How to take care of Calathea Plant

How to take care of Calathea Plant

Essential Tips and Tricks for Thriving Calathea Plants

Ever asked why your Calathea plant's leaves move up and down each day? This cool feature, known as nyctinasty, makes Calatheas special. They are known for their beautiful, unique leaves. These plants, often called 'prayer plants,' bring a unique touch to any home.

Calatheas come from the neotropics, especially Brazil. They are plants that can move to catch the sunlight. They do this by changing the water pressure in their leafstalks. This cool ability not only looks interesting but also helps the plant stay healthy and colorful.

In Canada, if you're looking for pet-friendly plants, Calatheas are a great option. Their leaves are gentle, and they are safe for pets. Now, let's learn some secrets on how to keep your Calathea plant happy and thriving at home.

Calathea Plant Care

Key Takeaways

  • Calathea plants move their leaves to maximize light absorption, a process known as nyctinasty.
  • These plants are native to the neotropics, especially Brazil, and adapt well as indoor houseplants.
  • Calatheas are non-toxic, making them ideal for homes with pets.
  • Ensuring the right light conditions and watering schedule is crucial for their health.
  • Their adaptability and visually striking foliage make them a popular choice for indoor plant enthusiasts.

Introduction to Calathea Plants

Calathea plants are known for their beautiful, changing leaves. They brighten our homes with colors and patterns from the tropics. Originally from the rainforest, their leaves seem to move. They do this to catch the best light during the day.

Calathea plants are a great choice for homes with pets. They are not toxic, so you won't have to worry if your pet chews on them. This makes them very valuable for those who love pets and plants alike.

These plants do best in humidity and indirect light, just like in a rainforest. Creating this environment at home will help your Calathea thrive. Remember, when you're looking to buy Calathea plants, each variety has its own needs. Make sure you can provide for them in your space.

Overall, Calatheas bring joy and peace of mind to your home. By following simple Calathea plant care tips, you can welcome their beauty. They will add a touch of the exotic to your living space.

Understanding Calathea Light Requirements

Understanding the Calathea light requirements is key for a healthy plant. These plants need the right light to keep their beautiful looks. They come alive in specific lighting that shows off their special patterns.

Understanding Calathea Light Requirements

Bright Indirect Light Explained

Calatheas do best in places with bright indirect light. They should be in spots that are bright but not directly under the sun. Too much sun can harm them, making their leaves less colorful or burnt. To give them the perfect light, put them near bright windows or use thin curtains to soften direct sunlight.

Effects of Low Light Conditions

In low light, Calatheas will slow down but can still live. It’s like being under the shade of a forest in their home. Yet, watching how they react is important. Very dim spots can dull their patterns. For those asking how much sunlight does a Calathea need, remember they need at least a little natural light. Even indirect light helps keep them well.

Watering Your Calathea: How Often Should You Water Calathea?

People often ask, how often should you water calathea? The answer depends on light and season. Calatheas like their soil to be half-dry before watering again. So, every one to two weeks is a good rule.

It’s important to spot over and under-watering signs. Watching your plant closely will clue you into what it needs. Always check the soil’s moisture before adding water.

Ideal Watering Schedule

Keeping a steady watering routine keeps your plant healthy. In brighter spots, you might water a bit more because they dry out faster. But in dim light, space out your watering times. Remember, adjust your schedule for each season. Calatheas in winter, for instance, usually need less water.

Signs of Overwatering and Underwatering

You may ask, what does an overwatered calathea look like? If leaves turn yellow and the soil stays wet, it's likely overwatered. In this case, water less often.

Underwatering shows as drooping or curling leaves. The plant looks sad and needing water. If this happens, water more but don’t flood it.

And, should I cut off brown calathea leaves? Yes, trim brown leaves to improve your plant’s look. This also helps the plant send energy to healthy parts. Always cut with clean, sharp scissors to avoid plant diseases.

Getting your watering right is key to Calathea care. Watch your plant’s signals. Then, adjust your watering to meet its needs.

Importance of Humidity for Calathea Plants

Calathea plants have beautiful, patterned leaves. They grow best in places with high humidity, like their tropical homes. Keeping your Calathea's surroundings moist is key to fighting off problems like brown leaf tips. So, do calatheas need humidity? Yes, they do need a lot of it.

