02 Feb

Lovely Foliage Plants for Pots and Gardens: Calathea

Calathea are my favorite foliage plants for decorating gardens, patios and windows. They belong to the family of Maranta and like their cousins, these ornamental plants produce very beautiful foliage in a variety of colors and sizes. Some of them form dense clumps of short-stemmed leaves whereas some produce larger leaves on solitary plants. Some of Calathea plants produce blotched leaves, some have colorful markings on their leaves, and some have colored and patterned leaves.

Calathea, The Zebra Plant

Calathea, The Zebra Plant, Image by Ahmad Fuad Morad

Most species of Calathea come from tropical regions of the Americas and require warmth, higher levels of humidity and partial shade to grow perfectly. Water these plants regularly in a rich but well-drained soil. Do not overwater these plants.

Calathea can be propagated from divisions and grown as border or pot plants. Popular species include:

Calathea Concinna: Good as ground cover or border plant, this low-growing species requires regular watering and can be grown indoors.

Calathea Rotundifolia: Grows as a compact foliage plant. Produces bright, marginated green leaves with shades of red or brown beneath.

Calathea Ornata: Relatively larger plant; good for growing in containers as well as in the ground. Leaves are marked with rose-pink lines. Violet flowers appear on long spikes.

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