by Anna Karsten

House Plants: Calathea Orbifolia Care Guide

The Calathea Orbifolia is one of the most tastefully elegant household plants that you will find. Its large leaves are quite appealing so they are a popular choice. However, caring for this plant can be a bit of a challenge if you want them to stay looking their best.

  • Since plants give off moisture naturally, putting the Calathea Orbifolia with other plants will help them thrive.
  • When you are misting this plant, only use filtered tap water or distilled water.
  • Wipe the leaves with a gentle, damp cloth at least once a day.

Calathea Orbifolia Care Guide

Calathea Orbifolia Watering Guide

The Calathea Orbifolia should be watered when the upper layer of soil starts to dry out. That will ensure that you’re not overwatering it. An easy way to check and determine if it needs to be watered is to press the soil. If there are hints of moisture, you’ll want to hold off on watering it. If the soil is dry, then you will want to water it.

One of the biggest mistakes that comes with owning the Calathea Orbifoliais is watering it on a set schedule, which leads to oversaturation.

This plant can withstand prolonged periods of time without watering so it’s always better to underwater it than to overwater it. To give you an idea, during the summer months you’ll probably only have to water it once per week.

The proper watering technique is to distribute water into the soil until it starts draining from the holes at the base of the pot. Let all of the water drain away before placing it back into the drip tray. It’s important that you don’t allow the plant to sit in water.

Soil and Potting Tips for Calathea Orbifolia

The Calathea Orbifolia loves rich and fertile potting soil but you also need to make sure you find a kind that also drains well. It doesn’t like its roots being in soggy soil. So the best way to achieve this is to mix in perlite (1 part) and orchid bark (1 part) with the potting soil (2 parts). This will hold the perfect amount of water without saturating the roots. In other words, your plant will be super happy.

Another advantage to using that combination of soil is that it contains nutrients that are essential to the Calathea Orbifolia. In fact, using this mix will make it so that you don’t even need fertilizer but in some environments fertilizer is still a bonus.

Soil that increases drainage is the most important aspect though. I cannot overemphasize just how important it is to avoid soggy, over-saturated soil whether that’s from lack of drainage or overwatering. The Calathea Orbifolia can easily get root rot from waterlogged soil.

You can grow this plant amazingly on a patio or an indoor container. The size of the pot required will depend on the size of the plant. As a general rule of thumb, a 10-inch pot is a good size if you’re unsure. However, you want the roots to have a lot of room so you can choose an even larger pot.


Lighting Guide for the Calathea Orbifolia

You will want to keep your Calathea Orbifolia in an area of your home with medium lighting. The rule of thumb is to place it in a room with enough light to read a book during the day.

Too much light is unhealthy for the Calathea Orbifolia and it will cause visual trauma to the plant. Symptoms of over-lighting include faded, discolored leaves.

Calathea Orbifolia needs light throughout the day to thrive so make sure you place it somewhere near a window.

Try to avoid southern windows though so that they are not getting too much. If you want it in the southern room of your home, then place it in a corner away from the window.

Proper Fertilization Tips

If you use the proper soil, then the Calathea Orbifolia doesn’t require a lot of feeding in order to thrive. You can save fertilizer for only months when the plant is growing.

I recommend organic houseplant feeds for the best result. Calathea Orbifolia thrives on these simple and effective fertilizers.

Here’s a quick word of caution. The Calathea Orbifolia can be damaged with too much fertilizer as it will burn the roots.

Also, you should only feed this plant immediately before watering so that the fertilizer doesn’t saturate the roots, thus burning them.

Propagation Facts

The Calathea Orbifolia cannot be propagated using cuttings like you can with other types of plants. You’ll notice smaller sprouts from the soil as it grows.

These will grow into their own smaller areas so once they are large enough, they can be separated from the rest of the plant and placed into their own pot.

Proper Air Circulation Facts

This is the perfect houseplant for many reasons, one of which is that it thrives at room temperature. This means anywhere from 65°F to 75°F are great! If the temperature is too high or too low, the plant will start to show stress.

The biggest problem that people run into is growing them properly during the extreme summer and winter months. Sudden temperature changes will cause the plant some stress.

This is solved by placing it away from air conditioning ducts during the summer and heaters during the winter.

With that said, you can grow it outside but the shade is going to benefit the Calathea Orbifolia. The same lighting and watering rules apply when outdoors.

Now let’s take a moment to discuss humidity. The Calathea Orbifolia is a natural tropical plant so it needs high humidity.

Make sure it’s at least 50%. Since most rooms in the home are much lower than this, you’ll need to use a spray bottle to mist the leaves of the plant with water.

If you are placing the plant in the bathroom or kitchen, then humidity isn’t likely to be a problem.


Pest Control for Your Calathea Orbifolia

Since the Calathea Orbifolia requires humidity, it also leaves them vulnerable to a number of annoying pests and fungus. If you find moldy spots or see any bugs on these plants, it’s important that you treat them as quickly as possible.

The best prevention method is to follow all of the steps outlined in this guide. Over-watering this plant has the potential to lead to fungal infections and cold temperatures can cause the roots to also be infected with certain types of fungus.


All steps in this Calathea Orbifolia care guide should be followed in order to ensure that your plant is provided with the healthiest possible environment.

It all starts with the proper potting soil and extends into utilizing the right watering techniques and applying the right lighting. Those are the most important aspects of plant care.

Pest control and environment are also important, but they usually stem from the main three. By following these steps, you’ll find yourself with an amazing plant that is sure to add a touch of beauty to your life. Enjoy!

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