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All About Calathea lancifolia ‘Rattlesnake’ Prayer Plant

Posted on December 12 2022

The Calathea lancifolia says ‘Good Morning’ and ‘Goodnight’ by waving its elongated, perfectly crinkled, patterned green-on-green leaves. As a Marantaceae family member, the Rattlesnake Prayer Plant has medium-difficulty care requirements. It also moves up and down according to the light cycles, revealing its matte-plum leaf undersides at night. Since it’s a non-toxic plant, this eye-catcher is a perfect addition to any family! 

Meet Your Match:

    • Nickname: Rattlesnake Plant
    • About the Family: The Calathea lancifolia is a relative of other Calathea varieties, such as the Calathea Roseopicta and Calathea Vittatia. They are “cousins" to the traditional Prayer Plant: the Maranta. 
    • Understanding the Family Tree: Marantaceae (Family), Calathea (Genus), Calathea lancifolia (Species)
    • Hometown: The under-canopy of warm, humid rainforests of Brazil.

    How to Care for Your Rattlesnake Prayer Plant:

      • Watering: Keep the soil moist—water when the topsoil is crumbly.
      • Humidity: Average to high. 
      • Soil: Well-draining soil. 
      • Fertilizer: Fertilize every four weeks during the growing season. Do not fertilize during dormancy.
      • Environment: Keep your Calathea Lancifolia in medium to low indirect light. 
      • Propagation: The easiest method is division during repotting.
      • Toxicity: Calathea lancifolia ‘Rattlesnake’ Prayer Plants are non-toxic to pets and people.

      The Best Unboxing Practices:

      Properly caring for your newly unboxed Rattlesnake Prayer Plant for the first week of its new life is crucial to the extended wellness of your plant. Follow these practices to get the best results:
      • Watering: Exotic Forest ships freshly watered plants. Do not water your Calathea lancioflia until it exhibits the proper signs.
      • Repotting: Do not immediately repot your plant, which would likely result in shock and leaf-loss. Allow it to acclimate to its new environment for at least one week. 
      • Lighting: Place your plant in filtered, low light for a few days to acclimate. Relocate your Rattlesnake Prayer Plant to your desired location that fits its care needs afterward. Do not ever place a freshly un-boxed plant in direct sun.

      What You’re Getting:

      • You will receive a carefully selected, quality evaluated 6” diameter plant. All Exotic Forest plants are rooted and thriving. 

      What Makes Us Special:

      • Shipment Methods: Plants are precious, and we want yours to arrive safely! We ship our plants via UPS, with a maximum of 4-day shipping. 
      • Our Packing: Have you received ‘squished’ plants from other companies? Our solution to this common issue is bamboo stakes and biodegradable packing peanuts (starch), which securely holds your plant in place during shipment. 
      • Chemical-free: We are committed to keeping our plants and customers safe. We never treat our plants with chemical pesticides. 
      • Quality Standards: Exotic Forest strives to meet stringent quality standards and evaluates each plant we resource from our nursery. Pest-free, healthy plants are a requirement!
      • Customer Service: Your satisfaction is our priority. If you are experiencing issues with or have questions about how to care for your Calathea lancifolia ‘Rattlesnake’, reach out to us at or via our social media accounts. Are you tired of receiving pre-written responses? We believe that plant parents want to talk to people, not robots. A knowledgeable team member reads and replies to each individual concern: no cookie-cutter answers here!
      • Returns: While we do not accept returns at this time, you can contact us at with photos of your plant and receipt to discuss the specific plant care issues you’re experiencing with your Calathea lancifolia ‘Rattlesnake’ and possible resolutions.
      • Your Personal Plant-Care Resource: Do you love your new addition? We couldn’t be happier! Join our mailing list to receive exclusive offers, updates, and care tips.

      FAQ about Rattlesnake Prayer Plant Care:

      • Why has my Calathea stopped moving? The movement of your Calathea’s leaves (nyctinasty) is based on the light cycle. Your plant has likely stopped moving because it is not receiving enough sunlight during the day. Rattlesnake Prayer Plant’s require low-to-medium indirect light to care for their needs properly: nyctinasty included! Move your leafy friend closer to a window with filtered sunlight.
      • Why are my Calathea’s leaves pointing in one direction? Leaves pointed in the same direction indicate that your Calathea is receiving too much light. Move it further away from the light source.
      • Why has my Calathea’s color faded? Calathea lancioflia absorbs light through their leaves’ tops and bottoms, making them suitable to lower light conditions than other all-green varieties of Calathea. To care for your Rattlesnake Prayer Plant, move it to a location with medium to low, indirect light. 
      • Why does my Calathea have brown tips? Raise the levels of humidity in your Calathea Rattlesnake’s environment. Water your plant more consistently, especially during its growing season. Use distilled water or tap water that has sat out for 24-hours.
      • Why is my Calathea yellowing? Inconsistent watering care habits will cause your Rattlesnake Prayer Plant’s leaves to be yellow. Water your plant more consistently. Ensure that your plant is not rootbound; this will contribute to your plant needing more frequent watering and will also starve it of soil-bound nutrients.
      • Why is my Rattlesnake Plant’s leaves curling? This is a sign of dehydration. Water your plant more frequently and soak the soil thoroughly when you do so.

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