How to Grow and Care for Calathea Plant

Proper care is essential for any plant to thrive and flourish, and Calathea is no exception. Calathea has become popular among plant enthusiasts with its vibrant foliage and unique patterns.

Calatheas are vibrant and beautiful plants that can brighten up any indoor space. However, they require specific care to thrive and flourish.

Whether you're a beginner or an experienced gardener, this ultimate guide will provide you with everything you need to know about proper Calathea care to ensure a thriving indoor garden.

From watering and lighting requirements to pest prevention and propagation techniques, you'll find all the information you need to keep your Calathea healthy and flourishing.

So, let's dive in and uncover the secrets to successful Calathea care.

Understanding the Importance of Proper Calathea Care

It is important to understand the importance of proper Calathea care; Calatheas are striking houseplants that are becoming increasingly popular these days.

Understanding calathea plant

Their vibrant foliage and unique patterns add a touch of tropical beauty to any space. However, like any living thing, calatheas require proper care to thrive. Here we will explore How to Care for a Calathea Plant.

Light Requirements

It is important to note that despite being a tropical plant, calatheas actually prefer filtered light or shade. In their natural habitat, these plants grow beneath a canopy of trees on the jungle floor, which means they are used to receiving brief dapples of sunlight rather than constant harsh rays.

One of the most important needs of Calathea plants is constant light for optimum growth. They thrive when exposed to 8 to 10 hours of medium bright light, with a lux measurement of 10,000 or a foot-candle measurement of 1000 to 2000.

Your calathea needs to stay out of direct sunlight as much as possible since too much light can lead to burnt leaves and a gradual fading of the beautiful patterns on the leaves.

When it comes to growing calatheas indoors, providing indirect sunlight from an east south-or west-facing window should be sufficient. To ensure even exposure to sunlight, it is beneficial to rotate your plant periodically.

One interesting thing you may observe with your calathea is the movement of its leaves throughout the day. They have a unique behavior of folding up at night and opening wider in the morning.

This natural response allows the plant to maximize its sun absorbency. It is the ability of the calathea to capture as much sunlight as possible during daylight hours by adjusting the position of its leaves.

By understanding the light requirements of calatheas, you can ensure that your plant thrives and maintains its beautiful patterns.

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Water requirements

Calatheas, also known as prayer plants, are popular indoor plants known for their vibrant foliage and unique patterns. These tropical plants have relatively high water requirements, so it's important to understand how to water them to ensure their health and vitality properly.

One of the most important factors to consider when watering calatheas is the soil's moisture level at the time of watering. It is recommended to water these plants thoroughly when the top inch of the soil feels dry to the touch. This will help prevent overwatering, which can lead to root rot and other issues.

Calathea Plant Self watering planter

It is important to remember that while calatheas like to be watered regularly weekly, they also prefer to have a little time to dry out between waterings. It also prevents waterlogging by allowing the roots to breathe.

In addition to the frequency of watering, the type of water used can also make a difference in the health of your calathea. Tap water, for example, may contain various minerals and compounds that can harm the leaves.

Observing brown edges on the leaves may indicate that the water has an abundance of salt or includes chlorine, chloramine, bromide, or fluoride. To avoid such potential issues, you should use filtered or distilled water to water your calathea.

An alternative option is to use water collected from a dehumidifier, which is typically free from impurities. Another important consideration is the choice of soil and container for your calathea.

These plants thrive in well-draining soil, allowing excess water to flow easily. Containers with drainage holes are essential to prevent water from accumulating at the bottom, which can lead to root rot. To avoid Root rot in plant yo can use our 7-inch self watering planter.

self watering planter for calathea

When repotting your calathea, make sure to choose a pot with drainage holes and use a high-quality potting mix specifically designed for indoor plants. Calatheas require a fair amount of water to thrive, but it is important to avoid overwatering them at all costs, as plants need a balanced amount of water to thrive.

