Calathea & Maranta Care Guide

The Calathea originates from the tropics of Central and South America. Calathea, often called “prayer plants” are perhaps the most striking of all the Marantaceae family, with their broad leaves that fold upon themselves at night, yet unfold in the morning. However, only plants belonging to the Marantaceae family are considered to be true "Prayer Plants."


Calathea do best in medium to bright indirect light. Lighting extremes such as direct sun or dark corners can should be avoided. Calathea and Maranta are not tolerant of direct sun and it will burn their beautiful foliage. Calathea and Maranta are found in the wild growing on the floor of tropical rainforests, where they receive dappled indirect sunlight, courtesy of the shade provided by surrounding trees and taller plants. This environment can be mimicked in the home by placing the plant in a shaded area, or a spot which receives medium to bright indirect light.

Water and Soil

Calathea’s like to be kept evenly moist. These plants do not like their soil to dry out, and like most all plants, can experience root rot if their soil remains too wet or soggy. Calathea and Maranta should be watered once the top most layer of soil becomes dry. Amending a standard well-draining potting soil with peat moss or coco coir will help to keep your plants roots evenly moist, while the addition of perlite will ensure that proper drainage and root aeration is provided.

Temperature and Humidity

This plant prefers room temperatures between 65 degrees F and 75 degrees F. Temperatures below 60 degrees may be damaging to this plants foliage, and cold, drafty areas should be avoided. Calathea is a humidity loving plant, and it prefers levels which are moderate to high. Many Calathea growers choose to place their plants in a kitchen or bathroom to provide an added humidity boost.