How to Grow and Care for a Calathea Warscewiczii

The Calathea Warscewiczii is categorized among the most attractive plants to have indoors. Besides producing showy cone-shaped flowers, the leaves are multi-colored, having a velvet appearance. The calathea also has a fish-tail pattern and maroon underside. This feature is a combination that brings your home, office, lobby, hallway, or any other indoor space to live each day of the year.

To care for Calathea Warscewiczii, water it regularly during growth seasons but reduce the watering amount over winter to prevent root rot. Keep it under indirect bright light exposure. Use well-draining fertile soil mixed with organic compost. This plant prefers temperatures between 65oF (18oC) and 80oF (27oC).

Calathea Warscewiczii flower

Calathea Warscewiczii Care Highlights:

NameCalathea Warscewiczii (Goeppertia warszewiczii)
WateringEvery week or if the top layer of the soil is dry
TemperatureBetween 65°F (18°C) and 80°F (27°C)
LightDoes best in bright, indirect light
HumidityAim for around 50-60%
SoilWell-drained, high in organic matter
PropagationDivision or stem cuttings

This prayer plant can tolerate a wide range of environments due to its tropical origin. This makes it easy to host the plant indoors, throughout the year, in any house or office. However, experiencing the full bloom of Calathea Warscewiczii will take some work, and particular attention to general care procedures.

Since it will take a year or more to get to the 3-4 feet the prayer plant grows, this article will equip you with all the information you need to bring this impressive indoor plant to full bloom.

Let’s begin.

The Calathea Warscewiczii Basic Caring Guidelines

The beauty of Calathea Warscewiczii manifests in multiple dimensions. In this article, we will cover each aspect of caring for the prayer plant in detail, including:

  •  Soil
  •  Watering
  •  Light
  •  Humidity
  • Temperature

Because conditions vary in different areas over time, we will look at the minor aspects of care that will transform your plant into an extraordinary indoor feature, giving you maximum satisfaction for the effort. Moreover, this tropical marvel native of Nicaragua and Costa Rica is friendly to beginner plant owners. It is one of the most rewarding to indoor plant gurus in terms of that aura feeling.

Don’t just imagine a beautiful indoor plant; grow one.

Here are some essential caring tips to use:

Watering: how much water is enough for this prayer plant?

Calathea species love a lot of water because they originate from the tropical rain forests. However, indoors, you will have to use dechlorinated or filtered to avoid damaging the roots and soil. If you cannot use tap water to aid in reducing the chemicals, using distilling will also help.

Prayer plant requires a lot of water during its growing season, especially between spring and fall. The water should keep the soil moist without waterlogging. Too much water damages the roots leading to rot.

Reduce the watering frequency and its amount during winter because its growth rate is reduced. Instead of watering at the root, you can sprinkle on the leaves. Sprinkling also clears dust and pests from the surface of the leaf, helping the leaves to photosynthesize as well as providing the humidity needed for robust growth.

Calathea Warscewiczii leaves

Summary of watering needs for Calathea Warscewiczii are:

  • Prayer plants require a moderate amount of water during summer and below average over winter.
  • Water during the day and keep the plant dry at night to avoid fungal issues.
  • Use dechlorinated, filtered, or distilled water to reduce chemicals added to the potting soil.
  • Ensure that the soil and plant vase drain excess water quickly to keep your soil aerated and sufficiently moist.
  • Assess watering needs based on prevailing circumstances where you live since each location is unique.

Humidity: does Calathea Warscewiczii require misting?

Prayer plants thrive in humid conditions and, therefore, require regular misting. You can retain the required humidity levels by placing damp peats around the plant. Indoor spaces with strict temperature control will need one to utilize a humidifier.

Calathea Warscewiczii leaf

The ideal humidity level is 60%, but it should never go below 50%, even at its worst. Since a change in temperature affects humidity, you must always monitor the two and take appropriate remedial action.

