Honestly, Calathea is quite an actress. Many people are very frightened about the Calatheans. The family Marantaceae includes more than 600 species, including Calatheas gangs. Calatheas are indigenous to Brazil and use their leaves for food shipping and basket making for textile production. Nobody knows about the Calathea's different varieties, some suggest 40 different types. All the foliage on the Calatheas have unrivalled beauty and are unbeatable. The Calathea Warscewiczkie demonstrates amazingly well, her height can exceed 1 meter and her foliage looks beautiful. There is no wonder why these amazing houseplants are so sought after.
Calatheas have built-up numerous nicknames such as peacock plant and rattlesnake plant but, commonly referred as a ‘prayer plant’. This is because they are closely related to the maranta plant however, calatheas close their leaves at night unlike the maranta plant.
Calatheas are native from tropical rainforests which helps us understand what conditions we need to replicate for these houseplants to thrive and show off their beauty in full colours. They grow from the forest floors which indicate they receive medium to low-light levels as bigger and taller plants offer shade. Although they may cope in medium light conditions, Calatheas thrive from humidity! This is an extremely important component to Calatheas that I will go into further detail further in this guide. Something cool that Calatheas do is turn their leaves towards sunlight throughout the day which scientifically is referred to as phototropism.
Where to place a Calathea
After purchasing your beautiful Calathea, it is extremely important to find a place that both you and your new houseplant loves! As we have discussed, Calatheas enjoy medium light levels so, it is best to find a spot in your home that offers plenty of bright, indirect sunlight. Avoid direct sunlight as the rays will burn the beautiful leaves, and also, keep away from draughts. The best temperatures for Calatheas range from 16-24 degrees Celsius or 61-75 Fahrenheit. It is best to avoid any room that has fluctuations in temperature, as it makes it difficult for the Calathea to settle into its environment.
Caring for a Calathea
Caring for your Calathea is extremely easy once you understand its needs and signs. These houseplants like their soil to be evenly moist with little dry periods between waterings. On average, watering tends to be around every 8 days. Calatheas hate overwatering and are susceptible to root rot. To avoid this, put your finger in the soil to identify if the top couple inches of soil have dried out. When watering your plant, avoid using tap water as it may contain chemicals such as chlorine that can affect your houseplant. Instead, use filtered water or more preferably rainwater. Of course, as with majority of houseplants, water less during the winter months.
Calatheas love humidity! Rooms such as shower rooms or steamy kitchens will make these plants very happy. If you opt to place these plants in other rooms, there are methods of creating a humid environment. Misting the Calatheas’ leaves daily, having multiple houseplants around each other as lost water from one plant during the process of transpiration can be picked up by another plant, and lastly using a humidifier. These can be a preferred option as they can be small, quiet, and turned on and off to create the perfect humidity levels for your Calathea.
Why does my Calathea have brown edges?
Calathea leaves you will be glad to know are not turning brown because you are caring for your Calathea incorrectly. In fact, this is common amongst this family of houseplants so, fear not! However, although this is a common issue, there is a chance they are turning brown on the edges due to the type of water you are watering the Calathea with. Tap water contains many chemicals such as chlorine, salts and fluoride that build up and contaminate the soil, causing your Calathea edges to curl and brown. The best way to avoid this is to ensure you use filtered water or rainwater, and do not place your Calathea in direct sunlight.
Are Calathea plants safe for cats and dogs?
Calathea houseplants you will be glad to hear are non-toxic for both cats and dogs. The prayer plant makes a perfect splash of colour to your space if you are also a fury friend lover!
4 beautiful Calathea varieties you will love!
Calathea Orbifolia has gorgeous wide leaves with stripes, each leaf has its own unique design, it is a stunning centrepiece to have in your home and will be much admired by any visitor! Calatheas Orbfolia are perfect as a taste of the tropical rainforest, you can enjoy the benefits of the rainforest inside your own home and feel the power that houseplants can have on psychological health and wellbeing.
Calathea Roseopicta ‘Medallion’
We love this extra-large variegated house plant for its amazing colours! Calathea Roseopicta Medallion is the classic variety, Medallion foliage is like a disco! The dark green leaves are variegated with a wide variety of reds, pinks, silvers and greens. The backs of the leaves are dark purple, adding to the excitement!
Calathea Lancifolia ‘Rattlesnake Plant’
We love this amazingly striking variegated house plant! The Rattlesnake plant - Calathea Lancifolia - has fresh green leaves with darker green stripes, and burgundy colouring on the underside. Called the Rattlesnake plant because of the markings on the leaves which look a bit like the patterns on a rattlesnake’s skin - it’s stunning to have in your home and will be much admired by any visitor!
Calathea White Fusion
We love Calathea White Fusion for its amazing, variegated foliage! Calathea White Fusion - has marbled white and green leaves with purple undersides, each leaf has its own unique design, it is a stunning centrepiece to have in your home and will be much admired by any visitor!