Calathea: Guide to Keeping Your Houseplant Alive and Thriving

Calathea roseopicta

Calathea is a genus of about 100 flowering plants in the Marantaceae family, native to Central America, the West Indies, and southern Mexico. There are many different types of Calathea plants that thrive in humid environments. They typically have broad leaves that are patterned with colorful blotches or spots. If you’ve been wondering how to care for a Calathea plant, this article will show you everything you need to know. We will cover watering, light, soil, and more!

Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Monocots
Clade: Commelinids
Order: Zingiberales
Family: Marantaceae
Genus: Calathea

A Calathea can be a fun and exciting plant to grow. It is one of the most popular types of tropical houseplants. However, you’ll want to make sure that your plant gets the right amount of light to ensure that it stays healthy.


Calathea is the name of the plant genus in the mint family, Lamiaceae. This family includes mint, oregano, sage, lemon balm, basil, lavender, and rosemary species. The name Calathea comes from the Spanish word Calata, meaning “to cool off”.

Calathea lancifolia
Calathea lancifolia

It is a hardy perennial with many different varieties; it is native to Central and South America. There are over 600 different species of Calathea.

When it was first introduced into the united states, they were commonly planted in a large terrarium as a houseplant. These plants were known for their beautiful foliage and fragrant flowers.

Habitat & Range:

Calathea can be found in a wide variety of habitats, from tropical rain forests to deserts. They are common in regions that have humid climates. Calathea also likes to grow well in full sun. They grow in temperatures from 10 degrees Celsius to 45 degrees Celsius.

It can also be found in temperate regions. It is not frost-hardy but can survive in temperatures down to -10 degrees Celsius. The range of Calathea is extensive. This plant has been used as an ornamental plant in Europe since the 15th century. They can be found growing throughout the Americas and Africa.

Plant Care and Watering.

If you’re wondering how to care for your plant, you’ll want to make sure that your plant gets the right amount of light. This plant needs a lot of sunlight to thrive. If it doesn’t get enough light, it will grow slowly and weakly. Ensure that your plant is in a well-lit area of the house where it will receive plenty of direct sunlight.

In addition to sunlight, your plant also needs water. This plant needs about 1 inch of water per week. If your soil is dry, this plant may need more water. It’s okay if you need to give it extra water. As long as your plant gets enough water, it will thrive. Calathea can be kept indoors or outdoors. It can tolerate temperatures down to -10 degrees Celsius.


It need fertilizer and regular watering. Suppose your plant is located outdoors, fertilized every two weeks. However, feed your plant every three weeks if located indoors. If you notice that your plant is not growing properly, it may need fertilizer or not receive enough sunlight. In addition to fertilizer, It needs regular watering.

Cultivation & Propagation:

Calathea is a hardy plant. It can be grown indoors or outdoors and can be found in many different soil types. Calathea likes soil that has a pH of 6 to 7. If your soil is too acidic, this plant will not do well. If your soil is too alkaline, this plant will also not grow well.

Make sure that your plant has the right amount of nutrients in its soil. If you notice that your plant is looking unhealthy, you may need to promptly fertilize it.

How to Grow a Calathea Plant? 

To grow your Calathea plant, you’ll need to start the plant from seed ideally. Ideally, plant your seeds in early spring or late summer. If you don’t want to grow your plant from seeds, you can grow your plant from cuttings.

Calathea Eq

Light Requirements:

It prefers a sunny location with plenty of direct sunlight. This plant will grow best if it gets at least eight hours of sunlight per day. If you’re wondering how to care for Calathea, you’ll want to make sure that your plant gets the right amount of light. This plant needs a lot of sunlight to thrive.

It will grow slowly and weakly if it doesn’t get enough light. Ensure that your plant is in a well-lit area of the house where it will receive plenty of direct sunlight. In addition to sunlight, it also needs water. This plant needs about 1 inch of water per week. If your soil is dry, this plant may need more water.

It’s okay if you need to give it extra water. As long as your plant gets enough water, it will grow healthy. Calathea can be kept indoors or outdoors. It can tolerate temperatures down to -10 degrees Celsius.

