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How to Care for Calathea Warscewiczii: Light, Soil & More

In the is Calathea Warscewiczii care guide you will learn, everything you need to know to care for your goeppertia warszewiczii from how often to water it, leaves turning brown to its lighting requirements. This guide has got you covered.

Calathea Warscewiczii
Calathea warscewiczii

Calathea Warscewiczii plants are becoming more and more popular as houseplants and can be seen as regular stars in offices as well.

Something about their aesthetic seems to relax people and make the room they grace more soothing to be in.

Part of the appeal is that they’re relatively easy to care for, much like many of the philodendron varieties.

They are also tropical, which adds a touch of the exotic to any mundane space. And they can grow quite large, at over a meter.

Calathea is part of the Marantaceae family, which originates in the tropical regions of Africa. They are a flowering species with broad leaves to capture light. This is a clue that they do not ordinarily enjoy too much direct light. Their natural home is on the ground in areas with thick canopies.

A Note on the Marantaceae

The Marantaceae family has about 530 species within its classification. These arrowroot plants – some interchangeably referred to as prayer plants – are distinctive for their ability to close at night, and open in the day.

Calathea Warscewiczii Care Tips

Fortunately, Calatheas are fully capable of prospering in and enhancing your home. Here’s all you need to know about keeping these beautiful plants healthy, beautiful, and happy.

How Much Light Does Your Calathea Warscewiczii Need?

While general knowledge states that plants like bright indirect light, it’s useful to know that Calathea doesn’t enjoy direct light.

Bright sunlight scorches the gorgeous leaves of the Calathea. So, it’s about keeping that light filtered or keeping it in partial shade.

Another point worth making here is that Calathea don’t enjoy windy areas. If you’re planning on using a balcony or porch (assuming it meets the sunlight requirements), make sure it’s not in wind. Also do not place the plant outdoors if you’re in a cool or cold area.

Remember that the natural home for the Calathea plants is the jungle floor. Think about the relatively calm setting at play here, the jungle humidity (more on this later), and the sunlight conditions in such a context.

The Best Light For Calathea Warscewiczii

So, it almost goes without saying: Do not place your Calathea on a window ledge or out in the open under the sun.

A slightly shaded corner or at least a spot where Calathea’s light is filtered is ideal. Dappled light can work, or sunlight filtered through a light curtain.

Calathea Warscewiczii Temperature Requirements

Calathea comes from a warm climate but seems to have adapted well to a moderate range of temperatures. Ideally, you’ll want to keep its environment at a toasty 18-27°C (65-80°F).

This may be tough in winter if you live in a cold climate, but Calathea will be ok down to 16°C (60°F).

Ideally, you would have some form of temperature control in your room. It doesn’t need air conditioning or anything like that.

But be aware that sudden changes in temperature can shock your plant. If this continues, some damage to the leaves will occur.

Calathea warscewiczii leaf

When to Prune Your Calathea Warscewiczii

Like any stylish person, Calathea jungle velvet enjoys the occasional bit of pruning. Occasional strategic pruning also helps with new growth, as it cuts away excessive bits that are using up the plant’s energy and resources.

If you’re cutting, do so in the autumn months. Older leaves might be the first to go. This would also be the time to style the plant a little, giving it some shape.

Feed it Fertilizer

Calathea flowers during spring, summer, and autumn. They do not need a lot of fertilizing, but a little bit here and there can help to keep them healthy.

The best advice is to use a diluted, water-soluble, or liquid fertilizer every fortnight over those flowering months. It’s important to dilute the mix.

How much you use will depend on the size of your plant, but you can follow the product instructions fairly confidently with this.

Experience suggests that the dilution should at least be 50% water or more. If you start noticing spots on your leaves, chances are you’re overfertilizing.

Cut back on the frequency of both. If you’re noticing the situation recurs only when you fertilize, dilute the mix a bit further. 

Dust the Leaves

You should also aim to keep the leaves clean and free from dust. Dust is everywhere, and while you don’t need to dust it every day, a buildup can cause issues if left unattended for too long. For example, dirty plants struggle to photosynthesize.

Fortunately, it’s not too difficult to manage once a week or so, and if you’re a serious plant lover, it’s a great opportunity to talk to them and catch up.

For ordinary dusting, use a dry soft cloth, or a very slightly damp cloth. A light dusting with a microfiber duster or cloth will also suffice under normal circumstances.

A note: If you’re in an area that’s naturally dusty, out in the dry country or near a construction site, you may want to keep an eye on how often your plants are collecting dust. You’ll then need to take action more often.

Best Soil For Calathea

A good soil mix for Calathea requires adequate drainage. The best suggestion is an organic mix rich in peat.

Calathea likes its roots to be moist (without being excessively wet). So, a decent mulch is required to keep the roots cool.

Too much water in the Calathea soil system promotes root rot and invites fungus problems.

How Often Do You Water Calathea Warscewiczii?

So, the question arising from that is: “How much water does a Calathea need?” Well, it’s a matter of how often the soil needs it.

As mentioned, Calathea plant likes moist soil, but not wet soil. You should only water your plant when the soil starts to feel dry.

