As far as we’re concerned, the Amazon rainforest is one of the wonders of the natural world, right up there with the Great Barrier Reef and the Grand Canyon—and Calatheas are a beautiful example of why. Show More >
As far as we’re concerned, the Amazon rainforest is one of the wonders of the natural world, right up there with the Great Barrier Reef and the Grand Canyon—and Calatheas are a beautiful example of why. Native to the Amazon and more than 150 species deep, this genus is packed with living, chlorophyll-filled works of art—many of which, fortunately for us, are ideally suited to share their beauty in our own little houseplant jungles.
The Calathea Family - beautiful tropical plants for indoors and outdoors
With nicknames like “Rattlesnake Plant”, “Pinstripe Plant”, and “Cathedral Windows”, it’s likely obvious that Calatheas are known for their showy foliage. And for good reason. While no two Calathea species are quite the same, most every one features large, glossy leaves with rich purple undersides and topsides variegated with patterns that would make a silhouette artist green with envy. Calatheas don’t have the height and bulk of other plants—most top out at two feet high and an equal width—but for sheer awe per square inch, they’re tough to beat.
It's like having your own tropical plant nursery…
When you hail from the Amazon rainforest, it’s safe to conclude that you’re accustomed to a certain degree of moisture. Calatheas love soil that is always a bit moist, but drains well so that it’s never soggy (saturated soil is the ideal environment for root rot). They also adore humidity, and will love light misting and/or the addition of a pebble-filled tray, 1”-2” wider than their pot and filled with water that doesn’t quite rise to the top of the pebbles, to place under their pot. As you might imagine, they also prefer bright indirect light, the kind you might get if your ancestors lived in one of the sunniest places on Earth, but under larger trees. Finally, Calatheas dislike hot or cold breezes and like their water room temperature and free from additives like fluoride, chlorine, or mineral salts from a water softener. Use distilled water, bottled, rain water, or tap water that’s been left uncovered for at least 24 hours, so it’s reached room temperature and any additives have dissipated out. < Show Less