Several measures can help you to boost humidity and maintain it at the recommended constant level. They are:

  • Group the plants so that they can create a humidity trap
  • Use an automated humidifier to ensure that a particular moisture percentage is maintained
  • Place a pebble tray near the plant so that natural evaporation can keep the air moist
  • Mist the plant regularly, but do not soak the leaves for too long to avoid fungal infections and pests

A calathea plant will protest the reduced humidity by shedding its leaves and its foliage turning brown. Remember to arrest the situation before the entire plant wilts.

Soil: which is the best potting soil mix for Calathea Warscewiczii?

Whichever type of soil or potting mix you use, ensure that it is fertile organic soil that is well-drained and moist. Any instance of waterlogging will result in root rot and fungal issues. Too much water also makes it difficult for the plant to absorb the necessary nutrients.

Aeration is crucial when growing Calathea Warscewiczii. Experts recommend the addition of sand during mixing to create spaces that preserve soil oxygen. Pumice, sand, and perlite are some of the materials you can use to boost aeration without compromising nutrient retention.

As a robust growing plant, this prayer plant requires additional fertility, especially during the growing season. For instance, peat will break up over time and replenish the soil. The resulting different-sized particles will help to boost aeration.

Mulching will help maintain the desired moisture level while adding to the fertility of your soil once it decomposes. Poor quality soil causes the leaves to roll as the edges turn brown. Overall, the plant will exhibit characteristics of stunted growth and dullness.

Light: Is my house too bright or too dull for this prayer plant?

Calathea Warscewiczii will thrive in a brightly lit area as long as it is not receiving direct sun. Direct sunlight, especially at midday, will cause the leaves to curl and eventually burn. During the hotter months of the year, keep the plant in shaded areas.

Prayer plants do not hibernate during winter; it just slows down growth. The plant, therefore, still requires a lot of light. The best care is to place it near the window or in a shaded corridor where it can tap into the available sunlight.

Temperature: is my room too hot or too cold for a Calathea Warscewiczii?

The room temperature is sufficient for Calathea Warscewiczii. However, the plant doesn’t mind the higher end of the spectrum. Temperatures between 65oF (18oC) and 85oF (30oC) are sufficient for this prayer plant. However, with adequate humidity, the plant can tolerate temperatures as high as 90oF.

If the temperature goes below 65oF, and especially past 60oF, the plant will switch to dormancy. Foliage will be damaged, and your plant will cease to bloom. Sudden temperature changes and drafts will kill your plant.

Calathea Warscewiczii Advanced Caring Guidelines

While the Calathea Warscewiczii is a hardy variety, it can outshine your expectations if you give it an extra touch. Specific care procedures will convert an ordinary prayer plant into a magical botanical spectacle. Such procedures include:

  • Fertilization
  • Pest Prevention
  • Repotting and Propagation
  • Pruning

Each of the above aspects of advanced care adds a unique dimension resulting in a stunning botanical ensemble. Let’s look at each of them individually, shall we?


Calathea Warscewiczii is a heavy feeder that requires diluted fertilizer every two weeks for the entire period between spring and fall. The manure may also be added in water for easier distribution. Apply water-soluble fertilizer only because it will protect the roots from burning and your soil from chemical contamination.

Compost manure is also recommended, especially when mixed during potting. However, full-strength fertilizer is dangerous, especially when overused, because it causes leaf spots. Flush the potting soil after 3-4 months to clear the chemicals that may have been introduced through chlorinated water or fertilizer.


This robust growing plant appreciates occasional pruning. This action will reward you with a young, healthy bush.

Pruning should be done for three purposes:

  1. Shaping your plant
  2. Promoting the growth of fresh leaves
  3. Preventing pests and diseases

The best time to prune your bush is during the fall because the rate of growth is stunted. It will, however, compensate for this growth during spring and summer.

Use a sharp pruner to remove some of the old leaves and stimulate the growth of fresh ones. Cut the stem near the base to promote regeneration and enhance the aesthetics of your plant.

Furthermore, pruning opens up the plant and destroys the hiding places for pests and disease-causing organisms. The old and dead leaves also easily harbor diseases that affect the vibrancy of your plant. Once they are removed, the bush becomes airy, revitalized and has no hiding places for those pesky pests or diseases.

