Today's Gardener (todaysgardener.com) participates in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program.
If you are looking for something very decorative to adorn your living space or office, Calathea might just be a perfect choice. This fabulous plant exists in so many varieties that finding the one that fits your surroundings will be a piece of cake. It’s impossible not to fall in love with their exotic foliage and unique beauty, and the best part of all is- they are not difficult to maintain at all. If I were to describe the astounding appearance of each one of them, I’d need a lengthy book, so instead, I’ve picked one.
Allow me to introduce you to Calathea White Fusion, one of numerous Calathea types, a delicate mix of white, green and lilac, one of the most distinctive in the family.
In this guide I will cover:
- Different Types Of Calathea
- Light and Temperature Requirements
- Soil Requirements
- Problems and Solutions
Keep reading for more!
How to Grow Calathea White Fusion
Before I get down to thorough explanations of each of these sections separately, I want to say that White Fusion doesn’t belong to complicated ones to take care of.
Like any other plant, it requires proper knowledge, but there’s nothing particularly confusing.
It’s a good choice for both beginners, and experienced gardeners, as there’s not much to mess up. Except if you forget that you have one at all, but that would kill any plant, not just this one.
If I were to give you the shortest definition of Calathea White fusion care, it would go like:
Keep it moist but don’t water it excessively. Make sure it has well-draining soil, moderate temperature and avoid direct sunlight. Repot it once a year (or every two years) fertilize during active growth.
Now, let’s go step by step!
Related: Calathea – The Ultimate Caring Guide
Different Types of Calathea
If you are a fan of plants (and you surely are- you are here reading this, after all), you have probably heard of zebra plant, peacock plant, rattlesnake plant or cathedral widows, haven’t you?
All of them belong to the Calathea family, which altogether gathers several dozens of species and nearly 300 cultivars. The majority of them have highly decorative leaves and inflorescences, which is why they are very popular as pot plants.
Calathea is native to tropical Americas, and the good news is that despite there are so many different species, they all have more or less the same requirements. This means that if you opt to have more than one type of Calathea, you can have a similar approach to maintenance.
What are the most common Calathea types you can find as house plants?
- Calathea Rufibarba
- Calathea Zebrina
- Calathea Lancifolia
- Calathea Vittata
- Calathea Medallion
- Calathea Makoyana
- Calathea Roseopicta
- Calathea Network
- Calathea Ornata
- Calathea Orbifolia
- Calathea Fasciata
- Calathea Beauty Star
The list could go on and on, but our main focus here is White Fusion, so let’s find out more about how to water, fertilize, repot it and much more.
Watering Calathea White Fusion
Some plants enjoy a bit more humid environment and Calathea is one of them. Of course, this doesn’t mean you should water it too often and too heavily. If you do so, the roots will start to rot, and your plant will die slowly.
It’s very important to find the right balance between overwatering and under-watering. What I am trying to say is that you need to make a difference between soggy soil and moist soil.
Watering is certainly takes the most important role in Calathea white fusion care.
This plant prefers a moist environment, so we are talking some moderate level of water. It doesn’t need an excessive amount of water to develop properly.
What’s the ideal temperature of water for the Calathea plant?
Room temperature is an unquestionably ideal one for all types of plants, including Calathea. Either of the extremes can shock your plant.
You can use distilled water or rainwater, or if you have neither of these two, tap water can do as well.
But, never ever water it with freshly poured tap water, especially if you live in the city, as it can lead to fluoride toxicity. Allow tap water to sit out overnight and it will be just perfect.
So, how to be sure when is the right time to water your Calathea?
You can use the same trick that goes for absolutely all indoor plants- stick the finger in the soil to check the moisture level. When approximately 2.5 cm (or an inch) below the surface is dry, it’s time to water the plant.
Watering frequency will also depend on seasons. During summer months and higher temperatures, you will water it more frequently, while during colder months you will reduce watering.
Of course, the climate zone you live in also plays a significant role, as well as indoor conditions. In addition to this, you will also need to adjust the watering frequency with soil type and light. When you balance all these conditions, you have solid chances to grow a healthy and good-looking calathea.
In conclusion, don’t allow it to sit in water or extremely wet soil, but make sure the environment is humid enough.
Light and Temperature Requirements
Calathea belongs to variegated plants, and as such it develops properly only if it receives enough diffused light. If you like variegated plans, be sure to check out my Monstera Variegata care guide.
There are plants which enjoy no light at all, and those who thrive in direct sunlight.
However, if you expose Calathea to direct light, the leaves may lose its typical markings and start to fade. At the same time, if you place them somewhere too shady, you won’t be able to see its full potential.
What I’m trying to say is that only if you give it ideal light conditions, it will award you with the most beautiful foliage you can imagine.
Of course, it’s allowed to experiment and move your plant here and there to find the most optimal lighting but never change the conditions drastically. Plants don’t like that.