Signs of overwatering include yellowing leaves, wilting, and soggy or foul-smelling soil. On the other hand, underwatering can cause the leaves to curl, turn brown, or develop dry, crispy edges. Pay close attention to the soil's moisture level and adjust your watering routine accordingly.

Soil Requirement

Calatheas are beautiful indoor plants that require specific soil conditions to thrive. Here we will discuss the ideal soil requirements for calatheas, including the type of soil, pH levels, and the importance of the organic matter.

Type of Soil

Calatheas prefer loamy soil that is rich in organic matter. This soil type provides essential nutrients and promotes healthy growth for these plants.

Loamy soil has a balanced texture that retains moisture without becoming waterlogged. It also allows for adequate drainage, preventing the roots from sitting in stagnant water.

PH Levels

pH is another important aspect of the soil for Calatheas that needs to be considered. When it comes to these plants, it is ideal for maintaining a soil pH balance that is slightly acidic to neutral.

A pH range of 6.5 to 7.0 is ideal. This ensures that the soil is neither too alkaline nor too acidic, creating a favorable environment for the roots to absorb nutrients.

Potting Soil.

When it comes to potting soil for calatheas, it is important to choose a mix that is rich in nutrients and organic matter but still able to drain well. A wide variety of coco coir or peat-based potting soil mixes will be suitable for growing Calatheas.

However, be cautious of potting soils that contain water-retentive crystals, as they can cause the soil to stay moist, leading to root rot continually.

Creating Your Own Potting Soil

Creating your own potting soil to grow your calatheas may be an intriguing option if you are feeling adventurous. A simple recipe for homemade potting soil includes equal parts of peat moss, perlite or vermiculite, and compost.

This mixture provides a well-balanced growing medium that promotes healthy root development and optimal moisture retention.

Leca Ball as an Alternative

Another alternative for calathea soil is using Leca balls. Leca balls are made from expanded clay and are known for their excellent drainage and aeration properties.

They are lightweight and do not compact over time, allowing the roots to breathe and preventing waterlogging. Leca balls are available at Planterhoma, where you can find the best soil for indoor plants.

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Temperature Requirement

Calatheas are tropical plants that thrive in warmer temperatures. Here we will discuss the ideal temperature range for these indoor plants and provide some tips on how to maintain the right conditions for their growth and health.

Ideal Temperature Range

Calatheas prefer an average room temperature above 65°F (18°C). This temperature range creates a comfortable environment for these plants to thrive. However, they can also tolerate slightly higher temperatures and won't mind if the temperature creeps closer to 85°F (29°C).

During the cold winter months, especially during those times when the temperatures are falling, it is important that you avoid placing your calathea plants near exterior doors, drafty windows, and vents in order to ensure their well-being.

These areas can expose the plants to cold drafts, leading to temperature fluctuations and stress. During the winter, keeping your calatheas away from areas with direct exposure to cold air is best.

Choose proper location and temperature for calathea plant

Instead, find a spot in your home where the temperature remains relatively stable and shielded from drafts. During the summer months, you should also avoid placing your calatheas near vents that will enable your air conditioner to work more efficiently.

While calatheas can tolerate higher temperatures, they may suffer from temperature extremes caused by direct exposure to cold air from air conditioning units.

Calatheas can suffer stress and potential damage if their environment is too cold from air conditioning vents. Position your calatheas away from air conditioning vents to avoid this.

On the other hand, if the temperature tends to be on the higher side, you can create a more comfortable environment for your calatheas by opening windows, using fans, or setting the thermostat so that the temperature can be regulated in a more comfortable way.

Calathea's Humidity

To ensure the health and beauty of your calathea plants, they must be provided with the proper humidity levels. In this section, we will explore the optimal humidity requirements for Calatheas and how you can ensure your plant receives the moisture it needs.

Understanding Calathea's Humidity Needs

In nature, Calathea plants originate from tropical regions where there is a high level of humidity. Therefore, replicating these conditions in indoor environments is crucial for their overall well-being. Calatheas prefer 50% and above humidity levels, which may seem challenging to achieve in drier climates or air-conditioned spaces. However, with a few simple techniques, you can create an environment that is similar to their natural habitat.

