A Beginner's Plant Care Guide for Calathea rufibarba | All you Need to Grow!
Common Name: Calathea, Prayer Plants, Furry Feather, Velvet Calathea
Botanical name: Calathea ‘Furry Feather’
The narrow leaves of the Calathea rufibarba feature the mesmerizing patterns Prayer Plants are known for along with velvety purple undersides. The leaves of this easy-care houseplant are also slightly rippled. The combination of intricate patterns and texture is not to be missed.
The Calathea rufibarba can live in low light settings, however, this houseplant prefers increased light, just as long as it is indirect. The more indirect light the plant receives, the more stark the contrast of the leaves will be and the quicker the plant will grow. Be careful to avoid direct light, which can burn the leaves or cause the variegation to appear muted.
Damp conditions, similar to what the plant would experience in the rainforest, are best for the Calathea rufibarba. This is a plant that does not like to dry out and should be watered when no more than the top half inch of the soil has dried out. The plant may need less water during the winter when it is not actively growing.
Prayer Plants like to be warm, and generally, comfortable room temperature is acceptable. Anything between 65 - 85 degrees is good for Calathea houseplants.
Calathea plants are native to rainforests, so they prefer high humidity and they need this extra dampness to stay hydrated and viable. The edges of the leaves will dry out and turn brown if the plant is not receiving enough humidity. If this happens, supplement the moisture in the air with an evaporation tray or a humidifier.
Fertilization helps Prayer Plants grow larger, push out new leaves and possibly even bloom. You can use diluted liquid fertilizer monthly when watering the plant, or seaweed or fish emulsion. Another option is to amend or top dress the soil using worm castings, or the next time you repot, use a soil that includes a slow-release fertilizer. Take a break from applying fertilizer during the colder months when the plant is not actively growing.
Calathea rufibarba is a moderate to fast grower and with the right care and conditions can reach 3’’+ in height and width!
Pet Friend or Foe
These indoor plants are Non-Toxic to pets! Friend
- If you notice some of the leaves of your Calathea rufibarba appear muted and not as vibrant, there could be several causes. Direct light can burn the leaves but it may also cause the leaves to lose some of their natural color and appear less saturated. In very low light settings the leaves may lose some color intensity. New leaves may also have a more muted appearance but the colors will set in with time.
- Yellowing starting at the tips and edges of the leaves is a sign of inconsistent watering. If you routinely let the plant dry out before watering, and you notice this yellowing then water more often. If the soil is constantly damp and you notice this yellowing, then let the soil dry out more before watering.
- Keep in mind that humidity levels may fluctuate throughout the year. While a Prayer Plant may absolutely thrive during certain times of the year, it may benefit from being placed near a humidifier or a pebble tray with water at other times.