Plant Care Velvet Calathea

Velvet Calathea

3.8 out of 5 (47 experiences)

Velvet Calathea has a Large, lush leaves plant personality Large, lush leaves
Velvet Calathea has a Fast grower plant personality Fast grower

About Velvet Calathea

Many of the houseplants we used to know as Calatheas now belong to the genus Goeppertia (say that three times fast). These plants have delightfully patterned leaves that come in all sorts of colors and shapes! Commonly known as prayer plants, the leaves of some species fold up at night through a process called nyctinasty meaning night movement! 😴

Taxonomy

Goeppertia rufibarba
Goeppertia
Marantaceae
Zingiberales

Also known as

Furry Feather Calathea, Furry Feather Calathea, Velvet Prayer Plant and Calathea rufibarba

How to care for Velvet Calathea

💦 Water

How often to water your Velvet Calathea

Water needs for Velvet Calathea
0.5 cups
every 9

Velvet Calathea needs 0.5 cups of water every 9 when it doesn’t get direct sunlight and is potted in a 5" pot.

Use our water calculator to personalize watering recommendations to your environment or download Greg for more advanced recommendations for all of your plants.

Calculate water needs of Velvet Calathea

Water 0.5 cups every
9

Does your plant get direct sunlight?

Select the pot size

5"
☀️ Light

Finding light for Furry Feather Calathea in your home

Light needs and placement for plant Velvet Calathea: 3ft from a window
3ft or less from
a window

Velvet Calathea may have difficulty thriving, and will drop leaves 🍃, without ample sunlight.

Place it less than 3 feet from a south-facing window to maximize the potential for growth.

Select your region to see how the current weather in your area affects the placement of Velvet Calathea in your home 🏡.

🪴 Nutrients

How to fertilize Velvet Calathea

Nutrient, fertilizer, and repotting needs for Velvet Calathea: repot after 2X growth

Most potting soils come with ample nutrients which plants use to produce new growth.

By the time your plant has depleted the nutrients in its soil it’s likely grown enough to need a larger pot anyway.

To replenish this plant's nutrients, repot your Velvet Calathea after it doubles in size or once a year—whichever comes first.

Browse #FurryFeatherCalathea
💡 FAQs
⭐ Difficulty Level

Velvet Calathea can be challenging to care for, according to some plant parents. Check out the reviews down below to learn from their experiences!

Benefits of Growing Furry Feather Calathea →

Common Furry Feather Calathea Problems →


💦 Water Needs

Velvet Calathea prefers for the soil to dry out between waterings and should be watered regularly. Use our water calculator to personalize watering recommendations to your environment or download Greg for more advanced recommendations for all of your plants.

Furry Feather Calathea Root Rot →


☀️ Sunlight Needs

Velvet Calathea may have difficulty thriving and will drop leaves 🍃 without ample sunlight. Place it less than 3 feet from a window to maximize the potential for growth. Select your region to see how the current weather in your area affects the placement in your home 🏡.

Furry Feather Calathea Light Requirements →

Furry Feather Calathea Direct Sunlight Needs & Tolerance →


🐶 🐈 👶 Toxicity

Velvet Calathea is not known to cause harm to humans or pets. Regardless, if you, a family member, a cat, or dog has ingested any plant material, please consult a doctor or a veterinarian.

Furry Feather Calathea Toxicity to Humans →


💨 Humidity

Velvet Calathea prefers dry environments. Providing extra humidity or misting your plant allows water to linger on leaves, which can create the perfect environment for harmful types of fungi.

Furry Feather Calathea Humidity Needs →


🪴 Soil

Velvet Calathea is very sensitive to dry soil, so choose a potting soil that retains moisture. A good soil will still drain well and contain lots of organic matter such as coco coir or sphagnum moss.

When and How to Successfully Repot Furry Feather Calathea →


💩 Fertilizer

Velvet Calathea should be repotted after it doubles in size or once a year, whichever comes first. Fresh potting soil has all the nutrients your plant needs, so as long as it’s refreshed yearly, you shouldn’t need to use fertilizer. Remember, plants get their energy from sunlight, not fertilizer!

How Much and When to Fertilize Furry Feather Calathea →


🌎 Native Region

Velvet Calathea is native to Tropical Americas.