Raising the humidity level around your calathea plants is essential to prevent issues such as curled leaves or browning edges when they do not receive enough moisture. Here are some effective methods to increase humidity indoors:

Placing a humidifier near your calathea plants is an excellent way to raise the humidity level in the surrounding air. This device releases a fine mist of water vapor, creating a moist environment that calatheas adore.

Another practical approach is to place your calathea's container on a tray filled with water and pebbles. This setup allows water to evaporate slowly, increasing the humidity in the plant's immediate vicinity.

Regularly misting your calathea's leaves with water can help increase humidity levels in the immediate vicinity. Use a spray bottle to gently mist the foliage, ensuring that the water droplets are fine and not too heavy.

Choosing the Right Location

In addition to employing humidity-boosting techniques, placing your calathea plants in the right location can significantly impact their humidity requirements. Here are some suggestions:

  1. Kitchen or Bathroom: Calatheas do well in areas with extra moisture in the air, such as kitchens or bathrooms. These spaces often have higher humidity levels due to cooking or showering, providing an ideal environment for your calathea to flourish.
  1. Avoid Drafty Areas: It is crucial to avoid placing your calathea plants in drafty areas or near sources of dry heat, such as vents or radiators. These conditions can cause their leaves to dry quickly and increase the risk of humidity-related issues.

Providing the right humidity levels for calathea plants is crucial for their overall health and vitality.

Fertilizer Requirement

One important aspect of caring for your calathea is providing it with the proper nutrients through fertilization. Fertilizing your calathea can promote new growth and encourage blooms, depending on the variety. This section will discuss the fertilizer requirements for calatheas and how to fertilize these stunning plants effectively.

Choosing the Right Fertilizer

A complete liquid fertilizer diluted to half-strength is an excellent choice for fertilizing your calathea when it comes to fertilizing your plants.

This type of fertilizer provides the necessary nutrients for your plant. By diluting the fertilizer, you ensure that your calathea receives a balanced amount of nutrients, preventing any potential damage that may occur from overfeeding.

Another way to provide your calathea with essential nutrients is by amending the soil during re-potting. A great benefit of this process is the addition of organic fertilizers and enhancements to the soil, which can greatly increase the plant's health and growth and enhance its overall appearance.

Seaweed, fish emulsion, and worm castings are excellent choices for amending the soil. These organic fertilizers contain a wide range of beneficial nutrients that can nourish your calathea and promote healthy growth.

Choosing the right time to fertilize your calathea is a crucial aspect of the process. It is essential to fertilize these plants during the growing season, as this is when they actively take up nutrients and require additional nourishment.

Fertilizing the plant during the cooler months when it is dormant is unnecessary. Calatheas naturally slow down their growth during this period, and fertilizing them can harm the plant. The best thing you can do for your calathea during the winter is to avoid fertilizing it and instead focus on taking proper care of it.

Repotting Requirement

Calatheas are beautiful and popular houseplants known for their vibrant foliage and beautiful patterns. However, to keep your Calatheas healthy and thriving, it is important to understand their specific repotting requirements.

In this section, we will explore the various aspects of repotting Calatheas and provide you with the essential information you need to repot these beautiful plants successfully.

Why is Repotting Important?

Repotting is an essential aspect of plant care that ensures the health and well-being of your Calatheas. Over time, the soil in the pot becomes compacted, blocking the plant's access to water, nutrients, and oxygen.

Repotting allows you to refresh the soil, provide more room for root growth, and prevent the plant from becoming root-bound. The frequency of repotting depends on the growth rate of your Calatheas and the size of the current pot. Generally, Calatheas should be repotted every two years.

Signs That Indicate Your Calathea Needs Repotting Include.

