Calathea Rattlesnake

A Beginner's Guide to Calathea Rattlesnake Plant Care | All you Need to Grow

Family: Maranteae
Common Name: Calathea Rattlesnake
Botanical Name: Calathea lancifolia

The Calathea lancifolia, also called Calathea Rattlesnake for its wavy, elongated reptile-like patterned leaves, is an extremely colorful, and eye-catching addition to your plant collection! Due to it being a humidity loving and low-light tolerant plant, the Calathea Rattlesnake is a fabulous plant for your bathroom or kitchen!

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This plant does best in bright indirect light. Calathea Rattlesnake can handle low light however, increased light can help keep their vivid colors and patterns on the foliage. Keep this plant out of direct sunlight, as that can cause damage to the plant and might cause the colors to fade.


Like other Calathea plants, Calathea Rattlesnake plants need a lot of water. We encourage you to thoroughly water these indoor plants when the top inch of the soil is dry. Even though Calathea in general are thirsty plants, they also still like to dry out a bit between watering.
Tap water may have different minerals that could damage your plants leaves. It is suggested for you to water your Calathea Rattlesnake using filtered or distilled water. You could even use water collected from a dehumidifier if you suspect tap water is not suitable for your plant.



Potting soil that is rich in nutrients and organic matter, but still has the ability to drain well is the perfect growing medium for Calathea Rattlesnake plants and really all Calathea plants in general. Most coco coir or peat-based potting soil mixes will be adequate but make sure that they do not contain water-retentive crystals as it can cause the soil to continually stay moist causing root rot. If you are feeling adventurous, try creating your own potting soil! 


As tropical plants, Calathea Rattlesnake plants like warmer temperatures. Average room temperature above 65°F is fine, but this indoor plant won't mind if it gets warmer and the temperature creeps closer to 85°F.
Avoid placing this plant near exterior doors, drafty windows, and vents, particularly during the colder months. Make sure to avoid placement near air conditioning vents during the warmer months.


High humidity is a must-have for Calathea Rattlesnake. Without enough humidity, the leaves might start to curl or the edges will turn brown and dry! Calathea Rattlesnake plants do well in a kitchen, bathroom, or any area with extra moisture in the air. Using a humidifier or pebble tray with water can help give your plant the extra dampness it craves. Learn how to increase the humidity in the air around your indoor plants!


Fertilizing your Calathea Rattlesnake plant can help promote new growth and even blooms! A complete liquid fertilizer diluted to half-strength is a good option. When re-potting, you can also amend the soil with seaweed or fish emulsion, or worm castings. This plant will benefit from being fertilized during the growing season, which is spring and summer. In the fall and winter months, you can pause on fertilizing as it is not necessary!

Growth Rate

Calathea Rattlesnake plants typically can reach a height of around 2 to 3 feet (60 to 90 cm). However, the height it can grow is all dependent on factors such as growing conditions, care, and genetics.

Pet Friend or Foe

Calathea Rattlesnake is considered non-toxic to pets! Friend!

Pro Tips

  1. When watering your Calathea Rattlesnake, use filtered or distilled water. Calathea Rattlesnake plants are sensitive to chemicals like fluoride and chlorine (which are present in tap water).
  2. Avoid your plant near any doors, windows, or air conditioning vents. Calathea Rattlesnake plants should not be exposed to cold air, as it can damage this plants foliage!
  3. You can propagate your plant through division, if you are looking to expand your collection or share it with other people.
  4. This plant might show slight movements throughout the day. Remember that this normal behavior for this type of plant.

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