The Ultimate Guide on How to Care for Calathea Plants
Posted on January 30 2021
Calatheas are known for their captivating features such as vibrant colors, chiseled veins, ruffled leaves, and purple hues. However, caring for them can be a challenge, especially when taken out of the balmy greenhouse. This blog aims to provide tips and basic care instructions for Calathea plants.
Calatheas are native to tropical rainforests in South America, Africa, and the West Indies. Understanding the rainforest origins of your Calathea plant can help in providing proper care.
Although Calathea and Maranta fall under the same broad plant family, they are two separate genuses. While many in the plant community still refer to Calathea as "Prayer Plants," it is scientifically inaccurate. The mesmerizing up-and-down arm action of plants in the Marantaceae family is called "Nyctinasty," triggered by light.
For proper care, Calathea plants require medium to low indirect light, depending on the species. Never expose them to direct sunlight as it can bleach and burn their leaves. If your plant's leaves start turning towards the light, move it further from the window. Faded leaf-tops indicate too much light and low humidity, which are also essential to the plant's health.
To care for your Calathea plant, water it when the top 1-2 inches of soil are dry, maintain a temperature between 65-85 degrees Fahrenheit, and a humidity level of 40-60%. Fertilize the plant every two weeks during the growing season with half-strength fertilizer, and stop during dormancy.