One of the most adorable and dazzling plants of the calathea family is known as the calathea rosy. This plant is known for its oval-shaped leaves rounded with green and centered with pink coloring!
It originates from the tropical Americas, and also goes by the name of Calathea Roseopicta or the Rose Painted Calathea. Despite some misunderstandings, the calathea rosy and the calathea roseopicta are one in the same!
The calathea rosy received the Royal Horticultural Society Garden Merit Award in 2020 and is truly a beautiful sight to behold. Follow along to learn all you need to know about calathea rosy care and how to make this plant shine!
How to Care for a Calathea Rosy
Calathea rosy care can be a bit complicated, which is why this plant is not an ideal selection for beginners. It requires constant high humidity and watering, as well as a particular type of soil.
As long as you are willing to put in the work, you will be rewarded with a vibrant pink plant that you certainly don’t see every day. Keep reading to learn more about the specifics of caring for this plant.
As a tropical plant, humidity is the most important part of this plant’s care. High humidity will stimulate good growth, and the ideal range for the calathea rosy is at least 60% humidity. If you’re worried about how to maintain this, purchasing a humidifier is an easy way to make sure the range is kept.
Potential signs that this plant needs more humidity will be brown spots appearing on the leaves, as well as a stiffening of the leaves that leads to a “crispy” texture. If you notice these symptoms, try raising the humidity and see if the issue resolves itself within a few weeks.
Like most plants, the calathea rosy will function best in bright and indirect sunlight. There is a common myth that this plant can tolerate low light, but that is untrue. If you grow it in low light or shade, the growth and coloring of the leaves will be stunted.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, too much direct sunlight will harm the leaves and dull the coloring.
For bright and indirect sunlight, try growing this plant in an eastern or northern facing window. It will experience a few hours of weak, direct sunlight as the sun rises and then bright, indirect sunlight for the rest of the day. You can also place the plant in a room with filtered sunlight (usually through curtains) to give it the correct amount.
If you worry that you are not a good judge of sunlight, try buying a light meter! Light meters measure the amount of sunlight in a room by foot candles (FCs) to let you know the precise amount. For the calathea rosy, the ideal amount of FCs will be 400, with 200 FCs required as the minimum for growth.
Best Soil and Mixture Type
When it comes to soil, you will need to ensure that the calathea rosy is placed in potting soil that absorbs moisture. At the same time, the soil needs to drain well and prevent issues caused by overwatering. Here are some elements to look out for in your own soil mixture or store-bought soil to ensure good growth:
- Peat for moisture retention (roughly two-thirds of the total mixture)
- Perlite for drainage (roughly one-third of the total mixture)
- Coarse matter such as sand or coconut husks (to be added occasionally for drainage)
- Slow-releasing fertilizer (for growth, and added yearly)
In general, a peat-based potting soil will be your best bet. This plant also prefers soil with a slightly acidic pH, somewhere between 6.5 and 6.9 on the pH scale.
Finding a good watering routine for your calathea rosy can be difficult. They need to be kept in moist soil at all times, since they are not drought tolerant. Letting the plant dry out between waterings increases the risk of pest infestations, such as spider mites. At the same time, overwatering to keep the soil moist can lead to root rot or plant death.
Wow – no wonder so many plant owners find watering this plant the most difficult part of care! In order to properly water the calathea rosy, water the soil all around until it is moist.
Do not allow standing puddles to form, since that means you are overwatering. Wait at least a week between waterings, and test out the first inch of soil each day to ensure it is still moist.
When you feel that the first inch of soil is drying out, water until it is once again moist. Browning or drooping leaves are signs that the plant needs to be watered. Remember to scale back during the winter, when the plant is not actively growing. Work together with your plant and you’ll find a routine in no time!
When it comes to temperature, this plant values consistency. Much like with humidity, the calathea rosy needs constant warm temperatures to maintain its growth. Sudden cold snaps or drafts should be avoided, as they can shock the tropical plant.
The ideal temperature range for this plant is between 65°F and 75°F (18°C-24°C). The lowest possible temperature it will tolerate is about 60°F, or 15°C.
This plant does best with a slow-release fertilizer applied yearly, with a liquid fertilizer to be added every three months (with the exception of winter) in order to ensure that the bright foliage maintains its growth.
Here are some elements to look out for to make your plant really pop:
Nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium are the magic ingredients for a great fertilizer! Additions like calcium and magnesium are an excellent way to promote growth.
Speaking of growth, exactly how big does the calathea rosy get? Well, it is a relatively fast growing plant during the growing season, so you can expect a growing rate of at least a few centimeters each week. The average height of a mature calathea rosy is about 16 inches, or a little over 40 sentiments.
The maximum height this plant can achieve is typically a little over two feet, around 60 centimeters. It is a compact plant that will fit well in a bedroom or living room. If you want this plant to grow as much as possible, use regular fertilizer in the growing season and maintain high humidity.
