Botanical Babe Houseplants
Calathea warscewiczii, commonly known as the "Velvet Calathea" or "Jungle Velvet Calathea," is a stunning and highly sought-after houseplant known for its striking foliage. It belongs to the Marantaceae family and is native to the rainforests of Costa Rica and Nicaragua. Here are some key characteristics and care tips for Calathea warscewiczii:
Foliage: Calathea warscewiczii is known for its large, velvety, lance-shaped leaves that have an attractive olive-green background color with deep purple undersides. The tops of the leaves feature prominent dark green veins that create a striking contrast.
Size: When grown as a houseplant, Calathea warscewiczii typically reaches a height of about 1 to 2 feet (30 to 60 cm) and has a similar spread.
Light: Provide bright, indirect light for your Velvet Calathea. It thrives in well-lit areas with filtered sunlight. Avoid direct sun exposure, as it can cause leaf damage.
Temperature: Maintain a temperature range between 65°F to 75°F (18°C to 24°C). Protect the plant from cold drafts and temperatures below 50°F (10°C).
Humidity: Calathea warscewiczii requires high humidity to thrive. Aim for a humidity level of at least 50%. You can achieve this by misting the plant regularly, using a humidity tray, or placing a humidifier nearby.
Watering: Keep the soil consistently moist but not waterlogged. Water thoroughly when the top inch (2.5 cm) of the soil feels slightly dry. Use room-temperature water and ensure proper drainage to prevent root rot.
Soil: Use a well-draining, peat-based potting mix that retains some moisture. A mix formulated for tropical plants or aroids is suitable.
Fertilization: Feed your Calathea warscewiczii with a balanced, diluted liquid fertilizer every 4-6 weeks during the growing season (spring and summer). Reduce or stop fertilizing in the winter when growth slows down.
Pruning: Prune the plant as needed to remove any yellowing or damaged leaves and to maintain its shape. You can propagate the plant from stem cuttings.
Pests and Diseases: Keep an eye out for common houseplant pests like spider mites and mealybugs. Calathea warscewiczii is also sensitive to fluoride in water, so it's best to use distilled or filtered water to prevent leaf browning or damage.
Calathea warscewiczii is prized for its lush, velvety foliage and adds a touch of luxury and elegance to indoor spaces. While it may require some extra care in terms of humidity and watering, its visual appeal makes it a coveted choice among plant enthusiasts.