Calathea Warscewiczii Care and Propagation Guide

The tropical calathea warscewiczii is a popular houseplant because it is relatively easy to care for and has beautiful, colorful leaves. The leaves of this plant are green with dark purple, dark green or even black markings.

This plant prefers to grow in indirect sunlight and likes to be kept moist but not wet. If the leaves of this plant start to curl, it is an indication that the plant is not getting enough moisture.

The calathea warscewiczii is a plant native to Brazil and South America and enjoys warm, humid environments.

These plants are not known to be toxic to humans or animals, making them an excellent choice for families
and pet lovers alike.

Overview of Calathea warscewiczii

Calathea warscewiczii (pronounced Kuh-lay-thee-uh war-sev-itz-ee-eye) is a species of plant in the Marantaceae family, also known as the Prayer Family plant. The Warscewiczii plant is also known as the Jungle velvet.

It was recently renamed the Goeppertia Warscewiczii, its original scientific name. The calathea warscewiczii originates from the tropical regions of Brazil and South America.

This plant is named after Polish botanist, Józef Warszewicz.

Other varieties of this plant include the calathea zebrina, calathea freddie, and the calathea rufibarba. Calathea plants are known for their beautiful, colorful leaves.

We love these plants because they are easy to care for and make a beautiful addition to any home.

Classification:

Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Liliopsida
Order: Zingiberales
Family: Marantaceae
Genus: Calathea
Species: C. warscewiczii

Summary Care guide:

  • This plant prefers to grow in indirect sunlight and humid environments.
  • The leaves of this plant are green with dark purple or black markings.
  • If the leaves of this plant start to curl, it is an indication that the plant is not getting enough moisture.
  • It is slightly high maintenance as the plant requires watering at least a few times a week to ensure it’s staying moist – but not soggy or wet.
  • Water with room temp and fluoride/chemical-free water.
  • The calathea warscewiczii plant is a plant native to Brazil and South America and enjoys warm, humid environments.
  • These plants are not known to be toxic to humans or animals.
  • This plant makes a beautiful addition to any home.

Calathea warscewiczii Characteristics

The calathea warscewiczii is a beautiful tropical plant with gorgeous dark green leaves. The leaves of this plant are covered in dark purple or black markings with a unique interwoven pattern. The underside of the leaves is a deep purple color. The leaves are also a lovely velvety or furry texture. Calathea’s are evergreen perennials that grow about 2-3 feet tall.

Fully mature Warscewiczii plants can reach as high as 4 feet when grown even as houseplants but are more commonly larger when planted outdoors.

This plant’s leaves can grow about 6-8 inches long and 4-6 inches wide. They are reactive to light and temperatures and will close at night or when touched. Not as dramatic as the Touch me Not plant or Prayer plant, but the plant will fold up in response to the day versus night. It’s entertaining to watch the movement on camera.

The calathea warscewiczii flowers are white, and they grow in clusters. It’s rare for them to flower indoors, but in an ideal situation, they will.

Overview of Plant Care Requirements

The calathea warscewiczii is not a super tricky plant to care for, but I would not put it in a list of the top 20 easy plants to care for, mainly because it can be sensitive to watering and sunlight. This plant prefers to grow in indirect sunlight and likes to be kept moist but not wet.

This is not the type of plant you can forget about watering, as the leaves will start to curl and die rather quickly if they don’t get enough moisture.

It is important to note that this plant does not like to be disturbed, so it is best to leave it in one spot and not move it around too much.

Light Requirements

The calathea warscewiczii prefers to grow in indirect sunlight. This plant does not like direct sunlight, as it will scorch the leaves.

If you are growing this plant indoors, place it near a window where it will receive indirect sunlight for approximately 6 hours per day.

Water Requirements

The calathea warscewiczii likes to be kept moist but not wet. Water this plant when the top inch of soil is dry.
If the leaves of this plant start to curl, the tips turn brown, or it droops, indicating that the plant is not getting enough moisture.

Calathea Watering Tips:
  • Calathea is sensitive to fluoride, chlorine, and other chemicals commonly found in tap water. We recommend using filtered or distilled water whenever possible. You can also let your tap water sit out overnight to allow the chemicals to evaporate.
  • Always water using room temperature water to avoid shocking the plant.
  • Be sure to empty any water that collects in the saucer under the pot, as this can lead to root rot.
  • Water in the morning gives the plant time to dry out before nightfall.

Soil Requirements

The calathea warscewiczii prefers to grow in light, well-draining soil. I like to mix peat moss, perlite, and vermiculite. You can make your soil mixture for house plants reasonably easily with these ingredients. Combine equal parts of each component, and you’re good to go.

Peat moss will help retain moisture and keep your plant’s roots healthy. It gives them a bit of air and room to grow. Perlite will help to improve drainage and aeration in the soil. Vermiculite will help to retain moisture and nutrients in the ground.

