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All About Calathea roseopicta 'Surprise Star'

Posted on December 12 2022

Dark, glossy leaves, with stunning fuchsia, watercolor borderlines make the Calathea roseopicta 'Surprise Star’ an intriguing addition to any plant lover’s collection. New growth comes in light green, darkening into a glistening, almost-black when mature. As a Calathea, the ‘Surprise Star’ is non-toxic to pets and people.

Meet Your Match:

    • Nickname: Rose Painted Calathea, Red Wine Calathea
    • About the Family: The Calathea Roseopicta ‘Surprise Star’ is a relative of other Calathea varieties, such as the Calathea Leapordina and Calathea Pinstripe. The Surprise Star has many close relatives within the same species, including the Calathea Rosepopicta ‘Dottie,’ which is very similar in appearance.
    • Understanding the Family Tree: Marantaceae (Family), Calathea (Genus), Calathea Roseopicta (Species), Calathea Roseopicta 'Surprise Star’ (Cultivar). 
    • Hometown: The under-canopy of warm, humid rainforests of South-America.

    How to Care for Your Calathea ‘Surprise Star’:

      • Watering: Keep the soil moist—water when the topsoil is crumbly.
      • Humidity: High. Place it near a humidifier or mist daily.
      • Soil: Your Calathea ‘Surprise Star’ prefers well-draining soil. 
      • Fertilizer: Every 4-6 weeks during the growing season. Do not fertilizer during dormancy.
      • Environment: Keep your Calathea 'Surprise Star’ in bright, indirect light.
      • Propagation: The easiest method is division during repotting.
      • Toxicity: Non-toxic to pets and people.

      The Best Unboxing Practices:

      Properly caring for your newly unboxed Calathea roseopicta 'Surprise Star' 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 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 Calathea 'Surprise Star' in filtered, low light for a few days to acclimate. Relocate it to your desired location 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 roseopicta 'Surprise Star', 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 roseopicta 'Surprise Star' 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 the Calathea ‘Surprise Star’:

          • Is Calathea toxic to Cats? No, all Calathea varieties are non-toxic to humans and pets. Keep in mind, overeating any plant will cause nausea or vomiting. 
          • How often should I water my Calathea? Water your Calathea ‘Surprise Star’ when the topsoil is crumbly to the touch. Most plants do not thrive under a rigid watering schedule, so avoid watering it on a weekly or bi-weekly basis. Simply observe the conditions of your plant or use a moisture meter.
          • What kind of soil should I use for my Calathea Roseopicta? These plants require moisture-retaining, well-draining soil. If you are using a traditional potting mix, add an extra ⅓ of perlite.
          • What do I need to know about Calathea Roseopicta propagation? Calathea Roseopicta 'Surprise Stars’ are best propagated by division during repotting. You cannot propagate by leaf or stem cuttings.
          • There are several types of Calathea Roseopicta, what are the similarities? The various cultivars of the Calathea Roseopicta species all exhibit the same feathery border pattern but come in a variety of colors and border widths.

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