The beautiful Calathea roseopicta is the perfect houseplant for indoor growers. It’s pretty easy to grow, can handle low light environments, and is pet safe!
In this care guide, I’m covering the most critical aspects of caring for your Calathea roseopicta – and if you’re longing for a Calathea but don’t have one yet – we also have options for you to buy them.
So follow along as we provide you with 29 helpful tips for growing the Rose-Painted Calathea.
Table of Contents
- 1 What Is Calathea roseopicta?
- 2 Buy Calathea roseopicta: Pricing
- 3 Similar Plants
- 4 Calathea roseopicta Plant Size
- 5 Calathea roseopicta Care Needs
- 5.1 Non-Toxic
- 5.2 Care Difficulty
- 5.3 Growth Rate
- 5.4 Flowers
- 5.5 Potting
- 5.6 Repotting
- 5.7 Soil – Orchid Bark Potting Mix
- 5.8 pH – Acidic To Neutral
- 5.9 Water: Evenly Moist Soil
- 5.10 Light: Indirect Light
- 5.11 Fertilizer
- 5.12 Propagating Calathea roseopicta
- 5.13 Humidity Levels: High
- 5.14 Temperature: Temperate
- 5.15 Pests, Diseases, And Other Problems
- 6 Final Thoughts
What Is Calathea roseopicta?
Calathea roseopicta goes by a wide variety of names, including Rose-Painted Calathea, Goeppertia roseopicta, Calathea Medallion, and velvet plant. It is a tender perennial with elliptical leaves (measuring 6 x 9 inches) with a dark green upper surface, a red midrib, and a crimson zone that fades to pink near the margins of the leaf. The undersides of the leaves are purple.
Rose-Painted Calathea grows well indoors in places with high humidity, such as a bathroom or kitchen. But they can technically thrive about anywhere with indirect light – even in an office setting.
Most Common Name: Rose-Painted Calathea
Is Calathea roseopicta A Prayer Plant?
It depends on who you ask. Calatheas, including the roseopicta, are commonly called Prayer Plants because of the way their leaves fold at dusk, as if in prayer. But the actual prayer plant is called a Maranta, which also folds. Both plants are part of the Marantaceae family.
Technically speaking, Calatheas are not true prayer plans. But since they look similar and still fold at night, most indoor gardeners and nurseries classify Calathes and Marantas as prayer plants.
Origin And Family
From the genus Calathea, the Rose-Painted Calathea is native to the Rainforests regions of northwest Brazil. It was formerly known as Calateha rosea-picta, and it’s commonly labeled as a Goeppertia.
It’s known to produce significant small purple and white flowers outdoors – it’s pretty uncommon to see flowers growing inside.
Buy Calathea roseopicta: Pricing
You might be able to find a Calathea roseopicta plant at your local nursery, but at this point, it’s much easier to buy roseopicta from an online retailer like Amazon or Etsy. Here are some pricing options:
Buy Calathea roseopicta On Amazon: Pricing starts at $14.99 and goes all the way up to $29.99.
Buy Calathea roseopicta On Esty: Pricing ranges from $13.13 and goes up to $31.00.
Love Rose-Painted Calathea? Here are some other similar Calathea species you should try:
Calathea makoyana – Calathea makoyana, often known as Peacock Plants or Cathedral Windows, are evergreen perennial plants that thrive as houseplants in any area with medium to bright indirect light or partial shade (even a room with low light). The elaborate decorations on the leaves resemble feathers, which is how the plant received its name, Peacock Plant.
Calathea ‘Beauty Star‘ – Calathea ‘Beauty Star’ plants, also known as the zebra plant and prayer plant, are herbaceous perennials that thrive as houseplants near a north-facing or east-facing window.
Their rectangular green leaves with white/silver streaks rise throughout the day and fall during the evening. This has earned it the moniker “prayer plant” since the leaves appear to open and close like hands in prayer.