Usually, 5-10 cm (2-4 inches) of topsoil should feel like it’s starting to dry. When you water it, there should be no water sitting on top of the soil.

You may find that because of higher temperatures, the soil dries out slightly faster in summer than in winter. Adjust your watering schedule accordingly. In winter, the plant may not require as much watering.

If you tend to be away for a few days at a time, a watering globe may be a good option to look into.

If you live in a hard water area, it’s best to use distilled water or bottled water. If you have doubts about your tap water rather do this – Calatheas tend to be quite sensitive about its water.


Our African plant loves the humidity of the tropics. There are ways to simulate this in your home.

A popular and visually pleasing option is a pebble tray – a tray filled with pebbles and water.

Place the plant (pot and all) on top of the tray. The evaporation from the water humidifies the air as it rises up past the plant.

You might also invest in a humidifier if your home’s air situation is particularly dry. Calathea typically likes humidity levels of 70% or more.

When it’s not getting what it needs, you’ll notice tips of leaves turning brown.

Should I Mist My Calathea?

Misting is another popular option when it comes to tropical plants. Calathea likes a good misting! This helps with humidity.

A decent spray bottle that delivers a fine mist is best for this. Take care not to over-mist as excessive moisture without proper ventilation might invite pests.

Calathea Warscewiczii Propagation

Propagation is not as straightforward as we might think when it comes to Calathea Warscewiczii. The traditional method of cutting roots and putting them in water or soil does not apply.

Calathea needs to be propagated with root division. This should take place in spring, or at the latest early summer (its growing season).

Soil division involves dividing rhizomes, tubers, corms, and bulbs. Be aware that propagating Calathea is a delicate operation and it’s not uncommon to lose plants in your attempt to propagate.

So, it’s best to make sure you have enough starting materials that will allow you to not completely lose all your Calathea.

About 10cm (4 inches) of moist potting soil is needed for rooting prayer plant cuttings. The prayer plant cuttings should have a few leaves intact as well. Wait a while until you can see the start of new root development.

Gently remove the roots from the soil and start to separate the new root development from the old cutting root system. You may now re-pot the old section

Pot the new section, with enough water and humidity and in a suitable light and heat context as explained above. With a bit of luck, your new plant should start showing growth soon.

Re-Potting Calathea

Calathea grows quickly and can become quite large. Plan to re-pot your Calathea every two years or so, during the spring.

This will be the ideal time to attempt a propagation if you’re keen. Remember to use a potting soil mix that is based in peat.

Calathea Warscewiczii Pests, Diseases and Common Problems

Like all houseplants, Calathea Warscewiczii sometimes falls prey to certain ailments. Here’s a shortlist of the most common issues, with a few tips on how to combat them.

Dry vs. Overwatered Calathea Warscewiczii

It is possible to either overwater or underwater any plant, velvet Calathea included. If the problem isn’t remedied, usually the plant cannot be saved.

The most common first signs of a plant being unhappy are drooping, drying, or discolored leaves. And crispy edges on plants – unlike our favorite fried snacks – are not a good thing.

Let’s take a slightly deeper dive into other signs of problems related to watering and other issues.

Calathea Warscewiczii Drooping Leaves

Drooping leaves is a common ailment, affecting almost all plants. This can sometimes be caused by overwatering. Too much water tends to squeeze the oxygen out of the soil, making life harder for your plant.

But it could also be a case of your plant being too cold, or in unpleasant windy conditions. Try adjusting the watering schedule, or move the plant to a better location, depending on what you suspect might be the problem.

Root Rot

Root rot prevents plants from absorbing nutrients from the ground. Root rot is a fungal issue, usually caused by roots sitting in soil that is too wet – again, overwatering is an issue here.

Another cause of too-wet soil is poor drainage. So, make sure your soil and pot are draining properly, not sitting in water.

Root rot makes roots feel mushy and black, as opposed to their normal firm, healthy state. It’s a nasty blight, and because you can’t always see it immediately, it causes many plants to die.

If you do happen to spot a plant with poor leaf health and suspect root rot, here what you can try:

Remove the entire plant from the soil. If you see root rot that isn’t too far gone, use a sterilized cutter to cut away affected roots. Wash the roots thoroughly in clean water and repot with new soil.

Insect invasions

While it is true that insects tend to affect outdoor plants more, indoor plants aren’t immune to the attention of opportunistic pests.

Thrips, mealybugs, gnats, aphids, and spider mites are all about finding an easy place to attach to. Good plant maintenance goes a long way to preventing these blights.

But it also pays to occasionally check for signs of bug life.

Fungus gnats are especially worth checking for, as the soil in your Calathea is always moist. Spider mites are also common. 

Calathea Warscewiczii Spider Mites

Dry air is also an inviting environment for spider mites. Look between the stems of the plant for telltale webbing under the leaves or between the stems.

Dealing with spider mites is fairly straightforward. First, give the plant a wash or a shower under a light spray with a cloth.

Spray the plant with neem oil or an organic insecticide. You can also use insecticidal soap for a wipedown.

Calathea Warscewiczii Leaves Turning Yellow

In most cases, yellowing leaves are a sign that the plant is not receiving enough water. Leaves may also curl or become spotted.

