Last Updated on October 15, 2021 by Grow with Bovees
Calathea Veitchiana, or Calathea Medallion, is a variety of tropical plant often used as an indoor plant at home and businesses.
It is a member of the Marantaceae family (or arrowroot family) of flowering tropical plants.
Although Calatheas are usually used indoors, other prayer plants within the Marantaceae family are often used as food sources or in other products in different orders of magnitude.
Calatheas are native to the tropical areas of South America, specifically Brazil.
Okay, now let’s get down to what you need to know about how to care for calathea medallion.
First, as mentioned above, Calathea Veitchiana (which will be known as Calathea Medallion or just Medallion from here forward) is a very popular type of indoor plant in both homes and in places of business.
- Foliage for one. Or to put it another way: it’s all in the leaf. The Calathea Medallion is well-known for its large, rounded leaves. As an evergreen plant, its leaf colors tend to come in various shades of green. Each leaf is purple to deep burgundy underneath. All together, these purple foliage plants pack a pretty foliage punch, whether it’s displayed at home or at work.
- Care and attention would be the second answer.
Although the Medallion calathea plant does require care and attention, it doesn’t require constant care and attention.
But it does need to be consistent.
Love, Care, and Feeding of Your Calathea Medallion Plant
So how do you encourage your Calathea Medallion leaves to flourish? What kind of care and attention do you need to provide so that your Medallion outshines other indoor plants? And livens up your bathroom or any room (seriously, it’s one beautiful plant compared to other indoor creations)?
It really boils down to a few things and one Calathea plant at a time.
Proper watering — filtered water, not tap water.
Avoid unfiltered water.
Don’t over water but don’t under water.
Bright indirect light.
Too much direct sun can cause leaf burn.
Good indoor potting soil, preferably one that contains some peat moss.
Refreshed potting soil.
Humidity (again water, just in the air).
Balanced houseplant fertilizer, (at half the recommended strength).
Avoid extreme temperature changes.
In short, care.
Do these things, and you can have a healthy calathea with full leaves with colorful undersides for years.
How Much Light Do Calathea Medallion Plants Require?
The Calathea Medallion, again, is from tropical climates, and is an evergreen plant. It prefers bright indirect light to direct sunlight. It can thrive where direct sunlight conditions are medium to low light.
These conditions also make it ideal for indoor growth, too, because of the minimal amount of direct sunlight or natural light it requires for growth.
This doesn’t mean you should try growing Calathea medallion in a closet without any light.
No, your Medallion’s new plant home within your home should be in an area where your Medallion can access medium to bright indirect light on a daily basis.
Keep your Calathea Medallion in a place where it can avoid too much direct sunlight as it can burn the leaves and raise the surrounding temperature, drying out the soil faster than would be preferred.
How Much and How Often Should I Water Calathea Medallion? (Hint: Zero Tap Water)
Your Calathea Medallion water requirements are pretty straight forward.
One, do not water on a fixed schedule. Instead, check the soil on a regular schedule and water the plant if needed.
If the soil is dry to a depth of one inch below the surface of the soil, add enough water until you see some drops from the drainage holes at the bottom of your pot.
Do not flood your soil and pot or leave standing water. Keep the soil moist, not swampy, to avoid root rot, plant rot, fungus development (and possibly develop fungus gnats) and plant death. This is where peat moss will help by retaining moisture and allowing adequate drainage.
Two, avoid using tap water to keep out chemicals that can be retained in the soil and hard on the plant.
Don’t use hot or cold water, lukewarm water is ideal.
You’re trying to give the plant water it needs without adding to its stress level.
Filtered water, or distilled water, free of things like fluoride and chlorine, is best for plant health, and will also help avoid potential rotting roots and plant death.
How to Maintain Humidity and Temperature for a Medallion Calathea?
The easy way is to live somewhere with a consistent level of humidity. So, areas in dry climates are not ideal for growing a Calathea Medallion outdoors.
However, there are ways to help a Calathea Medallion grow indoors in any region.
One, misting. With a simple spray bottle, mist your plant or plants daily with room temperature water.
Two, keep it in a bathroom where steam from showers can provide the humidity these tropical plants require.
Three, use a plant humidifier. Although it is a drought tolerant indoor plant, a calathea medallion requires humidty.
Besides boosting humidity, you can also avoid placing your Calathea Medallion in areas where temperatures are irregular and the plants’ soil can dry out easily and its leaves burn (direct light). Or in areas of cold drafts near or under air conditioning outlets or doors and windows.
Your Medallion plant thrives in indirect light, consistent humidity, within temperature ranges of 65 – 85 degrees. Room temperatures outside this range, under or over watering or too much sun, can be deadly for the plant.
Remember, bright indirect light, warmth and more humidity all go together for ideal Calathea plant care.