Calathea Ornata – Calathea Ornata is a tropical plant with bright and vivid stripes across its leaves, earning it the nickname “Pinstripe Plant.” It’s also known as the Peacock Plant, the Zebra Plant, and the Cathedral Plant.
Calathea Orbifolia – Calathea Orbifolia is a Calathea genus in the Marantaceae family. Calathea Orbifolia is indigenous to Bolivia. This plant is distinguished by its large oval leaves with dark green and white stripes.
A good place to buy Calathea varieties is Icarus Plants – one of our favorite online plant shops. You can use this link to get 10% off at checkout!
Calathea roseopicta Plant Size
The Calathea roseopicta grows to about 20+ inches tall as a houseplant and about 24 inches in width. This beautiful clump-forming evergreen perennial grows at a moderate-to-fast rate and typically flourishes when placed in a bathroom or kitchen (places high in humidity).
Calathea roseopicta Care Needs
The Calathea roseopicta is a beautiful plant with an exciting name. The word “calathea” comes from the Latin word for “caltrop,” which were spiked metal balls thrown by Roman soldiers to bring down cavalry horses and chariots.
It was also used as a weapon against infantry troops – so this plant has some fighting spirit in its roots! With its bright pink colors and unique features, what does it look like to care for this plant? Read on to find out!
And all the pet owners rejoiced! As someone who writes about plants a lot, I was thrilled when I discovered that Calatheas are non-toxic to cats and dogs. My own cats – Cat Blanchett and Eva Purrrrone – also seemed excited about this.
While Calatheas won’t kill your plants, they might look like tasty treats. My cats loved eating my Calathea, so I had to put it above our kitchen sink – far away from where it could tempt them.
If your feline friends are giving your Calatheas a hard time, check out our tips for keeping cats off plants.
The Calathea roseopicta is moderately challenging to care for, with it being more difficult to grow outdoors as a tender perennial. “Tender” refers to the plant’s hardiness or lack thereof. It doesn’t do well when temperatures change rapidly, and it hates cold temperatures. Outdoors, it is only considered winter hardy in hardiness zones 11 and 12.
Indoors, it’s much easier to care for this Calathea. Still, you’ll want to keep it away from cold drafts or doors. And the most significant considerations for this stunning plant are the amount of light it receives and its humidity requirements.
The growth rate of a Calathea roseopicta is moderate to fast. At a mature height, it will grow to about 20+ inches tall and 24 inches wide.
The Calathea roseopicta can produce significant white and purple flowers during the summer – but they rarely appear when kept as houseplants.
Use a pot that’s a few inches wider than the plant when thinking about pot sizing.
Calatheas aren’t super picky about potting material, so it’s okay to use plastic, terracotta, or clay pots. One of the most important features is that it contains at least one drainage hole so that water may run out of it. While this Calathea likes water, it doesn’t do well with wet feet. Root rot is one of the primary killers of roseopicta.
As your Calathea roseopicta grows and expands, you might consider upgrading from your current pot to a new pot when you notice it’s becoming root-bound. Typically, this will occur every year or two because Calathea Medaillons grow at a moderate-to-fast pace.
Plants become root-bound when their root balls become so dense that there is no longer room for growth in the soil. Place two fingers around the base of your prayer plant, flip it over, and gently lift it out of the pot to determine whether it is pot bound.
Between potting changes, you can refresh your plant’s old soil with a new orchid potting or general-purpose soil.
Soil – Orchid Bark Potting Mix
For the Rose Painted Calathea, orchid potting soil works well for aeration purposes, but a general-purpose soil is typically fine.
Use peat moss, orchid bark, charcoal, and perlite if you make your own. Keep in mind that roseopicta prefers an evenly moist growth medium, and your soil should accommodate this.
We recommend the following potting mixes:
pH – Acidic To Neutral
For this roseopicta, you’ll need a soil pH of around 6.5-7.0, which is acidic to neutral. In most cases, assuming you repot once every year or two, you shouldn’t need to worry about this much.
