinfect it before you place it back.

And make sure that the pot you choose has drainage holes.

This will keep away any fungus or bacteria that could harm your Calathea.

What you need to do is water the plant the day before you want to re-pot so that the soil will be soft and easily removed.

Pull the plant out gently from the pot and remove excess soil while carefully examining the roots’ condition and removing the diseased sections if there are any (sometimes it would be required to use a fungicide according to the directions so that the disease will not spread in the new pot as well).

Fill the new pot with soil at about a third, press it down then place your plant and fill the rest of the container with soil.

Press again gently to firm and stabilize the plant.

Put the pot back where it was before and wait a few weeks for the plant to start growing again after it recovers from the shock of moving.

Continue with usual care but avoid fertilizing for at least two weeks.

The best time to repot your Calathea is spring or summer just because that is when they are naturally growing and will recover more quickly.

The pot choice

Calathea Pot Choice

Now, I have discussed the pot size but I have been struggling with advice on whether to use a plastic pot or a terracotta pot back when I was first starting to grow Calathea.

It is generally accepted that they do not do well in terracotta, however, since terracotta pots soak up the excess water they might just be the right solution for your Calathea.

Are you confused? Well, so was I.

So, here is a tip for you: use whichever one you like.

The only trick is to pay attention to watering.

If you tend to overwater a terracotta pot is your best bet, on the other hand, if you tend to forget stick to the plastic pots since they will keep the water in the soil longer.

It all comes down to your approach.

There is one thing that should not be an option though -drainage holes are a must regardless of the material.

Problems and Solutions

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Like any other living thing, plants can get sick.

Sometimes it is something you did i.e. you didn’t water it or you watered too much, but sometimes things happen that are out of your power to prevent.

Usually, there is a quick and logical fix for all those problems unless the plant is too far gone.

Let’s take a look at the most common problems you can encounter while caring for your a bit fussy yet beautiful Calatheas.

Issues with foliage:

Yellow or wilting/drooping leaves

Yellow or drooping leaves are a sign that you haven’t been watering your plant enough for a longer period of time.

Calathea will manage to get through a few days of underwatering, but if you leave it thirsty for longer it will start to show it.

Luckily, the fix is easy, just water your Calathea regularly.

Do not go overboard and drown it now for fear of underwatering and in hope that you can compensate for days of not watering it properly.

Check when you need to water again and your plant will probably recover soon.

Another reason for leaves turning yellow is actually too much water, so moderation is key.

Leaves turning brown, developing crispy edges or curling leaves

Curling leaves are a sign that your plants need watering and adjusted humidity.

When it comes to brown leaves and crispy tips, it means that your plant was either placed in a draught, the air humidity is too low, or there is an AC close to it.

Aside from humidity, the reason for both can be too much direct light, and to fix this move your plant in a bit of shade.

Let the damaged parts stay where they are or cut them away if you prefer.

However, if the majority of the leaf’s surface is brown, remove the entire leaf.

Variegated species losing patterns

The reason for the patterns becoming indistinctive or completely pale is too much bright light, even the filtered one, not only direct exposure.

Move the variegated plants in more of a low light environment and watch the patterns become stronger and more distinctive.

It will take a few days for the patterns to appear, but it is a completely reversible process.

It will recover in no time.

Stem issues:

Grey mold

Grey mold or Botrytis is a fungus that attacks the stems of the Calathea (among other) plants when there is too much humidity or the room where you keep the plant is not well-aired.

It will attach to the soft rotting spots.

Rotting or limp stems

Calathea does not like change, it needs stable temperatures and humidity levels so that it would grow happily.

When you place your Calathea in the draught, or because the AC is constantly being turned on and off, changing the temperature and humidity, as well as when you overwater, Calathea stems can become limp and develop stem rot.

To fix both stem problems place your plant in a well-ventilated, humid room, that will have a relatively constant temperature and away from draught, and you should be ok.

Also, maintain an adequate watering regime.

Root issues:

Root rot

Calathea roots tend to rot hen there is too much water in the pot for a longer period of time.

It is a consequence of overwatering.

I have already said that Calathea likes humid, not soggy soil, so, to avoid this problem, avoid overwatering your plant by checking when it needs the water.

When it already happens, you will notice that the soil has changed its smell and your plant will start wilting or turning yellow.

IF you react timely, there is a chance that you can save the plant.

The solution for root rot is to repot the plant and remove both the soil and the diseased parts of the root.

After that, place in new soil and adjust the period between watering and make sure that your pot has drainage holes.

If you tend to overwater, plant your Calahea in a terracotta pot, it will absorb some of the moisture.

