Calathea Ornata

Calathea Ornata: All You Need to Know About Caring of One

The Calathea Ornata is a show-stopping plant with light or dark green foliage and pink or white stripes. Its unique patterning earned the Calathea Ornata its nickname, the Pinstripe plant. This unique Calathea has a lot to give and is guaranteed to add interest to any environment. However, just like other tropical plants, the Calathea Ornata isn’t always easy to look after.

This blog post will break down everything there is to know about the Calathea Ornata, so you can decide if this beautiful patterned plant is going to suit your home.

How to Identify Calathea Ornata

Calathea Ornata

The thin light pinstripes on the leaves of the Calathea Ornata are the most identifiable feature. Unlike other Calathea plants, the Calathea Ornate doesn’t have a variety of shades. Instead, the leaves of this plant are light or dark green with pink or white contrasting lines.

In the home, the Calathea Ornata doesn’t usually exceed three-foot. Outside the home, in tropical climates, the Calathea Ornata can reach up to nine feet!

How to Grow Calathea Ornata From Seed

The Calathea Ornata might have a distinctive appearance, but it’s not dissimilar to its Calathea siblings. If you’ve owned a Calathea Freddie or Calathea Lancifolia, you’ll have no problems caring for a Calathea Ornata.

  • Use a small pot or propagation tray.
  • Add a 1:1 mixture of peat and coarse sand.
  • Moisten the soil before planting the seeds 0.5-1 cm deep.
  • If you live in a cold climate with low humidity, cover your tray or pot in plastic wrap or under a propagation cover.
  • Place your propagation tray or pot in indirect sunlight.
  • Ensure the soil remains moist
  • Repot the seedlings when they reach 3-4 cm into individual pots.

How to Propagate Calathea Ornata

To propagate the Calathea Ornata, you need to take root cuttings from a healthy, fully grown plant. During the spring and summer, cut a clump of root and foliage from the Calathea Ornata. Be careful not to damage the existing plant.

Re-pot the Calathea Ornata clippings in fresh soil and maintain the same care and attention you provide to your full-grown Calathea Ornata.

Calathea Ornata Growing Conditions

levoit humidifier

Being native to a tropical climate means the Calathea Ornata has specific growing conditions that you need to adhere to.

Keep your Calathea Ornata in warm, indirect sunlight. The soil your Calathea Ornata is in needs to remain moist at all times. If you live in a colder climate with low humidity, you’ll need to spray your Calathea Ornata’s leaves or invest in a humidifier.

How to Plant Calathea Ornata

organic succulent potting mix

The Calathea Ornata requires a few essential items for planting: well-draining, tropical soil, a draining pot, and a mister. Planting the Calathea Ornata is relatively simple. Just be careful not to damage the root of your Calathea and maintain the same high standard of care once your Calathea Ornata has been potted.

Calathea Ornata Potting & Soil

Before planting your Calathea Ornata, make sure you have well-draining soil and a plant pot with drainage holes.

 Calathea Ornata Water Requirements

drainage pot

As the Calathea Ornata is a tropical plant, it requires high quantities of water. The Calathea Ornata needs enough water to keep the soil moist. Watering the Calathea Ornata should happen every week to ten days.

Although the Calathea Ornata needs more water than most houseplants, make sure you don’t overwater the Calathea Ornata. Overwatering can cause root rot and other potentially deadly problems for your plant. To avoid overwatering, make sure you plant your Calathea Ornata using well-draining soil and a drainage pot.

Calathea Ornata Light Requirements

Finding the right level of light exposure for your Calathea Ornata can be tricky. The Calathea Ornata requires high levels of indirect light exposure. An ideal place for the Calathea Ornata inside the home would be a windowsill with partial sun exposure throughout the day.

Leaving your Calathea Ornata in indirect sunlight can cause sunburn. If you’re concerned about the level of sunlight your Calathea Ornata is getting, you can move it throughout the day to optimize its sunlight exposure.

Best Calathea Ornata Fertilizer

Calathea plants don’t demand fertilizers or other chemicals to grow happy and healthy. If you decide your Calathea needs a little encouragement during its peak growing times, you can purchase a tropical plant fertilizer.

Fertilize your Calathea Ornata during the spring and summer, as these are the plants growing seasons.

Best Calathea OrnataCompanion Plantings

calathea ornata plant

If you’re lucky enough to live in a warm climate where the Calathea Ornata can grow outside, plant your Calathea beside similar plants. The Calathea plant enjoys its own company, so other Calathea or more Calathea Ornata plants are the perfect companions.

If you’re growing your plant inside, your Calathea will need its own pot when fully grown. Being individually potted means, other surrounding potted plants won’t affect the Calathea. If you’re a new plant owner, you might want to invest in other tropical plants with the same requirements to make your life easier!

Calathea Ornata Diseases and Common Problems

When cared for correctly, the Calathea Ornata shouldn’t have any issues. If your Calathea Ornata does develop a problem, the physical appearance of your plant is the easiest way to identify this.

Falling/Dropping Leaves

Limp and lifeless leaves are a sign your Calathea Ornata isn’t getting enough water. To rehydrate your Calathea Ornata, place the whole of your plant in water, immersing its roots, before letting it dry naturally. Repeat this twice before repotting your plant using fresh, draining soil.


Pests are common amongst houseplants. If you discover pests on your Calathea Ornata, the first step you need to take is moving this plant away from any other houseplants you have. Pests spread between plants quickly, so make sure you enforce distance to protect your other plants.

Run a stream of cold water over the leaves of your plant to remove the pests. If this fails, you can purchase a pest killer for indoor plants. Make sure not to overuse a chemical pest killer as this may burn your plants.

Limp Stem

A limp stem indicates your Calathea Ornata is too cold and needs more sunlight exposure. If your Calathea Ornata has a limp stem, move it to somewhere in the house that’s warmer with more sun exposure.

Brown Leaves

If a Calathea Ornata develops brown leaves, it means it’s not receiving the correct nutrients. To resolve this, you can purchase a water filter to remove any impurities in the water before watering your Calathea Ornata.

Calathea OrnataTreatments and Maintenance

The Calathea Ornata doesn’t demand any intense treatments and maintenance. A humidifier, mister, and water purifier are items you can invest in to promote the health of your Calathea Ornata if you’re concerned about it.

Where to Buy Calathea Ornata Seeds Online

calathea ornata 1

Like most Calathea plants, Calathea Ornata seeds aren’t easy to come by. Most choose to purchase mature Calathea Ornata plants or propagate an existing plant. If you’re passionate about growing your Calathea Ornata from seed, you can purchase seeds from one of these websites:


eBay (mixed Calathea seeds)

Where to Mature Buy Calathea Ornata Online

Mature Calathea Ornata plants are very popular houseplants. If you want to inject a bit of tropical beauty into your home, you can purchase a mature Calathea Ornata here:

Woodies Garden Goods


Pistils Nursery



Question: Can The Calathea Ornata Live Outside?

Answer: The Calathea Ornata is most popular as an indoor plant, but it can live outside too! Due to its tropical nature, the Calathea Ornata can only survive in outside environments with a warm climate and high humidity levels.

Question: Will My Calathea Ornata Grow Quickly?

Answer: The Calathea Ornata is considered to be a slow to moderate grower. The growth of the Calathea Ornata isn’t rapid, so you don’t need to worry about repotting your Calathea Ornata often. However, when the Calathea Ornata roots grow too large for its pot, you will need to re-pot your plant.

Question: Are Calathea Ornata Plants Toxic?

Answer: The Calathea Ornata isn’t toxic to dogs, cats or children, making them an ideal houseplant!


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