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All you need to know about Calathea plants

There are many plants used for indoor decoration and indoor landscaping purposes. They brighten offices, lobbies, meeting rooms and other interior areas and there are numerous benefits of plants for offices and workspaces. Sometimes offices and businesses prefer a pop of green and some prefer to have bright, colorful blooming plants. However, one of the key prerequisites of office plants is that they be relatively easy to care for and able to thrive in places with low light.

Regardless of what your office needs, one plant you may want to consider for your office or commercial property is the calathea plant. There is a wide variety that are green or that flower. Calathea plants do well in low light, but there are also aspects that can make them a challenge. Here are the details you need to know when determining if a calathea plant is right for you. If you have questions or needs for office plants or interior landscaping contact Ambius today.

What is a Calathea plant?

The Calathea plant is a popular plant used for indoor office decoration purposes. It is often used in homes and businesses as well. It is a type of plant that prefers indirect lighting, which means makes it perfect for indoor usage and office buildings. Calathea plants are popular for indoor purposes because they are generally easy to care for and they look great, offering bright green plants to liven up indoor spaces. 

Calathea plants are part of the family of plants known as Marantaceae, which is a species of flowering plants from tropical areas such as Africa. They are famous for their wide, green, colorful leaves. These wide leaves make them popular for areas of low light. Low light plants have broad leaves to absorb and use as much light as they can get. In nature, they are found in jungles and at the base of trees. 


What are some of the species of Calathea plant?

There are a number of species of calathea plants available for indoor use. They include:

  • Calathea lancifolia
  • Calathea ornata
  • Calathea roseopicta
  • Calathea rufibarba
  • Calathea makoyana
  • Calathea orbifolia

Calathea plants are also known by more common names such as cathedral plants, peacock plants, zebra plants, rattlesnake plants and prayer plants. 

How do you plant, grow and care for a calathea plant?

Calathea plants are popular as indoor plants because they are relatively easy to care for. They can be planted in a variety of planters and locations. This means they can be placed in a variety of locations. Some of the key requirements for most species of Calathea plants include: 

  • Indirect light – Calathea plants need bright, but not direct, sunlight to grow. This is because they grow on the floor of jungles and forests where they get limited light through the tops of the trees. In fact, direct sunlight will burn the leaves of a Calathea plant and cause it to lose its vibrant colors.
  • Limited water – Use distilled water or water that has been purified in some way to water Calathea plants. Calathea like to have moist soil or planting substances, but not soggy. They do not want lots of water, as it can drown them. When you water a Calathea plant, do not water it so much that the plant ends up sitting in standing water.
  • Temperature – Calathea plants do not like the cold very much. They are from tropical areas of the world and prefer temperatures between 65-80 degrees. Temperatures above and below that can cause damage to the plant, first evident in the curling of the leaves.
  • Humidity – Calathea, again due to where they grow naturally, tend to prefer humid areas. They can absorb moisture through the air via the wide, green, leaves that are common for the plant.
  • Fertilizer – Calathea do not need a lot of fertilizing, but they will flower and do well with standard houseplant fertilizer during spring, summer and fall. They especially need fertilization during periods of growth and flowering.
  • Pruning – The great news about the Calathea is that it doesn’t need pruning other than the removal of brown or yellowed leaves.

How long does it take a Calathea to reach full growth?

Calathea growth depends on the type of Calathea plant you have in your home or business. Like a lot of low light plants, Calathea tend to grow fairly slowly. They are considered to grow at a moderately fast rate, but they will not grow and spread out over their pots and become a problem. In fact, Calathea plants usually will only grow to about 2 feet in height and then stop. After that, the only pruning you need to do is that of yellow, crispy, or brown leaves. 

As for flowers, Calathea do often bloom in the wild, but they tend not to bloom much indoors. There are some exceptions, such as the C. crocata species of Calathea, which can produce beautiful orange colored flowers. Most of the other species of Calathea plants just have bright, colorful green leaves with other colors (such as purple) on the underside of their leaves.

How do you grow a Calathea indoors?

Calathea can be a bit temperamental when it comes to care. If there are any problems with Calathea care, they come from over or under-watering and lack of the right temperature or humidity levels. 

If you take care to water the right amounts with the right type of water, keep the humidity level and indoor air temperatures just right, you can have beautiful, green plants that will brighten up office and indoor spaces. Lobbies, meeting rooms, and cubicle areas that are high in humidity and have the right temperatures and indirect sunlight are all good places for Calathea. Atriums are excellent locations for Calathea as well.

Ambius can help you with your indoor plant needs

If you are looking for indoor office plants to brighten up your office or workspace, contact Ambius to discuss your needs with one of our interior design specialists. They will determine if your office is the right place for plants like Calathea, and which species will grow best in your environment. Plus, our plant specialists can help grow and care for Calathea plants so they thrive and help create a productive workplace.

Further information and next steps

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