Calathea Rattlesnake

Calathea lancifolia
Calathea Rattlesnake
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BOTANICAL SUPER POWERS

Medium to Bright Indirect

The orientation of your window defines where to put your plant so it gets medium to bright indirect sunlight. If your window faces
North, place your plant between 0 and 1 ft away from it.
East or West, put it 1 to 5 ft away.
South, place it between 1 to 10 ft away, as sunlight from the South is the strongest.

Air Purifying

This plant cleans the air from toxins and VOCs like a pro.

Most notably removes: trichloroethylene, formaldehyde, benzene, xylene, ammonia.

Pet-Friendly

Pet-friendly plants are non-toxic, so even if your pets and kids tend to nibble on the decor, they'll be safe.

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In their natural habitat, the rainforests of Brazil, Colombia, and Bolivia, you’ll find Calatheas nested far below the canopy, protected from the heavy rain and bright sunlight. That’s why they have big leaves, so they can catch the light and water they need.

Plant story

The Calathea lancifolia is also called Calathea Rattlesnake Plant because of the shape of its leaves, long and striped to look like the skin of a snake.

The Calathea makes the perfect gift for new beginnings: the plant turns over its leaves when it gets dark, reminding us of the expression ‘to turn over a new leaf.’ In the Amazon, the Calathea is used as a roof covering, to weave baskets, and even as medicine. It also comes in a variety that gives flowers. This one is a real gem for its air-purifying properties, too. There are many varieties of Calathea, and they’re usually recognized by their upright stack and boldly marked, oblong leaves.

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Place of origin

Brazil

Care for your Calathea Rattlesnake like a pro!

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Care Card Calathea Rattlesnake

Calathea lancifolia
Calathea Rattlesnake
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1

Light

MEDIUM TO BRIGHT INDIRECT

Check the direction of your window, then put your plant within the range suggested below.

Within any given range, aim to place the plant as close to the window as possible.

North:
0-1 ft
EAST/WEST:
0-5 ft
SOUTH:
1-10 ft
DISLIKES

Direct sunlight

2

Water

HEAVY DRINKER

Check the moisture of the soil 1/week and water only when 1/2" of the topsoil is dry.

1/2' OF THE TOPSOIL IS DRY
DISLIKES

Soil drying out completely

Sitting in water

3

Air

Tropical to subtropical

Aim to provide the air conditions your plant would find in its natural habitat.

TEMPERATURE
18-24°C65-75°F
HUMIDITY
HIGH

Mist daily

Use humidifier

DISLIKES

Hot and cold air drafts. Keep away from A/C vents and heaters

4

Soil

HEAVY EATER

Use liquid fertilizer as indicated below from March to September.

FREQUENCY
monthly
NPK FORMULA
10-10-2005
DISLIKES

Fertilizing in winter and fall months

Care for your Calathea Rattlesnake like a pro!

Light

Calathea Rattlesnake needs MEDIUM TO BRIGHT INDIRECT.

To place your plant in the perfect spot, let’s start with understanding how much light it needs and how much light your place gets. To figure this out, you need to find the direction of your window and measure how far the plant is from it. First, using the compass or map on your phone, see what direction your window faces: North, East, West, or South. Here’s what you need to remember:

  1. South-facing windows make for the brightest spots, then East- and West-facing, and then North-facing.
  2. If the window is in between two directions, use the least sunny direction as a base.
  3. Each window has an optimal proximity range. Here’s where to put your Calathea Rattlesnake, based on the direction of your window:
    • within 1ft away from North window;
    • within 5ft away from East or West window;
    • between 1-10ft away from South window;

Within this range, the closer your plant is to the window, the more light photons it gets, and the better it thrives.

The Dislikes of Your Alocasia When It Comes To Light

Your
Calathea Rattlesnake
doesn’t like direct sun rays. They are harsh and can sunburn the plant’s sensitive foliage.

IMAGE DIRECT SUNLIGT

Note: This is a general guideline. Each place is unique, and you know yours best. Is the window view obstructed by the trees and a highrise? Is there a sheer curtain? If so, less light is coming in. Move your plant closer!

Still not sure if your Calathea Rattlesnake will be thriving in the spot you picked?

Another simple way to define brightness levels is by measuring the intensity of the shadow. That’s particularly helpful if the view is somewhat obstructed and it’s hard to estimate how much light actually sneaks in. Place a sheet of paper on the spot where you’d like to grow a plant. Hold your hand about 1 foot (30cm) above the paper. Now, what do you see?

Calathea Rattlesnake needs Medium to Bright Indirect.

Water

Calathea Rattlesnake is a HEAVY DRINKER.

Check your plant regularly, but only water it when it’s thirsty.

Every plant needs a period of drying for the oxygen to get to its roots. Overwatering damages your plant by preventing that process from happening. So how can you know how much water your
Calathea Rattlesnake
needs? The ideal watering frequency depends on the plant’s drinking habits and how fast the soil dries out in your unique indoor space, so it would be misleading to recommend a fixed schedule. To best meet your plant’s water needs, monitor it, and watch for the signs it’s thirsty.

Here’s how the how to:

Once a week before giving your plant a drink, check the moisture level in the pot by dipping your finger a couple of inches into the soil.


Heavy Drinkers
need to be watered when 1/2′ of the topsoil is dry.

The dislikes of Your Calathea Rattlesnake When It Comes To Water

  • Your Calathea Rattlesnake doesn’t like it when its roots are left sitting in water. They would start to rot and that would irreversibly damage your plant.

What to do: Make sure you always discard the drenched water from the pot or saucer after watering.

  • Your Calathea Rattlesnake isn’t a fan of the high concentration of chemicals in water.

What to do: To give your plant chemical-free water, fill a bucket with tap water and let it sit for a day. Chlorine and other chemicals will evaporate. Tada! Now, you have clean water that’s much better for your plants.

Air

Calathea Rattlesnake comes from a Tropical to subtropical climate. Aim to provide the air conditions it would find in its natural habitat. At all times, maintain a comfortable room temperature of 65-75°F,18-24°C.


Calathea Rattlesnake
thrives in high humidity (40-50%). It tolerates normal humidity (30-40%), but if the humidity is low (less than 30%), you may notice the foliage getting thin and dry on the edges. You can easily rectify that by misting it daily or using a humidifier.

The Dislikes of Your Calathea Rattlesnake When It Comes to Air

  • Calathea Rattlesnake prefers to stay away from cold and hot air drafts.

What to do: During the winter months, keep your Alocasia away from open windows and doors. Don’t put it close to a heater. In summer months make sure you don’t put it right under AC.

Soil

To provide your Calathea Rattlesnake with the right nutrients, fertilize it from March to September.
It’s a HEAVY eater plant. As a rule of thumb, it should be fertilized once a month.

Liquid fertilizer with NPK formula 10-10-5 (Nitrogen, Phosphorous, Potassium) works best for it.

Otherwise, you can use all-purpose indoor plant fertilizer.

Never fertilize your plant during the winter or fall months. It goes through winter dormancy and its appetite naturally slows down.

Curious to learn more?
Hop down the rabbit hole with us!

Get our grownups’ guide to growing an idoor jungle, where you’ll find everything you need to know about plants, and nothing you don’t. We’ll take you deeper into the plant care world and its 4 elements: light, water, air, and soil. Each section touches on one aspect of plant care to help you keep your plant happy and healthy.

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