If you want to add a distinct foliar specimen to your houseplant collection, this Calathea Warscewiczii Care Guide is for you!
Native to the tropics of Costa Rica and Nicaragua, Calathea warscewiczii adds a touch of elegance to any indoor space with its velvety foliage and striking colors. Learn all about growing this fantastic plant with our comprehensive care guide!
- Botanical Name: Goeppertia warszewiczii
- Calathea warscewiczii Common Name—Calathea Jungle Velvet, Velvet Calathea
- Reaches a height of 3-4 feet indoors
- Thrives in a temperatures range of 65-85F or 18-29C
- Shows the best growth under bright indirect sunlight
- Non-Toxic to humans and pets
What is Calathea Warscewiczii?
Member of the Marantaceae family, Calathea warscewiczii is a medium-sized perennial houseplant reaching 3-4 feet indoors. The leaves are large and ovate-shaped with a velvety texture, prominent veins, and slightly wavy edges that grow on upright burgundy stems. With a combination of dark and light green shades, the upper side of the foliage creates a striking contrast to the purple-burgundy undersides.
One of the remarkable qualities of the plant is its ability to change the orientation of its leaves throughout the day. During the daytime, they spread out to maximize light absorption, and at night, they fold up, resembling praying hands. This behavior, known as nyctinasty, is an intriguing aspect of the plant’s natural rhythm.
Aside from its aesthetic appeal, Calathea Jungle Velvet also offers practical benefits for indoor spaces. The large leaves create a lush and tropical ambiance, besides acting as a natural air purifier by filtering out toxins, thus promoting a healthier living environment.
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Calathea Warscewiczii Flowers
Prized for its attractive foliage, the Calathea Jungle Velvet produces beautiful cone-like inflorescences that do not gain much attention but definitely add to the plant’s charm. The flowers are small and tubular, arranged spirally around a central spike, with each bloom having a creamy white or pale pink color. However, these flowers are not a common sight indoors, and you must be really lucky to find your Calathea warscewiczii blooming!
Ideal Pot Size
The best bet is to get a container that is slightly bigger than the plant’s root ball. Go with a 5-6 inches pot for a young Calathea warscewiczii, and move to the next size when the plant outgrows the pot. Observe the plant size and choose accordingly. However, ensure to drill 2-3 holes at the bottom to aid proper drainage.
Calathea Warscewiczii Propagation
Propagating Calathea warscewiczii through division is an effective method to expand your plant collection. Spring and summer is the best time to carry on the process to ensure minimum plant stress. Here’s a step-by-step guide:
- Select a mature, healthy parent plant with multiple stems or shoots.
- Carefully remove the plant from its pot, gently loosening the soil around the roots.
- Using a sharp, sterile knife, carefully cut through the rhizome to separate smaller divisions, each with a strong root system and at least one set of leaves.
- Plant each division in a separate pot filled with a well-draining potting mix, ensuring that the rhizome or roots are covered with soil.
- Moisten the newly divided plants moderately and place them in a spot with indirect sunlight.
You’ll notice new growth in a couple of weeks, after which you can move it to a much brighter location and treat it the way you treat an established plant.
Calathea Warscewiczii Care
Calathea warscewiczii is a sensitive plant that requires bright, indirect light to thrive. Keep in mind that direct sunlight will scorch or droop its velvety foliage, while absolute shade will fade away its color. To strike the right balance, provide the plant with 6-8 hours of filtered or indirect sunlight per day.
North or east-facing windows are usually suitable, or you can use sheer curtains or blinds to filter the light further. Also, you may supplement the plant with medium-intensity LED strips or artificial grow lights in case your home doesn’t receive sufficient sunlight.
To mimic the plant’s native place, use a well-draining medium that retains moisture without becoming waterlogged. A mixture of equal parts of peat moss, perlite, and high-quality potting soil would be ideal. Peat moss retains moisture and offers a light, airy environment for the roots, and perlite further ensures good drainage, preventing waterlogging, a common concern for these tropical plants.
Maintain a slightly acidic to neutral pH, ideally between 6.0 and 7.0.
