Calatheas are very popular as houseplants, and it’s easy to see why. One look at the leaves shows how interesting and detailed they are. Best of all, there are many kinds of Calathea to choose from, and each has leaves that are a different colour.
It’s easy to fall in love with calatheas and their colourful, exotic leaves, so don’t be surprised if you can’t get enough of their beauty. My collection started with just one, but it quickly got out of hand.
Many of the Calatheas on this list are common and easy to find, but some of the rarer ones are better bought online.
Etsy is where I buy most of my houseplants (link to Etsy). Let’s take a look at 12 Calathea varieties that I enjoy and believe you will as well.
If you want a Calathea that makes a big statement, Calathea orbifolia might be the jewel for you. The big, strong leaves of Calathea orbifolia, which look almost like metal, are likely to catch your eye.
The green leaves have silver streaks and are round and leathery. The mature plants are about 2.5 feet tall and wide, and the leaves are about 12 inches across.
Calathea orbifolia grows in a thick mat, with new shoots coming out of the centre of the plant. It will definitely make your house feel like it’s in the tropics.
Calathea orbifolia does best in a warm indoor environment with temperatures between 65°F and 80°F, just like other types of Calathea. When temperatures drop much below 60 °F, it could break.
To keep it growing, plant it in a rich, evenly moist (but not muddy) soil that drains well. Make sure the humidity is high to keep the leaves from curling or getting brown edges.
Keep your Calathea away from places with a lot of wind. Also, too little light makes plants grow tall and thin, while too much direct sunlight burns the leaves. The best growth and leaf colour come from bright, filtered light.
Because Calatheas don’t like salt, you should only fertilize them once a month with a half-strength, water-soluble houseplant fertilizer during the growing season. Also, rinse the soil often to get rid of any fertilizer salts that have built up.
If you can’t find any of the Calatheas on this list where you live, you should definitely buy your houseplants on Etsy. It’s now where I buy most of my houseplants, and I’ve only had good things happen there.
The sensitive herbaceous perennial evergreen Calathea warscewiczii is native to Costa Rica and Nicaragua. It’s one of the most popular kinds of Calathea, and I like it best.
It’s named after the famous Polish botanist Józef Warszewicz, whose name I’ve tried to say for many years but haven’t been able to. This beautiful plant is also called Calathea Jungle Velvet, which is a good name for it.
The dark green, lance-shaped leaves are velvety and have a unique pattern of brighter green bands that look like a fishtail.
The undersides of the leaves are a deep purple. When it gets dark, the leaves curl up, just like the leaves of prayer plants, which are also in the same family.
Each leaf is about 12 inches long, and when the plant is fully grown, it can grow up to 3 feet tall and tends to grow in groups. White flower bracts bloom on tall spikes for three to four weeks during the winter and late spring.
Calathea warscewiczii should be grown in consistently wet (but not soggy), rich soil that drains well.
Indoor temperatures should be between 65°F and 80°F, and high humidity can be created by grouping your plants together, putting them on a humidity tray, or using a humidifier.
Stay away from places that are cold and drafty and give bright, filtered light. Too little light makes plants grow tall and spindly, and too much direct sunlight burns the leaves and makes them lose their colour.
Calathea makoyana is also known as the Peacock Plant or Cathedral Window because of the complex and colourful designs on the egg-shaped leaves.
The leaves are as thin as paper and purple on the underside. They can grow up to 12 inches long and are pale green with dark green peacock patterns and cream feathering around the edges.
Each leaf has a reddish-pink stem, and the undersides of newly made leaves are rolled up to show their purple color.
This gives this small, low-growing plant, which grows to be about 12 inches tall, more colour. In the spring, tiny white flowers bloom, but houseplants don’t usually bloom.
Calathea makoyana needs to be grown in a healthy potting mix that drains well and is kept at the same level of moisture.
The best conditions for the calathea are high humidity and temperatures between 60°F and 75°F. This keeps the Calathea away from cold breezes.
Like other Calatheas, Calathea makoyana doesn’t like salt when it comes to feeding. Half-strength, water-soluble plant food should be given once a month, and the soil should be cleaned of any salt buildup regularly.
