Meet the Calatheas

Calathea plants are known for their beautiful, patterned foliage. Learn more about these unique beauties and discover our favorite ones. 

About the Plant 

Calathea plants belong to the Marantaceae family, which are flowering plants native to tropical forests in Central and South America, Asia, and Africa. In their natural habitat, Calatheas grow on the forest floor at the base of trees where they thrive in shaded, warm, humid environments.

They are easily recognizable for their wide, patterned leaves, some tinged with deep purple and burgundy hues. The plant’s broad leaves help absorb as much light as possible in their preferred shaded habitat. 

Calatheas have also been referred to as “prayer plants”. In the evening, as the light fades, the leaves of Calathea plants fold upright at the base of the stem as though it was in prayer. In the morning the light will activate the joint and the leaves will fold down to absorb the light. This is due to a special joint between the leaf and stem that is light-activated.

There are about 200 species of Calatheas and many are popular houseplants due to their beautiful unique patterned leaves. 

At Ansel and Ivy, we offer a variety of Calatheas for you to add to your home.

Plant Care

Though Calatheas vary in leaf size and patterns, their care needs are very similar.

Calatheas come from tropical forests and dwell at the base of the trees, so a moist, humid and warm environment will help your Calatheas thrive. Take care to keep the plants away from direct light as this will cause their beautiful leaves to be scorched. 

These plants prefer evenly moist soil. Check the soil before watering and if the top 1-2 inches are dry, water slowly from above, allowing it to be absorbed to the roots. Once the plant has been thoroughly watered, tip out any excess. 

Calatheas prefer and thrive in high humidity, around 75% or above, reminiscent of their natural habitat. If the air around your plant is too dry, you can mist its leaves from time to time.

Shop these assorted Calatheas on our site.

Velvet Calathea

Grey Star Calathea