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Are you looking for a tropical plant to decorate your living space but you want it to be different from the rest?
Well, look no further.
Calathea roseopicta, also known as rose-painted calathea, is one of the more compelling house plants that you can get. There are numerous types of Calathea, and all are beautiful in their own way.
The defining feature of this plant is the green and pink foliage that will bring a pop of color into your home.
Calathea plants, in general, are easy to take care of but this one is a bit more delicate.
Luckily, I have all the info you might need right here.
What is Calathea Roseopicta
This plant is native to South American tropical forests, namely in Brazil.
This evergreen perennial forms clumps and can grow up to 20 inches in height, making it a marvelous ornamental plant.
Of course, the most interesting aspect of this plant is the leaves that grow at the top of the stalks.
They are big and grow in the shape of the ellipse, and they’re usually vibrant green on the top with pink or cream strokes along the middle and the veins.
However, the bottom side of the leaves is completely red or purplish, giving the plant that unique look.
Another name for this plant is the prayer plant because the leaves have a habit of somewhat folding up during the night, and they do this to absorb water.
Calathea blooms during the summer, but the small purple and white flowers are hidden by the foliage and not as attractive as the plant itself.
There are different types of Calathea, but some of the most popular ones are:
- Calathea Rufibarba
- Calathea Zebrina
- Calathea Lancifolia
- Calathea Vittata
- Calathea Medallion
- Calathea Leitzei
- Calathea Fasciata
- Calathea Makoyana
- Calathea Network
- Calathea Ornata
- Calathea Orbifolia
- Calathea Beauty Star
So how can you grow a Calathea roseopicta by yourself?
How to Grow Calathea Roseopicta
As mentioned above, this plant needs special conditions so that it can thrive, and this is why it might be easier for you if you already got a grown one.
However, if you want to grow your Calathea roseopicta from scratch you can get some seeds in-store or online and get to planting.
First, get proper soil.
This plant needs to live and grow in soil with excellent drainage because it has to be moist at all times.
That’s why you should get a peat-based potting mix and it would be best if it was 2 parts peat and 1 part perlite.
Next, pick the right pot.
The good thing about this plant is that it doesn’t grow tall or mature rapidly, so the pot doesn’t have to be changed too often.
Start by picking one that will let it grow but that isn’t too big, and that’s ideally made of plastic.
Plastic holds water better than other materials, but if you don’t like the way it looks you can always put the plastic pot in a bigger fancier one.
It’s also important that the pot has drain holes at the bottom, to stop the roots from getting too moist.
Now, it’s time to plant the seeds.
Put them in small growing pots with soil in it, water them when the soil is dry, and just wait for the plant to start growing.
There are also some other steps that you should take, but they’re the same as taking care of a grown plant and you can read more about them in the rest of the article.
Related: Calathea – The Ultimate Caring Guide
How to Care of Calathea Roseopicta
Calathea roseopicta prefers being kept indoors because of its requirements, but it’s still moderately easy to take care of.
The most important needs that this plant has are the right temperature, humidity, and light, and as long as you follow the rules you’ll have a beautiful and healthy specimen in your home.
However, my first tip doesn’t have much to do with the health of the plant itself, but more with the aesthetic.
I suggest that you keep the plant somewhere higher up than the floor, like on a stool for example, so that the red underside of the leaves is clearly visible.
Now, let’s get to more important details.
This is a tropical plant, so it needs the right levels of temperatures and humidity, although it’s hard to control the indoor microclimate.
It enjoys average room temperature from 65ºF to 75ºF, but it should drop no lower than 60ºF.
Also, sudden drops in temperatures can harm the plant, so it should be kept in a place where the temperature is constant and there are no cold drafts, but where the air is fresh enough.
And when it comes to humidity, this plant enjoys water and humid conditions.
Although misting is a fine way to moisten up your Calathea plant, it’s better to set the whole pot on top of a tray filled with pebbles and water so that the water can evaporate and reach the plant above, providing it with enough moisture.
Besides misting, you can also put this plant in the shower from time to time to freshen it up, or move it to the kitchen or the bathroom for a while because both rooms have a higher level of humidity.
Another thing to take care of is dry air during winter if you use artificial heating. This can harm the plant and if nothing seems to help you can get a humidifier.
In addition to all that, wipe the leaves with a wet cloth from time to time to get rid of the dust.
Watering Calathea Roseopicta
As mentioned before, this plant enjoys moist and humid conditions, which is why it needs to be watered accordingly.
It’s important to note that the Calathea roseopicta will need more water during the active growth period.
