Calathea Zebrina Care Guide


Also known as the Prayer Plant. The Calathea Zebrina is native to the tropical rainforests of Bolivia.


A medium light will be perfect for The calathea Zebrina. If he is placed in a bright room, keep him away from any windows as the bright sun will burn his leaves. While Marty likes medium light he will be tolerant of lower light in the winter months when sunlight is minimal.


The calathea Zebrina likes small amounts of water on a regular basis so it’s best to check his soil weekly to make sure it doesn’t dry out too much. 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 once a week but always check his soil is dry before you water him.


The calathea Zebrina is from a very humid climate and will appreciate moisture on his leaves. To replicate his natural habitat you can place him next to a humidifier, group him with other humidity loving plants or place him in a bathroom.


The perfect indoor temperature for Calathea Zebrina is between 18-24 degrees celsius. As long as the indoor temperature doesn't dip lower than 18°C Marty will be happy.


To promote growth use fertiliser every 4-6 weeks in the months from March-September. Make sure to dilute the fertiliser to a quarter strength to avoid fertiliser burn to Marty’s roots.


The calathea Zebrina is fast growing and will produce a lot of new growth over the spring and summer months. Repot him every year to give him more room to grow. You can check the bottom of the nursery pot. If you can see his roots sticking out the bottom, it's time to repot.



Curling leaves - The curling leaves are a sign that Calathea Zebrina is suffering from the cold. Have a look around the home to make sure Marty is not close to any windows, radiators or doors that could be causing drafts.

Drooping leaves - The Calathea Zebrina prefers his soil to be semi moist without drying out completely between each water. When the soil dries out Marty foliage will start to droop and this will indicate that he needs a drink. If the first few inches of soil is bone dry to touch, Marty should be watered lightly. It’s worth noting that Calathea’s leaves move with the light. The leaves appear droopy during the day and will move upwards in the evening.

Yellow leaves - Yellow leaves often indicate that the calathea Zebrina has been overwatered. You can remove this leaf by cutting the stem at the base of the plant. Reduce his watering schedule especially in the winter months.

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

  1. The calathea Zebrina is sensitive to hard water which could be causing the leaves to brown. Use filtered or rainwater moving forward.
  2. Lack of humidity levels. Be sure that The calathea Zebrina is getting regularly misted, is near a humidifier or a pebble tray is used underneath the pot.
  3. Occasionally the brown tips could be from over fertilising, it is good to note that Calathea’s roots are very sensitive. Always dilute a generic houseplant fertiliser. 



Top tip 1: The Calathea Zebrina is very draft sensitive. He will suffer from cold damage if he is placed in a draughty spot. Keep him away from any open windows or draughty hallways. 

Top tip 2: To promote growth use fertiliser every 4 weeks in the spring and summer months. Always dilute to a quarter strength. 

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

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