If you’re really worried about it, conduct a pH test to see if the soil has a low or high pH. There are low-cost tests available on the internet or at a garden center.
Water: Evenly Moist Soil
Proper watering is an essential factor for Calathea roseopicta care. Too much and you can cause diseases like root rot. Too little, and it could harm or even kill your plant. Rose-Painted Calathea should generally have a growing medium that’s evenly moist.
There’s a simple trick to knowing if your Calathea Medallion needs to be watered. Simply stick your finger in the pot, and when the top inch of soil feels dry, you know it’s time to give your plant a drink.
For my Calathea plants, I tend to go a little longer than what’s recommended to water. Typically I water once every week or two indoors, and that seems to work fine.
As we’ve said previously, drainage holes and proper soil are must-haves for Calathea roseopicta. You don’t want it sitting in water for long periods. Make sure excess water drains away from this plant.
Light: Indirect Light
This moderately tricky plant prefers indirect light for 8-10 hours a day. Its leaves will scorch and brown around the leaf edges if exposed to too much light. If there isn’t enough light, you’ll experience slower than average growth or limp stems, and it may even stop growing completely.
You’re trying to give Rose-Painted Calathea a home that’s similar to its natural climate. Since roseopicta comes from the Rainforests of northwest Brazil, it’s most comfortable in indirect light.
If you’re concerned that your Calathea roseopicta or other house plants aren’t getting enough light, consider moving them closer to a window or utilizing artificial lighting.
Fertilizer is a good idea for growing healthy Calathea roseopicta. Throughout the spring and summer (considered the growing season), you should use an essential houseplant fertilizer that’s been diluted to half-strength every 4-6 weeks.
In the wintertime, you only should fertilize the plant every three months, as growth slows.
Here are some basic houseplant fertilizers we recommend:
- Miracle-Gro Indoor Plant Food (liquid) – $8.15
- Organic Indoor Plant Food – $11.97
- Aquatic Artics All-purpose House Plant Fertilizer – $13.99
Propagating Calathea roseopicta
The best way to propagate Calathea roseopicta is by division during the spring. When you repot, you can see where the plant has naturally separated its roots. Calathea is pretty fickle, and it may drop some dark green leaves when you propagate. Don’t worry about this too much. It typically recovers within a few weeks.
Here’s a quick video on propagation techniques for the Calathea genus. This one is actually an Orbifolia variety, but the concept is the same.
Humidity Levels: High
Calathea roseopicta or Calathea Medallion is a tropical clump-forming evergreen perennial that prefers moderate to high humidity but can survive in humidity around 40%. That said, you should shoot for a range between 60 and 80%.
If you see brown edges on your plants, consider moving your plant to a more humid location (bathroom or kitchen) or introducing a humidifier.
Your Rose-Painted Calathea plant wants temperate conditions, and it thrives in a temperature range of 65-75 degrees Fahrenheit. They like a constant temperature, so keep them away from vents and openings that may allow chilly air in. I know I’ve said it a lot, but these tropical plants are incredibly tender around chilly temps.
Pests, Diseases, And Other Problems
The Rose-Painted Calathea is a disease and pest-resistant plant. But things happen. And if you have a lot of plants in a small space, there’s a chance you could attract pests and diseases.
This section provides a basic overview of some pests and diseases that affect this plant, as well as preventative treatments to protect your Calathea roseopicta from harm.
Spider mites are common pests that affect many houseplants. Mites also affect Calathea roseopicta, but unlike some plants, they become more of a target for this pest in the winter months when humidity is low and temperatures are cool.
Quick tips for controlling spider mites:
- Use a commercial miticide whenever possible (always follow label instructions)
- Increase humidity (>50%) by misting the leaves twice daily, keeping the plant on a tray of damp pebbles or in a humid room.
Scale insects are small (1mm – 1cm), immobile insects that use a “sucking” mouthpart to extract plant sap. There are many types of scale with most species preferring new growth and succulent stems. Calathea roseopicta is often targeted by armored scales and mealybugs.
