CALATHEA PLANT: POPULAR SPECIES AND CARE TIPS

Calathea plants are part of the family of plants known as Marantaceae. These flowering plants, named also prayer plants, are native to tropical regions of Central and South America. Calathea is a magnificent indoor plant, often used for its very decorative foliage that brightens our interiors. In fact, their leaves are among the most highly-decorated found in nature, from dark green velvety leaves to leaves with geometric patterns and maroon undersides. Calatheas do often bloom in the wild, but rarely indoors. However, Calathea crocata species can produce beautiful orange flowers. 

CALATHEA PLANTS CARE

  • Care light: Indeed, these ornamental house plants are particularly suited to low lit pieces with indirect lighting. So, place your Calathea in a shady room, away from any open windows with sunlight. 
  • Calathea Humidity: Also, Calatheas tolerate humidity well but they don’t like too cool temperatures. So, if you have a humidifier, keep it close by and make sure your Calathea is in a humid environment. However, if you don’t have a humidifier, place the potted plants on top of a saucer filled with pebbles and water. 
  • Calathea watering: Since Calatheas are humidity lovers, they also need a good watering. But when you water a Calathea plant, do not water it so much that the plant ends up sitting in standing water. 
  • Calathea soil: Use a good light porous indoor potting soil that retains water but still drains quickly. Don’t use a heavy or compact soil because it won’t let any air go to the roots and this will slowly suffocate the plant. 
  • Calathea fertilizer: You can monthly, in spring and summer, give your plants a houseplant fertilizer. 
  • Pruning: Good news! these plants don’t need pruning, just remove brown, crispy or dead leaves. 

POPULAR CALATHEA TYPES

1- Calathea zebrina

via wikimedia

Calathea zebrina, named also Zebra plant, is a compact, rhizomatous, perennial plant native to tropical areas of Southeastern Brazil. It is more known for its decorative, large ovate leaves with bright green zebra-like stripes on a velvety dark green background. Also, The leaves have reddish-purple undersides, which are usually not visible due to the horizontal growth of the leaves.

2- C. triostar

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Calathea triostar, known also as Stromanthe Sanguinea, is one of the best indoor plants to add a pop of colour and dreamy tropical vibes to your space. Actually, This Calathea is both beautiful and air-purifying plant. It is an absolutely a magnificent plant that gives real pleasure to the eyes, because of its long thin leaves, coloured with shades of green, lilac, cream and purple. This beauty is not a good choice for the beginner gardeners unless they follow all the care steps above. 

3- C. rufibarba

via wikimedia

Calathea rufibarba is a perennial plant with a dense set of leaf rosettes that can reach about 90cm height. It has fluffy feather-shaped leaves hance its name “ Velvet Calathea”. The leaves are also rich green on the top and dark burgundy underneath.

Sometimes, this fabulous houseplant can bloom even indoors in pale yellow flowers on short flower stalks that grow at the base of the plant.

4- C. musaica

via flickr

Calathea musaica is a pretty ornamental plant suitable to all interiors. It has very short stems that bear a few persistent basal green leaves with amazing patterns that resemble tiny mosaics, hence the name of the plant. Furthermore, Flowers, fertilized in their natural environment by hummingbirds, are very rare indoors. 

5- C. orbifolia

by flickr

Calathea orbifolia is a tropical large growing plant native to Bolivia. This plant is commonly grown indoors due to their decorative shape and its easy care. Furthermore, this Calathea species has large, round leaves striped with dark green and silver which fold together at night, like praying hands. Also, the sky-reaching growth combined with the silvery foliage brings both volume and aesthetics to any corner.

6- C. crocata

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Calathea crocata, commonly called Eternal flame, is a perennial plant native to the humid forests of tropical America, especially Brazil and the West Indies. This houseplant is considered one of the most attractive Calathea species due to its lush leaves and its orange-yellow flowers resembling a flame, thus its common name. The upper sides of the leaves are metallic dark green with purple hues. Then, the undersides are bronze-purple with puckered texture. Moreover, the flower spikes grow at the top of tall stems and bloom during spring and summer. 

7- C. majestica “white-star”

via secretgarden.ro

Indeed, this rare beauty also known as Goeppertia Whitestar is one of the most elegant plants. Calathea ‘White-star’ is noted for its awesome oblong, striped white and pink leaves and it becomes very much on trend. These ornamental leaves will close up at night and reopen in the morning.

8- C. makoyana

via wikimedia

Calathea makoyana, also known as Calathea peacock, is native to the tropical forests of Brazil. Clearly, this Calathea is called peacock for its showy and vibrant leaves looking like a peacock’s tail. The leaves are pale green with feathered dark-green lines and pinkish-maroon undersides, and they carried by very short stems where they grow in a spiral arrangement. 

9- C. elliptica “vittata”

by iwetmyplants

This speedy grower plant is commonly called just Calathea vittata. It is best known for its large, elongated, green leaves marked with white lines. Like other Calatheas, Calathea Vittata has a habit of opening and closing its leaves as day transitions to night. Fortunately, it also makes an easy-care houseplant.

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