Calathea needs special care at home
Growing a Prayer Flower in captivity is not easy. Home care should meet all the needs of beautiful Tropican women. Of the 130 species of calathea, most are valued for the beauty of their leaves. Flowering varieties are decorative with bracts, but the flowers themselves are inconspicuous.
What you need to know about a flower
Calathea is a plant of the second tier of the tropical forest and belongs to the Marantovs. The leaves of the calathea are oval and elliptical in length up to 30 cm. They are velvety and glossy, the back part always has red shades in color. You can endlessly admire the complex pattern of the leaf plate..
Leaves grow on the stem, but it is short, internodes are millimeters apart, it seems that the rosette grows out of the ground. The length of the leaf petioles varies. Surprisingly, the flower loves classical music and cannot stand the swing of tobacco – esthete!
Improper caring for calathea at home will destroy the plant.
In the care it is necessary to carry out procedures with knowledge of the nature of the “Prayer Flower”. So, the flower is called prayer for the fact that it lifts the leaves higher and higher at sunset. In the morning, the plates are in a horizontal position..
The reaction to improper care will be a change in the color of the leaves, their drooping, the appearance of various spots, and drying out of the edges. In another way, it is called the loss of decorativeness..
How to care for calathea at home
You need to choose a flower depending on the ability to create acceptable conditions for its maintenance. Each variety requires the use of special care operations that are appropriate for this particular plant. The flowering varieties of calathea are considered the most demanding. The most unpretentious flower is Kalathea Makoyan, shown in the photo. Home care is easier than other types.
Sequentially, by operations, we will analyze how to care for a capricious plant.
The total daylight hours for Calathea, regardless of location, is 15-16 hours. This can be a shaded area near the south window or supplementary lighting when placed on the north side. It is necessary to focus on the color of the leaves. With a lack of light, the leaves are pale, with an excess, they become smaller and curl up into a tube. If measures are not taken, then after turning pale, the leaves will dry out and fall off..
The photo shows how saffron calathea blooms with proper care at home, if the winter regulation of the lighting duration is observed. The flower is encouraged to bloom by creating an adjustable length of day by covering it with opaque material from 6 pm to 8 am.
When the rudiments of peduncles appear, the plant is introduced into the usual light regime..
Watering and microclimate
All varieties of calathea are watered only with soft, settled water with a temperature 2-3 degrees above room temperature. When watering, you need to focus on the condition of the plant. If the leaves begin to lose turgor, stop moistening, dry the soil 2-3 cm deep into the soil and wait for the results. If the leaves do not rise, caring for the calathea requires replacing the soil and removing rotten roots..
To soften the irrigation water, throw two handfuls of peat into a bucket of tap water, stir and leave overnight. Filtered water will contain less calcium and magnesium.
The frequency of watering calathea – as the clod of earth and the type of leaves dries up. In hot weather, 3 times a week, in winter only once, checking the moisture content of the coma.
Demanding on the microclimate, calathea does not like rough wetting of the leaves. Velvet leaves should not be sprayed on; other varieties are foggy. Drops leave unsightly stains after drying. Therefore, it is impossible to create 50-70% humidity in an apartment with central heating. At home, caring for calathea is associated with the use of special methods of air humidification..
If you pour pebbles, small cobblestones into a deep pan on which a pot of calathea is installed, and cover it with sphagnum moss on top, then the water in the pan will evaporate evenly. A special layer of air is created around the plant. But here it is impossible to allow the bottom of the pot to come into contact with water, the roots will rot..
Evaporation from a wide plate of hot water will be less radical. You can use the neighborhood with large flowers, like the shade of tropical trees. Once or twice in the daytime around the bush it is necessary to make a fine spray from a spray bottle. Glossy leaves are wiped with a damp cloth.
In caring for calathea, a balance is constantly observed between excess and deficiency, and one should walk along a sharp ridge..
Soil, transplant and temperature of the content
Regardless of the time of year, the temperature regime should be 18-24 degrees, regardless of the season. At the same time, a sharp change in temperature and a draft can lead to the death of calathea..
Soil selection is one of the requirements for how to properly care for calathea. Considering that the roots of the plant are superficial, grow in breadth, you need to select the appropriate pots. A deep bucket creates a larger drainage layer so that the soil below does not sour.
The substrate is bought ready for calathea or saintpaulia, but adding coarse sand. You can take the composition yourself:
- leaf humus – 6 parts;
- peat – 3 parts;
- sand – 1 part.
The composition of the soil should be slightly acidic, pH 6.
How to care for a calathea flower as it grows? A transplant will be required, by carefully dividing the rhizome when planting. Moreover, each section must have a flower bud..
Usually the bush is divided in two, cutting with a sharp knife and disinfecting the fresh cut. After the plant has been planted, it needs to be covered, to create a microclimate near the leaves, but with ventilation. After new leaves begin to appear, remove the shelter. It is important that the temperature at this time is about 250 C, and the plant is in the shade..
Fertilizing and pruning calathea
When caring for calathea at home, only flowering ornamental plants are fed. For them, a composition of soluble fertilizers is chosen, in which there is an insignificant nitrogen content and there are no traces of calcium. Typically, such formulations are sold for the care of indoor flowers..
The peculiarity of kalata is that their roots secrete substances that change the composition of the soil and its acidity. The best feeding will be the timely renewal of the substrate. For young plants, transplantation is carried out annually. After four years, an adult plant is transplanted every two years..
To begin with, you can grow a beautiful calathea in a florarium, a tall vessel with transparent walls. So, it is easier to maintain a microclimate.