🌸 Flowers

Yes, you may see your Velvet Calathea bloom with the right amount of sunlight and water.

Furry Feather Calathea Flowers →


⬆️ ⬇️ Growth Pattern

Velvet Calathea is a clumping plant, meaning new growth will emerge from the soil around the parent plant.

How and When to Prune Furry Feather Calathea →


🌦️ Growing Outdoors

USDA Hardiness Zone
Velvet Calathea can be grown outdoors in USDA Hardiness Zones 11a-12b. Find your local hardiness zone here.

Furry Feather Calathea Temperature Tolerance →


🌱 Propagation

Velvet Calathea can be propagated by division into new individual plants.

  • Check to see if there is more than one plant. In some cases they may still be beneath the soil surface. If you feel confident, you may remove the soil to check for baby plantlets below!
  • If there are multiple plants growing, unpot the plant and gently tug the plants apart, being careful not to disturb too many of the roots. They may be connected by large root segments which you may need to break to free the plantlet.
  • Pot up the new plant in well-draining soil
  • Repot the parent plant back into its original pot

How to Propagate Furry Feather Calathea →


🍂 Yellow Leaves

Yellow leaves aren’t always a reason to panic, and can be a normal part of a plant’s life cycle. Unless brand new leaves are turning yellow or all the leaves change color at once, it’s likely just your plant shedding old leaves.

Overwatering and root rot are the most likely cause of problems in Velvet Calathea, since they are sensitive to wet soil. The leaves may also appear to be curling or drooping. Less often, yellow leaves are caused by underwatering, nutrient deficiencies, or pests.

Replace soggy soil with fresh, dry soil and download Greg to make sure your plant never gets overwatered again!


🧐 Troubleshooting

When troubleshooting a sad-looking houseplant, start by checking for signs of distress in its leaves, such as yellowing, browning, or drooping, which can indicate overwatering or nutrient deficiencies.

Inspect the soil moisture; too dry or too wet soil can cause problems.

Ensure the plant is getting the right amount of light, as too much or too little can stress it.

Finally, consider environmental factors like temperature and humidity, and adjust care routines accordingly to revive your plant.


Care Summary for Velvet Calathea

Velvet Calathea

Velvet Calathea


Greg recommends:

Water

0.5 cups every 9 days

Placement

< 3ft from a window

Nutrients

Repot after 2x growth

Based on the 4” pot your plant is in, and that it doesn’t get direct sunlight.

What other plant parents say

Velvet Calathea has a Large, lush leaves plant personality Large, lush leaves 20
Velvet Calathea has a Fast grower plant personality Fast grower 18
Velvet Calathea has a Browns easily plant personality Browns easily 17
Velvet Calathea has a Survivor plant personality Survivor 15
Velvet Calathea has a Pest magnet plant personality Pest magnet 2
Velvet Calathea has a Easy to propagate plant personality Easy to propagate 1
@TaylorMdeBloomz avatar
@@TaylorMdeBloomz
leaf-1 42 Plants
xp 4,202 XP
03/06/2022

Even though my plant has quite a few brown tips I still love it. I love the texture of the leaves. Pretty plant and so far easy to maintain.

Survivor Survivor
Browns easily Browns easily
@JCPlantProper avatar
@@JCPlantProper
leaf-1 19 Plants
xp 32,500 XP
globe Homestead, FL
02/11/2022

They tell you when they’re not happy

Large, lush leaves Large, lush leaves
@Heather avatar
@@Heather
leaf-1 4 Plants
xp 1,142 XP
globe Tucson, AZ
01/20/2022

She is one of my faves because she is just so fun!! Her leaves are very fuzzy and soft to the touch. The beautiful purples and greens. They will wilt a bit if they don’t get enough water but the spring right back as long as it hasn’t gone too far! She brings me so much joy!!

Fast grower Fast grower
Large, lush leaves Large, lush leaves
Survivor Survivor
@DrJen avatar
@@DrJen
leaf-1 72 Plants
xp 6,852 XP
globe Portland, OR
01/16/2022

Finicky-much more so that other cake that species

Browns easily Browns easily
@ComicWildlime avatar
@@ComicWildlime
leaf-1 5 Plants
xp 118 XP
globe Tucson, AZ
01/14/2022

I have a love/hate relationship with this plant. It requires a lot of attention and never seems quite content. But it is beautiful and I want it so badly to thrive… so I keep trying my best. It needs a ton of humidity which is a constant struggle in Arizona and a very specific amount of light or it will brown very quickly! We can’t leave this plant alone for more than a couple of days so it’s not a good choice for frequent travelers!

