Calathea Vittata Care and Growing Guide

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If you are looking for the perfect plant that will add a tropical feel to your indoor space, don’t look further than Calathea vittata.

Native to South American Brazil, this unique plant does best in lush rainforests underneath the shades of trees. So, if you’re new in the world of plants, this evergreen calathea is one of the easiest options to start with.

Again, the calathea vittata is a specie that is fussy like others in the calathea family, as their leaves may either become crisp, curl, yellow, droop, etc.

However, you can prevent these conditions by imitating their natural environment and giving them proper care, such as bright filtered light, moderate watering, medium to high humidity, warm temperature, etc.

Here’s a detailed calathea vittata care and growing tips!

Facts about Calathea Vittata Plant

Common NamesThe Prayer Plant
Scientific NameCalathea vittata
Plant TypePerennial, Tropical
Mature Size2 feet (60 cm) tall
Sun ExposureMedium indirect light
Soil TypeWell drained, Peat/Perlite based mix
Soil pHSlightly Acidic
TemperatureBetween 65 to 75℉ (18 to 25℃)
Leaf ColorDark Green Leaves with white stripes & burgundy-purple underneath
Hardiness Zones10 to 11
Native AreaSouth American & Brazil
ToxicityNon-toxic to humans and animals

Commonly known as the Prayer plant, Calathea vittata is a tropical plant from the Marantaceae family. As we mentioned earlier, this lovely specie is native to South America and is great for greenhouses, especially if you provide it with the proper humidity and temperature.

Meanwhile, it has leaves that continuously fold at night and unveil during the day, which is why its common name is Prayer Plant.

Its leaves are dark green, thus making it delectable, while underneath it comes with burgundy-purple leaves that are distinctly attractive. It produces stunning light cream-colored flowers during the spring, but will rarely produce indoors.

Again, the Calathea vittata is a houseplant that is smaller than others from the same family and can grow as tall as 2 feet (24 to 26 inches). Its leaves have a size of 8 to 12 inches (20 to 25cm) wide.

It can be as fussy as other plants of the calathea specie; hence, you will have to give them adequate care to prevent crisp, curled, yellow, or even droopy leaves. 

Calathea Vittata Care and Growing Guide

Calathea vittata will thrive and become as durable as possible if you provide it with the best conditions it requires, including light, temperature, humidity, water, and fertilizer, amongst others.

Meanwhile, you can hardly neglect this specie like the snake plant; hence, it demands optimal care if it must do well as a houseplant.

Check out the basic care guide below:

Sunlight Needs

Calathea vittata likes an area with bright, filtered light, so you must prevent them from getting direct sunlight from South or West-facing windows to avoid scorched and faded leaves.

In other words, it requires a filtered light through sheer drapes, or you can position it some feet apart from a sunny window. Again, low lighting encourages fungus growth and root rot.

Soil Needs

Calathea vittata requires its soil to be well-drained and evenly moist all the time. In other words, it does best in a peat-based mix that can retain moisture.

Therefore, we recommend regular potting soil mixed with perlite and peat moss to keep it well-drained and retain moisture. Remember to grow your calathea specie in a pot that features enough drainage holes.

Proper drainage holes stop the issue of overwatering. Again, you can use airy soil in a clay or terracotta pot to keep it healthy.

Adding charcoal to your soil mix will enhance soil PH, kills toxins, and also absorbs too much water. More so, Orchid bark and charcoal help its soil mix to become properly drained.

Watering Conditions

Almost every plant requires water to survive, including the Calathea vittata. However, it requires moderate watering, which means you must water regularly but avoid overwatering or under-watering.

Like most other calathea species, the vittata variety will not like the excess or insufficient amount of water. 

If you want this plant to grow healthy, you must water the plant and check by dipping your finger to see if the top inch of the soil is dry before watering.

Meanwhile, the best kind of water to do this is rain or distilled water, as they are completely devoid of chemicals, which can potentially affect the plant’s healthy state.

Temperature/Humidity Needs

Tropical species like the Calathea vittata enjoy warm temperatures and high humidity. They will do best in temperatures between 65 to 75℉ (18 to 25℃), thus making the indoor conditions ideal.

During the summer season, with a temperature rise, this plant can tolerate almost 85℉, and without stress.

However, it doesn’t mean it is cold-hardy specie, as it cannot survive temperatures below 50℉ (18 degree Celsius). For those living in colder zones, ensure you take your plants out of windows or vents where they are vulnerable to cold air that is harmful to them.

If you want to use a heating mechanism for your vittata specie, you must adopt adequate measures to keep their humidity levels since artificial heating mechanisms can dry the air out.

It would help if you bring them out for some fresh air and sun warmth in the summer and spring to enhance progress and health.

Fertilizing Needs

The best time to feed your Calathea vittata is twice a month during the growing seasons of spring and summer using a slow-release fertilizer. Meanwhile, the calathea species are very sensitive to over-fertilization; hence, you must go for a balanced, diluted fertilizer after watering.

You must follow the instructions on the product label and dilute the fertilizer. Note that strong fertilizers can result in a salt build-up in the soil, which can burn the plant’s sensitive root system.

Therefore, we recommend nitrogen-rich fertilizers as the best for your Calathea vittata.

