Calathea Freddie Care: Growing Calathea Concinna (Leopardina)

Calathea Leopardina is also known as Calathea Concinna Freddie.

You may also hear it referred to as Zebra Plant or Prayer Plants, a common name for all Calathea plant varieties.

Calathea Freedie potted with attractive zebra like patterns on leaves Pin

This attractive tropical perennial member of the Arrowroot or Marantaceae (mar-uhn-tase-ay-e) family of plants is native to the rainforest floors of tropical South America, specifically Brazil’s northwestern regions.

Calathea Concinna Freddie Quick Care Tips

  • Botanical Name: Calathea Concinna Freddie
  • Common Name(s): Freddie, Calathea Freddie, Calathea Concinna Freddie, Zebra Plant, Prayer Plants
  • Synonyms: Goeppertia concinna, Maranta concinna
  • Pronunciation: ka-LAY-thee-uh leh-prd-ee-nuh
  • Family & Origin: Marantaceae family, native to tropical South America, specifically Brazil’s northwestern regions
  • Growability: Moderate
  • Grow Zone: 10-11
  • Size: Grows up to 2 to 3 feet tall
  • Flowering: Produces small white flowers in spring
  • Light: Bright, indirect light
  • Humidity: High humidity, mist regularly or use a humidifier
  • Temperature: Keep in temperatures between 65° to 85° degrees Fahrenheit
  • Soil: Light, well-draining potting mix
  • Water: Keep soil consistently moist, but not waterlogged. Water when the top inch of soil is dry.
  • Fertilizer: Feed with weak nitrogen-rich fertilizer monthly throughout spring and summer
  • Pests & Diseases: Susceptible to spider mites, mealybugs, and fungal diseases. Keep leaves clean and remove any affected areas.
  • Propagation: Propagate through division
  • Plant Uses: Used as a decorative indoor plant for its unique foliage pattern and air-purifying qualities.

Calathea Freddie Care

Calathea Freddy Plant Size And Growth

Freddie Plant is a medium grower and can grow a couple of feet high with an equal spread.

In the perfect spot, Freddie’s bold foliage has light green leaves with lighter green zebra stripes giving it a striking and dramatic appearance.

As with many varieties of Calathea, they are nyctinastic. The leaves fold overnight and open in the morning.

Calathea Freddie Flower And Fragrance

It is unusual for Calathea to bloom indoors. But Freddie will reward you with very sweetly scented white blooms in the springtime under just the right conditions.

Freddie Plant Light Conditions And Temperature Needs

Calathea Leopardina likes partial shade and does well in a moderate to bright indirect light setting. 

It needs about 4 to 6 hours of indirect sunlight daily.

It does tolerate low lighting but not direct sunlight, as it can burn the leaves and cause the leaf colors to fade.

Keep your Calathea Concinna in a consistently warm setting, ranging from 65° to 85° degrees Fahrenheit. Be careful not to allow temperatures to drop below 60° degrees Fahrenheit.

Calathea Freddy is winter hardy in USDA hardiness zones 10-11.

As part of your Calathea Freddie plant care – Protect your Calathea from hot or cold drafts. 

Do not place the plant in front of an air conditioning or heating vent near an exterior door. Freddie is not fond of over-watering or cold weather.

Watering And Feeding

Generally speaking, Freddie likes soil moist soil. A weekly or bi-weekly watering schedule is a good water requirement. 

Remember, a brighter light exposure will cause the need for more watering.

Check the plants’ soil often. Water thoroughly when the top 2″ inches of soil feel dry to the touch. Note that dry soil can result in yellowing leaves.

The lower layers of soil should always stay moist but not soggy. Provide ample drainage and never allow the plant to stand in water to avoid root rot. 

Always use a pot with drainage holes to prevent wet soil.

However, avoid using tap water because it contains chloramine, fluoride, or chlorine and is high in salt, and may cause brown edges on the leaves.

