Create Your Garden

Calathea vittata

Goeppertia vittata

Calathea vittata, Houseplant, House Plant

Calathea vittata, part of the diverse and visually striking Calathea family, is a plant that brings both elegance and a touch of the exotic to indoor spaces. Known for its distinctive foliage and growth characteristics, this plant is a favorite among houseplant enthusiasts for its decorative appeal and air-purifying qualities. It has been recently reclassified into the genus Goeppertia.

Calathea vittata: An In-depth Look

Calathea vittata is celebrated for its elegant, elliptical leaves that feature crisp, white, linear markings across a vibrant green background. The contrast between the white stripes and the dark green foliage creates a striking visual effect, reminiscent of finely painted brush strokes.

Native: This species is native to the tropical forests of South America, where it thrives under the canopy in warm, humid conditions. It is accustomed to the dappled sunlight of its rainforest home, making it well-adapted to indoor environments that can replicate these conditions. It belongs to the arrowroot family (Marantaceae), along with the Prayer Plant.

Plant Type and Habit: Calathea vittata is an evergreen perennial plant that exhibits a clumping growth habit. It grows upright, with leaves unfurling from a central base, creating a compact and tidy appearance. This growth pattern makes it an ideal choice for indoor gardeners looking to add a tropical flair to their collection without requiring a lot of horizontal space.

Size: The plant typically reaches a modest height and spread of about 1 to 2 feet (30 to 60 cm), making it suitable for placement on tables, shelves, or as a floor plant in spaces with limited area.

Flowers: While Calathea vittata is primarily grown for its foliage, it can produce small, inconspicuous flowers. The blooms are not the main attraction and rarely appear when the plant is kept indoors.

Foliage: The foliage of Calathea vittata is its most notable feature, with each leaf serving as a testament to the plant’s ornamental value. The striking white stripes on each leaf are what set this variety apart, making it a sought-after specimen for its aesthetic appeal.

Hardiness: Calathea vittata is hardy in USDA zones 11-12. It is not frost-tolerant and must be kept in environments above 60°F (15°C) to thrive.

Uses: Primarily used for decorative purposes, Calathea vittata is a popular choice for indoor spaces, including homes and offices, where it can contribute to a more inviting and vibrant atmosphere.

Toxicity: Calathea plants are non-toxic to cats, dogs, and humans, making them a safe choice for pet owners and families. Their sap may irritate sensitive skin.

Benefits: Beyond its ornamental appeal, it improves indoor air quality by filtering out pollutants.

Calathea Plant Care

Caring for a Calathea plant involves creating a balanced environment that mimics its native tropical habitat.

Light: Prefers bright, indirect light. Direct sunlight can scorch its leaves, while too little light may cause them to lose vibrancy. A spot near a window with sheer curtains or an east-facing window is ideal.

Soil: A well-draining, peat-based potting mix is suitable. Incorporating perlite or vermiculite can improve drainage.

Water: Keep the soil consistently moist but not waterlogged. Allow the top inch of soil to dry out slightly before watering again. Use distilled, rainwater, or filtered tap water to avoid brown tips caused by fluoride and other chemicals in tap water.

Temperature and Humidity: Thrives in temperatures between 65°F (18°C) to 75°F (24°C). Avoid sudden temperature drops and cold drafts. Requires high humidity levels, ideally above 60%. Low humidity can lead to brown leaf tips and edges. Use a humidifier, place the plant on a pebble tray filled with water, or group it with other plants to increase surrounding humidity.

Fertilization: Fertilize every 4 weeks during the growing season (spring and summer) with a diluted, balanced, liquid houseplant fertilizer. Reduce fertilization in fall and winter.

Pruning: Trim away yellow or brown leaves at the base to keep the plant looking tidy and to encourage new growth.

Cleaning: Wipe leaves with a damp cloth to remove dust and help the plant breathe.

Repotting: Every 2-3 years or when the plant becomes root-bound. Spring is the best time for repotting.

How to Propagate Calathea – A Step-By-Step Guide

Propagating a Calathea plant, like many other members of the Calathea genus, is best done through division. This method ensures the new plants have a good start with established roots and foliage.

Choose the Right Time: The best time for propagation is in late spring when the plant is in its active growth phase.

Prepare Your Tools and Workspace: Ensure you have clean, sharp scissors or a knife, pots for the new plants, and appropriate potting mix (peat-based or similar to what the parent plant is in). Sterilize your tools with rubbing alcohol or a bleach solution to prevent the spread of disease.

Remove the Plant from Its Pot: Carefully take your Calathea plant out of its pot. You may need to tap the pot’s sides or gently pull the plant by the base to ease it out.

Inspect and Separate the Rhizomes: Look for natural divisions in the root ball where the plant has formed distinct clumps or sections. These are your propagation points. Gently tease the roots apart with your fingers or cut through them with your clean, sharp tool if necessary. Ensure each division has a good amount of roots and at least one or two shoots (leaves).

Pot Up the Divisions: Fill your new pots with a suitable potting mix, making a hole in the center for the division. Place each division in its pot, ensuring it sits at the same depth as in the original pot. Fill around the roots with more potting mix, gently firming to support the plant.

Water and Care for Your New Plants: Water each new Calathea plant thoroughly after potting to settle the soil around the roots and eliminate air pockets. Keep the soil consistently moist but not waterlogged. Place the new plants in a warm, humid spot with indirect light, similar to the parent plant’s preferred conditions.

Monitor and Maintain Humidity: To ensure high humidity, you can cover the pots with plastic bags to create a greenhouse effect. Ensure to open the bag daily for fresh air and check the soil moisture.