The active growth period lasts from spring until autumn, and the wintertime is when the plant is dormant and doesn’t need that much water so you can reduce watering during that time.
Like many others, this plant is sensitive to any impurities in water, so you should stay clear of the tap water, and use rainwater or distilled water.
How much water does this plant need?
Well, you should never let the soil dry. You can easily check if the top layer of the soil is dry by sticking your fingers in it, and if it is the plant is in need of water.
You can also invest in a soil meter if you don’t want to get your hands dirty.
Instead of watering Calathea roseopicta with a lot of water once or twice a week, you should give it less water more frequently to keep the soil evenly damp, and this can also be done with self-watering globes.
Watch out for both overwatering and underwatering because both can harm the plant, but will talk about those problems later on in the article.
Proper Lighting for Calathea Roseopicta
Like most variegated plants, Calathea roseopicta enjoys a lot of bright and indirect light.
That’s because proper lighting is important if you want to keep the plant looking the way it does, with the vibrant green and pink leaves.
Lack of light can harm the health of the plant, making it look dull and unattractive.
You can experiment with the place to put your plant in your home, but rooms that face north, east, or west are usually the best.
These rooms are shaded enough and yet they still get a couple of hours of sunlight each day.
Also, it’s important to keep this plant away from windows where it can get hit with direct sunlight.
Although some direct sunlight can benefit the variegation, it can also burn the leaves and make them lose coloring if there’s too much of it.
This is all because of the origin of Calathea roseopicta.
Since it’s a smaller tropical plant, it’s used to growing in areas where it gets a lot of shade from the bigger trees around it, hence why keeping it in your home should be done similarly.
On the other hand, f your home is too dark, you can opt for one of the indoor plants that can grow in darker conditions instead.
Fertilizing Calathea Roseopicta
Fertilizing is a general step in taking care of any plant, and the same goes for Calathea roseopicta.
Every plant needs to get some additional food from time to time to keep it healthy and alive.
Just like any other ornamental plant, the rose-painted calathea should be fertilized only during the active growth period.
As mentioned above, winter is the dormant period for the plants, and you should let it rest.
During the winter they grow barely or not at all, so there’s no need for more water or fertilizer.
The first step that you need to take before fertilizing is watering the plant.
Putting fertilizer in dry soil where it can get to the roots directly can harm the plant.
The fertilizer that you should use should be rich in nitrogen. Always follow the instructions and dilute the fertilizer to ¼ or ½ strength. Give your plant fertilizer about every two weeks from April to October, during the active growth period.
However, watch out not to overdo it with the fertilizer!
Even though giving your plant additional food can be good for it, oversaturation of the soil and the roots with components in fertilizers can cause more harm than good.
Calathea Roseopicta Pruning
Pruning is a necessary step in taking care of any house plant, and not just to maintain the attractive looks of it, but also to keep it healthy.
The only tool that you’ll need more pruning Calathea roseopicta is some small gardening shears or sharp scissors.
When should you prune this plant?
Well, plants should usually get pruned at the beginning of the active growth period so that they can channel the energy into new healthy stems and leaves.
However, you can trim parts of the plant as soon as you notice that they’re decaying because they’re stunting the growth of the rest of the plant.
As the plant grows, it’s common for some of the outer leaves to start decaying, but if there are too many of them check the end of this article for problems that might be causing that.
Also, if the leaf edges of your Calathea roseopicta start turning brown, you can trim them with sharp scissors, just follow the natural shape of the leaf and it will continue to grow even after that.
The faded blooms should also be pruned because they are sucking up too much energy from the rest of the plant, even though they’re hardly visible.
But what is the right way to prune?
First, your tools need to be sharp so that you don’t damage the plant.
When cutting the leaves, remove them at the base where they join the stem of the plant, but leave the node so that the new growth can sprout from it.
Never prune too much of the plants, so that you don’t shock it.
Calathea Roseopicta Propagation
Once again, it’s best if you take this step during the active growth period months and it should only be done with mature plants.
Calathea roseopista propagation can be done one of two ways: either through division or through cuttings.
However, propagation through division is more common and faster, so we’ll get into more details about that one here.
The only things that you’ll need for this way of propagation are new pots and more soil.
We’ll talk about repotting itself later, but for now, you should know that you can do this when repotting.
The first step is to spread the soil with your hands and then carefully divide the stems so that there’s some space between them.
Next, lay some newspaper on the floor and carefully turn the pot to help you extract the plant with the roots and the soil.
