17 Types of Calathea Varieties For your Garden

Calathea is considered an attractive plant genus that belongs to the Marantaceae family. Many indoor gardeners grow these varieties with other indoor plants.

These varieties are native to tropical regions, including the Brazilian rainforests. You will also see them widely distributed across Costa Rica and other tropical climates.

Calatheas are easy to identify with their long, broad, and dark green leaves with purple undersides.

During the night, the leaves fold up, which is why they are alternatively known as “prayer plants,” and this process is called “nyctinasty.”

Each mature prayer plant reaches a height of around 1 to 3 feet.

Introduction Calathea Varieties

The easiest way to identify Caltheas is by looking at their fascinating foliage.

You will notice interesting variegation on the leaves and purple or reddish undersides. This color combination produces an amazing contrast.

There are around 300 different species of catchy Calathea, and some of the most beautiful species are Calathea lancifoliaCalathea zebrinaCalathea ornata, and Calathea peacock plant.

You can buy any of these plants from your local nurseries or online garden stores.

There are some rare species, and the rarest ones are Velvet Touch and Calathea White Fusion.

Common Calathea Plant Varieties

Calathea plants are a genus of about 70 species of tropical and subtropical flowering plants in the family Marantaceae.

They are found in rainforest habitats, where they often grow as epiphytes, or air plants, on other plants.

Below are the 17 of some of the most popular Calathea varieties.

Beauty Star Calathea

Beauty Star Calathea

Beauty star Calathea comes up with emerald green leaves that are relatively narrow and long.

You will also notice pale or silvery green stripes with deep purple undersides across the leaves.

This Calathea is an interesting variety of Calathea ornata, which is well-known for its leaf patterns.

You will find these plants well distributed across the South American region.

These Calatheas need bright, indirect light to grow. If you’re growing them indoors, we recommend placing them in a north or east-facing window.

The temperature should be warm and the humidity should be high. You must maintain a uniformly moist soil condition, but not soggy.

Use a lot of organic materials to prepare your growing medium.

Calathea Concinna

Calathea Concinna

Calathea concinna is a magnificent variety of the Calathea genus. It looks like a Zebra plant because of the leaf pattern. The lighter green leaves have beautiful dark green stripes.

You will find these plants widely distributed across the northwestern areas of Brazil. This species is alternatively known as “Freddie Calathea.”

Like the other Calatheas, it needs indirect light to grow. Exposure to direct sunlight for a prolonged period will surely burn the leaves.

As a tropical plant, it needs a tropical environment. Therefore, you have to provide it with a warm temperature and a good humidity level.

Moist, fertile, and well-drained potting soil is recommended for growing Calathea concinna.

Calathea Crocata

Calathea Crocata

Calthea crocata is a newer cultivar of the Calathea genus. This variety is becoming popular because of its stunning flowers and dark green leaves.

This species is alternatively known as “Eternal Flame” because of the bright yellow or orange blooms that grow on spikes.

The most interesting fact is that these yellow flowers have a long-lasting color. A mature Calathea crocata reaches around 1 to 2 feet in height.

This species of Calathea prefers growing under bright indirect light.

The ideal temperature is between 65 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit, and the humidity level should be higher. You can mist the leaves often to maintain the humidity level.

Ensure that the soil stays moist because these plants grow well in well-drained, moist, and fertile soil. Avoid using chloride-rich water.

Calathea Lancifolia

17 Types of Calathea Varieties For your Garden | UrbanOrganicYield.com

Calathea lancifolia is also known as the Rattlesnake Plant because of its unique snake-like pattern on the leaves.

This is taller than most other Calathea varieties, and a mature plant grows up to 1.5 feet tall.

The glossy leaves of the rattlesnake plant have a lance-like shape and a yellowish-green color on the top and purple undersides.

Both sides of the leaves have deep green blotches. If you grow this variety indoors, it will rarely bloom.

Keep your rattlesnake Calathea plant in the bright but indirect sun. The growing medium should have a high moisture retention capacity.

The temperature should be maintained between 65 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit.

High humidity is a must because low humidity will cause the leaf edge to brown. You need to flush the soil sometimes to remove the buildup of salt ions.

Calathea Makoyana Peacock

17 Types of Calathea Varieties For your Garden | UrbanOrganicYield.com

Calathea makoyana peacock is also known as the Peacock plant because of its stunning foliage and unique color pattern.

