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Calathea Ornata: A Guide to Growing and Styling this Stunning Houseplant

Calathea ornata, also known as the pinstripe plant, is a beautiful and popular houseplant. Native to South America, Calathea ornata has become a popular choice among plant enthusiasts due to its unique stripes. In this article, we’ll explore the Calathea ornata as a houseplant, including its care requirements, benefits to your health, and tips for styling in your home.

Appearance

Calathea ornata is a stunning plant that features dark green leaves with thin, pink stripes. The leaves are oval shaped, with a pointed tip, and can grow up to 12 inches (30 centimetres) in length. The underside of the leaves is a deep purple colour, adding to the plant’s unique appearance. In addition to its striking leaves, Calathea ornata also produces small white or yellow flowers that grow on tall stems.

Care Requirements

One of the many benefits of Calathea ornata as a houseplant is that it is relatively easy to care for. Here are some basic care requirements to keep in mind:

Light

Calathea ornata prefers bright, indirect light, as direct sunlight can burn the leaves. It’s best to keep the plant near a window with filtered light or use a sheer curtain to diffuse the light.

Water

Calathea ornata likes to be kept moist but not soggy. Water the plant when the top inch of soil feels dry to the touch. Be careful not to overwater, as this can lead to root rot.

Humidity

Calathea ornata prefers high humidity levels. Increase the humidity around the plant by misting it regularly by placing it on a tray of pebbles filled with water, or using a humidifier.

Temperature

Calathea ornata likes to be kept in warm temperatures between 65 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit (18 and 26 degrees Celsius). Avoid placing the plant near drafts or in areas with extreme temperature fluctuations.

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Soil

Calathea ornata prefers well-draining soil that is rich in organic matter. Use a potting soil mix that includes perlite or vermiculite to provide the plant with the nutrients it needs.

Fertiliser

Calathea ornata does not need to be fertilised often. Use a balanced, water-soluble fertiliser once a month during the growing season (spring and summer) to help promote growth and keep the plant healthy.

Propagation

Calathea ornata can be propagated through division. Simply divide the plant into smaller sections, making sure each section has roots and at least one leaf. Plant each section in its own pot with fresh soil.

Tips for styling

Calathea ornata is a versatile plant that can be styled in a variety of ways. Here are a few tips for styling this houseplant in your home:

  1. Use as a centerpiece: Calathea ornata’s unique appearance makes it an excellent centerpiece for any room in your home. Place it on a table, shelf, or plant stand and let its striking leaves add a touch of color and texture to your space.
  2. Pair with other plants: Calathea ornata looks great when paired with other plants. You can create a mini indoor garden by placing it next to other plants with different textures and colors. This will not only make your space look beautiful but will also help to purify the air in your home.
  3. Use in a hanging planter: Calathea ornata can also be used in a hanging planter, allowing its leaves to cascade down from above. This is a great option if you have limited space or if you want to add some visual interest to a blank wall.
  4. Mix and match with different pots: Calathea ornata looks great in a variety of pots, from classic terracotta to modern ceramic. Experiment with different styles and colors to find a pot that complements the plant’s unique appearance.
  5. Incorporate into different rooms: Calathea ornata is a versatile plant that can be used in different rooms throughout your home. Try placing it in your living room, bedroom, or even your bathroom to add a touch of greenery and natural beauty to your space.
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Pests and diseases

Like all houseplants, Calathea ornata is susceptible to pests and diseases. Here are some common issues to watch out for and how to address them:

  1. Spider mites: These tiny pests are common in dry indoor environments and can cause yellowing and speckling on the leaves. To control spider mites, regularly mist the leaves of your Calathea ornata to increase humidity, and wipe the leaves down with a damp cloth to remove any mites.
  2. Mealybugs: These pests look like small cotton balls and can suck the sap from your plant, causing stunted growth and yellowing leaves. To control mealybugs, spray your plant with a mixture of water and mild soap, or use an insecticide specifically designed for mealybugs.
  3. Fungal diseases: Calathea ornata is susceptible to various fungal diseases, such as leaf spot and powdery mildew. To prevent these diseases, avoid overwatering your plant and ensure good air circulation around the plant. If you notice any signs of fungal disease, such as brown spots or white powdery residue, remove the affected leaves and treat the plant with a fungicide.
  4. Root rot: Overwatering can cause root rot, which can lead to yellowing leaves and stunted growth. To prevent root rot, ensure that your Calathea ornata is planted in well-draining soil and only water when the top inch of soil is dry to the touch.
  5. Pest prevention: To prevent pests and diseases, it’s important to keep your Calathea ornata clean and healthy. Regularly dust the leaves and remove any dead or yellowing leaves to keep the plant healthy and prevent the spread of pests and diseases.
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In general, keep a close eye on your Calathea ornata and check for any signs of pests or diseases. Also address any issues promptly to ensure the plant stays healthy and vibrant.

Benefits to Your Health

In addition to its striking appearance, Calathea ornata also offers several health benefits. Here are a few ways this houseplant can benefit your health:

  • Air purification: Calathea ornata, like many houseplants, can help purify the air in your home. It removes toxins such as formaldehyde, benzene, and trichloroethylene from the air, improving the overall air quality.
  • Stress relief: Studies have shown that spending time in nature or around plants can help reduce stress and promote relaxation. Having Calathea ornata in your home can help create a calming environment and reduce feelings of anxiety.
  • Improved focus: In addition to reducing stress, spending time around plants like Calathea ornata can also help improve focus and concentration. This can be particularly beneficial if you work from home or spend a lot of time studying.

Final Thoughts

Calathea ornata is a beautiful and easy-to-care-for houseplant that offers a range of benefits to your health and well-being. With its striking striped leaves and unique appearance, this plant is a great choice for anyone looking to add some natural beauty to their home. Whether you choose to use it as a centerpiece, pair it with other plants, or incorporate it into different rooms throughout your home, Calathea ornata is sure to bring joy to your space. So why not add this beautiful plant to your collection today and enjoy all the benefits it has to offer?