If you are a plant lover, the Calathea crocata cannot be missing from your collection. This interesting and rare species is native to the rainforests of Central America and Ecuador and has attracted the attention of experts for its exceptionally rare characteristics. Also known as ‘the eternal flame plant’, this extraordinary member of the Marantaceae family possesses numerous qualities that contribute to enriching any home or garden setting with its whimsical yet fascinating appearance.

Also, like many other grandly decorative members of the same family, it grows well under rather harsh conditions; offering all levels of growers the chance to grow it without too many worries related to the general health of their plants.

Characteristics of the Calathea crocata

Calathea crocata is a plant of tropical origins that belongs to the Marantaceae family. . The texture of the leaves is silky and reversible, ie if touched it is possible to see how the upper part becomes darker and the lower margin takes on a lighter colour. Its physical characteristics, therefore, contribute to making this plant a valuable addition to home furnishings and decorations, as well as giving it a particular and refined aura. But it’s her spectacular flowers that make her so special; in summer, small, sponge-like inflorescences form at the end of the plant.


These color the emerald green of the leaves with an intense yellow with orange reflections, as if it were enveloped in an eternal flame. Precisely for this reason, Calathea crocata has also been called the Eternal Flame Plant. Being native to South America, it is a very heat resistant plant; however it is important to remember that it loves humidity and needs a lot of water, so it is advisable to water it regularly.

Care and cultivation of Calathea crocata

To make it grow healthy and strong, it is necessary to provide the Calathea with an environment suitable for its needs. The secret to Calathea crocata care is to make sure that all the fundamental elements such as humidity, temperature, sunlight, watering and fertilization are regulated in order to provide the plant with optimal growing conditions. Following these guidelines will help ensure that your eternal flame plant will live a long time.

Position

 Calathea crocata appreciates a bright position but not direct to the sun. The best place to put the Calathea is near a window facing south or east, but without direct exposure to the morning or afternoon sun. The plant can also withstand weaker indirect light, so if you decide to place it farther from a window, be sure to still provide it with the amount of light it needs to keep it healthy.

Humidity

The Calathea crocata appreciates a high humidity. Avoid placing it near sources of heat or air conditioning as low humidity will cause the leaves to dry out. Also, avoid moving the Calathea frequently as the sudden change in temperature and humidity could compromise its well-being. If you live in a rather dry environment, we recommend planting a humidifier near your plant to maintain adequate humidity levels throughout the year. Alternatively, you can also periodically spray the leaves with warm water or place a saucer with water to create humidity around the plant.

 

Temperature

Calathea crocata prefers temperatures between 18-24°C but can tolerate up to 16C during the night. . Also make sure to avoid drafts caused by doors or windows that are not closed properly as these can negatively affect the health of your plant and compromise its growth.

Watering

Watering must be regular but not too frequent; before watering and make sure the soil is always slightly moist (not wet). It is advisable to water less frequently in winter when the plant is in vegetative rest. During the hotter times of the year, check the soil more frequently as it tends to dry out more quickly. Furthermore, remember that between one watering and another it is important to allow the soil to dry out to avoid mold and fungi.

Fertilization

Fertilize Calathea crocata twice a year with specific products for ornamental plants and avoid fertilizers that are too rich in nitrogen (N) as they tend to cause problems if used too frequently and in large quantities. Use a neutral liquid fertilizer diluted in the garden water every time you water. Limit fertilizing during the cold months as the calathea will become less active during this time of year and need fewer nutrients than other seasons of the year.

Illnesses

Some fungal diseases such as mildiu are common in Calathea crocata; however, they can be easily controlled by following some simple preventive measures such as keeping the room where the plant is grown in a good hygienic state, preventive removal of dead and obsolete stems and timely application of antifungal treatments such as ready-to-use preparations or sprays with essential oils diluted in water (e.g. Tea Tree Oil).

 

The benefits of Calathea crocata

Calathea crocata can be an excellent addition to your health and well-being. First, Calathea crocata purifies the air and reduces pollutants such as carbon dioxide, ammonia and formaldehyde. Your home will have a healthier environment to breathe. Additionally, this plant is known to reduce cold and allergy symptoms due to its ability to absorb impurities in the air. Also, Calathea crocata can help you relax and be more creative. This herb has calming properties that can help reduce stress and tension. While Calathea crocata looks after you, it can also help boost your creative abilities.

Calathea crocata can be a great tool to improve productivity. Its colorful and cheerful look can help increase motivation and focus in a work environment or personal study area. This can lead to a greater sense of personal satisfaction when achieving important goals. Finally, the Calathea, in addition to giving a touch of color to your interior, is very easy to grow and maintain in ideal conditions.

Curiosity about Calathea Crocata

Calatheas grow up to half a meter tall indoors and can reach 90cm when grown outdoors. They are often used as decorative elements in interior design or as ornamental plants. They love indirect light so they are ideal for those with low light in internal rooms. Another interesting aspect of Calathea Crocata concerns its symbolic meaning. Many believe that this plant represents prosperity, fertility and abundance. Also in some cultures, the zigzagged flowers of this plant represent intuition and spirituality; they usually indicate that something good is coming into the lives of the people who cultivate it. Calatheas have traditionally been used as a decorative element in some of Japan’s oldest temples and were considered good luck charms by the Chinese aristocratic classes. They are also known to be a good insect deterrent, as they emit an unpleasant smell that can keep ants and cockroaches away from your home!

 

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