So it’s best to use rainwater or distilled water instead.

As a tropical rainforest plant, Calathea Leopardina likes high humidity.

Keep humidity levels high through the use of a humidifier or by placing the plant on a pebble tray with a little water.

Be careful not to allow the bottom of the plant’s container to contact the water. The idea is to allow the water to evaporate, increasing the humidity levels surrounding the plant.

It is also a good idea to mist it daily. Group several potted plants so that they can keep and share humidity.

Fertilize lightly with a standard houseplant fertilizer a couple of times a year. Provide the first feeding early in the springtime, and provide the second feeding mid-summer.

Or fertilize with a weak nitrogen-rich fertilizer solution a couple of times monthly throughout spring and summer.

A complete liquid fertilizer diluted to half-strength is also a great option.

Freddie Calathea Plant Soil And Transplanting Requirements

Repot fast-growing Calatheas every year or two in the springtime or early in the summer.

Be sure to use a light, well-draining potting mix to prevent root rot on your Freddie plant. A mixture of equal parts coco coir, perlite, potting soil, peat, and coarse sand, works well.

Water the plant thoroughly the day before repotting, and moisten the new potting mix before using it. Choose a pot with good drainage, one size larger than the existing pot.

If you are dividing your Calathea, you may opt for smaller pots.

Grooming And Maintenance

Examine your Freddie Calathea plant often and prune off any damaged or dead leaves. 

Wipe the remaining leaves down periodically with a clean, damp cloth to remove dust. This practice will improve the plant’s ability to absorb moisture and aspirate.

Propagate Calathea Concinna Freddie

Propagate Calathea by division in the springtime when you repot. It’s the most successful propagation method to use.

Knock the entire root ball out of the pot. Loosen roots and remove the soil and carefully separate and pull them apart. Make sure each division includes a healthy offset.

Plant each new division in its own pot using rich, well-drained, and porous potting soil. Place the newly potted plant in a shady location and keep the soil moist (not wet). 

Use a rich, well-drained, and porous compost.

Calathea Freddie Pest Or Diseases

The most common problems experienced by this plant are the result of improper watering and excess water.

If you underwater your plant, you will find your Calathea leaves curling, brown leaf tips, and wilting leaves. 

If this happens, give the plant a good soak for about 20 minutes. Allow the top two inches of soil to dry before providing another thorough watering.

If you overwater, you will notice yellow leaves and a blackened base. If this happens, trim back damaged foliage and allow the soil to dry well before watering again.

You may need to replant into a clean, new pot with completely fresh soil if root rot has set in. If you do repot, examine the roots and trim away any dead, damaged, or rotted roots before repotting.

Spotted leaves may come from a fungal infection or mineral buildup caused by watering with tap water. 

It’s better to water with distilled water. If you cannot do this, at least allow tap water to sit out overnight to dissipate some of the chemicals.

Insects: poorly cared for plants are susceptible to infestation by common houseplant pests, such as spider mites and mealybugs.

NOTE: Freddie is a non-toxic, pet-friendly, and kid-friendly plant. Even so, it would be best if you kept it out of the reach of kids and pets for its protection.

Suggested Calathea Concinna Freddie Uses

In its native lands, people use Calathea Leopardina’s fancy, non-toxic leaves in various crafts and wrapping food.

In USDA hardiness zones 10-11, Calathea Freddie can make an excellent ground cover.

It can spend spring and summer outdoors in a container on a covered porch or under a shade tree in cooler locations. It should come indoors for the late fall and the winter.

In the US and around the world, these pretty tropical plants are popular as houseplants.

Zebra Plant is an easy-care houseplant that does well with very little attention in the right setting.

The plants’ preference for low light and high humidity makes it a nice choice as a bathroom plant.

Calathea Concinna is also a perfect choice as an office or indoor plant as it does well in a controlled climate environment. It even likes artificial lighting.

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