A Complete Care Guide to Successfully Grow Your Calathea Crocata

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Calathea Crocata is a tropical and easy-to-care-for plant. Unsurprisingly, it is highly sought-after among plant collectors because of its unique appearance and feel.

In this post, we’re hashing out what it takes to keep the Calathea Crocata at its happiest! We also share some purchasing options if you plan to take one home. Keep reading to learn more about this Calathea!

What Is Calathea Crocata?

Calathea Crocata is ideally placed indoors near an east or west-facing window. When grown outdoors, it is only recommended for hardiness zones 8-12 for higher survivability.

Before the Bangles sang their hit 80s song Eternal Flame, the Calathea Crotaca was another Eternal Flame with inextinguishable beauty. It was called the Eternal Flame due to its gorgeous orange-yellow flowers that bloom in the summer.

Other common names for the plant are Saffron-colored Calathea and Tassmania, belonging to the Marantaceae family. As a Maranta family member, this is another prayer plant that folds at night and opens up during the day.

Calathea Crocata Origin And Family

This Calathea plant is native to the jungles of Brazil, discovered in 1875. It slowly made its way to Central and South America, reaching Hawaii in the ’70s.

The Eternal Flame plant belongs to the genus Calathea in the Marantaceae family. You’ll witness it bloom with large orange-yellow flowers with red sepals during summer.

Where To Buy

Home to thousands of handcrafted products for your home and garden, Etsy is the perfect destination for various plants, including Calathea Crocata.

The prices of this plant tend to be pretty expensive as it’s a rare variety, ranging between $20 for a 10-inch potted plant.

Calathea Crocata Plant Size

As a houseplant, the Calathea Crocata reaches 1-2 feet tall when mature. This plant will look good near an east or west-facing window.

Calathea Crocata Care Needs

Your Calathea Crocata will grow well with proper care. Known for its vibrant flowers, this plant loves humidity and needs relatively dry soil to stay healthy.

It is ideal to water this plant when the soil’s top inch is dry. Water deeply, allowing it to flow through the pot’s drainage hole. In terms of light, this rare plant needs bright indirect light to reach its maximum growth potential.

For more specific tips, check out the detailed care guide below!

Calathea Crocata Care Difficulty

With its light, water, and humidity needs, the Saffron-colored Calathea is typically considered easy to care for. To successfully grow this plant, you’ll need to be particular with the well-draining soil and amount of light.

Calathea Crocata Growth Rate

The Tassmania reaches a height of 1-2 feet when grown inside a home. This plant usually grows more actively during the early spring and hot summer months.

Most Calathea species, including the Crocata, are known to grow slowly.

Calathea Crocata Potting

This Crocata plant wants good drainage, and a large-sized plastic, terracotta, or clay pot works fine.

With its need to be watered when the upper inch of soil is dry, drainage holes are a must for the Eternal Flame.

Calathea Crocata Repotting

As your plant grows and expands, you might consider upgrading to a new pot on an as-needed basis. Typically, the need to repot occurs every 1-2 years because this plant grows slowly.

When repotting, you can use a new batch of standard commercial potting soil which is the ideal growing medium for your Calathea Crocata.

Calathea Crocata Soil

A standard commercial potting soil is best for Saffron-colored Calathea. Peat and compost are the ideal components for the soil. Aeration and drainage are a must for this plant which is easy to care for.

If you want a soil-free mix, use 50% percent coco coir and 10% percent each of activated charcoal, pumice, perlite, vermiculite, and worm castings.

Here are some excellent growing medium options to choose from:

Calathea Crocata pH

A soil pH of roughly 6.0-6.5, which is acidic, is ideal for the Tassmania. For newbies concerned about the soil’s acidity, you can buy a simple pH meter device to evaluate it.

To lower pH levels, use sulfur or aluminum sulfate. On the other hand, use baking soda, calcitic or dolomitic lime, or wood ash to increase pH levels.

Calathea Crocata Water

You’ll want to keep your soil relatively dry when watering Eternal Flame. To gauge moisture, stick a finger into the pot, or invest in a soil moisture meter device. When the soil’s top inch is dry, you’ll know it’s time to water your Calathea.

