Calathea White Star: The #1 Care, Propagation, and Watering Guide

Calatheas are well-known for their beautifully patterned foliage. They stand out due to their striking white and green foliage, with violet undersides and a light pink shade. They come from the Amazonian jungles and are used to such conditions, so they demand environments that are comparable to those of their natural tropical environment. In this article, let’s take a closer look at the beautiful Calathea White Star.

Calathea White Star

These lovely plants are some of the favorites, despite needing a little more maintenance than many other houseplants. It is also known as Calathea White Star, Majestic Prayer Plant, and Calathea Majestic. Although it requires specific care and is not for beginners, it will reward you with a lovely decorative plant if you keep the plant healthy and take the necessary care of it.

Do you want to learn more about what Calathea White Star has to offer? Take time to read this article and let yourself be mesmerized by how awesome this plant is! 

Calathea White Star Profile

Calathea White Star Profile

General Information

Calathea White Star (Geoppertia majestica) is a perennial Marantaceae family member with beautiful leaves. It has leaves that are oval-shaped and colored green and white. This plant is more than just graceful and lovely, though. In the past, it was also used as a basket made of its tough, waxy leaves, which were used to convey fish and grains. 

Compared to other tropical plants, Calathea White Star is said to have a little more dramatic and sensitive character. To thrive, it requires nutrient-rich, wet, lightweight, well-draining soil, weekly watering, indirect sunlight, high humidity, and a constant room temperature that falls between 65 and 77°F. It also needs fertilizer applied monthly. 

Etymology

The Calathea white star is a member of the Calathea genus, which Georg Meyer first discovered in 1822. The phrase “to turn over a new leaf,” which describes what the plant does when it gets dark. 

On the other hand, the genus name “Calathea” is derived from the Greek word “kalathos,” which means basket or vessel. This is due to how the Native South Americans used this plant to weave baskets.

Flowering

Calathea plants are a type of flowering plant that originates from the plant family Marantaceae. Since it only flowers in its natural environment, most people who collect this plant do so for its gorgeous patterned foliage. Unfortunately, it very rarely blooms when kept inside. It may be possible, though, if you take good care of it and mimic its own environment.

Season of Interest and Purchasing

Calathea is a great option if you want to add a stylish houseplant. Its remarkable white and green leaves would stand out because of its unusual and beautiful patterned foliage, which includes violet undersides and a light pink hue. Spring and summer are when it is most active and growing.

Growth

Calathea White Star grows 4-5 feet in height and a width of 1-2 feet when grown to its maturity indoors. Its stems grow tall and upright in the pot since it has a shrub-like shape. The growing season for this plant is in the spring and summer, and it grows at a moderate rate.

Calathea White Star Overview

Scientific nameGeoppertia majestica ‘White Star’
Common name/sCalathea White Star, Majestic Prayer Plant, Calathea Majestic
FamilyMarantaceae
Growth HabitHerbaceous
Height and SpreadCan grow up to 4-5 feet tall and a spread of 1-2 feet wide
Classification based on life cyclePerennial
Origin and DistributionOriginates from Brazil, South America, and other tropical countries
Climate ZoneGenerally warmer climate
USDA Plant Hardiness ZoneUSDA Zone 9 – 11
ColorGreen and white colored leaves that are oval-shaped

Related: 20 Types of Calathea Plants that You Should Have in Your Garden

Care Tips

Calathea White Star

Light Requirement

Insufficient sunlight will cause the leaves to yellow and wilt, whereas too much sunlight will scorch the leaves. The trick is to place them where they can get soft, filtered, indirect light. Set up your plant in a shaded area next to a window or patio that gets enough direct sunlight to imitate its natural environment. You may also use artificial grow lights.

Temperature Requirement

Your White Star Calathea thrives in environments with temperatures between 18 and 25 degrees Celsius and 65 to 77 degrees Fahrenheit. However, temperatures below 65°F might cause poor development or even hibernation. 

Although it can endure the rising warmth for a short time, continued exposure will result in drooping leaves.

