Some links in this post may be affiliate links
Botanical name: Calathea picturata
Synonym: Goeppertia picturata
Common name: Calathea picturata
Calathea picturata (Goeppertia picturata) is a delightful plant on account of the intense colour in the centre of its leaves surrounded by a band of green colouring along the edges while the undersides are a purple-burgundy color.
Goeppertia picturata comes in two variants; silver and crimson. The silver variant commonly called 'Argentea', is more common and has a silvery green center. The crimson variant is rarer and has a crimson-red center.
Calathea picturata grows in clumps to a height of about 1-2 ft. The plant is not grown for the flower but for the spectacular foliage and is unlikely to flower under room conditions.
Calathea picturata (Goeppertia picturata) is native to the tropical forests in North Brazil where it grows on the forest floors.
Calathea picturata is closely related to the Marantas, Ctenanthe and Stromanthe which are collectively called Prayer Plants in reference to their curious characteristic of closing their leaves at night.
If you would like to add these gorgeous plants to your collection, Calathea Plants are available online at Etsy. Buy beautiful Calathea Plants online from Etsy.
Photo Credit: EdenPots
Calathea picturata (Goeppertia picturata) thrives in medium to bright, indirect light, warm and humid conditions and consistently moist, rich, well-drained soil coupled with monthly feeding during the growing season.
Goeppertia picturata requires pruning to keep it neat and also reduce pest and disease infestations. Repotting is needed only when the plant becomes pot-bound. Keep reading for more on the best growing conditions and how to achieve them.
Calathea picturata grows best in medium to bright, indirect light away from direct sunlight as it can scorch the leaves and cause loss of leaf color.
For uniform growth, turn the pot regularly to ensure that the plant receives light on all sides.
Water Calathea picturata liberally and allow the top 1-2 in. of soil to dry out between waterings to keep the soil consistently moist at all times 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 water that is at room temperature to prevent plant shock. The water should also be free of chlorine and flourides as like other Calathea, it is sensitive to chemicals dissolved in water as they will cause brown leaf tips and edges.
Ascertain 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.
To reduce fungal infestations like leaf spot diseases, avoid wetting the foliage during watering or water from the bottom instead.
Calathea picturata prefers average warmth with a minimum of 150C and a maximum of 260C. At temperatures below this range, the plant stops growing while temperatures above this range may cause the plant to die.
Keep it away from draughts as they cause sudden changes in temperature which the plant cannot tolerate and may cause it to die.
Calathea picturata requires high humidity (50% to 80%) inorder to thrive. Low humidity will cause brown leaf tips and edges. Use a hygrometer to monitor the humidity for the optimum growth of the plant.
To elevate humidity, set the pot on a wet pebble tray or grow the plant in the bathroom or other moist areas in the home where humidity is high if there is adequate lighting.
The plant can also be grown in a terrarium as a high humidity can be maintained in a terrarium. Read more on how to raise humidity for houseplants.
Keep the leaves clean by damp-wiping with a soft cloth to get rid of dust and minimize pest and disease infestations.
Feed Calathea picturata with a balanced, liquid fertilizer every 4 weeks during the growing season for a lush growth.
Do not feed during the cold season as growth is minimal and feeding at this time can lead to fertilizer burn.
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.
Repot Calathea picturata every 2-3 years at the beginning of the growing season or when it becomes root-bound. Take care not to injure its delicate roots.
Use a pot one size larger than the current one and 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.
At least one day before repotting, water the plant thoroughly to 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.
The best soil for Calathea picturata 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 Goeppertia picturata online from Etsy.
Pruning Calathea picturata is easy. Remove dead and yellow foliage to maintain the plant neat and discourage pests and diseases. Cut the leaves with a sharp knife or scissors at the base, where the leaf meets the stalk.
Calathea picturata (Goeppertia picturata) is propagated by plant division at the beginning of the growing season during repotting.
Water the Calathea picturata thoroughly at least one day before to make it easier to divide and also hasten establishment as a well hydrated plant suffers less shock.
Take the plant out of 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 section.
Place the 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 plants.
Place the pots in a warm, well-lit place until new growth has emerged on the sections.
Gradually remove the polythene over a period of two weeks to acclimatize the new plants.
Maintain the soil moist until the new Goeppertia picturata plants are well established after which you can begin routine care.
Photo Credit: eplants
Calathea picturata (Goeppertia picturata) problems indoors include drooping leaves, yellow leaves, loss of leaf color, brown leaf tips, plant death, pests and diseases among others. Keep reading for more on these problems and how to solve them.
Calathea picturata drooping leaves are due to three possible causes. One possible cause is too dry air (low humidity) as the plant 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 increase humidity, set the pot on a wet pebble tray or use a cool mist humidifier.
Calathea picturata can also be grown in a terrarium where a high humidity can be easily maintained inside a terrarium.
The second possible cause of drooping leaves in Calathea picturata is incorrect watering; either overwatering (soggy soil) or underwatering.
Water the plant liberally and maintain the soil consistently moist during the growing season.
Lessen 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 picturata is that the plant is root-bound which means that the roots have filled the pot and there is very little soil to hold water when you water the 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 picturata is dying due to two possible reasons. One possible reason 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 in houseplants.
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 the plant during the cold season as growth is minimal at this time.
The second possible reason why your Calathea picturata is dying is pest infestations as it is prone to scales, aphids, mealy buds and spidermites.
Isolate the affected plant to prevent spread to the other houseplants and treat it appropriately for the pests. Read on how to identify and get rid of pests in houseplants.
Calathea picturata washed out leaves are due to exposure of the plant to hot direct sunlight. The plant grows best in medium to bright, indirect light away from direct sunshine.
Position it in a more shaded spot or instal a light curtain to protect it from direct sunlight to prevent its eventual death.
Calathea picturata 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 the Calathea picturata thoroughly and keep the soil consistently 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.
Brown, dry leaf tips and edges in Calathea picturata are due to four possible causes. One possible cause is dry air (too little humidity).
The plant requires a humid environment to thrive. To raise humidity, set the pot on a wet pebble tray or grow the plant in the bathroom, laundry area and other moist areas in the home where humidity is high. Read more on how to raise humidity for houseplants.
The second cause of brown, dry leaf tips and edges in Calathea picturata which is accompanied by stunted growth is infestation by spider mites 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 brown, dry leaf tips and edges in Calathea picturata is watering it with hard water. Water it with chlorine-free water only like rain water.
Like other Calathea, it is sensitive to chlorine and other chemicals dissolved in water and it responds with brown leaf tips and edges.
The fourth cause of brown, dry leaf tips and edges in Calathea picturata is accumulation of salts or chemicals in the soil which may have originated from the water used for watering or from the fertilizers used.
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 picturata 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. Read more on how to treat leaf spot disease in houseplants.
Calathea picturata (Goeppertia picturata) like like other Calathea Plants is non-toxic to both humans and pets as indicated by ASPCA. It is safe to grow indoors.