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There are a number of species of calathea plants available for indoor use. They include:

  • Calathea lancifolia
  • Calathea ornata
  • Calathea roseopicta
  • Calathea rufibarba
  • Calathea makoyana
  • Calathea orbifolia

Calathea plants are also known by more common names such as cathedral plants, peacock plants, zebra plants, rattlesnake plants and prayer plants. 

  • Indirect light – Calathea plants need bright, but not direct, sunlight to grow. This is because they grow on the floor of jungles and forests where they get limited light through the tops of the trees. In fact, direct sunlight will burn the leaves of a Calathea plant and cause it to lose its vibrant colors.
  • Limited water – Use distilled water or water that has been purified in some way to water Calathea plants. Calathea like to have moist soil or planting substances, but not soggy. They do not want lots of water, as it can drown them. When you water a Calathea plant, do not water it so much that the plant ends up sitting in standing water.
  • Temperature – Calathea plants do not like the cold very much. They are from tropical areas of the world and prefer temperatures between 65-80 degrees. Temperatures above and below that can cause damage to the plant, first evident in the curling of the leaves.
  • Humidity – Calathea, again due to where they grow naturally, tend to prefer humid areas. They can absorb moisture through the air via the wide, green, leaves that are common for the plant.
  • Fertilizer – Calathea do not need a lot of fertilizing, but they will flower and do well with standard houseplant fertilizer during spring, summer and fall. They especially need fertilization during periods of growth and flowering.
  • Pruning – The great news about the Calathea is that it doesn’t need pruning other than the removal of brown or yellowed leaves.

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