Share your love!

How to Care for Calatheas

care for calatheas

Like what you see? Check out my Portfolio & work with me or any Havenly designer, & spruce up your home with Havenly, the platform that has revolutionized online interior design since 2013! Offering online interior design services & home decor from the best online interior designers at an affordable price! Take 25% off your first design TODAY!

10 Interesting Reasons to Have Calatheas Brighten Up Your Home

About Calatheas

For anyone who has ever tried to grow a houseplant, the prospect of adding a pet-friendly plant to the mix may seem daunting. However, Calathea, also known as Peacock Plants, is a genus of neotropical herbaceous perennials that are perfect for pet owners. Calatheas are native to the tropics (primarily Brazil), and they are known for their beautiful patterned leaves.

However, what makes these tropical plants truly unique is their nyctinasty leaves, which raise themselves at night and drop during the day. This so-called “prayer plants” behavior is actually an adaptation that allows the plant to maximize its exposure to sunlight. As a result, Calathea plants are not only beautiful but also easy to care for.

So if you’re looking for pet-friendly indoor plants that are both beautiful and easy to care for, look no further than Calathea. Additionally, research has shown that having plants in your house will have amazing benefits for you! Visit our article Amazing Psychological Effects of Nature in Pet-Friendly Interiors to find out more!

How to Care for Calatheas

Calathea Party of 2 Live Plants ‘Unique by JMBamboo’

Selecting the Best soil for Calatheas

For those who enjoy having prayer-plants in their household, it is important to be aware of the elements that will help this plant to thrive. Most importantly, they prefer moist soil, which should be a mix of 50 percent potting soil, 20 percent orchid bark, 20 percent charcoal, and 10 percent perlite to provide the delicate balance that the Calathea needs.

Additionally, it is vital to water these indoor plants regularly, making sure that the soil is moist but not wet. And finally, the pH of the soil should be slightly acidic at 6.5. By following these simple tips, you can ensure that your Calathea will stay healthy and happy for years to come.

Selecting the right pot for Calatheas

The type of pot you choose can have a big impact on the health of your prayer plant. Ceramic and terracotta pots offer superior drainage and aeration, which is essential for preventing overwatering and root rot. Choose a pot that is 1-2 inches larger than the plant’s current pot. This will give the roots room to spread out without becoming cramped or waterlogged.

Terra cotta pots are especially beneficial in areas with high rainfall. They absorb excess water and help keep the soil moist. However, if you live in a dry climate or tend to overwater your plants, plastic pots may be better. Whatever type of pot you choose, make sure it has an adequate drainage hole to prevent waterlogging.

How to Care for Calatheas

Calathea Party of 2 Live Plants ‘Unique by JMBamboo’

The Best light for Calatheas

The light requirements of these prayer-plants make them an interesting option for low-light environments. These plants require 8 to 10 hours of bright, indirect light and 8 hours of darkness. Although the plants may grow in low light, they cannot tolerate direct sunlight. Caution should be taken that direct sunlight does not bleach the leaves of these plants.

The ideal location for a prayer plant would be in an area of the room that receives bright indirect light ranging from dim to bright. In general, the darker the leaf, such as that of the calathea ornata, the less light is required. Given these requirements, calathea plants can be a beautiful and intriguing addition to any home.

How to Care for Calatheas

Calathea roseopicta ‘Medallion’

How to Water Calatheas

Any gardener will tell you that watering plants are one of the most tricky parts of plant care. Different plants have different watering needs. It can be difficult to know how often to water without killing the plant or letting it wilt. Calathea is especially finicky when it comes to watering, and even experienced gardeners often struggle to keep them healthy. It is also recommended to use filtered or distilled water rather than tap water.

Calathea needs to be watered once per week to every two weeks, and the soil should be moist but not soggy. The best way to tell if a calathea needs water is to stick your finger into the soil; it’s time to water if the top two inches are dry. However, waiting until the plant wilts or droops is a surefire way to kill it, so checking regularly is important.