Calathea warscewiczii prefers consistently moist soil that is not soggy. Water the plant thoroughly when the top inch of the soil feels dry, allowing excess water to drain out through the holes. The watering frequency depends on the temperature and humidity of your place. Remember to reduce the frequency when the plant growth slows down in winter.
Additionally, using filtered or distilled water is beneficial as Calathea plants are sensitive to chemicals and minerals present in tap water.
Temperature and Humidity
Calathea warscewiczii thrives in warm and humid conditions, similar to its native place. Maintain a temperature range between 59-85 F and 15-29 C with 50-60% humidity to ensure optimal growth. Avoid exposing the plant to temperatures below 10F (50C) or above 90F (32C), as that could be fatal to the plant. Also, keep the plant away from sudden temperature fluctuations in drafty locations.
To increase humidity, consider using a humidifier or placing a pebble tray nearby. Misting the leaves with tepid water or grouping them with other humidity-loving plants also helps.
To best nourish your Calathea warscewiczii, feed it with a balanced, water-soluble fertilizer, ideally a 20-20-20 mix every 4-6 weeks during its active growth season, usually from spring to summer. Do not forget to dilute the fertilizer to half its strength to avoid an overly concentrated solution.
Using a fertilizer specifically designed for foliage plants will help to enhance leaf health and maintain vibrant color. As the plant enters its dormant period in the fall and winter, you may reduce the fertilizing frequency to every 8-10 weeks, as its nutrient intake needs lessen during this rest period.
Periodically flushing the soil with distilled or rainwater can help clear out any built-up salts from the fertilizer, contributing to the overall health and longevity of your plant.
Remove any yellow or damaged leaves by gently pulling them from the base of the stem. You can also trim the plant to control its size or promote bushier growth. Ensure to use clean, sharp pruning shears to avoid introducing infections or damaging the plant.
Major Troubleshooting Tips
- Wilted or Yellow Leaves: Majorly a sign of overwatering or underwatering. Check the moisture level in the soil and adjust your watering schedule accordingly. Ensure the plant is not sitting in waterlogged soil or a pot without drainage holes. Allow only the top two inches of the soil to dry out in between waterings.
- Curling or Crispy Leaves: Curling or crispy leaves can be a result of low humidity levels or exposure to cold drafts. Increase humidity around the plant by using a humidifier, placing a tray filled with water and pebbles nearby, or misting the leaves regularly. Ensure the plant is away from drafty spots caused by air conditioning or heaters.
- Leggy or Sparse Growth: Leggy or sparse growth can occur when the plant is not receiving enough light. Move the plant to a location with more suitable lighting conditions.
- Pests: Common pests that can affect the plant include spider mites, mealybugs, fungus gnats, and aphids. Inspect the plant regularly, especially the undersides of leaves, for signs of infestation such as webbing, sticky residue, or visible insects. Gently wipe the leaves with a damp cloth or using organic insecticidal soap. For severe infestations, consider using an appropriate insecticide following the instructions provided.
- Brown Spots: Brown spots on the leaves can be caused by inconsistent watering, exposure to direct sunlight, or fungal issues. Ensure consistent watering practices, good air circulation, and avoid overwatering or allowing the plant to sit in water. Place the plant in a location with filtered light to prevent sunburn.
- Drooping: Drooping leaves can indicate underwatering or low humidity. Check the moisture level in the soil and adjust the watering frequency accordingly. Increase humidity by implementing methods such as a humidifier or pebble tray.
Where to Buy Calathea warscewiczii?
Local garden centers and nurseries often carry a range of houseplants, including Calathea species. It’s always a good idea to call ahead and check if they have your favorite plant in stock.
If you prefer shopping online, numerous websites sell this plant. Websites like Etsy, Amazon, and eBay have listings from a variety of sellers. Be sure to review seller ratings and customer reviews to ensure you’re buying a healthy plant.
Specialized online plant shops also stock a variety of Calatheas. They typically offer detailed care instructions along with the plant, which can be very helpful for beginners. Another online option is to check plant enthusiast groups or plant swap communities on platforms like Facebook or Reddit. Members might acquire Calathea warscewiczii for Sale.
Remember to consider your location and the current season when ordering plants online, as extreme temperatures during shipment can affect the plant’s health.