Last Updated on October 15, 2021 by Grow with Bovees
The Calathea ornata with its dark green leaves is one of the most beautiful tropical plants and it comes with worldwide popularity!
These gorgeous shrubs are also known as ‘prayer plants,’ and I can assure you they are fantastic houseplants that effortlessly refine and enhance the appearance of any home!
Unfortunately, although popular in contrast to other shrubs, Calathea ornatas are not the easiest plants to care for and a plant care guide should be followed; let’s see why.
Calathea ornata thrives in humid areas of 60 to 70%, with bright, indirect sunlight.
Plant Calathea ornata in slightly acidic, moisture-retaining, well-draining soil and preferably provide rain-or-distilled water.
Lastly, provide diluted fertilizer or compost tea monthly from spring to summer.
If you are hesitant about caring for a Calathea ornata, let alone keep it alive, you’re in luck.
Here’s the ultimate home plant care guide to Calathea ornata care, tips & tricks.
Calathea Ornata Characteristics
Calathea pinstripe, which makes part of the prayer plant family and is otherwise known as pin-stripe plant, belongs to the Marantaceae family, coming from the calathea genus.
The Calathea ornata is an evergreen perennial native to the tropical environments of South America and grows on rainforest floor in USDA hardy zones of 10 to 11, but is best grown as a houseplant.
The pin stripe calathea only grows approximately two feet high with a similar spread when grown indoors.
It has effervescent, dark emerald green, and oval-shaped foliage with soft, pastel pink stripes. Along with its magnificent purple underside, this plants foliage makes for an eye-catching wonder.
Ornata plants’ leaves move up and down during the day.
As a result, the leaves will lie flat during the day, and at night, the undersides of the leaves surprise us with a deep mauve color as the leaves fold upward.
The unfolding maneuver of this plant is what gives it the name prayer plant as it resembles a position of hands praying.
Sunlight Requirements For Calathea Ornata
One of Calathea ornata’s primary considerations when caring for it has to be its light levels and requirements.
Unfortunately, calatheas are quite fussy about their light levels; your plant will have stunted growth if it’s too dark, whereas a spot of too much sun will scorch its leaves.
Ensure to place the pinstripe plant in bright, filtered, indirect sunlight for it to thrive.
Areas of minimal shade and ample bright indirect light will promote the healthiest plants with the brightest pink stripes.
Avoid placing the Calathea ornata pinstripe in direct sunlight, it will lead to discolored and curling leaves due to leaf burn.
Instead, consider putting your pinstripe plant close to an east or west facing window where light levels are more optimal.
If you would like for your plant to receive a good amount of bright light without risking exposure to direct light, place your calatheas plant pot beside a north-facing window.
If you feel that the light at your window is too intense, simply cover the window with a sheer curtain. This curtain will filter the direct sunlight, still keeping it bright but less intense.
Tip: Keep an eye on your Calathea ornata’s leaves — if the plant starts to lose its distinctive pink or white stripes, it’s receiving too much sunlight.
Like most houseplants the ornata has a reputation as a ‘greenhouse plant,’ and it’s obvious why.
Calathea ornata pinstripe plants are not very fond of chilly temperatures and thrive in warm, humid environments similar to the condition of greenhouses.
In addition, it is highly sensitive to cold drafts and sudden temperature changes.
More specifically, the Calathea ornata appreciates balmy and toasty temperatures between 70 °F and 85 °F (Note that the calathea cannot tolerate temperatures below 60 °F).
The average room temperature is the ideal temperature range for the ornata.
Beware that the pinstripe calathea tends to be fussier than most average household plants when it comes to the levels of water and the type of water it receives.
They are sensitive to water quality and display symptoms, including leaf tips browning, leaf yellowing, and browning or crispy leaf edges. So, consider using quality water options such as rain water or distilled water to water your plant.
This plant has issues with tap water, fluoridated water and chlorinated water should be avoided. If you want to make use of tap water, be sure to let it stand out overnight in order for the chemicals to escape.
In addition, calatheas are a pretty thirsty plant that prefers consistently moist soil conditions, but not soggy conditions, as water-logged soil leads to root rot.
So, try to adopt a regular watering routine to prevent the soil from completely drying out. Warmer months will call for more frequent watering, we’d say about 1-2 times per week, just enough to keep the soil moist.
A good sign of when to water is by feeling the soil. If the top inch of soil is dry, it is safe to water.
Soil Requirements Guide
The prayer plant thrives well in a well-draining but a moisture-retaining potting mix. A lightweight and airy peat moss and perlite mixture added to potting soil will work well and is the preferred soil.
In addition, this plant prefers slightly acidic soil, thriving best at a pH of 6.5. Therefore, add some organic compost to your soil mixture to ensure optimal living conditions for your calathea plant.
In order to avoid soggy soil, be sure that your calatheas nursery pot comes with drainage holes. These holes help for excess water escape keeping moist soil. The last thing you want is for the calathea to develop root rot due to sitting in a puddle of water.
