Calathea Orbifolia is definitely one of the show stoppers of the Calathea world. It is one of the larger species with beautiful wide green leaves that fan out in all directions. If treated well it will put out lots of new growth and can end up taking up quite a large space in your house. To help you with this we have put together this Calathea Orbifolia care guide to get you started. Calathea can be fussy plants but hopefully this should give you a good idea where to start.
Calathea Orbifolia require medium indirect light. They can tolerate lower lighting conditions as long as they have access to some light but will do poorly in bright intense light and will do badly in direct sunlight. Direct light can cause burning and permanent damage to the leaves of your beautiful plant. Instead try and find a place with medium light where it is protected from the sun. A north or east facing room would work great for this Calathea (if you’re in the northern hemisphere).
You’ll want to water your Calathea Orbifolia fairly regularly as it is a plant that does not like to dry out. Don’t overwater it so that the soil is water logged but you want to moisten it often. It’s important that the pot you use does have drainage holes so excess water doesn’t sit in the pot. You might also find that tap water is too strong for your plant and can cause burning on the leaves. If this occurs then switch to filtered water to get rid of some of the chlorine.
Calathea Orbifolia prefer to be kept in higher temperatures so keep your Calathea out of cold rooms and away from windows and doors. However the important thing to remember is that in dry temperatures the air can dry out so make sure that there is plenty of humidity for your plant as well as being in a higher temperature. This means keeping them away from heating systems and radiators.
Calathea Orbifolia like to be moist so although you’ll want the water to drain from your soil you will want some components to help maintain moisture levels. We would recommend an ordinary potting soil with added peat and perlite.
You can’t propagate a Calathea Orbifolia by cuttings, instead you have to do so by root division. As your plant grows, new shoots of will appear out of the soil and grow in their own sections. Once you have established sections your plant is ready to divide. Take the plant out of the pot and work the soil away from the roots. Then gently separate the roots being careful to break as few as possible. Once you have separated the plant make you sure you repot them straight away.
Calathea Orbifolia prefer to be kept in medium to high humidity as they originate from the tropics. If the air is too dry you will notice the leaves start to crisp. Misting can also help your plants but if you live in a dry region we would recommend you seriously consider buying a humidifier. Your Calathea plants will definitely thank you for it.
Calathea can be sensitive to fertiliser and the Calathea Orbifolia is no different. It’s important that you use a weak fertiliser as a strong one can scorch the leaves. You might also find that your plant prefers it if you water it first before adding the fertiliser so that the roots suck up the water initially. This will reduce the chances of leaf scorching. Only fertilise your plant during the growing seasons and leave it in the winter months. You can also get away with fertilising your Calathea Orbifolia once a month.
To summarise in order to care for your Calathea Orbifolia you will need:
- Medium indirect light
- Medium to high humidity
- Filtered water
- Weak fertiliser
- Warm temperature
- Peat and perlite based soil mix
Calathea Orbifolia FAQ
Now that you’ve read our Calathea Orbifolia care guide, make sure you check our some frequently asked questions too in case some of the queries you have regarding your Calathea have already been answered here.
How fast does Calathea Orbifolia grow?
Calathea Orbifolia aren’t particularly fast growers but will put out new leaves in the growing seasons if kept under the appropriate conditions.
How do you look after Calathea Orbifolia?
To look after a Calathea Orbifolia we would recommend:
- Medium to bright indirect light
- Frequent waterings
- Filtered water
- Medium to high humidity
- Repotting once a year if necessary
Do Calathea Orbifolia need humidity?
Yes the Calathea Orbifolia needs humidity as it originally comes from the tropics and is therefore used to higher levels of humidity. If the air becomes too dry for your plant you may notice the leaves starting to crisp.
When should I repot Calathea Orbifolia?
Calathea Orbifolia are not known as particularly fast growing plants so once a year should be enough for your plant and you should only need to repot one size up. You may actually find that your Orbifolia doesn’t need repotting every year and you’re able to leave it, try and read what your individual plant needs and remember that ‘repotting once a year’ is simply a guide.
Is Calathea Orbifolia a Calathea Plant?
The clue is in the name, a Calathea Orbifolia does belong to the Calathea family of plants. It may also go by Prayer Plant.
Is Calathea Orbifolia an easy plant to look after?
Calathea plants in general aren’t known as easy plants to look after, they can be fussier than other species and when things go wrong they can do so quickly. However if you follow our care guide then you shouldn’t have too many problems with this fussy plant.
Is a Calathea Orbifolia suitable for a beginner?
As we’ve mentioned they’re not the easiest plant to take care of but there’s no reason why a beginner shouldn’t give it a go, if they’re careful to follow the tips mentioned in the Calathea Orbifolia care guide then they should have no problem.