There are few plants that have as much character and beauty as the Jungle Velvet Calathea (Calathea warscewiczii). These plants originate from the rainforest, making them a rare sight in our homes.
Velvet Calathea are Prayer Plant relatives, and they truly have something unique to offer. However, they can be quite difficult to care for due to their natural environment being worlds away from ours.
If you’re looking for a guide on how to keep your plant happy and healthy, then this post is for you!
Here we will discuss all of the necessary steps needed to maintain these beautiful plants – including what type of water they need and when it should be watered.
Whether you’re concerned about your Calathea plant’s optimum condition or whether one would be a good fit for your space, we’ve got you covered.
Jungle Velvet Calathea Care Guide
The first thing you’ll want to do is pick the perfect spot for your plant. Calathea warscewiczii are quite sensitive so it’s important that they aren’t placed in areas with a lot of light or heat (especially if your house gets warm during summer).
These plants also need plenty of water, however, this can be difficult as their natural environment doesn’t have any running water – making tap-water extremely detrimental to these delicate plants!
Luckily there are several simple ways around this problem which we will discuss below:
Watering Your Plant
The majority of people choose to grow Calathea Jungle Velvets inside and without fail they all experience problems watering them due to lack of access to rainforest soil. With no running water nearby to provide the necessary nutrients, you will need to find a way of providing your plant with enough for it to thrive.
Jungle Velvet Calathea (Calathea warscewiczii) are known as companion plants and many people choose theirs because they like their exotic look (instead of an artificial or plastic alternative). If you’re looking for something that looks good on its own without much care required then this may be right up your street!
The best thing about these plants is that they don’t need any special light – meaning placing them anywhere in your home should do just fine! Just make sure there isn’t direct sunlight when using the windowsill method, especially if placed near glass doors/windows where they could get far too warm.
You could also choose to grow your prayer plant in a pot, which is the ideal method. These plants are native to Brazil and Costa Rica so you might want to try giving them some natural soil from there if you’re looking for something more authentic!
Watering Calathea Jungle Velvet with Soil
If possible, try and find somewhere that sells rainforest soil for use on Calathea Jungle Velvets. Alternatively, it’s entirely possible to make your own using ingredients found locally (pro tip: mixing peat moss with coco coir makes an excellent alternative). You’ll only need to water your plant with soil about once every two weeks or so, making it a great option for those who forget to water their plants often.
Watering Your Plant with Distilled Water
If you’re not able to find rainforest soil or just don’t want to go through the hassle, then watering your plant with distilled water is another viable option – albeit not the best one. You’ll need to do this at least once a week and will also need to provide your plant with some form of nutrients (more on that below). Make sure you use room-temperature water as cold water can shock your plant and may even kill it!
Fertilizing Your Plant
As we mentioned before, Calathea Jungle Velvets need a lot of water to thrive and unfortunately, most tap-water doesn’t have the necessary nutrients for them. This is where fertilizing comes in – it’s an important step that helps add the extra boost your plant needs to grow big and strong.
There are plenty of different types of fertilizer on the market but we recommend using one that is specifically made for houseplants. You’ll only need to apply it once every two months or so during the growth season and not at all during winter, making it easy to keep up with.
Lighting Your Plant
As we mentioned before, Calathea Jungle Velvet plants don’t require too much light – meaning they can be placed almost anywhere in your home without having to worry. However, if you’d like to place your plant near a window, make sure it’s not in direct sunlight as this could cause damage and even death.
Calathea Jungle Velvet Temperatures
When it comes to caring for a Calathea Jungle Velvet, keeping the temperature warm is critical. They are adapted to warm climates since they are native to tropical regions. Keep your Calathea away from any drafty doors or windows, as cooler air from outside will be sufficient enough to kill it over time.
Calathea Jungle Velvet Humidity
The most crucial aspect to consider when caring for a Calathea Jungle Velvet is humidity. They need high humidity to flourish, so we recommend spritzing the leaves twice each week as well as utilizing a humidifier, pebble tray, or taking a shower to increase levels even more. Doing this will help keep your plant healthy and looking lush all year long!
How Much Light Does Calathea Jungle Velvet Need?
Jungle Velvet Calathea grow well under medium to bright indirect light. To avoid scorching their leaves, keep them away from direct sunshine (particularly during the summer). If you have a sunroom or bright living room, your tropical plant will be very happy there.
If you don’t have a lot of natural light available, consider using a grow light to supplement. The jungle velvet will appreciate the extra boost!
How Much Water Does Calathea Jungle Velvet Need?
If you don’t have a partner to water your plants, ensure that the soil is kept wet (not soggy) and that it’s never bone-dry. These plants thrive in damp but not soggy soil. Before watering, test the moisture level of the soil with your fingertips. Water when the top inch of soil feels dry to the touch if you’re going on vacation.
What Kind of Soil Should I Use for My Calathea Jungle Velvet?
It’s preferable to use a soil-based potting mix. If you’re growing your plant in a container, be sure there are lots of drainage holes so that water can drain properly.
What Temperature Does Calathea Jungle Velvet Need?
Because they require a damp, humid environment, Calathea Jungle Velvet are suited to grow in pots. They will flourish under ordinary room conditions (65-75 degrees Fahrenheit). Extreme heat is not suggested since it may cause leaf scorching and root damage. If at all feasible, keep them away from heaters or air conditioner vents.
How Often Should I Water My Calathea Jungle Velvet?
Watering frequency depends on how quickly your soil dries out and what time of year it is–these two factors determine how much moisture needs to be replenished in the soil. Be sure to check the moisture level of the soil with your fingers before watering and water when the top inch of soil feels dry. During the winter, you may only need to water once a week or every other week. However, during the summer months, you may need to water twice a day!
What Should I Feed My Calathea Jungle Velvet?
A balanced liquid houseplant fertilizer can be used every other month during growth season. Be sure to follow package directions carefully as over-fertilizing can be harmful to these sensitive plants. Stop fertilizing in late autumn so that the plant can rest during its natural dormant period.
Is It Normal for My Calathea Jungle Velvet Leaves to Curl?
The most common reason for leaf curling is overwatering or underwatering. Check the moisture level of the soil before watering and ensure that your plant gets a thorough dousing once a week if it’s in a container.
How Can I Propagate My Calathea Jungle Velvet?
Taking stem cuttings is the most effective method to grow Calathea jungle velvet. Remove a healthy stem from the mother plant and allow it to dry for 24 hours before cutting it off. Then dip the end into rooting hormone powder and insert it into a wet container of soil. Maintain the soil dampness until new leaves appear!