How to take care of Calathea Orbifolia?
Everything You Need to Know!

Do you want your Calathea Orbifolia plant to be at its healthiest? Read ahead to learn about the needs of this exotic plant!

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Jimena Bolívar

April 25, 2021


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Introduction

The stunning leaves of the Calathea Orbifolia will mesmerize you at first glance. They are a gorgeous addition to any home’s décor. Even if you adorn your garden with this plant, you’re never going to regret it. That being said, it is crucial to know the needs of this succulent.

The Calathea Orbifolia or the Prayer plant requires partial shade, well-drained moist soil watered twice every week in the summer and once otherwise. It prefers temperatures between 65-75°F (18-24°C), while humidity should be about 50%. It needs semi-regular pruning and fertilizer every month.

Calathea Orbifolia 101

The Calathea Orbifolia has made a name for itself with its unique ornamental foliage. The different colours and patterns on the leaves add an element of surprise to the succulent. While it belongs from the tropics, the succulent can sustain itself rather wonderfully indoors if you give it the proper care.

The Calathea Orbifolia plant in a pot.

Identifying Calathea Orbifolia is relatively easy because its distinctive thick, oval leaves feature light green stripes. The resultant look is a sizeable stripey leaf with a pale green underside. The leaves can reach a size of anywhere between 15 to 35 inches wide. If you raise it indoors, it won’t grow too tall, making it appropriate as a houseplant.

Here are some details about this exotic succulent:

  • Scientific name: Calathea Orbifolia or Goeppertia Orbifolia
  • Popular name: Prayer Plant
  • Family: Marantaceae
  • Genus: Calathea
  • Plant Type: Perennial
  • Native Country: Bolivia, Central, and South America
  • Flowering: Occurs in the wild but is unheard of otherwise. Don’t expect it to flower.
  • Hardiness: USDA Zones 9b to 11

Caring for The Calathea Orbifolia Plant

The Calathea Orbifolia is a tropical houseplant that enhances the beauty of the room but requires little care to grow!

Here is a brief overview of the care required by the Calathea Orbifolia:

  • Ideal soil: The soil should contain either peat or coconut fibre and also permite or pumice. The idea is to promote proper moisture and drainage conditions in the soil. The soil should be damp but not overly moist.
  • Drainage Needs: It requires excellent drainage to prosper.
  • Water Requirements: Water frequently to keep the soil moist. Don’t let the soil dry between waterings. Twice a week in Summers and once a week in Winters is enough.
  • Sunlight Requirements: Requires partial shade or medium indirect sunlight.
  • Temperature: 65°F to 75°F (18°C to 24°C)
  • Humidity: At least 50%
  • Ideal pH: 5.5 to 7.0
  • Frost-Resistance: Poor
  • Fertilizer: Light monthly feeding every month, especially during the growing season.
  • Pruning: Minimal requirements.
  • Propagation: Occurs through division during the growing season.
  • Repotting: May have to repot it every two years.
  • Toxicity: Is not toxic to any known animals.

If you don’t have a Calathea Orbifolia plant at your place, I think I know where you might want to get one. Check out this link which I trust!

Spring and Stone Calathea Orbifolia in 2.5 Inch Pot

I advise you to get this fantastic Calathea Orbifolia plant!

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1. What is the Ideal Soil for the Calathea Orbifolia Plant?

The Calathea Orbifolia appreciates a moist soil that features elements that promote both moisture retention and proper drainage!

The Calathea Orbifolia requires soil that imitates tropical soil. You can create a soil mixture with two ingredients: peat or coconut fibre and permite or pumice. The plant dislikes excessively dry soil or overly wet soil, so try to find the right balance.

Don’t make the mistake of letting the soil be either too dry or too wet. Waterlogged soil can promote root rot and cause the plant to weaken. Instead, try to avoid extremes and permit the plant to be at its healthiest. You might benefit from knowing that this plant prefers a pH between 5.5 and 7.0

If you’re looking for a recommendation, I can recommend one based on my vast experience with them. Here is the link:

Michigan Peat 1440 Baccto Lite Premium Potting Soil

I advise you to get this amazing peat-based soil mix for your Calathea!

