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Introducing Miss Calathea, the Drama Queen of the Plant World.

Updated: Jan 14


The Calathea plant has been a household & office desk favorite for decades. Its ability to thrive in low light spaces, involves minimal care -- no more than pruning & . All plants project vibrant shades of green, white, & pink, while creating a number of different designs that vary per variety.



The Calathea has been used for more than just office & home container plants. In the tropics (mostly Brazil), used colorful Calathea for food wrapping & other handicraft activities. Because of the diversity the foliage leaves, baskets are weaved with lancelopte leave, & food is


Love collecting plants? The Calathea plant is a great, easy to care for, plant if you like to collect different plants of the same species. Here at Horticult, we started out with an obsession on the plant Rhipsalis & while Rhipsalis will always be our number one collection, it will not be our last. As the years have passed we have found similar groups where plants are similar when care is involved, but their look, flowers, & growth habit are completely different. Fascinating,


So, if you've found your niche in Calathea, there are a good bit to choose from when adding to your collection -- & not only from us here at Horticult, but from many other distributors who have fantastics varieties, as well.


LEAF MOVEMENT

Calathea is part of the Prayer Plant family. All Prayer Plants create movement in their leaves, with their most drastic upward movement, hence the name 'Prayer Plant.'

This movement comes from movement in liquid of special cells at the base of each leaf. Prayer plants move in the reaction to the amount of light in they environment. Some say they move with the direction of the sun, but no one is 100% sure why they have evolved this way.

Calathea's especially


How do Prayer Plants Move?

The family of Prayer Plants, Marantas, & their relatives all disputant nyctinastic movement.

Nyctinasty is the circadian rthymic Nastic movement of higher plants in response to the onset of darkness, or a plant "sleeping." Movements are associated with diurnal light & temperature & controlled by the circadian clock. While Linneas (1729) proposed the plants were sleeping, there was no significant evidence to support this concept that plants are conscious, let alone experience altered states of consciousness. To cut this science lesson short, anatonmically the movements are mediated by pulvini. Pulvinus cells are located at the base or the apex of the petiole & the flux of water from the dorsal to ventral motor cells regulates leaf closure. The flux is in reponse to movement of potassium ions between pulvinus & surrounding tissue.

In lament terms, these cells either swell or contract depending on the amount of liquid present in each. As the size of those cells change, it creates pressure that results in leave movement.


Why do Prayer Plants Move?

While there are no clear answers to why Prayer Plants move, some assume there is a significant evolutionary advantage for these plants or they wouldn't have developed this habit -- but these are only hypotheses.

Since we know Marantas open their leaves during the day it seems likely that they are adjusting their movement to control the amount of sunlight the leaves absorb during the brights part of the day.

So why fold up at night? One theory is that the filing action kept dew or rain from sitting on the leaves when its cool at night & prevents fungus from developing on the leaf surface.




CARE & MAINTENANCE

LIGHT

Calathea thrive in medium to bright indirect light, but can tolerate low light.


WATER

Water your Calathea every 1-2 weeks. The soil should try out half way down between waterings.

If your Calathea is being exposed to brighter light, expect to water them more often than those in lower light.


SOIL

Calathea are easy in this sense; a well-draining potting mix are the only major characteristics the soil must have for them to thrive.



COMMON PROBLEMS

Calatheas are easy going plants & are generally pest free.

If you do come upon on of those pesky buggers, treat as soon as they appear with weekly sprays of a natural pesticide like neem oil & wipe down your plant regularly.


See table below for an overview of what to look for how & how to diagnose.

Underwatering

Overwatering

Fungal Leaf Infection*

​Wilting, curing leaves, dry potting mix

Yellowing leaves, black base

Leaf spots

*Fungal leaf infection or mineral buildup of tap water. Use distilled water & directly into surrounding potting soil.



Calatheas are PET FRIENDLY! Here are Horticult we are always excited to find a pet friendly addition to our collection, as we both have puppies we love ♡



VARIETIES THAT WE OFFER

CALATHEA RATTLESNAKE

LIGHT

Your Rattlesnake Plant is a great low light plant & will do best in medium to low light. The unique tropical plant doesn't like too much sun on it's leave's, so shield it from direct light to prevent scorching.


WATER

What your Rattlesnake when the top 25% of the soil is dry. What by saturating the soil until the water is flowing out of the drainage hole at the bottom of your plant. If you are using a saucer, make sure to discard any water that has accumulated in the saucer.


HUMIDITY

Like many other tropical plants, your 'Rattlesnake' prefers a spot with ample humidity. If the leaf edges begin to curl or brown up, mist them with lukewarm water on a regular basis, use a pebble tray, or place a humidifier near it. Your bathroom or your kitchen are perfect spots because those areas ten to be more humid.


TEMPERATURE

Calathea 'Rattlesnakes' prefer warm temperatures, between 65-85 degrees F, so maintain an indoor temperature above 64 degrees. Avoid cold drafts & sudden temperature changes.


ADDITIONAL CARE TIPS

If you notice the tups of your Rattlesnake are burned, often with a yellow-isa hue, it could be due to the use of tap water. To solve this, use distilled water, rainwater, or allow the tap water to stand overnight before watering. This allows the chlorine & fluoride to evaporate.

DO NOT USE any shine products on the leaves! Clean them ocassionally with a damp cloth instead.



CALATHEA ORBIFOLIA

LIGHT

This tropical plant will do best in medium light to low light. Never allow this plant to stand in direct sunlight, the leaves will become sunburned!


WATER

Water your calathea when the top 25% of the soil is dry. Saturate your soil so much so that water drips out of the drainage hole at the bottom. You want to ensure the roots are able to suck up enough water to send to the rest of the plant. If you are using a saucer, discard any accumulated water.


HUMIDITY

Like many tropical plants, & most/all Calatheas, orbifolia prefers a spot with ample humidity. If its leaf edges will begin to curl or brown, mist them with Luke warm water, use a pebble tray, or place a humidifier nearby. Again, your bathroom or kitchen are great places to keep this plant as they accumulate the most humidity of any other room.


ADDITIONAL CARE

If you notice the tips or edges of your Calathea orbifolia are burned, often with a yellowish hue, it could be due to your tap water. To solve this, use distilled water, rainwater, or allow your tap water to sit overnight to let the flouride & chlorine evaporate.

Remove any yellow leaves to keep your plant strong & growing.

Do not use any shine products on the leaves, cleaning them with a damp cloth instead.



CALATHEA ROSEAPICTA

LIGHT

Your Calathea roseapicta will do best in medium to low direct light. Never allow this plant to receive direct light, as the leaves will burn.


WATER

Water your Calathea when the top 25% of the soil is dry. Water until liquid flows through the drainage hole at the bottom of the pot & discard any water that has accumulated int he saucer.


ADDTIONAL CARE

If you notice a tip or edges of your Calathea are burned, often with a yellowish hue, it could be due to your tap water. To solve this, use distilled water, rainwater, or allow your tap water to stand overnight before watering so the chlorine and fluoride can evaporate. Remove any yellow leaves to keep your plant strong and growing. Do not use any shine products on the leaves, instead, clean leaves occasionally with a damp cloth.

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