Be Patient: Growth may be slow initially as your Calathea plant adjusts and develops new roots and foliage. It can take several weeks to see significant growth.

Calathea care, Houseplant care

Calathea: Pests, Diseases, Common Problems

Calathea is relatively resistant to major problems, but like all indoor plants, it can encounter some pests, diseases, and common issues.

Pests

Spider Mites: These tiny pests can be identified by the fine webs they weave on the plant. They cause yellowing or speckled leaves. Increase humidity around the plant and wash it with a strong stream of water. For severe infestations, use insecticidal soap or neem oil.

Mealybugs: These white, cottony pests tend to cluster in leaf axils and under leaves, sucking sap and weakening the plant. Remove with alcohol-dipped cotton swabs or apply neem oil.

Aphids: Small, soft-bodied insects that can be green, black, brown, or pink, aphids typically feed in groups on the undersides of leaves. Combat them with a gentle spray of water, neem oil, or insecticidal soap to protect the plant’s health and appearance.

Scale insects: Hard or soft-bodied insects that attach themselves to the stems or leaves, causing yellowing and growth stunting. Scrape off with a fingernail or use a cotton swab dipped in rubbing alcohol. Insecticidal soap or neem oil may also be used.

Diseases

Root rot: Often a result of overwatering, leading to brown, mushy roots and wilted leaves. Prevent by ensuring good drainage and letting the soil partially dry between waterings. Affected plants may need repotting with fresh soil after cutting away any rotten roots.

Leaf spot: Fungal or bacterial infections causing spots on leaves. Avoid wetting foliage when watering and improve air circulation. Remove affected leaves and treat with fungicides if necessary.

Common Problems

Brown Leaf Edges/Tips: Often a result of low humidity or fluoride in tap water. Use distilled water or rainwater and increase humidity around the plant.

Curling Leaves: Can indicate under-watering or too low humidity. Ensure consistent soil moisture and raise humidity levels.

Fading Leaf Color: Insufficient light can cause the vibrant patterns of your Calathea to fade. Provide bright, indirect light, but avoid direct sunlight, which can scorch the leaves.

Requirements

Hardiness 11 - 12
Plant Type Houseplants, Perennials
Plant Family Marantaceae
Genus Goeppertia, Calathea
Exposure Partial Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Early, Mid, Late)
Summer (Early, Mid, Late)
Fall
Winter
Height 1' - 2'
(30cm - 60cm)
Spread 1' - 2'
(30cm - 60cm)
Maintenance Low
Water Needs Average
Soil Type Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Neutral, Alkaline
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained
Characteristics Showy, Evergreen
Garden Uses Patio And Containers
How Many Plants
Do I Need?
Not sure which Goeppertia (Calathea) to pick?
Compare Now

Alternative Plants to Consider

Calathea leopardina (Elegant Calathea)
Calathea bachemiana
Calathea ornata ‘Sanderiana’ (Pin-Stripe Calathea)
Calathea roseopicta Like a Prayer™ (Rose-Painted Calathea)
Calathea rufibarba ‘Lancelot’ (Furry Feather Calathea)
Calathea warscewiczii (Jungle Velvet Calathea)

Find In One of Our Guides or Gardens

34 Best Indoor Plants for Bathrooms
30 Top Low-Light Indoor Plants for Easy Care and Beauty
30 Best Indoor Plants for Adding Color and Life to Your Home
Calathea
While every effort has been made to describe these plants accurately, please keep in mind that height, bloom time, and color may differ in various climates. The description of these plants has been written based on numerous outside resources.
Buy Plants

Requirements

Hardiness 11 - 12
Plant Type Houseplants, Perennials
Plant Family Marantaceae
Genus Goeppertia, Calathea
Exposure Partial Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Early, Mid, Late)
Summer (Early, Mid, Late)
Fall
Winter
Height 1' - 2'
(30cm - 60cm)
Spread 1' - 2'
(30cm - 60cm)
Maintenance Low
Water Needs Average
Soil Type Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Neutral, Alkaline
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained
Characteristics Showy, Evergreen
Garden Uses Patio And Containers
How Many Plants
Do I Need?
Not sure which Goeppertia (Calathea) to pick?
Compare Now

Gardening Ideas

Plant Calculator

How many Calathea vittata do I need for my garden?

Input your garden space dimensions

Your Shopping List

Plant Quantity
Calathea vittata N/A Buy Plants

Please Login to Proceed

You Have Reached The Free Limit, Please Subscribe to Proceed

Subscribe to Gardenia

To create additional collections, you must be a paid member of Gardenia
  • Add as many plants as you wish
  • Create and save up to 25 garden collections
Become a Member

Plant Added Successfully

You have Reached Your Limit

To add more plants, you must be a paid member of our site Become a Member

Update Your Credit
Card Information

Cancel

Create a New Collection

Sign Up to Our Newsletter

    You have been subscribed successfully

    Join Gardenia.net

    Create a membership account to save your garden designs and to view them on any device.

    Becoming a contributing member of Gardenia is easy and can be done in just a few minutes. If you provide us with your name, email address and the payment of a modest $25 annual membership fee, you will become a full member, enabling you to design and save up to 25 of your garden design ideas.

    Join now and start creating your dream garden!

    Join Gardenia.net

    Create a membership account to save your garden designs and to view them on any device.

    Becoming a contributing member of Gardenia is easy and can be done in just a few minutes. If you provide us with your name, email address and the payment of a modest $25 annual membership fee, you will become a full member, enabling you to design and save up to 25 of your garden design ideas.

    Join now and start creating your dream garden!

    Find your Hardiness Zone

    Find your Heat Zone

    Find your Climate Zone