Plant Profile: Calathea ornata

Calathea ornata is a beautiful houseplant, with dark green leaves and pink brushstroke-like lines. A very popular plant with houseplant collectors and foliage lovers, its a rewarding, but sometimes challenging plant to care for.

How to care for your Pinstripe calathea


Keep your plant in medium light. If your plant gets too much bright light/direct sun, it can burn or bleach the leaves. A general rule is: the darker the leaves/foliage, the less light is required. However, while this plant can withstand lower light conditions, its best to give it ample lighting for optimal growth.


These plants love moist environments – moist soil & high humidity.Water frequently and thoroughly to keep the soil moist, but not wet. Do not let the soil dry out.Important: Use filtered or distilled water. If you don’t have either, fill your watering can and leave overnight to dissipate the chlorine.

Potting medium

When potting your Calathea ornata, look for soil that retains moisture but light/airy enough for good drainage. A good soil mix is: 50% potting mix, 20% coconut coir, 20% charcoal & 10% perlite.


Use a general houseplant fertiliser, once a month during growing season. A recommended fertiliser, available locally, is Jardigreen (follow instructions on the bottle).

Potential Problems & Pests


If your leaves are starting to brown or crisp, this is usually due to low humidity or If only the tips are browning, this may be due to the water your using. Always opt for filtered or distilled water, as mentioned above.


Spider mites, scale, mealybugs or fungus gnats are all potential pests for calathea. Visit the post on pest control for more information on treatment and prevention.


Propagation can only be done via the division of rhizomes. When separating the ‘root clumps’ ensure the cutting has at least one leaf and several roots. Always use a clean knife when making plant cuttings.