When Should I Repot a Calathea Medallion Plant?
Repotting your Calathea Medallion isn’t always necessary. However, repotting can be beneficial to allow more room for growth in a bigger potting medium, refresh the potting mix, or to replenish old or soggy soil.
If you’d like to keep the plant the same size, you can use the same pot again with fresh potting soil. Just wash it out and repot.
Repotting during the winter in colder climates, when plant growth naturally slows, is not recommended unless dealing with an issue such as fungus or to prevent root rot from overwatering or poor pot drainage.
Fertilizing and Feeding Calathea Medallion Plants
Your Calathea Medallion prefers to be fertilized once a month during the spring and summer using a general houseplant fertilizer. Do not over-fertilize.
Even though it’s regular houseplant fertilizer, it’s still fertilizer and, if overused, can lead to thin plant growth or root burn, root rot you would see with overwatering.
How Big does a Calathea Medallion Get?
On average, a Calathea Medallion will grow no taller than two feet high. Plant size for Calatheas is not as important as the size of the leaves.
Why Are Calathea Medallion Sometimes called Prayer Plants?
Calathea Medallion are sometimes called a Prayer Plant? What’s a Prayer Plant? And there’s a prayer plant family?
Like other plants in the prayer plant family (yes, there is one), the leaves of Calathea medallion plants fold upright at the base near the stem at night, like it’s saying a bedtime prayer. An easy way to remember this is that if the sun is up, the leaves are down. If the sun is down, the leaves are up.
During the day, the Medallion plays. During the night, the Medallion prays.
Are Calathea Medallions Toxic?
Nope. Both tiny humans and pets are safe. However, this type of plant comes from the arrowroot family. So, your Medallion may appeal to the taste buds of said tiny humans and pets more than the majority of other houseplants. In this case, the best care tips are to keep it out of reach or at least off the floor or coffee table.
How to Propagate Calathea Medallion?
Propagating a Calathea Medallion by seeds or clippings is very difficult. Instead, propagation is usually done by dividing healthy and established roots early in the spring, just before the start of the growing season.
Do this by removing your mother plant from the soil, cutting one or several stems with roots from the plant, and potting in new soil and pot. Remove any brown or yellow leaves before potting. This will also give you the opportunity to repot your established Medallion in fresh soil if necessary.
Pests and other Potential Problems for a Calathea Medallion Plant?
Pest threats are always a problem for however many Calatheas you plant. You have to remember your plants are organic matter and bugs like to feed on organic matter.
To protect your Calathea plants from pests that love to feast on foliage with large tasty leaves, like spider mites and aphids, mist constantly, boost the humidity, inspect each leaf occasionally, and apply insecticidal soap as necessary.
If you experience a severe pest infestation, you can use a diluted neem oil spray to keep them at bay, or if you need to get rid of fungus gnats, we can show you how to fix that.
One other problem you’ll face is dust. Oh, those horizontal surfaces. Like most surfaces in a house, you’ll find dust. The leaves of your Medallion plant are no different from your bookshelves to dust. So, gently dust the leaves with a soft damp cloth. Rinse the leaves, too, as necessary.
Staying on top of pests and dust will help ensure balanced growth both for plants and leaves in whatever space you choose to place your plant.
Why Are My Calathea Medallion Leaves Yellow With Brown Crispy Edges?
Browning of leaf edges could be due to the use of tap water and the harm from such chemicals in it like fluoride, chlorine, sodium, etc. It can also be due to poor humidity, dry soil, and inconsistent temperature (cold air).
Leaves that are browning or yellowing may have other causes as well.
Ensure you are watering adequately but do not under or overwater, the source of indirect light is consistent, humidity and average room temperatures are constant, and pests are taken care of.
Check for irregular growth patterns, particularly thin growth. Prune yellow and brown leaves as necessary.
Why are the Leaves of my Calathea Medallion Curling?
If the leaves on your Medallion are curling it’s probably because it’s underwatered.
Water your plant until you see drops from the drainage holes at the bottom of your pot.
Other Types of Calathea
Several types of Calatheas are very popular tropical indoor plants. This article focuses only on the Calathea Veitchiana variety. Other Calatheas (Calathea Roseopicta, Calathea Ornata and Calathea Orbifolia) are also popular Calathea plants for indoor use. The difference really boils down to the colors and patterns of their leaves and just what you prefer.
Other types of Calatheas go by more common names, such as Rose Painted Calathea, Calathea Roseopicta ‘Dottie,’ and Calathea Roseopicta ‘Rosey.’
The Calathea Ornata is also known as the ‘Pinstripe’ Calathea.
Both the Calathea Roseopicta and Calathea Ornata varieties have beautiful foliage and are robust plants.