  1. Roots coming out of the drainage holes: If you notice roots escaping through the drainage holes, it's a clear sign that your Calathea is outgrowing its current pot and needs more space.
  1. Slow growth or stunted leaves: If the growth of your Calathea has slowed down and the leaves appear smaller or less vibrant, it could be a sign that the roots have been restricted in their growth. Repotting can help provide fresh soil and encourage healthier growth.
  2. Water not being absorbed properly: There may be a problem with the roots if the soil is not absorbing water or if the water is running quickly through the pot instead of absorbed into the soil. Repotting can help loosen the soil and improve water absorption.

How to Repot Your Calatheas?

How to repot calathea plants
  • Choose the right pot: Select a pot one size larger than the current one, ensuring it has drainage holes to allow excess water to escape. Self Watering Planter is recommended for proper watering.
Step 1 How to repot Calathea Plant Choose the right pot
  • Prepare the potting mix: Use a well-draining potting mix that is suitable for tropical plants. Adding some organic matter like compost or peat moss improves moisture retention.
Step 2 How to repot Calathea Plant-  Prepare the Potting Mix
  • Gently remove the plant from its current pot: Carefully turn the pot upside down and tap the bottom to loosen the root ball. Slowly and gently remove the plant, being mindful not to damage the roots.
Step 3 How to repot Calathea Plant - Remove the plant from current pot
  • Inspect the roots: Examine the roots for any signs of damage or rot. Trim away any dead or decaying roots using clean scissors or pruners.
Step 1 How to repot Calathea Plant- Inspect the Roots
  • Place the plant in the new pot: Position the plant in the center of the new pot, ensuring it is at the same level as in the previous pot. Add the potting mix around the roots, gently pressing it down to eliminate any air pockets.
Step 5 How to repot Calathea Plant - Place the plant in new Pot
  • Provide proper care post-repotting: Place your Calathea in a location with indirect sunlight and maintain consistent moisture levels. It is important not to overwater the plant or allow it to sit in standing water.
Step 6 How to repot Calathea Plant - Take Proper care

Repotting is essential for maintaining the health and vitality of your Calatheas. By following the recommended guidelines and keeping a close eye on your plant's growth, you can ensure that your Calathea thrives and continues to bring joy to your home.

Propagating Calathea

Propagating calatheas is an easy method to expand your plant collection and create replicas of their stunning coloring and patterns. To ensure successful propagation, it is ideal for undertaking this process during the spring or summer months when calatheas experience vigorous growth.

Let's explore two effective methods for propagating calatheas: root division and seed germination.

Section 1: Propagating Calathea through Root Division

Root division is a successful method of calathea propagation, provided that the parent plant is healthy and at least two years old. Follow these steps to divide your calathea:

Preparing the Plant

It is important to water your plant a day before dividing it to ensure that the roots absorb enough water before you divide it. Carefully remove the plant from its current container or location, not harming the roots. Gently separate the roots to divide the plant into two sections.

If the roots are stubborn, a garden fork can help. Place the newly divided sections into their new growing sites, ensuring they are planted at the same depth as before. Keep the soil moist by watering it regularly.

Section 2: Growing Calathea from Seed

Growing calatheas from seeds are viable for gardeners who prefer nursery plants. While germination success rates may vary, it is a cost-effective approach. To start calathea seeds, it is best to begin in early spring. Follow these steps to grow calathea from seeds successfully.

Preparing the Containers

Prepare small containers or a seed tray with a well-draining seed-starting mix. Make sure there are enough drainage holes in the containers. Moisten the seed-starting mix to create a suitable environment for the seeds.

Gently press the calathea seeds onto the surface of the moist mix. To create a humid environment, cover the container with clear plastic wrap. Make sure it is in an area that has bright, indirect light. Keep the soil lightly moist, but avoid excessive watering.

Regularly check the moisture level to prevent it from becoming too soggy. Under proper care, germination usually occurs within two to four weeks. In short, By utilizing root division or seed germination techniques, you can propagate calatheas and enjoy the satisfaction of cultivating these captivating plants.

