Calathea zebrina. How to provide the best care

calathea zebrina

Calathea is one of the most beautiful plants that exist. The characteristic of it being a moving plant, and the existence of many types of calatheas They are key points of this. One of them is the calathea zebrina, one of the most popular and easy to care for.

But what do you need to be well and offer a vision of large, well-kept leaves? Below we detail everything for you.


calathea zebrina leaves

Calathea zebrina is characterized above all by its foliage. The calathea leaves They are green in color, elongated and wide (narrowing as they reach the end). They are quite long and abundant. As a good Amazonian plant, it needs a suitable location since, otherwise, in a matter of weeks you will lose it.

This calathea is used for decorate your home perfectly. Taking into account that It can reach 60 centimeters in height, you can place it in the living room or in hallways. Also at the entrance of the house. Now, with a lot of light or little? The lighting of the calathea zebrina must be abundant. But not with direct sun.

There is a little trick that will help you know the best location for this plant: the color of the leaves. If this is a very soft, light color... then it means that it needs more light. But when it fades (or the shades mix), we have gone too far.

In order not to make a mistake, We recommend a place with good indirect lighting. Just a few minutes of direct light at dawn or dusk is more than enough for this plant. The rest, as long as it has light, is fine.


Calathea zebrina, like other calatheas, needs a warm and constant temperature. Ideally, it should be at 21 degrees all year round and not drop below there. In fact, from 15ºC onwards it will begin to have problems maintaining its leaves and the plant will most likely end up dying.

But be careful, because it may go into dormancy and, when temperatures begin to rise, it will develop again (not to the point where you bought it, but at least it will be alive).


Related to the above, a very important key to calatheas in general is humidity. Remember that They come from an Amazonian climate and need that humidity to survive. In fact, without it, you will notice that the leaves begin to dry out, turn brown, even curl up on themselves. Of course, she doesn't like it at all when you spray water on her leaves. The only thing you will achieve with this is that fungi will appear that will kill the plant much sooner.

In this regard, our recommendation is that you place it on a plate with pebbles and pour water there so that it evaporates and provides it with that humidity. Another option is to place it near a humidifier.


calathea flowers

Did you know that Calathea zebrina prefers humidity to watering? We are not telling you that you don't have to water it, you should do it. Depending on the weather and season, you may need to Water it once or twice a week in spring and summer and between one and three times a month in autumn and winter.

To do this, use water that does not have chlorine or lime. The best is rainwater, but if you don't have it, opt for softened water like that used for ironing.


When you buy a calathea zebrina, the pot it comes with, as well as the soil, is usually not of good quality. But it is not advisable to stress it and transplant it at that time. It is best to allow it to adapt to its new environment for about fifteen days and, if appropriate, you can transplant it to a new pot and new soil.

The best substrate for calatheas is a universal soil, You don't need anything special. But we do recommend that you mix it with perlite so that the soil is looser and there is no accumulation of water, but it does retain moisture. In some cases you can add a little worm castings to the soil to provide more nutrients.


rolled leaves calathea zebrina

The calathea zebrina does needs fertilizer in spring and summer. Especially when you can't transplant it (because that way you give it the nutrients that the soil doesn't have). This is mixed with the irrigation water and paid every fifteen to thirty days. It will depend on the age of the plant and its size.

If you just bought it and it is small, start paying once a month and gradually adapt it until you end up with once every fifteen days. In the case of large specimens, it needs once every fifteen days.

Plagues and diseases

Just as we have told you that calathea is one of the most beautiful plants, especially because its leaves move in search of sunlight, they are also very delicate.

you must have a lot be careful with mushrooms. These appear when watered incorrectly and that is why we recommend having a fungicide on hand to counteract the effects as soon as possible.

In addition to mushrooms, Mealybugs, aphids or red spiders are pests that will attack it. Therefore, we recommend that, from time to time, you check it well and clean its leaves with a damp cloth so that they can carry out photosynthesis without problem (and do not accumulate dust).


Finally, we come to the propagation of calathea zebrina. This can be done through rhizomes. You will notice that the ground begins to grow new stems, indicating new seedlings.

You can leave them in the pot or separate them very carefully (and making sure they have good, thin, but abundant roots to get by). Once you plant it in a new pot, you will have to give it the same care as the mother plant.

Another option that many do is to use cuttings. That is, what they do is cut a part of the plant, normally below where there is a node, in such a way that, when it is placed in a container with water, the roots will emerge from that node that will form a new plant.

Follow these care tips that we propose with your calathea zebrina (or any calathea in general) and it should be fine. Have you ever had a prayer plant? Are you good at taking care of her?

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