Calathea Leopardina Care Guide: Tips for a Healthy and Happy Plant

Are you looking for a Calathea Leopardina care guide? You’ve come to the right place! Calathea Leopardina is a beautiful plant that is native to South America. It can be grown indoors or outdoors and is known for its lush sword-shaped green leaves and striking dark green or purple markings resembling a leopard.

Calathea plants are known as “prayer plants” because of their habit of closing their leaves at night as if folding their hands in prayer. Calathea Leopardina is no exception – this plant is known for its beautiful leaf markings and magical movement.

This guide will discuss how to care for your Calathea Leopardina, including tips on watering, fertilizing, and pest control. We will also talk about the ideal growing conditions for this plant and how to deal with everyday problems. So if you want to learn how to keep your Calathea healthy and happy, keep reading!

Quick Care Summary

Sunlight: Calathea Leopardina does best in indirect or filtered sunlight.
Water: Water Calathea Leopardina when the top inch of soil is dry.
Fertilizer: Feed Calathea Leopardina every two weeks during the growing season with a balanced fertilizer.
Humidity: Calathea Leopardina prefers high humidity.
Temperature: Calathea Leopardina does best in warm (70-85 degrees Fahrenheit) but can tolerate cooler temperatures (60-65 degrees Fahrenheit).
Soil: Calathea Leopardina prefers rich, well-draining soil.
Pests and Diseases: Calathea Leopardina is susceptible to mealybugs, spider mites, and root rot.
Toxicity: Calathea Leopardina is not toxic to humans or animals.


It is thought that Calathea Leopardina belongs to the Marantaceae family. Its botanical name is Goeppertia Concinna. It is sometimes found under the name Shadow Calathea. It is a tropical, evergreen perennial native to South America, specifically Brazil.

Calathea Leopardina can reach heights between 12-24 inches (30-60 cm). The leaves are lanceolate or ovate in shape and grow to be about 18 inches (45 cm) long. They are a deep green color with purple markings that resemble a leopard.

The underside of the leaves is burgundy or purple. Calathea Leopardina produces small, yellow flowers that bloom in the summer months.

There are more than 300 kinds of Calathea Plants, many being hybrids created through tissue cultures. The plant requires very minimal attention to thrive. Inside, the Calathea is an herbaceous table plant that seldom grows more than 60cm in height and width. Calatheas have adapted to the humid and hot climate of rainforests.

The Calathea Leopardina is often incorrectly referred to as Calathea Freddie by people selling plants. Calathea Leopardina produces yellow flowers in the wild, whereas Calathea Freddie bears white flowers. Calathea Leopardina was recently renamed Calathea Concinna.

The Leopardina is an eye-catching plant that makes a great addition to any indoor or outdoor space. It is relatively easy to care for, but you should keep a few things in mind to ensure that your plant stays healthy and happy.

In this guide, we will discuss the basic care requirements for Calathea Leopardina, as well as some tips on dealing with common problems. So if you’re ready to learn how to care for your Calathea Leopardina, keep reading!

Plant Profile/Characteristics

Scientific Name: Goeppertia Concinna
Origin: Tropical Latin America / South America
Family Name: Marantaceae
Outdoor or Indoor: Both
Soil: The soil is loose, well-draining airy
The pH of the soil: 6.5-7.5
Water: Soil to stay in a moist state
Air Humidity: 70 – 75%
Lighting: bright, indirect light, but fine in darker spots.
Temperature: Prefer temperatures that fall in the 65degF-85degF region.
Leaves: Zebra print
Plant Structure and Height: About two feet (0.60m in height and width of 0.60 m)
Flower Color: Yellow
Air Purifying: Absorb free radicals that are present in your devices
Fertilizer: Balanced or nitrogen-rich
Hardiness zone: 9-11
Advanced level: The ideal choice for individuals who are familiar with their plants.

