Calathea (Rattlesnake Plant, Zebra Plant): Types, Care and Growing Tips

The genus Calathea is found in tropical South America and Asia. Indoor plants thrive on many different types of calatheas. The large colorful leaves of Calathea houseplants have intricate patterns, which makes them popular. The Zebra plant (Calathea zebrina), Rattlesnake plant, Pinstripe plant, and Medallion plant are all named after the intricate patterns on their leaves.

How to Care for a Calathea

When Calathea is placed in moist, well-draining soil and given bright, indirect sunlight, it thrives indoors. When the soil is somewhat dry, mist your calathea frequently to promote humidity and moisture. Calathea thrives in room temperatures that are ideal. During the summer, feed your hardy houseplant every four weeks.

Caltheas and Prayer Plants

Since they raise their leaves at night like prayer plants, calathatias are sometimes referred to as prayer plants. Calathea leaves fold upright at the base of the stem in the evening, looking as though the plant is folding its leaves upward to pray. Nyctinasty refers to the process of doing so.

Variegated leaves are found on both calathea and prayer plants. When something is amiss in the environment of calatheas, the leaves may occasionally roll up from the outer margins inward toward the central vein.

Make sure to keep your calathea plant in a warm, humid environment and away from direct sunlight to avoid leaf curl. Make sure that your houseplant’s soil is somewhat moist.

About Calatheas

The calatheas are a family of flowering plants known as Marantaceae, and there are many species and hundreds of cultivars. Calatheas, on the other hand, seldom bloom indoors. Large oval leaves with dark purple and pink patterns are seen on some of these types of ‘praying plants.

Lance-shaped leaves with striped patterns in varied hues of green cover other calatheas. Some calathea species have leaves with an underside that is a distinct hue from the top side, similar to genuine prayer plants (marantas). You’ll learn about several of the most popular and stunning calatheas types in this article. The best way to look after these tropical houseplants is described in the calathea care manual.

Calathea Plant Types

Let’s take a look at some of the most stunning calatheas available, which may bring some nature to any room, office, or indoors setting.

Calathea roseopicta ‘Corona’

Large ovate light green leaves characterize this popular calathea cultivar. The wide dark-green leaf border margins and the burgundy-purple colored underside of the leaves are two distinguishing features of the ‘Corona.

Calathea ‘Eclipse’

The dark green leaves of the stunning calathea cultivar ‘Eclipse’ are thick and have purple and silver patterns.

Rattlesnake Plant (Calathea lancifolia)

The lance-shaped leaves of this bushy tropical houseplant earned it the scientific name. The light green leaves have distinctive dark green patterns. Stem designs with smaller ovate-shaped leaves seem to be similar. The leaves have a rich burgundy scar on the bottom surface.

Zebra Plant (Calathea zebrina)

Light-green ovate leaves with dark green zebra-like patterns and stripes characterize this easy-to-care-for evergreen houseplant. The purple underside of the leaves of the Zebra plant makes for a stunning table embellishment.

Pinstripe Plant (Calathea Ornata)

Another easy-to-grow indoor perennial tropical plant is the calathea ornata (Pinstripe plant). The large, attractive dark green leaves with pinstripe markings of the Pinstripe calathea are striking. Some pinstripe plants have pink stripes, while the veined markings are generally light green.

Calathea Warscewiczii

The big dark green lanceolate-shaped leaves of this tropical evergreen calathea are impressive. On the bottom of the green leaves, there’s a maroon-purple coloration with light green fishtail patterning.

Calathea Medallion

Because of its huge dark-colored leaves, the calathea Medallion is one of the most popular calatheas. Dark green with emerald green and silver designs, the upper side of the leaves is dark green. The Medallion leaves, like with most calatheas, are dark purple or burgundy on the bottom.

Rose-Painted Calathea (Calathea roseopicta)

The rose-colored pink streaks that run along the veins give the Rose-Painted calathea its name. Dark green and light green patterns may be seen on the large rounded leaves. The dark green feathered margins of the leaves are complemented by creamy-colored markings.

Calathea Veitchiana

This calathea is distinguished from other species by its intricate, delicate patterns and glossy green leaves. This houseplant is a showstopper because of the dark green, light green, and cream-colored patterns. Dark green leaves with feathery patterns of green, as well as a crimson/purple underside, characterize this calathea variety.

Calathea Beauty Star

The lovely light green foliage of this calathea is aptly described by its name. The leaves are long and slender, with lovely lime-green feathering and intriguing pink streaks. They taper to a tip.

