How to Care for and Grow Your Calathea Medallion
The Calathea Medallion
AKA calathea roseopicta
How to care for and grow the Calathea Medallion
Part of the prayer plant family, the stunning Calathea Medallion is arguably one of Mother Nature’s most beautiful creations. Its large, “medallion”-like leaves appear to be painted with brushstrokes of deep green and fuschia tones, flourishing out into a bouquet of unmistakable, colorful foliage. But though this plant is an increasingly popular choice, it remains a relatively high-maintenance houseplant and requires a bit of extra TLC to keep those leaves perky and shining. Read on to find simple care tips and solutions for how to successfully care for and grow a Calathea Medallion.
Keep the soil evenly moist, never allowing it to completely dry out
When watering, take care not let the plant become oversaturated or waterlogged
In prime conditions, the Calathea Medallion grows relatively fast and can reach up to two feet in height
Fertilize once a month during spring and summer
Common problems with a Calathea Medallion
Curling leaves - underwatered
Symptom - leaves curling inwards
Cause - not enough water
Remedy - Remove your plant from its decorative pot and place in a sink or bowl. Water thoroughly and allow the plant to sit in water (the roots are drinking!) for a few hours. Remove it from the water, let it drain. Within 24 hours you will see a drastic improvement!
Brown edges - underwatered
Symptom - leaves turning brown at the edges
Cause - most likely underwatering, but could also be that the temperature is too cold or the air is too dry
Remedy - Be sure to keep a consistent watering schedule to ensure the plant’s soil is just moist to the touch. You may also mist the plant weekly to boost moisture levels, and make sure it is not placed near any air vents, heaters, or air conditioners.
Pale and/or wilting or droopy leaves - overwatering
Symptom - yellowing or wilting leaves
Cause - overwatering
Remedy - Allow the soil to air out, or change the soil entirely to reduce the risk of root rot.
How to maintain a beautiful and healthy Calathea Medallion
Take care of your Calathea Medallion and it will take care of you! Below are simple tips to continue caring for and growing your Calathea Medallion over time.
Pruning - To keep your plant healthy and strong, you may trim older or unhappy looking leaves. If there is just a small portion of a leaf that was damaged (due to underwatering, overwatering, etc), you can trim the leaf following the natural shape of the leaf.
Cleaning - Take each leaf between two soft tissue cloths and wipe off the top to reveal a healthy shine (also helps the plant soak in more light!).
Repotting - It is a good idea to repot your calathea once every year or every other year to give it fresh soil and nutrients.
When to repot - Once a year or every other year.
Pot sizing - if you want your plant to grow wider, find a nursery pot that’s 2” in diameter larger than the current pot. If you want your plant to stay the same size, you can reuse the same pot and simply change the soil.
Get your hands dirty - spread out newspaper on the floor, remove the plant from the pot and shake off as much of the old soil as possible so that you have clean roots. Place the plant in the center of the pot, add new soil and pat down firmly. Water the soil thoroughly and place the plant in an area with bright indirect light. Your plant will take 2-4 weeks to settle from the shock and adjust to its new home.
How to propagate a Calathea Medallion
The best way to propagate a Calathea Medallion is through division.
Divide the roots - When repotting, determine which areas you will divide to create new plants. Carefully untangle the roots.
Germinate spores - Place the spores on top of a small pot of sphagnum moss, and place the pot in a dish with water. Make sure there is always water in the dish, and mist the spores on top daily. After 2-3 weeks, they should begin to germinate.
Place in fresh soil - Place the new divisions in fresh soil and water thoroughly. Be sure to keep the soil moist but not soggy-- it may take 2-4 weeks for your plant to settle from the shock and adjust to its new home
Illustrations by our talented plant stylist, Kailie Barnes.