Calathea Ornata Plant Care Tips

Wow, this pinstripe houseplant, also known as the prayer plant, is sure to make a great addition to your tropical plant collection. Do you agree?

Of course, you do. Maybe you have bought one or someone gifted you one. Then you are one lucky gardener. The veined leaves make for one striking statement for any passer-by when placed outdoor and a gorgeous sight when you want to keep it indoors. So how do you care for the Calathea Ornata? Plantly will share with you all our well-kept secrets to looking after this beauty in your home here.

Below is your Calathea ornata plant care guide general list

BOTANICAL NAME: Calathea Ornata

COMMON NAME: Pinstripe or Prayer Plant

PLANT TYPE: Marantaceae Terrestrial

BLOOM TYPE: March to October



NATIVE AREAS: South America

SUN EXPOSURE: Dappled Indirect Light

SOIL TYPE: Moist Soil

SOIL pH: Acidic

TOXICITY: Non-toxic

Calathea Ornata Pinstripe Origin

The Pinstripe Calathea comes from South America, where it hides under the tree canopies thriving in the tropical climate (we all love the tropics, hey.) It grows large leaves with noticeable patterns with stunning colors. When kept indoors, the plant grows about two feet wide and two feet tall. Yet, you can grow it outside on the patio, porch, or decking.

Calathea Ornata Plant Care Guide

calathea ornata plant

The care for a Calathea is not a difficult one. Do not believe us, then stay a while longer as you will start believing. The houseplant has attractive leaves but does not often flower inside a home. The dark green leaves look stunning with their pink stripes. The veins one can class as feathered with a pink hue. The underside has a more purple shade and grows in an upright position between March to October. Unfortunately, your plant’s pink stripes will turn whitish as it ages, but the good news is you can propagate the plant easily, as seen later on.

Calathea Ornata Bright Indirect Light

plant lighting requirement

So, where do you place your Pinstripe plant in the home? The tropical plant prefers bright indirect light and is finicky, believe us. Too little light and this princess develops stunted growth, while direct sunlight will burn her delicate leaves. It helps to keep her in shaded areas by your other plants as it grows in the rainforest. So if you’re uncertain your plant is standing in the right place, keep an eye on the leaves. Choose an east-facing window with shade from the curtains. Remember, since they thrive in their natural habitat with surrounding trees, indirect sunlight is much appreciated with this gorgeous plant.

Temperature & Humidity 

As location plays a big role, as seen with the right place, it helps provide your princess with the right temperature. Choose a spot with a temp between 65° to 85° F. Now; this royalty plant does not enjoy temperatures dropping below 60°F. So no cold drafts, venting systems, or Air-conditioners.

plant humidifier

Your Calathea Ornata Pinstripe loves plenty of humidity. For adequate moisture levels, you can mist her twice a week using room temperature water. The best place for this houseplant is in your bathroom or kitchen, with bright indirect light. Alternatively, you can place a humidifier to keep track of the levels. When it comes to Calathea Ornata care and humidity, it is important. Suppose you do not have a humidifier, opt-in using a tray filled with pebbles and water underneath your plant. But do not let the roots sit in the water as it leads to root rot.

Watering Needs

With Calathea plants, you do not want the soil to dry out completely or be oversaturated. Your princess is not drought-tolerant foliage, but the potting soil needs to dry out a bit between watering. Doing this helps prevent the growth of mold and fungus. Even prolonged periods of not watering cause the leaves to brown, while overwatering your plant do not easily recover from diseases. Preferably also use distilled water as your best option. So, remember, the soil needs to be moist but not drenched.

Fertilizer Requirement

organic fertilizer sold on plantly

Your pinstripe plant enjoys a monthly feed using a balanced plant fertilizer diluted to half or a quarter strength. Before feeding your Pinstripe Calathea, make sure to water it as it prevents burns on the root system. During winter, you can stop feeding your plant as the growth slows down.

