There’s a certain joy that comes with tending to the lush foliage of indoor plants, where the very act of nurturing them provides both a sense of accomplishment and serenity.
One such joy to behold and nurture is the Calathea Roseopicta ‘Corona‘. Known for its spectacular foliage, the ‘Corona’ is a popular choice among houseplant enthusiasts, and rightly so. Its beautiful patterned leaves and easy care make it an ideal indoor companion.
The plant’s propagation is mainly via division, which, while it requires a little effort, promises rewarding results in the form of several new plants. Also, here is a detailed article on How to Propagate Calathea Roseopicta ‘Corona’
Care Basics of Calathea Roseopicta ‘Corona’
Before we delve into the detailed care, let’s get a quick overview of the plant care and maintenance aspects.
|Indirect, Low to Medium
|5.5-6.5 (Slightly Acidic)
|Well-draining, Peat-based Potting Mix
|Balanced (20-20-20), Monthly during growth period
|Minimal, As needed
|Spring and Summer
|Watering Can, Pruners, Pot, Peat-based Potting Mix, Fertilizer, Thermometer, Humidity Meter
A. Light requirements for this plant
Placing your Calathea ‘Corona’ near a north or east-facing window is ideal. The light coming through these windows is usually less intense and can be filtered through a sheer curtain if necessary. If you don’t have such windows, you can use artificial lights. Fluorescent lights or specialized indoor plant lights can be used to supplement or replace natural light. Try to maintain a consistent light source and move your plant gradually if any transition in light is needed.
B. Types of light exposure
Calathea Roseopicta ‘Corona’ flourishes in conditions that simulate its native rainforest environment, which means bright but filtered or indirect light. Direct sunlight should be avoided as it can burn the delicate leaves, leading to browning and loss of the vibrant leaf patterns. If you notice the colors on your Calathea’s leaves becoming faded or washed out, it might be a sign of too much light.
C. How to provide proper light to this plant
The plant can tolerate low light conditions, although growth may be slower and the leaves may not display their full vibrant colors. Medium light exposure is optimal, provided it is indirect. High light exposure is suitable if it is well diffused or indirect. Strong, direct light will cause damage.
When it comes to planting your Calathea Roseopicta ‘Corona’, consider its tropical origins. It thrives in moist, well-draining soil and a warm, humid environment.
A. How to plant this houseplant
Start by choosing a pot with drainage holes to prevent waterlogging, which can lead to root rot. Use a well-draining, peat-based potting mix – a combination of one part perlite or coarse sand, two parts peat, and two parts compost should work well. This will help keep the plant’s roots sufficiently aerated and moist.
Firstly, place a layer of potting mix in the pot. Then, place your Calathea ‘Corona’, spreading its roots gently over the mix. Add more mix around the roots until they are completely covered, pressing down gently to provide stability. Water thoroughly after planting to settle the soil around the roots.
B. Location for planting this plant
As discussed in the light requirements, the plant should be located where it can receive low to medium indirect light. Additionally, as a tropical plant, the Calathea ‘Corona’ appreciates a warm environment with high humidity. A bathroom or kitchen, where humidity tends to be higher, could be an ideal location, provided there’s suitable light.
However, if your home environment is dry, consider using a humidifier or placing your plant on a pebble tray filled with water to increase humidity. The evaporation from the tray will provide the plant with the needed humidity. Just ensure the base of the pot isn’t sitting in the water, to avoid root rot.
Water is vital for all plants, but Calathea Roseopicta ‘Corona’ has particular watering needs that require special attention.
Calathea Roseopicta ‘Corona’ prefers evenly moist soil, reflecting its tropical origin. That said, it does not appreciate waterlogged soil or standing water, which can lead to root rot.
How Often to Water
The watering frequency for this plant is typically once a week, but this can change depending on the season and the conditions in your home. During the warmer, growing months, your ‘Corona’ might need watering more often, possibly every 5-7 days. In the cooler months, you might only need to water it every 10-14 days.
The best way to determine if your Calathea needs water is to feel the soil. When the top inch of the soil feels dry to touch, it’s time to water.
Signs of Overwatering and Under-Watering
Overwatering often manifests as yellowing leaves, limp stems, and the development of a moldy smell – these are all signs of potential root rot. On the other hand, under-watered Calathea may exhibit curling or crisping leaves, often with brown edges.