Calathea crocata is a newer variety of Calathea that is becoming popular as a houseplant. It is also called Eternal Flame because of the brightly coloured flowers that stand out. Because the environment is getting worse, it is getting harder to find this tropical animal in the wild in Brazil’s rainforests.
The beautiful orange or yellow blooms look like flames and grow on spikes that mix with the wavy spear-shaped leaves.
Each flower gives colour for two to three months. But when the flowers die, the dark green metallic leaves put on their own show. Plants reach their full size when they are about 1 to 2 feet tall and wide.
When it comes to the best place for Calathea crocata to live, this particular Calathea likes it warm and humid. The best place to grow it is in a room where the temperature stays between 65°F and 80°F and the humidity is high.
For good growth, Calathea crocata should be grown in well-drained, rich soil that is kept wet by watering it often. But try not to keep the soil wet. Even though Calathea crocata likes heat, it can’t stand being in direct sunlight.
Place the plant indoors in a location that receives bright to moderate indirect sunlight.Also, during active growth, fertilize once a week with half the strength of a water-soluble houseplant combination.
It’s easy to see why this plant is called Pin-Stripe Plant. Its leaves are striped in a very pretty way. Calathea ornata is a common houseplant that is a type of Calathea. It comes from Ecuador and Columbia.
The elongated, glossy leaves are dark green on top and purple on the bottom. They are attached to long, green stems. The pinkish-white pinstripes that look like feathers on the leaves, on the other hand, are the stars of the show.
The leaves can also grow to be more than a foot long. Calathea ornata grows in clumps and gets about 2 feet tall and wide. It gives the impression of a tropical plant wherever it is planted.
As with other Calathea species, plant in a healthy, well-drained potting mix that is kept consistently wet by watering it often. places where the temperature inside ranges from 65°F to 80°F and use one of these great ways to make it humid.
During the growing season, feed the plant once a week with a half-strength, water-soluble houseplant mixture. Fertilizer salts can build up in the soil, so you should flush them often.
Calathea zebrina, also called the Zebra Plant, is a tropical perennial plant from southern Brazil. It is easier to find than other Calathea types.
The beautiful, velvety, light green leaves with purple undersides get their name from the dark green stripes that run across them and make them look like a zebra.
Each leaf can grow to be more than 12 inches tall and fold over at night. Mature plants can be more than 2 feet wide and tall.
Calathea zebrina has small, whitish-purple blooms in the spring, even though Calatheas don’t usually bloom when they are kept as houseplants.
Grow your Calathea zebrina in wet, rich soil with adequate drainage where indoor temperatures vary between 65°F and 80°F and away from drafty and chilly areas.
Also, the best growth comes from intense light that has been filtered. Too little light makes plants grow tall and thin, while too much direct sunlight makes the leaves turn brown and may burn them.
During the growing season, keep the humidity high and feed the plant once a month with a half-strength water-soluble houseplant mix. If you tend to get salt burns, you should rinse the soil often to get rid of any buildup.
Mature plants grow to be about 18 inches tall. The glossy, long, lance-shaped leaves have purple undersides and are light to yellowish green on top.
On both sides of the leaves, there are different dark green spots. Calathea lancifolia doesn’t usually bloom indoors, but in April, 4-inch spikes of yellow flowers bloom on the plant. The lack of flowers is made up for by the plant’s beautiful leaves.
Plant your rattlesnake plant in a potting mix that is rich, has good drainage, and is damp but not soggy, especially during the growing season.
The temperature inside should be between 65°F and 75°F, and direct sunlight should be avoided in favour of strong, filtered light.
Also, give them enough humidity and feed them regularly with a half-strength water-soluble houseplant mix during the growing season. Regularly flushing the soil will keep salt from building up.
Calathea rufibarba is a beautiful indoor tropical plant with leaves that are not as marked and coloured as those of other Calathea types. Because the backs of the leaves feel like fur, this plant is also called Velvet Calathea or Furry Feather.
This upright, clumping native of Brazil has leaves that look like spears and are green on top and red on the bottom. Plants can grow to be 2 to 3 feet tall and as wide, and the leaves and stems are long and burgundy.
