With their dark green leaves, maroon undersides and
geometric patterns, calathea plants are striking additions to any space.
Calathea, maranta, and other marantaceae plants open and
close depending on the time of day, hence their nickname: prayer plant.
At first glance, growing them may seem like a stretch for
those of us with brown thumbs or low light, but many calathea are great for new
plant parents. They combine the best of both worlds with their vibrant colors
and tolerance of low-light conditions. And most are non-toxic to children and
As a bonus, these plants are extremely forgiving. They could
lose practically all leaves and still come back in full force.
These plants, however, demand a little more from the average
plant parent. If you’re looking for a challenge, try Calathea warsewiczii,
Calathea zebrine and Calathea white fusion.
To help them thrive, give calathea the right conditions.
Place in an area that receives low to bright indirect light. Keep out of direct sun since it’ll bleach the
leaves. Generally, the darker the foliage, the less light these plants need.
Calathea like humid environments, so surround them with
other plants or place their pot over a tray of pebbles with some water. If your
calathea’s leaf tips are browning, chances are plants need more humidity. Calathea
enjoy moist soil—but not wet soil, so check every few days and water
generously, draining excess water. Mist soil occasionally to increase moisture,
but be sure not to directly mist leaves.
Calathea can be fussy about the kind of water they drink. They
prefer filtered or dechlorinated water. If only the tips of leaves are brown,
this is a sign your water may contain too many minerals or chemicals. Fill your
watering can the night before and leave it out to dissipate the chlorine or try
using filtered water instead.
organic potting soil when it’s time to repot your calathea.
In the event your calathea is not looking so hot, cut the
leaves off to the bottom of the stem to encourage new growth. These plants are
good at making a comeback and grow quickly. Feed plants regularly with Espoma’s
liquid Indoor! fertilizer
to promote new growth.
Ready for more low light houseplants?
Espoma Products for Coloful Calathea