Calatea: Home Care, Transplanting And Propagation, Species

The Calathea plant is a member of the family Marantha. It is the most numerous genus in this family and has about 130 species. In natural conditions they can be found in South and Central America. The name of the plant comes from the ancient Greek word "Kalathos", which means "basket", and is related to the fact that its leaves were previously used for basket weaving. Nowadays, however, the Calathea is mostly grown as an ornamental foliage plant because it has very striking mottled foliage.

It is a very decorative plant but if you want to grow it, please note that it is very demanding both for its care and for its growing conditions.

Brief description of growing

Calatea: home care, transplanting and propagation, species

  1. Flowering. Most species are cultivated as ornamental and deciduous plants. And the species Calathea saffronica and Calathea varshevica bloom in January and February.
  2. Brightness.

    Slight shading.

  3. Temperature. Grows well at normal room temperature, but it should not be less than 16 degrees.
  4. Watering. Water abundantly during the growing season and moderately during the winter.

  5. Air humidity. Its level should be about 90 percent. To increase the humidity, wet pebbles are poured into the tray and the pot with the flower is placed on it, or its foliage is regularly moistened with a sprayer.
  6. Fertilizer. Feed the plant once every 2 weeks in April-August, using a complex mineral fertilizer for ornamental deciduous plants.

  7. Dormant period. Not pronounced brightly. As a rule, it begins in September and ends in January.
  8. Potting. Young specimens are subjected to this procedure once a year, and older ones once every 2 or 3 years.

  9. Propagation. By cuttings, bush division and seed.
  10. Pests. Scabies, thrips and spider mites.
  11. Diseases.

    Rhizoctoniosis. If the flower is not properly cared for, problems with its foliage can begin.

Peculiarities of the calatea

Calatea: home care, transplanting and propagation, species

From many other plants, the calatea differs in its spectacular foliage, but it has other characteristic features as well. Most Calathea species have underground stems that form a surface root system, and it is from this that rosettes grow, consisting of large oval-shaped leaf plates, varying in length from 0.3 to 0.

4 m. The leaves have long petioles. The height of the shrub can vary from 0.7 to 0.9 m.

During flowering, the plant produces flowers that are of no decorative value. However, Calathea varsavica and Calathea saffronum bloom quite spectacularly, their unsightly flowers hidden behind spectacular bract leaves, which can be colored white, pink, cream or orange.

When growing in room conditions Calathea is highly demanding to the conditions of maintenance and care. But there are species and varieties that are less demanding than others. So, the easiest species to grow in room conditions are the following: Calathea Bahema, Decorated, Macoea, Striped, Veitcha (Veitcha), etc.

As with the other representatives of the family Marantha, the Calathea has one feature - in the evening its leaves fold up and rise like the palms of a praying person. In the morning, the leaf plates are lowered and straightened out again. The Calathea, like its cousin the maranta, is also called the "prayer flower".

Calatea 🌿 Home care

Calatea home care

Calatea: home care, transplanting and propagation, species


Calatea is a tropical plant and therefore is noted for its light and heat loving nature. However, everything is in moderation, e.

g. if you have too much light the leaves will turn brown, if not enough light they will fade and lose their beauty. In this regard, it is necessary to choose a place for the flower, which is in a little shade. Make sure its foliage is never in direct sunlight.

Temperature control

The temperature of the room where the Callatea is located must change very gently.

Protect it from sudden temperature changes during the day. Both the cold (less than 16 degrees) and even the slightest draft can harm it.


Calatea: home care, transplanting and propagation, species

What quality water you use for watering is very important for the calatea. The water temperature should be 2-3 degrees above room temperature. Also, only soft water such as melted or rain water should be used.

But if you only have tap water, then fill a bucket with it in the evening and place in it 2 or 3 handfuls of peat, which should first be wrapped in gauze. In the morning this water can then be used to water the calatea.

In spring and summer water abundantly. Some time after moistening the soil mixture in the pot, be sure to pour out the excess water that has accumulated there, otherwise the root system may rot. In winter, water the flower moderately.

Specialists advise choosing a watering regime for the calatea where the substrate in the container would always be slightly moist (not wet).

Air Humidity

Calatea: home care, transplanting and propagation, species

A high air humidity is necessary for the normal growth and development of the house calatea. The recommended humidity level in the room where the flower is located is about 90%. However, it is very difficult to maintain this humidity level at home, instead the shrub leaves are systematically wiped with a damp soft cloth or moistened with warm water from a sprayer. However, this method of increasing humidity is only suitable for those species and varieties with stiff and smooth leaf plates.

