Calathea plants, also known as prayer plants, require weekly waterings during summer. However, you should switch to watering once every 10 days during colder months. It’s best to let the top 2 inches (5 cm) of soil partially dry out between waterings. Water until the soil is very moist but not soggy. Soggy soil leads to root rot and other health issues. Be sure that you use well-draining soil or potting mix to ensure the preferred soil moisture. Also, it’s best to avoid using tap water to water your calathea plant.
How Do You Know When a Calthea Needs Watering?
Calatheas need frequent watering. The surest sign it’s time to water your calathea is when the top 2 inches (5 cm) of soil where the calathea is planted is dry. This applies to both potted calatheas and plants grown in a garden. There are several different methods that can be used to determine when it’s time to water.
- Finger test – Just stick your finger into your soil to determine moisture levels. If the soil feels dry, then it’s time to water. If you have moist soil, you can wait a bit longer before watering.
- Moisture meter – A moisture meter can be inserted into the soil to determine adequate moisture. Use this moisture meter to track your moist soil without getting your hands dirty. For a calathea, you’ll want to keep the moisture needle in the “moist” range and water whenever it dips into the “dry” range.
- Weight testing – Another potential solution is to weigh your potted calathea when you water it. Continue to weigh your plant over time to track soil evaporation. Once the weight dips sufficiently, it’s time for a watering session. However, this solution is a bit time-consuming and can backfire. Calathea plants retain a lot of moisture, so their typically doesn’t fluctuate enough for this to be a reliable test.
Be sure to keep your calathea soil moist by keeping a regular calathea care routine. Water calathea plants at least once a week for best results.
Do Calatheas Need A Lot of Water?
Calathea plants don’t need a lot of water but they do need water on a regular basis to avoid dying. In fact, excess water can damage a healthy plant easily. Root rot, fungus gnats, and yellow leaves are some of the issues that can arise if calatheas are watered too much.
- Calatheas need regular watering but not a lot of water at once.
- Excess water and moisture can cause health concerns for calatheas.
- Avoid overwatering your calathea to prevent root rot.
Keep your plant healthy by only watering when your plant needs it. A few inches of water every week will be more than sufficient so long as you’re keeping the soil moist.
How Many Times a Week Should You Water Your Calathea?
Once a week is generally safest when it comes to watering calatheas. This can vary depending on the time of the year and factors such as humidity levels. When humidity is very high, you’ll need to water less often.
- Calatheas grow best when they are watered once per-week.
- Increase watering frequency in summer months and decrease frequency in winter months.
- 2 weekly waterings may be required during summer.
- Reduce watering to once every 10–14 days in winter.
Summer months generally require higher watering needs (up to 2 waterings a week). Winter months will require fewer waterings (as few as one watering every 2 weeks). Experiment with your plant to find out its ideal water requirements for your region.
Can You Water a Calathea Every Day?
You should not water a calathea plant daily. Calatheas need their soil to dry out a bit between waterings to avoid health issues. While regular misting or drip watering would meet your plant’s water needs, the lack of aeration could cause long-term issues.
- Calatheas need to dry out between waterings for health reasons.
- Excess moisture can cause root rot and fungal infections.
It’s extremely important that you do not water daily if you live in a region with high humidity. High levels of humidity will cause the soil to stay moist longer than usual. Overwatering in these conditions can drown your calathea. You may need to take extra steps to dry out the soil to avoid health issues if you live in a place with ample humidity. Consider increasing drainage by adding a layer of pebbles underneath the soil inside the calathea’s container.
What Kind of Water Do Calatheas Need?
Calatheas are a fussy plant when it comes to their water needs. They are generally averse to tap water or any water that isn’t pure. Calathea watering is all about finding the best water for an affordable price. Below, we’ll get into the do’s and don’ts of calathea watering along with budget-friendly tips for getting high-quality water.
Can You Water Your Calathea with Tap Water?
Don’t give your calathea plants tap water. Tap water in US cities often contains fluoride which calathea plants react badly to. Fluoride lowers the pH of water just enough to damage a calathea.
- Tap water is terrible for calatheas due to the addition of fluoride.
- Fluoride badly damages calatheas.
Treating a calathea that has been watered with fluoridated water can require an intensive plant care routine to save it. It’s best to avoid it in the first place to keep your plants healthy. If you need to salvage a fluoridated calathea, consult your local garden center for plant care tips.
Do Calatheas Need Distilled Water?
Calatheas need relatively pure water without additional chemicals or minerals. Distilled water can certainly work well for calatheas but it is far from the only option available. You can get a reverse osmosis system to help distill tap water into pure water. This is an expensive option but will have the best results
- Calatheas do prefer distilled water but it’s not your only option.
- Reverse osmosis filtered water and rainwater are both great options for watering your calathea.
Filtration systems that filter out fluoride can be expensive, although they are effective. One budget-friendly option to provide water for your calathea is to set up a rain collection system to catch rainwater. Use this rain barrel to collect pure rainwater for your calathea plants.
Calathea Water Requirements
Calatheas are sensitive plants that have some pretty demanding water requirements. These tropical plants need frequent waterings to maintain moist soil. However, they also need their soil to dry out between waterings to avoid root rot. Let’s go over the complicated water needs of the calathea plant:
- Water calatheas roughly once a week.
- Increase watering to twice per-week in summer months.
- Reduce watering frequency to once every 10–14 days in winter.
- High humidity can reduce the watering needs of your calathea.
- Calathesa need to be watered when the top 2 inches (5 cm) of soil have dried out.
- Avoid giving your calathea tap water as the fluoride in it can kill your plant.
- Use distilled water or rainwater to nurture your calathea.
Calatheas require a lot of care when it comes to watering. Always keep your eye on the soil moisture and try to ensure ample humidity for the plant. As long as you keep the soil moist, but not wet, and allow the soil to dry between waterings, your plant will thrive.