Table of contents:
A family of arrowroots. Homeland - humid tropical regions of South America. The genus counts several dozen species.
This is an ornamental deciduous perennial rhizome plant about 70-80 cm tall. They are appreciated for the originality of the color of the leaves, which can be either pure green or with a different pattern of stripes and spots of various shades - from yellow to red-brown. In some species of kalata, the color of the leaves resembles the plumage of a peacock or some kind of fabulous birds. The leaves of the calathea are large, up to 30 cm long, oval in shape, on long petioles. It blooms in spring and summer with spike-shaped inflorescences of different shades (white, yellow, orange, purple, etc.). Calathea is an undeniably beautiful, but very capricious plant.
Why does calathea raise leaves in the evening? This phenomenon is typical for all arrowroots: they have a "turning mechanism" device at the base of each leaf, similar to a slight thickening. During the day, the leaf blades of the plant are turned so that the maximum leaf area is illuminated by sunlight. And at night, the leaves of calathea rise vertically. Moreover, if a large plant is heard, it rustles with leaves.
Calathea saffron Calathea crocata - with dark green leaves with a brownish tint, and orange-red flowers on long petioles. The underside of the leaves is dark purple (with a purple tint). The only blooming species in the culture. To promote flowering, saffron calathea is kept from October to the end of December without artificial lighting.
Calathea painted Calathea picta - with oblong leaves up to 20 cm long. On the upper side of the leaf, there is a dark middle with symmetrical stripes, a light stripe along the edge and a light central vein.
Calathea lanceolate Calathea lancifolia
Calathea Pseudovechiana Calathea Pseuvdoveitchiana
Calathea Makoya Calathea makoyana
Striped calathea Calathea zebrina
Calathea decorated with Calathea ornata
Calathea Rufibarba Calathea rufibarba
See also Types of kalata, photo
Calathea - care and cultivation
Calathea are thermophilic plants, in winter they are kept at a temperature not lower than 16 ° C, but optimally 18-22 ° C, does not tolerate drafts and sudden temperature changes. In summer, the temperature is normal, it is better in the fresh air - on the balcony, veranda. Moreover, calatheas harden and adapt to temperature extremes and if there is no draft (glazed balcony), they calmly tolerate night temperatures up to 13 ° С, but they do not tolerate heat well - above 28 ° С. On dry, hot days, it is better to rearrange the pots on the floor - it is cooler there, or place them on wide trays of water.
Good lighting, light partial shade, protected from direct sunlight. With a lack of illumination, the color of the leaves is lost, becoming uniformly green, the spots merge against the general background of the leaf. On the other hand, in intense sunlight, the leaves turn brown-red, burns appear. Calathea is often considered a shade-loving plant, however, with a lack of lighting, the plant will not be thick and large. Most often, they suffer from a lack of illumination in winter, so additional lighting with fluorescent or LED lamps is necessary.
Abundant in spring - summer, moderate in winter. Watering calathea should only be done with soft, settled water. How often to water is defined as follows: touch the top layer of the soil, it should dry out in the upper third of the pot for the next watering, or about 5-7 cm in height, if it is not dry yet - wait a day or two. When the temperature is below 20 ° C, the soil should dry out at least in the upper half of the pot, after the surface has dried out, wait another 2-3 days with watering. And remember that the lack of air humidity cannot be compensated for by increasing watering.
From April to August, they are fed with a liquid complex fertilizer for decorative deciduous plants every two weeks. Calathea saffron is fed with fertilizer for flowering houseplants. Calatheas are sensitive to excess or overfeeding of fertilizers.
Calatheas love moist air, optimally 65-70%. Considering that in winter in our apartments with central heating the humidity is 20%, and in winter, in dry weather, only 40-45%, then it is necessary to take measures. Regular spraying of the leaves can be carried out, but this only relieves the situation for an hour or two, so for those who have more than one plant of the arrowroot family, it is best to have a humidifier. If not, then the pot is placed on a pallet with wet sphagnum moss or wet pebbles. The leaves are periodically wiped with a sponge - especially those types of kalata that have hard glossy leaves, varieties with thin, velvety leaves cannot be wetted at all, but they need humid air no less. Keep in mind that increased watering does not in any way compensate for the lack of moisture in the air.
Annually in spring, in loose, light soil, consisting of 2-3 parts of leaf, 1 part of peat, 1 part of humus soil, 1 part of coniferous soil mixed with sand. Pieces of charcoal are added to the soil mixture. Calathea does not tolerate the content of lime in the soil, does not like heavy clay soils. The pot for these plants is not needed too spacious. If the pot is plastic, you need to make very large holes in the bottom or fill in drainage. No drainage is needed in a clay pot. If it is not possible to make up a soil mixture for calathea yourself, then you can use purchased soil for arrowroot, the soil for azaleas is also suitable.
When transplanting, it may be found that the roots have braided the entire earthen lump. In this case, you do not need to pick out and try to remove the old soil, just transplant the calathea into a larger pot and add fresh soil. If the leaves of the calathea turn yellow, pay attention, perhaps the soil is too salty - if a white or gray-red bloom appears on the surface of the earth in a pot, dry, washable, it means that salt is deposited, you need to replace the top layer of the earth, and water in the future filtered or boiled water.
Reproduction of kalata
Calatheas are propagated by dividing rhizomes (bush) when transplanting in spring. When dividing the bush, more precisely, cutting the rhizome with a knife, sprinkle the slices of the succulent roots with crushed coal. After planting the separated plants, water should be done carefully for the first week. The separated part of the calathea bush must be planted in a pot that is not too spacious, otherwise the plant will grow very slowly.
In addition to dividing the bush, you can separate the root suckers - part of the rhizome with a small sprout. Care for the separated young plants is the same as usual - uniform moistening after drying the top layer of the earth, feeding not earlier than a month and a half after planting, protection from drafts and hot air of the battery, supplementary lighting if necessary.
Reproduction by seeds is possible, but it is very rarely used at home.