Calathea

These striking plants are native to the Amazon rain forest. Calatheas are known for their bright, intricate foliage in a swath of patterns and colors. They can be a bit finicky, but under the right conditions they will flourish. They symbolize new beginnings, and couldn't we all use one of those?

Rattlesnake calathea in pot with a hand

Easy Care Facts:

Lighting:

Most calathea varieties prefer medium to bright indirect light, but many can handle lower light conditions as well. Avoid direct sunlight for most calathea as the leaves will burn.

Water:

Keeping calathea moist (but not wet) is important. They will start to decline if draught-like conditions maintained. They will start to brown in the edges if underwatered. Calathea also prefer distilled or filtered water. The minerals and metals in standard tap water can be harsh on the plant. You can let tap water sit out overnight.

Fertilizing:

Utilize fertilizer Spring-Fall (local weather depending). Fertilize about once a month using a high quality fertilizer at half strength. 

Humidity:

One of the main reasons plant parents tend to have difficulties with calatheas is humidity. They do prefer a spot with high humidity. Mist regularly or utilize a humidifier. Calatheas that are lower light tolerant do well in bathroom settings. 

Temperature:

The ideal temperature in the day is 65-85 degrees. Drafts and sudden temperature changes will cause shock to the plant.

Toxicity:

Calatheas are non-toxic to pets and people.

Calathea in a pot

Tips and Tricks

Propagating:

In the spring and summer, you can divide calathea into separate plants. When repotting, divide the root system with a sterile utensil making sure each division has a part of the root system attached. Make sure to avoid direct sunlight.

Peacock calathea