Calathea can be fussy plants and you might find that due to wear and tear or slightly bad conditions you need to prune your plant so that it can focus it’s attentions on healthy leaves.
If you do have leaves that seem to be dying or not doing so well but the plant itself seems fine then don’t worry. Your Calathea isn’t necessarily dying, you may just need to cut back on some of the dead leaves to stimulate growth with the healthy leaves.
There are different ways you can approach this depending on what you want to achieve with your plant.
Removing Leaves Completely
If you have some leaves that are in quite a bad condition then instead of trying to save most of the leaf or even ignoring the issue, you may be better off cutting the whole leaf off so that the plant can focus on growing new healthy leaves.
Don’t worry if this is the case, it shouldn’t damage your plant and it will also make the plant appear healthier in general. Nothing is worse than looking at a plant with a load of dead leaves.
Simply cut the leaf with a sharp knife or a pair of scissors near the steam and discard the damaged leaf. Then your plant should turn its efforts to promoting growth in new leaves instead of trying to save dying leaves. Our favourite pruning scissors are Growneer Trimming Scissors as they are sharp, non stick and easy to use.
Trimming Crispy Tips
If the problem is quite small then you might not have to remove entire leaves and instead just give your leaf a bit of a trim. If your leaves are still intact but they’ve developed slight crisping on the tips then you can simply trim the tips rather than removing the leaf. Get a pair of sharp scissors and carefully cut away the brown areas of the leaf leaving the majority of the foliage still intact.
Not only will you be helping the plant but you’ll also be making your Calathea more attractive again because let’s face it, no one likes looking at crispy tips.
Propagating is a bit different to pruning but if the reason you’re wanting to cut back your plant is because it’s getting too big rather than because leaves are dying then instead of throwing away leaves, why not make your one plant into two plants?
Propagation is a great solution for a plant that is getting too big, and if you don’t want another plant, you can always just give it away.
Calathea propagation works best by root separation. So instead of removing a leaf and sticking it in water you’re going to be getting your hands dirty down in the soil.
Take your Calathea out of the pot and gently work away the soil until you can see the roots. As the soil breaks away you should start to see divisions in the plant and find shoots that can be separated from the rest of the plant.
Work at the roots gently so as not to break them and after a while you should be able to pull away a section of the plant. Once you’ve done that, place your new plant in it’s own plant pot, fill it with soil and you’re good to go. They might be fussy plants but Calathea are easy to grow if you take the time to check out their requirements.
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