Basic Calathea Leopardina Care Requirements

As we mentioned above, Calathea Leopardina is a tropical plant native to Brazil. In its natural habitat, it grows under the canopy of taller trees in humid conditions. Calathea Leopardina is relatively easy to care for, but you should keep a few things in mind to ensure that your plant stays healthy and happy.

The development of your plant will ultimately be affected by the conditions in its environment and the available treatment you give it. Still, there is an average growth rate from Calathea Leopardina even kept as an indoor houseplant.

Soil Requirements

It is essential to ensure that the pots are filled with good soil so they can thrive. The soil should be an extremely high-quality, well-draining potting medium. Waterlogged, inadequate soil can create problems for many plants, including Calathea.

This is why a rich and nutrient-rich soil well-draining is essential. If your soil’s pH has already become acidic, you should not apply peat moss or other substrates because it can lower the soil’s PH level.

The ideal PH to use for Calathea Concinna should be 6.5. The elements listed below are necessary if you want to make your own potter’s mix.

  • 50% potting soil (or coco coir)
  • 20% orchid bark
  • 20% activated charcoal
  • 10% perlite

Coco coir is used to help Calathea Leopardina because it is an organic matter that retains moisture and nutrients well. Orchid bark is also an excellent potting mix component because it is lightweight and has a high water-holding capacity. The activated charcoal will help keep the soil clean and toxins-free. Finally, the perlite will help to improve drainage and aeration.

You can also use a commercial potting mix for Calathea or other tropical plants. If you choose to use a potting mix, ensure it is high-quality and well-draining.

Water Requirements

Calathea plants like moist soil, but they cannot tolerate soggy conditions. It is essential to water your Calathea Concinna regularly, but make sure the potting mix has time to dry out. The soil should be checked every 5 to 6 days. The Calathea leopardina needs water when the top two inches become dry.

It might require water about every 8-10 days in winter, and in summer, every 3 to 4 days. Always check the soil before applying water again. A plant sitting in water could cause the roots to rot, and once the roots start to rot, there is a very slim chance of healing.

Plants should be given room temperature water that is free of chlorine. One way to achieve this is leaving a pitcher of water out overnight so the chlorine or other chemicals have time to dissipate.

Direct/Indirect Light

Calatheas can live in rooms that are not as bright, provided it has some indirect light coming in. These plants can take a couple of hours of cool direct morning sunlight without any harm, such as burning or fading (losing their color). Place the plant just a few inches from windows that face west or east.

If the plants are getting excessive light or the leaves start to yellow, this is a sign that they need to be moved. Conversely, if the leaves are looking pale or new growth is stunted, your Calathea needs more light, and it is recommended that the plant should be relocated to a lower lighting zone immediately.

You can check the light needs of your Calathea by looking at the leaves. If the leaves are pointing up, the plant is getting enough light. The plant needs more light if the leaves are pointing down or to the side. Using a light meter is also an excellent way to measure the amount of light your Calathea is getting.

Temperature Requirements

Calatheas like warm temperatures and will do best in rooms that are between 70 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit. If the temperature falls below 60 degrees Fahrenheit, the leaves will start to turn brown and drop off.

The Leopardina will not recover from the effects of cold, so keep it warm. If the temperature gets too hot, the leaves will start to fade, and the Calathea will go into shock.

Ensure you take proper care when placing the plant in cold or hot drafts. The Leopardina is unable to adjust to sudden temperature fluctuations.

Humidity Requirements

Calatheas come from tropical regions and, as such, require high humidity to thrive. The ideal range for Calathea is between 40% and 70%. If the humidity falls below 30%, the leaves will start to turn brown and drop off.

You can increase the moisture around your Calathea by placing it on a pebble tray or using a humidifier. I like to group my tropical plants to create a mini jungle that helps increase the humidity for all of the plants.

If your plant’s leaves become dry and crispy, it is time to increase the humidity levels in your region. You can move the plant to an area in the home, such as a bathroom or laundry room, provided there is indirect light coming in as well.

