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How To Expertly Grow Calathea Dottie: Care Tips You Should Know

Calathea Dottie is a stunning plant with a unique appearance that makes it an excellent choice for indoor gardeners.

In this detailed care guide, we’re diving into the how’s, why’s, and when’s of everything your Calathea Dottie needs to stay healthy.

Read on to find out where you can buy this Calathea, its interesting attributes and common pitfalls to avoid.

What Is Calathea Dottie?

The Calathea Dottie is sometimes known as Calathea Roseopicta Dottie, Black Rose, and Rose-Painted Calathea Dottie. It is a stunning plant famous for its bold patterned foliage.

Belonging to the Marantaceae family, this perennial has leaves that are oval and dark purple with pink highlights. The leaves of the Dottie plant unfurl into a pale green leaf with light pink markings. This intense coloring is stunning and only gets more beautiful as it matures. And the great news is that this plant does not lose its markings; its bright pink markings will stay strong and lively as it grows.

Most plants from the Marantaceae family are dubbed “prayer plants” because of their habit of folding at night as if preparing for prayer. This conduct is known as nyctinasty. Plants have a circadian rhythm in which they raise and drop their leaves at different times of the day.

Roseopicta Calathea types, the variety where Dottie belongs, are also prayer plants. This means its leaves are light-sensitive and heliotropic. Hence, its leaves fold upwards at night, and the plant closes as if in rest and prayer.

Indoors, it appreciates humidity near a north-facing window. You may also grow your Calathea Dottie outdoors if you live in hardiness zones 10-11.

Origin And Family

The Calathea Roseopicta Dottie is a member of the Marantaceae family. This variety of Calathea comes from the rainforests of northwest Brazil and South America. As an indoor plant, it has done well in most households when it has much access to humidity.

This stunning plant was cultivated in 1998 by Anne E. Lamb from a tissue culture of the Calathea Roseo Picta. According to the US patent database, the patent was filed in the year 2000.

It yields insignificant small white flowers most summers given the right conditions.

Where To Buy

The Calathea Dottie is a wonderful addition to any plant lover’s collection and can be purchased online from Etsy. We usually get amazing plant options and deals there too!

The Roseopictas have recently been reclassified as Goeppertia Roseopictas. But you can still find them in online stores, and local nurseries discussed and sold as calatheas.

You can buy a Calathea Dottie for very affordable prices, between $15 for small plants to $30 for larger ones.

Dottie Calathea for sale on Etsy

Calathea Dottie Plant Size

At its maturity, the Calathea Dottie grows about 6-12 inches tall and 6-12 inches wide indoors. Considering this plant’s growth potential, light needs, and high humidity requirements, you can place it near a north-facing window.

Calathea Dottie Care Needs

Your Calathea Dottie, with its boldly patterned foliage, will flourish if you take good care of it. This beautiful plant loves humidity and evenly moist soil throughout the year.

Water your Calathea when the soil is dry on top. Give it a good soaking, letting water drip down the pot’s bottom. This plant prefers strong indirect light.

Read on for additional precise growth recommendations to keep your Calathea Dottie happy and healthy!

Care Difficulty

In terms of care difficulty, the Black Rose is typically moderate-to-difficult to care for. The main growing considerations are the well-draining soil and the amount of light this plant has.

Growth Rate

When grown indoors, the Rose-Painted Calathea Dottie plant grows to a height of 6-12 inches, and it grows the fastest during spring and summer.

Most Calathea species, including the Dottie, have a moderate growth speed.


Calathea plants generally prefer a pot with good drainage, and a medium-sized plastic, terracotta, or clay pot works fine. Drainage holes are important to keep excess water from drowning the roots of your Calathea Roseopicta Dottie.


As this beautiful dark plant develops, you should consider moving it to a larger pot when you see its roots are pushing out of the drainage hole. Because of its moderate growth rate, you will need to repot your plant every 2-3 years on average.

Calatheas are extra delicate plants and don’t like their root systems disturbed so much. Be very careful not to “touch” its roots when you repot. These plants are known as diva plants. Black Dottie is the gothic cousin of the calathea family and has been regarded as the “emo plant” of this plant genus partly because of its sensitivity and because its dark coloring fits the concept.

When repotting, use a fresh batch of soil for your Calathea so its roots will have more nutrients to absorb.


Black Rose grows well in a standard commercial potting soil, and you can also choose to make your potting mix by adding charcoal, perlite, peat moss, and orchid bark. This plant likes its soil to stay evenly moist.

Additionally, adequate drainage is critical to avoid fungal diseases, root rot, and other issues.

