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Our Plant Care: Calathea

Updated: Jun 17, 2021

There are many different forms of this attractive foliage plant, and when well cared for, you can expect years of enjoyment.

Calathea is a genus of plants belonging to the family Marantaceae. There are several dozen species in this genus. Native to the tropical Americas, many of the species are popular as pot plants due to their decorative leaves and, in some species, colourful inflorescences.

There are a number of species of calathea plants available for indoor use. They include:

  • Calathea lancifolia

  • Calathea ornata

  • Calathea roseopicta

  • Calathea rufibarba

  • Calathea makoyana

  • Calathea orbifolia

  • Calathea insignis

Calathea plants are also known by more common names such as cathedral plants, peacock plants, zebra plants, rattlesnake plants and prayer plants.


Your Calathea is well suited to those low light areas in your home many other house plants dislike. Indeed, it’s happy almost anywhere but not in direct sunlight. Can be used in sheltered outdoor gardens, again out of direct sun.


Water regularly but allow the plant to dry out slightly between waterings. Adding FabGardenMama Organic Liquid Fertiliser to the weekly watering will keep it flourishing.


Calathea plants do not like the cold very much. They are from tropical areas of the world and prefer temperatures between 18 - 26 degrees. Temperatures above and below that can cause damage to the plant, first evident in the curling of the leaves.


Calathea, again due to where they grow naturally, tend to prefer humid areas. They can absorb moisture through the air via the wide, green, leaves that are common for the plant.


The great news about the Calathea is that it doesn’t need pruning other than the removal of brown or yellowed leaves.

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