Calathea Plant Watering: How Often and How Much to Water

Calathea plants are popular for their vibrant and colorful leaves that can bring life and beauty to any room. However, their unique nature also makes them a bit finicky when it comes to watering. In this article, we will discuss how often and how much to water Calathea plants to ensure their health and longevity.

Understanding the Calathea Plant

Before we dive into watering techniques, it is important to understand the nature of the Calathea plant. Calatheas are native to the tropical regions of South America, where they grow in shaded areas with high humidity levels. They are also known for their ability to “pray” or fold their leaves at night and open them in the morning. This unique characteristic makes them a popular choice for indoor plant enthusiasts.

Factors to Consider When Watering Calathea Plants

Several factors come into play when watering Calathea plants. These include:

Soil Type

Calathea plants prefer well-draining soil that retains moisture. A mix of potting soil and peat moss can provide the ideal conditions for Calathea plants.

Humidity Levels

As previously mentioned, Calathea plants thrive in high humidity environments. If the air in your home is dry, you can use a humidifier or place a tray of water near the plant to increase humidity levels.


Calathea plants prefer temperatures between 65-80°F (18-27°C). Avoid placing your Calathea in a drafty area or near air conditioning vents.


Calathea plants prefer bright, indirect light. Direct sunlight can scorch their leaves, while too little light can cause them to lose their vibrant colors.

Pot Size

The size of the pot can also affect how often and how much to water Calathea plants. Smaller pots will dry out quicker, requiring more frequent watering, while larger pots may retain moisture for longer periods.

How Often to Water Calathea Plants

Calathea plants do not like to be overwatered, as this can lead to root rot and other issues. It is best to wait until the top inch of soil is dry before watering again. Depending on the environmental conditions, this may be once a week or every 10-14 days.

How Much to Water Calathea Plants

When watering Calathea plants, it is important to give them enough water without drowning them. A good rule of thumb is to water until you see it start to drain from the bottom of the pot. This ensures that the soil is evenly moist and prevents water from sitting in the bottom of the pot, which can lead to root rot.

Read more: Calathea Plant Light Requirements

Signs of Overwatering and Underwatering

It is important to pay attention to your Calathea plant and watch for signs of overwatering or underwatering. Some signs of overwatering include yellowing leaves, mushy stems, and a foul odor. Signs of underwatering include dry, crispy leaves and drooping stems.

Tips for Watering Calathea Plants

To ensure the health of your Calathea plant, keep the following tips in mind:

  • Use room temperature water
  • Water from the bottom up to avoid getting water on the leaves
  • Avoid using hard water or water with high levels of chlorine or fluoride
  • Mist the leaves occasionally to increase humidity levels
  • Consider using a moisture meter to help determine when to water


In conclusion, watering Calathea plants can be a bit tricky, but with the right knowledge and techniques, you can ensure their health and longevity. Understanding the factors that affect watering, waiting until the top inch of soil is dry before watering, and giving them enough water without drowning them are all important steps in properly caring for your Calathea plant. By paying attention to your plant’s needs and following the tips outlined in this article, you can enjoy the vibrant and colorful leaves of your Calathea plant for years to come.


How do I know if my Calathea plant needs water?

  • You can check if your Calathea plant needs water by feeling the soil. If the top inch of soil is dry, it’s time to water. You can also tell if your plant is underwatered if the leaves are dry and crispy.

Can I use tap water to water my Calathea plant?

  • It’s best to avoid using tap water, especially if it has high levels of chlorine or fluoride. Consider using distilled water or collecting rainwater to water your plant.

How often should I mist my Calathea plant?

  • Misting your Calathea plant once or twice a week can help increase humidity levels, but be careful not to overdo it as too much moisture can lead to fungal growth.

Can I fertilize my Calathea plant while watering?

  • Yes, you can add fertilizer to the water when watering your Calathea plant. However, it’s important to follow the instructions on the fertilizer package and not over-fertilize.

What should I do if my Calathea plant is showing signs of overwatering?

  • If your Calathea plant is showing signs of overwatering, stop watering immediately and let the soil dry out completely before watering again. You may also need to repot the plant if the roots are rotting.

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