Quick tips for controlling scale insects:
Introduce beneficial parasitic wasps to the growing environment (a non-chemical method). Just kidding! – don’t release wasps in your house. But actually, ladybugs can deal some damage to Scale and a few other pests.
Scale insects are best controlled when they are in their crawler stage before they attach to the plant. Use a commercial miticide when all else fails. Follow label instructions for timing and proper application rates since some scale species can be pretty stubborn.
Remove heavily infested leaves by placing them in a plastic bag and disposing of them in the trash.
Aphids are small, soft-bodied insects that live in colonies. They feed on plant sap and secrete a sticky “honeydew” as a byproduct of their feeding. This often attracts ants to the plant or promotes the growth of black sooty mold. Aphids can transmit viruses through their mouthparts, but this is not common for Calathea roseopicta.
Don’t let aphids bring your garden to its knees! The best way is with insecticidal soap or neem oil. You can make your own insecticidal soap using dish detergent like Ivory Liquid, but make sure it’s free of fragrances that could harm plants in some other way too.
Colardo State University has a quick article on the uses of soaps for insect control.
To keep things safe for your Calathea, go easy on the insecticidal soap because prolonged exposure can leave residue behind, which may impact plant growth depending.
Mealybugs are small, oval-shaped insects covered in a white waxy coating. They live and breed on the undersides of leaves and stems and can be challenging to spot since they blend in with the plants they infest.
Although they do not normally feed on Calathea roseopicta, heavy populations can stunt the growth of plants or even kill them.
To get rid of these pesky pests, you can use Neem oil mixed with water. If that doesn’t work or if your Calathea has been infested for too long and needs more robust treatment, try a cotton ball soaked in rubbing alcohol on the leaves and stems as well.
Brown Leaf Tips
A few brown spots on your Calathea leaves could indicate that the plant is getting too much sunlight or not enough moisture in its environment.
If you notice this happening, consider moving it to a shadier spot for some relief. It could also indicate a lack of humidity.
For best results, you should provide your Calathea with bright light that’s also indirect and moderate-to-high humidity.
Drooping leaves are most commonly caused by low humidity, high temperatures, or lack of water. Calathea roseopicta is particularly sensitive to overwatering, but they also do not like sitting in wet soil for extended periods.
Calathea roseopicta prefer slightly acidic soil and thus often display yellowing leaves as a symptom of too-alkaline water or poor drainage.
Use rain, distilled, or purified water instead of tap water supplied by municipal water systems, which are often alkaline in pH to increase humidity.
Calathea leaves curling, and wilting can indicate that your plants aren’t getting enough water. What makes this even more aggravating is that they can also suggest that you’re overwatering!
It could even be that the plant is irritated as a result of being moved or repotted.
Let’s be real here. The #calathearoseopicta is a difficult one. It needs constant humidity and warmth. Here are the most common issues you’ll experience with plants in the #maranta and #prayerplant families. https://t.co/q2hl34lbTw— Léon & George (@LeonAndGeorge) March 31, 2019
Root rot occurs when the roots become waterlogged or overly wet for long periods. This can be caused by too much humidity, over-watering, poor drainage, or excessive rainfall. Root rot can look like other problems such as yellow leaves and stunted growth, but it will appear on only the lower half of the plant at first.
Leaves above the affected area should not display any signs of disease when this disease first occurs. Quick tips for treating root rot:
- Increase air circulation around the plant – avoid keeping Calathea roseopicta in excessively humid rooms
- Water less frequently – allow the top inch (2.5cm) of soil to dry completely before watering again – never leave standing water at the bottom of the pot.
The Calathea roseopicta is the perfect plant for plant lovers.
It’s relatively easy to grow, requiring indirect light, high humidity, aerated soil, and warm temperatures. Over time it will produce beautiful glossy green and pink leaves.
If you’re looking for a new addition to your collection or are just starting as a gardener, use these tips to start growing!
And be sure to read more from Two Peas In A Condo for more indoor growing guides!