Calathea Ornata: A Definitive Guide to Grow and How to Care for it

Calathea Ornata is a type of plant that has many names. It is called calathea, scarlet star, polka dot plant, and African Jewels. Calathea Ornata is native to the Americas but has spread around to other countries due to its popularity since it can grow in very little light.

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The plants get their name from the ornate pattern on their leaves which looks like small patches of polka dots. They can grow up to 3 feet tall and will grow in a variety of conditions such as the shade or low-light environments.

Calathea Ornata History.

The plant was first discovered by a Dutch botanist named Nicolaas Witsen in 1688. It was at this time that the plant was described as the “cocos.” This was the first recorded name for the plant, and it was also one of the earliest names that the plant had. However, it was not until 1780 that a British botanist named Richard Anthony Salisbury gave the plant its current name, Calathea Ornata. Since then, it has been recorded to grow in many places in the world. The plant is native to South America, parts of Africa, and areas around the world.

Calathea Ornata

Plant Characteristics.

The Calathea ornata has long, narrow leaves that are located on the stem. The plant is a perennial, and it can survive for long periods. It grows in a wide range of soil types. The plant thrives in both acidic soil and alkaline soils. The Calathea ornata grows anywhere from 50 to 100 centimeters high. It is a robust plant with a strong taproot that allows it to grow in a wide variety of conditions. The Calathea ornata has a hairy stem that is often reddish.

Calathea Ornata Plant Care.

The Calathea ornata is an easy plant to care for. It does not require much attention, and it can be grown in a wide variety of locations. However, the Calathea ornata needs good light to grow. It is best to place the plant in a location with at least six hours of sunlight daily. The plant will also need a good amount of water; hence, avoid letting your plant sit in dry soil for prolonged periods. It’s always best to keep the soil moist at all times especially in the early stages of growth.

The Calathea ornata can be grown from seed. The seeds are easy to germinate, and they can be planted at any time of the year especially if its planted indoors. The best time to plant outdoors is in the spring or fall. It is not advised to plant the seeds in the summer because they tend to dry, and the seeds will not germinate. The Calathea ornata needs plenty of water and light. It does not need much fertilizer, but the plant does need a source of nitrogen. If the plant grows in a pot, it will need to be repotted every 2 to 3 years.

Sowing & Germination.

The Calathea ornata can be sown in early spring. The Calathea ornata can also be sown in the fall if it is a container plant. The seeds should be planted at a depth of 1/2 inch. The seeds should be kept in the dark and warm location until they are ready to be planted. The Calathea ornata does not like to be left withstanding long periods of cold weather. Therefore, it is best to take cuttings in the fall or the spring. The Calathea ornata can also be sown in the fall or the spring. The seeds should be planted at a depth of 1/2 inch.

Calathea Ornata

Cultivation & Propagation.

The Calathea ornata can be grown from seed and are easy to germinate. The best time to plant is in the spring or fall. The Calathea ornata can be planted in a pot or on the ground. It is best to plant the seeds in a pot as they will germinate more quickly than other methods of propagation. The seeds should be kept in a dry location until they are ready to be planted. It is crucial to keep the seeds in the dark and warm location. It is not recommended to plant the seeds in the summer because they tend to dry out with the summer heat, dry seeds may not germinate. As mentioned before, this plant needs plenty of water and light. If the plant grows in a pot, it will need to be repotted every 2 to 3 years or when its roots outgrow its pot. 

The other method of propagation is through cuttings. It is best to take cuttings in the fall or the spring.

Mature Size & Height.

The mature size of the Calathea ornata will vary depending on the species. It can grow as tall as 18 inches. However, it is usually a bit smaller than that. It can grow up to 8 inches in diameter.

Calathea Ornata

Fertilizing and Watering

The Calathea ornata does not require fertilizer to grow, but it is best to fertilize every two to three months. The Calathea ornata does not like fertilizer that has too much nitrogen. Therefore, it is better to use a fertilizer with low nitrogen levels, and it’s best to fertilize in the spring or fall. Fertilizer should be applied at the rate of 1 teaspoon per 10 gallons of water. Calathea prefers more phosphorus than nitrogen.

The Ornata does not need too much watering. However, it does not like to be left withstanding long periods of dry weather. When the soil is dry, it should be watered as soon as possible. However, the plant should be watered sparingly (Rule of thumb, keep its soil moist). The Calathea ornata should be watered in the morning or the evening (Avoid watering in the afternoon).

Watering indoor plants is not an easy task. There are so many things to consider – soil type, pot size, water drainage, light exposure, etc. You may have to spend hours just researching on the internet to find the best method for watering your plants.

Pruning.

The Calathea ornata can be pruned as needed. However, it is essential to prune the plant in the early stages of growth. If the Calathea ornata is growing in a container, it should be repotted soon as its roots will soon outgrow the container.

How Often Should You Repot Your Calatheas?

Repotting your Calatheas is not a one-time thing. It needs to be done every year and you should do it as soon as the first signs of wear and tear appear.

