Calathea jungle velvet
Calathea warscewiczii is a wonderful big leafed prayer plant that produces lanceoate leaves that have a dark green background and an attractive fishtail pattern on the upper side of the leaves.
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Purple Foliage Undersides
The beloved purple undersides of the plant’s foliage gives a hint as to the light conditions Calathea needs. In its native habitat, the Jungle Velvet Calathea grows on the rainforest floor in limited light conditions.
Plants in these environments often evolve purple undersides to the leaves – after the light passes through the green tops of the leaves, purple coloured undersides reflect the useful parts of the light spectrum back through the leaf. This allows the plant to effectively consume twice as much light, and allows it to survive in its native limited light conditions.
Care & Size Guidance
It’s best kept in a room where humidity is high, like a bathroom. During summer it should be kept away from direct sunlight. In winter, mist the plant every other day to increase the humidity around it. You can use also a humidifier to improve the overall humidity in the room.
A place with bright but indirect light is ideal. Avoid south facing spots with too much intense direct sunlight, unless you diffuse the light with a sheer curtain.
Like other Calatheas this plant enjoys high humidity, but overly wet soil can quickly lead to root rot.
Every now and then, the Calatheas will flower when kept as a house plant. Following this, the plant dies back and will restart growing after a few months. Let the soil dry out completely and keep it in a dark, cool place for a couple of months.
When ready to bring it back alive, place it in a warm and humid spot with plenty of diffused light. Water the soil slowly to allow it to soak up the water. A good trigger for new growth is a weak solution of cold brewed black tea or a mild fertiliser.