Calathea Concinna: Which Is The Right Way To Grow It?

The Calathea Concinna tropical plant is actually known by several common names. It is referred to as a Prayer Plant because its leaves open in the morning and close in the evening resembling hands at prayer. It is also referred to as a Zebra Plant. This is due to the stripes on its leaves. Another common name used to reference this plant is Calathea Freddie.

Names aside, this plant is both lovely looking and surprisingly unfussy when compared to its plant family members. It is a fantastic option for gardeners who want to stretch themselves and attempt to grow something a little unusual and slightly more challenging. Let’s learn how to do this.

How to Identify Freddie Prayer Plant

Calathea Concinna

With so many Calathea varieties in the world, it can be difficult to determine which variety is which. When you are trying to identify a Freddie Prayer Plant, keep these key identifiers in mind:

  • Leaves that are large and oval or oblong shaped
  • Leaves that are striped with dark green and a silvery green color
  • Leaves that are glossy
  • Leaves that have tiny veins running from tip to tip

How to Grow Freddie Prayer Plant from Seed

It is possible to grow a Calathea plant from seed, but it is definitely not the recommended method. It takes a long time to work through this process and to see any significant growth. But, if this is the method you have chosen to establish your Calathea garden, then follow these steps:

  1. Purchase seeds from a reputable seller (sellers who price their seeds between $1 and $2)
  2. Either create a mixture of soil and peat mixed with coarse sand  (the ratio should be 1:1 soil to peat/sand mixture) or purchase a seed starting mix
  3. Fill a plant container with the soil mix you have opted to use
  4. Place the seeds half an inch into the soil
  5. Lightly water the soil
  6. Cover the plant container with a plastic bag to retain moisture
  7. Set the plant container in a warm area that receives bright but indirect sunlight
  8. Remove the plastic bag for a few hours every other day to allow the seeds access to fresh air
  9. Once the seeds have germinated and sprouted to two inches tall, they can be transplanted to larger containers

How to Propagate Freddie Prayer Plant

It is not possible to propagate a new Calathea plant via stem or leaf cuttings; they are just not designed to grow this way. For this reason, and because seed propagation is very slow going, root division is the most commonly used method to propagate these plants.

The steps for this method are simple and straightforward, but remember, this method should be worked through sometime in the spring or early summer seasons. This will help reduce the risk of shock in the plant. The steps for propagating a Calathea plant via root division are:

  1. Water the plant 24 hours before propagating it
  2. Carefully remove the plant from its current container
  3. Gently pull apart the plant’s roots so that each root section has at least one leaf, or, use a sterile cutting utensil to divide the plant’s rhizome.
  4. Fill new plant containers with potting soil
  5. Place the plant sections into the new containers and spread the soil around their roots to secure them into the containers
  6. Water the new plants
  7. Place the plant in a warm area that receives plenty of bright, but indirect sunlight
  8. Cover the plants with a plastic bag
  9. Once the plants begin to grow in a few weeks, the plastic bag can be removed

Freddie Prayer Plant Growing Conditions


Since this plant is native to tropical regions of America it prefers an environment that resembles its native lands.  This plant requires temperatures that are at least 60 degrees Fahrenheit, but preferably much warmer than that.  On top of these warm temperatures, the plant also requires humidity levels that are at least 70%.

Consider where you set your Freddie Prayer Plant because it is not cold hardy and even light drafts or dry air can cause significant damage. It is recommended that it be kept away from an air conditioner and heater vents at all times. Also, be cognizant of the indoor air temperatures during winter. All Calathea plant varieties can go into shock from being in a heated room all day and then left in a room that is cold at night.

A plant humidifier or pebble tray and a heat mat can be utilized to provide the heat and humidity this plant needs without creating an indoor environment that is uncomfortable for humans and pets.

How to Plant Freddie Prayer Plant

Calathea plants are slow-growing and should not need to be repotted very often. Typically, they will need a new pot and soil every two to three years. Look for the following signs to know when a Calathea plant should be repotted:

  • Slowed growth
  • It requires more than two watering sessions a week
  • Its roots are growing out of its container’s drainage holes
  • Its foliage looks too heavy for its current container

To reduce the chance of shock, the repotting process should only be done in the spring or summer.  This process will benefit the plant by providing it with fresh soil and more room for its root system to grow.  The steps for repotting a Freddie Prayer Plant are:

  1. Choose a plant container that is 2 inches larger in diameter than its current container
  2. Fill the plant container potting soil
  3. Create a hole in the soil for the plant to set inside
  4. Carefully remove the plant from its current container
  5. Gently dust off any excess soil from its roots
  6. Using a sterile cutting utensil, cut off any rotten roots
  7. Set the plant into the hole in the new container
  8. Spread the soil around so that the plant is secure in its new container
  9. Water the plant
  10. Set it in a warm spot with plenty of sunlight

Freddie Prayer Plant Potting & Soil

Freddie Prayer Plant

Soil is one of the most important aspects of plant care. A plant that is set in the wrong type of soil will not grow well and may eventually die. It is equally as important to select a plant container that suits the plant and its required soil. Let’s learn a little more about what Freddie Prayer Plant requires for good health.

Freddie Prayer Plant requires soil that drains water well but can still retain some moisture.  This is so it doesn’t sit in either dry or soggy soil. It is particular about its soil condition since too much water can cause root rot.  This is why it is so important that it be planted in a container that has drainage holes.

