The Beautiful Calathea Plant
. hose who love the Calathea plant consider it a small masterpiece of nature, a gracious and ornamental houseplant whose evergreen foliage seduces with its colors and patterns. This gracious perennial houseplant includes many species with many different shapes and designs of big sweeping leaves, and with an extensive array of interesting and different flowers.
Native to the tropics and South America, this lover of heat and humidity is easy to maintain, provided it's kept moist and protected from parasites.
The Calathea is a non-toxic plant that comes from the Marantaceae family, and because it is a tropical loving plant it's not able to survive in drafty cold places, as it does best in hot, humid, semi-shaded areas of the home that are between 60 and 80° Fahrenheit. In fact, when given the right conditions, these plants are capable of flowering throughout the year.
In the winter months one watering per week is plenty as long as the temperature in its environment is not too warm. Ideally, it should not exceed 60° Fahrenheit. In the summer months, however, two waterings a day are usually necessary, otherwise the foliage of the plant will begin to turn yellow as one would expect to see with a plant that is suffering
the effects of drought. And because the Calathea is a tropical plant, during the warm summer months, care must be given to maintaining the leaves and soil with moisture by regularly watering and/or spraying the leaves and soil with fresh water. Non-calcareous water is best as it will not leave ugly hard water deposits on the plant's beautiful leaves.
Mealybugs and red spiders are the main parasites of Calathea and both are very easy to eleminate. Mealybugs can be spotted easily as they appear as small cotton piles on the reverse sides of the leaves. Eliminating them is easy too, simply apply a cotton swab soaked in alcohol over the area. For red spiders, there will be tiny cobwebs along with a yellowing of the leaves. To rid your plant of a colony of red spiders, simply treat, as directed, with a acaricide.
There is plenty of information online covering the care and manual propagation of the Calathea plant.
The purpose of this article, however, is merely to introduce this wonderful plant to those that might be interested in knowing about them or even perhaps owning one or giving one as a gift.
Calathea's can be a unique and thoughtful gift to those who might enjoy an interesting, beautiful plant that grows beautifully, lives hardily, and can even propagates itself for many years to come!
Janet Lynn Arango
copyright © 2022
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