Ever laid eyes on Calathea Ornata, also known as the Pinstripe Plant?
Its bright patterns, pink stripes and captivating colors are hard to miss.
If you're thinking of adding this beautiful plant to your collection or simply curious about its care, you're in the right place.
In this ultimate guide, you'll find practical tips about everything from where to place it at your home to how often to water your Pinstripe Plant.
Ready to embark on this green journey?
Then keep reading! 👇
#1 The Origin of Calathea Ornata ✋
1.1. Many names of Pinstripe Plant
Calathea Ornata is known by many names.
Originally, this plant was classified under the Calathea genus and therefore called "Calathea oranata" However, recently, experts reclassified it to the "Goeppertia" genus after genetic research advancements.
Still, in everyday talk and in many homes and nurseries, it's often referred to by its old name, Calathea.
It's also often called the "Pinstripe Plant" because of the striking pink lines that pattern its leaves.
So regardless, of what name you hear, it's all about the same indoor plant.
For simplicity, I will also refer to this plant as to Calathea Ornata or to Pinstripe Plant.
1.2. Calathea Ornata Facts:
There is one cool thing this plant will surprise you (besides striking foliage)!
Their leaves move!
At night, Calathea Ornata's leaves close up, and in the morning, they open wide again, almost like they're giving a big morning stretch.
Under ideal conditions, with the right care and love, this plant can grow to 2 feet tall.
1.3. Calathea Ornata Family and Relatives
Calathea Ornata is a member of the Marantaceae family.
This isn't a small family (around 550 species) 🤯!
There are many other popular indoor plants in this group, like the well-known Prayer Plant or the beautiful Arrowroot.
1.4. Native Habitats and Climate
So, where did this unique plant come from?
Calathea Ornata's first home was in the rainforests of countries like Colombia and Venezuela.
If you were to visit these places, you'd feel warm, wet, and humid climate.
So these conditions are naturally perfect for your Calathea Ornata. It is a tropical plant. 🍹
Think of it: the warm sun, the gentle rain, and tall trees giving just the right amount of shade.
The climate in these areas is tropical, with frequent rains and stable temperatures.
1.5. Growing Calathea Ornata: Is it Hard?
With its stunning pinstripes and unique behaviors, you might wonder: is this plant hard to care for?
Calathea Ornata is a high-maintenance plant and is usually considered suitable for more experienced plant owners.
However, if you pay attention to its needs and mimic its natural environment, it can be a happy member of your plant family, no matter if you are a new plant parent or have extensive experience.
So, with a bit of love and care, you can have a slice of the South America rainforest right in your living room.
So continue reading to learn more about Calathea Ornata Care.
#2 Choosing the Perfect Pinstripe Plant 🕵
Selecting a healthy Calathea Ornata is the first step to ensure it thrives in your home.
Here's a comprehensive guide to choosing the best indoor plant:
2.1. Signs of a Healthy Calathea Ornata
Root Ball: If you are buying in a physical store, gently extract the plant from its pot to inspect the roots. Healthy roots should be firm, cream or slightly yellow in color.
Leaf Inspection 🕵: Calathea Ornata's charm lies in its leaves. They should be vibrant without any signs of yellowing, brown edges, black spots, or any other damage.
New Growth: Choose the plants with new shoots or emerging leaves from the soil. This indicates a plant that's thriving and growing and therefore has a higher chance to flourish at your home.
2.2. Red Flags to Avoid When Buying ⛔
Root Inspection: Avoid plants that are root-bound or have dark brown, black, or mushy roots, suggesting possible overwatering, root rot, and diseases.
Leaf Problems: Leaves with brown tips, edges, black spots, or yellow stems are indicators of potential problems. Do not buy this plant.
Pest Presence: Always check the plant's underside and new shoots. These areas are often the hideouts for unwanted pests such as spider mites. They can be detected as white fine thin web.
2.3. Temperature Sensitivity
If you're shopping in cooler weather (below 60 degrees Fahrenheit), ensure the plant is wrapped up before leaving the store. Calathea Ornata is sensitive to cold, and such a precaution will prevent potential cold damage.
2.4. Best Places to Purchase
Your best bet for a high-quality Calathea Ornata is a local nursery or specialized plant store where the plants are often nurtured by experts and where you can examine them by yourself.