Those varieties that have velvety foliage cannot be moistened with a sprayer or sponge. In this case, to maintain high humidity in the tray poured wet pebbles, and already put a pot with a flower on it, while making sure that the bottom is not in contact with the liquid. It is better to grow such a flower in a florarium or aquarium, because there the increased air humidity is much easier to maintain.


Feeding the calatea, remember a very important rule, fertilizers have to be put in the soil mixture so much that the plant had enough of all nutrients. However, do not overfeed the plant as this can cause problems.

Fertilization should be done in April-August and once every 15 days a mineral fertilizer for ornamental foliage should be added to the substrate. Mulberry and Saffron Callatea should be fertilized with a complete fertilizer for ornamental-flowering houseplants.

Potting out calatea

Calatea: home care, transplanting and propagation, species

Since the plant is young it should be transplanted regularly once a year, the older plants should be transplanted less often, usually once every two or three years. Transplant the calatea in the spring. The pot for her planting choose not very large, wide and fairly low.

Suitable substrate to grow calatea should be slightly acidic, loose and highly air permeable. It is best to buy a ready-made rhododendron or arrowroot substrate at a specialist retailer. However, you can make the substrate yourself if you want to - mix boiled river sand with peat, humus and leafy soil (1:2:2:2). Transplanting your calatea not only has to be done very carefully but also in the right way. Firstly, a thick layer of drainage should be placed at the bottom of the pot and covered with a layer of fresh earth mixture.

Then transfer the bush into a new pot, making sure not to damage the roots and not to destroy the clump of soil. Then carefully fill any voids in the pot with fresh potting soil.

🌿How to transplant Calathea zebrina? calathea+ Lifehack: How to moisten the air / Transplanting Calathea zebrina!

Propagation methods

Calatea: home care, transplanting and propagation, species

Sharing the bush

When transplanting calathea, which is done in spring, the rhizome of the adult bush can be divided into parts if desired. In doing so, take into account that each of the divisions should have several formed roots and leaf laminae. Plant the dividers in individual pots, reaching 70-90 mm in cross-section, which are filled with a substrate for maranthos.

Put them in a shaded area and provide them with warmth and high humidity. For this purpose, it is recommended to put the pots on a tray filled with moist expanded clay, with a working heater nearby. It takes a very long time to root and the end result depends on how well you take care of them.

Propagation by cuttings

Cut off the above-ground cuttings very carefully from the mother bush. Plant it in some moistened substrate and cover it with a cut plastic bottle or a transparent bag.

Remove the cover will be possible only when the cuttings will give roots. When starting to cut the plant from seed, note that the cutting might not take root and that this can happen quite often.

Growing from seed

Growing calatea from seed is very difficult because even good quality seed may not take root. Take a pot and fill it with a substrate consisting of sand and leaf soil (1:2), then the seeds are sown into it. Put the seeds in a warm place (21 to 25 degrees).

After the emerging seedlings have formed the first pair of true leaf plates, they will need to be sprouted in a box filled with the same substrate used for seeding. The grown and stronger plants are transplanted into separate pots.

Calatea - home conditions. [Hope and Peace]

Diseases and Pests


Calatea: home care, transplanting and propagation, species

If the air in the room where the calatea grows is excessively dry, then thrips, spider mites and scale mites can settle on it. Whichever of these pests attacked the plant, it will begin to turn yellow and die off the leaves.

How to save a flower infested by pests? The first signs that pests have settled on the bush are sticky patches, thin cobwebs or dots of pale color on the surface of the leaf plates. As soon as one of these signs is detected, you need to take action immediately. To get rid of thrips and scabs, the leaves are washed with a soap solution. However, if after such treatment, the pests remained, it will be necessary to spray the bush with a solution of a special insecticidal drug. Spider mites are combatted with special chemicals

Possible problems

Calatea: home care, transplanting and propagation, species

Mistaky care and unsuitable growing conditions may cause various problems with the flower:

  1. Drying of the leaf tips.

    If only the tips of the leaves dry out, this is due to too much dry air. In this case, moisten the shrub with a sprayer more often, with the pot placed on a tray filled with damp pebbles.

  2. Dry spots on the leaves. These appear most often when the shrub is sprayed, when too large drops of water are left on the leaves. When sunlight hits these droplets, it causes sunburn.

  3. Drying leaves. This can occur due to a draft, overly sparse watering, or when thrips settle on the flower.
  4. Yellowing of the foliage. If it is only the lower leaf plates of the Calathea turning yellow then don't worry because it is a quite natural process associated with the dying off of the old leaves. If it is not just the lower leaves that turn yellow it can be because the plant is overfed or not watered correctly.

