The Calathea Rosy is one of those plants you’ll never forget once you see it. Its striking pink centered foliage bordered by a darker green color is a sight to behold.
It is worth noting that is a cultivar of the Calathea Roseopicta, which is why it does resemble that plant in terms of looks.
But, the biggest difference between them is the Calathea Roseopicta has green leaves while the Calathea Rosy has pink leaves.
As such, the plant’s botanical name is Calathea Roseopicta ‘Rosy’.
Like other calathea, it is a prayer plant. Thus, it will fold its leaves come night light to reveal the undersides of its leaves.
Thanks to its beauty, the Calathea Rosy is well-sought after as a houseplant. It is often used as living room décor thanks to is large, pink colored foliage.
Calathea Rosy Plant Care
The Calathea Rosy is a variegated plant. As such, it needs a lot of light. But, the light needs to be indirect, filtered or dappled. It cannot tolerate direct sunlight nor can it tolerate overly intense sun.
Otherwise, its leaves will get scorched.
And, the result of will cause it to lose the beautiful colors of its foliage.
It has gotten accustomed to dappled lighting because it lives under the canopy of larger trees and plants in the rainforest. As such, it has been sheltered from the direct rays of the sun.
On the other hand, it can withstand a bit of shade of well. It does not have any problem growing majestically in medium to slightly low light.
However, this time its lovely variegations also means you need to avoid dark rooms and dim low lit spots in your home.
Non-green areas of the plant don’t absorb or process light for photosynthesis. As such, the more variegations a plant has, the more light it needs to create its own food via this process.
It is does not get enough light, its growth will slow, its leaves won’t grow as big as they should and it will also produce dull hues.
The plant will also become leggy as it desperately will try to reach out towards the direction where the light source is coming from.
To help it along, I’ve found that regularly cleaning its leaves with a damp cloth gets rid of dusts that accumulates on top of its foliage. This helps it absorb more light as well.
But, avoid using leaf shine as it will damage the plant’s leaves and may cause the tips to turn brown.
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Your Calathea Rosy enjoys an ideal temperature between 65 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit. The reason for this is that it is native to tropical regions.
Thus, it fares much better in warm weather than it does cold.
While the temperature range above it what most homes have, it is also helpful to know that the plant won’t have a problem as long as conditions stay between 60 and 95 degrees.
The farther off you go from the ideal range, the less optimal the growth, although the difference isn’t much as long as you stay within the wider range.
That said, problems do arise if you keep it in temperatures under 60 degrees.
The plant does not do well in the cold. It cannot tolerate frost or freezing conditions. Thus, avoid leaving it outside through the snowy winter.
Indoors, also keep it away from rooms where you use air conditioning. Avoid cold drafts from vents and open windows as well.
Like temperature, your Calathea Rosy enjoys humid conditions. This stems from its tropical origins.
As such, keeping humidity between 60% to 80% allows it to grow optimally, producing the most vibrant colored foliage.
Unfortunately, these levels are a big too high for most homes.
If you live in Southeast Asia, Central or South America, you’ll notice the humidity consistently runs between the very high 50s to the 60s. As such, you won’t have problems with the plant moisture-wise.
However, that’s not the case in the U.S.
You may get lucky if you live in the lower part of the country. But, I still suggest getting a digital humidifier to make sure.
This way, you don’t suddenly notice your beautiful Calathea Rosy start losing its colors.
If indoor humidity happens to be too low, here are a few ways to increase it.
- Mist the plant at least 3 times a week
- Group it together with other plants
- Place it on a water tray on top of pebbles.
- Move it to a more humid room. The bathroom ranks #1 in humidity, followed by the kitchen.
- Get a humidifier.
Any of these methods can work depending on how much you need to push up humidity.
How Often to Water Calathea Rosy
Calathea Rosy enjoy moist soil. Be careful not to get it soggy or wet which can cause problems in the long term.
The most important things to keep it mind with this plant are:
- It is prone to overwatering
- It is susceptible to chemicals in the water.
As such, the former means that it is a good idea to allow the top 2 inches of soil to dry out before you water. Doing so will prevent watering too frequently.
If you do, you’ll notice its leaves start turning yellow. This is a sign that it is getting too much water and you should scale back immediately.
In the winter, the cold weather make sit more prone to wet soil. As such, water less frequently as well.
Note that the plant is not particularly drought tolerant either. This is one reason the plant is fussy.
Thus, you need to balance watering very carefully.
Otherwise, lack of water will turn its leaf edges brown.
On the other hand, the second point means you should avoid tap water.
Collecting rainwater is the best option. If you can afford it, use distilled water. However, if where you live does not have consistent rainfall, then I suggest using tap water. But, allowing it to sit in room temperature at least overnight.
