Le Calathéa (Calathea) is a plant of the family of Marantaceaesometimes called peacock plant or even cigar plant. He is originally from South America. There are different varieties, some are very recent, all are appreciated for their sublime decorative foliage and some also for their flowers. Let’s take stock of the needs of this slow-growing houseplant that should never run out of water, see when to repot it and how to encourage its flowering.
Entertain a Calathea
Once planted in a potting soil for green plants possibly mixed with heathland, the Calathea should be placed in a moderately bright room. He particularly likes the proximity of a north-facing window. If it is near a pane facing south, it is absolutely essential to filter the light and filter the direct rays of the sun with a curtain so that the color of the leaves does not turn brown.
Dust the foliage
We think of dusting the leaves of the Calathea every 7 or 8 days ideally with a feather duster, or failing that, using a hair dryer provided you set the latter to “cold air” and keep it a good forty centimeters away from the plant. We do not recommend dusting with water, which tends to leave stains on the leaves. This is the ultimate solution to be reserved only for cleaning if the Calathea has not been cleaned for a very long time and the dust is encrusted. In this case, a sponge soaked in non-calcareous water is used.
From the month of April until the end of September, the Calathea must benefit every two weeks from a supply ofliquid fertilizer for green plants to be diluted in the irrigation water.
We remove the wilted flowers gradually as well as dry leaves or damaged.
Watering a Calathea
The Calathea must be watered very regularly because it should never run out of water. As far as possible, we usenon-calcareous water. Beware of dry soil which quickly leads to the dehydration of the leaves and then the death of the plant. This does not mean that you have to let your roots soak in water. Excessive watering should be avoided because it rots the roots. Two to three moderate irrigations per week suit him perfectly. However, it is necessary to halve watering throughout the winter season.
Pour save a Calathea who suffered greatly from a lack of water, it is recommended to start by removing the dead leaves. Then stay at immerse the pot in a larger container filled with water at room temperature or in the bathtub, and leave it there for the time necessary for the roots to drink their fill.
From January to December, the humidity level in the ambient air must be bred for the Calathea to thrive, as it is so in its natural environment. It can be placed on permanently submerged clay balls and grown alongside other green plants to increase the humidity of the air. Another solution is to perform misting, more frequent in summer than in winter of course. But in an overheated home where the air is dried out by heating systems, especially electric ones, you shouldn’t hesitate to use the fogger a little more frequently.
Lack of water or insufficient humidity have the same consequence: the plant suffers. Its leaves curlstop growing and eventually dry up.
Repot the Calathea
Admittedly, this plant does not grow quickly, but as soon as it is cramped, it must be repotted in a larger pot. The best time to repot a Calathea is between June and September. Care must be taken not to damage its roots during the operation.
It is also beneficial to repot the plant if not to immerse it if its substrate is ultra dry for some time because it is undoubtedly totally devitalized. Even if the goal is not to change the size of the pot, repotting at least allows the plant to find itself in a brand new, fresh and nutritious soil, capable of meeting its needs.
It is wise to take advantage of a repotting session to separate any releases of the mother plant or, if it has taken on a good size, to divide the clump. You can see how easy it is to multiplier a Calathea.
A Calathea that does not lack either water or fertilizer can be very generous when it comes to flower production. The result is splendid because the color of the flower heads or cones (depending on the variety) contrasts nicely with that of the spectacular foliage which can be marbled, streaked, variegated, and coloured, purple, bluish green, even white or pink. Generally, the front and back of the sheets are of different colors.
Calathea crocata product of beautiful bracts of a flamboyant orange carried by proudly erected flower stems. Its wavy leaves are bright green with reflections on the top and chocolate below. Calathea ‘Casual XL’ is distinguished by a very long flowering time since its extraordinary flowers of an astonishing purple green have a lifespan of a hundred days!
Finally, there are other varieties sought after for their sublime foliage as is the case, for example, with C. rosea-picta, C. sanguinea ‘Flamingo’, C. rufibarba or C. illustrious. Nothing prevents you from decorating your interior by offering yourself a a collection of baskets. And if one covets these plants solely for the beauty of their foliage, it suffices to cut the flowers as soon as they appear in order to favor the development of the leaves which can then reach 60 cm in length depending on the variety.