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Unraveling the Mystery of Your Calathea’s Unusual Nighttime Behavior

Unraveling the Mystery of Your Calathea’s Unusual Nighttime Behavior

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Calathea Ornata (Pinstripe Calathea) is a specific variety of what is often called a prayer plant. This plant is a particular variety usually found in Colombia and Venezuela.

This plant has dark green leaves with contrasting stripes of a lighter green color. The effect creates a beautiful contrast.

This pinstripe calathea creates a fantastic look. Most of these plants will be indoors.

Prayer plants, in general, have a unique feature in which they close at night, meaning they fold upward. The look is reminiscent of hands folded as if in prayer. That’s where these plants get their name.

Are you searching the internet because your plants stopped doing this signature folding? Not to worry, this article will feature the answers you are looking for.

What Is Happening to Your Calathea?

All species of the prayer plant require similar care. They thrive best when you make their environment like a greenhouse or rainforest. The unique feature of their leaves opening during the day happens when they have a good source of indirect sunlight.

Excessive sunlight can burn the leaves or cause the leaves damage. It can cause the color to fade or burn the leaves.

If light causes the leaves to open during the day, it is the darkness that causes the leaves to close at night. It may not be getting dark enough at night for the leaves of your plant to fold.

Move your plant to a new location that is darker, and that should fix the closing problem.

How Else Do You Care for Your Calathea?

Watering. As you might think of a plant that comes from the rainforest, this prayer plant needs lots of water. Make it a goal to always keep the soil moist. It may not need as much water in the winter, but keep it moist.

Aim to water your plant with water that is at room temperature or warm. Make sure your plant drains well because it is susceptible to root rot.

Some recommend keeping water near your plant or misting it daily so that it finds your home’s humidity more like the rainforest. Calathea also doesn’t do well with hard water, so be aware of that according to your local water.

Temperature. As mentioned before, direct sunlight or too much heat can harm calathea. Its leaves will turn brown.

Keep the temperature ideally between 65 and 70°F. They do not like extreme temperatures.

Temperatures below 55°F will cause damage as well. The leaves will also turn brown and shrink.

Pets and kids. Thankfully, calathea is not toxic to your pets or your kids. So there’s even more reason to enjoy these beautiful plants!

What Are Some Common Pests?

Spider mites. Spider mites are the most common pests to attach to your calathea. The result will be tiny black dots. Or you will notice webbing.

Wipe your plant’s leaves often. The ideal temperature prescribed above tends to keep spider mites away as well.

Fungal disease: A fungal disease helminthosporium can attack these plants. It will appear as small wet spots.

It is caused by overwatering the plant or misting the leaves too much. Use neem oil to kill the disease.

Will You Ever Need to Repot Calathea?

You will need to repot. However, not as often as other plants because it is a slow grower.

Purchase a pot that is one to two inches wider, add a little more soil than your current container, and place your calathea inside. That will keep your plant happy and growing.

What If Your Plant’s Leaves Turn Yellow?

If your plant’s leaves turn brown, it is usually unhappy with the temperature. If the calathea leaves are turning yellow, your plant needs more water.

In some cases, the plant could also have chlorosis. You will need to switch to filtered water to help this problem.

How Can You Reproduce the Plant?

This process is a surprisingly easy one for calathea. Cut a stem away from a leaf node and plant it directly into the soil. Water as you would your standard plant — keep the soil wet and mist the plant daily.

You will enjoy another beautiful plant!

Why Are the Leaves Curling?

This problem could be a couple of things: underwatering or too much light. You could try both increasing the humidity, or watering a little more each day, and decreasing the daily amount of sunlight it gets.

You will need to replant your calathea into a smaller pot to get the watering levels correct in some cases.

Although it may take some adjusting to get its conditions just right, calathea is such a fascinating plant and will add so much beauty to your home. This exotic plant is worth a little extra effort to get it established in your home!

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