Top 10 Calathea Plant Care Tips

Calathea plants are known for their stunning foliage and are popular choices for indoor gardening enthusiasts. With their unique patterns and colors, Calathea plants can add a touch of elegance and vibrancy to any room. However, caring for Calathea plants can be a bit challenging as they require specific conditions to thrive. In this article, we will explore the top 10 Calathea plant care tips to help you keep your Calathea plants healthy and vibrant.

Calathea is a genus of tropical perennial plants native to the Amazon rainforest in South America. There are over 300 species of Calathea, but only a few are commonly cultivated as indoor plants. Calathea plants are known for their large, ornamental leaves that come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and colors. They are often referred to as “prayer plants” due to the way their leaves fold up at night, resembling hands in prayer.

Choosing the right Calathea plant

When selecting a Calathea plant, it’s important to choose a healthy specimen with vibrant foliage. Look for leaves that are free from yellowing, browning, or wilting. Check the undersides of the leaves for signs of pests or diseases. It’s also a good idea to choose a Calathea plant that is the right size for your space, as some species can grow quite large.

Light and temperature requirements

Calathea plants prefer bright, indirect light, and are best suited for indoor environments with bright, filtered light. They do not tolerate direct sunlight, as it can scorch their leaves. Place your Calathea plant near a window with sheer curtains or use a sheer curtain to filter the sunlight. Calathea plants also prefer warm temperatures between 65°F and 85°F (18°C to 29°C), and are sensitive to cold drafts and sudden temperature changes.

Watering and humidity tips

Proper watering is crucial for the health of Calathea plants. They prefer to be kept consistently moist, but not soggy. Allow the top inch of soil to dry out slightly between waterings, and use room temperature, filtered water to avoid chlorine and fluoride buildup. Avoid using cold or hard water, as it can cause leaf tip burn and other issues.

In addition to regular watering, Calathea plants also require high humidity levels. Mist the leaves with water regularly, or use a humidifier to maintain a humidity level of 50% or higher. You can also place a tray of water near the plant to increase humidity, or group Calathea plants together to create a microclimate of higher humidity.

Soil and potting recommendations

Calathea plants prefer well-draining, peat-based potting mix that is slightly acidic (pH 6-6.5). Avoid using heavy or compacted soils, as they can cause root rot. It’s important to choose a well-draining pot with drainage holes to prevent water from sitting in the bottom, which can also lead to root rot. Repot your Calathea plant every 1-2 years or when it becomes root-bound, using fresh potting mix.

Fertilization and pruning

Calathea plants benefit from regular fertilization during the growing season, which is typically spring and summer. Use a balanced, water-soluble fertilizer formulated for houseplants, and dilute it to half the recommended strength to avoid over-fertilization. Apply the fertilizer every 2-4 weeks, depending on the instructions on the label.

Pruning is not usually necessary for Calathea plants, as they naturally shed older leaves. However, you can trim off any yellowing, brown, or damaged leaves to maintain the appearance of the plant. Use clean, sharp scissors or pruning shears to make clean cuts, and avoid tearing the leaves.

Pest control for Calathea plants

Calathea plants are susceptible to pests such as spider mites, mealybugs, and aphids. Regularly inspect your plant for any signs of pests, such as webbing, sticky residue, or tiny insects. If you notice any pests, promptly isolate the affected plant and treat it with an appropriate insecticide or insecticidal soap, following the instructions on the label. You can also use natural methods such as neem oil or insecticidal soap.

Propagation techniques

Calathea plants can be propagated through division or by taking stem cuttings. To propagate by division, carefully separate the plant into smaller clumps with roots, making sure each division has at least one healthy leaf and some roots attached. Plant the divisions in separate pots with fresh potting mix, and water them thoroughly.

Read more: Types of Calathea Plants: A Comprehensive Guide

To propagate by stem cuttings, select a healthy stem with at least two leaves and a node (the point where leaves attach to the stem). Cut the stem just below the node, and plant it in a pot with well-draining potting mix. Keep the soil consistently moist and provide high humidity to encourage rooting.

Common issues and troubleshooting

Calathea plants can face some common issues, which include yellowing leaves, brown leaf edges, curling leaves, and wilting. These issues can be caused by various factors, including improper watering, low humidity, inadequate light, or pest infestations. To troubleshoot these issues, review your care routine and make appropriate adjustments, such as adjusting watering frequency, increasing humidity, providing better light, or treating for pests.

Seasonal care for Calathea plants

Calathea plants may require some seasonal care to ensure their optimal health. During the growing season (spring and summer), Calathea plants may benefit from more frequent watering and fertilization, as they are actively growing. In the winter, when the growth slows down, reduce watering and avoid fertilization, as the plant may be in a period of dormancy.

Additionally, Calathea plants are sensitive to drafts and cold temperatures, so during the winter, make sure to keep them away from drafts and provide adequate warmth. You can also consider placing a humidifier near the plant to maintain humidity levels, as indoor air tends to be drier during the winter months.

Displaying and decorating with Beauty

Calathea plants are not just known for their care requirements, but also for their stunning appearance, which makes them great for displaying and decorating in your home. Here are some ideas on how you can showcase your Calathea plants:

  1. Place them in bright, indirect light: Calathea plants thrive in bright, indirect light, so choose a spot in your home where they can receive ample natural light, but not direct sunlight, which can scorch their leaves.
  2. Use decorative pots: Calathea plants come in various shapes and sizes, so choose decorative pots that complement their unique foliage. Opt for pots with drainage holes to ensure proper watering and prevent root rot.
  3. Group them with other houseplants: Calathea plants can be part of a stunning indoor plant display by grouping them with other houseplants with contrasting colors, shapes, and textures. This can create an eye-catching focal point in your room.
  4. Incorporate them in terrariums or glass containers: Calathea plants can also thrive in terrariums or glass containers, where they can create a lush, tropical atmosphere. Choose a closed or open terrarium, depending on the humidity requirements of your specific Calathea species.
  5. Use them as table centerpieces: Calathea plants with their vibrant foliage can be used as unique and striking table centerpieces for special occasions or to add a touch of nature to your everyday dining table.


In conclusion, Calathea plants are stunning, tropical houseplants that require specific care to thrive. From providing the right lighting conditions, maintaining high humidity, watering properly, and addressing potential pest issues, following the care tips discussed in this article can help you keep your Calathea plants healthy and vibrant. Additionally, incorporating them into your home decor can add a touch of nature and beauty to your living space.

You May Also Like

About the Author: admin

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *