Calathea is a genus of tropical plants that belong to the Marantaceae family. The Calathea genus consists of over 300 species. Most often recognized for their beautiful foliage, they make eye-catching houseplants.
Like a lot of the Marantaceae family, many Calatheas are nyctinasty plants. Nyctinasty means that the leaves move throughout the day. This movement takes place due to a joint between the leaf and the stem. Often called ‘Prayer Plants,’ the leaves fold up at night, resembling hands held in prayer. Calatheas are native to the tropical regions of South America. To thrive as houseplants, they need environments like the jungles they hail from. They need high humidity, moist soil, bright indirect light, and warm temperatures. Direct sun will burn the foliage, so filtered light is best. Calatheas are popular with their striking and often colorful foliage. Another bonus is that Calatheas are non-toxic to pets and humans.
There are so many options to add some life to your home. Keep reading to learn about 30 types of Calatheas.
Related: How to grow and care for Calathea
One of the largest varieties of Calathea, the Orbifolia can grow up to three feet tall. Its leaves also measure up to a foot in width. These large leaves are round with a leathery texture. They are bright green with silvery stripes and a dark green midrib. Native to Bolivia, Calathea Orbifolia will produce tiny, white flowers when grown in its natural habit. It’s most often kept as a houseplant because of its large, statement foliage.
Care needs for Calathea Orbifolia are relatively simple. Use well-draining potting soil and water when the top quarter of the soil dries out. Room temperature between 75 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit is best. They enjoy humidity levels over 50% and bright indirect sunlight.
Calathea Warscewiczii is known for its striking appearance. It is native to the jungles of Costa Rica and Nicaragua and can grow anywhere between three and four feet tall. It is adorned with deep green, velvety leaves with a light green almost fishtail pattern down the center. The undersides are a brilliant maroon shade that pops in contrast to the greens. The silky texture of the leaves has earned it the nickname ‘Jungle Velvet.’ Calathea Warscewiczii produces small white flowers during late winter and early spring. It is rare for Calathea Jungle Velvet to bloom as a houseplant.
Calathea Warscewiczii requires a tropical environment to thrive. They prefer medium to bright filtered light and well-draining soil. They enjoy moisture, so water once the top quarter of soil dries out. Jungle Velvet Calathea thrives in high humidity (>50%) and prefers warm temperatures (65-85 degrees).
Calathea Makoyana is commonly called the Peacock Plant or Cathedral Windows. This variety of Calathea grows about 2 feet tall with leaves that can grow up to a foot in length. Its egg-shaped leaves are light green with a darker green fishtail down the center. They also have a pinkish maroon color underneath. Without proper lighting, the brightness of the leaves will fade.
The Peacock Plant is native to Brazilian jungles and has similar care to other Calathea varieties. Keep soil moist and make sure your Peacock Plant gets bright indirect light. They thrive with humidity levels over 60%. With temperatures around 65-85 degrees Fahrenheit, your Peacock Plant will thrive year-round.
Known as Eternal Flame, Calathea Crocata produces yellow-orange blooms. The blooms last for 2-3 months and sprout from long stems. The foliage of the Calathea Crocata is shiny, dark green with a dark purple shade underneath the leaves. The leaves are ribbed in texture, giving them a wrinkly appearance. This plant is attractive with or without its blooms.
Calathea Crocata can thrive indoors. Make sure humidity levels are at least 60%. They also enjoy warm temperatures between 60 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit. Allow them bright filtered light and keep the soil moist.
Calathea Ornata hails from tropical South American jungles in Thailand and Brazil. Ornata has deep green leaves with a feathering of thin pink stripes. The pink fades away to white as the plant matures but doesn’t take away from the attractiveness of the foliage. The narrow lines earned this plant the nickname of ‘Pinstripe Plant.’
There are a few things you can do to keep your Pinstripe Plant happy indoors. Make sure temperatures are 65-85 degrees Fahrenheit and humidity levels are high. At least 50%, but ideally higher. They prefer moist soil, so only water when the top quarter of soil is dry. Place them in a window that receives bright, indirect light for optimal growth.
Calathea Ornata ‘Beauty Star’
A hybrid of Calathea Ornata, Calathea Beauty Star looks a lot like the Pinstripe Plant. The distinction is in the color of the striping on the leaves and the feathery splashes of bright green. The Beauty Star Calathea has bright yellow-green or silvery stripes instead of pink.
The Beauty Star follows the same care as the Pinstripe Plant detailed above.
Another native of Brazil is Calathea Zebrina. One of the taller Calathea varieties, this plant can grow up to 3 feet tall with leaves up to 2 feet long. Its leaves are oblong and dark green with striping similar in appearance to that of a Zebra. Calathea Zebrina is often called the Zebra Plant because of this. The feathering of its stripes can be yellow, light green, or white. The leaves on the Zebrina tend to grow almost horizontally and curve over. This allows it to make room for new growth to emerge. Calathea Zebrina does produce small, white flowers, but they often go unnoticed.
When grown indoors, Calathea Zebrina has a few easy care requirements. Zebra Plants grow best with bright indirect light, moist soil, and humidity levels of at least 50%. They thrive in temperatures around 65-75 degrees Fahrenheit.
Calathea Lancifolia is commonly called the Rattlesnake Plant due to its striking foliage. The leaves of this variety are long, skinny, and ruffled. They are bright green with a dark green fishtail pattern down the center. They also have the trademark maroon underside of many Calathea varieties. The dark green design often appears on both sides of the leaves of the Rattlesnake Plant. Calathea Lancifolia sprouts yellow flowers on spikes during the springtime. As with other Calatheas, blooming is rare when grown indoors.
Rattlesnake Plants thrive in warm, humid environments. Keep temperatures around 65-75 degrees Fahrenheit and humidity levels above 50%. They love moist soil. They only need water when the top quarter of the soil is dry. Make sure they receive bright, indirect light for optimal growth.
Calathea Rufibarba is unique among Calathea varieties. Like the Calathea Lancifolia, Calathea Rufibarba has long, skinny, and ruffled leaves. They do lack the trademark stripes most associated with Calatheas. Where they stand out, though, is the texture. The maroon stems and underside of the leaves produce tiny hairs giving them almost a velvety touch. It’s no surprise that the common names for this variety are ‘Velvet Calthea’ and ‘Furry Feather.’
To keep your Furry Feather Calathea happy indoors, you can do a few things. Make sure humidity levels are over 50%. Remember, they like warm temperatures, usually around 65-95 degrees Fahrenheit. Medium to bright indirect light will encourage growth. And they want moist soil. Let the top layer of soil dry out before each watering.
Calathea Roseopicta has glossy deep green leaves with lighter green feathered markings. While many Calatheas have stripes, Calathea Roseopicta has markings that look like leaf outlines. That’s why this variety is often called Rose Painted Calathea. Rose Painted Calatheas have purple undersides and stems. They’re also a smaller variety, only growing to about 20 inches tall.
Caring for your Rose Painted Calathea is simple. Keep your plant in bright indirect light with moist soil. They thrive in high humidity (around 60%) and warm temperatures (65-75 degrees Fahrenheit).
There are quite a few Roseopicta hybrids. Some of the most common ones are Corona, Dottie, Rosie, and Cynthia.
Calathea Roseopicta ‘Corona’
A popular hybrid of Calathea Roseopicta is Calathea Corona. This variety has broad, ovate leaves. The leaves are pale green with a deep green feathered border around the edges. The midlines and underside of the leaves are a shade of burgundy. For optimal care, follow the guidelines of other Roseopicta hybrids.
Calathea Roseopicta ‘Dottie’
Calathea Dottie is like the dark, brooding sister of the other Calatheas. The Dottie has lush dark green leaves that are almost black. The pink feathering and midrib really pop against the dark leaves. Calathea Dottie follows the same Roseopicta care guidelines.
Calathea Roseopicta ‘Rosey’
This Roseopicta variety is so bright and colorful. It is easy to see why this variety is named ‘Rosey.’ The leaves are vibrant pink with dark green borders. There is also a delicate feathered pattern in the center. This lively hybrid follows the same care guidelines as its fellow Roseopictas.
Calathea Roseopicta ‘Cynthia’
Another stunning Roseopicta hybrid is Calathea Cynthia. Cynthia’s leaves are deep green with the trademark purple underside. They are decorated with a silvery border and midrib. Follow the exact care requirements as other Roseopicta hybrids.
Calathea Veitchiana is often referred to as Medallion Calathea. The leaves are broad and oval with purple undersides and stems. With a feathered design, they are rich green with pale green and silver markings. This feathered design outlines the leaf and fishtails down the midrib.
Calathea Veitchiana’s care is straightforward. They thrive in warm temperatures (65-75 degrees Fahrenheit) and high humidity (>50%)—water when the top quarter of soil dries out. Place your plant near a sunny window. They enjoy medium to bright indirect light.
Calathea Concinna grows to be about 2 feet tall, and the oval leaves almost come to a point at the end. The light green leaves have dark green stripes. The striping is like the Calathea Zebrina. It’s not uncommon to hear this variety called Zebra Plant as well, but most often, it’s referred to as Calathea Freddie. As with many other Calatheas, the Freddie blooms when grown in its natural habitat. These white blooms sprout in early springtime and last three to four weeks.
Calathea Freddie’s care is similar to other Calatheas. They thrive in high humidity (>50%) and warm temperatures (65-85 degrees Fahrenheit). They enjoy medium to bright filtered light. Keep the soil moist by watering once the top inch of soil is dry.
Calathea Fasciata looks a lot like Calathea Orbifolia. Growing to be around 2 feet tall, it has large, round and shiny leaves. They’re bright green with a deep green along the midrib and veins. The Calathea Fasciata sports the bright maroon underside as well.
Calathea Fasciata follows standard Calathea care guidelines. Keep soil moist by watering only when the top layer of soil dries out. Make sure humidity is high (>50%), and temperatures are warm (65-75 degrees Fahrenheit). And remember to keep it near a window; they love bright indirect light.
Calathea Louisae is most commonly known as Thai Beauty. This Calathea grows up to three feet tall with broad, ovate leaves up to 8 inches in length. The leaves are deep green with bright, yellow-green feathering along the midrib and veins. They also have a maroon underside.
Your Thai Beauty will thrive with temperatures between 65 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit. They love high humidity (60%+), moist soil, and bright indirect light.
Calathea Elliptica has long, pointed leaves that are medium deep green. The leaves are marked with feathery bright silvery stripes.
Calathea Elliptica prefers moist soil and medium to bright indirect light. Keep temperatures between 65 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit and humidity levels over 50%. These factors will create the perfect environment for Calathea Elliptica.
Calathea Lutea is one of the larger varieties of Calatheas. Often called the Cigar Plant, this variety can grow up to nine feet tall. The large paddle-shaped leaves are bright green with ridges throughout. In their natural habitat, they will sprout yellow blooms from rolled brown buds. The brown buds are where they get the nickname Cigar Plant.
There are a few things you can do to keep a Cigar Plant happy indoors. Place it near a window for bright filtered light. Make sure soil stays moist and water only when the top layer of soil is dry. Warm temperatures (65-80 degrees) and high humidity (60-70%) are ideal for your Cigar Plant.
Calathea Argentea is composed of pale green or silvery leaves with a dark green border. These large, ovate leaves have a maroon underside. Like many Calatheas, Calathea Argentea produces white flowers in the summer months. While blooms are common in their natural habitat, it’s rare for them to bloom indoors.
Calathea Argentea needs temperatures between 65 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit. They will thrive with humidity levels over 50%, moist soil, and bright indirect light.
Calathea Silver Plate
Calathea Silver Plate has broad, ovate leaves that grow from purple stalks. The leaves are a bright silvery-green color, sometimes bordered in deep green. And like many Calatheas, they have a showy, purple underside.
Calathea Silver Plate requires high humidity (70%) and warm temperatures (65-85 degrees). It also enjoys bright indirect light and moist soil.
Calathea Lubbersii is sometimes called the ‘Never Never Plant.’ It has oblong green leaves that are mottled with yellowish spots.
The Never Never Plant loves medium to bright filtered light. To keep the soil moist, water when the top quarter of soil is dry. A thriving Calathea Lubbersii needs high humidity (>50%) and warm temperatures (65-75 degrees).
More commonly known as Calathea White Star, this variety can grow up to 5 feet tall. It is often mistaken for Calathea Ornata due to its striping. But the leaves of the White Star are almost filled with thicker stripes. The green base of the leaves is practically overpowered with silvery striping. Some plants will also have some pink tint around the mid-rib.
Calathea White Star prefers temperatures between 65 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit. Keep the soil moist, humidity levels over 50%, and provide bright filtered light.
Calathea Musaica is a more subtle variety of Calatheas. From far away, it just looks like a typical green plant. Although, the leaves are striking upon closer inspection. A rich green shade, the leaves have a small bright yellow-green crisscross throughout. It really does look like a mosaic.
Calathea Musaica prefers temperatures between 65 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit. They thrive in high humidity (60-80%), medium to bright indirect light, and moist soil.
This variety is commonly called White Fusion, thanks to its beautiful foliage. Calathea Leitzei has bright green leaves variegated with shades of white and lilac. These striking leaves almost look as if painted. The White Fusion also has the purple underside that many Calatheas are known for.
White Fusion care is like any other Calathea. Keep the soil moist and place it near a window to get medium to bright indirect light. They also love high humidity (>50%) and warm temperatures (65-75 degrees).
Another Calathea with striking foliage is the Calathea Merak. It can grow up to 3 feet tall and has green leaves decorated with a deeper green and silver feathered pattern. This feathering detail gives the appearance of more miniature, painted on leaves.
Caring for your Calathea Merak is pretty straightforward. Place it in a window that receives medium filtered light and keep the soil moist. Keep them happy with high humidity (>50%) and warm temperatures (65-75 degrees).
Calathea Albertii is composed of broad, oblong leaves. Its leaves are shiny, deep green, and feathered with a pale silvery green with a purplish underside. This striping of the leaves has earned Calathea Albertii the nickname ‘White Tiger.’ In its natural habitat, white blooms will emerge on spikes during the summer months.
The White Tiger requires care similar to other Calathea varieties. They’re content with high humidity, warm temperatures, moist soil, and bright indirect light.
Calathea Royal Standard
Calathea Royal Standard has broad, ovate leaves. They are silvery green with a deep green border and maroon undersides. The Royal Standard grows about 3 feet tall and will bloom with white, pink flowers in its natural habitat.
Calathea Royal Standard prefers warm temperatures (65-85 degrees), medium light, and high humidity. Keep soil moist but not soggy. Water once the top layer of soil has dried out.
Calathea Loeseneri is often called the ‘Brazilian Star’ Calathea. This is due to the large white blooms that sprout above the foliage when grown in its natural habitat. Brazilian Star has long, pointed leaves with a brighter green midrib and veins. One of the larger varieties, this Calathea can grow up to 5 feet tall.
Calathea Loeseneri thrives in similar conditions as other Calatheas. To keep it happy, provide warm temperatures, high humidity, moist soil, and bright light.
As you can see, Calatheas are vibrant and would make a great addition to any home. The tropical plants need a little attention but are easy with the proper care. If you’ve been considering adding Calatheas to your collection, now’s the time.