How to Grow and Care for Calathea musaica (Calathea Network) Indoors

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Calathea musaica, Calathea Network

Botanical name: Calathea musaica
Synonym: Goeppertia kegeljanii
Family: Marantaceae
Common name: Calathea Network, Network Prayer Plant

Calathea musaica Description

Calathea musaica commonly called Calathea Network is a spectacular Calathea plant which bears green, arching, glossy leaves adorned by an interesting mosaic pattern.

The common name, 'Calathea Network', is in reference to magnificent criss-crossing pattern on the leaves. Calathea musaica is a slow-growing, perennial plant which grows to a height of about 2 ft and about 2-3 ft wide.

Calathea musaica Origin

Calathea musaica (Calathea Network) is native to the rainforests of Brazil where it grows as an understory plant.

As in its native habitat, Calathea musaica prefers bright, indirect light. Hot direct sunlight can damage the fragile leaves resulting in sunburn and dullness in the leaf color.

This plant also requires a warm, humid environment to mimic its natural habitat. It thrives in moderately moist soil and overwatering or underwatering can lead to brown dry leaves.

Calathea musaica Related Plants

Calathea musaica (Calathea Network) is closely related to the Marantas, Ctenanthe and Stromanthe.

These groups of plants are collectively called Prayer Plants in reference to their curious characteristic of closing their leaves at night.

Calathea musaica for Sale

Buy beautiful and healthy Calathea musaica (Calathea Network) from Etsy.

Calathea musaica, Calathea Network

Photo Credit: FlorAccess

Calathea musaica (Calathea Network) Care Indoors

Calathea musaica (Calathea Network) grows best in bright, indirect light and moderately moist soil. It requires a warm, humid environment inorder to thrive.

The best soil for growing Calathea musaica should be free-draining as it cannot tolerate soggy soil. Read on for more on the best growing conditions for Calathea musaica.

Calathea musaica Light Requirements

Calathea musaica (Calathea Network) grows best in bright, indirect light away from direct sunlight. If the lighting in your home is not adequate, use these grow bulbs to supplement it. Simply screw them into your regular lighting fixtures.

Too bright light will cause the leaf colour to fade. Keep the plant away from direct sunlight as it can lead to sunburn on the leaves.

For uniform growth of the plant, regularly turn the pot to ensure that the plant receives light on all sides. Read more on understanding light for houseplants.

Watering Calathea musaica

Water Calathea musaica (Calathea Network) liberally and keep the soil moderately moist during the growing season. Reduce watering in the cold season as growth is minimal at this time but do not allow the soil to dry out completely.

Use tepid water that is free of chlorine and flourides as Calathea musaica like other Calathea is sensitive to chemicals dissolved in water. Dissolved chemicals will cause brown leaf tips and edges. Read more on how to water houseplants.

Ensure the pot has a drainage hole to prevent the soil from getting soggy as it can lead to root-rot and eventual death of the plant.

To prevent fungal infestations like leaf spot diseases, avoid wetting the foliage of your Calathea musaica during watering or water from the bottom instead.


Temperature for Calathea musaica

Calathea musaica (Calathea Network) prefers average warmth with a minimum of 150C and a maximum of 300C. At temperatures below this range, the plant stops growing while temperatures above this range may cause the plant to die.

Protect your Calathea musaica from draughts as they cause sudden changes in temperature which the plant cannot tolerate. Read more on understanding temperature for houseplants.

Humidity for Calathea musaica

Calathea musaica (Calathea Network) requires high humidity (50% to 80%) inorder to thrive. Low humidity causes the plant to develop brown leaf tips and edges. Use a hygrometer to monitor the humidity for the optimum growth of your plant.

To raise humidity for your Calathea musaica, set the pot on a wet pebble tray or use a cool mist humidifier.

Calathea musaica can also be grown in the bathroom or other moist areas in the home where humidity is high. Read more on how to raise humidity for houseplants.

You can also grow your Calathea musaica in a terrarium as a high humidity can be maintained in a terrarium. Read more on how to make a closed terrarium for houseplants.

How to Clean Calathea musaica

Regularly, clean the leaves of your Calathea musaica by damp-wiping with a soft cloth to keep them clean and neat. Read more on how to clean houseplants.

Calathea musaica Fertilizer (Feeding)

Feed Calathea musaica (Calathea Network) with a balanced water-soluble fertilizer once monthly through out the growing season. The plant is not a heavy feeder, therefore, feeding once monthly should be adequate.

