Calatheas at a Glance
Calathea plants, which consists of over 60 distinct species, are characterized by their ornately-patterned, brightly colored foliage. Along with their botanical cousins, Maranta and Geoppertia, Calatheas are often referred to as “Prayer Plants” for the way their paired leaves follow the daily sunlight while retracting at night, similar to praying hands. Although there is some differentiation among the different variants, some species of mature calathea plants can grow leaves that are up to two feet in length.
Calathea Care Information
Botanical name: Calathea sp.
Light: Low to medium sunlight, prefers shade.
Water: Requires regular watering to keep soil moist but not saturated
Soil: Well-draining and lightweight soil.
Humidity: They do best in high humidity conditions but will tolerate average humidity.
Propagation: Can be propagated by separating new offshoots from a mother plant.
Toxicity: Not toxic.
As its common name, the Peacock Plant suggests, the Calathea Makoyana has bright and colorful foliage that it loves to show off. With a green and cream colored pattern on the top and pink and maroon on the underside, this Brazilian beauty is a great way to start your prayer plant collection
Pinstripe Calathea, also known as Calathea ornata, is a beautiful and popular houseplant native to South America. It is renowned for its stunning foliage, which features dark green leaves adorned with thin, pinkish-white stripes that run parallel to the veins of the plant. The contrast between the dark green and the lighter stripes creates an eye-catching and striking pattern, making it a favorite among plant enthusiasts.
The Calathea Concinna is another popular type of prayer plant that originates from Brazil. The Freddie's pointed leaves have brilliant stripes alternate between a darker, deeper green and a lighter mossy color.
The Calathea illustris is another cultivar of the roseopicta variety that has become extremely popular among plant collectors. The tops of the ornately patterned foliage features pink and neon green accents to make it a true masterpiece.
Calathea 'Beauty Star'
The 'Beauty Star' is a popular cultivar of Calathea ornata species that is characterized by the neon green stripes and lighter white accent stripes that radiate from the center of the pointed foliage.
Commonly referred to as the Medallion Calathea, this cultivar of Roseopicta has shorter broader leaves than some species of calathea but still has the brilliant green and purplish red colors that calatheas are known for.
The Vittata is another popular version of South American calathea that is characterized by its narrower leaves and distinctive white stripes. This one is a favorite for collectors as it can be harder to find than other varieties.
The Calathea setosa is another striking subspecies of prayer plants that is characterized by its longer, narrower foliage that has a deep green variegation with unique silver striping. This prayer plant is the ultimate indoor plant if you are looking to add a little bit of bling to your indoor oasis.
For those that love prayer plants, the Calathea Rosy is one that will definitely stand out in even the most diverse collections. This cultivar of the Calathea roseopicta is easily distinguished from other painted prayer plants by the deep magenta and pink colorations that are found on the top side of the oval-shaped foliage.
Calathea 'Jungle Velvet'
Calathea warscewiczii, or Jungle Velvet, is known for its soft, fuzzy, and velvety leaves, which have a deep green color and burgundy undersides. The leaves are also quite large and broad, giving the plant an impressive and striking appearance. Like other Calathea plants, Jungle Velvet prefers bright, indirect light and a humid environment.
Calathea rufibarba, also known as Furry Feather or Velvet Calathea, is a tropical plant native to Brazil. It is known for its stunning foliage, which features large, broad leaves with a velvety texture and a deep green color. The undersides of the leaves have a rich burgundy color, making for a beautiful contrast with the green tops.
'Dottie' is another beautiful cultivar of Calathea roseopicta that was likely bred for its unique characteristics, including the bright pink stripes on its deep green leaves and the burgundy color on the undersides of its leaves.
Calathea 'White Star'
Calathea White Star, also known as Calathea majestica, is a stunning houseplant with large, paddle-shaped leaves that are deep green with white stripes. The undersides of the leaves are a deep purple color, making for a striking contrast with the white stripes on top. This plant is native to South America and prefers bright, indirect light and a humid environment
With long, narrow leaves and distinctive coloration pattern, the Lancifolia is a relatively easy specimen to care for among calatheas and makes for a great plant to start your prayer plant collection. As the name suggests, the rattlesnake plant has a distinctively reptillian pattern that is a brilliant green on top and a reddish purple underneath.
The orbifolia, as its name infers is characterized by its round, almost circular, shaped foliage. It is also one of the largest growing of the calathea species with leaves that can reach well over a foot wide.