Calathea makoyana (Peacock Plant)

The light glossy green leaves of the calathea peacock plant have dark green veins and blotchy patterns. The foliage of this calathea variety has a pattern that looks like peacock tail feathers, making it appealing. The purple color underneath is visible as new leaves develop rolled up.

Calathea ‘Misto’

Two-toned green-colored leaves distinguish the popular calathea ‘Misto. The bright green leaves have light green feathering in the midsection of the leaf.

Round-Leaf Calathea (Calathea orbifolia)

Large oval leaves with silvery gray and green patterns adorn the attractive calathea orbifolia. This round-leaf calathea is a beautiful plant for your room because of its striped pattern on the leaves.

Calathea Musaica (Network)

The calathea musaica (Network plant) is one of the most unusual species of calathea. This calathea variety has a light yellow to cream color throughout its lush green leaves, which have an intricate network pattern. The bottom side of the leaves is the same color as the top side, unlike most calathea types.

Calathea Care

If you treat calatheas right at home, they are simple plants to maintain. When caring for calatheas, having a high humidity level and keeping the soil partly moist are two of the most important tips. You’ll have an gorgeous tropical plant to brighten up any room in your house if you suit these requirements.

Your calathea can be grown outdoors in temperatures of 65°F to 75°F (10°C-24°C) during the summer. Outside, calatheas prefer growing zones of 10 and 11. Let’s take a closer look at what it takes to look after a calathea properly.

Calathea Light Requirements

Indirect sunlight is beneficial to Calathea plants, which thrive indoors in bright rooms. A west-, east-, or north-facing windowsill is the optimum location for a calathea. House plants called calatheas may flourish in low-light settings. The leaves, on the other hand, may lose some color. Calathea requires 6 to 8 hours of bright light per day in order to thrive. It’s possible that your plant is receiving too much direct sunlight or not enough light if the green foliage begins to look washed out.

The variegated leaves of pinstripe calatheas, rose-painted calatheas, and calathea vetichiana plants will stay bright and vibrant if you grow them in bright light. Make sure to shade your calathea from direct sunlight if it grows near a south-facing window.

How to Water a Calathea

When the top 1 in. (2.5 cm) of soil has dried out, you should water your calathea. Let the water run out of the bottom until it is room temperature. Calatheas grow best in somewhat damp soil, and bone-dry soil isn’t suitable for them. Getting the moisture levels correct is the most difficult aspect of caring for a calathea. Your calathea may droop if you give it too much water.

Brown rings on the leaf margins or tips may appear if you don’t water it enough. Always check the soil to make sure it’s partially dry before watering a calathea. You may have to water your tropical plant every week in the summer and then only once or twice in the winter.

Humidity Requirements for Calatheas

Calatheas, a tropical plant, thrives in high humidity. Misting your calathea every day is the simplest way to care for it. Using a humidifier or placing your plant pot on a pebble tray with water in it may also provide enough moisture. You’ll want to make sure air moisture levels are adequate since average room humidity is lower than in the tropics.

Calatheas thrive in humidity levels of over 50%. To boost humidity, don’t overwater your calathea. Without making your soil too wet, misting the leaves will provide enough moisture.

You might need to increase the humidity levels if you see brown edges on your leaves. During the winter, your home’s air is more likely to be dehydrated. As a result, throughout the winter, you may have to spray your garden more frequently and water it less.

Calatheas, such as the C., have broader leaves. Calathea ‘Eclipse,’ or Rosepicta ‘Medallion.’ In comparison to smaller leaf species, makoyana may require more frequent misting.

The Best Temperature for Calatheas

Zebra plants, peacock plants, rattlesnake plants, and other calatheas species grow well between 65°F and 85°F (18°C and 29°C). Keep your leafy tropical houseplants away from heaters and out of the wind. If the temperature drops below 60°F (15°C), you may notice the leaves starting to curl.

With room temperatures and high humidity, calatheas grow in a similar environment. Try to avoid extreme temperature shifts when caring for your plants. During hot summers, when you have the air conditioning on, make sure your calathea is far away from any cold air.

Soil for Growing Calatheas

Well-draining potting soil is the optimum growing medium for calathea. A potting soil mixture with peat moss and perlite keeps moisture from becoming wet, but it does not become soggy. African violet potting soil is also available for purchase, and it’s a good calathea starter. The proper growing conditions for calathea are having good roots and leaves.

