Calathea Vittata Care Tips You Should Know

All Calathea plants are beautiful, but there is something special about the particularly rare ones, such as Calathea vittata.

While Calathea vittata is not a beginner plant by any means, the extra care you might need to take to keep this plant happy is very much worth it, as it is one of the most striking plants within the genus.

Unfortunately, it’s also very difficult to get hold of. If you’re planning your next plant scavenger hunt, and you want to know what you’ll be letting yourself in for, here’s everything you need to know to care for this beauty properly.

Calathea Vittata At A Glance

Calathea vittata is a smaller variety than most, reaching an eventual 24 to 26 inches high at maturity. 

It has a similar look to the Pinstripe Calathea plant, Calathea ornata, but where the stripes are thick and bold pink on deep green leaves on Calathea ornata, they are finer and whiter on Calathea vittata, taking up most of the leaves.

Where To Grow Calathea Vittata

Calathea vittata needs to be within a few feet of a bright and indirect window. Any darker than this and the beautiful stripes may fade.

Keep this plant away from direct sunlight which isn’t morning sunlight, as it will damage the leaves. 

If sunny window sills are all you have, you can help prevent leaf scorch by diffusing the light with a sheer curtain.

Make sure this plant is away from drafts and sources of heat, as both will cause the leaves to crisp up.

As for temperatures, the ideal range is between 59°F and 86°F (or 15°C to 30°C), with no sudden drop in temperature. 

Ideal Soil For Calathea Vittata

Choose a good quality, well-draining houseplant compost mix. 

Add one part perlite and orchid bark to two parts compost, and this will keep the mixture airy and sharply draining, giving Calathea vittata everything it needs.

Alternatively, you could buy a specially formulated compost mix for Calatheas if you have more than one of these striking plants, and don’t want to create a mix yourself.

Watering And Feeding Calathea Vittata

An important part of caring for any Calathea plant is to make sure that the quality of water you’re giving your plant is right, as these plants are sensitive to chemicals and minerals found in tap water.

Rainwater is the best you can use, followed by distilled water or cooled kettle water. 

Check to see if your Calathea vittata needs watering by feeling the soil every few days or every week or so.

When the top inch to 2 inches of compost feels dry to the touch, it’s time to water your Calathea vittata. 

This will allow some of the soil to dry out, helping to prevent root rot and other fungal issues, without letting the plant dry out completely, which would cause leaf damage and other problems.

But life can get in the way. If your plant does get bone-dry, water it twice to rehabilitate the plant. Once to encourage the soil to expand, and the other to hydrate the plant.

Just make sure that you tip out any water that pools in the bottom of the pot or saucer. If your plant sits in water for any length of time, it may rot.

As for feeding your plant, it’s a good idea to use a good-quality houseplant feed, one that is balanced, using around half the recommended dosage.

Feed your plant every fourth watering or so during spring and summer, scaling this back to every sixth in fall, and not feeding the plant at all during winter.

Occasionally, flush out the soil with distilled water. This will wash away any buildup of chemicals or salts from the soil, caused by fertilizer and water, and it will also prevent the roots from burning.

Should You Give Calathea Vittata Higher Humidity?

All Calathea plants need some level of humidity to thrive.

Aim for about 60% humidity, which tends to be higher than average, so you may want to invest in a humidifier to keep things simple. 

If you have a lot of plants, you can raise the humidity by grouping plants near each other, which creates a microclimate.

How To Propagate Calathea Vittata

Propagating Calathea vittata couldn’t be easier, as you can do this through division. Make sure that there is more than one growth point or stem on your plant.

You might as well wait until the plant needs repotting to divide it, as you’ll be getting the plant out of the pot anyway. 

Simply divide the plant at the roots, making sure that each section has plenty of roots and top growth attached, and pot them up separately.

Problems To Watch Out For

Root Rot

Calathea vittata is vulnerable to root rot, so never water the plant blindly, and always check the bottom of the pot after watering for any excess water.


Fungus gnats, spider mites, and mealybugs are the main culprits. Make sure you check for pests often and use a horticultural soap at the first sign of damage.

Other Things To Consider When Growing Calathea Vittata

Air Flow

As you increase humidity, you also need to increase air circulation to prevent fungal problems. Keep the air flowing through your home with a fan when you run a humidifier.

Final Thoughts

Calathea vittata is a beautiful plant that can be demanding, especially if you haven’t grown similar plants before. Keep it in bright and indirect light, and give it higher humidity, but no extremes in temperature or water.

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