These are both great options to use for any Calathea plant:

Along with a well-draining soil mix, Freddie Prayer Plant requires soil that has a pH level ranging from neutral to acidic.  Use a Soil pH Meter to test soil pH levels to know which direction they should be adjusted.  To create higher levels of soil acidity, add bone meal, hardwood ashes, or ground eggshells to it.  For a more detailed look at how to adjust soil pH levels, read this article.

Freddie Prayer Plant Water Requirements

This type of plant needs moist soil all the time.  The best way to confirm that a Freddie Prayer Plant needs a drink is to test its soil moisture.  If the top half of its soil is dried out, it needs a drink; however, if the top half of its soil is soggy, it does not need a drink.

One of the best things about gardening in the 21st Century is technology. Plant watering apps are here to help the novice or the busy gardener track when a plant has been watered, set reminders to water it, and get answers to common plant care questions. Experiment with one today and see if your garden flourishes because of it.

Freddie Prayer Plant Light Requirements

This plant should be set in an area that receives plenty of bright but filtered or indirect sunlight.  It should never be set in direct sunlight because this will cause the variegations on its leaves to fade or disappear.  However, if it is not given enough sunlight, its variegation will not develop.

Again, we are back to celebrating 21st-century technologies. Light meters and light meter apps are here to ensure that all indoor plants are receiving adequate amounts of sunlight.

Best Freddie Prayer Plant Fertilizer

smiling worm

This plant does not need a lot of fertilizer, but it can benefit from a half-strength dose of balanced liquid fertilizer once a month during spring and summer. It will not need any feedings during the winter months.  Smiling Worm is an excellent choice of fertilizer for all varieties of Calathea plants.

Best Freddie Prayer Plant Companion Plantings

Tropical plants love the extra humidity clustering several together provides.  Collecting and keeping dozens of plants is not only about aesthetic appeal, but it is also about frugal plant care.  The following three plants are just a sampling of the many wonderful tropical plants that would make an ideal companion planting for a Freddie Prayer Plant.

Pothos Varieties

This family of plants is considered one of the easiest to care for.  They are all very pretty vining plants from either Southeastern Asia or the South Pacific islands.


  • Pothos plants are very unfussy plants
  • Pothos plants will provide each other with extra humidity
  • Pothos plants are known for their ability to clean indoor air


  • Most Pothos varieties are toxic

Callisia Repens

This native of the tropical regions of South and Central America is a great companion planting for Calathea varieties. Its vining stems covered with tiny leaves shaded in purple and green provide an excellent contrast to the large green leaves of this plant family.


  • Callisia Repens is very easy to care for
  • Callisia Repens is easy to propagate
  • Callisia Repens has care requirements that are similar to those of Freddie Prayer Plant
  • Callisia Repens is not toxic


  • Callisia Repens is susceptible to infestations of aphids and mealybugs

Pilea Involucrata

This is a very easygoing and easy-to-grow plant. It is suitable for beginner gardeners or those who are too busy to spend a lot of time and effort on growing plants.


  • Pilea Involucrata is extremely easy to propagate
  • Pilea Involucrata has care requirements that are similar to those of Freddie Prayer Plant


  • Pilea Involucrata is susceptible to infestations of aphids, mealybugs, and spider mites
  • Pilea Involucrata is susceptible to root rot

Freddie Prayer Plant Diseases and Common Problems

When caring for a plant it is best to treat them quickly when they show signs of an infestation or a disease.  This will give them a chance to recover and it may prevent other, nearby plants from being infected as well.

When caring for one of these plants, look for these common issues:

  • Brown Leaves
  • Curled Leaves
  • Spots on Leaves
  • Wilted Leaves
  • Yellowed Leaves

Freddie Prayer Plant Treatments and Maintenance

Prevent plant diseases and infestations by:

  • Properly watering the plant
  • Feeding the plant appropriate doses at the appropriate time of year
  • Providing adequate sunlight
  • Regularly inspecting the plant for pests and diseases
  • Cleaning the plant regularly

These preventative care treatments may catch infestations and diseases quickly and prevent them from spreading throughout the plant or to other nearby plants.  If, however, a Freddie Prayer Plant does show signs of an infestation or a disease, follow these steps:

Brown Leaves

This is a sign of a plant that needs more humidity.

Curled Leaves

This is a sign of a plant that needs more water.

Spotted Leaves

This is a sign of a plant that needs more water.

Wilted Leaves

This is a sign of a plant that needs more water.

Yellowed Leaves

This is a sign that the plant has been overwatered

Where to Buy Freddie Prayer Plant Seeds Online

As is the case with most Calathea varieties, the seeds of this plant can be difficult to locate, but these shops are great places to begin searching for them.

Where to Buy Mature Freddie Prayer Plant Online

Calathea varieties are all the rage in the world of houseplants, so if you’re ready to have one of your own, look at these reputable online shops for a mature Freddie Prayer Plant.


Question: Is Freddie Prayer Plant Toxic?

Answer: You’ll be relieved to know that this is a non-toxic, pet, and child-friendly plant.

Question: Can Freddie Prayer Plant be Planted Outside?

Answer: Yes, but only in USDA Hardiness Zones 10 to 11; otherwise, it should be kept in a container that can be transported indoors when the weather gets chilly or too rainy.

Question: Does Freddie Prayer Plant Produce Blossoms?

Answer: Yes, it does produce white flowers that are very fragrant.

In Conclusion

Freddie Prayer Plant is another wonderful tropical plant. It is beautiful to decorate with and it is not difficult to care for. In other words, it is a gardener’s dream plant.

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