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Calathea Ornata Care | A Complete Guide To The Pink Pinstripe Plant

Calathea Ornata

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Calathea Ornata, also known as the Pinstripe Plant, can be a little fussy to care for. Calatheas prefer moist but not soggy soil. They aren’t a fan of the cold and fancy bright, filtered light. Remember, these are tropical plants, so settle them in temperatures ranging between 65-75F° and avoid any air currents that can dry out their leaves.

As their name suggests, these beautiful plants flaunt pink stripes tracing against lovely dark green foliage, making them an exquisite addition to any home. Though these plants are striking, they can be a bit finicky at times and challenging to care for.

However, apart from being a little challenging to grow, Pinstripe Calatheas enhance the interior of any room. They’re stunning to look at, safe for pets, and purify the air a win, win, win

In this guide, we’ll go through all that there is to know about Calathea care, from temperature to the propagation and everything in-between.

Calathea Ornata Origins

Calathea Ornata, also known as the Pinstripe Calathea, is a perennial plant that is part of the Marantaceae family – also known as the Maranta family or Prayer Plants.

These plants are native to South America and can also be found in regions with tropical climates such as Thailand.

Calathea Ornata Care Tips

When it comes to taking care of the Pinstripe Calathea, or any plant for that matter, there are some basic areas you need to cover.

These include temperature requirements, water, lighting, humidity (of course), and propagation. In addition, you need to be aware of some common problems such as pests, diseases, and how to address these issues. 

Pro Tip: There are three principles for tropical plants: no direct sunshine, no cold exposure, and high humidity.

How To Care For Calathea Ornata In Winter?

During fall or wintertime, it is essential to keep your plant’s soil moist. You should keep the plant watered and allow the topsoil to dry out between waterings. 

Calathea plants require humidity, especially during the winter months when the indoor climate is dry. This could be due to heaters or cold drafts.

Under these conditions, the best thing you could do for your plant is to add moisture to the air.

This may be achieved by using a humidifier or by placing your plant in a bathroom or kitchen with higher humidity levels.

Calathea Ornata Light Requirements

Calathea Ornata plants are tropical plants that naturally occur on the sun-flecked forest floor. To mimic their natural habitats, these plants prefer bright, indirect sunlight throughout the day.

The Pinstripe Calathea can be rather picky. Too little light may cause stunted growth, while too much direct sunlight can scorch your plant’s delicate leaves.

How Much Light Does Your Calathea Ornata Need?

Naturally, these plants grow in rainforests and thrive in shaded areas. Bright, direct sunlight will burn your plant’s leaves. If your plant’s distinctive stripes begin to fade, it’s a sure sign it’s receiving too much sunlight.

When selecting a place for your beautiful Calathea Ornana, make sure it will receive plenty of indirect, filtered light.

Signs Your Calathea Ornata Needs More Light?

Pinstripe plants thrive in medium-bright yet filtered light conditions. Similarly, if the plant receives too much sunlight or too little, you will notice the signs by the color of its foliage.

The plant’s stunning leaf colors will begin to dim, and its growth will slow down. Moreover, you may notice its stems becoming leggy.

Calathea Ornata Temperature Requirements

Calathea Ornata appreciates warm temperatures between 65 – 75°F. Should the surrounding conditions drop below 60°F, your plant may face difficulties such as wilting or curling leaves.

Like most houseplants, tropical plants are susceptible to problems caused by their environment and where they are placed. Cold drafts, air conditioners, heaters, or sudden swings in temperature could have a negative effect on your Pinstripe plant.

Calathea Ornata pllant

Fertilizing Calathea Ornata

Pinstripe plants are relatively low-maintenance when it comes to fertilizing but can benefit from a general, well-balanced houseplant fertilizer every four weeks to support growth.

The best time to fertilize your Calathea Ornata is during its growing season (spring and summer).

You should opt for a liquid or a diluted, water-soluble plant food every fortnight over its growing period.

During wintertime, you won’t need to feed your plant as diligently. If your plant is dormant, too much fertilizer may burn your plant.

Furthermore, don’t assume over-fertilizing will aid your plant in increased growth. Over-feeding may cause your plant to become tall, lanky and could cause its leaves to burn.