Tips for Proper Watering Techniques
When watering your ‘Corona’, it’s best to use lukewarm or room temperature water. Cold water can shock the plant, resulting in leaf spots. Pour water evenly across the surface of the soil until it starts to run out of the drainage holes. Wait until the water is fully drained before placing the pot back in its saucer or decorative container to prevent waterlogging.
Also, consider the quality of your water. Calathea Roseopicta ‘Corona’ is sensitive to certain chemicals often found in tap water, like fluoride and chlorine. Using rainwater or distilled water can be beneficial, or let your tap water sit out overnight before using it to allow some chemicals to evaporate.
Soil and Fertilization
The Calathea Roseopicta ‘Corona’ prefers a well-draining, peat-based soil that can retain moisture without becoming waterlogged. You can prepare a suitable mix using two parts peat, two parts compost, and one part perlite or coarse sand.
Importance of Proper Soil Drainage
Proper soil drainage is essential to prevent root rot. While the ‘Corona’ loves moist soil, it doesn’t appreciate standing water. A well-draining soil ensures that excess water drains away quickly, preventing the roots from sitting in water.
During the growing season (spring and summer), you should feed your ‘Corona’ once a month with a balanced houseplant fertilizer. A water-soluble fertilizer with a ratio of 20-20-20 (Nitrogen-Phosphorus-Potassium) is a good choice. Always follow the package instructions for dilution rates.
It’s important not to over-fertilize your Calathea, as this can lead to salt buildup in the soil, which can damage the roots. If you notice the leaf edges becoming brown and crispy, this could be a sign of over-fertilization.
Temperature and Humidity
Temperature and humidity are essential factors that greatly influence the well-being of your Calathea Roseopicta ‘Corona’.
Optimal Temperature Range
The ideal temperature for your ‘Corona’ is between 60-75°F (15-24°C). This plant can tolerate a bit of temperature fluctuation, but it’s best to avoid sudden drastic changes. Cold drafts from windows, doors, or air conditioning units can shock the plant, so be mindful about where you place it. Similarly, ensure it’s not situated near heating units during winter, which can dry out the leaves.
Originating from the rainforest, the Calathea ‘Corona’ loves high humidity. Ideally, it should be kept in an environment with a humidity level above 50%. Lower humidity can lead to brown leaf tips and slower growth.
How to Adjust Temperature and Humidity for Optimal Growth
Regulating temperature in your home is often straightforward through heating or air conditioning. However, increasing humidity can be a challenge, especially in drier climates or during winter months when indoor heating can reduce humidity levels drastically.
Consider placing a humidifier near your plant or grouping plants together, as they naturally release moisture into the air. Another popular method is placing your ‘Corona’ on a pebble tray filled with water. As the water evaporates, it creates a mini-humid environment for the plant. Just ensure the base of the pot isn’t sitting in the water.
Pests and Diseases
Despite the easy care, the Calathea Roseopicta ‘Corona’ can sometimes be affected by common houseplant pests and diseases.
Spider mites, aphids, and mealybugs are the common pests that you might find on your ‘Corona’. Spider mites are tiny spider-like pests that are often found under leaves and may leave fine webs. Aphids are small, often green bugs that can be found on new growth. Mealybugs look like small pieces of cotton and can be found in leaf axils, under leaves, or on the stems.
Root rot is a common problem, usually caused by overwatering or poor drainage. Signs of root rot are typically yellowing leaves, wilting, and a moldy smell. Leaf spot diseases can also occur, often due to overwatering or poor air circulation.
Prevention and Treatment Methods
For pest control, regular inspection is key. Check your plant every time you water for signs of pests. If you catch the infestation early, you can often wash the pests off with a mild soapy water solution or use a cotton swab dipped in alcohol for mealybugs. For more serious infestations, consider using an insecticidal soap or neem oil.
Preventing diseases mostly involves proper care – avoid overwatering, ensure good air circulation around your plant, and don’t let water sit on the leaves. If your plant does get a disease, isolate it immediately from your other plants to prevent spread. You may need to repot your plant if root rot has set in – trim off the affected roots, treat with a fungicide if necessary, and replant in fresh, well-draining soil.