These are some soil options we recommend:

Photo Title Price Buy
Miracle-Gro Indoor Potting...image Miracle-Gro Indoor Potting Mix 6 qt., Grows beautiful Houseplants, 2-Pack $15.70 ($0.04 / Ounce)
Burpee, 9 Quarts...image Burpee, 9 Quarts | Premium Organic Potting Natural Soil Mix Food Ideal for Container Garden-Vegetable, Flower & Herb Use for Indoor Outdoor Plant $12.99 ($0.04 / Ounce)
Sun Gro Horticulture...image Sun Gro Horticulture 8-Quart Black Gold 1310102 Purpose Potting Soil With Control, Brown/A $14.68 ($0.06 / Fl Oz)
Miracle-Gro Potting Mix,...image Miracle-Gro Potting Mix, Potting Soil for Outdoor and Indoor Plants, Enriched with Plant Food, 2 cu. ft. $34.54
FoxFarm Ocean Forest...image FoxFarm Ocean Forest Potting Soil Mix Indoor Outdoor for Garden and Plants | Plant Fertilizer | 12 Quarts | The Hydroponic City Stake $23.99 ($0.06 / Fl Oz)


The Rose-Painted Calathea Dottie prefers a pH of 6.0-6.5. This range is acidic, and if you use commercial potting soil, its acidity level is near the optimal range.

There are various inexpensive pH meters available online to test your soil’s pH.

To raise the pH of the soil, add a sprinkle of calcitic or dolomitic lime, wood ash, or baking soda. Sulfur or aluminum sulfate can raise it.


Generally speaking, this Calathea Roseopicta Dottie prefers an evenly moist growing medium.

However, this darker variety of calathea does not like regular water as it prefers distilled water. Rainwater is another good option. Filtered water will do, but note that it still contains some fluoride that can affect this lovely plant.

Avoid overwatering your Calathea Roseopicta Dottie. When the top 2-3 inches of the soil is dry, it’s time to give your plant a drink. Water directly on the soil and take care not to wet the foliage so you can avoid fungal diseases.

Allow the water to flow through the bottom of the pot. Remember to empty the collection tray if your plant is sitting in one.


This houseplant prefers bright indirect sunlight for approximately 6-8 hours a day. Too much light and its leaves will get burned and may lose their beautiful hues. Too little light and its leaves may start drooping.

If you’re worried about your Calathea Dottie’s lighting, bring it closer to a window or use artificial lights. Consider these simple options:

This tropical plant can tolerate moderate indirect light and even low light conditions up to a certain degree. Avoid putting your Calathea Dottie in direct sunlight, which could severely damage or even kill it.


Fertilize your Black Rose once a month in the spring and summer. If you use a water-soluble fertilizer, dilute it first.

Winter is a time when you don’t need to fertilize.

Typically, you don’t need to fertilize during the winter months.

Propagating Calathea Dottie

There are different ways to propagate a Calathea Dottie. Here are the most common ways:


Division is a propagation method typically used for plants that have pups shooting out from the roots.

You can divide the stem clusters of your Rose-Painted Calathea Dottie by following these steps:

1. Dig up. Take the plant out of its container. You should be able to see where the plant’s natural divisions are.

2. Separate. With your fingers, gently separate the sections apart, and you may need to use shears to cut any entangled roots.

3. Repot. Plant each section in new pots filled with the same soil they’re used to.

Humidity And Aeration

High humidity ( 70% and higher) is best for your Calathea Dottie.

Crispy leaves and browning edges often characterize lack of humidity in houseplants. Consider getting a humidifier, or place your plant in well-lit spaces naturally higher in humidity (such as bathrooms, kitchens, and laundry rooms).

Place your Calathea near other humidity-loving plants for easy humidity. Use a pebble tray with water to maintain the proper humidity and keep the ornamental leaves healthy.


The ideal temperature for your Rose-Painted Calathea Dottie is between 65-95 degrees Fahrenheit, and this stunning houseplant will appreciate being kept in warm locations.

More importantly, avoid any sudden spikes or drops in temperatures. Don’t use cold or hot water to water your Rose-Painted Calathea Dottie so its roots won’t go into shock.


Although a rare occurrence in an indoor environment, you might be able to witness your Calathea Roseopicta Dottie producing flowers that are insignificant and white. Outdoors, this plant blooms most summers given the right conditions.


Black Rose is not considered toxic to humans, dogs, or cats! This means it’s a great option to place in your home, whether you have fur babies! Just keep it out of reach of pets and children to avoid hurting this delicate plant.

