Water: The leaves of Calathea Plants are easily damaged by the quality of the water you use. Hard water or soft water, water with a high chemical content (fluoride, chlorine, or salt), or water of poor quality causes leaf burn on a Calathea Plant. Water with distilled water, rain water, or allow your tap water to sit out over night before using it. Calathea Plants like moist but not soggy soil at all times, but never allow a Calathea Plant to sit in water. Allow the top 2-3” of the soil in the pot to dry out before watering.
fertilizerPlants need fertilizer only when they are actively growing. Slow growing plants in low light require very little plant food. Too much fertilizer is worse than not enough. Most plants prefer a water soluble plant food at 1/2 the recommended strength. Plants that are in bloom or dormant should not be fertilized. Houseplant food contains nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and potassium (K). A fertilizer containing these elements in equal proportion is considered a balanced plant food. Nitrogen helps in photosynthesis and encourages the growth of leaves and stems. Potassium and phosphorus also help in photosynthesis and aid in root and flower development. Most fertilizers have trace elements of other minerals that are lacking in the soil but are necessary for good plant growth. Fertilizers have a high salt content. If a plant is not producing new leaves and doesn’t absorb the fertilizer, salts build up in the soil. These salts can burn the roots, discolor the leaves, and cause new growth to be small.: Fertilize a Calathea Plant monthly in the spring, summer, and fall with a basic houseplant food at ½ the recommended strength. Never feed a Calathea Plant, or any houseplant, if it is not actively growing.
Temperature: Calathea Plants prefer temperatures between 65-80 degrees, and don’t do well in cold drafts or temperatures below 55-60 degrees. The leaves of a Calathea Plant curl when the temperature is too warm.
Humidity: Calathea Plants need high humidity. When the air is too dry, it gets brown leaf edges. Increase the humidity by placing a Calathea Plant on a tray of wet pebbles (be sure the container is on the pebbles and not in the water), setting a humidifier near- by, or by grouping plants together to create a greenhouse effect.
Flowering: Calathea Plant leaves are more beautiful than many of the flowers of other indoor houseplants. With hundreds of varieties of Calathea Plants, some, such as Calathea Crocata, White Ice, and Brazilian have gorgeous flowers as well as spectacular leaves.
You can read more about Calathea plant care in the Popular Houseplant section of the website. The picture is of a different variety, but the care is the same.