Among all Calathea plants, Calathea vittata is one of the favorites of ornamental plant collectors, thanks to its rare variegated leaves. In addition, the Calathea vittata care is also pretty easy, so it is suitable for beginners to the world of prayer plants. At first glance, the pattern is similar to the Calathea peacock. Only with longer, lance-shaped with taller stalks. In addition, this tropical plant is also perfect for home decor for your living room or patio. You can even plant this Calathea in your garden as an outdoor plant.
Furthermore, depending on where they are growing, you must understand Calathea vittata care because the treatment will differ. Therefore, we are here to provide you with Calathea vittata care guidance, planting tips, and maintenance so that your precious prayer plant thrives beautifully. Bear with us and read this brief guide to the end so that you won’t miss any important thing regarding Calathea vittata care.
Table of Contents
- What is Calathea vittata
- How to Care For Calathea vittata
- Calathea vittata Care Tips
What is Calathea vittata
Let us introduce you to the Calathea vittata plant before further discussing Calathea vittata care. Calathea vittata is a cultivar of Calathea elliptica with long, lance-shaped, deep green leaves and a rare, exquisite pattern. This tropical plant is native to South America. It grows all year round as perennials in the shade, under the canopy of rainforests.
Unlike other Calathea plants, Calathea vittata height can reach up to 24 to 26 inches tall. This Calathea vittata height may help determine its planting location, especially for indoor plants. You can choose the corner of your living room or near the bench of your patio to decorate the space.
In case you grow them on the outdoor terrace, place them in the north-facing area to avoid direct sunlight. It is critical to prevent scorching leaves from intensive sun exposure. Besides, the sun may also make the magnificent variegation fade away. You don’t want that, do you?
Furthermore, some Calathea vittata benefits make many collectors decide to include this beautiful plant in their collection. One of which is that it acts as an air purifier and produces oxygen.
And in case you have pets, growing Calathea vittata is an excellent choice as it is not poisonous for your cats and dogs. Besides, the ultimate Calathea vittata benefits are as decorative and ornamental plants to fill the void spaces in your home. Now, we would like to bring you to the next topic about Calathea vittata care and factors influencing their growth. Let’s dive in!
How to Care For Calathea vittata
The Calathea vittata care is relatively handy. You only have to understand the factors that affect its growth, such as light intensity, watering frequency, drainage, humidity levels, fertilization and fertilizer types, and propagation. From that point, you can easily provide what they need. Knowing the importance of those factors, we also offer a brief guide to growing your Calathea plant and how to care for them. Check them out!
1) Light Intensity
As indoor plants, most Calathea love shade areas to grow, including Calathea vittata. Instead of direct sunlight, it prefers bright indirect light, partial shade, or filtered sun, making it a perfect home decor with a greenery touch. But why can’t the Calathea vittata withstand the sun?
It is because the direct sun will damage the leaves, turning the edges into a crisp brown. They will burn and scorch as the result of too much light exposure. In addition, prolonged sunlight can also make the charming pattern on the leaves fade away.
Of course, it is undesirable as the variegation is an essential characteristic and selling point of Calathea plants. Hence, it is better to put your potted Calathea vittata in the north-facing area to avoid direct sunlight. This spot also helps the plant to fulfill sunlight requirements for around 6-10 hours per day. If you grow them in your outdoor garden, select shady sites to ensure it thrives well.
2) Temperature And Humidity Requirement
Like most tropical plants, Calathea vittata favors high humidity, requiring at least 60-75% moisture and around 60-86’F of temperatures to thrive. However, other Calatheas will only need 50% humidity, depending on their cultivars. To ensure a healthy plant, you must fulfill this growing requirement.
In addition to humidity, temperature requirements must be kept on track. Considering its native habitat, it does not tolerate cold. Any temperature below 60’F will curl the leaves as the humidity starts to fall. On the other hand, hot temperatures above 85’F can wilt the beautiful foliage, which will further dry if you do not do anything to cool down your plant.
Suppose your area has low humidity or hot temperatures. In that case, some of the following tips will help you to deal with the current situation.
- Use your humidifiers. Humidifiers will release steam that will eventually increase the moisture in the air and decrease the temperatures.
- You can also put a pebble tray filled with water, then put it under your Calathea vittata’s container. The water from the tray will slowly evaporate, creating a humid, cool atmosphere that will benefit your plant.
- Putting your Calathea vittata’s pots with other plants next to each other will help them thrive, thanks to their transpiration. This process will produce water vapor which will be mutually beneficial to them.
To check on the humidity, you may use a hygrometer to ensure that you already have the moisture level needed for the Calathea vittata growth.
3) Watering And Drainage
Besides light intensity, humidity, and temperatures, Calathea vittata watering is another crucial element to consider before planting this prayer plant. Even though it is an important factor that affects its growth, it does not mean you can give too much water to your Calathea. Excess water can lead to stems and root rot. Contrary, under-watering may cause wilt, drop, and yellow leaves.
To know whether your Calathea vittata needs watering or not, you can check it by tapping your finger on the soil surface. If the top two inches of the soil are dry, it is time to water your Calathea plant.