The papery, thin egg-shaped leaves have a light green color on top and a catchy deep purple underneath.

The light green portion has dark green markings like a peacock, surrounded by beautiful cream colors.

Each leaf grows to nearly 12 inches long and is attached to a red stem.

This Calathea care is similar to the other varieties. The grower must ensure that the Calathea makoyana, or Peacock plant, is placed in bright indirect sunlight.

The temperatures should be warm, and the ideal range is regarded as being between 60 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit.

High humidity is a must, or the leaf edges may turn brown. Try to use rain or distilled water for watering them because excess salt can burn the leaves.

Medallion Calathea

Medallion Calathea

The Calathea medallion is one of the most popular varieties. This is widely distributed across South America.

This species is relatively easy to grow compared to the other Calathea species. The leaves come up in a combination of yellow, dark, and light green.

At the center, the color is light green. Then the color becomes a deep green and yellow near the edge.

Medallion Calathea needs indirect light to grow. The temperature should be warm, and the humidity level should be high.

As a tropical plant, it will enjoy a tropical environment. Soil moisture should be maintained properly because these plants cannot tolerate dry conditions.

The potting soil should be well-drained. For this, you should avoid using heavy clay.

Calathea Musaica

17 Types of Calathea Varieties For your Garden | UrbanOrganicYield.com

Calathea musaica has an intricate foliage pattern. The light green leaves give this plant an ornamental look.

Therefore, we suggest you plant this Calathea variety in your indoor garden if you want to add a light green color variation.

These Calatheas can be found widely in the Brazilian rainforests. Due to the mosaic pattern on its leaves, this plant is also called the “Network prayer plant.”

Like the other Calatheas, this species enjoys growing under indirect light. The temperature should be kept warm and maintained between 65 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit.

The growth will be inhibited if the temperature falls below 60 degrees Fahrenheit. Try to maintain the humidity level above 60%. Don’t use salty or mineral-rich water.

Calathea Orbifolia

Calathea Orbifolia

Calathea orbifolia is one of the most beautiful varieties of Calathea. This plant grabs people’s attention with its large leaves and metallic pattern.

The round-shaped green foliage is streaked with silver and grows nearly 1 foot wide, whereas mature plants reach 2.5 feet tall.

So, Calathea orbifolia is going to make your indoor garden quite dense, and at the same time, it will add a tropical touch.

This Calathea cultivar prefers a tropical environment for growing. If you can provide it with warm temperatures and high humidity, it will grow happily with other indoor plants.

Keep this prayer plant away from cold locations because it is not winter hardy. This plant enjoys growing under indirect light.

Remember that exposure to direct sunlight can burn the foliage, while a little light can slow down the growth.


For more information on calathea orbifolia plants, read more about them:


Calathea Ornata

Calathea Ornata

Calathea ornata is another fascinating houseplant that many people grow in their gardens. The striking foliage has pink-white stripes and purple undersides.

You will notice a feathery pattern, which enhances the overall beauty of this species. Each leaf of Calathea ornata may grow up to 1 foot long.

This species can be found widely in Ecuador and Columbia. A mature Calathea ornata plant may reach 2 feet wide and tall.

Like other Calatheas, these species need bright, indirect sunlight for healthy growth. Light can hinder growth, and direct sunlight can burn the green leaves.

The temperature should be maintained at nearly 70 degrees Fahrenheit.

To create a good humidity level, you may use a pebble tray or mist the leaves. Use a well-drained and fertile potting soil for these plants and keep them moist.

Calathea Ornata Sanderiana

Calathea Ornata Sanderiana

Calathea ornata is another fascinating houseplant that many people grow in their gardens. The striking foliage has pink-white stripes and purple undersides.

You will notice a feathery pattern, which enhances the overall beauty of this species. Each leaf of Calathea ornata may grow up to 1 foot long.

This species can be found widely in Ecuador and Columbia. A mature Calathea ornata plant may reach 2 feet wide and tall.

Like other Calatheas, these species need bright, indirect sunlight for healthy growth. Light can hinder growth, and direct sunlight can burn the green leaves.

The temperature should be maintained at nearly 70 degrees Fahrenheit. To create a good humidity level, you may use a pebble tray or mist the leaves.

Use a well-drained and fertile potting soil for these plants and keep them moist.