Overwatering is one of the most common killers of indoor plants. When in doubt, remember that it’s safer to underwater than overwater the Eternal Flame. Also, ensure you have a pot with drainage holes and provide fast-draining soil to prevent too much water buildup.

Additionally, it’s crucial to use the correct type of water, as Eternal Flame plants are sensitive to water types and can suffer brown or burned leaves if watered incorrectly. If you choose tap water, let it settle for 24 hours before drenching the plant. Or you can use distilled water if your budget allows. Filtered water and, if available, rainwater are other alternatives.

Lastly, the watering frequency for your Calathea Crocata should depend on the potting material and your indoor garden’s temperature. For example, a terra cotta potted plant might require more frequent watering than a container made out of plastic.

Calathea Crocata Light

Calathea Crocata prefers bright indirect light. Remember, you’re trying to recreate its growing conditions in the forest floor of Brazil. It is best to place this plant close to an east or west-facing window to provide the light requirements this gorgeous plant needs.

You’ll know your Calathea Crocata plants are getting too much sunlight when their leaves are getting burned. On the other hand, its stems may get leggy if it doesn’t get enough light.

Avoid putting your Calathea Crocata in direct sunlight, as this could severely damage or even kill it.

Calathea Crocata Fertilizer

Feed your Saffron-colored Calathea to give it some extra nutrient boost. Use a water-soluble fertilizer once every other month in the spring and summer when it is in its growing season.

Here are some plant food options you can use:

When growth naturally slows down in the cold winter months, you don’t need to fertilize.

Propagating Calathea Crocata

There are several ways to propagate a Calathea Crocata. For higher chances of success, follow the steps we’ve laid out below for each unique method.

Division

Tassmania can be propagated through a process called division. While this method is used for vegetables with typical bulbs, tubers, stolons, rhizomes, and suckers, it can also be used for houseplants with stems that grow in clumps.

1. Dig up. Take the plant out of its pot. Remember to wear gardening gloves when handling plants and soil.

2. Separate. You should be able to identify where the roots and stems spontaneously separated. Gently pull them apart with your fingers. Cut the roots where the sections connect.

3. Repot. Each cutting should be placed in new pots with the same soil.

Humidity And Aeration for Calathea Crocata

Calathea Crocata loves high humidity levels. 70% or higher is best for this humidity-loving plant.

Crispy leaves and browning edges often characterize the lack of humidity in houseplants. Consider getting a humidifier, or placing your plant in a well-lit, naturally humid environment (such as bathrooms, kitchens, and laundry rooms). While achieving the humid conditions of this plant’s natural habitat may be challenging, you can recreate it by using a pebble tray to enhance a room’s humidity.

Calathea Crocata Temperature

Generally, warm temperatures are best for your Tassmania plant. This can range between 60-80 degrees Fahrenheit.

The more significant consideration for this plant is consistency. Sudden temperature changes can heavily damage Tassmania. In cold weather, seal any gaps and close your windows to prevent chilly drafts from getting into your plant. Keep it far from heat vents so the leaves won’t be dried out.

Flowers

If you can provide the best conditions for your plant and keep it at its happiest, you might see orange-yellow flowers with red sepals. Calathea flowers last for 2-3 months and bloom on and off throughout the warm growing periods of spring and summer.

Non-Toxic

The Saffron-colored Calathea is not hazardous to children or pets. According to the ASPCA, it will not hurt dogs or cats if consumed, and there are no elements in the plant that are toxic to humans.

Toxic To Pets? Care Specifics
Botanical Name Calathea Crocata
Common Name Eternal Flame, Saffron-colored Calathea, Tassmania
Plant Family Marantaceae
Origin Brazil
Plant Type perennial
Leaf Shape oval
Leaf Color metallic green with purple hues and brown undersides
Recommended Home Placement near an east or west-facing window
Growth Rate slow
Light bright indirect light
Soil standard commercial potting soil
When To Water Water when the soil’s top in is dry.
When To Fertilize once every other month during growing season
Preferred pH 6.0-6.5
Humidity Range 70% or higher
Toxic To Pets? No
Common Pests & Diseases spider mites, brown tips, yellow leabes, root rot, mealy bugs

Pests, Diseases, And Other Problems for Calathea Crocata

Even with expert care, things can go wrong at times. Pests and diseases are unavoidable aspects of gardening. As a whole, Calathea Crocata is a disease and pest-resistant plant.

