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Calathea Rattlesnake 2

Calathea Plant Care

Learn All About Calathea Care with our Guide

The Calathea genus includes some of the most eye-catching tropical plants in the world. A number of varieties are named after their beautiful striped leaves and wonderful colours, including the zebra plant and rattlesnake plant. Native to the tropics of Brazil, Calathea prefers a consistently warm and humid environment, with indirect light that mimics conditions on the jungle floor.

Caring for your Calathea


Calathea originates from the jungle floor and is adapted to indirect or dappled sunlight. Direct sunlight can cause your Calathea’s leaves to fade or burn but it does like to receive plenty of light, so aim for bright indirect sunlight or light shade.

Soil & Nutrients

Calathea needs nutrient-rich soil with good drainage. Look for a peat-free potting mix or you can mix sand and gravel into compost you already have to improve drainage. Use a liquid fertiliser monthly during the growing season (May to August).


Calathea likes moist soil so top yours up regularly, with lukewarm water if possible. Make sure it doesn’t sit in standing water and reduce watering in the winter months. If you notice the edges of your calathea's leaves browning, it isn’t getting enough water. Calathea can be sensitive to certain minerals in tap water, so if you are seeing yellowing leaves try filtered water.

Climate & Humidity

Due to their tropical origins, Calathea’s like warm and humid conditions and are well suited to a bathroom or kitchen. Avoid exposing your Calathea to cold or dry conditions and consider increasing humidity by misting your plant every day, especially if you are using heating or air conditioning.


Apart from keeping your Calathea in the optimum growing conditions, it will be pretty low maintenance. Remove any dead growth and repot if roots start growing out of the soil.


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