Pruning is an essential part of the care routine for the Calathea Roseopicta ‘Corona’, helping the plant to look its best and promoting healthy growth.
Reasons for Pruning Calathea Roseopicta ‘Corona’
There are several reasons to prune your Calathea. Removing damaged or diseased leaves not only improves the overall appearance of the plant but also prevents the spread of diseases. Pruning can help maintain a more compact, appealing shape. It can also help the plant save energy, as it will no longer have to support leaves that are beyond repair.
How to Prune Calathea Roseopicta ‘Corona’
When pruning your ‘Corona’, use a pair of clean, sharp scissors or pruning shears to prevent any potential spread of disease. Identify any leaves that are yellowing, brown, or otherwise damaged and cut them off at the base of the stem. Avoid tearing leaves as it can cause unnecessary stress to the plant. After pruning, remember to clean your tools again to prevent the spread of potential diseases to other plants.
There are several captivating varieties of Calathea Roseopicta, each with unique, stunning foliage.
- Calathea Roseopicta ‘Medallion‘: This variety features large, round leaves with a dark green border and a central feather-like stripe of light pink and green. The back of the leaves has a deep red-purple color, adding to its appeal.
- Calathea Roseopicta ‘Dottie‘: The ‘Dottie’ is distinctive for its deep green leaves with a rich, dark purple, almost black coloration and a vivid pink midrib.
- Calathea Roseopicta ‘Rosy’: The ‘Rosy’ variety showcases rose-colored midrib and pink hues all around the leaf, contrasting beautifully with its dark green edges.
While caring for a Calathea Roseopicta ‘Corona’, you may encounter several common problems:
- Leaf Curling: Often a sign of under-watering or low humidity. Ensure the plant is receiving adequate water and is in a high-humidity environment.
- Brown Leaf Tips: Typically a symptom of low humidity or water quality issue. Increasing humidity or using distilled water can help address this.
- Yellowing Leaves: This can be a sign of overwatering, under-watering, or too much light. Ensure the plant’s watering schedule and location are appropriate.
- Limp Stems: This is usually a sign of overwatering or possibly cold drafts. Make sure the plant is receiving the right amount of water and is kept in a suitable temperature range.
- Faded Leaf Color: A symptom of too much direct sunlight. Move your ‘Corona’ to a location where it receives indirect light.
Tips for Better Care
Caring for the Calathea Roseopicta ‘Corona’ can be an enjoyable experience, as long as you understand the plant’s needs and provide it with the right environment.
Basic Level Tips:
- Avoid Direct Sunlight: This plant prefers bright, indirect light. Avoid placing it in direct sunlight, as this can cause the leaves to fade or even burn.
- Consistent Watering: The soil should be kept consistently moist, but not waterlogged. Wait until the top inch of the soil is dry before watering again.
- High Humidity: Maintain a high humidity level for your ‘Corona’. Use a humidifier or place it on a pebble tray filled with water to increase humidity.
- Use the Right Soil: A well-draining soil mix that retains some moisture is ideal. A peat-based mix with compost and perlite or coarse sand works well.
Advanced Level Tips:
- Use Filtered Water: The ‘Corona’ is sensitive to chemicals like fluoride and chlorine often found in tap water. Using distilled water, rainwater, or tap water left to sit overnight can prevent leaf browning and crisping.
- Regular Fertilization: Fertilize once a month during the growing season with a balanced houseplant fertilizer. Make sure to dilute according to the package instructions.
- Regular Inspection: Check your ‘Corona’ regularly for signs of pests or diseases. Early detection makes treatment easier and more effective.
Frequently Asked Questions
Leaf curling in ‘Corona’ is often a sign of under-watering or low humidity. Make sure the plant is receiving adequate water and is in a high-humidity environment.
While the ‘Corona’ can tolerate low light conditions, it won’t thrive. For optimal growth, place your plant in a location where it can receive bright, indirect light.
You can increase humidity by using a humidifier, placing the plant on a pebble tray filled with water, grouping plants together, or misting the plant regularly.
Brown edges are usually a sign of low humidity or water quality issues. Increase the humidity around the plant, and try using distilled or rainwater to water the plant.
Calathea plants, including the ‘Corona’, are non-toxic to cats and dogs. However, it’s always a good idea to prevent pets from chewing on houseplants.