Soil Care Specifics
Botanical Name Calathea Dottie
Common Name Calathea Roseopicta Dottie, Black Rose, Rose-Painted Calathea Dottie
Plant Family Marantaceae
Origin North West Brazil and South America
Plant Type perennial
Leaf Shape oval
Leaf Color dark purple with pink highlights
Recommended Home Placement near a north-facing window
Growth Rate moderate
Light bright indirect light
Soil standard commercial potting soil
When To Water Water when the top 2-3 inches of the soil is dry.
When To Fertilize once a month during growing season
Preferred pH 6.0-6.5
Humidity Range 70% and higher
Toxic To Pets? No
Common Pests & Diseases spider mites, brown tips, fungus gnuts, white flied, scale insects, yellow leabes, root rot, aphids, mealy bugs, drooping leaves

Pests, Diseases, And Other Problems

Is your Calathea Dottie looking ill? Most would say that this is not a plant with strong resistance to pests, diseases, and overall problems.

I’ve provided the common problems that affect this interesting plant in the following sections. Use these tips and best practices to help diagnose and treat your Calathea.

Spider Mites

Houseplants can sometimes bring unwelcome visitors to your home in the form of pests. One example of such is the spider mite. The larvae will not be visible, but adult mites can be seen quickly scampering around when disturbed.

Spraying diluted neem oil on your plant’s leaves can help eradicate spider mites at their larval stage. There are also organic Pyrethrin sprays which are effective in killing adult mites. When spraying any pesticide indoors, make sure you choose products that are non-hazardous for humans when inhaled.

White Flies

Whiteflies, which are soft-bodied winged insects, may be drawn to the Calathea Roseopicta Dottie. While adult whiteflies are usually harmless, they will lay eggs that hatch into larvae to feed on your plant’s leaves.

Some insecticides can kill whiteflies at all phases of development, but choose one that is safe to spray indoors. Here are some options we recommend:

Neem oil, horticultural oil, and insecticidal soap are great organic alternatives!


Aphids are usually found as a cluster of bugs on your Black Rose, and they could be colored green, black, red, brown, yellow, orange, or white. They multiply extremely fast and can weaken your plant within days!

Aphids are particularly attracted to new shoots, flower buds, and areas of fresh growth. They will leave behind unsightly black and white splotches as they feed on the sap.

If you spot these icky crawlers, immediately isolate your infected plant from the others. Give your plant a strong water spray to dislodge the aphids, but remember to cover the soil with plastic to catch any falling bugs and their eggs. Dispose of the plastic somewhere far away from your garden.

A spray of insecticidal soap, neem oil, or horticultural oil can take care of the problem. Still, you may need to repeat this several times until you’re sure that the aphid population has been completely eradicated.


Mealybugs may infest your Calathea Dottie plants. If you find these tiny parasites– identified by their white “fluff”– you need to act quickly before they spread.

Start by taking a cotton ball and dousing it with rubbing alcohol. Wipe the leaves of your Calathea to remove all the visible mealybugs.

Additionally, you can mix 5mL of neem oil, 500mL of water, and ten drops of liquid soap (as an emulsifier). Spraying this solution on your plants once a month will not only make your plant leaves look shiny and clean, it will also discourage mealies from colonizing your houseplant.

Brown Leaf Tips

One common cause of browning edges on your Calathea Roseopicta Dottie’s leaves is a build-up of salts and minerals in the soil. This typically happens if you apply too much fertilizer or use chemically-treated tap water.

Another reason for browning leaf tips is the lack of moisture. Water your plant appropriately, and improve your indoor humidity.

Drooping Leaves

The leaves of your Calathea Dottie might start to droop if it’s not getting the proper amount of moisture and light that it needs. Check out or Water and Light sections above to see the recommended care practices for your plant.

Drooping leaves can also be an issue that comes with low humidity, so make sure you check the humidity levels in your area and make sure that it matches your plant’s needs.

Yellow Leaves

Yellowing leaves on Black Rose can be caused by lack of light, too much light, overwatering, underwatering, nutrient deficiency, overfertilization, recent disruption of the roots, changes in temperature and humidity, presence of pests, and many others.

If you’re confused, don’t worry! Gardening requires trial and error to figure out the ideal conditions for your plants, and even master gardeners are learning new things every day.

It is usually encouraged to prune off yellowing leaves so the plant won’t waste its energy trying to “save” the leaf instead of supplying nutrients to new leaves.


If you’re looking for decorative plants with a little flair, the Calathea Dottie is a beautiful and great choice. Its bold patterned foliage and deep green burgundy leaves are a true treat.

You can’t get enough of Calathea plant guides, can you? Check out these great Two Peas In A Condo and see what else we have to offer!

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.

One thought on “How To Expertly Grow Calathea Dottie: Care Tips You Should Know

  1. Wow, excellent info, very thorough. I appreciate it. First time having one of these plants so I’ll see how it goes. I have a problem growing prayer plants and peace lilies in my house. Brown crispy leaf tips for days! I guess it’s low humidity. Thanks again

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