I couldn’t belive my eyes when I saw this unfortunate Calathea musaica on the clearance shelf. I had always wanted one of these plants for my collection, but have always hesitated because they can be expensive. The beautiful grid patterned leaves make the Calathea musaica super popular. You will find these plants online anywhere from $20-$40 dollars. This one was for $9.50 so I figured I would give it a try.

When I removed the Calathea from its cachepot I noticed a root poking through the bottom and a bunch of water sitting in the bottom of the pot. This plant needs to move up in pot size with some new soil and a drying period. I and going to use all-purpose soil amended with perlite for good drainage.

Calathea musaica Care Tips:

  • The Calathea likes evenly moist soil so try not to let it dry out too much, but you don’t want it sitting in soggy dirt either.
  • Place the Calathea in bright indirect sunlight. Direct sunlight can scorch the leaves so filtered light is best.
  • During the growing season, you can use a light fertilizer every other watering.
  • Choose a soil that will hold some moisture, but drains really well. I went with all-purpose, but you can go with a mixture of peat moss, perlite with some soil for a nice mix.

I always feel like I am on the right track when I see promising new growth. When I got the plant there were two leaves already pushing through. Shortly after I got a fresh new leaf rising from the soil.

The Calathea is a really interesting plant and like its cousin the Maranta or “Prayer Plant”, the Calathea moves its leaves around during the day and into the night as part of its circadian rhythm. This movement around sunrise and sunset is known as nyctinasty.

If you are interested in Calathea and its close relatives you might want to check out this post about the Ctenanthe lubbersiana.