How to Look After Calathea veitchiana (Calathea Medallion) Prayer Plant - A Care Guide

Updated: Apr 25

Here's some tips on how to care for a Calathea Medallion, so that you can make the most of this striking Prayer Plant.

A Calathea veitchiana being held up at the Garden Geeks store | Garden Geeks UK
A Calathea veitchiana at the Garden Geeks store

Calathea Medallion


Part of the Prayer Plant family, the Calathea veitchiana is a tropical houseplant that hails from the Amazon jungles in South America, where it basks in the dappled light of the dense vegetation.


With its large medallion shaped leaves, (hence its common name), this Calathea makes for a striking house plant that can add interest to a slightly lower light spot in your home or plant collection.

Light


In the wild, you'll find Calathea veitchiana among the dense vegetation of the Amazon jungle, where the light is more dappled.


Indoors, your Calathea Medallion will prefer medium-bright yet indirect sunlight and can cope with moderate shade.


Avoid harsh direct sunlight which can scorch the plant's leaves. Too much or too little light will cause your prayer plant's bold foliage patterns to fade.



Soil


You'll want the soil of your Calathea Medallion to retain some moisture, while also being able to drain well.


If your Prayer Plant's soil becomes waterlogged for too long this may cause root rot. Adding perlite to your soil will help increase drainage and help provide aeration for the roots, as will adding a little bark, which will also aid with some water retention too.


A 1/3 coarse matter (bark/perlite) to 2/3 potting soil mix is a good ration to begin with.


Watering



From around April until October you should aim to keep your Calathea Medallion moist with a regular watering schedule, but avoid letting it soak in saturated soil for too long each time. In winter you can reduce your watering regime.


As a general guide, water with luke warm water once the top couple of inches of your Calathea Veitchiana's soil has dried out fully.


You may need to adjust your watering schedule depending on your potting mix, air humidity and temperature.


A simple finger check (sticking your finger a couple of inches into the top layer of soil) is an easy way to see if your plant needs watering. You can also practise picking your plant up after watering to feel the weight difference of the pot before watering and when the soil has dried.


Humidity


Since it's form the South America tropics, like most Prayer Plants, your Calathea veitchiana will enjoy some humidity. This makes it well suited to a more humid part of the house such as a kitchen or bathroom.


Feel free to give your Medallion Calathea a misting every so often, or place them on a tray of pebbles with water underneath. Placing it around other house plants helps to create a more humid microclimate too.


If the tips of your Calathea's leaves are going a little brown, this may mean it's not getting as much humidity as it would like.


Temperature


Being a tropical plant, your Calathea Medallion will do best in temperatures between 18–24°C. Try to avoid letting the temperature drop to below 13°C or placing your Prayer Plant near places prone to cold draughts.


Toxicity


Calathea veitchiana / Calathea Medallion / Prayer Plants are non-toxic for pets and humans.

Growth


Moderate to slow speed growers, your Calathea Medallion can grow up to 40 to 60cm in height and will generally stop at about 2 feet.

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