Calathea Roseopicta Care: Growing The Rose Painted Calathea

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Calathea Roseopicta (ka-LAY-thee-uh  ro-see-oh-PIK-tuh) is the old name for a very attractive, large-leaved perennial member of the Marantaceae family of plants hailing from northwestern Brazil. 

You may still see the plant offered under this botanical name, but the new and correct botanical name is Goeppertia roseopicta (go-PER-sha ro-see-oh-PIK-tuh). 

atractive dark green leaves of Calathea RoseopictaPin

The botanical name, Goeppertia, refers to the zebra-striped appearance of the plants’ leaves. 

When using the plants’ older name, the botanical name, Calathea, refers to the plants’ basket-shaped blooms.

When using either of the plants’ scientific names, the specific epithet, roseopicta, is Latin and means rose-painted.

You may hear this plant commonly referred to as: 

  • Rose-Painted Calathea
  • Calathea Medallion
  • Jungle Velvet 
  • Prayer Plant
  • Goeppertia
  • Calathea

Many plants in the Marantaceae family are called Prayer Plants because their leaves fold up in the evening and resemble hands in prayer. This plant movement is called nyctinasty. It enables plants to absorb and conserve moisture efficiently. 

Calathea Roseopicta Care

Some look-alike plants are also commonly referred to as Prayer Plants. Among these are Maranta cousins, Stromanthe and Ctenanthe, and Calathea makoyana, which looks quite similar to Goeppertia.

Size and Growth

Calathea Medallion is a compact plant with a clump-forming growth habit and a moderate growth rate. This perennial Brazilian native spreads underground by rhizomes. 

When grown in the landscape, it typically attains a height of one or two feet with a 1-foot spread. The plant can also be grown in large containers with a height of about 16″ inches.

Flowering and Fragrance

Rose-Painted Calathea is best known for its beautiful foliage. The flowers of this plant are interesting but not especially showy. 

Small, white-to-purple blooms appear on outdoor plants early in spring and persist sporadically into summer. They are attractive to bees and other pollinators.

Indoor plants seldom, if ever, bloom. 


Calathea has especially beautiful foliage. The dramatic elliptical leaves may be 6″ to 10″ inches long. The undersides of the leaves are deep magenta. The topsides display feathery rose-colored markings on a deep green background. 

Color patterns vary from one cultivar to the next. Some popular cultivars include: 

  • Calathea Medallion
  • Calathea Eclipse
  • Calathea Dottie

The color contrasting central ribs and midribs are quite pronounced in shades of red and burgundy, which transition to white as the leaves mature. 

Calathea Roseopicta Medallion: Basic Information

Light and Temperature

This tropical jungle dweller is only winter hardy in USDA hardiness zones 11 and 12. It will not survive in areas where temperatures fall below 61° degrees Fahrenheit. 

When kept as a houseplant, Jungle Velvet likes room temperatures between 65° and 75° degrees Fahrenheit. It’s important to protect your houseplant from hot or cold drafts. 

Place your indoor Prayer Plant away from windows, doors, and vents and receives ample bright, indirect sunlight. 

Turn the plant every few days to ensure all sides receive enough light to prevent lopsided growth and support photosynthesis. 

Can you grow Goeppertia roseopicta outdoors? 

If you live in an area with reliably warm weather in the spring and summer, you can allow your plant to enjoy living outdoors on a sheltered porch, deck, or patio during the warm summer months. 

In a tropical setting, Goeppertia can be planted directly in the landscape. Be sure to choose a spot where your plants can enjoy conditions similar to their native Brazilian home. 

They should receive dappled sunlight all day or a few hours of direct early morning sun with good shelter from the harsh noonday and afternoon sun. 

Protect outdoor Calathea from harsh winds. 

Watering and Feeding

Rose-Painted Calathea likes soil that is consistently moist but never soggy. Indoors or outdoors, provide a deep watering whenever the top few inches of soil feel nearly dry. 

The frequency of watering will vary depending on the ambient heat and humidity. You will naturally water more frequently during the spring and summer outdoors and reduce watering during the winter.

Houseplants may need consistent, regular watering year-round and may even need more water in winter if your heating system causes dry air. 

A humidifier and/or pebble tray can help increase humidity levels around your plants. 

TIP: The prayer Plant is very sensitive to water quality. Hard water will cause leaf spots, so it’s best to use bottled, filtered, or rainwater. Never use softened water because it contains high levels of sodium.

Fertilize Your Goeppertia Sparingly 

These plants are not heavy feeders, so if you repot annually in the spring using soil well-amended with compost, you don’t need to fertilize Goeppertia. 

If you do not repot annually, or if your plants are in the landscape, use a balanced, water-soluble fertilizer with an NPK ratio of 10-10-10. 

You can give potted plants a half-strength feeding every month throughout the growing season. Give plants in the landscape a full feeding once early in the spring and again mid-summer. 

A layer of mulch over the surface of the soil will also provide continuous, slow-release nourishment while helping conserve moisture. 

