Calathea plants are a genus of tropical evergreen plants that are native to Central and South America. These popular houseplants come in a wide variety of species, each with its unique characteristics and foliage patterns. They are popular for their showy, colorful leaves that come in various shades of green, silver, purple, and red. They are quite commonly known for the underside of the leaf being a very beautiful dark purple.
The most distinctive features of Calathea plants is the movement of their leaves. At dusk, their leaves fold up as if in prayer and then open again in the morning. This has given them the nickname "prayer plants." The reasoning for prayer plant movement is still somewhat of a mystery but regardless, it’s super cool.
Calathea plants have a reputation for being somewhat fussy, which makes them an excellent choice for plant enthusiasts looking for a bit of a challenge. They require specific growing conditions to thrive, including warm temperatures, humidity, specific waters and well-draining soil.
Calatheas require bright, indirect light to thrive but can be damaged easily by strong, direct sunlight. Placing them near windows with filtered light can help maintain the appropriate conditions.
Calathea plants are also sensitive to changes in growing conditions. Any significant changes in lighting, temperature, or humidity can be stressful for these plants and cause their leaves to curl up or droop. It's important to avoid drastic changes in their growing conditions or environments.
Watering these plants can also be a bit tricky. They prefer soil that is consistently moist but not waterlogged. Overwatering can lead to root rot, while underwatering can cause the leaves to curl up or go brown. It's essential to monitor the soil moisture levels carefully and adjust watering frequency as needed.
These plants are best suited to a well draining, aerated soil that allows both the storage of water and nutrients but also lets excess water fall through. I recommend our Tropical Plants soil for Calatheas or any soil rich in perlite, orchid bark, and pumice.
I have found personally that Calatheas are fussy plants until you find what they like and then they are easy going and grow like a weed. If you ever have questions or concerns about Calatheas, message us!