As for the temperature, this plant prefers warmer to higher temperatures but not too hot. The ideal would be between 18-23°C, but try to avoid those lower than 15°C.
Besides this, make sure there’s no draught, but also ensure proper ventilation so that the plant would receive enough air.
Soil Requirements of Calathea White Fusion
Having in mind the plant’s requirements in the abovementioned sectors, it’s quite easy to assume the type of soil. It should be a well-draining one but that can hold moisture at the same time.
There are various mixes you can buy, and the one made for African violets is found to be the most adequate mix commercially available.
If you have time, I suggest you make one which will complement all the specific Calathea requirements perfectly. This combo works the best: 50% potting soil, plus 20% charcoal and 20% orchid bark, along with 10% perlite.
This will create just the perfect environment for the development of a healthy and satisfied plant.
Fertilizing Calathea White Fusion
Fertilization is usually done during the period of active growth, and once a month is just fine. During winter it doesn’t have to be done at all.
When doing so, the best would be to choose a nitrogen-rich fertilizer and apply a weaker dose. Don’t forget to water your plant after feeding it. When it comes to nutrients, it’s not a highly demanding one such as hibiscus, for example, but still, make sure you don’t buy a too strong one.
If you ask me what’s the best calathea white fusion fertilizer, there are several I’d recommend.
Some all-purpose fertilizers are quite good and they cover the majority of commonly seen indoor plants. Just follow the instructions and apply them as written.
Calathea White Fusion Pruning
This specific one doesn’t belong to the types of plants that have to be pruned frequently. You do so just to refresh the plant and remove the diseased parts if there are any.
What you need is a pair of sharp scissors, clean ones of course, and here’s how it looks:
- Prune any dead, dying, or damaged leaves as soon as you spot them and remove them from the soil. The plant itself will reject those naturally, but you can be the “hairstylist” as well.
- Trim the leaves’ edges if they look brown and crispy. (I will explain late what does this indicate.)
- Deadhead the faded blooms- this is for the purpose of renewal. Sometimes it may be difficult to spot those but open your eyes widely.
You see, it’s as simple as that!
Calathea White Fusion Propagation
There are many plants that you can successfully propagate in water, such as pilea, peperomias, tradescantia, philodendrons, but calathea, unfortunately, no.
So, how can it actually be done?
You can do that by division at repotting time. Division, in case you haven’t heard of it before, is done like this:
- Take the plant out of the pot.
- Wash it so to be able to see the roots.
- Tease apart that mass into two or more pieces, using some tool (knife, trowel).
- You’ve completed the division!
The whole point is to get new “foundations”, to call them so, for future plants. You should keep these new divisions moist and warm so that they could start growing actively again.
The best way to protect them is by covering those freshly potted parts with plastic. Also, accommodate them in someplace where the light is reduced.
Repotting is usually done once a year, or every two years, depending on the plant, the size of the container, and your plant’s overall progress.
Of course, be absolutely sure that the plant is healthy, propagation is not done with diseased plants.
And that’s the secret of Calathea white fusion propagation!
Calathea White Fusion Repotting
Repotting is mainly done to replenish the soil, therefore it can be done once a year or every two years, as you evaluate. The new soil will bring new nutrients that are important for proper and healthy development.
But, in case your plant is root bound, it should be done ASAP! If you keep it in such a condition, it will become prone to fungal diseases and it will eventually start dying.
The best time to repot it is during the active growth phase, so it’s either early spring or summer. To make sure your plant doesn’t go through huge stress, water it a day before repotting.
So, once you prepare new soil (or the mix I gave you the recipe for), ceramic or plastic pot with an appropriate drainage hole (with two of those, preferably), here’s what to do:
- Fill the bottom of the container, approximately one-third of it with the mixture and firm it well by pressing it with your fingertips.
- Remove the Calathea fusion white from the original container carefully, loosen the rootball and gently crumble away about one-third of the mix surrounding the roots.
- Check the roots for any diseases or other signs.
- Accommodate it in the new container and add soil until the rootball us fully covered. Again, press the soil to firm it, water it and return it to the usual place.
As for the container size, the next one should be slightly larger than the current one, but not too large, otherwise, the plant won’t be able to continue its normal growth.
Calathea White Fusion Problems and Solutions
Like I’ve already said, this is a low-maintenance plant, and there aren’t many opportunities for things to go wrong, but still, it may happen. In case it does, don’t panic, I have collected all the common situations and fixes to save your white fusion calathea.
Being very expressive and temperamental plants, they will respond quickly when you accommodate them in an adequate environment with optimal conditions.
1. Leaves are curling?
The only reason why this may be happening is a lack of water or low humidity. This plant needs to be watered regularly (but not excessively!), so you surely missed doing so when needed.
You can set a reminder to nudge you to take a look or check the soil for humidity. The plant should quickly unfurl after it receives the needed dose of water, or even after some misting.
Besides not enough water, another reason why your Calathea’s leaves may curl is too much light or too high temperatures. The solution is simple, move it in some shadier but not too dark spot and somewhere with moderate temperature.