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You should consider placing pebbles at the bottom of the pot if you want to improve the soil’s moisture retention. The Calathea Orbifolia plant is from a tropical climate and will appreciate the damp soil immensely.

2. What are the Sunlight Requirements of the Calathea Orbifolia Plant?

The Calathea Orbifolia requires medium levels of indirect sunlight!

The Calathea Orbifolia appreciates medium levels of indirect sunlight. In other words, it prefers partial shade. Too little sunlight will result in excessively pale foliage, and too much sunlight will lead to sunburnt leaves. Tread carefully in maintaining the correct light balance.

Pro-Tip

For the best results, place the Calathea Orbifolia plant next to a window.

While the Calathea Orbifolia is certainly used to lower levels of light than other plants, it still needs exposure to indirect sunlight. To make sure the houseplant is at its healthiest, place it near a windowsill, and you're good to go.

The Calathea Orbifolia in indirect sunlight.

The Calathea Orbifolia is sensitive to the levels of light you provide it. There will be a noticeable impact on the foliage, so be mindful of fulfilling its needs!

3. What is the Humidity Requirement of the Calathea Orbifolia Plant?

The Calathea Orbifolia loves high levels of humidity as it is a tropical plant!

The Calathea Orbifolia plant prefers at least 50% humidity. While this is not the deciding factor in the health of the succulent, it will be stronger. Consider using a humidifier if the humidity level indoors is lower than 50%.

Are you wondering whether your humidity levels are enough for the Calathea? Don’t hesitate in considering the AcuRite Digital Hygrometer for the measuring job!

AcuRite Digital Hygrometer

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Pro-Tip

In the long run, a humidifier is a wise investment that will prove to be beneficial.

Don't avoid spending a few bucks on a humidifier. If you're planning to raise various houseplants, the money is being spent meaningfully. A humidifier can help plants attain ideal levels of humidity. It is worth every penny!

If you want to invest in the best humidifier available online, I recommend the Pure Enrichment MistAire Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier.

4. How Should I Water the Calathea Orbifolia Plant?

Don't overlook the watering needs of the Calathea Orbifolia. Otherwise your plant will suffer!

The Calathea Orbifolia must be watered at least twice a week in the Summers and at least once otherwise. The plant requires damp soil, so you can put a finger in the ground to check it. Don’t let the soil dry out between waterings.

Warning

If you're not going to water your plant enough be prepared to let the foliage suffer.

Do you want to see your Calathea Orbifolia leaves with crispy brown edges? I guess not. If you're careless with watering, expect the worst from the plant as it can't stand neglect when it comes to watering

The Calathea Orbifolia on top of a girl's head.

Don’t be careless with the watering of the prayer plant. It will not be able to stand a lack in the watering department. It originates from a very moist and humid area and can’t stand a starkly different situation in your home. Try to imitate the conditions of the tropics by providing it with consistently damp soil. Please don’t overdo it, as waterlogged soil is also detrimental to this plant.

5. How to Fertilize the Calathea Orbifolia Plant?

The Calathea Orbifolia Plant requires monthly feeding especially when it is in its growing period.

The Calathea Orbifolia doesn’t require high levels of fertilizer to sustain itself. Light feeding every month during the growing season is enough to provide it with necessary nutrients.

If you’re going to feed the plant, be consistent with flushing the soil. If there is a high concentration of fertilizer in the soil, it can potentially burn the roots of the Calathea, which is undesirable.

Warning

Too much fertilizer is bad news for the prayer plant.

The Calathea Orbifolia roots aren't able to bear too much of fertilizer. Therefore, do the plant a favor and stick to regular flushing. A good drenching every now and then will eliminate the risk of root damage due to excessive fertilizer.

If you’re looking for a fantastic liquid fertilizer for the Calathea Orbifolia, I recommend the Dyna-Grow Grow Liquid Plant Food to you.

