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Calathea Iancifolia

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Zone 10 or Houseplant

Calathea is a herbaceous perennial from the Tropical Americas like Brazil, Guyana, Columbia and Nicaragua.  The handsome leaves are the attraction for tropical gardeners and indoor plant lovers as well

Various types are appealing for these leaves which may be patterned with interesting colorful lines, or colorful blotches or colorful spots. Although Calathea develops flowers, they are typically very small and insignificant. Exceptions include Calathea  crocata,  Calathea  loeseneri and Calathea  lancifolia

In your South Florida landscape, use Calathea in shaded conditions and protect from all wind and even mild cold. Prolonged direct sunlight is harmful

The appearance in late winter outdoors can be disturbing as the leaves take a beating in the cold. If you wish, cut off all the leaves and stems at the edge of spring, fertilize and all will be well

Indoors, Calathea is tolerant of lower light conditions making it a fine houseplant

Your soil for Calathea should be highly organic and well drained. Use plenty of coarse material in the soil mix to help water flow through. A commercial cactus mix is fine

Never allow roots to be soaked with standing water but they do enjoy continuous availability of water in their soil. Water often to obtain this condition (with perfect drainage)

Calathea wants high humidity and high temperatures as well. Indoors, mist several times a week to provide added humidity. They get sick or sick looking whenever the weather is even a little cold or too dry. Remember, this is a jungle plant

Feed often but lightly in spring and throughout the summer growing period

Popular Calathea varieties include:

  • Calathea  burle-marxii
  • Calathea  burle-marxii 'Ice Blue'
  • Calathea  burle-marxii 'Ice Green'
  • Calathea  concinna
  • Calathea  'Corona'
  • Calathea  insignis
  • Calathea  'Jungle Velvet' or 'Jungle Rose'
  • Calathea  lancifolia  #1  #2
  • Calathea  lepardina
  • Calathea  lietzei
  • Calathea  loeseneri
  • Calathea  lutea
  • Calathea  'Majestica'
  • Calathea  makoyana
  • Calathea  'Medallion'
  • Calathea  medio-picta
  • Calathea  metallica
  • Calathea  ornata
  • Calathea  ornata 'Sanderiana'
  • Calathea  princeps
  • Calathea  roseopicta
  • Calathea 'Royal Picta'
  • Calathea  rotundifolia
  • Calathea  rufibarba
  • Calathea  probably 'striata'
  • Calathea  'Velvet Touch'
  • Calathea  vittata
  • Calathea  zebrina