    The yellowing of the leaves can either be due to a lack of moisture or to liquid stagnating in the root system on a regular basis. Moisten the substrate in the pot only when its top layer dries to a depth of about 20 mm. Otherwise, the roots of the flower will not get enough oxygen, and rot will appear on them, with the active yellowing of the leaves. The same attention should be paid to the feeding of the calatea. Pay attention to the fact that in the soil should be made nutrient solution, prepared from half of the manufacturer's recommended dose of fertilizer (see the instructions on the package).

    Yellowing of the leaves could also be due to the room being too cold.

  5. Foliage curling. Desiccation and twisting of the leaves is caused by too low temperature or too low humidity, but also by drafts.

All the problems that arise during cultivation of the Callatea at home are caused by care gaps or by not providing the right growing conditions. So, for your flower to always be healthy and beautiful it is only necessary to take care of it properly and not to forget the agronomic rules of this crop.

Why are the leaves dry and curled at the callataea? What to do?

Calatea species with photos and names

The following will describe those species, and varieties of calatea that are most popular with florists.

Calatea bachemiana (Calathea bachemiana)

Calatea: home care, transplanting and propagation, species

This species, whose native land is Brazil, is considered the most unpretentious of all. The shrub has no stems. The leathery, lanceolate leaf plates are about 40 centimeters long, painted a silvery green shade and decorated with a dark green pattern along the central vein.

Calathea makoyana

Calatea: home care, transplanting and propagation, species

Native to Brazil as well, this species can reach a height of about half a meter.

The broad-oval foliage is up to 20 centimeters long and about 10 centimeters wide. The front surface of the plate is white, almost transparent, and is decorated with veins of deep green and pale red spots, as well as a pattern of dark green stripes.

Calathea picturata (Calathea picturata)

Calatea: home care, transplanting and propagation, species

The long leaf plates are about 20 centimeters long, with a greenish-colored stripe running along the edge and the middle vein painted in the same shade. The central part of the plate is dark green.

Calathea leopardina (Calathea leopardina)

Calatea: home care, transplanting and propagation, species

The height of this stemless bush can vary from 0.

4 to 0.5 m. The greenish leaf plates are oval-lanceolate in shape, 3 to 4 centimeters wide and 10 to 12 centimeters long. They are decorated with elliptical dark green spots that are connected by a median vein.

Calathea ornata (Calathea ornata)

Calatea: home care, transplanting and propagation, species

The species is native to Colombian rainforests.

The stunted shrub reaches only 15 centimeters in height. The oval foliage is about 20 centimeters long and about 5 centimeters wide. The front greenish-yellow surface of the leaves is decorated with lines of pink and silvery hues, while the underside is purple. The species has varieties such as: Calathea ornata roseolineata and Calathea sanderiana.

Calathea saffronica (Calathea crocata)

Calatea: home care, transplanting and propagation, species

The front surface of the leaves is dark green and the underside is almost brown.

If you provide the species under room conditions with a long daylight (about 10 hours), then the bush will flower in January-February. The spectacular inflorescences that appear may be colored orange or deep yellow.

Calathea warscewiczii

Calatea: home care, transplanting and propagation, species

The species has spectacular velvety foliage that has a greenish pattern on the front surface along the central vein, with a purple underside. During flowering, very showy white, cream or pink inflorescences are formed.

Calathea striped or zebra-like (Calathea zebrina)

Calatea: home care, transplanting and propagation, species

The plant is native to tropical Brazil.

The leaf plates are elliptical in shape, reaching a length of 40 centimeters and a width of up to 15 centimeters. The underside surface of the leaves is pale red, while the front surface is dark green and decorated with greenish pinnate stripes.

Calathea Veitch or Veitchiana (Calathea veitchiana)

Calatea: home care, transplanting and propagation, species

The bush is about 0.9 m tall. The smooth foliage is oval in shape, reaching about 30 centimeters in length and up to 10 centimeters in width.

The dark green upper surface of the plate is decorated with greenish-yellow stripes and the purple lower surface has yellow stripes.

Calathea rufibarba

Calatea: home care, transplanting and propagation, species

This species gets its name because the underside of the monochrome leaves and petioles have reddish pubescence. The elongated leaves have a slightly wavy edge. There are varieties:

  • "Blue Grass" - both leaf surfaces are green;
  • "Wavestar" - the underside leaf surface has a purple coloration.

Also florists cultivate such species as: calatea Lytze, orbifolia, "Queen of Maui", Lubbersa, medallion (roseopicta), remarkable (lancetolista), etc.

Harmonies associated with calatea

Most people believe that calatea brings comfort and peace to the home because it is a symbol of family happiness. According to astrologers, this flower is associated with the Sun and Mars, due to which it is able to neutralize aggression and set the owners in a peaceful mood.

Calatea care at home / Calatea medallion


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