All a c d e f h l m n o p s
Calathea lancifolia Calathea lancifolia

Calathea lancifolia

Botanical Name — Calathea lancifolia

Common Name — rattlesnake plant

Plant Family — Marantaceae

Background

Calathea lancifolia is a lush, tropical plant, native to the rainforests of Brazil. With it’s dark green spotting and purple leaf undersides, this plant is a stunner. The observant gardener will notice this plant exhibits interesting behavior with respect to its leaves. A member of the prayer plant family, leaves will fold upwards and close together at nighttime to prevent water loss. In the morning, as the sun comes out, leaves will reopen. 

Growth Requirements

Sun

  • These plants do well in medium to bright, indirect light. A few hours of morning sun is ideal. 
  • Calathea lancifolia would love a spot in a sunny window with northern or eastern exposure. 
Temperature/ Humidity 
  • These tropical plants love warm temperatures and high humidity. They will thrive in temperatures above 70 ºF, but at a minimum they require a temperature of 60 ºF.  
  • To maintain ambient moisture that will promote vigorous growth, mist your Calathea lancifolia daily or consider providing it with a humidifier. In the winter, when the air tends to be drier, humidity becomes especially important. Leaves will brown and turn crispy if the air is too dry. 
  • This is a great plant for a sunny bathroom or kitchen or any other room where there is ample humidity. 
Water
  • Keep this plants soil evenly moist but never soggy. When the soil is dry about 25-50% deep, or the moisture level feels like that of a wrung sponge, it is safe to give the plant a thorough watering. 
Soil/Roots
  • This plant will thrive in a well-draining, yet moisture-retentive soil, high in organic matter. A good quality potting would be great for your Calathea lancifolia. 
  • If you are the DIY type and prefer to mix your own soil, try a mix of 50% coco coir, 25% sand or fine pumice and 25% compost.
Flowering
  • Rattlesnake plants produce small, white, cone-shaped flowers during the spring and summer seasons, though these plants rarely flower indoors. Be sure to provide adequate moisture and light to improve the chances of flower. 
Fertilization
  • Rattlesnake calathea do not require much fertilizing though they appreciate a nutrient boost during the growing season. 
  • Feed these plants with a balanced fertilizer diluted at half-strength, once a month. Fertilize during the growing season only; suspend fertilization during the fall and winter. 
Propagation
  • The best way to repot these plants is by division. To divide this plant, remove it from it’s pot, then using a garden spade or sharp knife, cut the plant into smaller pieces, ensuring each section has a few roots. Each individual piece can be immediately potted.

Health

Diseases

  • Though these plants enjoy humidity, droplets of water directly on leaves can be problematic. Leaf spot can be a concern with this plant if leaves remain wet for long periods of time. To avoid excessive water on leaves, water the soil directly instead or watering from the top. 
Maintenance (pruning, legginess, repotting)
  • These plants do not require much maintenance. These plants can grow fairly quickly, and should be repotted once every one to two years. 
  • To maintain good health, prune away and damaged or unhealthy leaves. 
Toxicity
  • Calathea is non-toxic to animals and humans.