How to Prune Calathea Vittata

With maturity, you will begin to find some yellowing or browning of leaves, which is a natural occurrence. In this case, cut or trim away the foliage to enable the plant to focus its energy on the healthier leaves.

Again, pruning enhances the plant’s compact and bushy state, as well as helps to combat potential bacteria growth.

Ensure you keep your tools sterilized before foliage pruning activities, as bacterial growth and pest attacks often result from dirty equipment. Divide the plant and propagate via root division while repotting. The best time to shift and propagate the calathea vittata is during early spring when the plant starts new growth.

Potting & Repotting for Calathea Vittata

The best time to repot your Calathea vittata is when the plant starts outgrowing its environment. Again, if you see that the roots are beginning to grow out of the pot, it is a sign that it is time to repot.

However, during repotting, ensure you transfer it into a slightly larger pot than the initial one, to enable the plant to grow again.

Calathea Vittata Plant Varieties and Similarities

Calathea species have up to 200 species; one of the most common of these species is Calathea vittata.

In other words, apart from the vittata species, there are other instances of stunning clothes or varieties that exhibit similar features as the vittata. See the brief highlights below;

  • Round-Leaf Calathea: This specie features a size of 8-12 inches wide, leathery leaves alongside creamy and light-green stripes. It likes humid conditions and well-draining soil. You must keep it under partial shade.
  • Rattlesnake Plant: Rattlesnake calathea is one of the most common calathea species featuring long and narrow, light-green leaves with edges in dark green marks. The plant thrives in bright filtered light and prefers rich, well-drained soil. 
  • Furry Feather: You can also refer to it as Velvet calathea, as it features lance-shaped green foliage with velvety purple undersides on long burgundy stems. However, it can also tolerate lower light conditions.
  • Corona: Corona or Rose painted calathea comes with giant glossy foliage alongside bright green to creamy patterns. It does best in well-draining soil. You must keep the plant away from cold drafts.
  • Jungle Velvet: This particular variety features lance-shaped, velvety dark green leaves with light green patterns. It thrives in highly humid conditions, or you can use a humidifier.

How to Propagate Calathea Vittata

Calathea vittata has one of the easiest propagation methods of all houseplants. All you require are smaller distinct pots filled (one-third) with soil mix and adequate timing.

The best period to propagate your calathea is in the spring, which is between March endings to the beginning of April, as it is the growing season, when the temperature is moderate, thus reducing stress.


Root division is the best propagation method of calathea vittata. Follow the steps below for the effective propagation of this specie:

  • Moving the soil around, gently pluck out the mother plant from its pot.
  • Ensure the mother plant’s stems and roots are healthy and clean.
  • You can dust off any excess dirt on the root ball to make it more accessible.
  • Separate the stems, according to the number of propagations you desire to make.
  • Trace down each stems to the root ball and separate the roots accordingly.
  • Cut the stems using a sterile scissor.
  • Pot the stems into already prepared, separate pots.
  • Once you are done with the potting, place the daughter plants under optimum conditions.
  • These newly propagated plants require adequate watering and lesser light but relatively higher humidity than the mother plant.

Note that immediately after the stem begins to grow, it is time to shift it under the same conditions as its parent plant. Meanwhile, you can maintain humidity levels by covering your newly propagated stems using a thin sheet of plastic.

Common Pests and Diseases Of Calathea Vittata

Calathea vittata is prone to several pests and disease attacks, especially root rot, which is most commonly caused by overwatering or allowing roots to sit in water.

Once you notice on time, prune mushy roots and repot the calathea in fresh soil. You can wipe out the inside of the pot if you’re reusing a similar one to kill any remaining bacteria.

Extensive root rot could be irreversible and will result in the plant’s death. Other notable pests include fungus gnats, spider mites, scale, and mealybugs. You can eliminate mature pests by wiping the infested leaves using a cotton swab dipped in alcohol. 

You can also apply neem oil as required for immature pests. Most times, more than one application is necessary.

For fungus gnats, you can use a solution of one part 3 percent hydrogen peroxide and four parts water sprinkled on the plant to help control the infestation.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Calathea vittata pet-friendly?

Yes, it is pet-friendly. Since every type of calathea specie is not toxic to pets, it is safe for them and even non-poisonous for kids.

Is it safe to mist my Calathea vittata leaves?

Yes, it is important to mist your calathea leaves at least three to four times a week to maintain their clean state and to enhance high humidity levels.

Does a Calathea Vittata Clean the Air?

Yes, Calathea vittata is a good air-purifying plant, especially indoor plants.

Are Calathea vittata easy to find?

Like most other calathea varieties, the Calathea vittata is increasingly becoming a lot easier to find are even growing more famous by the day.

You won’t struggle to find a shop that stocks it, and you’ll find several other online shops that do so. Besides, you probably won’t have to pay huge shipping fees depending on where you live.

Is Calathea vittata rare?

Calathea vittata is not too rare and, as we said earlier, is becoming easier to find in several nurseries due to its increasing popularity among houseplant lovers. You can check around your local nursery, or several online stores and sites that sell this stunning plant.


Calathea vittata is not as easy to plant and care for as other houseplants, yet it is worth the stress, thanks to its unique beauty and eye-catching features.

In other words, it will not survive neglect, but a conscientious planter can make the plant do well in the right conditions, like frequent watering, adequate lighting, and high humidity levels.

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