The Calathea is a plant that bears striking and colourful leaves. It has a large diversity of leaves. This also gives it a unique appearance. The plant also has the unique property that it has its leaves folded at night and folds out again during the day. This is why the Calathea is also called the ‘Living plant’.
In any case, make sure that the plant is in the shade or semi-shade. Too much sunlight is harmful to the plant and the plant will get brown edges on the leaves. The plant can be placed near a window on the west or east, as long as there is 1 to 2 meters space between the plant and the window, so that it still catches some shade. The plant can be placed even better near a window on the north.
Old and ugly leaves are generally easy to cut away and you can also remove them close to the ground. It is not necessary but it retains its ornamental value and less energy is wasted on ugly leaves.
It is also recommended to repot the Calathea once every 2/3 years. Do this in the spring, so that the plant has enough time to repair any damage. Use a pot that is at least 20% larger than the old pot for repotting. This ensures that there is enough space for the roots to expand.
The Calathea does not need much nutrition. In the summer it is advisable to buy extra green plants to feed and do this every 2 weeks by the water.
The Calathea originates from South America. They grow mainly in the shade corners of the rainforest, under the large shelter of the trees.
The Calathea suffers most from spider mites. The spider mite is easy to control by occasionally watering the plant. If the plant does suffer from sapwood, it is easiest to remedy this by using a biological or chemical pesticide.