Calathea Roseopicta

Calathea Roseopicta

Calathea roseopicta is another beautiful species with stunning leaves and bright patterns.

The large oval-shaped leaves have a dark green color on the top and a deep purple underside.

This plant grows to nearly 20 inches wide and tall. Calathea roseopicta has numerous cultivars, each of which has a unique leaf color.

These tropical plants require moist, well-drained, and fertile soil to grow. Avoid using water that has a high salt content.

The temperature should be maintained at around 65 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit.

These plants are not winter hardy. Therefore, you should keep them away from cold areas. Bright, filtered light is considered ideal for them.

Calathea Roseopicta ‘Corona’

Calathea Roseopicta ‘Corona’

Calathea Roseopicta ‘Corona’ is another cultivar bred from the mother plant, Calathea roseopicta.

This amazing variety has purple stems, and light green leaves with dark green edges.

Compared to most other cultivars, this species has a denser foliage system. Planting this species indoors will surely add a vibe to the garden.

We recommend keeping this plant in a location where it receives bright and indirect sunlight.

Exposure to direct sunlight for a prolonged period will damage the beautiful round leaves. The environment should be warm and humid, or it will affect their growth.

Avoid using chloride and fluoride-rich water because these ions will damage the leaves.

You may supply organic fertilizer during the growing season to boost their growth.

Calathea Roseopicta ‘Dottie’

Calathea Roseopicta ‘Dottie’

Calathea roseopicta “Dottie” is one of the most stunning cultivars that has been bred from the mother variety, named Calathea roseopicta.

The leaves are glossy and large, similar to those of its mother species. The oval-shaped dark green leaves look nearly black and have a fuchsia pink outline.

Calathea roseopicta dottie needs bright, filtered light to thrive like the mother variety.

Low light can result in leggy growth. Apart from this, you will need to supply them with a warm temperature and high humidity.

The growing medium should be kept uniformly moist. The soggy conditions will increase the risk of a fungal attack. Apply salt-free water.

Calathea Rufibarba

Calathea Rufibarba

Calathea rufibarba is also known as “Furry Feather” or “Velvet Calathea” because of its furry foliage. You will find these plants widely distributed across the Brazilian forests.

The spear-like glossy dark green foliage has burgundy underneath. The stems are also long, burgundy-colored and may reach around 2 or 3 feet long.

To grow these Calatheas indoors, you must ensure that the indoor temperature is warm and highly humid. The ideal temperature is around 70 degrees Fahrenheit.

Don’t keep them in the direct sun, which will burn the leaves. Also, avoid using chlorinated water.

During the growing season, you can apply a balanced liquid organic fertilizer.

Calathea Warscewiczii

Calathea Warscewiczii

Calathea warscewiczii is a popular variety, which can be found in Nicaragua and Costa Rica.

It is also known as Jungle Velvet Calathea because of its lance-like, dark green velvety leaves. The center of the foliage has a distinctive light green color.

Leaves can reach up to 12 inches long, and an entire plant may grow 3 feet in height when mature. During the winter to late spring, this plant produces white flowers.

Like other Calatheas, Calathea warscewiczii needs uniformly moist and well-drained soil to grow. You may use coco peat and peat moss to improve the water retention capacity.

A bright and indirect sun is considered perfect. The temperature should be warm, and the humidity level should be high. Avoid using chloride-rich water to water these plants.

Calathea White Fusion

Calathea White Fusion

Calathea white fusion is one of the most stunning varieties of the Calathea genus.

It has lance-shaped leaves with white and green variegation. The undersides have a unique pale lavender color.

These plants are native to Mexico and South America. This variety is often confused with the peacock plant.

Calathea white fusion requires a little attention. It will reward you with catchy leaves if you can fulfill its demand.

Like the other Calathea plants, this cultivar is susceptible to fluoride and chloride content in water.

The potting mix should be well-drained and fertile. Water them regularly and keep the soil uniformly moist but not completely wet. The growing environment should be warm and humid.

Calathea Zebrina

Calathea Zebrina

Calathea zebrina is another common houseplant that is also known as the Zebra plant.

One can easily identify this species because of the bright green leaves with dark green stripes. These stripes give these plants a zebra look.

Each of the velvety leaves grows around 12 inches in length, and a mature plant reaches up to 2 feet tall and wide.

Calathea zebrina should be placed in a moist and warm location, where the temperature should be maintained between 65 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit.

