Calathea Ornata Plant Care

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The Calathea Ornata, which is also known as the Pinstripe plant, is a gorgeous plant with lots of fun colors to decorate the whole room. You will fall in love with the leaves, which will include pink stripes and green in the background.

This is a beautiful plant, but be ready for it to be a little fussy and difficult to care for at times. Many homeowners will struggle to keep the Calathea healthy, much less alive, so you need to have a bit of a green thumb and be ready to take this over if you want to stand a chance.

The good news is there are a number of different steps that you can take to help keep this tropical plant healthy so it will look good in your home for a long time.


Calathea Ornata Plant Care


Calathea Ornata Plant Care Guide

It is important to provide this plant with the love and attention that it needs. It is a picky plant so try to stick as close as possible with some of the requirements that come here. To help your Calathea Ornata do well, try some of the following:


This plant is not shy about how much it loves warm temperatures, but do not leave it in direct sunlight. It likes a lightly shaded area with some indirect sunlight to avoid the leaves fading.


You need to make sure that the soil is always moist in the Calathea Ornata pot. This means that you will need to water it more during the hot months compared to some of the cooler months.


For Calathea Ornata plant, you should work with a porous potting mix. A peat moss based option is often a great one for you to work with as well. Look for a potting mix that has a minimum of two parts peat and one part perlite to see how it will work.


The type and amount of fertilizer for Calathea Ornata will depend on whether you choose to grow this plant inside or outside. A liquid fertilizer is often the best, one that has equal parts of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. Mix it with some distilled water and then put some on top.


These plants like to be in warmer temperatures, somewhere between 65 to 86 degrees with some liking it closer to the higher temperature. You may not be able to control the humidity in your home, but this type will do better in humid locations, like southern Florida.

This is a finicky type of plant to work with. You will need to take the time to get the conditions as close to these levels as possible to ensure that you are not going to kill off the plant and can enjoy all the beauty that comes out of it.


Calathea Ornata Propagation

Propagating the Calathea Ornata can be an interesting endeavor to complete. You will not be able to propagate this through some of the cuttings. You will need to propagate it through division, meaning that you will divide two or more plants from one pot and then repotting them. To do this:

Remove the Plant

You will need to take the plant out of the pot. Try to find one or more pieces to divide, each one with their own root system and a minimum of one leaf. Untangle and separate the roots from one another. You can use a knife to help cut away some of the roots if needed.

Put Into New Pots

Take the different parts of the plant you just separated and put into their own pots. Give them a good watering to help them grow a bit more. The soil should be kept moist to ensure that it is able to get the water it needs. Keep this new plant at the same light level as you did with the original plant, making sure that it is not too bright. Add in some additional humidity if possible .


Calathea Ornata Propagation - Leaf


Types and Varieties of Calathea Ornata Plant

There is estimated to be more than 300 varieties of the Calathea plant, but noticing the difference between each one is sometimes a challenge. It is likely that you will choose between some of the most common ones though including:

Calathea Orbifolia

This looks similar to the Calathea Ornata with the white stripes and green leaves. This one is bigger in the leaves compared to the Ornata.

Rattlesnake plant

This is a plant from Brazil that has a lime green background with beautiful green markings and a reddish-purple underside.

Eternal flame: This is a unique Calathea plant and looks similar to the rattlesnake option. This one likes to be close to tons of humidity so you will need to put it in a greenhouse or try something else to grow.

Zebra plant

This is one that can get really large, as high as 13 feet high and wide. It has leaves that can grow as big as 12 feet long and 6 feet wide. This can make it a really large option for your home.

Peacock plant

This is a large one that goes up to 24 feet high in the wild, but usually only to two feet when grown at home. Has green and cream colors on top and some pink splotches on the bottom.


This is sometimes confused with the peacock plant but the key different is that there are some pink stripes mixed in with the white ones.


Calathea Ornata in a Ceramic Pot


Common Problems with Calathea Ornata

There are different problems that can happen with the Calathea Ornata. You should be on the lookout for some of the following problems to help you catch the issue and get it fixed as soon as possible:

Curling leaves

This is a sign that you have not given the plant enough water, there is too little humidity, or the plant has been in the sunlight for too long. The curling leaves are the way for the plant to conserve water. Try to water it more often or move it away from the sunlight if possible.

