Calatheas are often called a prayer plant the nickname comes from the daily movements of the plants leaves. They move their leaves by changing the water pressure in their pulvini, the swollen nodes at the base of the leaf along the leaf stalk. It is believed that these movements are meant to follow the sun’s movement in the sky in order to maximize light absorption. They will usually grow to about 24" tall depending on placement and pot size. Most commonly found in lowland tropical forests of Africa, Asia, and the Americas.
Lighting: Calatheas thrive in medium to bright indirect light, but can tolerate lower indirect light.
Water: every 1-2 weeks, Allow the top 2 to 3 inches of soil to dry between watering. Expect to water more often in brighter light and less often in lower light.
Humidity: Calatheas prefer higher humidity if possible. Consider incorporating a fine-mist mister or humidifier to boost humidity level indoors.
Temperature: Keep in the 70°F-80°F range, similar to their tropical native habitat to avoid cold damage.
Soil: Calatheas prefer a well-draining potting soil or mix. Look for ingredients like compost, pine bark, coco coir, worm castings, and perlite. These provide nutrients and help maintain moisture (but not too much).
Plant pests: Calatheas can be affected by things like mealybugs, fungus gnats, and spider mites can happen, treat them as soon as they appear with weekly sprays of a natural pesticide like neem oil and regular wipe-downs of the plant
Toxicity: They are considered non-toxic, making them safe to keep around cats and dogs. However, the best practice is to keep houseplants out of reach of small children and curious pets just in case.
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