If you only have an online option, always choose sellers with excellent reviews. You can also ask the store to send you the pictures of the specific plant that they are going to ship to you.
#3 Lighting Requirements 💡
All plants need light to survive. Light takes part in a photosynthesis process that gives your plant all sugars and nutrients to survive.
So it's extremely important (especially for such a high-maintenance plant as the Calathea Pinstripe Plant) to keep your plant happy and give it enough light.
So let's chat about how to make your plant thrive with the perfect lighting.
3.1. Ideal lighting Conditions
Calathea Ornata thrives in indirect, bright light. Do not place your Calathe Ornata in direct sunlight as it will lead to leaf burn, causing brown patches and discolorations.
Remember that it's a tropical plant that in its natural habitat grows under tree canopy.
They can also survive a low light, but the growth rate will be slower.
How do you know that your plant receives a bright indirect light?
Read below to pick a perfect spot at your place. 👇
#4 Perfect Placement for a Thriving Plant
4.1. Window Preferences: Direction and Intensity 🪟
For those in the Northern Hemisphere:
North-facing windows: These offer consistent but softer light. Great for your plant, but keep it closer to the window.
East-facing windows: Morning sunshine and indirect sunlight throughout the day! This is a top pick. Your plant gets gentle morning light without the harsh afternoon rays.
South-facing windows: Brightest of them all! If you choose this, keep your plant a bit further back to avoid direct sunlight, or just add the sheer curtain.
West-facing windows: Afternoon sunlight can be strong. Keep your Calathea Ornata away from direct light to avoid sunburn.
4.2. Temperature: Feeling Just Right
Your Pinstripe Calathea loves warmth.
Aim for a cozy warm temperature range of 65-75°F (18-24°C).
Sudden temperature drops or cold drafts can make your Pinstripe Calathea unhappy.
So keep it away from drafty spots or cold blasts from air conditioners.
4.3. Humidity: Creating a Tropical Haven
Dream of a tropical paradise? Your plant does too!
Being a tropical houseplant, Pinstripe Calathea thrives in humid environments with humidity levels of 50% and above. Here's how you can boost the moisture:
Misting: Give your plant a gentle spray daily.
Humidifier: A game-changer, especially in drier homes or climates.
Pebble Trays: Place a tray with water and pebbles under your plant. As the water evaporates, it increases the humidity around your plant. Just make sure that the plant stands on the pebbles and not in the water (it shouldn't have direct access to water).
Team Player: Place it close to other plants. As they transpire and evaporate the moisture, altogether they will create a micro-climate and therefore, a humid environment.
#5 Watering Requirements 💦
When it comes to Pinstripe Calathea, it enjoys staying hydrated.
But how to ensure it gets what it needs?
Let's dive in below!
5.1. When to Water Calathea Ornata?
Your Calathea Ornata thrives in an evenly moist soil. A completely dry soil isn't acfceptible for the Calathea Plants.
However, make sure it's root are not standing in the water, else it may cause a root rot!
When watering, give it a thorough shower and let all the excess water drain.
5.2. Over-watering vs. Under-watering: Dancing on a Tightrope
How do you know when it's the right time to water and how to keep the soil lightly moist but not soggy?
Here are a few reliable methods to check:
The Finger Method: Trusty and timeless. Dig your finger into the soil about an inch deep. Is it wet? Hold off on the watering. If it's dry, fetch that watering can.
Moisture Meters: For those who love a gadget! Stick it to the soil about 2-3 inches in. Wait 30-60 seconds. See the readings of the soil moisture. You never want the soil be completely dry. If the reading in the "dry zone" or lower than 4.0 on a scale from 4.0 to 10.0, it's time to water.
Leaf Talk: Your plant communicates, especially with its leaves. If they curl in, it's hinting at thirst.
5.3. Water Quality
Ah, the age-old question!
Just like you'd pick a favorite drink, your Pinstripe Calathea has its preferences when it comes to H2O. Let's review it below:
Tap Water: Convenient, yes. But beware! Tap water often contains minerals and chlorine that might not sit well with your finicky friend. If you notice brown tips on the leaves, your plant might be silently protesting against tap water.
Filtered Water: Think of this as the spa treatment for your plant. Free of those pesky chemicals found in tap water, filtered water is like giving your Calathea Ornata a luxurious soak. If you're keen on seeing it thrive, this might be your go-to.