Let’s say that you love this plant so much, you want another one just like it! Propagating is an easy way to grow a brand new plant from the mature one you already own. When it comes to the calathea rosy, the best way to propagate is by division. Here are the steps you should take to successfully propagate this plant:
- Learn when your plant stops actively growing, as this is when it is time to find a new pot. Propagating during repotting is the easiest method.
- Ready a new pot for the mature plant. While wearing gloves, remove the plant from the old pot and hold it in the air so that the roots are visible.
- Examine where the roots naturally separate and identify a section to be divided.
- Divide the roots, following along and also removing the stems and leaves from the chosen section. Use a clean knife to cut away when needed.
- Repot the original plant, and place the new section in a small container of soil. Make sure the soil is constantly moist, but avoid overwatering,
With any luck, you should soon have a brand new calathea rosy!
While this plant may be a bit of a diva in terms of water and humidity, repotting is an easy task that will be few and far between. You should be repotting your calathea rosy once every two years, preferably in early spring so that it can grow into the new container.
You will know it is time to repot this plant when roots begin to peek out from the drainage holes of the pot. You can also lift the plant from the pot if needed and judge if the roots are beginning to grow into each other. When you choose a new pot, select one only a few inches bigger with more room for the roots.
More good news: this plant does not need pruning! The compact size and mature height mean that you can allow it to grow and sit back and relax. The only time pruning will be needed is if you notice any withered or dying leaves that must be cut away. You can also prune at your own discretion, but it will not be required.
If you own any pets or have children, don’t worry! The calathea rosy is non-toxic to both humans and animals, even when ingested. Of course, it should still be kept out of the reach of any curious explorers; however, there are no ill effects when it is consumed. At most, there may be some mild irritation.
Spider mites are the most common pests you will be dealing with as the owner of a calathea rosy. They are drawn to dry environments and can crawl over the leaves and stem of the plant, causing small holes. Spider mites are hard to spot, but they leave sticky residue and holes in the leaves behind them.
To get rid of spider mites, scrub the leaves of the plant gently with either soapy water or rubbing alcohol. This should remove the mites on the leaves. Afterwards, use neem oil as a natural pesticide to keep them from returning.
Diseases and Issues
Root rot can be a problem when it comes to the calathea rosy, occurring when the plant is overwatered or placed in soil that does not drain well. Root rot can be spotted if the plant seems to be suffering from a lack of nutrients with no cause.
Lift the plant out of the pot, and you will see the root rot. It can be treated by cutting away the rotted roots and placing the plant in a new container of soil, though treatment is not always 100% effective.
Another issue owners of this plant can face is pseudomonas leaf spot, which is when reddish brown spots caused by a bacterial infection begin to appear on the leaves. This can be treated with a copper or bacterial spray applied liberally as a topical treatment. Look at nurseries or plant stores to find the best quality sprays for your plant.
FAQs – Your Questions Answered
Finally, we have some common questions that owners ask about the calathea rosy.
Calathea Crimson vs Calathea Rosy – What’s the Difference?
The calathea crimson is often compared to the rosy, mainly due to the fact that both have a pink center on the leaves. However, the calathea crimson has a border of a very deep black-ish green, whereas the calathea rosy has a border of a lighter, forest green color.
Calathea Makoyana (Peacock Plant) vs Calathea Rosy – What’s the Difference?
The difference between the peacock plant and the calathea rosy is that the leaves of the peacock plant typically have pink undersides rather than surface. They also have a stem-like pattern, whereas the calathea rosy has a pink center on the front side of the leaves, edged by dark green.
Why Does My Calathea Roseopicta Have Yellow Leaves?
The most common reason for yellow leaves is that the plant is being overwatered. Allow more time to pass between waterings and the issue should be resolved. You can photograph the leaves every week to track the return or loss of coloring.
Why Does my Calathea have Limp and Weak Stems?
Limp and weak stems may be a sign that your calathea rosy has been subjected to cold temperatures. Try turning up the heat and seeing if that helps! If not, droopy stems can also be a sign of overwatering.
Why Does My Calathea Rosy Have Brown Tips?
Brown tips at the end of the leaves are classic signs of low humidity levels and generally dry air. To fix it, try raising the humidity with a humidifier or steam. The brown tips should disappear in no time!
Does the Calathea Rosy Ever Produce Flowers?
The calathea rosy can occasionally produce flowers, though they will be small and hard to notice. These blooms are usually white or purple and appear during the growing season. They may appear between the leaves of the plant.
What Do Black or Brown Spots on my Rosy Calathea Mean?
These spots can have several causes. Brown spots can be signs that the plant needs filtered water, as tap water can sometimes include harsh minerals. Black and brown spots can also be signs of a fungal or bacterial infection, in which case you will need topical treatments to fix the infection.
The calathea rosy is truly a dazzling plant that has a lot of potential. If you are lucky enough to own one, make sure you treat it with care!