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Calathea setosa

Calatheas are arguably one of the most vibrant family of plants we know! Often confused with Marantas due to their simular nature, Calatheas are very expressive in their leaves and love to move around. Especially at night, you'll see that their leaves fold inwards like prayer hands--hence the name "prayer plant". 


The setosa varietal is fairly new to our collection of plants that grow in water, so we don't have much on how they adapt and exist in water. But, we'll be sure to update this page frequently with all our new findings and results!


But, we do know that this plant needs a little more TLC than most to stay happy and healthy. It may not be the best if you're a beginner with plants or just super busy throughout the day, but don't let that discourage you! When it comes to Calathea, it is important to keep in mind two things: moderate lighting and a whole lot of moisture.

Plant overview

origin

Brazil, Asia, and Africa

plant family

Marantaceae

Other common names

The botanical name for this plant is Calathea Setosa. Similar to Marantas, Calatheas are most generally known as Prayer plants. Another common name for the Calathea Setosa is the Calathea Compact Star.


other varieties

Of course, Calethea are some of the most unique plant families out there that has plants ranging in look and shape. Other varieties include the Calathea Crocata, Calathea Lancifolia, Calathea Makoyana, Calathea Orbifolia, Calathea Ornata, Calathea Ornata 'Sanderiana', Calathea Roseopicta, Calathea Roseopicta 'Dottie', Calathea Roseopicta 'Rosey', Calathea Rufibarba, Calathea Warscewiczii, and Calathea Zebrina.


Toxicity

Non-toxic to pets and humans.

growing your calathea SETOSA in water


replacing water

For healthy plants, we recommend that you add water to the glass every 1-2 weeks (or if you see that water levels have lowered) to replenish the water that evaporated or absorbed from the plants. Then, replace the water every 2-4 weeks.


Most tap water works great but distilled or filtered waters are recommended if available. 

Nutrients

We recommend adding 1-2 of liquid nutrients to your plant’s water every month. If you see a new leaf or flower forming, you should add an additional drop of nutrients to further encourage and support new growth.

Lighting

Calatheas are at their happiest and healthiest when kept moderate indirect lighting. This plant can be very sensitive to sunlight levels, so try to play around with where you place your plant (like higher on a wall or semi-shaded corner).


They are also known to do tolerate in low-lit environments very well. So, you don't have to worry when placing them in rooms that don't get a lot of sunlight throughout the day. 

Temperature

Like most tropical plants, we notice that Calathea loves warm temperatures (65-85 degrees Fahrenheit). A general rule of thumb for many houseplants is that if you are comfortable, then they will be comfortable too!

HUmidity

The key to beautiful prayer plant is to keep humidity levels high! We recommend that you invest in a humidifier and run it for at least 1-2 hours a day to keep the humidifier levels balanced. Of course, you could always regularly mist your plant multiple times a day (depending on the dryness of your space). 


You can also set a container of water near the prayer plant, as the evaporating water will increase the humidity.

Leaf care & pruning

  • Calatheas are foliage-rich plants, so cleaning the leaves regularly will promote better light absorption for photosynthesis. Simply use a damp towel or cloth and wipe them down gently.
  • Yellowing or brown leaves can be removed at the base of the plant, immediately above the node, using a sharp, sterile knife. It is recommended to leave 1-2 leaves because a single node will often shoot off new leaves on its own. 

Propagation


When propagating a calathea 'setosa' in water, we've had success with the division method and submerging a node in water. The division method is just gently remove soil to break up the mother plant (original calathea planted in dirt) into two or more smaller parts, where both the crown and roots are left in tact. Some roots are more acclimated to growing in soil than water. If you're propagating using the division method, we recommend cutting off the dirt roots off because the new root system comes in looking cleaner and less messy (overall, more aesthetically pleasing). But, it's totally optional if you decide to leave the roots on.


Then you have our favorite propagation method, which is submerging a node in water. You want to first cut right below where the branches sort of separate from each other. If you look closely, Calathea medallion have these folds in their branches where leaves shoot out from. A proper cutting would have about 2-4 leaves still attached.


After about 4-8 weeks, you should see your calathea sprouting thin, hair-like roots! With the proper care and attention, you'll be sure to see new leaf growth in no time. 

Common issues & care info


Curling leaves

Identification: leaves are curling (even in the daytime), leaves may be brown and crispy at the tips 

Cause: Not enough humidity, Too much exposure to bright light

How to treat:Examine the root system to make sure that your plant is healthy and try to move your Prayer plant away from a bright light source. If your plant is experiencing brown tips and/or spotting, we recommend a daily misting that will replenish the humidity levels that your plant needs.


Discoloration on the leaves

Identification: Brown spotting on leaves, Color on leaves may also look washed out

Cause: Too much exposure to bright light

How to treat:Move your Prayer plant further away from a direct sunlight source (i.e., a bright window) or places with cold drafts. You may have to play around with different areas to find the perfect lighting for your plant to thrive in. Calathea medallion loves moisture so try to mist it with lukewarm water regularly.



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