Calathea rufibarba | Velvet Calathea
Calathea and Maranta plants originate from the tropics of Central and South America. Although Calathea, Stromanthe, Ctenanthe and Maranta are all commonly referred to as “Prayer Plants”, only plants belonging to the Marantaceae family are considered true “Prayer Plants.” However, all of these plants do share the “praying” habit of folding their leaves each evening, and unfolding them again each morning. This movement, combined with these plants beautiful foliage patterning and coloration make for an exciting and dramatic houseplant specimen.
(Including Nursery Pot)
4" Nursery Pot: 10" H x 6" W
6" Nursery Pot: 17" H x 15" W
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.
Calathea are known to many as the drama queens of the plant world. Some varieties are certainly easier to care for than others. We find the Rattlesnake and Makoyana to be easier to care for varieties, while the White Fusion or Zebrina are definitely at the more finicky end of the spectrum. Despite the issues that can be encountered with Calathea, these plants are known for bouncing back from damage. When left with an unhappy looking Calathea, some growers choose to cut back all of the stems and foliage, down to the soil, and start over from scratch.
Because the thin leaves of the Calathea plant are especially attractive to pests, we recommend keeping your Calathea on a pest preventative regimen, using a natural pest deterrent such as neem oil.
Our Happy & Healthy Guarantee
Frond & Folia guarantees that the plant you receive will arrive in happy and healthy condition, and we take extreme care in packaging and shipping to ensure this. We are proud to report that over 99% of our orders to date have been delivered in happy and healthy condition. If you have concerns about shipping during cold weather, please reference our Winter Shipping Insurance.