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Why Is My Calathea Dying?
Unfortunately why is my Calathea dying is a question many Calathea owners find themselves asking. Calathea are notorious for being fussy, dying and causing their owners nearly more stress than they’re worth. Good job they’re beautiful plants that give us so much back when the going’s good.
Calathea are very fussy; overwater them and they’ll die, underwater them and they’ll die. It’s all about getting that balance right. These plants like their soil moist but not soaking wet. With this in mind it’s important that you allow the soil to partially dry out between waterings. If you use a moisture stick then you’re looking for a reading of around three, you don’t want your reading to reach one or for the soil to be bone dry to the touch as this will be too dry for your plant and may cause it to die of dehydration. You may also need to change your watering schedule depending on the time of year. You’ll need to water this plant more in the summer than in the winter. And you’ll also need to water a Calathea in brighter light more often than one that’s kept in shade.
Yellowing leaves can be a sign of overwatering, as can a heavy pot and soil that is constantly wet. Leaves that curl in on themselves and droop can be a sign of dehydration, as can a light pot and bone dry soil. Learn to read your plant and water it when necessary. Don’t leave it too long or the damage may be irreparable, but don’t water too often or you could be drowning your plant and causing root rot.
Too Much Sun
The second most common reason your Calathea could be dying is exposure to too much light. Calathea should be kept in medium to bright indirect light. They’ll do well in dappled or shaded conditions but direct sunlight is an absolute no no for these plants. It can cause then to dry out very quick and become dehydrated. If your plant is receiving too much light it will normally show you before it starts to die by curling its leaves in on itself. You may then notice all of the leaves droop and drop right down. This can look alarming but if you move your plant away from the light and water it, it can bounce back. If you continue to leave your plant in this environment then it’s very likely it will die.
Another big problem for Calathea that can kill them is using unfiltered water. I know that sounds crazy and most plants just show some light crisping but Calathea are incredibly sensitive and can react very badly to certain types of tap water. This usually manifests in crisping tips which slowly takes over the whole leaf. You may notice a slight yellowish tinge as well. If this happens and you cut off a leaf but don’t change the water then you’ll probably notice it happening on another leaf. If you ignore the problem, then the whole plant can die leaf by leaf.
Poor Draining Soil
The final possibility that could answer ‘why is my Calathea dying’ is poor draining soil. If you use a heavy soil that retains moisture then your plant could be feeling the effects of overwatering and this could be the reason it’s drying. It’s important you use a well draining soil so excess moisture won’t stay trapped. Try mixing a typical houseplant soil with perlite and orchid bark for a good mix. And make sure the pot you use has drainage holes so your hard work isn’t wasted when water stayed gathered at the bottom of the pot.
Article: Why Is My Calathea Dying?
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