Sowing & Germination:

It is best grown from seed. You can purchase Calathea seeds from a local nursery or find them online or from a local nursery. Sow seeds in a sunny location in a pot that has a drainage hole. Ensure you place the pot in an area that gets full sun. Make sure that the soil in the pot is moist and well-drained.

It’s okay if the soil dries out. When sprouting seeds, remove them from the pot and put them in a well-lit, shaded spot. The best temperature for germination is between 80 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit.

Growing Calathea Indoors:

Calathea is best grown indoors. It will grow well indoors. If your house doesn’t have enough light, this plant may struggle with its growth. Within its indoors environment ensure that your plant is kept at a constant temperature.

Best Types of Calathea Plants: Which One is Right for You?

calathea ornata
calathea ornata
  • The Calathea plant is a gorgeous tropical plant that offers a wide range of colors, shapes, and textures. You can place them in different areas of your home – from the kitchen to the office to the living room. They are perfect for brightening up any area! Many different types are available, so it can be hard to pick just one you want. The best type of Calathea depends on where you want to put it and what you want it to look like. Here are some of the most popular types available for sale!
  • If you want something that will grow indoors and provide a beautiful and lush environment with minimal care and maintenance then Calypso is perfect for you! It has dark leaves with an orange-red stripe down the center and white flowers with red centers.
  • Calathea Lancifolia, also known as the rattle snake plant, is a small herbaceous perennial that grows up to twelve inches in height. They are native to tropical areas of Central and South America. This plant is often grown for its colorful leaves that are striped with white or purple. The leaves grow in a fan-shape pattern and are typically not more than four inches long.
  • Calathea Ornata (Pinstripe Calathea). Calathea Ornata, or Pinstripe Calathea, is one of the most popular indoor house plants. This plant is known for its long-lasting yellow flowers that are often striped with red. These plants are available year-round in various shapes and sizes.
  • Calathea Musaica (Network). The Calathea Musaica plant is distinguished by its long, slender leaves and bright red flowers. This plant is typically found in the rainforests of South America, where it can grow to a height of three meters.
  • Calathea Roseopicta (Medallion Calathea). The leaves of this plant are usually dark green with a light green cream overlay. The flowers are usually red. This plant is often used as an ornamental houseplant because it has lovely leaves and flowers.
  • Calathea Roseopicta (Dottie) Calathea Roseopicta (Dottie) is a beautiful and graceful plant which is perfect for any environment. This plant comes in several colors and can be grown inside or outside. It requires little care and will grow to fill whatever space it is given. Dottie is a good companion for those who want a low maintenance alternative to flowers.
  • Calathea Makoyana (Peacock plant). Calathea Makoyana is a popular plant due to its showy foliage and flowers. This plant is both a succulent type and a flowering plant. It’s a good option for people who want the benefits of a houseplant but also want decorative beauty.
  • Calathea Orbifolia. Calathea orbifolia is a lovely houseplant that is much sought after for its magnificent appearance and air-purifying properties. This lovely foliage is softly striped with pale silver-green patterns and has a pale silver-green underside.
  • Calathea Zebrina (Zebra plant). The Calathea Zebrina is a striking houseplant with striking leaves that range from green or red to gold or black. The zebra plant is often used as a focal point in the home due to its striking appearance and ability to thrive in low-light conditions.

Flowering & Growth.

Calathea plants grow quickly and usually flower in four to six weeks. It may need to be given plant food regularly to keep growing. Calathea plants can be grown in virtually any soil; they prefer full sun and well-drained soil. Calathea flowers are fragrant and beautiful.

Calathea ecuadoriana
Calathea ecuadoriana

If your plant is not growing as it should, it may need fertilizer. Calathea grows best in pots or the ground. You can grow this plant in the ground, but keep an eye on the soil. Make sure that the soil is moist. It is also hardy so that you can grow this plant outdoors.

You can cut off the stems when your plant is ready to be harvested. It’s okay if some of the leaves come with the stem. If you’re growing from seed, you can keep the plants in a well-lit area of your home. When the Calathea seeds have sprouted, you can transplant them into a pot and put them in a sunny spot in your garden. You can also plant your seeds directly in the ground. If you want to propagate your plant, collect its stems and plant them in water.