The perfect time to repot your Calatheas is in early spring – right before they start to grow again. This will give them enough time to recover and rest after winter, but not too much time for them to get stressed out by the summer heat or other environmental factors.

Soil & Transplanting.

The Calathea ornata needs soil that is rich and moist. The soil should be slightly acidic. The best type of soil for this type of plant is light, porous, and rich in organic matter. It’s important to avoid using soil that has been treated with fertilizer or pesticides, as it could be harmful to your plant. Alternatively, you can use a mix of potting soil and sand or perlite to make a suitable replacement. Pots used should be at least 3 inches deep and wide enough so the plant’s roots have room to grow and develop.

Light & Temperature.

The Calathea ornata needs plenty of light. The best spot to place it is in a sunny location. The Calathea ornata does not need a lot of direct sunlight and it can tolerate temperatures as low as 32 degrees F and as high as 100 degrees F.

Calathea Ornata

Common Pests, Diseases, and Problems

The Calathea ornata can be susceptible to pests. They can include mealy bugs, scale insects, aphids, and spider mites. Therefore, it is essential to keep the Calathea ornata away from the pest. It is best to use insecticidal soap or other insecticides. The most common pest is the whitefly. This is a tiny insect that will feed on the leaves of the plant.

Note: Calathea is not considered to be an invasive species.

Calathea Ornata

Best Methods for Growing Successfully.

There are several tips for growing calathea ornata successfully. The most important part is to be patient because the plant may take a long time to grow.

1) Choose a pot that has drainage holes and fill it with potting soil.

2) Choose the location that gets at least six hours of sun per day – place it in an area where there will be enough room for it to grow.

3) Water the soil until water starts coming out of the drainage holes and wait a few minutes before watering again.

4) Put fertilizer at the base or top of the soil every other week during spring and summer.

5) Cut off and remove any dead parts of the plants

Important: Consider leaving one or two seedlings in the pot and allow the other seedlings to grow into full-sized plants perhaps outdoors. This will ensure that you have a steady supply of new plants to replace ones that die off every year.

Is the Calathea Ornata Toxic?

Calathea Ornata contains iridoid glycosides which are irritants to the skin, mouth, and eyes.

How do you care for Calathea Ornata?

The Calathea ornata can be cared for with a variety of methods.

  • Keep the Calathea ornata in a container, and It will help keep the soil moist.
  • It is vital to provide the Calathea ornata with plenty of light. It should be placed in a sunny location.
  • It does not need a lot of direct sunlight or is kept in a location or environment that’s very warm.
  • It can tolerate temperatures as low as 32 degrees F and can tolerate temperatures as high as 100 degrees F.
  • Watered regularly.

Why Add a Calathea Plant to Your Home Decor?

Calathea plants are great because they provide a tropical look that is perfect for anyone who wants to have a fun and relaxing atmosphere in their home.

Every calathea plant has its own unique shape, size, and color. The best part about them is that they are easy to grow in your home without too much time or effort. If you’re looking for the perfect plant to bring some life into your space, then it’s necessary to add these plants to your home decor!

Does Calathea Ornata need sun?

The Calathea ornata needs plenty of light. Therefore, it should be placed in a sunny location but keep in mind that it does not need a lot of direct sunlight.

Is Calathea Ornata rare?

The Calathea ornata is not considered rare. It is found throughout the United States and other areas around the world.

Calathea ornata where to buy.

The Calathea ornata is found in a variety of places. It can be found in nurseries and garden centers. Calathea ornata can also be purchased online.

How do I keep Calathea Ornata happy?

The Calathea Ornata can be kept happy with the proper care. It needs plenty of light. It should be placed in a sunny location. It does not need a lot of direct sunlight. The Calathea ornata is very tolerant of low temperatures. The plant does not need to be kept at a high temperature. It can tolerate temperatures as low as 32 degrees F. The Calathea ornata can tolerate temperatures as high as 100 degrees F. The Calathea ornata should be watered regularly.

Growing Tips for the Beautiful Calathea Ornata

A common misconception about the use of Calathea Ornata is that it is extremely difficult to grow.

This is not true at all. You can easily grow an orchid if you take care of it with the right lighting, watering, and feeding.

The question on how to grow calathea plants is best answered by understanding what type of environment they prefer. They need full sunlight to thrive but might also accept partial shade. It’s important to keep in mind that they are an epiphytic plant which means that they don’t need any soil in order to grow and thrive!

Conclusion.

Guide to caring for your plant and keeping It looking great plants are excellent ways to bring life into any space. They are also a great way to add color and warmth. There are many ways to care for your Calathea Ornata, but one of the most important is ensuring you have it in a proper environment. We hope this guide has helped you learn more about caring for your Calathea Ornata and what you can do to keep it looking great!

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Michael is an author and entrepreneur that specializes in content production and marketing. I love helping authors and entrepreneurs succeed. My life experiences have given me a unique worldview, which I've used to write compelling material for my audience. Thank You