Browns easily Browns easily
Fast grower Fast grower
@KaylieS avatar
@@KaylieS
leaf-1 36 Plants
xp 9,032 XP
globe Leawood, KS
01/13/2022

Very cool, fuzzy leaves. Similar to the rattlesnake calathea (which is the only other kind I will ever buy)

@ifonlyfloramoment avatar
@@ifonlyfloramoment
leaf-1 18 Plants
xp 1,092 XP
globe Baltimore, MD
11/16/2021

She’s my more high maintenance of the overall low-maintenance indoor plants. Very sensitive to temperature.

Browns easily Browns easily
@Carasoasis avatar
@@Carasoasis
leaf-1 4 Plants
xp 329 XP
09/23/2021

Have patience and prepare to be taken for a ride especially if you’re having to recreate their natural habitat.

It’s a lovely thing to witness, their leaves moving at different times of day, however if they’re not pleased with their environment or lack of water or overwatering they’ll be sure to alert you that something is wrong with the discoloration of their leaves.

Browns easily Browns easily
@Rauriblanchard08 avatar
@@Rauriblanchard08
leaf-1 5 Plants
xp 167 XP
globe Rochester, England
08/15/2021

It's lovely.

Fast grower Fast grower
Large, lush leaves Large, lush leaves
Browns easily Browns easily
@Rauriblanchard08 avatar
@@Rauriblanchard08
leaf-1 5 Plants
xp 167 XP
globe Rochester, England
08/14/2021

IT IS AMAZING!!

Large, lush leaves Large, lush leaves
Browns easily Browns easily
Survivor Survivor
Fast grower Fast grower
@Rauriblanchard08 avatar
@@Rauriblanchard08
leaf-1 5 Plants
xp 167 XP
globe Rochester, England
08/14/2021

IT IS AMAZING!!

Large, lush leaves Large, lush leaves
Browns easily Browns easily
Survivor Survivor
Fast grower Fast grower
Portia avatar
@Portia
leaf-1 27 Plants
xp 488 XP
globe Woodbridge, VA
08/01/2021

Fuzzy and loves moisturizer. Near my humidifier was in the bathtub and likes cold showers. It’s like a large pet plant. Lol

Large, lush leaves Large, lush leaves
Survivor Survivor
@Clairemul avatar
@@Clairemul
leaf-1 16 Plants
xp 416 XP
globe Longford, County Longford
06/23/2021

Beautiful in the hallway with black and white tiles

Large, lush leaves Large, lush leaves
@Nataleaf avatar
@@Nataleaf
leaf-1 74 Plants
xp 4,614 XP
globe New Orleans, LA
06/14/2021

This calathea is SO easygoing, and grows rapidly! I’ve been getting a whole new leaf every 1-2 weeks! Not to mention - they’re FUZZY!
I keep mine off to the side of an east window, where it gets maybe an hour of morning sun at most, and then bright indirect light through the day. I water approximately once a week or so - when the first inch of soil is dry. Distilled or rainwater only, or you may see some brown crispy edges. Such a great beginner calathea.

Fast grower Fast grower
Large, lush leaves Large, lush leaves
@gracehellyer avatar
@@gracehellyer
leaf-1 5 Plants
xp 125 XP
globe Bulford, England
06/06/2021

I thought it was dying because lack of water or I was over feeding it, turns out they just love to brown.

Large, lush leaves Large, lush leaves
Browns easily Browns easily
@jacob avatar
@@jacob
leaf-1 48 Plants
xp 1,538 XP
globe Champaign, IL
05/30/2021

Interesting plant, but very picky about humidity and about chlorine/fluoride in water.

Browns easily Browns easily
@Taracaldwell avatar
@@Taracaldwell
leaf-1 1 Plants
xp 72 XP
globe Stowmarket, England
05/25/2021

I love that this plant needs very little watering

Survivor Survivor
Fast grower Fast grower
Large, lush leaves Large, lush leaves

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