What is Calathea roseopicta?
Calathea roseopicta, the rose-painted calathea, is a species of plant in the family Marantaceae, native to northwest Brazil. It is a clump-forming evergreen perennial growing to 50 cm (20 in), very similar in appearance to Calathea makoyana. The large rounded leaves are dark green above, red below, marked heavily with cream or pink stripes “painted” along the veins and midriff, with feathered margins.
How does Calathea roseopicta look like?
Rose painted calathea is a small tender perennial foliage plant, which typically grows up to 20” inches, with occasionally reaching the height of 2’ feet, and displays a clump-forming habit. Just like other members of its family, this Marantaceae species is known for its highly attractive foliage and dark green leaves.
The beautiful leaves are large, somewhat rounded, dark green from above, and red to magenta from below. In addition to the beautiful and contrasting colors, the leaves also feature pink stripes along the midrib and veins, which turn white when the plant reaches maturity.
The stripes are thick with feathered margins and look as if they have been manually painted by someone, earning the plant widespread popularity among plant lovers all over the world. The leaves are produced from the top of the stalks and can grow up to 30” inches in length.
What is the ideal soil for Calathea roseopicta?
The ideal soil for Calathea roseopicta should have a good balance of moisture and drainage. It should also be slightly acidic, with a pH level of between 5.5 and 6.5. You can use a simple pH test kit to check the pH level of your soil. Acidic soils are beneficial for many plants, including Calathea roseopicta. They help to keep the soil loose and well-aerated, which is important for root health. Additionally, acidic soils help to suppress certain plant diseases. If your soil is too alkaline (has a pH level above 7.0), you can add sulfur or peat moss to make it more acidic.
Avoid using heavy soils or soil that is high in clay, as they will not drain well and will likely cause root rot in your plant. A potting mix that’s specifically designed for Calathea will work well, or you can make your own mix by combining equal parts potting soil, sphagnum moss, and perlite.
Also Read: Calathea Orbifolia Caring Guide
The best time to plant calathea-roseopicta is in early spring or fall, although you can plant them any time as long as the ground isn’t frozen. If possible, wait to plant in overcast conditions or in the early evening to give plants time to process the new environment before being subjected to rigorous direct sunlight. Avoid planting this Calathea on a windy day to keep it safe from drying out the roots.
Dig a hole for each shrub that is as deep and two to three times the diameter of the container or root ball, and slightly above soil grade in unimproved soil. Place multiple plants 6 to 12 feet apart. If the roots are wrapped in balls or burlap, handle the plant gently to keep from disturbing the roots. Create a berm or small hill 2 to 4 inches surrounding the hole to act as a reservoir when it’s time to water the new plants. Plants can be staked to help keep the root mass in place until the roots have grown deep enough into the ground to support the plant.
Calathea-roseopicta plants usually don’t require fertilizer, but it can help increase the growth rate and flowering. Use a nitrogen-based fertilizer that is low in phosphorus, no more than 1 pound per 1,000 square feet. Adding one-third organic material, such as peat moss, particularly in sandy soils, can promote water absorption. For potted calathea-roseopicta, a combination of eight to nine parts by volume of a soil-less potting mix to one part sand and one part perlite may be all that is needed.
Water plant roots thoroughly right after planting, and always avoid watering foliage to prevent leaf-scorch damage. Normal rainfall should be enough to water the plants thereafter, unless the rate is less than 1 inch a week during summer. In that case, use supplemental watering of 1 to 2 inches weekly. Too much water during cooler months can promote a variety of root diseases like phythium, phytopthora, fusarium and rhizoctonia.