When I received my Calathea plant yesterday, to say that I was fascinated by its beauty is an understatement. From the time it arrived, I’d spent several moments yesterday standing in front of it and admiring it. I had bought a Calathea Ornata online and the seller was able to pack it so well that it arrived without any damage whatsoever.
Its stripe pattern of candy cane colours and leaf texture was so impressive I just had to make sure I knew what to do to keep this plant alive.
That was when I realised it was a fussy plant!
I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry that I didn’t factor this into consideration after a disastrous attempt at my impatiens plant a few years back. After all the back and forth I did to choose this plant, I ended up with a high-maintenance one!
In my excitement to fill up my high-vibing top space from my newly assembled shelf (which contained Amigo’s picture frame, dog treats, the clock, stuffed toys, books to be read and a Christ figurine), I must have clicked add to cart in haste!
But in my defence, I considered the following in choosing my very first indoor plant:
- Low light requirement
- Safe for dogs
- My aesthetic preference – beautiful foliage (I know succulents are the go-to option, but I wanted leaves and growth!)
I guess I must have thought low light meant low maintenance too. Haha.
That said, I Googled my way to Calathea plant care for most of yesterday. Armed with the knowledge of watering, humidity and light requirements, I now feel like maybe I should have gotten another dog!
Nonetheless, I’m up for the challenge and I know I’m no longer the same person who had that unfortunate incident with the impatiens plant. I do have some gardening background (but mostly the edible kinds or the full sun types) so let’s see!
About the Calathea Plant
Calatheas are like the chameleons of the plant world, known for their stunning and intricate foliage. Also known as prayer plants, these leafy wonders come in various species, each with its own unique pattern, colour, and texture. Imagine leaves with intricate stripes, bold strokes, or delicate markings resembling a painter’s masterpiece.
I just think that they are nature’s way of saying, “Let’s get artsy!”
But that’s not all; Calatheas are also famous for their remarkable ability to move their leaves. Yes, you heard that right! These plants have a little party trick up their sleeves. They display a phenomenon called nyctinasty, where their leaves rise and fall in response to changes in light. It’s like having a plant that dances with joy when the sun comes up.
When I saw my plant’s leaves fold up last night, I thought: this plant just continues to exceed my expectations! Also, it reminded me to respect its need for darkness, stop my bedtime procrastination and hit the sack!
So, if you’re looking to add some flair and a touch of whimsy to your indoor space, give Calathea a chance. It’s the perfect choice for plant lovers who appreciate nature’s artistic side and want to bring a dash of playfulness into their lives.
Life Lessons from My Calathea Plant
You may be expecting something along the lines of: treat yourself like a human plant where I say you’ll need to hydrate yourself, but it’s actually not the main idea.
Naturally growing in South American jungles the Calathea is used to survive under a canopy of leaves from large trees. Hence, all the low light, water and humidity requirements.
That’s when I finally understood!
It’s NOT fussy, it just looks for a condition similar to its habitat! And when these conditions are met, the plant will thrive.
The life lesson? You’ll grow best when you’re in a situation that comes naturally to you. In essence, safety provides us with a sense of security and protection, allowing us to thrive and pursue other aspects of our lives without constant fear or worry. Regardless of growth becoming uncomfortable, if you feel safe and in your element, you will flourish.
So I guess that’s what I have to consider now that I’m deciding whether I should stay or go from my work. What is it that comes naturally to me?
Would You Go for a Calathea Too?
Do you also have a Calathea or would consider owning one?
All I can say is, it’s truly a remarkable plant. I look forward to growing mine and having to repot it in a bigger container. But for now, I’m back to just staring at it and wondering what it needs next!