General information

Calathea - a description of the plant, variety, growing conditions and care at home


Good afternoon friends!

Calathea (Calathea), belongs to the Marantov family (Marantaceae). It is the most numerous genus in this family. It grows in South and Central America. From the ancient Greek language the name of the genus Calathea is translated as "basket". This is due to the fact that its leaves were used as a material for making wicker baskets.

The height of plants inside this genus varies from 20 cm to 1.5 m. It is a flowering plant. Let's talk about growing calathea at home.

The leaves of the representatives of this genus are elongated, ovate, but there are species with lanceolate leaves. They have a wide variety of patterns and colors, from light to dark green tones. Shoots from a larger number of species are located underground and participate in the formation of the root system. In turn, they branch out into shorter vertical shoots on which the leaves are located.

When growing calatheas, it is necessary to observe a number of conditions, as these plants are capricious and need excessive attention.

For more comfortable conditions, the temperature in the room in the summer should not exceed + 24C. At elevated temperatures, additional room moisture is required. And in winter the minimum temperature is not lower than + 16C. Calathea does not like sudden changes in temperature. At low temperatures and sudden drops in the leaves fade.

Lighting should be moderate. It is necessary to have a calathea in places where it will not be exposed to direct sunlight. Therefore, it is better to place the plant in the penumbra. But in the winter, you need to put in places with good lighting. But you should also beware of exposure to direct rays, as they lead to the formation of sunburn on the leaves. With a lack of illumination, leaf stalks are greatly extended. And with an excess of light, the leaves curl and lose their color.

Watering plants in the summer should be about 3 times a week, and in the winter to reduce to once. Water should be warm and not hard. Excess water that accumulates in the pan must be drained, as excess water leads to the death of the root system.

Representatives of the genus Calathea are moisture-loving plants. Therefore, species with smooth leaves must be constantly sprayed and wiped with a damp cloth. And representatives with velvety leaves should be sprayed around the plant. With an excess of moisture on the leaves dark spots appear. The tips of the leaves begin to change color to brown - this is due to the fact that the air is not sufficiently moistened.

Fertilize the plant is necessary during the growing season once every 2 weeks. It is better to use liquid mineral fertilizer for feeding. And try not to overfeed, because Kalathea does not tolerate an excess of nitrogen and calcium.

Young plants require transplantation once a year in early spring. Subsequently, with age, they are transplanted every 3 years, when roots appear in the openings of the pot. Replant the plants in shallow pots.

Conducting growing calathea, it is propagated by division during transplantation, as well as possible by seeds. See you!

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What is Calathea?

All types of calathea are herbaceous perennials growing in the wet ground of the 2nd level of warm tropical forests of South America, where there are no strong temperature differences. Blossoms in bright spike-like inflorescences, the colors of which range from pale yellow to orange. Striped color without bright spots is characteristic for oval dark green leaves. Green petiole grows directly from the rhizome, located near the surface of the earth. Calathea loves moist soil containing sand, pebbles, responds well to the presence of numerous dressings with nitrogen compounds.

Homeland plants

In its historic homeland, the Calathea indoor flower grows in the densest parts of the tropical jungle without direct access to the sun's rays, so the house should be kept in places where there is no bright light. The tropics have another feature - constant temperature. In places where Calathei grows, it rarely goes beyond 22-30 degrees Celsius. The flower also has a strong connection with the trees under which it lives: from them in its usual habitat it received useful substances that at home should be given to it along with fertilizer.

How blooms

House Calatheus bloom in spring, early summer. If it was possible to avoid over-wetting or drying out of the soil in the pot, then in a certain period 2-3 direct peduncles will appear from the upper part of the thick powdery stem. Depending on the type of plant, flowers may appear very soon or with a long delay. Appearance can also vary greatly: colors vary from pale yellow, golden to purple. On average, flowering lasts 3-4 weeks, the flowers themselves are small. Selected species of calathea bloom brighter, inflorescences have a large size.

Types and varieties

Care for calathea at home can vary greatly depending on its type. The variety of varieties is easily explained by the wide habitat of the plant of the maranth family. On the territory of individual countries of Central and South America can grow 3-10 varieties of Calathea. This results in a variety of colors, conditions of maintenance, size of flowers, number of inflorescences, duration of flowering periods.