Rain Water: Nature's very own! If you can collect rainwater, your Calathea Ornata will love you for it. It's soft, natural, and devoid of any added chemicals. It's like letting your plant sip on a natural elixir.
#6 Soil Essentials 🪴
Getting the soil right for your Calathea Ornata is very important for the overall plant health.
6.1. The Best Plant's Soil Mix for Calathea Ornata
DIY Mix: If you're feeling adventurous and want to mix your own, here's a recipe your plant will love:
2 parts peat: Provides the base and retains just the right amount of moisture.
1 part perlite: Think of this as the airy crunch in your mix. It improves aeration.
1 part pine bark: Adds texture and ensures good drainage to prevent root rot.
Store-Bought Mix: Not in the DIY mood? No worries! Look for a high-quality potting mix that's designed for tropical plants. These mixes usually have the right ingredients to make your Calathea Ornata feel at home.
6.2. Ensuring Proper Drainage
Remember, a soggy Calathea is a sad Calathea. Whether you're going DIY or store-bought, ensure your soil mix drains well. This will keep you Pnstripe Calathea healthy by preventing the root rot.
#7 Potting and Repotting 🪴
Navigating the world of potting and repotting is like hosting a housewarming party for your Calathea Ornata.
Let's make it feel both welcome and comfy!
7.1. Picking the Perfect Pot
When on the hunt for your plant's next dream home, keep these essentials in mind:
Drainage Holes: This is crucial. It's the escape route for any excess water, ensuring your Calathea doesn’t sit in a water.
Size Matters: Upgrade the living space, but don't go overboard. The new pot should be 1 to 2 inches larger in diameter than its current one. It gives the roots room to stretch but not so much that can lead to accumulation of extra water and potential problems.
Saucer: If you place a saucer beneath, remember to empty any standing water post-watering. It prevents your plant from drinking this water from the bottom.
7.2. Repotting Wisdom 🎓
Repotting is more of an event than a regular chore. Here are some nuggets of wisdom:
Frequency: Think of repotting as a biennial or triennial event. repot and give it a fresh soil every 2-3 years.
Seasonality: Spring into action! The best time to repot is during spring when your plant is eager and ready to grow.
Transition: Got a new Calathea Ornata? Let it acclimate to your home first before even thinking of repotting. Unless, of course, there are glaring issues like root rot or a root-bound situation.
#8 Troubleshooting: Common Problems 🤒
Plants, like us, have their ups and downs.
They actually talk to us trying to communicate when they feel unwell.
Let's decode the signals your Calathea Ornata might be sending to help it thrive.
8.1. Decoding Leaf Signals
Crispy Leaf Edges: If the edges of your plant's leaves are turning crispy brown, it might be either asking: "Humidity, please!" or "Shield me from that strong sunlight!" Keep the air moist and ensure no direct sun for your Pinstripe Calathea. Remember, damaged leaves won't fully recover. Feel free to trim the brown edges or remove the leaf if it's looking particularly sad.
Drooping/Curling: When the leaves droop or curl inwards, your Calathea might be dramatically announcing its thirst. Check its watering routine. Too little? Give it a drink.
Black Spots & Yellow Leaves: Black patches often point to overwatering, while yellow leaves can hint at too much water or inadequate light. Adjust your care routine, and keep in mind that affected leaves won’t bounce back to their green glory. It's okay to give them a gentle snip.
No New Growth: If your Calathea Ornata seems to be on a growth hiatus, it might be craving a more light or an overall change in its environment. Review its needs – from light to fertilization – and make tweaks as needed.
8.2. Root Rot: The Underground Enemy
Squishy, smelly roots? Root rot alert! Time to play plant doctor:
Remove the plant from the pot gently.
Trim damaged roots.
Repot in fresh, well-draining soil. Remember, it's all about that balance – water wisely!
8.3. Common Pests: How to Tackle Them 🪲
Spider Mites: Tiny spider-like creatures that love dry conditions. You might spot webbing. First, quarantine your plant. Clean the leaves with an insecticidal soap or other treatment following the manufacturer instruction.
Aphids: Small, green or black bugs often found on new growth. Quarantine, remove affected leaves, and treat with a gentle pesticide as per instructions.