How to Care for Calatheas

Calathea roseopicta ‘Medallion’

How to Fertilize Calatheas

Spring is the perfect time to boost your Calathea with a 10/10/10 NPK fertilizer. This will help it to grow strong and healthy during the summer months. However, it is important not to over-fertilize your plant. Too much fertilizer can actually damage the roots and leaves of your Calathea.

If you are unsure how much fertilizer to use, it is better to err on the side of caution and not use any. Once your Calathea has grown for a few months, you can then begin to fertilize it on a monthly basis. Remember to spread the fertilizer out over eight weeks to avoid overfeeding your plant. Finally, if your Calathea is looking particularly large or if it seems to be needing additional nutrients, you can try giving it a diluted dose of fertilizer once a week.

Best Temperature and Humidity for Calatheas

Calathea is a tropical plant that thrives in a warm, humid environment. If you’re thinking of adding one of these plants to your home, there are a few things you need to keep in mind in order to ensure its wellbeing. First of all, Calatheas prefer temperatures between 65 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit.

However, they should be protected from drafts and cold air and any sudden temperature changes (such as those caused by opening and closing doors). Additionally, while misting will help to slightly increase humidity levels, it’s best to place your Calathea near a humidifier for extra protection. Finally, while this plant doesn’t require much light, it prefers North or East-facing windowsills.

How to Care for Calatheas

Calathea roseopicta ‘Medallion’

How to Propagate Calatheas

Although calatheas can be propagated through seed, it is often difficult to find seeds. The best way to propagate calathea is by division. When you are repotting the plant, simply divide it at the root. You want to be careful and not damage the roots as they are weak.

After you have divided the plant, keep it in a humid, warm environment with low light for two to four weeks. Once growth resumes, you can put it back in its regular spot. Remember to repot and divide calathea every few years! This will help keep your plant healthy and thriving.

Calatheas Common Pests and Diseases

Suppose you’re lucky enough to have a Calathea in your home. In that case, it’s important to be aware of the pests and diseases that can affect this beautiful plant. Mealybugs, spider mites, scale, thrips, and whitefly are all attracted to the cubbyholes and undersides of Calathea leaves, so it’s important to check these areas regularly for signs of infestation.

Common diseases associated with Calathea include root rot, leaf-spot disease, botrytis, rust, powdery mildew, and southern blight. While these diseases can be devastating to a Calathea, they can often be prevented with proper care and treatment.

Prevention and Treatment

Preventing pests and diseases is the best way to keep your Calathea healthy and beautiful. Start by inspecting your plant regularly for signs of infestation or disease. If you see any pests or diseases, take immediate action to treat them.

There are a number of ways to prevent and treat pests and diseases. Some common methods include:

– Use of pesticides and fungicides

– Removal of infested leaves

– Quarantine of infected plants

– Avoiding overwatering

– Improving air circulation

– Providing adequate drainage

If you follow these simple steps, you can keep your Calathea healthy and beautiful for years to come.

How to Care for Calatheas

Calathea roseopicta ‘Medallion’

When should I repot my Calatheas?

Most plants enjoy a little change every now and then, and calatheas are no exception. In fact, repotting your calathea on a yearly or bi-yearly basis can provide it with fresh soil and nutrients, helping it to stay healthy and vibrant. Of course, repotting can be a bit of a process, so it’s important to follow some key steps.

First, spread newspapers on the floor to catch any dirt or debris. Next, take the plant out of its pot and shake off any old soil from the roots. Once the roots are clean, you can add fresh soil to the pot and center the plant inside. Finally, pat down the soil and water well. Your calathea may need 2-4 weeks to recover from the move, but it will be healthier in the long run.

How to prune Calatheas

Although it’s natural for Calathea leaves to die and turn brown as they age, there are still some situations where you may want or need to prune them away. You can snip off the withered sections with clean, sharp shears if the leaves are only partially dead. However, if more than one-third of the leaf is dead, it’s best to remove the entire leaf. This will help encourage new growth and prevent your Calathea from becoming too stressed.