Varieties of Calathea

Such a beautiful ornamental plant, as Calathea, its another name - “prayer flower”, could not remain without the attention of breeders. In addition to artificially derived, there are many natural, natural species. The most famous varieties are not only the standard dark green color: there are purple, reddish, brown calatheas. Popular varieties include:

  • roseopikta
  • lubbersa
  • Varshevich,
  • Calatheus Lancifolia
  • medallion,
  • crocate,
  • makoya
  • Sanderiana,
  • litze,
  • Calathea Rufibarba.

High branchy plant, which is a bundle of thick fleshy stems, the color of which ranges from green to dark purple. The leaves are thick, wide, have a specific color of the upper part, resembling a medallion. The surface of the sheet is decorated with a white, looped, wavy line with torn edges, inside of which is enclosed a two-color angular herringbone pattern. Detailed information is presented in the table:

Shape, texture of leaves

Rich with green stripes

In late spring, 1-2 inflorescences of pale green, light green color

Large, fleshy, purple underside, on top white pattern - medallion with torn edges with a shadow on the outside

Loves shade, temperature 20-24 degrees, watering 1 time per week 1/10 of the pot

Requires annual fertilizer after transplanting. Use liquid fertilizer for deciduous and decorative flowers

This Calathea, called Calathea crocata, is a lush dense bush of thin velvet leaves on thick, fleshy purple stems. Calathean inflorescences of orange, yellow, crimson color appear on massive stems growing directly from the rhizome. See more complete plant information in the table:

Shape, texture of leaves

Homogeneous purple, malachite

It blooms in spring 2-4 peduncles, which reveal golden buds

Oblong oval, with wavy edges, two-tone

No requirements for the level of lighting. In winter, watering weekly, in summer - once every 2-3 days

Afraid of spider mites - insecticide spraying required

Tropical ornamental plant has high demands on soil moisture, the environment. A distinctive feature of the variety is the characteristic zigzag pattern on the upper surface of leaves growing from single thick stems. Tabular data will give a more complete picture of the variety:

Shape, texture of leaves

Brown stem, light green foliage

Annual 2-3 inflorescences, reminiscent of roses soft cream color

Purple shoots, wilted foliage green, with a symmetrical transverse pattern

The soil for calathea should consist partly of substrates, annual fertilizing is required after transplanting.

The bottom of the ground in the pot should be 25% drainage


This is the most unpretentious and resistant look. With him the florist will not have a question about why the leaves at calathea turn yellow? Similar to the famous pike tail, this variety grows as a kind of rosette of long, wide leaves with a bright spotty pattern across their surface. It differs from the relatives by a special wavy form of foliage. Recommendations for care, external data are presented in the table:

Shape, texture of leaves

Primary color is dark green, stripes from black to white

At home does not bloom

Elongated wedge-shaped, smoothly turning into the stem. Elongated oval spots are located diagonally across the sheet.

Frequent watering is not required. In winter, restrict abundant spraying the bottom of the stems.

Calathea Makoya

The closest relative of this type of calathea is lanesifolia. Makoya has a similar appearance, but is more demanding for good care. Large foliage, shaped like a regular circle, requires a lot of moisture. It grows with wide low bushes consisting of leaves that have a peculiar color: dark spots appear on a white background with a green border. The tabular data will help to better know the features of the flower:

Shape, texture of leaves

Dominant white, spots from dark green to emerald

Oval, with a light base, dark border, leaf-shaped spots, directed from the center on the sides

Requires frequent moderate watering. Keep the soil moist

Feed fertilizer diluted with water in summer

This is the most capricious variety of Calathea, which requires constant thorough care and attention. Special mention is the creation of a special ground, where Calathea rufibarba will live. Whimsical variety has an interesting appearance, similar to large nettles. Wavy pointed foliage is deprived of additional pigmentation, but its beautiful bushes look great in any room. Familiarize yourself with the characteristics of the variety presented in the table:

Shape, texture of leaves

Uniform brilliant and emerald

Early summer 5-8 inflorescences, similar to vanilla

Elongated wedge-shaped, wavy edge, no pattern

Requires frequent moderate watering. The leaves are sprayed daily with water warmer than room temperature.

Put the pot on the second pallet with expanded clay or forest dry moss to avoid root decay


Colombian decorative flower peculiar dark color, close to chocolate. Paired white stripes are clearly visible on the purple, almost black leaves. The bush does not differ in outstanding size, but grows very densely. Additional data on the grade are presented in the table:

Leaf Shape

Deep dark green, milky white

Annual under favorable conditions, 2-3 golden, cream or purple inflorescences

Oval oblong wavy, white paired veins depart from the center

Similar varieties Varshevicha

Wipe the leaves daily with a damp cloth to avoid decay, the appearance of yellow spots

It is very different from other varieties of foliage coloring, although it is not very popular among florists. Less whimsical to external factors, but dies with a slight deviation from the norm of temperature and humidity. Broad fleshy lime leaves are covered with bright lemon-colored spots. Foliage is located on a single large stalk. Learn more about the form from the table:

Leaf Shape

Greenish brown. The coloring of the spots is white, yellow or emerald.