Make sure you’re giving the plant enough water, and that the water you’re using isn’t hard. For best results, try distilled water.

Calathea Warscewiczii Brown Spots

Browning may be a sign that the plant needs more humidity. This is not quite the same as watering.

The leaves need some humid air from which to benefit. If the air is too dry, you’ll find these spots developing.

Once a leaf turns brown it’s not likely to turn green again. Cut it off and push for new leaves. Try a humidifier, mist the air around your plants, or even a pebble tray.

Calathea Warscewiczii Best Products

Here are a few tips on what to look for if you’re keen on only the best for your Calathea.

Best Fertilizer For Calathea Warscewiczii

Experts tend to recommend a fertilizer with a 10/10/10 NPK ratio. This means that it has a compound mix of Nitrogen/Phosphorus/Potassium. Try a good PGF-balanced all-purpose fertilizer.

Start out with a monthly dosage but keep a record of when and how much you use. If you spot any issues, adjust accordingly.

Best Pots For Calathea Warscewiczii

Calathea grows relatively slowly, so repotting doesn’t need to take place any more regularly than two years or so.

They also don’t grow too large, or according to pot size. So, choose a pot large enough to offer the roots enough space, but not too large as to dwarf the plant.

Best Calathea Warscewiczii Basket

Baskets are a wonderful option for giving your plants an even more “organic” setting. Ideally, you’ll want a woven basket of some kind, with a plastic inner.

Place your pot inside (the basket should be big enough to disguise the pot) and say you made it yourself! (Just kidding).

Best Soil For Calathea Warscewiczii

Try a mix of peat-based potting soil with perlite. Find one that doesn’t compact – they are generally superior to ordinary potting soil for our purpose.

Best Potting Mix For Calathea Warscewiczii

Add to the potting soil to make a top mix. Use about 50% potting soil as mentioned above. Then add an even mix of orchid bark and charcoal for the rest.

If you’re short on supplies, the potting soil should also suffice.

The idea is to create a potting soil that is well-draining but remains slightly moist. 

Calathea Warscewiczii Frequently Asked Questions

That’s a pretty good rundown of how to care for your Calathea. But here are a few FAQs that frequently crop up from new owners.

Is Calathea Warscewiczii Safe for Cats?

Great news! Calathea is not poisonous to pets – particularly cats or dogs. So you have no worries there.

Whether or not the cat takes a special interest in eating or shredding your plant is not covered in the warranty, though.

Why do Calathea Leaves Close at Night?

Yes, Calathea leaves close at night! This adds an extra charm to their presence in your home.

The little joint between the stem and the leaf seems to be triggered by sunlight conditions, making the plant “go to sleep” at night and “wake up to a new dawn” in the morning.

Where Do You Cut Calathea Warscewiczii?

There’s a certain approach to cutting plants. Calathea can be pruned or cut back, especially if you find some leaves getting old or withered. Smart pruning can promote new growth.

Removing Leaves Completely

Some leaves can’t be saved, and it’s better to let them go, giving resources to new growth.

Cutting away this plant shouldn’t damage the plant at all (unless you’ve used fungus-infected cutters, say). 

Gently clip the leaf close to the stem, and check back after a while to see if there’s new growth. 

Trimming Tips

You may not need to cut the entire leaf if only a small portion looks damaged. If the edge of a leaf looks sunburned or chewed upon, or “crispy”, trim this small area with a pair of sharp scissors.

As long as your leaf maintains the basic shape, you should be ok. 

Why is My Calathea Warscewiczii Leaves Curling?

Normally, Calathea leaves reach for the sunlight. They will open and turn towards a light source.

If your plant is suddenly curling up during a perfectly normal day, it might be trying to preserve water. So take a look at your watering regimen, the room’s humidity, and in some cases, whether your room might be too hot.

If you’ve been using tap water, try switching to distilled or bottled water. You can also double-check the exact location of the plant. It may be next to a heater, or in a hotspot of some other cause.

In extreme cases, and if all of the above seem fine, have a look for possible root rot.

Why Doesn’t My Calathea Flower?

Calathea normally bloom regularly in the wild. Oddly, they sometimes struggle to flower indoors.

So if your Calathea isn’t blooming its flowers, don’t take it personally. You still have a beautiful green tropical plant to admire.

Can I Place My Calathea in My Bathroom?

Calathea Warscewiczii is a wonderful bathroom or kitchen plant. Just make sure that the bathroom or kitchen in mind meets all the requirements regarding filtered light, heat, and humidity.

In fact, I don’t think you’ll have a problem with humidity in a bathroom, especially if you have a shower.

Final Thoughts on Calathea Warscewiczii

With all this in mind, you should have little trouble taking on a beautiful Calathea for your home.

They will definitely add a bit of green, and even a tropical flavor. I’d even suggest adding a colorful watering globe to the look and feel.

If there’s a tricky part to owning a Calathea, it’s the propagation. But if you’re going to go that route, just follow the tips from this article.

Use this guide to care I’ve provided as a general guide for caring for, propagating, and keeping a healthy Calathea Warscewiczii plant. Happy pottering!

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