Repotting and Propagation

Repot your Calathea Warscewiczii each year during spring. But, repotting can happen anytime to cure soil issues or provide more room for a robust growing plant. The calathea warscewiczii roots are strong enough to handle repotting without causing stunted growth or loss of foliage.

Use the recommended soil mixture during repotting, especially one that guarantees adequate moisture and aeration. A peat-based potting mix is recommended because it enhances humidity and aeration.

Propagation options are diverse, all with varying levels of ease but a higher percentage of success. You may choose tubers, rhizomes, bulbs-including offsets, and corms. The best time for propagation is spring so that you can provide a naturally warm environment for the roots to sprout.

Pest Prevention

Spider mites are a significant problem, either with high humidity or dry indoor conditions. You will notice webbing between stems and on the underside of your leaves.

Use appropriate pesticides and maintain the recommended temperatures for long-term prevention. You should also watch out for scales, mealybugs, and aphids.

Frequently Asked Questions about Calathea Warscewiczii

What is the origin of the Calathea Warscewiczii plant?

It originates from Costa Rica and Nicaragua. Such areas have flush tropical rainforest areas due to the soils being constantly humid with excellent lighting conditions. Such tropical traits cause an abundance of foliage, and it shows. Therefore, you can expect your plants to have ever-green characteristics more often than not.

Is a Calathea Warscewiczii toxic?

According to the ASPCA, the Calathea Warscewiczii is not toxic to humans, dogs or cats. However, as with any tropical plant, it’s always best to keep it away from pets and small children just to be safe.

How tall do Calathea Warscewiczii grow?

3-4 feet (0.9m – 1.2m) high. It can grow more prominent in the wild, depending on prevailing conditions. Further, if you provide optimum growth conditions during potting and care, your plant could add several more inches of growth.

How fast do Calathea Warscewiczii grow?

Prayer plants can best be described as a relatively slow grower.  Such factors as the fertility of the soil, availability of light, and size of the pot will affect the rate of growth. You can also accelerate growth using manure or by pruning away the dead or old leaves.

How do you revive a dying Calathea?

Identify the cause of death, which could include chemical-filled soil, high humidity, temperature issues, and pests or diseases. It will give you the ideal place to start since each problem has a unique remedy. Other troubleshooting ideas include misting, grouping with other plants, and raising or lowering the temperature.

Why are my Calathea leaves turning brown?

Your Calathea’s leaves might be turning brown for two possible causes:

  • You fertilized the plant when the soil was too dry
  • You are not providing sufficient water

Rectify the two situations and eliminate the issues as fast as possible. If the problem persists for too long, it can cause a condition that is impossible to reverse, and even death.

How do you fix an overwatered Calathea?

Stop watering immediately and initiate measures that will stimulate soil drainage. Start by perforating the pot to allow more water to drain from your vase.

Move the plant to a shaded area even if the plant loves bright light so that other conditions like humidity and light can be controlled. Also, treat the plant for fungicide issues because they arise from soggy soil. Repotting should be the last option because the plant could already be too weak to handle the disturbance.

Should you mist a Calathea?

Calathea plants are tolerant of a certain level of misting, which supports its high humidity needs. However, mist with water at room temperature and ensure that it does not settle too long on the leaves. Consider the sprinkle when watering to reduce waterlogging.

Why do the calathea leaves close at night?

The closing of leaves is a distinctive characteristic of Calathea Warscewiczii and the larger Calathea family. They have joints between the leaves and stems, stimulated by light to open in the morning and close in the evening. If you are keen, you will also hear an extremely calming, soft rustling sound during this process.

What is the difference between a Calathea Warscewiczii and a Calathea Zebrina?

The Calathea Warscewiczii has a dark green leaf with lighter green markings, which have a purple underside. While the Calathea Zebrina has a leaf that is mostly light green with dark green stripes. The Warscewiczii also tends to grow taller than the Zebrina, and will typically reach heights of 3-4 feet, while the Zebrina typically only grows to about 2 feet tall.

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Martin Duran

Hey y'all! My name is Martin Duran and I am from Cali, Colombia. Since 2018 I have been learning about plants and how to take care of them. Here's is my journey... “The clearest way into the Universe is through a forest wilderness.” ― John Muir

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