Read the following sections for tips on diagnosing common problems and discovering ways you can help your plant return to a healthy condition and produce the best growth.

Spider Mites

Spider mites are an unwanted yet prevalent issue on houseplants, particularly in Tassmania. Spider mite damage initially looks like little brown or yellow dots on your plant’s leaves. When the infestation is severe, you might notice fine, sticky webs crawling with red bugs.

To dislodge the spider mites, begin by thoroughly washing off every nook and cranny of your Tassmania. Doing this on a sink, in a tub, or outdoors is a good idea. If it doesn’t work, you can kill the spider mites by applying insecticidal soap, neem oil, or horticultural oil.

If your home has a number of plants, you might need to quarantine the sick ones while attempting to reduce the spider mite population.

Mealybugs

Your tropical houseplant can become a victim of a Mealybug infestation. They feed on the plant’s sap with their sucking tubes, and these parasites will weaken your Tassmania.

As a preventive measure against many diseases, I suggest a monthly application of neem oil on your houseplants. Remember to dilute the neem and spray only in cool weather.

When an infestation occurs, mix together one cup of rubbing alcohol and one teaspoon of fragrance-free dish soap and then mix it with water in a spray bottle. Spray that on Tassmania twice a week until you no longer spot any mealybugs.

Brown Leaf Tips

Occasionally, you might notice brown leaf tips on your Eternal Flame. Typically, this indicates that your plant is underwatered or is quickly losing moisture from its leaves through the process of transpiration.

Improve the humidity levels in your indoor growing space, or water your plant as soon as the topsoil dries out.

Brown leaf tips might also point to an issue with the plant’s roots, so make sure your plant has a breathable, well-draining growing medium.

Yellow Leaves

If you see yellowing leaves on your Saffron-colored Calathea, you might need to consider several factors to determine the culprit. Are you watering your plant too little or too much? Is your plant getting too much light? Did you fertilize your plant recently? Are there sudden changes in indoor temperatures?

Of course, bottom leaves turn yellow to indicate that your plant is growing and the leaf’s energy has been spent. In this case, pluck off the yellowing leaves so the plant can focus on growing new green leaves.

Root Rot

Root rot is a prevalent cause of death for Tassmania. Soil that is too compact will become water-logged and eventually rot the roots of your plant. Because this disease is difficult to stop, prevention is the best course of action.

The simplest way to prevent root rot is to reduce the amount and frequency of watering your Calathea. Before giving your plant a drink, check to see if the first 3 inches of the soil are dry. If not, your plant can most probably wait a little longer!

In terms of potting material, porosity is a property that allows air to pass through and dry the soil while also allowing excess moisture to escape. Porous pots can be made of clay, baked terracotta, ceramic (unglazed), or concrete. Make sure you choose one with drainage holes at the bottom to drain excess water.

Similar Plants to Calathea Crocata

Love Eternal Flame? Here are some other similar plant options you should try:

Calathea Triostar – With pink pastel stripes between its lush rich green leaves, this Calathea is a must-have if you want a dreamy tropical indoor garden. It may be challenging to care for, but all that TLC is worth it when you see this plant thrive.

Calathea Dottie – Another beautifully and uniquely colored plant, Dottie’s deep green-burgundy leaves and hot pink variegation provide contrast to an all-green garden. It’s a great accent plant that will stand out wherever you place it.

Want more Calathea plants? Read on.

Need more reasons why you should grow a Calathea? Find out here.

Conclusion

The Calathea Crocata, with its vibrant flowers, is the perfect addition to any plant lover’s collection.

Whether you’re just starting as an indoor gardener or a long-time hobbyist learning more about this particular plant, we hope you’ve learned some helpful tips from us to grow your Calathea Crocata successfully!

Help us grow! This post contains affiliate links, which means we receive a commission if you click a link and purchase something recommended. All opinions, however, are our own, and we do not accept payments for positive reviews.

Let's grow together!

Brent Hellendoorn

Brent is excited about all things minimal, and thus environmentally sustainable. From kitchen-scrap composting to indoor herb gardens and air-purifying houseplants, he enjoys continual learning and innovation. In simple, eco-conscious living, there is always room to… grow!

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