Soil & Transplanting.

This plant can be grown in a wide range of soil. If your soil is dry, you may consider planting this plant in a pot with a drainage hole. Calathea is best planted in a pot. The pot should be at least four times the size of the Calathea plant. You should make sure that your soil is well-drained and has a lot of organic matter.

It grows quickly. You’ll want to make sure that you keep your plant watered. Make sure that your plant receives plenty of direct sunlight. It’s okay if the soil dries out. You can grow calathea in outdoor locations. It will tolerate temperatures down to -10 degrees Celsius. If you live in a cold climate, you may want to wait until spring, or you can transplant your cala-thea to the ground in the fall.

Light & Temperature

It needs full sun and well-drained soil. It also needs a temperature of between 80 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit. If your plant is not growing as it should, it may need fertilizer. However, it will tolerate temperatures down to -10 degrees Celsius.

Pests & Diseases

Calathea is relatively pest-free. There are a few pests that can attack this plant. The most common pest is the thrips, but insects including aphids, spider mites, scale, and whiteflies can also attack it. To control these pests, you can use insecticidal soap or a natural pesticide.

Thrips can, however, be particularly harmful to your plant. Calathea is also susceptible to fungus and nematodes. These diseases can cause your plant to wilt and die. Use fungicides to control the spread of these diseases. 


This plant can grow as a single plant or as a vine. Calathea leaves are green, and they grow slowly. The leaves are usually rounded and there are three to four lobes on each leaf.

What to Watch Out For When Buying a Calathea Plant.

Buying a Calathea plant can be a daunting task but these are some of the things that you should keep in mind when you are buying a plant.

Calathea undulata

What to watch out for when buying a your plant:

– Make sure the leaves are not perishing or wilted

– Avoid any plants with yellowing or browning leaves

– Check for bugs and other insects on the leaves and stem.

If you have any questions please feel free to ask in the comments below!


The Plant is an excellent addition to your home. It offers an assortment of colors, textures, and shapes for any design. It can be used in a variety of locations around the home.


Is Calathea Toxic?

To summarize, the common Calathea plant is not toxic to humans. However, this plant may be toxic to animals and pets including birds, cats, dogs, and horses. If you have any pets, ensure you keep away from the plant.

Calathea plant benefits

This plant is an excellent houseplant for people with allergies. This plant has a natural ability to attract beneficial insects and arachnids. This houseplant is also great for those who are looking for something to decorate their home. You can buy this plant online, or you can find a plant store near you. This plant is a favorite among many gardeners because it is very adaptable and can easily be transplanted.

Calathea is used as a ground cover, and it is commonly used as a border plant. If you are planning on using your plant as a ground cover ensure you water your plant regularly.

Is Calatheas beginner-friendly?

Compared to other houseplants, it’s very easy to grow. You can start your plant from seeds or cuttings. It’s a perennial and can grow anywhere. Also, this plant can grow in full sun or shade.

How to save a dying Calathea plant?

  • Repot your plant first. – To revive your plant, use a high-quality indoor plant potting mix and a pot that is broader than the previous one. Add some water-storing crystals if your plant is dehydrated.
  • Give your plant a trim – Trim back the leaves if the roots have been damaged. As a result, the roots will not have to exert as much effort to sustain a vast amount of leaves.
  • Reposition your plant – Is it possible that your plant is getting too much sunlight? Look for brittle, dried leaves with light or dark areas on them. If your plant doesn’t get enough light, the leaves will become tiny and pale. Relocate your plant to a new location with improved lighting
  • Give your plant some food: With the right fertilizer, you may give your plant a nutritional boost. You don’t want to overdo it, so pay attention to the directions.
  • Don’t forget to water your plant. – The plant is dehydrated and requires water if the soil gets dry and the leaves are brittle. First, water your plant until the soil feels damp rather than flooding it. After that, soak it for 10 minutes in a shallow dish of water. If your plant receives too much water, though, the roots will begin to decay, and mold may develop. Determine how much water your plant needs and alter your routine accordingly. During the winter, most plants require less water.
  • Clean up after your plant – If your plant is infested with insects, use a wet cloth or a mild soap solution to wipe down the leaves.