Understanding Calathea Light Requirements

How to Increase Humidity Levels

To boost the humidity for your plants, try using a water-filled tray. Place it close to your Calathea. The water's slow evaporation will help moisten the air around it. Another great trick is putting your plant in a naturally humid spot, such as a bathroom.

Using Misters and Humidifiers

Misters and humidifiers work well in increasing moisture. Using a mister to sprinkle water on your plant can help temporarily. Or, you can buy a humidifier for a more lasting effect. Knowing how to increase humidity for houseplants is crucial for taking care of your Calathea.

Here's a comparative table to highlight the various methods of increasing humidity for Calathea plants:

Method Effectiveness Maintenance Cost
Misting Moderate High (Regular misting needed) Low
Use of Humidifiers High Low (Periodic refilling) Moderate to High
Water Tray Low to Moderate Low Low
Bathroom Placement Moderate Low Free

Best Soil for Calathea Plants

Getting the soil mix right is key for any Calathea plant's health and growth. The right mix helps the roots to spread and thrive.

Recommended Soil Mix

A well-draining soil mix is a must. It should keep just enough moisture but not overdo it. A good mix includes compost, pine bark, coco coir, worm castings, and perlite. This mix holds enough water but lets the extra water drain. It's just like the plant's natural home.

Ingredients to Look For

It's crucial to choose the right soil components. They should offer nutrients and good drainage. Most of these components are available at a Calathea plant nursery.

  1. Compost: Provides essential nutrients and improves soil structure.
  2. Pine Bark: Enhances aeration and permits root growth.
  3. Coco Coir: Excellent for water retention and maintaining moisture levels.
  4. Worm Castings: Abundant in nutrients, aiding in plant health.
  5. Perlite: Ensures soil drainage and prevents waterlogging.

So, what makes the best soil for Calatheas? It's these key ingredients. Putting them in your soil mix creates a great place for your Calathea plants. It's like the tropical forest floor, making your plants grow healthy and strong.

Common Issues and How to Overcome Them

Many ask why Calatheas are hard to care for. These plants, known for their colorful leaves, don't like changes around them. They need the right amount of water, humidity, and light to stay healthy.

Watering them incorrectly is a big issue. Not giving enough or giving too much water can cause leaf problems. Without enough water, the leaves may wilt. Too much water makes the leaves turn yellow. It's best to water them on a schedule and let the soil dry out between waterings. They prefer distilled water to avoid mineral spots on their leaves.

Pests like mealybugs and spider mites can also cause trouble. Using natural solutions, like neem oil, can help keep them away. It's important to check the plants often for pests.

Fungus from too much moisture and stagnant air can also harm them. This can cause spots on the leaves. To fix this, make sure the air flows around the plant well. Do this alongside good watering practices.

To successfully care for Calatheas, you need to be proactive. They require specific care. By quickly addressing their issues, these unique plants can stay beautiful and healthy.

Is It Better to Bottom Water Calathea Plants?

Many Calathea plant lovers wonder, "is it better to bottom water Calathea plants?". Doing so has many benefits over top watering. It gives the plant what it needs without the usual problems.

is it better to bottom water calathea?

Advantages of Bottom Watering

Bottom watering has its perks. It helps prevent overwatering and root rot. This eases the worries from too much water. Bottom watering also helps roots grow stronger.

  1. Minimizes the risk of overwatering and root rot.
  2. Encourages roots to grow deeper and become more robust.
  3. Avoids leaf spotting and other issues caused by tap water minerals.

Steps for Proper Bottom Watering

For Calatheas, use distilled or filtered water because tap water's minerals can harm them. Here's how to bottom water your Calathea properly:

  • Fill a tray or sink with a few inches of distilled or filtered water.
  • Place your plant in the water, making sure the bottom of the pot gets wet.
  • Let it soak for 10-15 minutes, drawing up water from below.
  • Afterward, take the plant out to drip off any excess water.

Following these steps, you safely water your Calathea. It's a great way to keep your plant happy without worrying about mineral damage.

