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How to care for your <em>Calathea roseo picta</em>

How to care for your Calathea roseo picta


  • Positioning and Light
  • Why are my leaves drooping?
  • Feeding
  • Should I repot my Calathea roseo picta
  • Further care
  • Pests and disease

Tropical houseplants hailing from the tropical American countries of Brazil, Columbia, Peru and Ecuador, the genus Calathea, also known as a prayer plant, are grown exclusively for their gorgeous patterned leaves. This variety has an underside of a flashy red-purple colour, and when they close up at night becomes a great burgundy display.

Given the right care, they’ll of course continue to produce this splendid foliage. Don’t let them show you their ‘Diva’ side and make sure you care for them properly. 

Positioning and Light

Like other Calathea, C. rosea picta, the Rose-Painted Calathea, needs bright indirect light, high humidity and consistently moist soil which never becomes soggy. 

Use a rich potting mix, staying away from that which is too dry and sandy, or holds water too well. Keep them in a room where the temperature doesn’t drop below 15°C, don’t let them stand in a draft. 

Feed lightly in their growing season (spring and summer), keep the humidity on point, and you should have a healthy and happy Calathea plant. 

Why are my leaves drooping? 

If you see the leaves looking limp, or drooping, it could be caused by overwatering, but possibly because it’s too cold or is standing in a drafty area. So move them somewhere more suitable if you notice this happening or it won’t improve and the damage may be irreversible. 

Conversely, curling spotted leaves, or lower yellow leaves are generally a sign of underwatering. Crispy brown leaf edges signify low humidity. The leaves will dry up immediately if placed too close to a heat source so keep them away from heaters. Don’t wait for your plant to tell you it’s thirsty – keep checking on it regularly. Wilting can actually harm the foliage. As can allowing the leaves to remain wet overnight, which may well allow fungal infections to take hold, so water early enough in the day so that it’s dry before sunset. Use a humidifier in the home – it’s good for your plants, and for you!


They’re fairly light feeders, so fertilise them sparingly with a balanced preparation every 4 – 6 weeks in their growing season, and prune dead or damaged foliage just above soil level to reduce the risk of pest or disease.

Should I repot my Calathea roseo picta?

Only repot once you notice that it’s become rootbound, as they tend to struggle a little after repotting as they don’t like having their roots disturbed. And only into a pot that’s slightly larger than the current one as a pot that is too large will need a lot more potting mix, which can lead to too much water around the root zone. 

Further care

If the leaf pattern is fading, it will need either a bit more light, or alternatively, a little less light! (Did we mention that they can be divas?) Bear in mind that outdoor shade is generally brighter than light in indoor spaces, so they definitely prefer brighter light, so if it’s deeper in a room, move it a little closer to a window. Light drops off very fast with each half meter distance from a window. 

Pests and disease

If you find any pests such as spider mites or mealy bugs on your Calathea roseo picta, isolate it from other plants, as pests can spread rapidly. You’ll generally only find bug activity if your humidity levels are wrong. Use an insecticidal soap treatment to get the problem under control, after giving the plant a shower with enough water pressure to knock the pests off. Repeat the treatment every 4 – 6 days until the infestation has gone. You can also try Diatomaceous Earth for spider mites, just coat the dry plant with the DE, and then wash off when watering. 

Diseases in the form of bacterial or fungal infections due to too much watering, or too much water on the leaves, usually show up as spotting in the leaves. To obviate trouble, keep water off the leaves and reduce water levels. You can trim and discard leaves with large lesions. If you see dark green or black lesions it could signify something more dire, in which case you’ll need to treat with a copper bactericide, but it’s usually best to destroy the infected plant. 

Are Calathea rodeo picta pet friendly? 

Like most Calathea, these “rose painted prayer plants” are non-toxic to your beloved furry friends, isn’t that fantastic! 

All the beauty, none of the worry. 

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