Complete guide to calathea care
With paddle shaped leaves that can take on iridescent greens and pinks, calatheas are a beautiful addition to any room. They’re not shy to let you know when they need something, but they’re easy to keep happy.
A potted calathea will command attention in any room you place it in. Calatheas don’t thrive on neglect, but care is as simple as regular watering and giving them a light mist every few days.
- Watering when the top two inches of soil feel dry
- Avoiding direct sunlight - this is a ground-growing rainforest plant, so it’s used to medium light and shady spots
- Giving it a mist every few days to recreate tropical humidity and stop the leaves from curling
All about calatheas
Our family of calatheas includes Tristan, Julia, Juliette, Corby, Jesse and Juno - but if you keep an eye out you might spot some limited edition visitors. These calatheas have scientific names like calathea triostar or calathea medallion, but they're all commonly known as prayer plants.
Calatheas can be pretty visually dramatic. Their patterned leaves come in a range of colours, including neon shades of green and pink. At night, your calathea will close its leaves, almost like it's praying, then open them up again during the day. Look closely and you'll notice your calathea's leaves moving.
In the wild, you’ll find calatheas growing in jungle regions around the world. At your place, your calathea will grow to around 60-70cm. They’re a slower growing plant, so don’t worry if yours stays the same size for a while. As long as the leaves look healthy you’ll know it’s ok.
Calatheas are non-toxic, making them safe for all family members to be around, including curious children and pets.
How often should I water my calathea?
Water your calathea when the top two inches of soil feel dry. The leaves will wilt if the soil hasn’t been watered evenly (we told you they’re dramatic) and while that can be alarming for first time plant parents, your calathea will bounce back to full health quickly once its roots have been fully immersed in water.
Is it true calatheas need filtered water?
If possible, your calathea will do better when it's watered and misted with filtered water as the fluoride in our tap water can sometimes cause them a bit of discomfort. You’ll know yours is struggling if they get unhealthy looking spots on their leaves.
How much light does my calathea need?
Calatheas are rainforest plants, so they’re used to getting dappled light through the jungle canopy. Your calathea isn’t into sunbathing, so make sure it’s kept in medium light conditions and never next to a window. You’ll know it’s getting too much light if their leaves start to fade.
What temperature is best for my calathea?
Calatheas love humidity so a bathroom is a perfect spot. If you want them out on display in living areas, they’ll generally be ok as long as you keep your calathea draught-free and make time to give the leaves a light mist every few days.
Does my calathea need any extra love?
Calatheas really appreciate a drink of liquid fertiliser in the warmer months, so try to do this every four weeks during spring and summer.
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