Wilting Leaves

If the plant has wilting leaves, this is a sign that the whole plant needs more water. Other times it is a sign that too much water is being given. You can check the soil to see whether it is dry. Poke your finger into the soil and if you do not feel moisture, the plant needs a drink.

Brown leaves

If the tips of the plant are turning brown, there is a water issue. You may need to either use distilled water or leave the water out in a bucket to allow the chlorine to dissipate before watering the plant.

Color fading

If you notice that some of the vibrant colors of the Calathea Ornata plant are fading and turning to a pale yellow, the plant is getting too much light.

These are common issues that you may find with this plant and you need to be on the lookout for. There are also a number of bacteria and pests that will try to attack the plant. For the bacteria, this is usually an issue with too much water, creating the right environment for them to grow. Using a nice pesticide will ensure that the pests are going to stay away. You will need to be on the lookout for many problems to ensure that your Calathea Ornata will stay healthy.


Tips to healing the problems of Calathea Ornata Plant

When it comes to keeping this plant happy in your home, you need to take special care to ensure it is given some of the love and attention that it deserves. This plant is picky and does not always respond to changes in its environment, which is why it is important to follow the tips that we mentioned earlier.

In addition to those tips, there are a few things that you can do as the owner of this plant to make sure that it stays as healthy as possible and thrives in your home. These include:

  • Avoid direct sunlight on this native rainforest plant. Avoid exposure to the cold and add in some high humidity if you can. This can be hard to do in a home, which is why many people find it difficult to use.
  • Remember that dry air is going to kill the Calathea Ornata. The more humidity that you can give this plant, the better.
  • If possible, you should try to put this plant in a greenhouse. This will give it the ideal temperatures and humidity that it needs to thrive. It is hard to grow it in the house or in the yard.
  • Humidifiers can be helpful for this plant or you can leave it in the kitchen or the bathroom. So, not in a bedroom or somewhere that is far away from the heat and humidity that it loves.
  • If you do not have a greenhouse, keep the plant inside. This will help you avoid cold at all costs. You do not want to keep it near fans, AC units, doors with drafts, of windows that could make them cold.
  • When you look at the plant and notice that the leaves are curling, this is a sign that the plant is too hot and you may need to lower the temperature a bit.
  • Keep the plant damp, but not soggy. This can be a tough one. If you let the plant get too wet and soggy, then there are a number of diseases that could become a problem. Keep it moist with some distilled water rather than tap if you can.

This can make the Calathea Ornata seem like a difficult plant to work with; and it is. You need to be ready to work with a plant that likes to be difficult and will start to die out at the slightest change in temperatures and environment. You need to have a good green thumb to work with it.


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Pests, disease, and toxicity in the Calathea Ornata

There are a number of different pests that can take over and ruin the Calathea Pinstripe. Spider mites are some of the most common pests to take over this plant. Mealybugs and caterpillars will love to eat some of the sap that is in the stems of this plant. A mixture of dish soap and water sprayed over the plant on occasion can help to suffocate the pests without harming the plant.

This plant is not going to be toxic to dogs, cats, or humans. While you probably do not want to eat it since it is a plant with no fruit in it, it will not be toxic. If one of your pets takes a bite, it will not harm them to do this.

Mushy stems is another problem that happens with this plant. This is a sure sign that you are overwatering and you may have some rot that is growing on the plant. If you dig into the soil just a little bit, the roots could also be mushy and could rot away as well. You will need to remove all of the afflicted parts and repot in some new soil. Be careful the amount of water you give the plant afterwards.

You may notice scale on the plant too. This is when the leaves have a type of sticky substance on them. Scale is going to excrete out honeydew to help feed the ant colonies that help to protect them and it can look grey or brown on the plant. You may need to remove it manually or use a type of insecticide to help attack the scale and get it removed. Be aware that ants may try to live in that area as well so take extra precautions.



The Calathea Ornata is a beautiful plant to have around your home, but it will be a little tough and likes to have things a certain way. When you provide it with the right environment to grow and do well, you will find that this is a great plant to keep around your home and enjoy.