Native to the Amazon rainforests of South America, Calathea belongs to the Marantaceae family. Here Calatheas grow in the shady corners of the jungle.
There are many species of this extraordinary plant, with leaves in a range of colours and shapes. At night the Calathea’s leaves close, and the next morning, as soon as the sun breaks through, they unfurl again. This opening and closing is made possible by a small hinge located between the leaf and the stem. Light causes the hinges to move, and sometimes they produce a rustling sound.
Calathea needs a relatively large amount of water. The best way of doing this is to give small doses of water on a regular basis.
During the summer season it is advisable to water the plant twice a week. In winter, you can safely water it less often.
The soil must never be allowed to dry out.
When the plant starts to droop or the leaves start to curl up, it is a sign that the plant is thirsty. Calathea may not be left standing in water as there is a risk of root rot.
As the Calathea gets older, its leaf pattern fades. You can simply cut the affected foliage away. Old, ugly leaves can easily be cut off close to the soil. The plant benefits from this because it saves its energy and keeps its ornamental value.
Calathea only requires a little light. Place the Calathea in partial shade away from direct sunlight. Too much sunlight will scorch the plant, turning the edges of its leaves brown. Keep your distance from radiators and avoid draughts. The plant prefers to be placed in a warm room.
With its unusual leaf markings and colours, Calathea is a real eye-catcher in the home.