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Calathea

The charm of the calathea

Calathea is a plant of South American origin belonging to the Marantaceae family that enjoys particular diffusion also in Italy, although it is not a native cultivation, due to its beauty and the possibility of cultivation in small spaces. The calathea, in fact, is particularly suited to apartment living as it requires temperate climates to develop and little soil for root growth. On the other hand, this fascinating plant makes up for the absence of colorful flowers with particularly fascinating leaves and different chrome-plating depending on the species. The more than one hundred and fifty existing cultivars can in fact offer extremely different aesthetic solutions, but all particular and of sure impact inside an apartment. The main colors that streak and move the large green leaves are red, yellow, but also white and silver. Even the shape and size of the leaves can vary greatly, while the different shades of green that coexist give liveliness even to the less showy calathee. Greater attractiveness is given by the different coloring that usually characterizes the upper and lower page of the leaves, for an even more elegant and refined play of colors.


Calathea is a plant that is particularly suited to cultivation in the apartment, precisely because of its South American origins that make it prefer a climate without excessive temperature changes and with indirect lighting. Cultivation in pots is optimal and a raised position is preferable, so that the direct contact of the pot with the floor does not cause excessive cooling of the soil, which could cause the plant to die and damage its roots. The placement in pot is also indicated because the Calathea does not need large spaces to grow and to develop its roots: on the contrary, any repottings, to be carried out in the spring period, are recommended only once the roots have occupied all the space they have. layout. The type of soil suitable is always the same, composed of soil and sand, with a partially acid solution. The soil must always be moist, but water stagnation must be avoided and therefore good drainage must be guaranteed to avoid the risk of root rot. In the most fertile period for the plant, from April to September, it is necessary to fertilize the soil with all the nutrients necessary for a luxuriant development: the fertilizer will be spread every two weeks, while in winter it will be sufficient to spread the solution. liquid only once every two months or so.

Cultivation of the calathea


Being a plant native to tropical climate areas, the calathea needs attention regarding the climate and daily care. It is sensitive to temperature drops, and should never be exposed to environments with temperatures below 18 °, while it can safely live in environments characterized by 25 ° or more. During the summer it requires frequent watering, so that the soil is always kept humid as long as it is free of stagnations. Instead, it is better to avoid wetting the leaves, which over time could weaken and lose charm. The plant must be kept away from the sale and prefers not direct exposure to sunlight. If the climatic conditions allow it, however, growing in the garden will offer an advantage:

Calathea: Diseases and pests


Observing the calathea leaves carefully is the secret to being able to keep their health under control and to make sure there are no parasites or fungal diseases. Any spots on the leaves can be a sign of the presence of pests, to be eliminated with specific specific products. In particular, if the leaves take on a yellowish appearance and tend to curl up, it is likely that there is an attack of a red spider, while small cobwebs and white spots in the apical part of the leaf and on the underside reveal the presence of cochineal. Similarly, dry leaves can indicate improper watering or too direct exposure to sunlight and high temperatures, as well as a climate that is too arid and dry: remember that being plants accustomed to tropical climates, calathee require humid environments for a luxuriant growth. Dull leaves, accompanied by a slow development of the plant, are instead an indication of nutritional deficiencies: the soil may not be suitable or it may require greater or more suitable fertilization. Calathea does not require pruning, but it is advisable to eliminate dry leaves, which unnecessarily steal nourishment from the plant, slowing the development of healthy parts, as well as being unsightly.

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