Calatheas are popular because of their uniquely patterned foliage. Many have colorful markings that appear to have been painted on by a fine artist. At night, their foliage will rise, revealing the boldly colored undersides of their leaves.
Place in low to bright indirect light. Avoid direct light at all costs. If you notice dark markings or thinning foliage on your plant within the first week, this may indicate it is receiving too much sun.
Water weekly or when the top 2" of soil feel dry. The soil should stay moist but never soggy, so be sure to use your finger to check before each watering.
Use diluted plant food once a month in the spring and summer. Stop feeding in the fall and winter since the plant goes dormant and will not need the extra nutrients.
Most varieties are pet-friendly.
Care instructions are usually consistent for all calatheas, but we always recommend researching your specific plant to make sure you get it right the first time. Search your plant in our Plantopedia for assistance.
A common issue that calathea owners will run into is brown tips and edges on the leaves. Being native to the tropical Americas, calatheas prefer to live in at least 50% humidity or higher. Mist them often, and check out our other tips to increase humidity levels in your home here. Brown tips and edges can also manifest when the soil is dry for too long, in which case, the leaves will also curl inwards and droop.
Calatheas also tend to be highly susceptible to leaf tip burn. What can we say - this genus knows what it wants, and when it doesn't get it, things can get ugly. Avoid watering with tap water, instead using distilled or tap that has been left uncovered for at least 24 hours prior to use.
These plants can be considered rather finicky, but if you give them the consistent care they crave they will reward you with beautiful, bold leaves for years to come.