Pruning Calathea Leopardina

Calatheas do not require a lot of pruning, but if you want to shape the plant or remove damaged leaves, you can do so. Cut back the Calathea to about an inch above the soil line. If you remove a lot of leaves, you can cut the plant by up to one-third of its total height.

When pruning your Calathea, make sure to use sharp, clean shears. This will help prevent disease and pests from infesting the plant. Also, be sure to disinfect the shears after each use.


Calathea is easy to fertilize. It does not require routine feeding as it will proliferate without fertilizer. If you want to fertilize your garden:

  • Choose a high-quality organic fertilizer that is high in nitrogen.
  • Apply diluted fertilizer every 4-6 weeks during the Spring and summer.
  • Don’t fertilize during the wintertime.

Be cautious when fertilizing as Calathea is a light feeder, and too much fertilizer will burn the roots.

Calathea Leopardina Propagation

The propagation process for this plant is different from other species of plants. Calathea Leopardina is best propagated using tissue culture. This is because the plant does not produce viable seeds.

Tissue culture is a process where small pieces of the plant are taken and placed in a sterile environment where they will grow into new plants. The advantage of tissue culture is that it produces genetically identical plants that are disease and pest-free.

If you are interested in propagating Calathea Leopardina, I would recommend finding a reputable tissue culture lab to do it for you.

Like most varieties of Calathea, the Leopardina can be propagated by division. This means the plant is divided into two or more sections, each with its own root system.

Before dividing your plant, make sure it is in good health and flourishing before you decide to propagate. To divide the plant:

  1. Carefully remove it from the pot and gently pull it apart. Each section should have at least three leaves and its own root system.
  2. Split the mother Calathea Concinna plant with a clean, sharp knife, ensuring that the split section has between 4 and 5 stems with some leaves to increase the probability of survival.
  3. Place the divisions in their own pots filled with fresh potting mix.
  4. Water the plants well and place them in a warm, humid spot.

The divisions will take root within a few weeks and should be ready to pot up into larger pots within a few months.


calathea leopardinaIf the root system of Calathea Leopardina starts to grow out of the base via topsoil or a drain hole, it is the right time for an upgrade.

You must ensure that the plant does not get root bound; if it happens, increase the pot to a more significant size to accommodate the root’s growth system.

It is best to repot during the start of the season for growth in early Spring or the middle of Summer. It is also important to soak the soil well before transplanting.

Tips for Repotting:
· Be sure to put the root ball at the same level in the soil it was previously in.
· It is essential to remove any extra water in the tray pot

Bloom Season/ Flowering

Like most Calathea species available, this Calathea is cultivated and admired for its beautiful foliage rather than its blooms.

When it does flower, it produces spathes that contain tiny yellow flowers that are not very significant and lack scent. Only in ideal conditions will the Leopardina bloom.

Pests and Diseases


Calathea plants are relatively resistant to pests, but they are not immune. The most common pests that attack Calathea plants include:

  • Aphids
  • Mealybugs
  • Spider mites

Aphids: These soft-bodied insects pierce plant leaves and suck out the sap, causing the leaves to be yellow and curl. Aphids also produce a sticky substance called honeydew that can attract other pests, such as sooty mold.

Mealybugs: These pests attack Calathea plants by feeding on the sap of the stem and leaves. Mealybugs can cause Calathea leaves to turn yellow, brown, and drop off.

Spider Mites: A plant with dry soil has a higher chance of drawing pests such as spider mites. If you suspect spider mites are present or other pests, it is important to immediately take action to stop the spread of these pests to other plants within your yard.

To eliminate pests, you can use natural pest control such as ladybugs or horticultural oil. You can also use a mixture of water and dish soap to create a DIY pesticide.


The most common disease that affects Calathea plants is root rot. Root rot is caused by too much moisture in the soil, which causes the roots to decay. If you think your plant has root rot, it is vital to act quickly. The first step is to remove the plant from the pot and check the roots. If they are black or mushy, they are probably infected with root rot.