Dyna-Gro Grow 32 oz. Concentrated Liquid Plant Food

I recommend the use of this fertilizer for the Calathea. It gives superb results!

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6. How to Prune the Calathea Orbifolia Plant?

You don't have to say farewell to entire leaves and can trim problematic parts of the leave with ease!

If you see crispy edges on the foliage of the Calathea Orbifolia, don’t hesitate to trim it. Use a pair of scissors and trim off any brown edges. If the entire leaf has turned brown, cut it off from the base where it meets the stalk. Doing so will help revive the attractiveness of this plant with ease.

7. How to Repot the Calathea Orbifolia Plant?

Expect needing to repot the Calathea Orbifolia every two years!

To repot the Calathea Orbifolia, pick a pot that is a little larger than the previous one. Remove the root from the old pot and observe for signs of decay. Fill new container hallway through with potting soil and place the plant inside. Fill the remainder of soil within the pot and place it in a shaded place.

Warning

Don't get a pot that is too large for the plant.

Usually when you're getting a new pot for the Calathea Orbifolia, it should be two inches larger than the last one. Don't go overboard with size as you're bound to regret it.

The Calathea Orbifolia on top of a shelf.

When you’re repotting the Calathea Orbifolia, be extra careful with the roots. Don’t disturb them, and you’ll be good to go. Don’t fail to take this opportunity to refresh the potting soil, thereby giving the plant more life.

Things You Should Know About the Calathea Orbifolia Plant

If you’re raising a Calathea Orbifolia at your home, there are a few things you must know.

The Calathea Orbifolia the floor.

1. How to Propagate the Calathea Orbifolia Plant?

This plant can't be propagated through stem cuttings, so you may have to use techniques like division instead!

The Calathea Orbifolia cannot be propagated through stem cuttings. Instead, you will have to use divisions at the root in the growing season to propagate the plant. Be careful after doing this technique as the plant is very sensitive after division.

Warning

Don't overwater the plant after the division of the root.

The plant once divided and repotted has a lower need for water since it is smaller than the original size. Be careful with it as the plant is very sensitive during this period and requires care from your side.

2. How Toxic is the Calathea Orbifolia Plant?

The Calathea Orbifolia Plant is not a threat to your pets!

The Calathea Orbifolia is not toxic to humans or animals, which makes it a safe houseplant. Place it within the walls of your home with confidence as it will not prove to be harmful.

The Calathea Orbifolia Plant is not toxic to any known animals according to the APSCA. So you don’t have to worry about your pets suffering due to this plant. It is as safe as a choice you can make.

3. What are common issues with the Calathea Orbifolia?

Knowing more about the issues you can face with the Calathea Orbifolia will help you avoid those situations!

The Calathea Orbifolia is susceptible to curled leaves with crispy brown edges, spider mites, root rot, transplant shock, and mold on the soil. If you don’t take care of the plant appropriately, it can show up in these ways!

Conclusion

The Calathea Orbifolia will prosper if you give it partial shade, well-drained moist soil watered twice a week in the growing period and once otherwise. It appreciates temperatures between 65-75°F (18-24°C) and humidity levels at about 50%. Think semi-regular pruning and fertilizer every month.

If you’re new to all of this and wish to learn more, I think you should know more about succulents. I recommend this comprehensive guide that will tell you types of succulents.

22 Types of Succulents. Stunning Indoor and Outdoor Succulents to Grow!

Succulents are stunning plants that can flourish with relatively minimal care. Read ahead to learn about the different indoor and outdoor succulent types!

Jimena Bolívar Picture

By Jimena Bolívar

Easy Succulents Founder

My name is Jimena and I'm the the founder of Easy Succulents! I'm fascinated by this wonderful plants and I want to share with the world everything I know about them!

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Jimena Bolívar Picture

Jimena Bolívar

Easy Succulents Founder

My name is Jimena and I'm the the founder of Easy Succulents! I'm fascinated by this wonderful plants and I want to share with the world everything I know about them!

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