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The Calathea Picturata is known for the intense colour in the centre of its leaves surrounded by a band of green colouring. There are two main types of Calathea Picturata, the crimson and the silver, both equally as beautiful but with a very different feeling to each. Just like many species of Calathea, this can be difficult to look after and can require more care than other houseplants but with our Calathea Picturata care guide, you should get a good idea of how best to look after this plant.
Calathea Picturata need to be watered often and do not like being left to dry out. Of course this doesn’t mean you should be watering them daily and they won’t do well sitting in water logged soil but feel the top two inches of soil and as it starts to dry out give your plant a drink, do not wait for the for pot to have dried out.
If you are worried about overwatering your plant then a common sign is yellow leaves. If you notice the leaves starting to turn yellow then it is possible that you are actually watering your plant too much. If your leaves curl in on themselves or start to droop then this is a sign that you are underwatering your plant. If you’re struggling to work out when your plant needs watering then consider buying a moisture stick. You can use this to detect the level of moisture in the water and it can be a great indication for when your plant needs watering.
We would also recommend using filtered water for your Calathea Picturata as the chlorine found in tap water can sometimes be too harsh and can burn the leaves of your plant.
Like most types of Calathea the Calathea Picturata needs to be kept out of direct sunlight to prevent leaf scorching. It will do well in medium to bright light conditions as long as it is protected from direct light. A common sign that your plant is receiving too much light is leaf curling. If the light is too intense for the Calathea then the leaves will start to curl in on themselves for protection. This is a method used to try and conserve water.
Calathea require a standard well balanced potting mix that drains easily. A good blend would be a generic potting mix with added perlite and orchid bark.
Calathea Picturata can be sensitive to fertiliser and if the mix is too strong it can cause burning on the leaves. To prevent this we would recommend diluting the fertiliser and using it on your plant approximately once a month during the growing season. If you find the fertiliser is still too strong then try watering your plant before adding fertiliser so that the plant sucks up the water first and the fertiliser gets diluted further. Do not fertilise during the winter months.
Calathea Picturata will do well in higher humidity. They can tolerate medium level humidity but will start to suffer in dry air. If the air is too dry for the plant it can cause crisping of the leaves. As this is a plant that likes things moist we would recommend using a humidifier to increase the levels in your home. Our favourite model if the Levoit humidifier as it has a large capacity, hot and cold mist and a humidity detector so you can set your device to put out a certain amount of humidity and it will automate this itself.
Propagation of the Calathea Picturata can be done through root division. We would not recommend trying to take cuttings as this is very unlikely to work. Instead take your plant from its pot and gently work the soil away from the roots. Once you have cleared enough soil try to separate the roots while breaking as few as possible. Once you have worked the roots apart you should have a separate segment of plant with its own root system in tact. Plant this in its own pot with soil and repot the original plant.
So to summarise, in order to look after a Calathea Picturata you will need:
- Medium to bright indirect light
- Regular watering
- Medium to high humidity
- Filtered water
- Diluted fertiliser
Calathea Picturata FAQ
Now you’ve read our Calathea Picturata care guide, why not take a look at some of the most commonly asked questions regarding this plant.
Is the Crimson and the Silver Calathea Picturata the same plant?
Yes these are both Calathea Picturata but vary due to their colouring.
Should I get the Silver Calathea Picturata or the Crimson Calathea Picturata?
Which ever one you choose will probably depend on which one you prefer the look of and which one will match your colour scheme better. They both have very similar care needs and are equally as attractive as the other.
Are Calathea Picturata easy to care for?
Calathea Picturata aren’t especially easy to care for, they are known for being fussy plants but if you follow our care guide then you should be able to look after them fine.
Are Calathea Picturata suitable for beginners?
Any plant is suitable for a beginner but as Calathea are known to be quite fussy a beginner may struggle with this plant.
Do Calathea Picturata like to be misted?
Yes, as these plants prefer the air to be quite moist they will respond well to misting. A humidifier would be more beneficial but misting can certainly help your plant.
Why are the leaves of my Calathea Picturata turning brown?
You might find the leaves of your plant turn brown and crispy for several reasons; underwatering, unfiltered water and direct sunlight.
Why are the leaves of my Calathea Picturata turning yellow?
The main reason for this is overwatering. If your leaves are turning yellow it could be a sign that you are watering your plant too frequently. If this is happening to you then consider checking the soil and if it is very wet change your watering schedule.