When To Prune Your Calathea Ornata

On occasion, you may see fading or yellowing leaves on your prized Calathea Ornata. This is perfectly natural and is your plant’s way of telling you that it needs to be pruned.

To do this, you would simply need to remove the yellowing leaves with a sharp pair of pruning shears. Removing dead growth may also aid your plant’s development and overall height.

Should You Dust Calathea Leaves?

From time to time, your beautiful pink Pinstripe Calathea may develop dust on its beautiful glossy leaves. You can remove any dust from your plant with a clean, damp cloth.

You can also occasionally give your plant a light shower. Ensure the water is lukewarm and carefully work your way through the leaves.

After you’ve rinsed the leaves, you should let the excess water run out from the pot. Remember, your Calathea doesn’t like to sit in water.

Pinstripe Calathea Humidity

As mentioned previously, Calathea Ornata is native to tropical forests, meaning they thrive best in humid conditions of 60% and more.

If the air around your plant is dry, you will notice the leaves beginning to curl and become crispy.

This is especially evident during wintertime when we blast our heaters and dry up all the moisture in the air.

If you’re searching for the ideal location for your lovely Pinstripe Calathea, the bathroom or kitchen area may be a suitable choice due to the high humidity levels.

You can also use an indoor digital hygrometer to check the room’s humidity levels and temperature.

 Alternatively, you could up the moisture levels in your home by getting:

Should I Mist My Calathea?

Mist, mist, and mist some more. If you live in an area with lower humidity levels or you’re in a dry climate, you should mist your Calathea often.

Pinstripe plants love humid environments and can dry out from sufficient moisture in the air. So, an excellent way to combat this is by misting your plant.

Calathea Ornata Leaves Drooping

Drooping leaves are typically caused by the plant being under-watered. Leaves may also begin to curl and become yellow. With Calathea Pinstripes, you should keep the soil moist at all times.

If you notice your plant’s leaves are drooping, feel the soil. If it feels dry, give it a drink, and its leaves will slowly uncurl in the next few hours.  

Calathea Ornata leaves
Calathea ornata, variously striped, pin-stripe, or pin-stripe calathea plants leaves close – up.

How Often Do You Water Calathea Ornata?

Calathea Ornata plants love water. However, they do not appreciate being left to soak in water, nor do they enjoy sitting in bone-dry soil.

You should water your Calathea every week or two in the summer months, depending on its environment. In the wintertime, you can water these plants every two to four weeks.

When you water your Calathea Ornata, make sure you get rid of any excess water.

Dry Vs. Overwatered Calathea Ornata

Calathea Ornata may love moist soil but don’t enjoy being left in soggy or waterlogged soil. Nor do these plants like to have dry soil. Take a look at some symptoms that may appear if you’ve over or under watered your Calatha.

Overwatered Calathea Ornata symptoms:

  • Yellowing leaves
  • Wilting leaves
  • Weak or rotting stems

Underwatered Calathea Ornata symptoms:

  • Crispy, brown leaf edges
  • Lower yellow leaves
  • Curling leaves

When To Repot Your Calathea Ornata

Calathea Ornata doesn’t require repotting often. You would likely need to repot your Pinstripe plant every couple of years (2-3 years).

There are also signs to look out for when it’s time to move your plant to a larger pot.

Two telltale signs to repot your Calathea Ornata are when you see the roots growing above the soil or coming out from under the drainage holes. Another way to tell is if your plant has become rootbound.

Calathea Ornata Propagation

Calathea Ornata can be easily propagated by root division. This can be done during the time you are repotting your Pinstripe Calathea. The optimum time to propagate your Calathea is in the spring.

Take a look at this step-by-step guide to successfully propagate a Calathea Ornata by division:

  1. Prepare a new pot with good drainage holes and a moist potting mix. The containers should be a few inches wider than the root ball of your divided portion.
  2. Fill the pots about ⅓ with potting mix (2/3 peat moss and ⅓ perlite work well here).
  3. Next, remove your plant from its pot by tipping it on its side. Gently shake any excess soil from the roots.
  4. Divide the root segments, leaving a few stems with leaves on each part.
  5. Place the divided plants into their new pots with fresh soil.
  6. Lastly, ensure your new divisions are kept warm and moist. You may want to cover your divisions with clear plastic bags (to keep the humidity and heat in until you see new growth).

