Plant Profile: Calathea

by J. Russell

 

If you’re in the market for an easy-to-grow, low light/low maintenance houseplant, look no further than Calathea. This colorful tropical is found in the wild on forest floors of Brazil, Africa and Asia. Their foliage is nothing short of stunning- full of fun patterns, colors, and textures. They are often sold small making them a great table plant. We carry a number of varieties including C. lancifolia, C. makoyana, C. orbifolia, C. ornata, and C. zebrina. Give us a call to check if we have the variety you are looking for in stock.

Calathea grows naturally under trees on forest floors where they would get filtered, indirect light. Keep them in medium to low light and away from any direct light or sun to avoid leaf burn.

General Care & Watering

Calathea like to stay damp but not soggy or saturated. Their broad leaves will absorb water through the air- try misting regularly to keep the humidity high. Do not let them stay dry for long as this will cause curling and leaf drop. Calathea are also sensitive to cold so keep them away from drafty windows. When repotting, as with most houseplants, avoid packing the soil down too much. You want the water to be absorbed and any excess to drain quickly from the bottom. If you notice the water sitting at the top of the soil consider loosening it or trying a different mix all together. Any normal well-draining potting mix marketed for indoor plants is fine.

 

C. makoyana
C. lancifolia
C. ornata