It's a bedtime plant today that I'm featuring on leavesnbloom. It's called Calathea crocata Tassmania and each night it looks like it is saying its prayers. In fact it folds up its leaves to let me know that its time for bed. Hence its common name 'The Prayer Plant'.
It's grown in the UK as a houseplant but originates from the tropical jungles of Brazil.
It has the most touchy feely leaves which are puckered and ribbed. Even without flowers the plant looks very ornate and it grows into a lovely clump of rich dark foliage. The top side leaves are a very dark green while on the underside they are purple.
Do you find this a difficult plant to grow in your home?
I know many people struggle to keep Calathea crocata Tassmania alive. So I hope these instructions will help you to succeed with this lovely houseplant.
Calathea crocata Tassmania Care Instructions
This plant can be quite demanding. Who really wants their house to feel like a jungle?
Light and Temperature
- Keep it away from strong sunlight. Subsequently it prefers light shade in the summer months and brighter light during the wintertime. Strong sunlight spoils the vibrancy of its leaves and fades them.
- Keep the plant warm with a minimum temperature of 16 °C /60 °F. Furthermore it hates draughts.
- This plant can get homesick! So you need to remind it of its jungle home.
- Mist the leaves everyday with lukewarm/room temperature (soft) water – never cold water! If it doesn’t have enough humidity it will promptly protest showing brown tips on its leaves. Just make sure you only mist the leaves not the flowers.
- As for its flowers – they are quite spectacular and many call the plant the Eternal Flame due to the shape of its blooms perched on top of the tall thick stems.
- The flowers should last about 2 - 3 months.
- It also likes to be evenly moist especially during the hot summer months. Check what type of compost your plant is growing in when you buy it. Mine grows in a coco fibre type compost. Imports from Holland to the UK are usually in this type of compost. If its grown in this medium then you need to keep the plant standing in 2 cms of water while in growth. It will say on the back of the label if it needs to be kept like this. Check the back of the label to see if it needs to be kept like this.
- It isn’t a heavy feeder and only requires half strength plant food. Once the clocks spring forward an hour in March I start to feed this plant once a month and once the clock falls back an hour in the autumn I will only feed the plant once every 2 months.
How to bring a Calathea crocata Tassmania back into flower again
I received this email from the growers in Holland detailing how to bring the plant back into flower again.
When the Calathea crocata Tassmania stops flowering please let it grow in the living room.
If you see new shoots and they are big enough (15 cm) then place it in a darker place like your bedroom for 10 weeks. Only water it a little when it really needs it. In this 10 weeks it will make new flowers.
After the 10 weeks you can put it in the living room again and give it enough water. It will take about 8 weeks before you see the new flowers coming.