Garden Photo of the Day

Queen of the Calatheas

Collecting one of the most beautiful houseplants

Today we’re visiting Liz, who grows over 30 different calatheas in her apartment! Her Instagram is full of lovely photos of her plants and lots of tips on keeping these beautiful, but sometimes finicky, plants looking terrific.

CalatheaThe full collection! Calatheas are beautiful houseplants, treasured for their beautifully and variously colored and patterned leaves. Liz’s top tips for keeping them happy include running a humidifier, keeping them out of direct sunlight, and being very careful to avoid burning them with liquid fertilizer.

Calathea orbofoliaCalathea orbofolia. How gorgeous is this?

red marantaHere’s Liz behind a truly enormous red maranta (Maranta leuconeura). This plant is closely related to Calathea, part of the larger group of plants called prayer plants.

Calathea makoyanaLiz recommends that beginners start with Calathea makoyana, as it is one of the easier species to care for.

CtenantheCtenanthe is another Calanthea relative in the prayer plant family. Pictured here is Ctenanthe setosa, C. amagris, and C. burle-marxii bursting with growth.

Calathea ‘Shinestar’Calathea ‘Shinestar’ (aka C. roseopicta ‘Cynthia’)

So much color and beauty from foliage. Who needs flowers?

High humidity is key for happy calantheas! This is the same plant, just grown too dry at the top, and with big, lush, happy leaves after being moved to higher humidity at the bottom. Heat in the winter and air-conditioning in the summer both dry out the air, so running a humidifier is key to keeping these plants happy.

Some of Liz’s collection, with the plants positioned where they get light but no direct sun, which will burn the leaves.


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