Calathea | Plant Care Guide

Calathea Zebrina

Calathea are one of the most beautiful foliage plants getting around! With so many different leaf patterns and colours, you could fill your entire home with this one species and never get bored!

If you are going to invest in a Calathea, then you will want to make sure that you can provide it with the environment it needs to thrive! Think tropical, which means humidity, moisture and warmth. Which kinda goes against the climate we have here in Perth, but it can be created with a few simple tricks.

Difficulty level – medium

A.K.A peacock plant, zebra plant, rattlesnake plant


Likes bright, indirect sunlight. Definitely, no direct sun as it will scorch those pretty leaves.


Keep the soil moist but not drenched which means only allowing the top inch of soil to dry out before watering again. Reduce water in the colder months but still check the soil frequently so as not to dry it out.

Never water with tap water as the chlorine will scorch the leaves turning the tips brown. Instead use cooled, boiled water, distilled water or rainwater.

Create a bed of pebbles in a tray for it to sit on and make sure to always have water in the tray just below the top of the pebbles (you don’t want the water to be touching the pothole).

Spritz regularly to keep the leaf tips from browning and help with humidity.


Feed with a slow-release fertiliser once every six months following the instructions on the packet (remember, when you receive a plant from Green Assembly, it has enough slow-release fertiliser to last the first 6 months). During the warmer months, they like a drink of the stinky liquid stinky fish stuff (like Seasol) once a fortnight but err on the side of caution by halving the dilution instructions on the packet. Then sit back and watch him sprout fresh new leaves.

Main image credit: Daves Garden