You want to ensure the soil mixture allows for water retention so the plant can stay in a friendly, moist environment. If your soil has too much peat moss or is too airy, the water and nutrients drain and leave the plant too dry and starved.

The calathea warscewiczii does not like to be disturbed, so it is best to plant it in a pot slightly larger than the current pot. This will help prevent root rot, which can be a problem with these plants. It will also prevent the need to repot often or disturb the roots too much.

Fertilizer Requirements

The calathea warscewiczii does not need to be fertilized often. Once a month is sufficient. You can use a liquid fertilizer or a slow-release granular fertilizer.

If you use a liquid fertilizer, dilute it to half strength before applying it to your plant. Too much fertilizer can burn the roots of your plant.

You can also use compost or worm castings as a fertilizer for your calathea warscewiczii. This is a great way to give your plant a boost of nutrients without using chemicals.

Compost or worm castings can be added to the soil around your plant, or you can make a compost tea and water your plant with it.

To make compost tea, add a shovelful of compost to a 5-gallon bucket of water. Let it steep for 24 hours, and then water your plant. This tea is packed full of nutrients and will help boost your plant.

Temperature Requirements

The calathea warscewiczii prefers to grow in warm and tropical temperatures. If you are growing this plant indoors, ensure the temperature does not drop below 60 degrees Fahrenheit. Its ideal temps are between 70 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit.

The plant thrives in US zones 10-12. suppose you have the warscewiczii planted outdoors; it’s best to bring them inside when it gets cold. Frost will kill these plants, so you will need coverage to keep them alive or have to move them indoors.

Humidity Requirements

The calathea warscewiczii likes to grow in a humid environment. If you are growing this plant indoors, you can increase the humidity around it by using a pebble tray or a humidifier.

A pebble tray is simply a tray filled with pebbles and water. Place your plant on top of the stones, and the water will evaporate and increase the humidity around your plant.

You can also use a humidifier to increase the humidity around your plant. Just be sure not to place the humidifier too close to your plant, as this can cause leaf damage.

Additional Tips For Success with Plant:

While this plant is fairly straightforward to care for, it is a bit more sensitive than many easy to care for houseplants. Learn the best tips and tricks to care for this lush beauty.

Planting

The calathea warscewiczii prefers to grow in moisture-rich soil. They will do best in soil that allows water retention but does not become boggy. A peat-based potting mix with perlite or vermiculite works well. These plants should not be kept in metal containers as they can cause leaf damage. Ceramic or plastic pots are best.

Metal containers are not ideal as they can cause leaf damage. These plants don’t enjoy being moved around too much, so it’s perfect for planting in a container slightly larger to prevent the need for repotting often.

Pruning

This plant does not need to be pruned often. You can trim off any dead leaves as they occur. If you want the plant to be bushier, you can trim back the stems. This will encourage new growth.
If it gets too leggy, you can cut it back to about 6 inches from the soil. New growth will emerge from the cuts made.

Repotting

The calathea warscewiczii does not like to be disturbed, so it is best to plant it in a slightly larger pot to accommodate its growth. This will help prevent root rot, which can be a problem with these plants. It will also prevent the need to repot often or disturb the roots too much.

Propagation

The calathea warscewiczii can be propagated by division or by rooting stem cuttings.

To propagate by division:

Divide the plant into sections making sure each section has several roots. You would gently pull the plant apart and not tear the roots. You can use plant tweezers to untangle and separate the roots carefully and gently.

Plant each section in its pot filled with a light, well-draining soil. Water lightly and keep the soil moist but not soggy.

To propagate by stem cuttings:

Cut a 4-6 inch section of stem from the plant, making sure there are several leaves on the cutting.
Remove the lower leaves from the cutting and dip the end in the rooting hormone.

Plant the cutting in a pot filled with lite, well-draining soil. Water lightly and keep the soil moist but not soggy.
Place the pot in an area with indirect sunlight and high humidity. A propagation dome can be used to increase the humidity around the cutting.

Once the cutting has rooted, you can remove it from the propagation dome and care for it like a typical plant.
Water well and keep the soil moist but not soggy. New growth should emerge in 4-6 weeks.

Pests and Diseases

The calathea warscewiczii is susceptible to mealy bugs, aphids, and spider mites.

Mealybugs are tiny, white, fuzzy pests that suck the sap from plants. They can cause leaf yellowing and stunted growth.

Aphids are tiny, pear-shaped pests that also suck the sap from plants. They can cause leaf curling and distortion.

Spider mites are tiny spider-like pests that spin webs on the undersides of leaves. They can cause leaf stippling and yellowing.

If you notice these pests on your plant, you can treat them with horticultural oil or insecticidal soap. Be sure to follow the instructions on the product label.

The calathea warscewiczii is also susceptible to root rot and fungal diseases.

