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"Calathea"

How to care for a Calathea Ornata

The Calathea Ornata (also called the Calathea Pinstripe or Pinstripe plant) is a beautiful plant with pink stripes on its large green leaves. It's beautiful, but it can be a fussy plant and difficult to care for at times. I've heard from a lot of people over the past few months how they've struggled to keep this plant healthy. This was enough for me to consider writing a guide about taking care of these beautiful plants.

In this guide, we'll go over watering needs, preferred soil, light requirements, humidity, common pests, and early signs your plant is struggling. If this plant has been difficult for you in the past, this is the guide for you. After I've explained how I took care of my own Calathea, the one in the picture at the top, you'll have all the tools you need to take care of your own.

Watering needs

All Calatheas, not just the Ornata, are humidity lovers. So this is a great plant to have if you're generally a person who over waters other plants. The Calathea Ornata can take this amount of water. But there is a catch. When you're watering this plant, you should make sure to get rid the excess water. You can do this in two ways:

  1. Plant the Calathea Ornata in the plastic nursery pot it came in and put that in the decorative pot.
  2. If you have a closed off pot, tilt the plant sideways and let any excess water escape.

This step is important, because while this plant loves to be moist, it doesn't like to sit in a puddle of water. This will cause root rot and that could kill the plant.

You should water this plant when the soil starts to dry out. This plant doesn't like to be in completely dry soil, so make sure to water it before it dries out too much. In the summer this means you should water this plant every week or every two weeks, depending on how dry the soil is. In the winter you can water this plant every two to four weeks, again, depending on how dry the soil is.

So to sum up the watering:

  1. Water plentiful, this plant loves to have moist soil at all times
  2. Let any of the excess water escape, this plant can't sit in a puddle

Soil for the Calathea Ornata

As I've mentioned before, this plant loves to be in moist soil. This means that you should find a soil that retains a lot of water. This way it can sit in moist soil for a long time and you won't have to water this plant as often. If you don't have any soil that's designed to retain water, that's not a problem. You'll just have to water the plant more often to keep the soil moist.

Because the soil needs to be moist most of the time, be sure to get soil that can breathe when it's moist. If you get soil that gets very heavy and compacts, you might want to choose a different one. This soil won't let any air go to the roots and this will slowly suffocate the plant. Soil with bigger chunks and/or moss will be a great option for this, it holds water and lets air through.

Light requirements

Calathea plants are tropical plants, so they should get bright indirect sunlight throughout the day. Keep them close to a south facing window with a thin curtain or some shade and you should be able to keep your plant happy. If you don't have a south facing window, a west facing window would also work. My Calathea Ornata is close to a big south facing window and gets indirect sunlight for most of the day. When it gets direct sunlight for too long, the beautifully detailed leaves will start to fade.

So in summary keep your Calathea Ornata in a bright spot where it gets indirect sunlight.

Humidity

As we've mentioned in the sections about watering needs and preferred soil, this plant loves to be in moist soil. To mimic the tropical environment this plant thrives in, it needs a lot of humidity. If you have a humidifier, keep it close by and make sure your Calathea is in a humid environment. If you don't know how to raise humidity, you can read my guide on 10 ways to raise the humidity in your house. The different ways I've given you in that article should be great starts to keeping this plant happy.

Common pests

The Calathea Pinstripe is prone to a few pests, like spider mites. With some regular maintenance, you should be able to keep this under control though. A way to treat this pest is cleaning the leaves with a mixture of water and dish soap in a spray bottle. You can use this on the leaves and this will suffocate the pests on and in the leaves. Afterwards, you can wipe the leaves and you should be set for the next few weeks. You shouyld repeat this process every one to two weeks, just to make sure it doesn't spread too much.

Early signs of trouble

The Calathea Pinstripe can be a fussy plant. Luckily, there are many early warning signs that your Calathea isn't happy. These symptoms include brown and crispy leaves, leaves that start to turn yellow, and the pink strips fading to a white color. When this happens, it doesn't mean your Calathea is dying. It simply means the Pinstripe plant isn't getting the care it really wants. When the leaves start to get brown or yellow, it might be in an environment that's too dry for the plant. In this case, make sure to mist your Calathea leaves daily or find another way to provide the Pinstripe plant with the humidity it needs.

When the pink stripes on the leaves start to fade to white, the plant is getting too much sunlight. Move it to a place that's a little more shaded and you'll see the difference.

Conclusion

And that's really all that's to it. The Calathea Ornata can be fussy, but once you stick to these guidelines you should be better prepared to take care of it. These guidelines will at least help you to recognize signs and offer solutions to help you keep your Calathea healthy and help it thrive.

The most important things to keep in mind about this beautiful plant are these:

  1. Keep the soil moist.
  2. Keep the plant in a humid environment.
  3. Give the plant bright, indirect sunlight.
  4. Plant it in soil that retains water well, but allows air to get to the roots.

These are the most important guidelines. Now you're ready to get out there and get one of these amazing plants. I hope they give you as much joy as they've given me. Calatheas truly are beautiful and they can even be easy to take care of...once you apply the tricks from this guide.

Thank you for reading this post! I hope it helps you to keep your plants healthy and beautiful! If you're looking for more guides on specific plants, you can always request a plant guide or donate a plant in order to get a guide for the plant you have trouble with.

Tags: calathea, humidity

Posted on: December 13th, 2019 Last updated on: July 1st, 2020

Other common names for this plant

  • Pinstripe Plant
  • Pinstripe Calathea
  • Calathea Pinstripe
  • Pink pinstripe plant
  • Calathea Sanderiana

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