Calathea Compact Star

A Beginner's Guide to Calathea Compact Star Plant Care | All you Need to Grow!

Family: Marantaceae
Common Name: Calathea Compact Star
Botanical Name: Calathea Setosa

This Prayer Plant brings elegance to the prayer plant party! The signature green and red foliage of the Calathea Compact Star will fall at night and rise again to greet the new day.  These graceful indoor plants convey high style, making it very easy for you to turn any surface into a glorious display!  

It can be tricky to get the hang of caring for these tropical plants. Calathea plants are particular about the care they receive, but once you get it down, you will be rewarded with vivid colors and the gentle motion of the leaves.

Calatheas are sometimes known as Prayer Plants (much like the very similar, but different Maranta plants). These indoor plants have garnered this name through their unique movements, known as nyctinasty. The leaves move throughout the course of a day. It is thought this movement allows the plant to best capture the sun's rays. The leaves will lift up with the front or face of the leaves all bunched together at night, but lower during the day in order to receive light.

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Calathea Compact Star is very adaptable in terms of light. These plants can handle low, medium, or bright indirect light. This makes sense given the plant’s tropical origins where it can be found growing underneath the dense jungle canopy. Direct sunlight can burn the delicate leaves, so it should be avoided. Increased light levels will bring out the colors and patterns of the leaves.


The Calathea Compact Star prefers more damp conditions. Let the soil slightly dry out between watering. When it is time to water, saturate the soil until the water drains through the grow pot. Drooping or curling leaves are an indication the plant is too dry and needs more water.


Calatheas need a soil medium that can retain moisture but drain excess water to avoid the root rot. Most pre-mixed soils will suffice. Make sure that there is plenty of organic matter, like coco-coir, peat moss, or shredded leaves, and avoid soils that contain moisture retaining crystals. If your soil drains too quickly, we recommend re-potting your calathea into a compost-rich soil mixture. Learn how to create your own universal soil mixture for all of your indoor plants!


Average room temperature is good for the Calathea Compact Star. As a tropical plant, anything between 65 - 85 degrees is ideal. Calatheas are not cold hardy, so avoid drafty locations and if you bring the plant outside for the summer, make sure to bring it back inside well before the temperatures turn cold.


Humid environments are ideal for all calathea houseplants, including the Compact Star. These plants thrive in humid conditions, but with the use of a humidifier or evaporation tray, these houseplants can live in drier areas or climates.


Fertilize your calathea during the growing season to promote new growth and possibly even blooms. Use a diluted complete liquid fertilizer or seaweed or fish emulsion. When re-potting, the soil can be amended with worm castings to provide increased nutrition. Give the Calathea Compact Star time to rest during the colder months and do not fertilize when the plant is dormant. 

Growth Rate

Calathea Compact Star is a moderate to fast grower and with the right care and conditions can reach 2’’+ in height and width!

Pet Friend or Foe

These indoor plants are Non-Toxic to pets! Friend

Watch Now! Demystifying Prayer Plants!

Pro Tips 

  1. Finding the right balance of soil dampness can sometimes be hard for first-time calathea owners. These plants certainly like consistently damp soil, but over-watering should still be avoided. Placing the plant in an area with increased indirect light can help the soil dry out and regulate the soil dampness.
  2. Calathea can be propagated through division. When it’s time to re-pot, separate the plants and re-pot into separate containers.
  3. Routinely wipe the leaves with a damp cloth to remove dust and debris. Cleaning the leaves helps the plant more efficiently conduct photosynthesis and keeps it looking amazing.

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