Pink Calathea is a house plant that can bring a dash of tropics into any space. The dark green leaves with white lines and irregular pink spots surely look enormously attractive, especially if the plant is well-cared for.
Two or more Calathea species may go under the common or trade name “Pink Calathea.”
- Calathea ornata, the most common Calathea species, has dark green striped foliage with purplish-to-burgundy leaf undersides. Also, it usually has showy, irregular pink markings. The amount of pinks and reds can depend on the cultivar.
- Calathea roseopicta or Rose-painted Calathea is the rosiest Calathea species, with burgundy leaf undersides. Some cultivars like ‘Rosy’ have a large part of their upper surface in pink. C. roseopicta is said to be a bit more fragile and fussy than its more familiar cousin, C. ornata.
However, since “Pink Calateha” is not a precise scientific name, any Calathea with pink features could be named so in the trade.
If you are unsure which Calathea species you have or want to get – don’t worry. Care for all the available Calathea species is very similar, if not the same.
What are the needs of a Pink Calathea?
Read on to find out what are the Calathea light and watering requirements.
What are Pink Calathea light requirements?
Like most jungle plants, Calathea prefers bright but indirect light, similar to the dappled shade provided by tall tropical canopies. Placing an indoor Calathea Ornata near an east or west-facing window just out of the reach of direct sunlight will perfectly satisfy the plant’s lighting needs.
North-facing windows will also do if you put the plant directly on a windowsill or closest to the glass.
Suppose you live in a warm climate with temperatures not falling below 60 and ideally above 70 Fahrenheit, as well as with sufficient air humidity (moderate to high). In that case, you can consider bringing your Calatheas outside during the summer. In that case, try to provide the same light conditions the plants had indoors – bright or moderately bright and indirect.
On your plant’s first day outside, don’t hesitate to take some additional time to monitor it. The goal of the check is to make sure that no direct sunlight falls on the foliage, as it could easily cause burns.
Pink Calathea water requirements
- Calatheas love water and need to be watered regularly with no drying-out periods. The substrate must never be soggy. Ideally, it should be moist but without excessive water.
- It is healthy to allow for the top half inch of the soil to dry before watering again, but not more than that.
- If you want to make sure that Calathea is getting ideal soil moisture, you should either be experienced in doing finger checks or get a soil moisture meter.
- As a general rule, the measure of 1 or 2 is too dry for Calatheas; water them when the meter is approaching the number 3.
- If you are taking your plant outdoors during the warm season, you may have to increase watering frequency when the temperatures are high.
- If the plant gets watered by rain, skip an additional round.
- Also, good drainage and water-retaining but well-draining potting mix are essential for ensuring proper soil humidity levels. For example, specialty mixes for African violets can be an excellent choice.
However, getting the amount of water right is no trouble compared to getting the water quality right.
What type of water does Calathea need?
All Calatheas are notoriously fussy when it comes to water quality and content.
Being sensitive to several minerals commonly present in tap water, Calatheas need rainwater, groundwater, or filtered water to thrive. As a last resort, you can use unmodified tap water that has sat out over the night, so at least chlorine and fluoride would go away through evaporation.
Signs of watering issues in Calatheas are the following:
- Browning and withering of foliage that begin at leaf edges are usually a sign that the plant is not getting enough water.
- Yellowing of the leaves signifies poor water quality and a high mineral burden.
Summing it up
To thrive, Calatheas require:
- Bright spot but with no indirect sunlight.
- Frequent watering that keeps the substrate moist but not soggy; the water quality should be equal to rainwater, filtered water, or standing tap water if there is no alternative, with low water “hardness” (low amount of minerals, chlorine, and fluoride).
- High air humidity
Getting the basics of care right for Pink Calathea is not easy – but you will be rewarded by the amazing coloration of your jungle plant’s foliage.