The humidity level should be above 70–80%. Bright dappled light is considered the best light intensity for these plants. Make sure that the soil is well-drained and fertile.

Calathea Plant Care Tips

Calathea plants are popular mainly because of their stunning leaves and easy-to-grow nature.

If you can provide them with the right amount of light, temperature, humidity, and moisture, they will be happy.

In this section, we will mention the basic care requirements of the Calathea varieties.

However, if you want more details, read further for details on how to care for Calathea plants.

Light

Light For Calathea Plants

Light intensity plays a vital role in controlling the growth of Calathea plants.

We recommend placing these indoor plants in a bright spot that receives indirect light. An east-facing window is considered the best location.

Remember that a little light can slow down growth, and exposure to direct sunlight for a prolonged period can burn the leaves.

Excess light is a stressor for these plants as it reduces their photosynthetic efficiency [1].

Temperature and Humidity

Temperature And Humidity For Calathea

Since Calatheas are native to tropical regions, they prefer warm temperatures.

The ideal temperatures for growing Calathea species range between 65 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit.

Leaf discoloration or drops may occur because of cold drafts or sudden drops in the temperature.

Hence, we suggest you not keep these plants outside when there is a heavy frost or during the winter.

These plants grow best under high humidity. Try to maintain a level above 70%. If you live in a dry or arid region, humidifiers can increase humidity.

Low humidity can ruin the color pattern and make the leaves brown. You can use a pebble tray or mist the dense foliage often.

These activities will increase the humidity level of the environment.

Water and Fertilizer

Water your Calathea plants when the top few inches of the potting medium look dry.

Ensure the soil isn’t soggy for an extended period but moist enough to supply water to the plants.

Moreover, the water shouldn’t contain fluoride or chloride ions because these minerals can damage the leaves by causing leaf browning.

Use rainwater, distilled water, or reverse osmosis water for watering the Calatheas.

Fertilize Calathea varieties with a half-strength organic fertilizer during the active season.

Organic fertilizer, in this case, is better because it will release the essential nutrients slowly, ensuring a long-term supplement of nutrients.

Soil

Soil For Calathea Plants

To prepare potting soil, you need to use materials that can retain moisture for a long time. In addition, it should also be well-drained.

Avoid using heavy clay to prepare the growing medium because clay soil becomes inundated easily and creates a soggy condition.

We suggest mixing 50% garden soil, 10% perlite, and the rest with coco peat and organic materials.

Propagation

Propagating Calathea Plants

Propagation of Calathea varieties becomes necessary when the plants become too dense or outgrown the pot.

You can easily propagate these plants during the repotting period. Remember that the roots of these varieties are generally fragile. Therefore, you have to separate the plants carefully.

FAQ

Should I mist my Calathea leaves every day?

Yes, you can mist the leaves every day during the summertime when the temperature is too high. However, avoid misting them directly on the tops of the leaves. You do not want to get moisture dropped into the tangled straws that make new leaves. Misting is preferable over-spraying from the bottom up, and higher overall humidity is preferred over misting.

How can I increase the growth rate of my Calathea varieties?

There are many actions you can take to increase the growth rate of Calathea plants. Ensure your Calathea plants get plenty of filtered light, don’t allow the soil to dry out. Further, use a high-quality potting mix, and maintain a high humidity level around the plant. Lastly, if your Calathea plant outgrows the pot you have it in, repot or transfer the plant to a larger pot.

How fast do Calathea plants grow?

The growth rate of Calathea plants is slower compared to that of other typical houseplants, such as Pothos or Monstera plants. The growth rate of the indoor Calathea plant is described as “moderately quick.” They usually reach maturity and reach their height of 2 to 3 feet in one year and then cease to grow after that.

Where should I place my Calathea plants?

You should place Calathea plants at the east or north-facing window and a warm location. Plus, a humid environment is ideal for growing Calathea plants so keep a humidifier close by or you can place your plant on a pebble tray (saucer filled with pebbles and water) to provide additional humidity.

Conclusion

To sum up, these are the most popular and catchy Calathea varieties, but there are even more. These plants can add a tropical vibe to your indoor garden.

The large, bright green, and attractive foliage with purple leaf undersides will make your garden look more colorful.

Besides, growing these plants is relatively easy, but you have to be careful about their requirements.

Anything that is too much or too little in comparison to their expectations can make them unhappy.

References

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