Wednesday, January 20, 2010

I have two Calatheas in my garden. The pics you see below are taken when they look their best. For me these two ferns are quite hard to please. I either don't water enough or too much.

This mini version of Calathea can easily dry up and its pattern will dissappear when it is placed at a place where it receives too much sunlight.

The plant grows best at the coolest part of my garden and where there's shade. Given the right condition, moist soil and shade, the plant will produce foliage that are quite attractive.

This bigger version (pic below) grows rather slowly and I also consider it a fussy plant. The sides and tips of the leaves dry easily. At one time when the plant turned too brown/dry, I have pruned off all the leaves to let the plant re-grow.

Both plants have never produce flower but their foliage is no doubt, quite attractive.

To learn more about Calathea, click here.

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  1. Who needs flowers or blossoms when your foliage looks as good as that? Love those plants!

  2. The patterns on the leaves are really neat and they look healthy too! You have a way with these temperamental plants.

  3. I have one Maranta at work and it's so easy to handle, I can forget to water for weeks, which gives the plant a few dry leaves and voilá, with some water it's back in buisness. You Calathea has a wonderful pattern and I like the size too, mine is a bit to small. Good luck with it, must be hard to adjust watering in your warm clima. Have a nice day now, guess that will be tomorrow :)

  4. I really like those coloured exotic looking foliage. Never really understood their behaviour actually.
    Sometimes they do so well and sometimes...

    Hope you discover their secret and share the success story.

  5. Hi Steph! I had both of the plants, but the one shown on top just diappeared one fine day. The pencil line calathea is doing well in deep shade.They have never flowered for me either.

  6. lotusleaf, yup the leaves of the top one can dissappear easily :-).

    James, I have been growing the bottom one for a number of years. I am still having problem knowing its true character. Also due to our unpredictable weather nowadays, I either over water or didn't water enough. Also the strong indirect sunlight sometimes can make the leaves dry up easily. But sure, if I discover their secret I will definitely share.

    Mia, in my garden, their foliage tend to grow bigger and bigger. I hope for your Maranta too.

    Diane, Rosey Pollen, thanks for your compliment. Most of the time, their foliage condition isn't that nice ;-)

  7. I love these.... and never have much luck with them. I will have to try them again this summer. Maybe put them on my deck of something. I will be in touch to ask you some advice.

    Happy Garden Sharing - are you on facebook?
    Look up my garden at

  8. When foliage plants looks like this, fleshy and juicy, the garden looks cool and tropical.

  9. Your first Calathea looks like Calathea Roseo Picta and your second looks like Calathea Ornata. Both are looking pretty healthy.

    I grow calatheas outdoors in pots in my garden here in north Queensland ... we have similar climate conditions. I find that they need a little morning sunlight and then shade for the remainder of the day to produce flowers. Mine are both flowering right now in the middle of our horrible summer.

    Too much strong sunlight will definitely make the leaves turn brown and curl up .... but so will low humidity levels.

    They love humid conditions ... I've put mine around my pond so there's quite a bit of humidity in that area. While I know that our summer climates are already humid ... maybe try putting your pots on saucers or trays of pebbles create more humidity or give them a daily misting. Calatheas flourish in humid conditions.

    Do not however stand the pots in water ... they like being moist but not damp. Another thing to remember ... calatheas do not like to be over-fertilized. I only fertilize at the beginning of each season.

  10. I like the contrast of green lines against the green leaves :)

  11. Bren, take a look at Bernie's comments below. Good advice!

    Autumn Belle, Deborah, glad to know you like the foliage. Have a wonderful weekend :-D

    Bernie, thanks for the good advice you listed here. I find that the plant grow nicer when there's moisture in the air (during rainy days) too. I do not have a pond but will opt for a tray of water with pebbles. That's a great idea. Thanks again!

  12. Hi Steph. I don't have any Calatheas. Very nice foliage, though.

  13. They are so pretty Stephanie! I used to care only about flowers, but gardening in the shade has really developed my appreciation of beautiful foliage.

  14. Prospero, garden girl, thanks for dropping by and glad that you find the foliage attractive. Have a pleasant day!



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