Use your hands to remove as much soil as possible from the roots and continue separating the stems through them.
Each stem that you divide from the rest should have roots and at least one leaf, or it will not grow.
Make as many new plants from the parent plant as you want and put them in small new pots with the same type of soil that was in the original pot.
Take care of each of the new divisions the same way that you would of a grown Calathea roseopicta, and use plastic covers on them to increase moisture, but make sure not to overwater them.
You should notice new growth after only a couple of weeks, and you’ll have more of these beautiful plants in your home.
Repotting Calathea Roseopicta
The good news about Calathea roseopicta is that it isn’t that needy when it comes to repotting.
This plant only needs to be repotted about once every two to three years.
Also, that should be done before or at the beginning of the active growth period, so that you don’t disturb the plant.
You can easily check if your Calathea roseopicta needs to be moved to a bigger pot by spreading the soil and checking the roots of the plant.
If it seems like the roots are taking up too much space of the soil, it’s time to move the plant to a slightly bigger pot.
Take care not to choose a pot that’s too big for the plant and pick one that is around 2 inches wider in diameter than the last one.
Repot your plant but removing it from the old soil carefully and putting it in new pot and soil.
The most important step is watering the plant when you’re done repotting it.
Calathea Roseopicta Problems and Solutions
Don’t worry, most of these problems are easily fixable and I-m here to let you know more about them.
1. Tips of leaves turning brown
Are the tips of your plant’s leaves turning brown and are they crispier?
There are three likely reasons why, but the first step is to trim those tips like in the instruction above.
Not enough moisture
The leaves of this plant can get brown tips if the air around them is too dry.
Check if the soil is dry and water the plant, mist your plant, put a tray with pebbles and water under the pot, and follow all the additional rules that we listed above to keep your plant moist enough.
Too much direct sunlight
Too much direct sunlight will dry the leaves of your plant and if you notice this happening and you rule out the lack of humidity as the cause, try moving your plant to a different more shaded spot.
Fertilizing your plant when the soil is dry or using a fertilizer with too many salts or acids, can also cause harm to your plant.
If this is the case you should carefully repot the plant to change the soil that it was in and water it thoroughly, and this should help the plant get through it.
2. Droopy leaves
If you notice that the leaves of your Calathea roseopicta plant are turning droopy and lifeless the most likely reason is that there is not enough humidity in the room for it to grow.
Increase humidity by putting the plant on a tray of pebbles and water, misting the plant, or even using a humidifier.
3. Spots and leaves curling
Even though this plant’s leaves have the habit of folding up during the night, the leaves folding inwards are a sign of underwatering.
Luckily this can easily be fixed by setting a more consistent watering schedule for your plant.
4. Limp stems
On the other hand, if you notice that the stems of the plant are limp, the most likely problem is overwatering or low temperatures.
First, check the soil and if the roots seem soggy, and if they do the best solution is to repot the plant to save it from the too wet soil and take care of how much you water it in the future.
And if you’re keeping your plant in a room that’s too cold move it to a warmer one.
5. Mottled yellow leaves
If you notice this on your plant it likely has the cucumber mosaic virus.
Besides ruining the coloring, this virus also ruins the quality of the plant.
Unfortunately, it can’t be fixed and you should get rid of the diseased plant as soon as possible because the virus can easily spread to the rest of the plant in your home.
6. Leaf spots and blight
Calathea roseopicta can get bacterial or fungal infections and they usually manifest like this.
These can be encouraged by too much water in the soil or too warm temperatures.
Again, you’ll have to get rid of the plant if it shows signs of these infections because they can easily spread to other plants.
7. Pests and bugs
Unfortunately, this house plant is prone to pests, which usually show up because of the standing water in the soil that’s too moist.
You can wash them off with water, use insecticidal soap, or neem oil spray.
1. Is this plant toxic?
Unlike most other ornamental tropical plants, Calathea roseopicta is not toxic to cats, dogs, and people, so you should have no worries about keeping it in your home.
2. Will my Calathea roseopicta bloom?
Yes, it will bloom in spring with small white and purple flowers, but they won’t be that big or presentable, and they’ll likely be hidden by the leaves.
3. Should I use leaf shine to get the leaves to be more vibrant?
No. Leaf shine can damage the foliage of the plant so much that it will ruin the coloring and the health of it.
Just use a wet cloth to get rid of the dust.
4. What are the benefits of Calathea roseopicta?
Calathea roseopicta, like many house plants, is a great air-purifier.
There are also some other house plants that you can check out if you want more air-purifying plants.