Calathea (recently reclassified as Goeppertia)

Urban Gardener
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Image by @mesplantes

Originates: in Central and South America

These gorgeous plants are part of the Marantaceae family which includes prayer plants. They get their name from their habit of putting their leaves directly upright at night like hands in prayer.

There are dozens of different types of calatheas available in cultivation and they all take the same care. They need high humidity and soil that stays evenly moist like a wrung-out sponge. They prefer distilled water or rain water as the minerals in tap water can give them crispy tips. If you use tap water, be sure to leave it out for a few days first.

Calatheas form colonies by sending new plants up from their roots. You can propagate them by splitting when repotting.

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