Calathea Lancifolia Care Guide


Also known as the Prayer Plant. The Calathea Lancifolia is native to the tropical rainforests of Brazil.


Freddie the calathea prefers medium light but can also tolerate a room with less natural light. Avoid placing him near a bright or south facing window as this will cause his variegation to fade and leaves to burn. He’s the perfect plant for UK homes as he doesn’t need a lot of sunshine to thrive.


Getting the balance may be tricky as he won’t like his soil to completely dry out or be too soggy. In the winter time you can reduce his watering schedule to less than once a week but it’s always good to check if his soil is dry before you water him.


Freddie loves high levels of humidity and should be placed with other humidity loving plants like Lily, Ollie and Pete to help increase humidity in your home. You can also read our blog on increasing humidity in the home here.


The perfect indoor temperature for Freddie is between 18-24°C. As long as the indoor temperature doesn't dip lower than 18°C Freddie will be happy. He will not recover from cold damage so keep him warm.


Use a diluted fertilise every 4-6 weeks in the spring and summer months. Do not fertilise in the winter months.


Freddie will only need repotting when you notice a lot of roots growing out of his nursery pot. This could be once every 1-2 years. Only re-pot him in the spring when he is actively growing.



Curling leaves - Curling leaves are a sign that Freddie is suffering from the cold. Freddie will curl his leaves if there is an open window, air vent or radiator nearby. 

Drooping leaves - This is a really easy way to tell that Freddie is ready for a drink. Check the first two inches of soil 1-2 times a week and only water when the first inch of soil has dried out. It’s worth noting that a Calathea’s leaves move with the light. The leaves appear droopy during the day and will move upwards in the evening. 

Yellow leaves - The occasionally yellow leaf is nothing to worry about. If this problem continues it might be worth reducing how often you water. In the winter months you might need to further reduce his watering schedule.

Brown edges: The brown edges could be caused by a variety of things. 

  1. The Calathea species has sensitive roots and will react badly to tap water. Filtered or rainwater is preferred. 
  2. Lack of humidity levels. Be sure that he is placed near a humidifier or a steamy bathroom
  3. Occasionally the brown tips could be from over-fertilising. It is good to note that a Calathea’s roots are very sensitive. Always dilute a generic houseplant fertiliser. 


Top tip 1: Freddie is draft sensitive. Keep him in a warm spot away from any open windows or radiators. 

Top tip 2: To find out more about Calathea care check out our ultimate Calathea guide here.

Top tip 3: Always water Freddie with filtered or rain water. Harsh chemicals found in tap water will cause his edges to brown. 

freddie calatheaorbifolia marty fortifying-houseplant-fertiliser peat-free-soil