Oval shape with a rounded tip, the spots are located asymmetrically along the central vein

Temperature range 18-26 degrees. Watering requires moderate

Wild species growing in the territory of Brazilian forests near standing water bodies. Forms dense thickets up to 1 m in height. The location of the foliage with a wavy pattern is uneven: from the rhizome to the tip of the stem. Capricious flower, demanding on the environment and the composition of the land on which it grows. The tabular data will give a more complete picture of the rules of care for the species, its characteristics:

Leaf Shape

White base with green veins

Every year in late spring with white spike-shaped inflorescences

Oval with rounded tip. White fleshy sheets with thick white veins

Requires the presence of drainage at the bottom of the pot, daily spraying with warm boiled water

Caring for calathea

Many people who have decided to start a flower at home are wondering how to care for a calathea? Exact recommendations depend on the variety of the ornamental flower, but the general remain unchanged. The tropical plant very much loves dark places and a large amount of fresh moisture. Follow the composition of the soil in the pot: the ideal option would be to use litmus paper to determine the pH of the medium. All varieties react equally well to acidified soil.

Growing conditions

Tropical plants growing in the lower part of the forest do not tolerate exposure to direct sunlight. Fresh air is not good for them either. Therefore, abandon the idea of ​​putting a pot on the window sill for the benefit of the plant. Watch for room temperature: it should be in the range of 20-24 degrees Celsius. Relative humidity of air keep at the level of 70-80%. With proper watering, such conditions imitate the flower’s tropical climate well.

This is a very important factor in the healthy growth of the indoor flower. Observe the following conditions so that the plant does not dry out and die:

  1. Air intake. It is easily provided by adding crushed charcoal to the composition of the prepared soil. Observe the ratio of land to crumb 10: 1.
  2. Drainage. Create a thick layer where the rhizome cannot sprout. The layer will protect the roots from rotting due to the accumulation of large amounts of water. With this role fine pebbles, expanded clay cope well.
  3. Nutrients. Fertilize the land after the annual transplant. Use for this standard fertilizer, humus.

Tropical plants are very fond of water. Maintain a high level of humidity can be regular spraying spray. Do not overheat or overcool the water: it should be slightly warmer than room temperature in order not to cause irreparable damage to the foliage. Watering portions carry 1/10 of the volume of the pot once every few days. The frequency of the procedure, determine the ground: it should dry 3-4 cm down.

The procedure is necessary in connection with the rapid growth of the root system of the flower. Use low wide pots - rhizome is shallow, grows only on the sides. Transplanting calathea is dangerous for the plant. There are 2 options for the procedure:

  1. With the replacement of the land. Produced in early spring after abundant watering. Pull the flower out of the pot, shake off the ground. Do not try to untangle the roots. Set the plant on the drainage in a new pot, sprinkle with the substrate, then with earth.
  2. Without land replacement. The flower after 6-7 days without watering is carefully removed from the pot. Land remains on the rhizome. A drainage layer is laid in a new pot, a flower is installed. Along the edges of the soil is filled up, similar to the old composition.


A recognized and the easiest way is the separation of the bush. Dig up the rhizome, trying not to damage it. Carefully divide the root system into two parts so that the whole rosette of 4-5 leaves remains on both. Shake saplings, set in prepared pots, sprinkle with new soil. Fertilize new saplings monthly to ensure guaranteed survival.

Than to fertilize

For the role of substrate suitable humus, consisting of old foliage, peat. However, it is better to use store feed for ornamental foliage plants. Add fertilizer on a monthly basis so that the flower grows quickly, gaining strength. In the spring, double the frequency of feeding for flowering varieties, otherwise they can get sick, dry out, and then quickly die.

Diseases and pests

Tropical ornamental flowers often suffer from various ailments. They are caused by parasites, fungi, mold, insects. The most famous problems:

  1. Spider mite Causes yellowing, foliage. Treat the bottom of the plant with insecticide.
  2. Mealybug. Проявляется как белый комкообразный налет на листьях.The problem is solved by a single treatment with insecticide.
  3. Black Mushroom Forms a black film covering the leaves of oxygen. Treatment will help plants a weak soap solution.