2. Rots are rooting- why this happens?
Unlike the previous issue, this one is usually caused by an excessive amount of water. If your plant has spent too much time in too soggy environment, it will start rotting. Again, create some schedule and check the soil regularly.
The best way to prevent this from happening (and this rule works for all types of plants!) is to make sure the container has a proper drainage hole. But, if it happens that it does have and the water still won’t go, then perhaps your plant is root-bound and it blocks the hole.
So, you surely wonder could a plant be saved in this condition? Yes, and no, depending on the phase.
If it’s the initial phase, then you can try removing the diseased parts and repotting it in a sterile container. But, if a higher percentage of the roots is affected, then look for a healthy cutting to propagate it, it’s the only solution.
3. Patterns on the leaves are fading and disappearing- what went wrong?
If you expose this plant to direct sunlight, the higher amount of chlorophyll will make the green dominant over other colors, resulting in patterns disappearing. To prevent this from happening, find some shadier place for it, but not overly dark.
4. Lower leaves turn yellow, others curl or become spotted- what’s happening?
This is also another indicator that your plant is not getting enough water, so you know what to do. This plant cannot endure long periods of underwatering, so don’t make your plant suffer, be responsible.
5. Why do leaves turn brown and edges become brittle?
When calathea brown edges occur, this is the sign that the level of humidity is too low. It’s the same as with other prayer plant leaves turning brown. As I mentioned, this plant likes a moist environment, so make sure you provide it. Trim those brown and brittle parts off, mist it occasionally and make sure it gets enough water.
6. Dropping leaves, stems become limp and rotten- why?
One of the reasons for this is draught, the other is temperature fluctuation, and the third- as you assumed too much water. Find some well-ventilated location for your plant, with stabile temperature, that’s the quickest solution.
7. Gray mold on stems- what’s that?
Believe it or not, it’s due to the high level of humidity. Even though this plant likes it, knowing where the balance is actually a crucial thing. This issue is also called Botrytis, and you can prevent it by doing the same as with the previous situation- make sure the room is ventilated, but without draught.
8. Bacterial, viral and fungal issues plus boring insects and mite
Before I describe, I want to make one thing clear. These issues are not all typical for White Plant only, but for Calatheas in general. I wanted to list all of them so that you can recognize in case your plant does have some of those.
There are pseudomonas leaf spots and pseudomonas blight, with the first one being easily prevented by avoiding overhead watering. The latter one is still not enough explored, so a plant with such a problem is best to be destroyed.
Cucumber mosaic virus (CMV) is the only one affecting the plant, but as far as examined, the problem it causes is only of aesthetic nature, but such a plant shouldn’t be used for propagation, as it can transfer the virus.
Alternaria leaf spot, Helminthosporium leaf spot, and Fusarium wilt are the fungal problems, and they are mostly avoided by proper watering. In case they are persistent, they should be treated with adequate fungicide.
The most common enemies of indoor Calathea include mealybugs, mites, aphids and scales, and they are treated with pesticides or insecticides.
Should I mist Calathea White Fusion?
Absolutely yes! This plant thrives on high humidity levels and regular misting will make it extremely happy, so you can do it frequently. There’s a cool trick to improve humidity- accommodate your plant on a wet pebble tray. In addition to this, to give your plant some extra boost, pop it in the shower occasionally. Also, plant humidifiers are a great idea!
Is it okay for Calathea White Fusion to be root bound?
Not quite. If there’s not much space in the pot for the roots to “breathe” properly, your plant won’t be able to develop properly. So, if there are several rosettes at the plant’s base, it’s time to divide them and repot the plant.
Is this Calathea White Fusion poisonous to people and animals?
You can be at ease because this magnificent plant is not dangerous for people and pets. We all know how cats can be curious, and tiny kiddos can resist exploring around, but with Calathea you won’t have to worry. My advice is to put it somewhere safe and out of reach so that pets or kids wouldn’t trip it or pinch the leaves, or eat soil- yeah, little ones can be quite unpredictable in their missions.
Does Calathea purify the air?
Even though it doesn’t have high purifying properties like some types of Ficuses, still, Calathea is not kept for decorative purposes, but it also contributes to a better quality of air. It can filter out a significant amount of poisonous compounds. If you want to enrich your space with more air-purifying plants, check out my list of best air-purifying plants.
What happens with Calathea leaves at night?
If you ask me, I’d say magic. Also known as a living plant, it closes the leaves at night and reopens it when the morning comes. This trick is made possible thanks to a small joint that connects stem and leaf. The light moves it which results in leaves closing and opening. And the best part of all is- this “open/close” performance is accompanied by rustling sound, so it’s a truly spectacular moment.
Is Calathea White fusion an invasive plant?
As it grows by means of a creeping rhizome, this plant is not known to be invasive. So, you can be at ease, it won’t spread out of control, like wood sorrels, for example, tend to.