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Calathea Orbifolia

SCENTIFIC NAME: Calathea orbifolia

KNOWN AS: Prayer Plant

CLIMATE (LOCATION): South America | Tropical

DESCRIPTION: This is a particularly captivating Calathea because of its huge, shiny, round leaves with slivery green stripes radiating outward. The large leaves make their "prayer" action all the more dramatic, lifting and lowering their leaves from night to day.

hard difficulty & pet safe

Calathea Orbifolia Plant Care


Light Requirement: Medium Light (Medium Indirect Light) to High Light (Bright Indirect Light); Low Light Tolerant

Calathea Orbifolia plants prefer bright, indirect light. It is best to avoid direct sunlight as it can damage the leaves. A good location for this plant is near a north or east-facing window, where it can receive bright, filtered light for several hours a day. You can also place your calathea near south or west-facing windows, but be sure to leave some distance between the plant and the window. If the light is too low, the leaves may lose their variegation and become dull. On the other hand, if the light is too strong, the leaves may burn or curl up. It's important to strike a balance between light and shade, and to adjust the plant's position accordingly if it's not receiving enough or too much light.

Lighting Recommendations

Aspect™ LED Growlight
$168.00 CAD - $223.00 CAD $279.00 CAD Sale
Vita™ Grow Light
$101.00 CAD $119.00 CAD Sale
Highland™ LED Track Light System
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Quick Tip: Water until water comes out of drainage holes. Allow soil to completely dry between waterings. This plant prefers distilled water.

Indoor Calathea Orbifolia plants prefer consistent moisture, but it's important to avoid overwatering. To water this plant correctly, wait until the top inch of soil is dry to the touch, then water thoroughly until the water drains out of the bottom of the pot. Make sure to empty any excess water from the saucer underneath the pot to prevent root rot. Calathea Orbifolia plants also benefit from high humidity, so misting the leaves regularly or placing a humidifier nearby can help keep them healthy. It's also a good idea to use filtered or distilled water, as these plants are sensitive to the chemicals found in tap water. By following these watering techniques and paying attention to your plant's needs, you can help your Calathea Orbifolia thrive.


Preferred Temperature: 60º - 80º

Calathea orbifolia plants prefer to be kept in temperatures ranging from 65-75°F (18-24°C) during the day and slightly cooler temperatures at night. These plants are native to tropical regions and are sensitive to both cold and hot temperatures, so it's important to keep them in a stable environment. Avoid placing them near drafty windows, air conditioning units, or heating vents that can cause fluctuations in temperature.


Preferred Humidity: 50 - 60%; Moderate Humidity

Calathea Orbifolia is a popular houseplant known for its attractive foliage and relatively low maintenance requirements. To ensure that your Calathea Orbifolia thrives and remains healthy, you need to maintain the right humidity levels in your environment. Keep the humidity levels between 50% to 60% to mimic the plant's natural habitat in the rainforest. You can use a hygrometer to monitor the humidity levels in your space and adjust as needed. Avoid placing your plant in areas with direct sunlight, as this can dry out the leaves and make it difficult to maintain the necessary humidity levels. Instead, place your Calathea Orbifolia in a well-lit spot with indirect light. You can also place a tray of water near the plant to increase humidity levels or group plants together to create a humid microclimate.

Additional Plant Care

Calathea orbifolia can be propagated by dividing the plant or cuttings. Division involves separating the plant into two or more sections, each with its own roots and stems. To propagate by division, gently remove the plant from its pot and separate the roots and stems into sections. Then, replant each section into its own pot with fresh potting mix. Propagation by cuttings involves taking a stem cutting with at least two leaves and rooting it in water or moist potting mix. After rooting, the cutting can be planted in its own pot with fresh potting mix. It is important to keep the potting mix moist and provide indirect light during the rooting process. Be sure to take cuttings with clean shears.
The Calathea orbifolia plant is non-toxic to both humans and animals, making it a safe choice for pet owners and families with young children. It does not contain any harmful substances that could cause health problems when ingested or touched. However, it is still important to keep the plant out of reach of pets and children to prevent accidental ingestion or choking hazards from small plant parts.
The best time to repot a Calathea orbifolia is in the spring or early summer when the plant is actively growing. Choose a pot that is one size larger than the current pot and has drainage holes. Fill the new pot with a well-draining, nutrient-rich potting mix. Carefully remove the plant from its current pot, being mindful not to damage the roots. Gently loosen any tangled or circling roots and remove any dead or rotten ones. Place the plant in the new pot and backfill with fresh potting mix, ensuring that the plant is at the same level it was in its previous pot. Firmly press the soil down around the base of the plant and water thoroughly. After repotting, place the plant in a shaded area for a few days to allow it to recover from any transplant shock.
Calathea orbifolia is a stunning plant with large, round leaves that can grow up to 12 inches wide. Pruning is important to keep the plant looking its best and to maintain its overall health. Begin by using sharp, clean pruning shears to remove any yellow, dead or damaged leaves at the base of the stem. This will not only improve the appearance of the plant but also prevent the spread of any disease. To control the size of the plant, you can trim back the outermost leaves. However, be careful not to cut too much or too often as this can weaken the plant. Remember to cut the leaves at the base of the stem and avoid tearing them. Finally, make sure to regularly clean the leaves of the plant to remove any dust or debris that can block sunlight and affect its growth.
Fertilizing Calathea orbifolia plants is important for their growth and overall health. Use a balanced, water-soluble fertilizer, diluted to half strength, every two weeks during the growing season, which is typically from spring to early fall. Be sure to water the plant well before applying fertilizer to avoid burning the roots. During the winter months, reduce the frequency of fertilization to once a month or stop altogether, as the plant's growth slows down during this time. Overfertilization can lead to fertilizer burn and other problems, so always follow the instructions on the fertilizer packaging and avoid applying too much fertilizer.
Calathea orbifolia plants thrive in well-draining, rich, and slightly acidic soil. The best soil mix for this plant is a blend of peat moss, perlite, and loamy soil that allows for proper drainage while retaining enough moisture to keep the roots hydrated. You can also add some organic matter, such as compost, to the soil mix to provide the plant with essential nutrients. Avoid using heavy clay soil or regular potting soil, as it can become compacted and retain too much moisture, which can cause root rot. Make sure to repot the plant every year or two with fresh soil to ensure healthy growth.

Hanging Heights

Calathea Orbifolia Lighting Requirements: Medium Light (Medium Indirect Light) to High Light (Bright Indirect Light); Low Light Tolerant

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