Friday, October 28, 2011

Indoor Plants: Calathea

Calathea Leaves

#1 Calathea
Common names: "Pin-stripe Plant"
Latin name: C. majestica 'Roseolineata -  Calathea ornata

 This is the first of my indoor plants. I went to Watsons Greenhouse, a place every gardener should go if they want inspiration, and talked to one of their knowledgeable staff. My main goal with these plants is that they will look nice and also be easy to take care of. The Calathea fits right in. It looks amazing, is really easy to care for, and should keep on growing. I'm going to start it on one of the end tables, but after a couple years, it will be tall enough for a corner or small plant stand - a great splash of color in any room. 

·         The Calathea family consist of over 300 species many of which are grown as houseplants.
·         Place your Calathea ornata in bright filtered or indirect light. East, west or north windows should do nicely. Avoid hot sunny locations as the plants leaves will tend to curl and burn. During periods of extreme cold remove the Calathea ornata from the window to avoid chilling.
·         Most Calathea's, including ornata are finicky about water quality. City tap water contains chlorine and other chemicals that tend to cause brown spots on the leaves. Let your tap water sit out for several days to allow the added chemicals to dissipate.
·         Calathea ornata prefers to have moist soil all the time. Several small weekly waterings is one way to achieve this. Add water until you see liquid coming from the pots drainage holes. Remove any excess water within a couple of hours to help prevent root rot. Keep your Calathea ornata on a pebble tray to help increase humidity near the plant.
·         Excessive fertilizing also can cause leaf spots on Calthea ornata. Your Calathea should be fertilized about four times per year.
·         Common houseplant pests include: Spider mites. 

Calathea Ornata

1 comment:

  1. These are one of my favourite plants. I'm lucky enough to be able to grow mine outdoors in the shadehouse. That hint about increasing the humidity levels for this plant using pebbles on a tray is a very important one! These plants love high levels of humidity.