Water Requirement

This plant requires consistently moist soil all year long. Calatheas cannot withstand dry soil and will quickly wither. Therefore, make sure your white star plant is damp but not dripping wet on top. Watering should be done as soon as the soil’s top layer starts to dry out.

To avoid root rot, never overwater plants. The roots of Calathea White Star are vulnerable to root rot despite enjoying dampness. This is common if your soil is not fast-draining and you overwater your plant.

In addition, this is also one of those thirsty plants that need more water, so you should always keep its topsoil slightly wet but never soggy. Always check the top 2-3 inches of the soil before watering. Permit the water to drain thoroughly to avoid overwatering and root rot. 

During the winter, you can reduce the watering frequency as it becomes semi-dormant during this season.

Humidity Requirement

Since Calathea White Star is a native of the rainforest, it requires 50–60% humidity to retain highly colorful and healthy leaves. In order to replicate its natural surroundings, The plant will lose its leaves and start to exhibit dry, crisp tips since the air doesn’t have enough moisture to support healthy foliage growth.

There are many methods you may use to increase the humidity around your plant. Depending on the environment, misting the leaves once or twice a week. You can put up pebble trays, purchase a humidifier, or situate your plant next to the kitchen or bathroom.

Check the amount of air moisture in the Calathea White Star’s vicinity with a straightforward hygrometer. If the reading is extremely low, a pebble tray, humidifier, or mist can be used to increase the humidity. It helps create a more humid atmosphere that is perfect for growing various types of houseplants and maintaining the shape of Calatheas.

Soil Requirement

The ideal soil mixture should effectively drain away excess water while retaining moisture. It prefers potting soil with organic nutrients for the roots of the plants. A mixture of perlite, orchid bark, and garden soil will provide adequate aeration and nutrients for your plant. You can add a little coco peat or moss to retain more moisture. 

Proper aeration is essential for the growth of your plant’s roots. Additionally, the pH of your soil should be acidic, ideally falling between 6.0 and 6.5.

Fertilizer Requirement

Fertilizers assist your plants in growing larger and producing more colorful leaves. Its growing season is throughout the spring and summer. During this time, fertilize your plant once a month using a balanced, water-soluble fertilizer. Slow-release fertilizers can also be used to reduce the amount of minerals released into the soil. 

However, a less-is-more method is advised because excessive application can cause salt deposits in the soil and browning of the leaves. During the winter, avoid fertilizing your white star.

Space Requirement

This plant grows to a height of 4-5 feet and a width of 1-2 feet as a houseplant, and it prefers damp, low-light settings. Typically, it grows moderately. Always provide plants with enough room to grow and the right environment to prosper for optimum plant development. 

Place it close to an east-or west-facing window, and always choose a pot that is at least 2 inches bigger than the one you are planting. It can also be planted directly in the ground. 

Related: Why Are My Calathea Leaves Curling, And, How To Fix It Fast?

Growing and Planting Tips

Propagation

The optimum time for Calathea White Star propagation is during the growing season in spring or early summer. The primary method of propagation for Calathea majestica is root division. You can grow more Calathea White Stars if you use the right propagation method.

Here are the tips:

  • Take the plant out from container, delicately separate the plant parts, and use shears to cut tangled roots if present. 
  • Plant Repot each component in a new pot with the same potting mix it has been growing in. 
  • Then water the soil right away so that the roots may swiftly absorb the nutrients
  • Additionally, put the pot in a warm, indirect-light environment.

Pruning

To keep them lively and healthy-looking. Pruning encourages the plant to generate more leaves and grow taller. Although White Stars are not extremely bushy and rarely grow taller than 5 feet, trimming is not necessary. 

However, in order to prevent fungus and pest infestation, remove any dead or diseased leaves by carefully pruning the affected area. If possible, prune the plant only in the spring and summer while the foliage is growing.

Potting and Repotting

Your White Star will require repotting approximately every year when it starts to exhibit overgrowth, most frequently in the form of expanded roots or when the current soil mixture is stifling growth. Plants run the risk of becoming root-bound when their roots fill the whole space inside the inner pot and start to protrude through the drainage holes. 