We have a secret when it comes to feeding the Calathea, want to know? We use organic fertilizer by adding compost to the soil when potted. It gives your Calathea Ornata a slow-release feeding. You can do this by replacing 10% of the peat using compost.

Or fill a bucket with compost and top it with water leaving it to steep for a couple of days. Then, strain the liquid and dilute it in half to make compost tea.

Potting Your Pinstripe Calathea

The Pinstripe plant is a princess, you must agree, as it does not like repotting. You only need to do this when the roots have grown through the drainage holes every two years. Please make sure the pot is one size bigger than it is in. Clean the container and fill it up with fresh soil as described next. Once transplanted, place your tropical plant in less light until new growth appears. Please do this in spring and summer when it grows.

Best Potting Mix

potting soil mixed

Compared to other Calatheas, your exotic plant needs a lot of moisture in the soil. For the best results, use free-draining soil to prevent the roots from sitting in water. Also, make sure the drainage holes are huge enough to let out excess water. We recommend a rich organic matter such as African violets, or you can mix one part perlite with two parts peat. As mentioned, replace some of the peat with compost. If you prefer peat, you can use coarse sand, coco coir, or orchid bark.


Calathea propagation is super easy using the dividing method of the rhizomes. Each rhizome grows a couple of stalks with leaves. Therefore, the separation is fairly easy. Separate the rhizomes with some leaves attached, making them into two or more plants. You can place each new baby Calathea into their own pots. Fill it with your soil mix and water your plant well, leaving it to drain.

Growth Zone

It is important to check your USDA hardiness zone first. The good news is if you live in zones 10, you’re lucky to grow this plant inside or out.

Calathea Ornata Diseases & Pests

The main concern for Calathea Ornata care is keeping it free from Spider Mites, as seen in the image below.

spider mites

The voracious eaters suck out all the life of your Calathea plants. Oh my no, it will kill your plant. But the good news is you can save it with the right plant Calathea care. You do can the following:

  1. Give your Ornata a good old shower by gently hosing your process down. Then, wash both sides of the leaves.
  2. Take some cotton balls and soak them in alcohol and clean both sides of the leaves. The alcohol will kill the insects.
  3. Now, take a spray bottle and fill it with water and dishwashing detergent to spray over your plant.

The method is one of the best ways to treat spider mites, or you can bring in ladybugs that are also beneficial for most pests. Remember to dilute anything from Neem, alcohol to detergents to prevent causing damage to the leaves.

Calathea Ornata Varieties and Similar Plants

When it comes to Calathea, other varieties need the same care as your Calathea Pinstripe.

Calathea Triostar

calahea triostar

Looks a bit different than your Calathea Pinstripe but needs the same loving, tender care. It loves moist potting mixed with loads of humidity to grow healthy in the growing season. It also has a leaf that grows up and is colorful.

Calathea Orbifolia

calathea orbifolia

This is a gem if you can place it in your home. It is a grabber of attention with huge leaves and its metallic patterns of silver.

Calathea Warscewiczii

Calathea warscewiczii

Is a tender evergreen, and we have failed to pronounce the name many times. So for us, it is the Calathea Jungle Velvet that is easier around the tongue to say. It has lanced-shaped leaves of velvet and dark green with a lighter green banding making it unique.

Frequently Asked Questions

The main cause is to do with your plant trying hard to conserve water or even protect itself. Look for issues with too little humidity, sunlight, and underwatering.

It is a classic sign of overwatering, but it can also be because you’re leaving your Calathea Ornata standing in water. So check the leaves and soil if this is the case.

Keep your Calathea Ornata in a room with indirect sunlight and high humidity to thrive.

Guess what? The good news is you can buy the Ornata Calathea right here with Plantly. So go check it out, as you will not be disappointed when it comes the plant care.

Whether you want to buy, sell or simply reach out to other plant enthusiasts, Plantly is the right place to be!

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