The propagation process allows you to grow your calathea collection while maintaining its unique characteristics, whether you divide established plants or start from seeds. Remember to be patient, provide the right growing conditions, and watch your calatheas flourish and beautify your indoor or outdoor spaces.

Typical Calathea Problems

Calathea plants generally thrive when grown in their preferred environment. However, even slight variations in conditions can lead to some common problems. One common issue is the presence of pests.

Calatheas prefer a humid environment, making them vulnerable to fungus gnats that thrive in moist conditions. While these pests usually do not harm the plant's health, they can be eliminated using neem oil.

Other pests such as aphids, mealybugs, spider mites, and scale may also affect calatheas. Fortunately, many of these problems can be addressed by applying horticultural oil or insecticidal soap.

Another problem to watch out for is browning tips on the leaves. If you notice that the edges of your calathea's leaves are turning brown or withering, it is a clear indication that you need to increase your watering frequency.

You can check the soil's moisture level by inserting your finger about an inch below the surface. When your plant feels dry, it's time to water it. Yellowing leaves are another common issue with calatheas.

It is quite important to note that these plants are quite particular about the type of water they receive. They are sensitive to certain minerals commonly found in tap water, which can cause their leaves to turn yellow.

To prevent this, it is recommended to water your calathea with filtered water, rainwater, or tap water that has been left out overnight. Leaf spots on Calatheas can be caused by a variety of factors, including fungal or bacterial infections, as well as pests.

If you notice brown or black spots on your plant's leaves, try to identify the source of the problem. Remove any affected leaves to prevent the spread of infection, and consider using a fungicide or insecticidal soap to treat the issue.

Ensure proper air circulation around your plant to minimize the risk of fungal infections. By being aware of these common problems and taking the necessary steps to address them, you can ensure the well-being and vitality of your calathea plants.


proper calathea plant care is essential for ensuring the health and vitality of these beautiful plants. By providing the right amount of light, humidity, and water, as well as regular grooming and protection from pests, you can create the ideal environment for your Calathea to thrive.

Remember to monitor the soil moisture levels and adjust your watering routine accordingly. Additionally, avoid exposing your Calathea to direct sunlight or extreme temperature fluctuations, as this can cause stress and damage to the plant.

By following these guidelines, you can enjoy the beauty and benefits of your Calathea plant for years to come.


How Often Should I Water a Calathea?

Calatheas prefer to be kept slightly moist but not overly saturated. It is generally recommended to water your Calathea when the top inch of soil feels dry to the touch. This usually translates to watering once or twice a week, depending on the specific conditions in your home.

However, it's important to note that different factors, such as temperature, humidity, and pot size, can affect the watering frequency. Be sure to monitor the moisture levels in the soil and adjust your watering schedule accordingly to maintain the ideal moisture balance for your Calathea.

How Do I Keep Calathea Happy?

To keep your Calathea plant happy, a few key factors must be considered. First, ensure it is placed in indirect light, as direct sunlight can damage the leaves.

Keep the soil moist but not waterlogged, and use filtered or distilled water to prevent chlorine and chemicals from harming the plant. Mist the leaves regularly to maintain humidity, and avoid placing the plant near drafts or vents.

Is Calathea Good for Indoor Plants?

Yes, Calathea is a great choice for indoor plants. Not only do they add beauty to any space with their vibrant foliage. Calatheas thrive in medium to low-light conditions, making them perfect for indoor environments.

Additionally, they are relatively low-maintenance and can tolerate some neglect. Overall, Calathea is an excellent choice for indoor plant enthusiasts.

How to Save a Dying Calathea Plant?

To save a dying calathea plant, you can start by examining the soil moisture. Avoid excessive wetness or dryness. Adjust the watering schedule accordingly. Additionally, check for pests and diseases which may require treatment.

Provide adequate light, preferably indirect sunlight, and maintain a consistent temperature and humidity level. Lastly, consider repotting with fresh soil and applying a balanced fertilizer. It is important to give the plant regular attention and care in order to revive it.

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