Choose the right container for Repotting and select a container that is 2 inches larger than the existing one to accommodate growth. Moving your Calathea White Star to a larger container offers its roots more room to flourish. It is also advised to swap out old, nutrient-poor soil with a brand-new batch of standard, required potting soil.

Calathea White Care

LightMedium to indirect bright light
TemperatureIntermediate to warm, 65-77 degrees Fahrenheit
WaterOnce a week, increased in summer, decreased in winter
SoilAiry, light, well-draining mix
FertilizationRegular household fertilizer, once a month
SpaceMinimal space
PropagationVia root division
BloomingRarely blooms, enough sunlight and maturity needed
PruningRegular pruning
PottingRegular potting mix, use of perlite, peat moss, coco coir and sand is recommended

Problems and Troubleshooting

Overwatering

Overwatering a plant might have more severe effects than just browning leaves. Overwatering will result in root rot, sogginess, and long-term root deterioration. When a plant is overwatered, the amount of oxygen it needs for its roots to flourish might be significantly decreased. Insufficient oxygen causes the roots of plants to die and the plant to become weak.

To prevent excess water, put one to two inches of your index finger into the soil to check for overwatering. Give it some water if it feels dry. A few days should pass before trying again if it seems damp or wet. Additionally, make certain the container has sufficient drainage and let the soil dry between waterings. If you can, add more space around the roots for airflow. 

Underwatering

Drooping leaves, brown leaf tips, or wilting are some of the signs if you underwater your plant. Additionally, Brown spotting can also be a sign of underwatering. 

To avoid this problem and maintain moisture, adjust the watering schedule. First, inspect the top inches of the soil to determine whether it needs watering or whether it has received too much water and needs more time to dry off.

Nutrient Deficiency

The absence of nutrients in the growing medium or nutrient solution is the primary cause of the majority of nutritional deficits. Plants that are lacking in vital nutrients will not develop properly and exhibit a variety of symptoms. For example, stunted growth, the loss of plant tissue, or yellowing of the leaves due to a decrease in chlorophyll production are all signs of nutritional shortage. This might lead to inconsistency in plant maintenance. 

Keeping accurate measurements of the nutrient solution’s conductivity, pH level, and temperature will allow your plant to thrive in less-than-ideal conditions before they induce plant deficiency. 

Flowering Problems

Calathea White Star does not flower when kept indoors, as was already indicated. They are actually cultivated for their colorful, rich foliage rather than their flowers, which serve to accentuate the decor. However, you can select alternative flowering Calatheas if you prefer blooms in your garden.

Brown or Curly Leaf Tips

Browning or curling of your plant’s leaves is an indicator of too much sunlight. Another possible reason is chlorine or other salts found in tap water. 

To address this issue, use filtered water or any of the water mentioned in the water requirements above. You may also relocate your plant to a shadier place if suspecting that this is due to intense sunlight. Moreover, you should trip the brown or damaged leaves so that your plant grows lush green leaves.

Diseases

Any plant can be susceptible to diseases if not properly taken care of. Common diseases of the Calathea plants include leaf spots and root rot. Leaf spots can be spotted if you notice water-soaked spots on the surface of your plant’s leaves. This disease can severely damage your plant’s foliage and may even kill it if not treated. On the other hand, root rot can usually be noticed through a foul odor. 

These diseases are both results of overwatering, so make sure to get well-draining soil and only water your plant as necessary.

Pests

Mealybugs and spider mites are the most common enemies of the plants in the Marantaceae family. Usually, they are more susceptible to these common pests when they are overwatered or underwatered. They feed on the plant tissues and sap, thereby depriving the plant of necessary nutrients leading to slowed growth. 

Spider mites multiply quickly, so if you see the presence of webbings between stems and leaves, best to address them immediately. 

You can use neem oil, a natural pesticide, to get rid of them. Mix 2 teaspoons of neem oil and one teaspoon of liquid dish soap with a quart/liter of lukewarm water. Place in a spray bottle and spray over the peperomia leaves. 

You may also use 70 percent isopropyl alcohol and apply them directly to the bugs to kill the plant pests using a damp cloth. 