Root rot is caused by too much water and can be fatal to the plant. The leaves will turn yellow, and the plant will wilt. The best way to prevent root rot is to plant in well-draining soil and to water only when the top inch of soil is dry.

Fungal diseases such as powdery mildew and leaf spot can also be problematic. These diseases are caused by too much moisture and can cause the leaves to turn yellow or brown and fall off. If you notice any of these diseases, you can treat them with a fungicide. Be sure to follow the instructions on the product label.

Toxicity

The calathea warscewiczii is not considered to be toxic to humans or animals. You can leave this one out for all to enjoy its beauty.

However, of course, if you have young children or animals that love to nibble on plants, it is always best to err on the side of caution and keep this plant out of reach so as not to damage the plant or cause any issues.

FAQ on Calathea warscewiczii

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Q. Why Are my Plant leaves Curling in?

A. The most common reason for calathea leaves curling in is that the plant is not getting enough humidity. These plants come from tropical rainforests where the air is thick with moisture. If your home is dry, the leaves will start to curl in an attempt to conserve water.

To increase humidity for your calathea, you can do the following:

  • Group plants together: Plants release moisture into the air as they transpire. By grouping plants together, you create a mini rainforest environment that will increase the humidity around your plants.
  • Use a humidifier: A humidifier will add moisture to the air and help keep your calathea happy.
  • Mist your plants: Misting them with a spray bottle is a quick and easy way to increase the humidity around them. Just be sure to mist in the morning, so the leaves have time to dry before nightfall.
Q. Why are my plant’s leaves turning yellow?

A. There are a few reasons why this could be happening:

  • Too much direct sunlight: Calathea prefers indirect sunlight, and too much sun can cause the leaves to turn yellow.
  • Not enough humidity: These plants need high humidity to thrive, and if the air is too dry, the leaves will start to turn yellow.
  • Fungal disease: If the leaves are turning yellow and falling off, it could signify a fungal disease.

To prevent this from happening, give your calathea indirect sunlight and keep the humidity high. If you notice any signs of a fungal disease, treat with a fungicide according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Q. Why are my plant’s leaves turning brown?

A. There are a few reasons why this could be happening:

  • Too much direct sunlight: Calathea prefers indirect sunlight, and too much sun can cause the leaves to turn brown.
  • Not enough humidity: These plants need high humidity to thrive, and if the air is too dry, the leaves will start to turn brown.
  • Fungal disease: If the leaves are turning brown and falling off, it could signify a fungal disease.

To prevent this from happening, give your calathea indirect sunlight and keep the humidity high. If you notice any signs of a fungal disease, treat with a fungicide according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Q. Why are my plant’s leaves wilting?

A. There are a few reasons why this could be happening:

  • Too much water: These plants like to stay on the dry side, and too much water can cause the leaves to wilt. Be sure to let the top inch of soil dry out before watering again.
  • Not enough humidity: These plants need high humidity to thrive, and if the air is too dry, the leaves will start to wilt.
  • Fungal disease: If the leaves are wilting and falling off, it could be a sign of a fungal disease.
    To prevent this, make sure to water your calathea only when the top inch of soil is dry and keep the humidity high. If you notice any signs of a fungal disease, treat with a fungicide according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
Q: How often should I water my calathea warscewiczii?

A: The calathea warscewiczii should be watered about once a week or when the top inch of soil is dry. Allow the water to soak into the dirt and empty any excess water from the saucer. These plants like to stay on the drier side, so be sure not to overwater.

Q. What temperature does this plant prefer?

A. The calathea warscewiczii prefers warm temperatures and will do best in an environment between 65-80 degrees Fahrenheit. If the temperature drops below 60 degrees, the leaves may start to curl and drop.

Q. My Plant has little white bugs; what do I do?

A. Little white bugs are most likely mealybugs, a common pest of calathea plants. Mealybugs will suck the sap out of the plant, causing the leaves to turn yellow and eventually drop off. You can use insecticidal soap or neem oil to get rid of them. Be sure to follow the instructions on the label and treat the plant every few days until the bugs are gone.

Q. There is a brown patch on my plant’s leaves; what is it?

A. This is likely a sign of a fungal disease called leaf spot. Leaf spot can be caused by too much water or humidity, so be sure to reduce both if you notice this problem. You can also treat the plant with a fungicide according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Q. Where Can I buy Calathea Warscewiczii plants?

A. You can buy Calathea Warscewiczii plants online or at a local nursery. If you are buying online, do your research to ensure you are getting a healthy plant. When purchasing from a nursery, ask the staff for help choosing a healthy plant. These plants are not rare, but they can be challenging to find in some areas.

Conclusion

The calathea warscewiczii is a beautiful plant that is relatively easy to care for. Its striking leaves are sure to make a statement in any room. Just be sure to give it bright, indirect light and keep the soil moist but not soggy. Enjoy!

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