To save your plant, you will need to carefully remove all of the infected roots and repot the plant in fresh, sterile potting mix. If you catch root rot early enough, your plant should recover.

Other Diseases that might affect the Calathea plant include:

  • Bacterial blight
  • Powdery mildew
  • Leaf spot

Bacterial Blight: Bacterial blight is a disease that affects Calathea plants. The symptoms of bacterial blight include:
-Yellow or brown spots on leaves
-Holes in leaves
-Leaves that drop off prematurely

Powdery Mildew: Powdery mildew is a white powdery fungus that forms on the leaves of Calathea plants. The symptoms of powdery mildew include:
-White powdery spots on leaves
-Yellow or brown spots on leaves
-Leaves that drop off prematurely

Leaf Spot: Leaf spot is a disease that affects Calathea plants. The symptoms of leaf spot include:
-Brown or black spots on leaves
-Holes in leaves
-Leaves that drop off prematurely

If you think your plant has any diseases, it is vital to act quickly. The best way to prevent these diseases is to water your Calathea plant properly and keep the leaves dry. You can also use a fungicide to prevent or treat these diseases.


Calathea Leopardina plants are not toxic to humans or animals. However, keeping Calathea plants out of reach of children and pets is crucial because they can cause occasional skin irritation.

So, be on guard if pets or children have a habit of chewing on the leaves.


Q: Why are my Calathea plants dropping?

A: Calathea plants can drop their leaves for a variety of reasons. Most often, it’s because they are not getting enough water or humidity. Calathea plants like to be kept moist but not wet.

Allow the top of the soil to dry out between watering. Calathea plants also like high humidity, so if the air in your home is dry, you may need to mist your plant daily or set it on a pebble tray.

Q: Why are my Calathea leaves curling?

A: Calathea plants can curl their leaves as a response to dehydration and is a defense mechanism to prevent water loss. Curling leaves can also signify too much or too little light. Calathea plants like bright, indirect sunlight. If it’s getting too much sun and drying out, then it will preserve water by curling its leaves.

Q: Why are my Calathea leaves yellowing?

A: Calathea plants can yellow their leaves for various reasons, but primarily due to too much sun, not enough water, or pests. Yellow leaves must be cut off the plant since they drain energy away from the plant and are not likely to return to green.

Q: How often should I water my Calathea plant?

A: Calathea plants like to be kept moist but not wet. Water your Calathea plant when the top inch of soil is dry.

Q: What potting mix should I use for my Calathea plant?

A: Calathea plants like a potting mix that is moist and well-draining. You can use a standard potting mix or add extra perlite or vermiculite to increase drainage.

Q: How often should I fertilize my Calathea plant?

A: Calathea plants should be fertilized every two weeks during the growing season. Use a balanced fertilizer or a fertilizer with slightly more nitrogen than phosphorus and potassium. During the winter, you can reduce fertilization to once a month.

Q: Can I use Grow Lights on my Calathea plant?

A: Calathea plants do not need to grow lights to thrive, but they will benefit from the extra light. Place your Calathea plant under a grow light for 12-14 hours daily.

Q: How often should I repot my Calathea plant?

A: You should repot your Calathea plant every two years or when the roots become pot-bound. Use a well-draining potting mix and a pot that is slightly larger than the previous pot.

Q: Where can I buy a Calathea Leopardina, and is it rare?

A: Calathea Leopardina plants are not rare and can be found at most garden stores or online. You can also look for them at garden swap meets or plant conventions.


Calathea Leopardina is a beautiful and unique plant that makes a great addition to any indoor garden. With its striking leaves and easy care requirements, the Calathea is a plant that anyone can enjoy. Just be sure to give it the proper care and attention it needs to thrive.

I hope you found this Calathea Leopardina care guide helpful. If you have any questions or tips, please leave them in the comments below. Happy gardening!

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