Calathea rufibarba likes to live in a warm, draft-free room with temperatures between 65°F and 80°F. For the best growth and colour of the leaves, put the plant in bright, filtered, or indirect light, not direct sun.
Grow in healthy soil that drains well and stays moist without being soggy, especially when the plant is growing quickly.
Like other Calatheas, Calathea rufibarba needs a lot of moisture. It should be fed with a half-strength water-soluble houseplant mix once a month. Remember to clean the soil often to get rid of any salt that has built up.
Calathea roseopicta, also called Rose Painted Calathea, has beautiful, colourful leaves that live up to its name. The biggest draw is the huge, oval, shiny leaves that are green on top and purple on the bottom. Each leaf has its own shape, which looks like that of a smaller leaf.
Calathea roseopicta is a plant that grows in groups and gets about 20 inches tall and wide. Also, there are many different kinds with different leaf colours and patterns.
Grow Calathea roseopicta in evenly moist, rich soil that drains well to keep the plant in great shape. Keep the temperature inside between 65°F and 80°F, and keep it away from places that are cold and drafty.
Bright, filtered light brings out the best colour and growth in leaves. Too little light makes plants grow tall and leggy, and too much direct sunlight makes the leaves burn.
During the growing season, feed your plants once a month with a half-strength, water-soluble houseplant mix. Flush the soil often to keep salt from building up, and sprinkle it several times a week to make it humid.
Calathea Roseopicta ‘Dottie’
Like its mother plant, it’s all about the big, shiny leaves. With their oval shape and rich greenish-black colour that makes them look almost black, the leaves are sure to catch your eye.
Each leaf is accented in a vibrant, almost hot pink to make them stand out even more. This goes down the middle of the leaf’s edge and looks like another leaf’s pink outline.
Like their mother, the bunching plants grow to be about 20 inches tall and wide when they are fully grown. The same care goes into taking care of Calathea roseopicta “Dottie” as for Calathea roseopicta.
Calathea Roseopicta ‘Rosey’
Calathea roseopicta also has a cultivar called “Rosey” that has beautiful colours and is very popular.
The evergreen plant grows in groups and has big oval leaves with green edges, pink and cream centres, and a pink feather design in the middle. As if that wasn’t enough colour, the underside of the leaves is purple, and they fold up at night.
Plants can grow up to 20 inches tall, but most of the time they are shorter. Calathea roseopicta “Rosey” will add a splash of colour and draw attention wherever it is planted inside. “Rosey” needs the same care as her mother, Calathea roseopicta, which has already been talked about.
Calathea Ornata ‘Sanderiana’
Calathea ornata “Sanderiana” is a cultivar or type of Calathea ornata. Like its mother species, “Sanderiana” is also called the Pin Stripe Plant because of the stripes on its leaves.
The main difference between the two is that Sanderiana has shorter, more oval leaves instead of spear-shaped ones.
With its big, shiny, leathery leaves, this Calathea is sure to give off a tropical, lively vibe. On top, they are dark green with rose and cream pinstripes.
On the bottom, they are dark purple. When the leaves are fully grown, they are attached to purple stalks and grow to be about 2 feet tall and half as wide. If you treat it like its mother, Calathea ornata, it will be happy and healthy.
Expert Calathea Care Tips
Here are some general tips for keeping all types of Calathea looking their best and helping them grow in a healthy way.
- If you water your plants with chlorinated water, the leaves may get spots. Let rainwater, water from a bottle or distiller, or water from the tap sit out overnight before you water or mist your plants to add humidity.
- Calatheas need a moist environment, especially in the winter.
- Use one of these methods to keep the humidity levels just right.
- Keep your Calathea somewhere that doesn’t get colder than 60 to 65 °F. These are tropical plants that grow best in warm places.
- Most Calathea cultivars can be hurt by fertilizer salts, which can burn the tips of the leaves. Don’t use too much fertilizer, and clean the soil often to get rid of any salt buildup.
During the growing season, all Calathea cultivars need soil that is always wet, and they can only handle a little bit of drought. But this doesn’t mean that there won’t be dampness or rot.