Add a layer of clay pebbles to the bottom of the pot to ensure that the soil drains well and is aerated. Since it holds in moisture, preventing your plant from becoming rootbound is also important. Avoid placing mulch or stones on top of the soil as an excellent calathea care tip. There is less humidity due to evaporation, even though this helps retain moisture.

Fertilizer to Care for Calatheas

When it comes to fertilization, calatheas don’t have a lot of needs. Diluted liquid kelp or houseplant fertilizer are ideal choices if you decide to fertilize your plant. During the spring, summer, and fall, fertilize a calathea once a month. Remember that less is more when feeding calatheas as a rule.

Yellow leaves and weakened growth are signs of overfertilization. You’ll learn how to take care of calathea problems at the conclusion of the article.

Calathea Propagation

It’s tough to grow a nice calathea. Calathea reproduction is typically through plant division, unlike other arrowroot species. Shake off excess soil from the roots and remove the existing plant from the pot. Leave a few roots and leaves on each root segment when you gently split it. Plant the calathea in a pot with a moist, well-draining potting medium to cultivate a fresh calathea. Make certain that the calathea is put in the same spot as before.

Cover with plastic after repotting to prevent moisture loss, then move to a low-light spot. Place in a bright spot when your healthy calathea is growing. You may give gorgeous calathea ornatas (pinstripes), ‘Misto’ plants, or ‘Peacock’ calatheas as attractive houseplants if you successfully propagate calatheas.

Repotting a Calathea

To avoid a calathea from outgrowing its pot, it is usually necessary to repot it every year. Select a container that is 2.5 cm (1 inch) to 2 cm (5 mm) larger than the existing one. Check for root damage and then move the plant to its new pot. Place a layer of pebbles at the bottom of your new container, then half-fill with calathea potting mix.

The calathea should be planted at the same depth as it was in the previous pot. To brighten up your space, put the water on a shelf, tabletop, or window sill.

Pruning Your Calathea

Remove any dead or yellow leaves from your calathea plant to keep it looking healthy and vibrant. To look after an attractive calathea, older leaves usually need trimming. You should trim the leaves off if you notice brown tips appearing. In their place, new, healthy leaves will grow.

There might be an underlying reason if you often get brown or yellow leaves. Pay close attention to watering, feeding, and lighting. Growth difficulties can be caused by any of these factors or a combination of them. Brown tips on the leaves are normal. You can use a pair of sterile pruning shears to trim off the brown edges, which are relatively common.

Are Calatheas Toxic?

Calatheas do not appear to be dangerous to cats, dogs, or other household animals. Without the risk of skin irritation, you can safely handle the plants.

Calathea Flowers

Calatheas, which are a type of blooming tropical plant, seldom bloom indoors. Rather than their flowers, the majority of people prefer calatheas for their patterned leaves. Indoor blooming calatheas species exist. Calathea ‘Crocata, for example, produces gorgeous orange blooms. The flowering calathea is the name given to this houseplant species.

Your calathea brighten up a room with their colorful foliage, even if they never bloom. Bright green leaves with creamy-white veins or patterns are seen on the calathea Picturata, Pinstripe calathea, and Zebra plants. In addition, the deep purple and burgundy leaves of calathea cultivars like ‘Corona,’ ‘Dottie,’ ‘Eclipse,’ and ‘Rattlesnake’ plants should not be overlooked.

Calathea Care: Pests

Pests and diseases may affect all calath147as, as may other household plants. Spider mites are the most prevalent kind of bug that attacks these leafy houseplants. Aphids, mealybugs, and scale insects can all cause problems from time to time. One of the best ways to get rid of plant-destroying pests is by using neem oil. To learn how to rid yourself of houseplant pests naturally, read this article.

Calathea Care: Diseases

The most prevalent cause of fungal and bacterial infections in calathea is over-watering. Black or dark leaf spots are a common symptom of these diseases. Pseudomonas bacteria or fusarium fungal diseases might be the reasons behind it. It’s critical to repot your calatheas in a new potting medium if you want to manage these plant diseases. To avoid fungus or bacterial infections spreading, you’ll need to clean your pots thoroughly.

Root rot, which leads to yellowing and wilting leaves, is another result of waterlogged soil. Proper care of your calatheas will help to prevent illnesses and pests from harming them. Water calathea houseplants only when the soil is partially dry, keep them watered, and give them monthly doses of calathea fertilizer.

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