Ah..calatheas, they are beautiful, exotic and low light! But they can be DRAMA, even trying your best to give them everything they need. They just could get sad and die, out of nowhere. I find the winter months particularly taxing on these beautiful drama queens/kings. Here are some tips that I have found to get us through the winter months.ng your best to give them everything they need. They just could get sad and die, out of nowhere. I find the winter months particularly taxing on these beautiful drama queens/kings. Here are some tips that I have found to get us through the winter months.
Calatheas thrive on humidity. I’ll say that again…Calatheas thrive on humidity. Except for a select few, the rest of us are blasting our furnaces and living throw dry polar vortexes all winter long. That equates to very dry air. If you wake up in the morning feeling like a corn husk, your calatheas have probably shriveled up.
If you are every going to use a humidifier, now is the time. I keep a little humidifier on a shelf, next to a group of calatheas. Pebble tray or bowls of water will even help too. If you have a fish tank your drama queen/king will probably enjoy living near that as well.
I am a plant mister, its how I show my plants love. I do believe that misting, especially plants grouped together raises humidity. I mist my calathea grouping about 3 or 4 times a day. I keep the spray bottle right there and whenever I walk by..squirt, squirt.
These plants don’t like to completely dry out. They also don’t like to be soaking wet all time, it’s a tango with them. I do let them go a little bit longer between watering’s in the winter. Now, I do have a few calatheas under a grow light and I am finding that I am watering them more because the air is drying.
The doom and gloom of the winter is actually and advantage to calatheas. These are plants that like lower light (low light is by no means no light!). If you are once again one of the select few that have spectacular window lighting, these plants might appreciate the darker conditions that the Winter brings. You could even move them closer the window.
So… as most of you know tropical houseplants don’t like colder temperatures. Actually, exposure to cold temperatures ( below 50) will most likely lead to imminent death. We can’t come back from that.
Calatheas are no different. They will absolutely throw a fit if they are exposed to temperatures below 65 degrees to an extended period of time. Also, check and make sure your plant isn’t in a drafty area or too close to a heat vent or any kind of heating source.
Pests, the creepy crawly aspect of houseplant ownership. I find spider mites are quite keen on Calatheas. If you have wilted crispy leaves, check underneath them. Spider mites are tiny and can be hard to see but if you see any webbing or anything that looks out of place, it might time to do a systematic treatment.
Finding pests on your houseplants is not the end of the world. I will talk about a systematic treatment in a future post. One preventative measure I use, is to rise off the leaves every time I water.
If your calathea isn’t looking so hot this Winter, don’t fret. Not all of mine are either. Check out this guide and do a little trouble shooting. This might be a trial and error plant for you and that is fine. Just do your best and keep in mind they will probably bounce back once Spring rolls around.