Calathea Ornata: The Ultimate Care Guide

The Calathea Ornata tropical plant is distinguished by its striking pink stripes on broad green leaves, which have led to its common nicknames like “pinstripe” or “Calathea Pinstripe.”

However, it can be a fussy plant and may require more effort to keep those leaves healthy. But with the right knowledge and little practice, growing Calathea Ornata will be quite simple.

In this blog, you will learn about the preferences of Calathea Ornata, including soil type, watering requirements, humidity level, and much more. So, if you have just got your hands on Calathea Ornata, this growing guide will make things quite straightforward.

Following are the aspects that we will cover concerning Calathea Ornata:

  • Watering Requirements
  • Soil Preference
  • Humidity Level
  • Light Requirements
  • Pet-Friendliness
  • Common Pest Issues
  • Early Signs of Trouble
  • Alternatives
  • Frequently Asked Questions
Calathea Ornata
Calathea Ornata

Watering Requirements: Calathea Ornata

Calathea Ornata is a plant that loves humidity. However, you would not want to overwater as it could lead to root rot.

So, to ensure you get rid of all the extra water, you should pick a planter with drainage holes. Or you can tilt the planter sideways to ensure all the excess water pours out and your Calathea gets enough water to grow and flourish.

Calathea Ornata

Other than this, ensure that you water the plant quite often and do not allow the soil to dry up completely, meaning that you would want to water the plant more often during the summer.

Usually, once a week would suffice, depending on how dry the soil is.

Soil Preference: Calathea Ornata

As we have already discussed, Calathea Ornata is like moisture.

Thus, it is better to plant them in soil that can easily retain enough water for a long time and will also let you create a watering schedule that does not require you to water the plant as often.


Moreover, you would want soil that can breathe even when moist. Usually, the soil that gets heavy would not be the ideal choice.

You need to pick the soil that allows air to reach the roots so the plant can grow properly.

So, soil with big chunks would be a good option as it will hold enough water and allow air to pass through.

A great pick would be the peat-based mix which is nothing but a simple mixture of two parts peat moss to one part perlite.

Light Requirements: Calathea Ornata

Calathea Ornata likes to get bright indirect sunlight for most of the daytime. So, keeping the planter close to a window that receives sunlight throughout the day is better.

If you think the sun’s rays are harsh, use a shade or a thin curtain to protect the leaves from getting burnt.


Moreover, too little light will result in stunted growth. Thus, it is important to ensure that the plant gets enough sunlight. In its native environment – rainforests, Calathea Ornata can grow well under the shade of other plants.

So, as long as the spot is well-lit and humid, your plant will remain happy.

Humidity Level: Calathea Ornata

Being a tropical plant, Calathea Ornata loves humidity. So, creating a similar growing environment is better to ensure that your plant thrives.

You can easily increase humidity by placing the plant over moist pebbles, and you can even set the planter near a humidifier if you have one.

Calathea Ornata Care Infographic
Calathea Ornata Care Infographic

If not, consider placing this plant in your bathroom if the area gets enough sunlight. You can keep it close to the bathroom and open the doors after bathing.

This little trick can also help get Calathea Ornata some humidity. Besides this, you can also try misting the leaves, which can help the humidity level.

Another amazing way to increase the humidity is by adding more plants in the room. However, be sure that all these plants love humidity as much as Calathea Ornata does.

Pet-Friendliness: Calathea Ornata

Calathea Ornata individual leaves

If you have some four-legged friends at your home, you do not have to worry about planting Calathea Ornata.

Because all types of Calatheas are non-toxic to pets and humans, even if you have a toddler in your house, you can be sure this plant will not harm them.

However, keeping them out of their reach is still better as they can easily chew the leaves.

Common Pest Issues: Calathea Ornata

Calathea Ornata pests

While the Calathea Ornata would not cause trouble to your cats, dogs, and little ones, it may have some issues repelling pests.

The plant is prone to spider mites, so it requires regular maintenance.

To get rid of these, you should clean the leaves regularly. Generally, a simple solution of water and dish soap sprayed on the leaves would be enough. You can then wipe the leaves to clean them and repeat the process after a few weeks.

Early Signs of Trouble

Calathea Ornata yellow leaves

As mentioned earlier, Calathea Ornata is a very picky plant, and finding what it wants can also be tricky.

Finding the issue is difficult because the early signs are similar for different reasons. It can be too much or too little light, overwatering, or underwatering.

The initial symptoms usually include brown and crispy leaves. You may notice leaves turning yellow, and the pink stripes fade into white.

One should not panic but find the root cause behind the issue. You can try changing the planter’s spot and a different watering schedule or changing the humidity level.

With this, you will soon be able to figure out what works for your Calathea Ornata.

Alternatives: Calathea Ornata

If you wish to expand your Calathea collection, here are some options that you should consider:

Calathea Louisae

Also known as Thai Beauty Calathea, this plant is native to Rio de Janeiro in southeastern Brazil. It earns its moniker from its beautiful foliage that showcases stunning stripes that resemble delicate paint strokes.

The plant has a similar care routine that requires a humid environment, a well-draining potting mix, and a frequent watering schedule.

Calathea Tristar

Another great pick would be the Calathea Tristar. While the plant looks quite different from Calathea Ornata but has a similar care routine, Tristar loves humidity and moist soil. Moreover, the leaves of the plant also grow rolled up.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are Calathea Ornata and Prayer Plant Different?

Various names, such as the pinstripe, peacock, or cathedral plant, are the Calathea Ornata. However, one famous misnomer is the prayer plant. While it looks similar to the prayer plant, they are both different.

They are usually confused for each other since both their leaves rise and droop during the sunrise and sunset – similar to the hands of a person in prayer. However, a Calathea plant and a prayer plant have different care routines. This means that one needs to know exactly which one they are getting.

Is Calathea Ornata Good for Health?

Houseplants are generally good for the mental and physical well-being of an individual. Calathea Ornata is known to lower your heart rate and stabilize your blood pressure. Other than this, it can also help reduce fatigue and exhaustion symptoms. The plant also decreases the risk of colds, sore throats, and coughs. Calathea Ornata can also reduce stress and anxiety in an individual.


Caring for the Calathea Ornata can prove to be a little tricky. But once you know what makes your plant the happiest, you will see it grow and flourish.

Key Takeaways:

  • Keep soil moist most of the time.
  • Increase the humidity level in the environment.
  • Offer it bright, indirect sunlight throughout the day.
  • Pick the soil type with high water retention that allows air to pass through.

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