 How To Take Care Of Calathea Ornata

Although Pinstripe Plants are relatively hardy, like most houseplants, they can occasionally fall victim to diseases and pests.

The most common pests include spider mites, mealybugs, scale, aphids, and more. While common diseases may include those related to fungal or bacterial infection.

Pinstripe Calathea Diseases (Bacterial & Fungal)

Some common diseases and fungal infections that Pinstripe Calathea can be prone to include:

  • Algal leaf spot
  • Alternaria leaf spot
  • Helminthosporium leaf spot

For treatment of diseases, you should:

  • Remove the infected leaves and part of the plant.
  • Isolate your plant in a well-vented location.
  • Apply appropriate chemicals such as liquid fungicides, depending on the disease.

Calathea Root Rot

Root rot is a common issue amongst plants that sit in too moist or waterlogged soil for long periods.

Root rot can come from two sources: prolonged exposure to overwatered conditions causing the roots to die back from lack of oxygen.

Another possible cause is a fungus in the soil, which can remain latent indefinitely until the plant is overwatered a few times.

Symptoms often include rapidly yellowing leaves, stunted growth, and a rotten brownish-black base. Once this occurs, the whole plant may seem to be going on a slippery slope towards death.

To treat root rot, you will need to:

  • Remove the plant from the dirt gently and thoroughly wash the roots under running water.
  • Try and rinse as much soil around the roots as possible.
  • Next, use a sterile, sharp pair of shears and try to trim away the affected roots.
  • Dispose of the soil the plant was in and wash the pot thoroughly with a bleach solution.
  • If possible, you should try and dip the remaining healthy roots in a fungicide solution to kill off any possible root fungus.
  • After treating root rot, repot your plant into the fresh potting mix with a container that has good drainage.

Pinstripe Plant Insect Invasions

Mealybugs, aphids, gnats, thrips, and scale are popular pests that love our striped Calathea plants.

Although outdoor plants are more susceptible to insects, it doesn’t mean your indoor plants are immune to opportunistic pests.

If you suspect your plant may have an insect infestation, there are an array of ways to try to dissuade or be rid of them. Neem oil is a great way to deter any insects. You can also spray an organic insecticide spray.

Note: Plant maintenance goes a long way toward avoiding insect invasion and keeping pests at bay.

Calathea Ornata Leaves Turning Yellow

Calathea yellow leaves can mean many different things. As tropical plants, they can get stressed if the moisture in the air is not adequate. Yellowing leaves can be from the plant not getting the humidity it wants.

Other causes of yellowing leaves can include

  • Over-exposure to sun
  • Natural shedding of lower leaves
  • Overwatering
  • Underwatering
  • Over-or underfeeding

Calathea Ornata Brown Spots

Brown spots on Calathea Ornata leaves can be a result of poor environmental conditions. This includes low humidity, excess light or leaf scorching, or cold drafts.

In other cases, brown spots can be caused by diseases, such as algal leaf spot disease. Pest infestations like spider mites, scales, mealybugs can also be culprits. 

Calathea Ornata Spider Mites

Spider mites are one of the biggest pest problems you will need to keep an eye out for when owning a Calathea Ornata.

These arachnids suck the life (sap) right out of your plant’s leaves, which can ultimately kill your plant.

If you notice signs of damage or the mites themselves, you should spray your plant’s leaves directly with a garden or shower hose. To deter or kill any remaining bugs, you can also coat the leaves with:

Calathea Ornata Best Products

While we are uncovering Pinstripe Calathea care, take a look at some of the best products to keep your plants looking and feeling their happiest.

Best Calathea Fertilizer: Miracle-Gro Indoor Plant Food

Best Pots For Calathea Ornata: Ceramic Flower Planter Pots for Plants

Best Calathea Ornata Basket: Seagrass Planter Basket

Best Light For Calathea Ornata: EZORKAS 9 Dimmable Levels

Best Calathea Soil: House Plant and Tropical Plant Potting Soil

Best Potting Mix For Calathea Ornata: Miracle-Gro Indoor Potting Mix

Calathea Ornata Frequently Asked Questions

So, now that we’ve covered the basics of how to care for your Calathea Ornata, if you still have any questions, check out some of these FAQs.

