Calathea: A Comprehensive Guide to Growing and Caring for This Stunning Houseplant (phulwa)

Calathea: A Comprehensive Guide to Growing and Caring for This Stunning Houseplant (phulwa)



Calathea, known for its striking foliage and intricate leaf patterns, is a favorite among houseplant enthusiasts. Native to the tropical Americas, this plant adds a touch of elegance and tropical beauty to any indoor space. This guide will provide you with all the information you need to grow and care for Calathea, ensuring it thrives in your home.

Appearance and Characteristics

Calathea plants are admired for their beautiful, patterned leaves that often feature a combination of green, purple, pink, and white hues. The leaves are usually oval or lance-shaped and can grow up to 12 inches long. One of the most charming characteristics of Calathea is its nyctinastic movement—the leaves fold up at night and unfurl in the morning, adding a dynamic element to your plant collection.

Popular Calathea Varieties

  • Calathea orbifolia: Known for its large, round leaves with silver and green stripes.
  • Calathea makoyana (Peacock Plant): Features dark green leaves with feather-like patterns and purple undersides.
  • Calathea lancifolia (Rattlesnake Plant): Has long, wavy leaves with dark green spots and purple undersides.
  • Calathea roseopicta (Medallion): Displays large, round leaves with dark green edges and pinkish-white centers.

Light Requirements

Calathea plants thrive in bright, indirect light. They can tolerate lower light conditions, but their vibrant leaf patterns may fade. Avoid direct sunlight, as it can scorch the leaves and cause discoloration. A north or east-facing window is ideal, or you can place the plant in a spot with filtered light.

Watering Schedule

Calathea plants prefer consistently moist soil but do not like to sit in water. Water the plant when the top inch of soil feels dry to the touch. Use room-temperature, distilled, or rainwater, as Calathea is sensitive to chemicals like fluoride and chlorine found in tap water. Overwatering can lead to root rot, so ensure the pot has good drainage.

Humidity Needs

High humidity is essential for Calathea's health. Aim for humidity levels of 60% or higher. To maintain adequate humidity, mist the leaves regularly, use a humidifier, or place the plant on a tray of water with pebbles. Dry air can cause the leaf edges to brown and curl.

Soil and Fertilization

Use a well-draining potting mix for your Calathea. A mix designed for houseplants or a combination of peat, perlite, and orchid bark works well. Feed your plant with a balanced, water-soluble fertilizer every 4-6 weeks during the growing season (spring and summer). Reduce fertilization during the fall and winter months.

Pruning and Maintenance

Calathea plants require minimal pruning. Remove any yellow or brown leaves to keep the plant looking tidy and healthy. Pruning also helps improve air circulation around the plant, reducing the risk of pests and diseases. Be careful when handling the leaves, as they can be easily damaged.


Repot your Calathea every 1-2 years, or when it becomes root-bound. Choose a pot that is 1-2 inches larger in diameter than the current one. Spring is the best time to repot, as the plant is entering its active growth phase. Be gentle when handling the roots to avoid transplant shock.

Common Problems and Solutions

  • Yellowing Leaves: Often a sign of overwatering or poor drainage. Allow the soil to dry out slightly between waterings and ensure the pot has adequate drainage.
  • Brown Leaf Edges: Typically caused by low humidity, underwatering, or fluoride in the water. Increase humidity, check your watering schedule, and use distilled or rainwater.
  • Curling Leaves: Usually a result of low humidity or underwatering. Ensure the plant receives regular moisture and high humidity.
  • Pests: Calathea plants can attract pests like spider mites, aphids, and mealybugs. Inspect the leaves regularly and treat infestations with insecticidal soap or neem oil.


Calathea plants can be propagated through division. To propagate by division, gently remove the plant from its pot and separate the root clumps, ensuring each division has several leaves and a healthy root system. Replant each division in its own pot with fresh potting mix and water thoroughly. Keep the divisions in a warm, humid environment until they establish new growth.

Decorating with Calathea

The Calathea's vibrant foliage and unique patterns make it a versatile addition to any decor style. It can be used as a statement piece in living rooms, offices, or as part of a larger indoor garden arrangement. Its ability to thrive in bright, indirect light makes it perfect for rooms with filtered light or shaded areas.


Calathea plants are a fantastic choice for anyone looking to add a touch of tropical beauty to their indoor spaces. With their stunning foliage, dynamic leaf movement, and moderate care requirements, they are sure to thrive with a little attention and the right conditions. By following the care tips outlined in this guide, you can enjoy the beauty and benefits of Calathea plants in your home for years to come.

Address; Khasra No. 226, Beri Mandir Road, near Village Nangli, Wazidpur, Sector 135
Online store;
Our site

Back to blog