Native to tropical areas such as South America and the West Indies, Calathea plants are beautiful to look at. There are different varieties of Calathea like makoyana, zebrina, crocata and ornata.
The most popular indoor one has leaves with a light green base and white and dark green strokes on them. The edges are scalloped, and the underside of the leaves are burgundy in color. They’re truly spectacular to look at and have different names such as zebra, peacock, and prayer-plants.
Here are a few tips on how to care for a Calathea plant.
Like all plants, Calathea also requires sunlight to thrive. However, the exposure has to be indirect, or else the leaves will burn and lose their color.
This works best as indoor plants aren’t always exposed to direct sunlight.
The Calathea plant is fussy about the quality of water given to it. It tends to be sensitive to minerals. Hence filtered water or rainwater works best for the plant. Again, this plant is known to be low maintenance as it only requires water once a week.
The plant thrives when the soil is moist but not soggy. You’ll know when to water the plant once the leaves start to brown around the edges, but it’s better to avoid that and water it once every week. Before watering the plant, it’s best to check the level of moisture in the soil by pressing your fingertips on the top layer of the soil.
Calathea prospers in a humid environment. They absorb the moisture from the air around them, which helps in keeping the soil moist. Suppose you live in a place where there is less humidity. In that case, you can either place a humidifier near the plant or group the prayer-plants together so they can absorb the moisture from each other.
One of the best ways to create humidity is to place pebbles on a tray. Submerge the pebbles in water until only the top layer is left. Place the plant on top of the pebbles. Since the plants do well in a humid environment, this is why you don’t need to water them daily.
They can survive with normal fertilizer soil. If you want to give your plant a little boost, you can use a liquid fertilizer at only half the usual strength once a month.
Calathea leaves can grow many feet in the wild, but indoors, they don’t grow beyond 2 feet. This means they are easier to maintain as you don’t have to maneuver around the long leaves or cut them often.
If you’ve time on your hands, then you can wipe the dust off the leaves once a week. Or spray the leaves with water sometimes to keep them moist.
More importantly, although the plant is safe to touch and feel, children and animals should maintain a distance as they tend to taste everything.
Calathea plant is easy to maintain and is not prone to diseases. However, similar to other plants, some issues can easily be handled if you know what to look for.
When the tips of the large leaves turn brown, that means there is a deficiency of water in the soil. This is a clue to water the plant and give it life.
Sometimes, there may seem some spots on the leaves. That means there is a fungal infection. It can easily be solved by watering filtered water directly into the soil.
If you feel the leaves have dried up and won’t be fixed by simple watering, you can cut the stems’ leaves. Stronger new leaves will grow back in no time in any season; the growth might be relatively slow in winter.
Easy to maintain, beautiful to look at; a Calathea plant surely wins hearts. Calathea will bloom and flourish with the right amount of water and indirect exposure to sunlight. Look no further than this plant to brighten up your office space or lounge.
The positioning of the leaves of this plant can change with the direction of the sun as the day progresses. Be prepared to see it move so you don’t panic when it happens.