Is Calathea Ornata Safe For Cats?

Great news… Pinstripe Calathea plants are safe for cats, dogs, and humans. In fact, all plants in the genus Calathea are non-toxic. So they are safe for our kitties that love to graze or nibble on plants.

Is Calathea Ornata A Suitable Houseplant For Beginners?

Calathea Ornata can be difficult to care for, especially for beginner plant owners. However, with little attention to their growth needs, these plants may be a great choice for both novice and expert plant owners.

What is the Calathea Ornata Dormancy Period?

Calathea Ornata goes dormant, especially once the cold, winter season sets in. And although they are moisture-loving plants, you can cut back slightly on watering when the plant is dormant, but ensure their soil remains moist.

During the plants’ dormancy, they try to conserve their energy. They tend to shed leaves, and their growth slows down. This usually lasts until the conditions get better.

Why are My Calathea Ornata’s Leaves Curling?

When Calathea Ornata leaves curl up, it may be a sign it’s trying to preserve water. These plants’ leaves curl as a way to tell you, “I’m thirsty.”

Examine your Calathea watering schedule and the humidity level in your plant’s environment. Another explanation is if you’ve been using tap water. Rather switch to distilled or freshwater.

Why is My Calathea Ornata Dying?

One of the main culprits causing your Calathea Ornata to die slowly is often because the soil is dry. This is due to underwatering, which causes the leaves to droop, turn brown, or curl.

Other common causes that could lead to your striped leaf houseplant dying include:

  • Low humidity
  • Temperature stress
  • Overwatering
  • Pests

The first thing you’ll need to do is examine your plant closely and think about the conditions it has been kept in. Go through each common reason that may cause your plant to die.

Calatheas thrive in humid environments, so you can spray water and make sure their leaves don’t get too dry.

Ensure it’s in moist yet well-draining soil, and it’s kept in indirect light in a room that meets its temperature requirements. 

Does the Calathea Purify Air?

Apart from Calathea being beautiful ornamental plants, they also purify the air. Filtering out poisonous compounds and contributing to a healthier indoor climate – how cool?

Does My Calathea Need Sunlight?

Calathea plants don’t enjoy direct sunlight, but do require filtered light. Because they live in lush tropical regions, these plants are naturally shielded from direct sunlight and will not tolerate being left in the sun.

Bright sunlight can scorch or burn your beautiful plant’s leaves. Instead, these plants do well in partial shade or filtered light.

Why is My Calathea Not Closing at Night?

Something magical happens at night with Calathea plants. These plants are also called the Prayer plant because they close their leaves like they are praying. In fact, all plants belonging to the Marantaceae family fold their leaves at night.

If you do not see your Calathea closing its leaves at night, a common cause of this is the plant is getting too much light.

If an artificial light source is continuously penetrating your plant’s leaves, it can hamper its diurnal cycle.

Psst… If you want to know more about the Calathea species, take a look at its siblings, the Calathea Orbifolia Calathea Musaica and Calathea warscewiczii.

Is the Calathea Ornata Poisonous?

Great news! The pink Calathea Ornata is not toxic to cats or dogs, and humans too. However, it’s not advisable to eat it – they’re not very tasty anyway.

Do Calatheas Flower?

Calatheas are a popular houseplant, adored for their attractive foliage and beautiful pink stripes. And as far as flowers go, Calthea often blooms in the wild. Their orange flowers are oval-shaped and grow on spiral bracts.

Although these plants don’t often flower indoors, their gorgeous dark green leaves with pink stripes are beautiful regardless.

A Footnote On Calathea Pinstripe Care

Calathea Ornata is popular for its beautiful bold patterned foliage, a perfect addition to any home. Provided it’s placed in a comfortable spot and you’ve met the plant’s care requirements – good humidity, light, soil, water, etc. –  then you’re good to go.

The Pinstripe houseplants add a tropical flavor to any room. So, now that we’ve covered the complete care guide for our favorite plants, tell us what you like most about the Calathea Ornata.