Moreover, the watering frequency must be followed by good and proper drainage as you do not want to soak your plant in the water for too long. Choose porous containers with drainage holes, like ceramic and terracotta. It helps the water to escape the pot quickly and prevents water logging which can also cause fungal diseases.
4) Soil Conditions
Providing good drainage is not only determined by the selection of pots but also by the Calathea vittata soil mix. This tropical plant thrives in well-draining moist soil with a pH of around 6.5 to 7.5. To ensure proper aeration, the potting mix also requires peat moss, coconut coir, charcoal, orchid bark, or perlite.
Aeration works with good drainage to encourage the water to flow through the soil quickly, preventing waterlogging. Regarding the Calathea vittata soil types, the plant favors a loamy soil mix that is well-draining yet retains moisture as well. It is preferable to keep the roots moist all the time.
Before you give your Calathea vittata fertilizer, it is better to know what type of fertilizer is the best for this Calathea plant. You can choose liquid fertilizer to provide additional nutrients. It is also easily absorbed by the soil, given its liquid form. Now, how to prepare it?
Due to its chemical sensitivity, knowing the best method to prepare Calathea vittata fertilizer is vital. You must dilute it by half the dose with distilled water before pouring it into the soil. Give it once a month in the spring and summer during its growing season. Since it grows slowly in the fall and winter, there is no need to feed them with fertilizer.
After knowing everything about the factors influencing their development, you better get familiar with Calathea vittata propagation to start growing your stunning plant. And the ideal method to perform Calathea vittata propagation is by root division. Well, how to do that?
- Prepare 8-10 inches containers to plant your Calathea vittata. Make sure it has an inch or two bigger than the previous pots to allow proper growth.
- Bring out your potting mix and add 40% of the pot with it.
- Water the soil to offer moisture.
- After that, gently and carefully take your Calathea vittata from its previous pot, then remove the dirt from the roots. Make sure they are healthy roots before transferring them to a new container.
- Now, find a healthy stem, track it down to the root ball, and find matching roots. It allows you to divide them easily.
- Take your clean and sterile knife to separate the section and cut it from the mother plant.
- Then, plant it carefully in the pot filled with the soil mix.
- Last but not least, fill the container up to the surface of the container.
Calathea vittata Care Tips
Alongside some factors influencing Calathea vittata’s growth, we would like to offer some Calathea vittata care tips to complete this brief guide. You can find indoor and outdoor planting tricks to maintain your plant’s growth and health.
1) Indoor Calathea vittata Care Tips
Knowing that this plant is generally planted indoors as decorations, we think it is important to know Calathea vittata care tips for indoor plantings. What are those? Do I take care of them correctly? Let’s find out the answer below!
- Choose a north-facing area. This pot allows your Calathea vittata plant to receive bright indirect light that will fulfill its needs without damaging the dazzling leaves.
- Place the pots next to each other. It is beneficial for your Calathea as the plants will share moisture that keeps them moist all the time.
- Don’t mist their leaves! Even though it seems helpful, your Calathea vittata doesn’t approve of that. Instead of misting, providing a proper humid environment is better. You can put a humidifier, put the pot next to other plants, or provide a pebble tray with water and put it underneath the plant to lock the moisture.
2) Outdoor Calathea vittata Care Tips
In addition to the Calathea vittata care tips for indoor plantings, we include an outdoor plantings guide for those who prefer growing their prayer plants in the garden or patio. Without any further ado, let’s check them out!
- Provide a dappled shade, partial shade, or filtered sun area to prevent the bright, direct sun from exposing the variegated leaves of your Calathea vittata. We recommend putting the container on your patio with a north-facing spot to ensure this light intensity.
- Take your Calathea vittata indoors when the temperatures get too hot or cold as they cannot tolerate any temperatures out of 60 to 85’F.
- Make sure you live in warm areas to grow Calathea vittata outdoors since the plant favors warm temperatures with high humidity. The US hardiness zone 8 or above is the ideal place in the US to plant this prayer plant in the garden.
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FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)
Where do I put Calathea vittata?
You can place your Calathea elliptica ‘Vittata’ in your patio or living room as long as they provide partial shade or dappled light. Also, bright indirect light is okay. Despite being tropical plants, we do not recommend putting your precious Calathea Vittata plant under direct sunlight as it can scorch the leaves, damaging its stunning variegation.
Is Calathea vittata a prayer plant?
Calathea Vittata belongs to the prayer plant family, Marantaceae, with an exceptional leaf pattern. Hence, it is one of the most famous members of the prayer plants among its collectors. Moreover, it is called a prayer plant because it has an opening habit throughout the daylight and closes when the sky transitions to night.
Why are my Calathea vittata leaves curling?
If you spot your Calathea vittata leaves curling, it may signal dehydration. The curling is a defense mechanism to reduce transpiration, thus preventing excessive water evaporation into the atmosphere.
Other factors can also influence this behavior, such as low humidity, warm temperatures, underwatering, root rot because of overwatering, and certain diseases. Hence, it is crucial to understand Calathea vittata care to keep your plant healthy.
How do I know if my Calathea vittata is healthy?
The first thing you can observe if you have a healthy Calathea vittata is that it thrives well, having dark green leaves with vivid variegation. The leaves also do not wilt, curl, and turn yellow. In addition, the roots do not show signs of rotting which are generally characterized by mushy stems.