How to Calathea white star care . The Calathea white star plant (Calathea insignis) grows to approximately 1.5 meters (five feet) tall. They grow in clumps of three or four leaves on long stalks. Their leaves are shaped like a clover. The leaves are usually covered with small spines.
What containers work best for
Calathea white stars are usually grown in hanging baskets because they have relatively small, trailing leaves. The plant should not be watered much while in a basket. Because they are so short, it is better to use a pot with shallow sides which won’t allow the roots to grow as high as they could otherwise.
Calathea white stars are not suitable for deep containers. If they are placed in such a container, they might start to lean over towards the side of the pot. This causes them to bend over and create an ugly shape.
Calathea is a beautiful flower that has an abundance of blooms. However, these flowers can wilt quickly when growing in a wet environment. A wet pot will lead to a loss of moisture and nutrients, which will then affect your calathea’s growth. Select a terra cotta pot with drainage holes.
How to choose the right size pot
The size of the pot you select depends on how fast you expect the plant to grow and how long you plan to keep it before repotting or transplanting. A pot with a diameter of 3″ is best for growing in direct sunlight.
If the calathea has been potted several times before and grown for years in this same size pot, then it is time to get another one. The plant can easily outgrow a smaller pot and the resulting overcrowding will cause roots to rot off.
If you have been growing the plant outdoors, you may want to bring it back indoors so it has a chance to adjust to the indoor environment before being moved. If the pot was made of plastic, then it should not be left outside for very long as the temperature swings could damage the plastic.
Calathea white star can tolerate cooler temperatures than most plants, and will grow nicely in a home window, but it really shines when planted outside in a sunny location in full sun.
How and When to repot
- Repot your Calathea white stars if it shows signs of rootboundness, such as slow growth or the development of small roots around the base of the plant, drainage holes, or yellowing leaves. Repot every 2-3 years, depending on how fast your particular Calathea white stars grows.
- Calathea white stars are pretty easy to grow, but they do require consistent, gentle care. I generally repot mine in the spring because I feel they benefit from a longer transition period to their new home. If you want to repot them in the fall, wait until they have stopped flowering.
- A word about Calathea white stars and temperature: these plants hate sudden changes in temperature. If you are storing your pots for any length of time, keep them in a cool, dark place (such as a refrigerator) and allow them to warm up gradually to room temperature before using them on your plants. Your pots get too cold, the leaves of your Calathea white stars will begin to look discolored and may even turn brown. If that happens, simply bring them back up to room temperature and you should see the leaves return to their vibrant, healthy appearance.
- Repotting Calathea white stars is fairly straightforward. Remove the plant from its nursery pot and gently rinse away all soil from the roots, including the compost layer. Be careful not to damage the leaves when rinsing away soil because the roots will need to remain intact to anchor the plant in its new home.
- Next, cut the top off of the pot and remove it, leaving enough space for the roots to extend outwards. Now, fill the pot with fresh potting soil and water the roots thoroughly. Do not overfill or overwater the pot, though. You want to encourage the roots to absorb as much water as possible while also preventing them from drying out. Give your plant a thorough soaking, and then wait a few days for the roots to settle into the soil.
What soil pH levels are best for Calathea white stars
In general, calathea prefer soils with a pH of 6 to 9. But that preference isn’t absolute. A few types of calathea are happiest with the exact opposite of that, meaning their soil must be slightly acidic.
For best growth, select a planting mix with a low-phosphorous fertilizer. Calathea grow in soils that are rich in phosphorus. The Calathea White Star Soil Mix is formulated for growing calathea. It includes perlite to improve drainage.
When to use fertizers for Calathea white stars
If you want calathea to have lots of beautiful white flowers, then fertilizing your plants regularly is the best way to go. Calathea is one of the easiest tropical plants to grow in the garden, and it’s so rewarding to see how the plants are transformed into beautiful blooms.
Here is when you need to fertilize your calathea.
1. After Germination
After your calathea seeds germinate, it’s time to start feeding them. Feed them a high phosphorus fertilizer like 15-15-15, or a high potassium fertilizer.
2. When First Flower Is Ready
When you see the first flower emerge from the calathea, give them some nitrogen, too. Calathea plants need a lot of nitrogen. Be sure to fertilize during this early period, too.
You’ll want to water your calathea every two days for the first week, and then once a day afterwards. If you’re going to fertilize, don’t forget to fertilize around the calathea plant, too. That’s where it all starts.
In conclusion, Calathea is one of the easiest plants to grow indoors. But, what many consumers don’t know is that they have been used for centuries as a traditional herbal remedy for colds, coughs, and fevers. The white stars are considered a magical herb.