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Calathea Care

A Guide to Calathea Types and Varieties

by Plants for all Seasons 02 Apr 2022

The Calathea is one of the most popular species of houseplant in the UK and one look at the fantastic foliage of these houseplants will explain why. With so many beautiful choices, it can be difficult to know where to start when looking to buy your perfect Calathea.


In this guide we will take you through some of the more popular Calathea varieties to help you make the perfect choice for you.

Calathea Crocata

The Calathea Crocata is a relatively new species of Calathea houseplant. Sometimes called the ‘Eternal Flame’ for its stunning, orange flowers, this rare houseplant is a stunning addition to the home. This is the ideal choice for someone who wants to add the beauty of Calathea leaves and combine with the added dimension that only a flowering house plant can give you. This species of Calathea is native to Brazil and thrives in a warm and humid environment. It is a wonderful choice to add colour to your kitchen or bathroom.


Calathea Lancifolia

Also known as the ‘Rattlesnake Plant’, the Calathea Lancifolia has uniquely patterned foliage that almost looks like a reptile's skin. The tall, slender leaves are a glossy green-yellow colour and are spotted with darker spots that will create a great display in your home. This Calathea variety is ideal for someone who wants to bring the beauty of these plants into their home in the form of a taller houseplant that will fill the space and become a focal point in any room.

Calathea Lancifolia

Calathea Makoyana

Often called the ‘Peacock Plant’ or ‘Cathedral Windows’, this elaborately decorated Calathea Makoyana is the perfect houseplant for anyone who wants to bring exquisite colour into their home in a way that no other houseplant can. The elaborate feathered markings on the egg-shaped foliage is similar to a peacock's tail.

The pattern is green on the top of the leaf and purple on the underside and as the leaves turn to follow the sun the mix of colour and texture create a wonderfully varied display in your home. This small and compact plant will sometimes produce small, white flowers in the summer that enhance the display this plant brings to your space.

Calathea Makoyana

Calathea Orbifolia

The Calathea Orbifolia is one of the largest Calathea varieties around. It is a fantastic choice for anyone just starting out with these plants. The large, round leaves are striped with silver to create a metallic pattern that adds a touch of colour and texture to a space. The neutral tones of this plant make it able to fit in with any design or colour scheme. This robust house plant can grow up to 2 feet high and wide creating a rounded display to enjoy in your home.

Calathea Orbifolia

Calathea Ornata

The Calathea Ornata is a formal looking Calathea that is ideal for an office or formal area of the home. This tall houseplant has branching green leaves that have a pink and white pinstripe design that looks almost painted on. The undersides of the leaves are a dark red color that contrasts well with the rest of the display to enhance the display and give it a more formal look. This is a sometimes tricky houseplant to take care of, but once you understand its needs it is a rewarding plant that will enhance any space.

Calathea Ornata

Calathea Roseopicta

The Calathea Roseopicta is one of the most stunning houseplants you can bring into your home. Also known as the ‘Rose Painted Calathea’, the rounded leaves of this plant have a stunning striped design that looks like it has been hand painted. These wonderful leaves have a red-pink blush underside that adds a different dimension to the display. The overall look of this plant will go well with any design scheme and looks especially effective in a cottage or scandi style design scheme.

Calathea Rufibarba

The Calathea Rufibarba may not have as intricate foliage as some other Calathea plants, but it makes up for it with fantastic texture and shape. Each of the long, slender leaves have a ruffled and crinkled texture that breaks up the color and adds some shape to your space that draws attention to it.


The glossy look on the top of the leaves work with the shape to play with the light and bring a sense of depth and light to the space. The undersides of the leaves are a slightly darker color and have an almost fur-like texture that contrasts well with the rest of the plant. This plant is the ideal choice for anyone who wants a more formal display in their home that will draw the eye and be unlike any other plant in your home.

Calathea Warscewiczii

Ideal for a new house plant grower, the Warscewiczii is a Calathea that brings understated style into your home. This tender and herbaceous Calathea has lance shaped leaves that are patterned with dark and light green banding to create a simple display that will lighten your home and add a great centerpiece to your room. The undersides of the leaves are a rich purple color that will come into full display when the leaves close up at night. The leaves grow to about 12 inches long and the plant itself can grow up to 3 feet tall in total.


Calathea Zebrina

Native to Brazil, the Calathea Zebrina or ‘Zebra plant’ is a common and popular Calathea plant that is great for people who want an upgrade to their houseplants without going wild. The large, velvety leaves have a light and dark green, striped pattern that resembles the hide of a zebra. The underside of the leaves are a rich, purple colour that contrasts well with the rest of the display and adds a contemporary touch to the display. The Calathea Zebrina rarely blooms but when it does it produces subtle white-purple flowers in spring that add a fantastic look to the space.

Calathea Zebrina
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