Soil and Transplanting

Whether kept as a houseplant or in the landscape, Jungle Velvet plants like a light, airy, fluffy, well-draining growth medium that stays consistently, slightly moist – never soggy. There are a couple of ways you can achieve this. 

Work plenty of organic matter in the landscape, such as peat or coco coir, into the soil and gritty material, such as fine gravel. 

When keeping Calathea in pots, you can use a soilless, peat, or coco-coir-based mix well-amended with perlite; however, if you do this, you will need to fertilize regularly. 

It is also possible to use a very good quality, standard potting soil that has already been amended with peat and other organic matter and add plenty of perlite for improved aeration. 

Generally speaking, no matter which potting mix you choose, it should be about 1/3 perlite. 

How often should you repot Goeppertia? 

Annual repotting in the springtime is always a good idea; however, it is not absolutely necessary for Goeppertia. You can repot every couple of years if this is more convenient for you.

Watch the plants’ roots. If they begin to grow through the pots’ drainage holes, you know it’s time to repot. 

Always use a container that has plenty of drainage holes. 

Grooming and Maintenance

For the most part, Prayer Plants don’t need much grooming and maintenance. Inspect your plant every few days and remove any diseased, damaged, or dead leaves. 

You can remove the blooms when they have finished blooming, or if you prefer, trim them off as soon as they appear. Some plant parents feel that the small, rather plain flowers detract from the appearance of the foliage. 

How To Propagate Calathea Roseopicta

When you repot your Goeppertia, you can and should divide the plant to create more. Be sure to give your plant a good watering the day before repotting. This will help reduce transplant shock. 

Prepare your containers and potting mixture in advance so that you can quickly unpot your mature plant, divide it and repot it in new (or sterilized) containers. 

You can divide the plants’ roots with your fingers or use a very sharp, sterilized cutting implement. 

Place your repotted plants back in their accustomed area (or any area that provides shelter, consistent warmth, and plenty of bright, indirect sunlight. 

Keep the transplants well-watered until you see new growth, then transition to a soak-and-dry watering routine.

Continue to care for your transplants as mature plants. 

Is the plant considered toxic or poisonous to people, kids, and pets?

Calathea roseopicta is non-toxic and safe to plant in the landscape or keep around your home. 

Is the plant considered invasive?

Although Goeppertia spreads easily by rhizomes, it is not considered invasive. It is worth noting that other Calathea species have been found to be invasive in tropical settings such as Hawaii. 

If you live in an area where the plant can overwinter and spread, keep an eye on it. Don’t let it ramble out of your garden. 

Prayer Plant Pest or Diseases

Well-cared-for Calathea is relatively trouble-free. Your plants will thrive when you provide a setting that closely mimics Brazilian rainforest floor conditions.

As with most plants, lack of light, cold temperatures, and soggy roots will cause problems with fungal infections, such as root rot. 

On the other hand, too much light, lack of humidity, or too little water can easily cause Jungle Velvet to experience crispy leaf tips and edges, leaf curls, leaf drops, and leaf spots. 

Most ailments you might encounter when keeping Prayer Plant as a houseplant can be dealt with by simply correcting environmental problems. 

If your plant seems unhappy, examine your care practices and correct problems such as low or high light, dry or soggy soil, muggy or dry air, and your plant will likely bounce right back.

Weakened plants attract pests! 

Plants that are weakened by incorrect care in the long term become subject to infestation by common houseplant pests, such as: 

  • Spider Mites
  • Mealybugs
  • Aphids
  • Scale

Most of these invaders can be dealt with by washing them away with a blast of water and/or hand-picking them off. Follow up with a treatment of insecticidal soap or neem oil spray. 

You may need to continue treatment for a couple of weeks to be sure of killing off all adult pests and their emerging offspring. 

Suggested Rose-Painted Calathea Uses 

Goeppertia roseopicta’s colorful foliage makes it a gorgeous and welcome addition to almost any setting. It brings color, drama, and interest to shady place gardens in wet tropical and subtropical climates. 

As a specimen plant in a sheltered courtyard, Rose Painted Calathea is a showy and impressive addition.

In areas outside of USDA hardiness zones 11 and 12 (e.g., Hawaii and south Florida) or its native Columbia, Peru, and Brazil, Calathea makes a wonderful, easy-care houseplant. 

It can do quite well in low-light settings, making it a great tabletop or bathroom plant choice. It can also do very well in an office setting with fluorescent lighting. 

Prayer Plant is a pretty summertime addition to a sheltered balcony, patio, porch, or terrace in temperate areas. 

Calathea Dottie | Goeppertia roseopicta ‘Dottie’ | Prayer Plant

Keeping Your Goeppertia roseopicta Comfortable Is Only Natural!

Although it may sound a bit challenging to find just the right happy medium for your plant, the good news is that as long as you are comfortable in your home, your potted Calathea probably will be, too!

The same is true of Jungle Velvet in the landscape. Just be sure to give your plants shelter from extremes of sun, wind, and temperature, and they will reward you with carefree growth and brilliant color for years to come. 

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