Calathea White Star Pests and Diseases

Common Pests/DiseasesSymptomsTreatment and Prevention

Common diseases include crown rot, stem rot, root rot, leaf spot, fungal diseases, and Xanthomonas infection

Yellowish rimming around black or dark brown spots on leaves


Avoid overwatering. Keep soil dry. Avoid too high humidity.Proper ventilation is needed around the plant. Remove infected parts of fungal infections to avoid spreading.




Common pests include mealybugs, spider mites, aphids, and scales


Visible insects on the surface
Spray plant with warm, soapy water. If infestation is present, use insecticide or neem oil. Use diatomaceous earth. 

Related: How To Care for a Calathea Ornata? (Questions + Answers)

Problems with People and Animals

Toxicity

The Calathea plant family plants are non-toxic, non-poisonous, and non-harmful to humans and animals. The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) pronounced them non-toxic. As a result, it makes for an ideal houseplant since you don’t have to worry about having this plant in your house with your children and pets.

Calathea Plants Meaning and Symbolism

Calatheas represent a fresh start. The phrase “to turn over a fresh leaf,” which is what the plant does when it becomes dark, is where that meaning originates. 

Because of this symbolism, it is best to give this plant to someone who is starting over in life and having a fresh, new start.

General MeaningFresh start
SymbolismNew beginnings, turning over a fresh start

Landscaping and Gardening Ideas

Landscaping and Gardening Ideas

Companion Plants

Other tropical plants with bushy appearances or with a strike of color go well with the Calatheas. Some of the plants you may consider include bird of paradise, areca palms, fire spike, heliconia, variegated arboricola, croton, chenille plant, and pentas. 

Some of these plants will have additional colors and hues of warm oranges and reds, perfectly complementing your greens.

Calathea Beauty star, Calathea Orbifolia, and Caladiums are a few examples of leafy indoor plants that mix well with white Star Calatheas in arrangements.

Landscaping Ideas

Calathea plants can be hung or set near a window where they can receive ample indirect sunlight. They are relatively small plants, so they are ideal for small spaces. If you are in a tropical or semi-tropical location, you may also plant them directly into the landscape along a walkway or near the pool with other tropical plants.

A full plant can also be placed in the corner of the house or along the entryway. Outdoors, it can be a filler plant for a garden corner, in between palm trunks, or under tall trees. Marantas can also be used as a beautiful and premium ground cover.

What to plant withCalathea Beauty Star, Calathea Orbifolia, Caladiums, and other tropical plants
What NOT to plant withBasically nothing

Conclusion

Growing and care tips

Photo Credit

The Calathea White Star is a great choice if you want a lovely rare plant with some elegance. If you maintain them properly, these plants can provide an attractive ambiance to your home. 

This plant, also known as Calathea Majestic, will reward you with its distinctive white and green foliage, with violet undersides and a bright pink hue that makes them stand out. Simply keep an eye on the plant’s health at all times to see any potential issues early.

FAQs

1. Is Calathea White Star hard to care for?

Calathea White Star can be hard to care for, especially when you’re just starting out. But once you fully understand them, you will notice that they are easy to care for. 

2. How often should I water my Calathea White Star?

To avoid overwatering or underwatering your Calathea White Star, check first the top 2 to 3 inches of soil before watering. If the plant has moist soil still, skip watering first. However, if the soil is cracked and dry, water your plant. 

On average, water the Calathea White Star 2-3 times a week during spring and summer, depending on your location. However, reduce the watering frequency during winter when the plant goes semi-dormant.

3. How do you propagate Calathea White Star?

Calathea White Star is propagated using root division. Just divide the plants by separating them via their roots. Then, put them in a proper growing medium and allow the roots to develop extensively.

4. Should I mist my Calathea?

It depends on your environmental conditions. For example, if your place is too dry and humid, you may help maintain the optimum humidity level by misting frequently. However, if your place is already at the optimum, skip misting because extreme moisture can make your plant rot.

5. How big do Calathea plants get?

Calathea plants can grow up to 10 to 12 feet tall with proper nourishment and care.

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