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Botanical name: Calathea warscewiczii
Synonym: Goeppertia warscewiczii
Common name: Calathea Jungle Velvet
Calathea warscewiczii (Goeppertia warscewiczii) commonly called Calathea Jungle Velvet is a delightful plant which bears beautifully patterned leaves with purple-toned undersides and a velvety feel.
The common name, 'Calathea Jungle Velvet', is in reference to the beautiful velvety leaves which are borne on long stalks and arise from an underground rhizome.
Goeppertia warscewiczii may not be an easy-care plant but if the growing conditions are met, the plant is a gratifying addition to any houseplant collection.
Calathea Jungle Velvet grows to a height of about 3 ft and about 3 ft wide.
The plant is not grown for the flower but under good growing conditions it can produce white cone-like inflorescences that fade to yellow or pink.
Calathea warscewiczii also called Goeppertia warscewiczii is endemic to Costa Rica and Nicaragua and grows as an understory plant.
Calathea warscewiczii 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 are looking to add this beauty to your collection, Calathea warscewiczii are available online at Etsy. Buy Calathea warscewiczii (Calathea Jungle Velvet) online from Etsy.
Photo Credit: Studioplant
Calathea warscewiczii (Calathea Jungle Velvet) thrives in medium to bright, indirect light, warm and humid conditions and consistently moist, fertile, well-drained soil coupled with monthly feeding during the growing season.
Calathea Jungle Velvet only requires repotting when it becomes pot-bound. Pruning is necessary to keep it neat and also reduce pest and disease infestations. Keep reading for more on the growing conditions and how to achieve them.
Calathea warscewiczii grows best in medium to bright, indirect light away from direct sunlight to avoid scorching the leaves.
Keep the Calathea Jungle Velvet from too bright light as it will cause the leaf colour to fade (loss of leaf color).
Rotate the pot regularly to ensure that the plant receives light on all sides for even growth.
Goeppertia warscewiczii can also be grown under a grow light where the natural lighting is not sufficient.
Water Calathea warscewiczii liberally during the growing season and keep the soil consistently moist.
Cut down on 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 avoid plant shock. The water should also be free of chlorine and flourides as Calathea Jungle Velvet like other Calathea is sensitive to chemicals dissolved in water which 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 discourage fungal infestations like leaf spot diseases, avoid wetting the foliage during watering or water from the bottom instead.
Calathea warscewiczii prefers average warmth with a minimum of 150C and a maximum of 280C. At temperatures below this range, the plant stops growing while temperatures above this range may cause the plant to die.
Keep the Calathea Jungle Velvet away from draughts as they cause sudden changes in temperature which the plant cannot tolerate and may cause it to die.
Calathea warscewiczii requires high humidity (50% to 80%) inorder to thrive. Low humidity will result in brown leaf tips and edges. Use a hygrometer to monitor the humidity for the optimum growth of the plant.
To increase humidity, set the pot on a wet pebble tray or use a cool mist humidifier.
Keep the leaves clean by damp-wiping with a soft cloth to get rid of dust as well as reduce pest and disease infestations.
Feed Calathea warscewiczii with a balanced, liquid fertilizer every 4 weeks during the growing season to promote lush growth.
Stop feeding during the cold season as growth is minimal and feeding at this time can lead to fertilizer burn.
Occasionally, 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 warscewiczii 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.
One day before repotting, water the plant thoroughly to hasten establishment as 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 warscewiczii 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 Calathea Jungle Velvet online from Etsy.
Pruning Calathea warscewiczii is easy. Remove dead and yellow foliage to maintain the plant neat and discourage pest and disease infestations. Cut the leaves with a sharp knife or scissors at the base, where the leaf meets the stalk.
Calathea warscewiczii (Calathea Jungle Velvet) is propagated by plant division at the beginning of the growing season during repotting.
Water the Calathea warscewiczii thoroughly at least one 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 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 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 away from direct sunlight 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 Calathea Jungle Velvet are well established after which you can begin routine care.
Photo Credit: Planting Man
Calathea warscewiczii (Calathea Jungle Velvet) problems indoors include drooping leaves, loss of leaf color, brown leaf tips, curled and yellow leaves, plant death, pests and diseases among others. Keep reading for more on these problems and how to fix them.
Calathea warscewiczii drooping leaves are due to three possible causes. One possible cause is too dry air (low humidity).
Calathea Jungle Velvet is very sensitive to low air humidity. To increase humidity, set the pot on a wet pebble tray. Read more on how to raise humidity for houseplants.
You can also grow the plant in a terrarium as a high humidity can be maintained in a terrarium.
The second possible cause of drooping leaves in Calathea warscewiczii is incorrect watering; either overwatering (soggy soil) or underwatering.
Water the Calathea Jungle Velvet liberally and maintain the soil consistently moist during the growing season. Reduce watering during the cold season but do not allow the soil to dry out completely.
In addition, 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 warscewiczii 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 and repot the plant into a pot one size larger than the current one or divide it into several sections to propagate new plants.
Calathea warscewiczii is dying due to two possible reasons. One possible reason is root-rot which is brought about by soggy soil.
Take the Calathea Jungle Velvet out of 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.
Do not overwater the plant during the cold season as growth is minimal at this time, thus, the plant does not require much water.
The second possible reason why Calathea warscewiczii is dying is pest infestations like 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. Read on how to identify and get rid of pests in houseplants.
Calathea warscewiczii washed out leaves are due to exposure of the plant to hot direct sunlight as it thrives in medium to bright, indirect light away from direct sunshine.
Move the Calathea Jungle Velvet to a more shaded spot or instal a light curtain to protect it from direct sunlight to prevent its eventual death.
Calathea warscewiczii 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.
As such, the leaves begin to curl, yellow and eventually die if the situation is not corrected.
Water the Calathea Jungle Velvet thoroughly and keep the soil consistently moist during the growing season.
Decrease watering in the cold season to keep the soil slightly moist 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 warscewiczii are due to four possible causes. One possible cause is dry air (too little humidity).
To raise humidity, set the pot on a wet pebble tray or use a cool mist humidifier.
Calathea warscewiczii can also be grown in the bathroom or other moist areas in the home where humidity is high.
The second cause of brown, dry leaf tips and edges in Calathea warscewiczii 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 to discourage the pest infestations.
The third cause of brown, dry leaf tips and edges in Calathea warscewiczii is watering it with hard water. Water it with chlorine-free water only like rain water.
Calathea warscewiczii 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 Jungle Velvet is accumulation of salts or chemicals in the soil which may have comes from the water or fertilizers used.
Flush out accumulated chemicals (salts) from the soil regularly 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 warscewiczii 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.
Calathea warscewiczii (Calathea Jungle Velvet) like other Calathea Plants is non-toxic to both humans and pets as outlined by ASPCA. It is safe to grow indoors.