Mealybugs: White, cotton-like pests. These sneaky critters hide in leaf folds. Isolate the affected plant, remove and dispose of infested leaves, and apply insecticidal soap or neem oil.
#9 Fertilization 🧪
9.1. Ideal Fertilizers for Calathea Ornata
Your Pinstripe Calathea isn't too picky, but it does love a balanced houseplant fertilizer. Opt for a liquid fertilizer with equal parts nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. This blend ensures lush green growth and strengthens the roots, making it the equivalent of a gourmet dish for your plant.
9.2. Fertilization Frequency and Schedule
Fertilzie monthly during the growing season. From spring through early autumn, serve up that nutrient-rich mix once a month. Come winter, it's time for your Calathea to rest, so hold off on the fertilizing activities.
#10 Advanced Tips and Techniques 🧑💻
Ready to level up your plant-care game?
These pro strategies are to make your Calathea Ornata more beautiful and healthy!
10.1. Pruning for Growth and Aesthetics ✂
Give your plant a little trim, and you'll be rewarded with vibrant new growth.
Regularly snip off yellow or damaged leaves.
Not only does this boost the plant's energy, but it also enhances its visual appeal, making it ready for any plant beauty pageant!
10.2. Self-Watering Pots
Want to simplify your watering routine and ensure consistent moisture? Consider a self-watering pot.
These pots come equipped with a reservoir that provides water to the plant as needed, ensures stable water retention, and keeps the soil moist. It holds the perfect balance - the plant always has access to water, but never stands in the excess moisture.
10.3. Leaf Care: A Quick Refresh
Dusty leaves can hinder your Calathea Ornata's ability to thrive. Every couple of weeks, give those leaves a gentle wipe with a damp cloth. This simple act removes dust, helping the plant absorb more light and grow faster.
#11 Propagation Magic 🪄
If you ever thought of propagating Calathea Ornata, here are few tips and step by step guide to follow:
11.1. The Right Time to Propagate
Timing is everything. Spring and early summer, when your plant is in its active growing phase, are the ideal seasons to make new plants. The plant has lots of energy, increasing the chances of successful propagation.
11.2. Division Method Explained ➗
The division is the main method to propagate Calathea Ornata. Here's a quick guide:
Gentle Uproot: Carefully remove your entire plant from its pot and lay it on a flat surface.
Root Inspection: Separate the plant into sections, ensuring each section has a healthy set of roots and at least one leaf.
New Homes: Plant each division into a pot filled with the right soil mix.
Tender Care: Water them gently and place them in indirect light. In a few weeks, you'll witness the growth of new Pinstripe Calatheas.
In this article, we've delved deep into Pinstripe Calathea's origins, advices on how to pick the best plant from the store, and tips and tricks on everything from lighting to potting to ensure you grow a happy and beautiful indoor plant.
We've also addressed common problems and decoded their leafy signals, all while discovering the joy of propagation and sharing its beauty.
Did I miss anything?
Drop your thoughts, experiences, and tips in the comments below. 👇
And if you found this guide helpful, spread the love by sharing it with fellow plant parents.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) ❔
Can the Calathea Ornata survive in low light?
While the Calathea Ornata prefers bright, indirect light, it can tolerate low light conditions. However, in low light, its growth may slow, and its vibrant pinstripes may become less pronounced. It's best to provide it with as much indirect light as possible to showcase its true beauty.
Are Calathea Ornata plants pet-friendly?
Good news for pet owners! Calathea Ornata is non-toxic to both cats and dogs. However, it's always a good idea to place plants out of pets' reach, as they might be tempted to play with or nibble on the leaves.
👉 You Might Also Like: Top 12 Houseplants Safe for Cats (with Pictures) 😻
Can I grow Calathea Ornata Pinstripe outdoor?
Calathea Ornata is primarily an indoor plant. However, if you're in the U.S. and considering an outdoor spot for it, it thrives best in USDA Hardiness Zones 11-12. These zones mimic its native tropical climate, offering warmth and high humidity. In these zones, ensure it's placed in a shaded area, protected from direct sunlight. If you're outside these zones, it's best to keep Calathea Ornata indoors or, if you're adventurous, move it outside only during the warmer months, ensuring it's brought back in when temperatures drop.