Withhold feeding for your Calathea musaica during the cold season as growth is minimal and feeding at this time can lead to fertilizer burn. Read more on how to feed houseplants.

Regularly, flush out accumulated chemicals (salts) from the soil by running a stream of water through the soil. Allow the stream of water to run for some time and repeat the process several times.

Repotting Calathea musaica

Repot Calathea musaica (Calathea Network) every 2 years at the beginning of the growing season or when it becomes root-bound. Use a pot one size larger than the current one.

Ensure that the pot has a drainage hole to prevent the soil from getting soggy as it can lead to root-rot and eventual death of the plant.

Before repotting, water the Calathea musaica thoroughly at least 1 day before to make it easier to divide and also hasten establishment. A well hydrated plant suffers less repotting shock and takes a shorter time to take root.

If the plant is large and has outgrown its current pot, divide it into several sections and use the splits to propagate new plants.

Repotting may cause the leaves to droop but the plant will eventually recover once it takes root; in about 3-4 weeks.

Soil for Calathea musaica

The best soil for Calathea musaica (Calathea Network) should be rich in organic matter and free-draining to prevent it from getting soggy while providing the required nutrients.

Buy quality Calathea potting medium for your Calathea musaica from Etsy.

Pruning Calathea musaica

Pruning Calathea musaica (Calathea Network) is easy as it involves removal of dead and yellow foliage to maintain the plant neat and attractive. Cut the leaves with a sharp knife or scissors at the base, where the leaf meets the stalk.

Calathea musaica (Calathea Network) Propagation

Calathea musaica (Calathea Network) is propagated by plant division at the beginning of the growing season during repotting. We have outlined herebelow Calathea musaica propagation by plant division. Read on.

How to propagate Calathea musaica by plant division

Water the Calathea musaica (Calathea Network) thoroughly at least 1 day before to make it easier to divide and also hasten establishment. A well hydrated plant suffers less shock and takes a shorter time to take root.

Take out the Calathea musaica plant from its pot and divide it into several sections. Ensure each sections has adequate roots and at least 2-3 stems.

Select a 6 or 8 in. pot and ensure that the pot has a drainage hole to prevent the soil from getting soggy as it can lead to rotting.

Fill the pot with Calathea potting medium and make a hole in the center of the pot. Ensure that the hole is slightly wider than the root base of the Calathea musaica section.

Place the Calathea musaica section in the previously made hole and lightly firm the soil around the base while taking care not to bury it too deep; maintain the section at the same soil level it was in the previous pot.

Liberally water the soil until water comes out through the drainage holes. Cover the pots with clear polythene to create a greenhouse effect and maintain warm humid conditions which hasten establishment of the Calathea musaica plants.

Place the pots in a warm, well-lit place until new growth has emerged on the Calathea musaica sections.

Gradually remove the polythene over a period of two weeks to acclimatize the new Calathea musaica plants.

Maintain the soil moist until the new Calathea musaica plants are well established after which you can begin routine care.

Calathea musaica, Calathea Network

Photo Credit: Plantforsoul

Calathea musaica (Calathea Network) Problems Indoors

Calathea musaica problems indoors are caused by cultural faults in watering, humidity, light and temperature among others. Continue reading for more on these problems, their remedies and solutions.

Calathea musaica drooping leaves

Calathea musaica (Calathea Network) drooping leaves are due to three possible causes. One possible cause of drooping leaves in Calathea musaica is too dry air (low humidity). Calathea musaica is very sensitive to low air humidity. Use a hygrometer to monitor the humidity and maintain it at 50%-80% for optimum growth of the plant.

To raise humidity for your Calathea musaica, set the pot on a wet pebble tray or use a cool mist humidifier. Read more on how to raise humidity for houseplants.

You can also grow Calathea musaica in a terrarium as a high humidity can be maintained in a terrarium. Read more on how to make a terrarium for houseplants.

The second possible cause of drooping leaves in Calathea musaica is incorrect watering; either overwatering (soggy soil) or underwatering.

Water Calathea musaica liberally and maintain the soil moist at all times during the growing season. Reduce watering during the cold season but do not allow the soil to dry out completely.

Also, ensure that the soil is free-draining and that the pot has a drainage hole to prevent the soil from getting soggy.

The third possible cause of drooping leaves in Calathea musaica is that the plant is root-bound. This means that the roots have filled the pot and there is very little soil to hold water when you water your plant. Therefore, there is no water for the plant to take up to the leaves. The leaves loss their stiffness and they droop.

