Calathea Plant Care Guide
Having a stunner centerpiece and a natural air-purifier all in one plant is the dream of all plant enthusiasts. Calathea or prayer plant, known for its large decorative foliage and inflorescence, is a popular indoor and landscaping plant.
It serves several beneficial purposes in an enclosed space like your home or the office. It is a wonderful pop of color, relatively easy to care for, and thrives in all kinds of light conditions. They also produce beautiful blooms during growing seasons that will add elegance and beauty to any space.
Whether you’re after its foliage, blooms, or health benefits, here’s how you take care of your Calathea plant.
How much sunlight should they get?
Calathea thrives in various light conditions, but they grow best in low indirect light. Make sure not to place your plant in direct sun as it will bleach or scorch their leaves. Pay close attention to your plant’s leaf color. If your plant has darker foliage, it means it needs less sunlight.
What temperature is best for your Calathea?
Your plant doesn’t like extreme temperatures, especially the cold. As they’re originally from the tropical Americas, they love warm temperatures, preferably between 65-80 ℃. Temperatures below that will result in the formation of ice crystals in your plant’s leaves and will damage its cells. Temperatures above will cause dehydration, evident in the curling of leaves.
How often should you water your Calathea?
Like other houseplants, Calathea plants love filtered and chlorine-free water. They also thrive in humid conditions, so you need to water your plants thoroughly. Make sure the water is at room temperature so your plant won’t go into shock.
Prayer plants also enjoy a humid environment, so it would be helpful to group them with other houseplants, place their pot on top of pebbles and water, or use a humidifier. You can also mist their leaves to mimic the humidity of the tropics.
Where should you pot them?
Because Calatheas enjoy a moist environment, make sure to pot your plant in garden soil or in a mixture of potting soil, orchid bark, charcoal, and perlite. They will thrive in any pot as long as you keep their substrates moist but well-drained. Overwatering will cause root rot.
Spot these early signs of sickness
One of the most common issues in caring for a Calathea plant is leaf curling. If you encounter this problem, it means your plant is dehydrated. The plant prefers consistently moist soil, and if you’re underwatering, it will show in your plant’s leaves.
If this happens, soak your plant by placing its pot in a basin of room temperature water. Allow your plant to soak the water through its drainage hole for at least 45 minutes. To hasten the process, you can also slightly water the topsoil.
Contrary to an old-school belief, taking care of Calathea isn’t a difficult feat. Nothing is impossible with proper care, patience, and research.