Calathea Plant Care Tips

Caring for Calathea plants can be very rewarding. Place them where they get bright but not direct sunlight. Too much sun can make their leaves fade or even burn. Keep their surroundings at a steady temperature. Big changes in temperature can hurt your plant.

It's important to use the right kind of water for Calatheas. Go for distilled or filtered water instead of tap. Tap water's minerals and chemicals can damage your plant. Also, make sure the air around them is humid. They do best in humid environments, just like their tropical homes. Use a humidifier or mist them often.

Use soil that drains well to help your plant grow strong. A mix of compost, pine bark, and perlite works great. This mix provides nutrients and makes sure water flows through the soil. Keep their leaves clean and change their pots when needed. This stops dust and pests from harming your plant.

If you're thinking of getting rare Calathea plants, do your homework. Look for trusted places that sell them. Choosing special delivery services for Calathea plants can make sure they start healthy in your care.

Following these tips for caring for Calathea will keep your plants looking great. It also helps keep them happy and healthy.


Exploring the Calathea plant shows its beauty and unique features. These plants are not just pretty; they move, which is like watching a piece of art come to life. Plus, they are great for homes with pets.

To help Calathea plants grow well, it's important to know their needs. They like bright light, but not direct sunlight, and thrive in high humidity. By providing the right conditions, such as similar to tropical weather, your plant will stay healthy.

Also, using the correct soil and watering from the bottom can help. Keeping your plant clean and repotting it occasionally will also make it last longer.

Taking care of Calatheas is worth the effort. They boost the beauty of any indoor area with their vibrant leaves. If you consider buying one, know that each type has its own appeal.

By learning about Calatheas and giving them what they need, they truly become a lovely part of your home.


How do you care for a Calathea plant indoors?

To keep your Calathea healthy inside, give it bright but indirect light. Also, keep the air moist. Use either filtered or distilled water. Water it once the topsoil is about halfway dry.

How often should you water Calathea?

You should water your Calathea every 1-2 weeks. Let the topsoil almost dry out between watering. The right timing depends on the light it gets.

Why are Calatheas difficult?

Calatheas need careful attention to light, humidity, and water. They like conditions that copy their tropical home. This is why some find them hard to care for.

How can I keep my Calathea happy?

To make your Calathea happy, keep it in bright but not direct light. Always keep the air moist. Use soil that drains well. Water with filtered or distilled water. Consistent watering is important. Misting and using a humidifier also work well.

Should I cut off brown Calathea leaves?

Yes, cut off any brown leaves. This helps the plant grow better. Use clean, sharp scissors to do this.

What does an overwatered Calathea look like?

Too much water can show as yellow leaves or very wet soil. You might see the leaves getting soft and breaking down.

Why do Calatheas not like tap water?

Calatheas don’t like tap water because it often has minerals, chlorine, and fluoride. These can make spots on the leaves and hurt the plant. It's best to use filtered or distilled water.

Is it better to bottom water Calathea?

Bottom watering is indeed good for Calatheas. It lowers the risk of too much water and spreads the moisture to the roots evenly.

Can I buy Calathea plants online?

Yes, you can find Calathea plants online. Just make sure to buy from a trusted seller so you get a healthy plant.

What are some popular Calathea varieties?

Popular types include the orbifolia, medallion, lancifolia (also known as the Rattlesnake Plant), and zebrina. Each has its own beautiful leaf patterns.

Do Calatheas need humidity?

Indeed, Calatheas love high humidity. They come from the rainforest. So, high humidity indoors is key for their well-being.

What’s the best soil for Calatheas?

The ideal soil for Calatheas drains well but keeps some moisture. A mix of compost, pine bark, coco coir, worm castings, and perlite is perfect.

How can I increase humidity for my Calathea plant?

To up the humidity, you can mist your plant, use a humidifier, put a water tray nearby, or keep it in a naturally humid place like the bathroom.

What should I consider when buying a Calathea plant?

Think about the light and humidity it needs. Check for pests or diseases. Buy from a known and reliable plant store or nursery.

How do you bottom water a Calathea plant?

For bottom watering, set your plant in a tray with distilled or filtered water. Let it soak for about 30 minutes. Then, take it out and let excess water drain.

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Credit:Photo by Georgia Visacri on Unsplash


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