HOW TO CARE FOR YOUR CALATHEA (PRAYER PLANT)
THE PRAYER PLANT
Calathea AKA Prayer Plant / Triostar / Peacock Plant / Velvet Plant / Medallion Plant
Calatheas spoil you for choice from the very beginning. This genus of neotropical rhizomatous herbaceous perennial plants (try saying that five times when you’re tipsy) offers boundless variety and each of the species on offer at Romeo & Succulent have their own very distinctive look. Known for the diversity of leaf shapes, patterns and colours, these little beauties are the perfect addition to any growing houseplant collection.
Where Does It Come From?
A tropical genus, all calatheas are native to the Americas, where the plants are known for turning their leaves to follow the path of the sun across the sky, drooping a little at night. This circadian movement also earned the genus the nickname ‘Prayer Plants’ as they ‘kneel’ before bed each night.
Why Should I Get One?
- The major joy of the Calatheas is in their sheer variety. Each different species offers a unique foliage pattern, colour palette or leaf texture to choose from, so for collectors that choose to specialise their collection within a certain genus, they work really well.
- Most Calatheas (please double check for your specific variety) are non-toxic and so do not pose a huge threat to nosy cats and dogs.
- As a special treat to yourself or a friend – they are not the cheapest plants to buy but are definitely one of the most striking
How Big Can It Grow?
This depends hugely on the variety of Calathea you go for and how you’re planning to keep it. If kept enclosed in a terrarium for example, the plants stay cute and diddy. If allowed to flourish in perfect conditions in large pots – these bad boys can get pretty big and are great as a statement in any home!
Where Should I Keep It?
On the whole, Calatheas thrive in medium indirect sunlight, but can tolerate lower light conditions as well. Too much powerful sun isn’t good for them and you will begin to see yellowing on the leaves if your plant is getting scorched. Being of tropical origin however, the plants appreciate being kept in temperatures above 15-degrees all year round, and love a high-humidity environment if possible. Calatheas work brilliantly in the steamier conditions of a kitchen or bathroom for this reason.
How Often Should I Water It?
A decent watering every 1-2 weeks should do it for most Calatheas. Make sure that the soil is dry to around half way down the pot before you water again as these plants are very susceptible to root-rotting. We recommend making common-sense adjustments to your watering practices depending on where you choose to position the plant: if in a lower light position, the plant will need much less water than one that is getting fuller sun every day. Further to this, watering will need to be altered further in the winter when the soil takes longer to dry out if in a cool room or will dry out faster if in a centrally heated room.
Whether you’re enchanted by the red and pink hues of the Calathea Triostar, dazzled by the peacock-like golden shimmer of the Calathea Makoyana, or have fallen in love with the luxurious textures of the velveteen Calathea Rufibarba, you’re sure to love having one of these stunning tropical plant-babes in your collection!