Calateas: [Cultivation, Irrigation, Care, Pests and Diseases]

Calathea is the genus that groups about 300 different species in nature. Each one of them differs according to its colors, leaves and flowers.

Among all the species, the most popular are the ornata, crocata, zebrina and makoyana. This article will offer information on the Calathea makoyana.

However, most of the recommendations and care are also applicable to other species of this same genus. The Calathea Makoyana is one of the most prized species of the genus due to the striking patterns on its leaves. They are extremely decorative and easy to care for air purifying plants.

Calathea makoyana received the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) Award of Garden Merit for its great decorative appeal, easy cultivation and resistance to disease or pests.

Important points when sowing a calathea:

  • Scientific name: Calathea, Calathea makoyana.
  • Common Name: Calathea,peacock plant, cathedral windows.
  • Height: 25 to 30 centimeters.
  • Need for light: Semi-shade and shade.
  • Temperature: Warm and temperate climates (15ºC to 29ºC).
  • Irrigation: Moderate.
  • Fertilizer: Organic or liquid fertilizer.

What characteristics does the calathea have?

The Calathea makoyana is a plant native to Brazil that remains evergreen. It usually measures 25 to 30 centimeters in height, but sometimes it reaches 60 centimeters.

The leaves of the calathea are specially decorated. They have light green spots and lines, and other more oval ones on the surface of the leaf, in dark green tones. Also, the front of the leaf has purple and violet spots.

Exotenherz – XXL shade plant with leaves – Calathea ornata – 19 cm pot – approx. 70 – 90 cm high

It is said that the peculiar decorations of the calathea are very similar to the details that the peacock’s tail presents, hence it is also known by the name of the peacock plant.

This plant does not usually produce flowers when grown indoors, unless it is in warm areas. However, under optimal conditions, it produces yellow, purple, and white flower blooms, all of which bloom during the summer.

When to sow the calatea?

The best season to breed Calatea is during spring and summer. It is recommended to carry out this procedure when the pot is changed, so as not to subject it to excessive stress.

Where to plant the calathea?

Calatea is a plant that needs bright environments, always with indirect light. Care should be taken not to place it in places exposed to direct sunlight. At most, it can be placed in semi-shade.

On the other hand, the calatea should be grown in warm and temperate places so that it can develop fully. They thrive at temperatures between 21ºC and 29ºC, but can also tolerate 15ºC, as a limit.

It is important to choose a place where it is protected from cold drafts. You should also try to place it in humid places, such as the bathroom, in terrariums, or anywhere, as long as it has the help of a 50% or 60% humidifier.

How to prepare the land?

The Calathea makoyana is a plant that can grow outdoors in warm climates and soils rich in organic matter. However, it is mainly grown in pots, inside homes, so it will be important to choose the right substrate.

Compo Sana Universal Quality for pots with 12 weeks of fertilizer for Indoor Plants, terrace and garden, Cultivation Substrate, 10 L

So that the calatea does not have any problem to develop, the substrate must be prepared in such a way that it retains water very well. A light peat potting mix with a pH of 6.5 is recommended for this.

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Another option is to purchase a special growing medium mix for African violets. It is generally composed of equal parts sand, peat moss, mulch, and highly organic universal garden soil.

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How do we water the calatea?

The Calathea makoyana is a species typical of humid environments. Therefore, it will need to be watered regularly to keep the soil moist, without becoming soggy.

It is recommended to let 2 or 3 centimeters of the upper layer of the substrate dry between each watering. This will prevent the base of the stem and its leaves from rotting due to excess water.

In the case of water, filtered, rainwater or tap water should be used, previously settled, to allow the evaporation of substances that are harmful to the calatea.

How often do we water the calatea?

The frequency of irrigation will depend on aspects such as the size of the plant, the temperature conditions and the stage of development in which it is. It is usually watered 1 or 2 times a week.

Indoor Plants from Botanicly – 3 × Calathea – Height: 32 cm – Calathea Rufibarba

A simple way to tell if the plant needs watering or not is to stick a finger into the substrate. If it is perceived that the soil is wet, you should wait a little longer to carry out the next irrigation.

How to sow a calatea step by step?

Calatea reproduces mainly by the division method, when the plant has produced suckers . The steps to follow are presented below.

  1. Remove the mother plant from the pot.
  2. Carefully remove any daughter plant that is separated from it along with its own root system. This should have at least one leaf and reasonably developed roots.
  3. Place the small plant in a new pot, filled with the same type of substrate as the mother plant, and volcanic stone or clay balls at the bottom.
  4. Thoroughly water the new plant and keep it in the same watering conditions, temperature and location as the mother plant.

What care does the calatea need?

Calathea makoyana is an easy species to grow if you have the right conditions. However, the following is recommended:

  1. Apply liquid fertilizer, once a month, during the spring, summer and fall months. Organic fertilizer for green plants can also be applied every 15 days.
  2. The pot can be placed on a plate filled with water and stones, whether decorative or from the river, so that the plant hydrates by capillarity.
Shadowplant with unusual leafpatterns – Calathea roseapicta – 14cm pot – 45-50cm tall

What pests and diseases affect Calathea?

Calathea is not prone to pests or diseases. However, it must be ensured that the humidity in the substrate is optimal so as not to favor root rot or the appearance of red spiders or mealybugs.

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