Infections and Pests

Fungus

Fungus like Alternaria leaf spot, Helminthosporium leaf spot, and Fusarium wilt are quite rare in Calathea care, yet they can happen when you overwater.

If you notice spots on your plants and decide that t is the fungus that is the problem, use a fungicide according to the instructions.

CMV

Cucumber mosaic virus is an aesthetic Calathea problem. You will recognize it by either yellow spots or blotches, or by wrinkled areas of the leaves.

The plant will live with it, but you should not propagate CMV-infected plants as the offsprings will inherit the virus.

Pseudomonas blight

It is recognized by spots on the foliage, you can try to treat it with bactericide just in case it is not that type of bacterial infection.

It is fatal since it is considered a systemic infection where your best option is to dispose of the plant infected by it.

Pests

Mealybugs, mites, aphids, and scales are among the most common plant pests.

They are relatively easy to remove, sometimes even with water.

Mealybugs on Calathea

If they have attacked the plant very aggressively, you can use a pesticide according to the instructions on the label.

On the other hand, there are other, more **eco and plant-friendly ways you can try before resorting to heavy chemicals.

FAQ

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It is sometimes difficult to find the answer to a specific care question in a guide so extensive.

For this reason, and because you pose these questions to me fairly often, I have gathered them, and created a list of most frequently asked ones, so you can get a specific piece of information that you need.

If the short answers are not enough, return to the question specific section of this guide, and you will surely get all the required information about your beloved Calathea.

How often do you water Calathea?

There isn’t a strict timetable, but the general rule of thumb is – water as needed.

That means more often during the warm summer months and less frequently during the cold months.

If the top inch of the soil is dry then water your Calathea, but do not overwater.

Should I mist my Calathea?

Be careful with misting.

Calathea likes humidity, however, it is better to mist from bottom-up as the new leaves do not appreciate the direct exposure.

It is better to provide adequate humidity conditions overall than to mist regularly.

Although it is better to mist than to leave it without humidity if you do not have any other option.

Why do Calathea leaves close at night?

The interesting explanation would be just to say that it is sleeping, and in a way, it is.

Calatheas, and some other plants, have a joint connecting the leaves with the stem that enables this “movement”.

It is affected by abundance and lack of daylight, and when it happens it produces a rustling sound and your plant “comes alive”.

For more information, check the science of it.

Does Calathea need sunlight?

It is a balance game.

Calathea plants do not like direct sunlight as it can burn their leaves and cause the variegations to pale.

Lack of sunlight is also no good as they originate from the tropical areas.

Your best bet is filtered bright light.

Why are my Calathea leaves curling up?

Calathea leaves curling up, which usually goes with leaves turning brown, is a sign of serious dehydration.

Water your plant so that it always has moisture but is never soaking wet.

The curling leaves can, with attention and care, be the cure, when the plant gets enough water. The brown will stay brown so it is best to remove those leaves.

When should I re-pot my Calathea?

Usually, repotting is needed every two to three years, not more often if you only need to change the pot size.

The best way to determine if your Calathea needs repotting is if the roots are showing from the potholes.

Another thing to pay attention to is stunted growth. If all other conditions are good, then it may be time to re-pot.

How to save a dying Calathea?

Depending on the reason for it dying and how far along the process has gone there is a possibility that you can save a dying plant.

First, you need to check if all the adequate conditions are met.

If they are not, refer to this guide for help and fix the basics.

If everything seems ok and your Calathea is still decaying, check the roots, and remove any fungus, adjust the soil and fertilize according to instructions.

If the plant is seemingly too far gone yet it shows a bit of life, you should nurture it and give it time to bounce back.

If it is obviously brown, dry, and dead, count your losses and learn from your mistakes.

Should I remove the brown tips of my Calathea plant?

Removing just the tips will leave your plant possibly looking even worse than if you leave a leaf with a brown tip.

If more than half of a leaf’s surface has turned brown then remove the entire leaf so that it does not steal nutrients from the rest of the plant.

Are  Calathea plants easy to care for?

Calathea plants are very popular as indoor plants, and aside from being strikingly beautiful, the reason is that they are quite easy to care for.

They do require adequate watering and other conditions, but as long as you pay attention to it a couple of times a week, and place it in the proper light and with propper humidity, it will grow happy and healthy.

Are Calathea plants toxic?

I have some good news if you have pets or children in your home.

Calathea plants are not toxic. Hopefully, neither the children nor the pets will nibble on the gorgeous leaves though, for the plant’s sake, but if they do, you do not have to worry.

Do Calathea plants flower?

Calathea plants flower in their natural environment however, they rarely flower indoors.

There are some varieties such as Calathea Crocata that will flower indoors if all the conditions are perfect.

Its flowers grow upward and are orange to dark yellow.

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