Pruning away dead leaves is only one way to encourage new growth in your plant. If huge areas of the foliage are turning brown and crispy, it is usually a symptom of a problem. Some possible causes include too much direct sunlight, drought stress, or pests. If you suspect any of these issues, take steps to correct the problem right away. Your Calathea will soon look healthy and lush again with a little care and attention.

How to Care for Calatheas

Calathea Vitatta (Peacock Plant) – 3″ from California Tropicals

Final Thoughts and Facts

Give your home some life with Calatheas – stunning houseplants for any taste and space! Before arranging these beautiful plants, keep in mind that all houseplants need the right environment to stay healthy. First, make sure you know the types of light in your home. Each plant will usually benefit from more natural light than artificial sources like fluorescent bulbs.

Consider adding a humidifier in your space to prevent the leaves of Calatheas from drying out too quickly. Additionally, determine a spot for your new green beauties away from air drafts and direct sunlight. Finally, don’t forget to fertilize your houseplants to keep them looking lush and vibrant!

With minimal effort, the bright shiny leaves of the Calatheas can be easily tamed into delightful hanging gardens or standing pots or framed up against a wall as part of an interior design concept – perfect for pet-friendly homes. Brighten up your home with gorgeous Calatheas today and consider these 10 facts.

  1. Calatheas bring unique and beautiful greenery to any interior space, making homes look vibrant and inviting!
  2. You won’t have to worry about a lot of maintenance with Calatheas—their easy-care properties make them a great choice for busy households or environments with low light.
  3. Not only are Calatheas aesthetically pleasing, but their huge, bright green leaves are also amazing to look at and help absorb light in low-light settings.
  4. The indirect sunlight provided by household rooms is perfect for allowing your Calathea plants to thrive without burning or bleaching their leaves.
  5. Just enough water will go a long way with these plants—Calatheas require a few extra measures when it comes to watering as long as you avoid excessive water that can drown the roots.
  6. Ideally, your home environment should remain within the 65–80 degrees Fahrenheit range for your Calathea plants to feel comfortable and healthy!
  7. Humidity levels also really matter when it comes to keeping your Calatheas happy—the wide leaves excel at absorbing moisture from the air, which helps them grow and blossom even better!
  8. If you want some color in addition to attractive foliage, consider getting yourself a Calathea crocata—its subtle orange blooms offer just enough punch without going overboard on attention-grabbing colors!
  9. Fertilizer during spring, summer, and fall helps your calathea reach its full potential; just be sure not to prune yellow or brown leaves when doing so!
  10. Since they grow slowly, calatheas are an excellent addition to living rooms, bedrooms, guest rooms, or other areas because you won’t have to repot very often while enjoying lush foliage indoors!

Care for Calatheas – FAQ

Do Calathea Plants have other names?

Yes, they also go by Peacock Plant, Zebra Plants, Cathedral Plants, or Rattlesnake Plant.

Can I water calathea plants with tap water?

It is recommended to use distilled water for your indoor plant collection. Be careful to never let the soil dry out but ensure that any excess water drains away.

Does a Calathea Plant prefer indirect light or direct light?

Calatheas thrive in medium to bright indirect light but can tolerate low indirect light.

How to Care for Calatheas

Hire an Online Interior Designer at Havenly

There are several online interior design websites, but Havenly is your best option to hire from a robust list of interior designers that will help you in decorating and creating the perfect dog-friendly home. 

When you sign up for Havenly, you will take a short quiz about your design style and what you are looking for in a designer. Havenly will then match you with a designer who will help you select paint colors, furniture, and accessories that are both stylish and safe for your furry friend.

In addition, your Havenly designer will be able to provide tips on how to create a space that is both comfortable for your dog and inviting for guests. With Havenly, creating a beautiful and functional home that your dog will love is easy and stress-free.

Click here if you want to learn more about Havenly or book an interior designer and get 25% off your design package if you click here!

Share your love!
M.Arch. Julio Arco
M.Arch. Julio Arco

Bachelor of Architecture - ITESM University
Master of Architecture - McGill University
Architecture in Urban Context Certificate - LDM University
Interior Designer - Havenly
Architecture Professor - ITESM University

Articles: 584
Available for Amazon Prime