Pinstripe calathea plants are generally relatively low-maintenance regarding fertilizers, but for the best results, treat your plant to a quality general houseplant fertilizer once a month throughout spring and summer.
However, taper this off during winter, fertilizing only every 4-8 weeks or less. Over-fertilizing your calathea during its dormant period, in the colder months, will only cause its leaves to burn.
In addition, opt for a balanced, liquid fertilizer, diluted to half its strength to support optimal growth. Alternatively, use an organic fertilizer like compost tea.
Humidity Requirements For Calathea Ornata
This plants natural environment being in tropical areas, it’s no surprise that the Calathea ornata thrives in high humidity areas. Ideally, pinstripe calathea ornata plants prefer moisture levels of 60 to 70%.
And maintaining this level of humidity consistently is key to keeping this fussy plant happy.
The Calathea ornata will tolerate environments with lower humidity. But, to keep them at their healthiest, I recommend adjusting the plant’s environment to increase the humidity if you live in a drier, less humid area.
Investing in a humidifier to use inside your home is a good idea if you struggle with dry conditions. It will aid in maintaining the correct moisture level. Another way of adding humidity to your plants’ surroundings is by adding a pebble tray filled with water below your plant’s pot.
Here are three valuable recommendations of humidity care:
- Misting: Mist your Calathea ornata with a light water spray bottle to maintain adequate moisture levels.
- Use a humidifier: A room humidifier will help keep the desired humidity level for your Calathea plant.
- The Pebble-water Tray Method: Another alternative would be to place your Calathea Ornata atop a watered pebble tray. Keep the water level below the upper surface of the pebbles.
Tip: Keep your Calathea Ornata in the bathroom or kitchen — your plant will love you for it!
Does My Pinstripe Calathea Ornata Need Pruning
Calathea pinstripe plants do not require excessive pruning; However, due to slightly bad conditions or a bit of wear and tear, your plant might need light pruning to focus its attention on producing new, healthy leaves.
First, remove all of its dead leaves or leaves in terrible condition by simply cutting the leaf off with a sharp knife or a pair of trimming scissors near the stem.
However, if the leaves are only slightly crispy on the edges but still intact and generally in good condition, only cut the edges.
Common Diseases For Calathea Ornata
The pinstripe calathea ornata, as mentioned earlier, can be a bit of a drama queen and hard to care for. But to your luck, it will almost immediately make it known to you by showing warning signs when something is bothering it.
It reveals symptoms quite early on, which makes it easier for you to treat and care for them as fast as possible.
Early signs of diseases include brown or black spots on the leaves and a yellowish rim around these spots. The pink stripes may appear dull and turn almost white and the leaves might go crispy.
Conditions that are too dry will cause leaves to discolor and adopt a brown or yellow color. Increase humidity to rid the plant of this problem.
Fading stripes is one of the telltale signs of too much light exposure. Move the pot to a shadier spot and the calathea will stop acting up.
Diseases can also affect the root structure, which may cause mushy roots.
Pests to keep an eye for include the following:
- Mealybugs: wipe the plant off immediately using neem oil and repot the plant if possible.
- Scale: use an insecticide soap or oil to wipe the leaves clean.
- Fungal gnats: allow your soil to dry out a bit more.
- Spider mites: increase your humidity levels.
Tip: Spray your Calathea plant with warm soapy water every few weeks to keep the plant dust-free and prevent pests such as spider mites from raiding your plant.
Does Calathea Ornata Need Repotting?
A pinstripes calathea ornata does not need repotting unless the plant has visibly outgrown its pot or if the roots are too large and start to emerge from the soil.
Roots growing out from the pots drainage hole is also a sign of too little root space. This is when you should consider repotting your calathea. You can prepare yourself to do so about every one to two years if necessary.
Repotting too late may cause stunned growth.
When repotting your calathea, it’s advisable to wait until the spring to ensure new growth and low stress.
Place your ornata pinstripe calathea in a slightly larger pot, and avoid sizing up more than a third larger than the previous pot. A too-large container will cause your Calathea to go into shock, ultimately making it more susceptible to pests.
Ornata Pinstripe Calathea Propagation
Propagating your Calathea is slightly different from pruning. Instead of cutting back the leaves when the plant is too large for your preference, you will split your Calathea Ornata into two plants.
Calathea Ornata’s propagation works best by using the root separation method instead of the stem-cutting method.
Remove your ornata plant from its pot and gently work away the soil to reach the roots.
Then, gently work at the roots until you can pull them away from a piece of the plant, and then plant the separate Calathea pieces in individual pots using the same mixture as the mother plant, and be sure to maintain average moisture levels.
The above gardening tips and info should ensure a thriving calathea collection. Just follow our calathea care guide to create the perfect environment:
- Bright, indirect sunlight
- Slightly acidic, moisture-retaining, and well-draining soil
- Regular watering to ensure consistently moist soil
- High humidity (60 to 70%)
- Diluted fertilizer or compost tea in growing seasons
- Keep an eye out for pests
Once you master Calathea Ornata’s care, you’ll want to add them to every corner of your home!
Good luck and enjoy!