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Trouble-Shooting Tuesday: Help! My Calathea is Miserable!

When a Calathea plant is struggling, it will be quick to show several signs of distress. Here are some tips on what to look for and how to troubleshoot common issues to help revive your (sigh) miserable Calathea:

Signs of Distress

  1. 🍂 Yellowing Leaves: 

  • Possible Cause: Overwatering or poor drainage or water quality

  • Solution: Ensure the pot has proper drainage, allow the top inch of soil to dry out between waterings, and use distilled or filtered water if your tap water is high in minerals.

  1. 👞 Browning Leaf Edges

  • Possible Cause: Low humidity, underwatering, or water quality.

  • Solution: Increase humidity by misting the plant regularly, using a humidifier, or placing a tray of water and pebbles near the plant. Water consistently, keeping the soil moist but not soggy. Use distilled or filtered water.

  1. ➿ Curling Leaves

  • Possible Cause: Low humidity, underwatering, or temperature stress.

  • Solution: Increase humidity levels, water the plant more frequently (but avoid waterlogging), and keep the plant in a stable environment away from cold drafts, aircon, and extreme temperatures.

  1. 😔 Drooping Leaves

  • Possible Cause: Overwatering or underwatering

  • Solution: The only way to be sure, is the check the soil moisture with your finger about 3 days after you last watered. Is it wet? It's probably waterlogged so make sure your pot is draining properly. Repot with fresh soil and only water when the soil is dry. Is it dry? The plant isn't being watered enough so make sure you give it a proper drink!

  1. 🕯Faded, Dull Leaves or No Growth

  • Possible Cause: Insufficient light.

  • Solution: Move the plant to a location with bright, indirect light. Avoid direct sunlight, which can scorch the leaves.

  1. 🏴‍☠️Brown Spots or Patches

  • Possible Cause: Fungal infections pr pests

  • Solution: Inspect the plant for pests like spider mites or mealybugs. Treat with a good pest spray (like our Mineral Oil!)

General Troubleshooting Tips for your Calathea

  1. Watering Practices

  • Consistency: Water regularly to keep the soil consistently moist but not waterlogged. Avoid letting the plant sit in standing water.

  • Water Quality: Use distilled or filtered water to avoid the harmful effects of tap water minerals and chlorine.

  1. Humidity

  • Increase Humidity: Calatheas thrive in high humidity. Use a humidifier, mist the leaves regularly, or place the plant on a humidity tray with pebbles and water.

  1. Light Conditions

  • Bright, Indirect Light: Ensure your Calathea receives bright, indirect light. Too little light can cause dull leaves, while too much direct sunlight can scorch them.

  1. Temperature

  • Stable Environment: Keep your Calathea in a room with temperatures between 18-27°C. Avoid placing the plant near drafts, heaters, or air conditioners.

  1. Soil and Potting

  • Well-Draining Soil: Use a well-draining potting mix to prevent water from sitting in the soil and causing root rot. Consider adding perlite or orchid bark to improve drainage.

  • Appropriate Pot Size: Ensure the pot is the right size for the plant, with drainage holes to prevent waterlogging.

  1. Pest Control

  • Regular Inspection: Check your Calathea regularly for pests like spider mites, aphids, or mealybugs. If you notice any, treat the plant promptly with your Mineral Oil

  1. Fertilisation

  • Balanced Fertiliser: Fertilise your Calathea during the growing season (spring and summer) with our Plant Coffee every 4-6 weeks.

  1. Cleaning

  • Leaf Care: Spray and wipe the leaves with our Mineral Oil and a damp cloth to remove dust and allow the plant to breathe better. This can also help prevent pests.

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