This will allow the chemicals to evaporate before you use it. This makes it safe to use tap water on the plant.
Soil for Calathea Rosy
Because of its fussy nature towards water, soil plays an important role.
That’s because the type of soil you chose will either help or hinder drainage.
Ideally, you want a well-draining mix to avoid wet or waterlogged soil which can eventually lead to root rot.
But, you don’t want it to drain too well. Overly fast draining soils will deprive the plant of water if needs.
The good news is you have a few options.
- African violet mix – I recommend this if you don’t want to create your own potting mix. You can pick one up at your local nursery and use it out of the box. No mixing required.
- 2 parts peat with 1 part perlite or sand – this is another good option. It works well if you prefer being able to make your own potting soil or want to save a little money.
- 50% potting soil, 20% charcoal, 20% orchid bark, 10% perlite – If you prefer a bit more complex but something looser and airier, this is what I go with.
Any of these potting mixes will work. It really is up to you on which you prefer.
Another thing you want to be mindful of with your Calathea Rosy is feeding.
It is not a particularly big feeder. As such, a weak fertilizer, using a light application or diluting the dose is very important.
Like water, fertilizer will do more harm that good if you give the plant too much.
I like to use a balanced liquid fertilizer once a month during the spring and summer. These is its growting seasons.
As such, giving it sufficient sunlight, water and fertilizer will allow it to grow and produce beautiful new foliage.
If you notice that it is not growing as quickly as it should you can up the frequency to once very 2 weeks.
Come fall and winter, stop feeding. There’s no need to apply plant food during these months.
Pruning is one of the few aspects of your Calathea Rosy where it does not require a lot of work or monitoring.
That plant grows to between 15 inches to about 2.5 feet.
It does not get too big, too dense or too long. Nor does it get untidy or unruly.
Thus, you only need to trim it to keep its shape of it you feel that it is getting too bushy. Both of which are optional.
That said, you do want to remove, yellow and brown leaves. You also want to trim off any damaged or diseased foliage.
Calathea Rosy Propagation
Calathea Rosy is best propagated through division. Unfortunately, it does not respond well to stem or leaf cuttings which are easier and less messy to do.
However, division instantly gives you another plant without having to wait for cuttings to root or develop shoots and leaves.
The best time to propagate your Calathea Rosy is when you repot in spring.
Since you’ll be taking the plant out of its container, you can divide it as well then.
Here’s how to propagate Calathea Rosy through division.
- Before you being, it is a good idea to have a few things on hand. These are, a new pot or pots (if you want to divide more than once), fresh potting mix (see Soil Section above) and a place where you can get messy. If you’re doing it indoors, I recommend covering an area of the floor with old newspaper.
- Once you’re ready, carefully take the plant out of its container.
- Inspect the root ball and roots for any problems. Then remove excess dirt and soil.
- Now it is time to choose the segments to divide. Depending on the size of your plant, you can divide into 2 or 3 segments, probably not more than that.
- Choose healthy stems that make good new plants. Then trace them down to the root ball.
- And, find each of these stems’ matching roots.You can mark them to make it easy to remember.
- Using a sterile knife, carefully separate that segment from the mother plant.
- Repot each of the segments including the mother plant in their respective containers with fresh potting mix.
How to Repot Calathea Rosy
Repotting your Calathea Rosy is another lower maintenance task. But, you do want to check it every now and them to see if it needs to be moved to a larger container.
On average, this takes about 2 to 3 years or so. Thus, you have some time in between.
When you see roots coming out from the bottom of the pot, it means your plant is in search of more space to grow in.
The best time to repot is during spring.
When you do repot, you want to be careful to limit the shock of being transplanted to a minimum. This will allow the plant to recover quickly.
More importantly, avoid leaf dropping or cause it to completely stop growing after its move which I’ve seen calathea do.
Make sure to go up only one pot size larger. Larger pots increase the risk of overwatering.
Also, choose a container with drainage holes at the bottom to allow excess moisture to drain.
Calathea are non-toxic to humans and animals. This makes the Rosy safe to keep around young children or pets who might accidentally chew or ingest parts of the plant.
Pests and Diseases
Your Calathea Rosy is not particularly prone to pests or diseases as long as it is well taken care of.
That said, it is very important to inspect your plant regularly and clean its leaves. This will allow you to quickly spot any changes and deal with it as soon as possible.
Among the different pests, if any come your Rosy’s way, spider mites are the most common. And, they can be dangerous to your plant’s health if not dealt with immediately.
You can use neem oil or insecticidal soap which gets rid of them.
Diseases can likewise happen because of the plant’s desire for humid conditions. This increases the risk of moisture problems.
As such, be very mindful of how much you water, how you water and when you water. Doing so will prevent root rot, leaf spot and other fungal infections.