Hey, fellow Calethea lovers! We all know that picking the perfect pot for our green buddies can make a big difference in their growth and happiness. In this article, we're going to explore everything you need to know about choosing the right pot for our beautiful Calethea! And if you're thinking about repotting it, here are some quick tips for you too!
Best Pots for Calathea
Here are the factors you need to consider to find the best pot for your Calathea:
A Calathea plant thrives in a pot that is 8 -10 inches wide with a depth of at least 8 inches. If the pot is too small, the roots will become overcrowded, and the plant won't have enough space to grow. On the other hand, a pot that is too large can lead to overwatering and root rot.
Ensure the pot has plenty of drainage holes to allow excess water to escape. A Calathea plant doesn't like to sit in standing water, or you’ll be dealing with root rot.
While some people believe that terracotta pots are a no-go for Calathea, it turns out that these breathable pots can still be a great option. They allow the roots to stay moist without becoming waterlogged, making them the perfect choice for maintaining optimal soil moisture levels.
- Ceramic pots are heavy and provide good insulation, which can help to keep your Calathea's roots at a stable temperature.
- Self-watering pots have a built-in reservoir that allows the plant to absorb water as needed. They are a great option for busy plant parents or those new to plant care.
- Pots made with recycled plastics and combined with materials like natural stone and wood are a sustainable and eco-friendly option for your Calathea. They are lightweight and affordable, making them a great choice for those on a budget. However, unlike traditional plastic pots, they provide better insulation and help to regulate moisture levels in the soil.
Tips for Growing Calathea
Calatheas prefer well-draining soil that doesn't hold onto moisture. A combination of 50% potting soil, 20% orchid bark, 20% charcoal, and 10% perlite is the ideal soil mix for this plant. This combination will allow for good drainage and aeration while retaining enough moisture to keep your plant happy and healthy. Also, the orchid bark and charcoal will help to keep the soil from compacting, which can lead to poor drainage and root rot.
Calathea plants require bright, indirect sunlight to flourish, as they typically grow on the shaded floors of jungles and forests, where they receive limited light through the treetops. Direct sunlight, on the other hand, can actually be harmful and cause the leaves to burn, which can lead to a loss of their beautiful, vibrant colors (Ambius, n.d.).
Calatheas prefer slightly acidic soil with a pH level near 6.5. Using soil that is too alkaline or too acidic can affect the plant's ability to absorb nutrients (UF, n.d.).
Calatheas don't require a lot of fertilizer, but a 10-10-10 (nitrogen-phosphorus-potassium) balanced, water-soluble fertilizer can help to promote growth and keep the plant healthy. Remember not to over-fertilize - once a month is ideal.
Calatheas don't like to sit in standing water, so it's important to water them only when the top inch of soil feels dry to the touch. Avoid overwatering, as this can cause root rot.
Signs that Indicate it's Time to Repot
- Root bound: One of the most common signs that your Calathea needs repotting is when it becomes root bound. You can tell if it is rootbound by checking the bottom of the pot. If you see roots circling the bottom of the pot or coming out of the drainage holes, it's time to repot.
- Stunted growth: If your Calathea's growth has slowed down or if it's not growing at all, it could be a sign that the plant has outgrown its current pot and needs more space.
- Soil dries too quickly: If you find that your Calathea needs watering more frequently than before, it may be because the root system has taken up too much space in the pot, and there is not enough soil to hold moisture.
Steps to Repotting Calathea
- Remove the plant from the old pot by gently tapping the bottom of the pot and sliding the plant out. If the plant is stubborn, you can carefully use a knife to loosen the soil around the edges of the pot.
- Gently separate the roots from the old soil and trim any dead or rotting roots with clean scissors.
- Add a layer of fresh, well-draining soil to the bottom of the new pot.
- Place the plant in the new pot, making sure it's centered and at the same depth as it was in the old pot.
- Fill in around the root ball with fresh potting soil, making sure to pack it in gently to eliminate air pockets.
- Water the plant thoroughly and allow the excess water to drain out of the bottom of the pot.
- Place the plant in a bright, indirect light and avoid direct sunlight for a few days to allow it to adjust to its new environment.
Ambius. (n.d.). All you need to know about Calathea plants. https://www.ambius.com/learn/plant-doctor/ultimate-guides/all-you-need-to-know-about-calathea-plants/
U.F. (n.d.). Calathea production guide. University of Florida. https://mrec.ifas.ufl.edu/foliage/folnotes/calathea.htm
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