Your Guide To Calathea Plant Care

calathea plant care

Commonly known as prayer plants, calatheas are beloved for their unique and colorful geometric markings. These ornate plants move their leaves up toward the sky at night, hence the “prayer” nickname. They come in many varieties, but all calatheas prefer low-light, making them especially great house plants for apartment dwellers. Calatheas aren’t the most laid-back house plants, but with a little knowledge and care, you’ll be able to provide yours with a good home. Here is our basic guide to calathea plant care.

calathea plant care

Potting Your Calathea Plant

Plant your calathea in a terra cotta or plastic pot with a drainage hole. When it comes to soil, calatheas prefer it to be moist — but don’t let it get too wet, or you could end up with root rot. Plant your calathea in a lightweight soil that will quickly drain excess water. 


As we mentioned above, calatheas don’t need lots of direct light to thrive. In fact, too much sunlight can do harm to the plant. Instead, keep it in a spot with low indirect light.

Watering Needs

Calatheas can be fussy when it comes to water, which can make calathea plant care a little tricky. They’ll do best with filtered water (like all house plants), and poor-quality water can result in browned leaves. Because they prefer moist soil, it’s important to water them moderately, but not so often that they get soggy. The best way to tell if your plant needs water is to stick a finger about two inches into the soil. If it’s moist, skip watering it until the soil is dry.


Prayer plants prefer humid environments. Luckily, many types of calatheas will do all right in lower humidity. You can help increase the humidity by setting up a humidifier in your home or lightly misting your plant, but be careful not to spray the tops of the leaves. Mist from the bottom-up for best results.

Want more house plant help? Check out some of our previous plant posts below:

Where to Buy Plants Online

Easiest House Plants to Propagate

Low-Maintenance Flowering House Plants


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