Check the bottom of the pot for roots growing through the drainage hole. Repot the plant into a pot one size larger than the current one or divide it into several sections to propagate new plants.

Calathea musaica dying

Calathea musaica (Calathea Network) may die due to two possible reasons. One possible reason why your Calathea musaica is dying is root-rot which is brought about by soggy soil.

Take out the plant from its pot and inspect the roots. Brown-black mushy roots indicate root-rot, trim them off and treat the healthy roots with a fungicidal solution.

Disinfect the pot or use a fresh pot to repot the plant in fresh free-draining soil. Do not water the plant and keep it dry for some time before resuming watering. Read more on how to deal with root-rot here.

To prevent root-rot in the future, ensure that the pot has a drainage hole to prevent the soil from getting soggy. Also, do not overwater your plant during the cold season as growth is minimal at this time.

The second possible reason why your Calathea musaica is dying is pest infestations. Calathea musaica like other Calatheas is prone to mealy bugs, aphids, scale insects and spider mites. Isolate the affected plant to prevent spread to the other houseplants and treat it appropriately for the pests.

Calathea musaica leaves appear washed out

Calathea musaica (Calathea Network) washed out leaves are due to exposure of the plant to hot direct sunlight. Calathea musaica grow best in bright, indirect light away from direct sunshine.

Move your Calathea musaica to a more shaded spot or instal a light curtain to protect it from direct sunlight to prevent its eventual death.

Calathea musaica curled, yellowing leaves

Calathea musaica (Calathea Network) curled and yellowing leaves are caused by incorrect watering; either overwatering (soggy soil) or underwatering.

Overwatering (soggy soil) causes the roots to die due to lack of oxygen in the soil. When the roots die they cannot take up water and therefore the leaves begin to curl, yellow and eventually die.

Underwatering implies that there is too little moisture in the soil and therefore, the plant has no water to take up to the leaves. Thus, the leaves begin to curl, yellow and eventually die if the situation is not corrected.

Water Calathea musaica liberally and keep the soil moderately moist during the growing season. Reduce watering in the cold season but do not allow the soil to dry out completely.

Also, ensure that the soil is free-draining and that the pot has a drainage hole to prevent the soil from getting soggy. Read more on how to water houseplants.

Calathea musaica brown, dry leaf tips and edges

There are four possible causes of Calathea musaica (Calathea Network) brown, dry leaf tips and edges. One possible cause of brown, dry leaf tips and edges in Calathea musaica is dry air (too little humidity).

Calathea musaica requires a humid environment to thrive. To raise humidity for your Calathea, set the pot on a wet pebble tray or use a cool mist humidifier.

Calathea musaica can also be grown in the bathroom or other moist areas in the home where humidity is high. Read more on how to raise humidity for houseplants.

You can also grow your Calathea musaica in a terrarium as a high humidity can be maintained in a terrarium. Read more on how to make a closed terrarium for houseplants.

The second cause of Calathea musaica (Calathea Network) brown, dry leaf tips and edges accompanied by stunted growth is due to infestation by spider mites which is due to the air being too dry (low humidity).

Remove the dead growth and raise humidity for the plant (as outlined above) to discourage the pest infestations.

The third cause of Calathea musaica (Calathea Network) brown, dry leaf tips and edges is watering with hard water. Water your Calathea musaica with chlorine-free water only like rain water.

Like other Calathea, Calathea musaica is sensitive to chlorine and other chemicals dissolved in water and it responds with brown leaf tips and edges.

The fourth cause of Calathea musaica (Calathea Network) brown, dry leaf tips and edges is accumulation of salts or chemicals in the soil. These chemicals may have originated from the water or from the fertilizers.

Regularly, flush out accumulated chemicals (salts) from the soil by running a stream of water through the soil. Allow the stream of water to run for some time and repeat the process several times.

Calathea musaica pests

The common pests in Calathea musaica (Calathea Network) are mealy bugs, aphids, scale insects and spider mites. Isolate the affected plant to prevent spread to the other houseplants and treat it appropriately for the pests.

Calathea musaica diseases

Calathea musaica (Calathea Network) is prone to leaf spot disease due to the humid conditions in which it grows.

The disease is indicated by brown patches surrounded by a yellow halo. Isolate the affected plant to prevent spread to the other houseplants and treat it appropriately for the disease.

Is Calathea musaica (Calathea Network) toxic?

Calathea musaica (Calathea Network) like other Calathea Plants is non-toxic to both humans and pets. It is safe to grow indoors.

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