Calathea veitchiana 'Flamestar'
The Calathea plants are part of a family called Marantaceae which contains about 50 species, and dozens of cultivars.
They come from the tropical areas of South America and it contains three genera: Calatheas, Maranta and Stromanthe. Due to habitat destruction, some of the species are threatened with extinction.
The leaves are flat by day and folded up as the day comes to an end, hence the common name “prayer plant”. This behaviour is called nyctinasty, and it happens as a response to changes in the sunlight.
The most common theory about this behaviour in prayer plants is that the leaves take the closed shape during the night because it allows rain drops to fall through the leaves to the roots. It stops the rain from collecting on the leaves, which prevents bacterial growth and helps it retain moisture at night.
They can seem a high-maintenance choice at first, because they require the perfect combination elements. They thrive best when provided with tropical forest like conditions: warm, moist, gentle airflow, and a bit of fertiliser. But when you set up the best conditions from the start and understand how to care for this plant, it will fairly easy to maintain it.
Plants that are kept too cool or too dry are likely to lose their leaves or suffer from fungal infections that will cause the plant to die from root rot or collapse. Plants that are exposed to too much sun are likely to become washed out and develop brown blotches on their leaves.
The Calathea plants are considered non toxic to people or pets, except in cases of allergies.
Mist the leaves to ensure that all sides of the plant receives humidity and moisture. When the leaves get dusty, clean them with a damp cloth or wash the dirt off under a tepid shower.
Remove any yellow leaves to keep your plants strong and growing.
Do not use leaf shine products on Calatheas. The oils in the leaf shining products will clog up the pores making it impossible for the plants to breathe.
When choosing a place for the plant, try to recreate the environment where they are naturally found: the floor of tropical forest. These plants are some of the species that will enjoy partial or even a full shade.
A good position for them are rooms that are naturally humid like bathrooms and kitchens, with indirect light. Avoid having the plant next to a window, and prefer corners. They also prefer to be kept away from droughts.
Intense light can make the patterns on the leaves fade. If this happens, move the plant to a shadier spot. Also, check for spider mites, since they also sometimes cause fading of the leaves.
In rooms where the humidity is low, and especially in winter times, spraying the leaves with distilled water will both help to clean the built up dust and also create a micro-climate around the plant that is much more humid than the rest of the house. In winter time, a cold humidifier can also help raise the moisture levels.
The prayer plants prefer a moist soil, however you should be careful about over watering. They are really sensitive plants, and even though they prefer high humidity, having roots sitting in water will kill them immediately.
Water as soon as the first inch of the soil feels dry to the touch. Water using either distilled, rain, or filtered water. Avoid using tap water, as the dissolved lime scale in the water tends to build up in the soil.
Water temperature is also quite important. Like many plants, the prayer plants prefer lukewarm water. Cold water will shock their roots and can kill them easily.
In their natural environment, the prayer plants are growing constantly, without having to deal with a dormant period. In our homes, the seasonal changes also influence the way the plants are growing.
Feed from March to October. Use a mild liquid fertiliser twice a month, diluted to half the strength indicated on the label.
The plants roots get burned easily by high concentrations of minerals in the soil. Excess fertilisation or mineral build-up in the soil turn the tips of the leaves brown.
Flushing the pot with distilled water will reduce the mineral build-up and allow the roots to develop normally.
Calathea veitchiana 'Flamestar' Identification Sheet
- Species / Cultivar
- veitchiana var. Flamestar
- Common name(s)
- Prayer plant
- Indoors, bright but indirect light
- well draining soil, peat based compost
- Skill level
- Medium difficulty
- Humidity needs
- indoors it should be misted every other day
We can guarantee that the plants leave our nursery disease free, but weather and local conditions might affect their survival. Make sure you always make an informed purchasing decision.
The plants that leave our nursery are in the best condition, free of disease. Kept in adequate conditions (positioning and care), the plants are guaranteed for 3 months if they are planted in the ground or one year if they are kept in their original pots. Return policy applies only to plants that are in their original pots.
Due to the nature of the consignments, the courier's drivers are not insured to carry goods through your property. The standard delivery location is the border of your property or the entrance of a communal space. If other arrangements need to be made, please get in touch with us as soon as the order is placed. Vouchers and small boxes can be posted through the letterbox, provided there is unrestricted access to it.
Please make sure you leave delivery instructions, at checkout, in case you won't be at home when the courier delivers.
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