Calathea Flamestar Care Tips & Photos

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Calathea Flamestar is a must have houseplant as its stunning appearance is guaranteed to brighten up any room. It’s rich patterned foliage and bushy look are eye catchers and conversation starters.

Photo: My Little Jungle

As with most calatheas, Calathea Flamestar is not too hard to care for, but it does require TLC if you want it to show off its full potential. Calatheas are, however, really good at letting you know what they need.

Quick Summary

All the relevant info at a glance. Read the whole article for more in depth information about Calathea Flamestar, caring for the plant and how to keep it happy and thriving in your home.

Plant name: Calathea Flamestar, Prayer Plant

Native to: southeastern Brazil

Lighting: medium to bright indirect sunlight

Care: frequent watering, higher humidity, warm temperatures

Common Problems: curling leaves, root root, spider mites, leaf yellowing

Toxicity: Considered Non-Toxic to Humans and Pets (read more here)

How To Care For Calathea Flamestar – jump to section

Calathea Flamestar Care

This plant requires it’s attention. Frequent watering, indirect sunlight and good air conditions. If something isn’t right, the plant will let you know… Fast. When it comes to calathea care, it’s all about listening to your plants and developing a routine.

Photo: My Little Jungle

Bringing the plant home

When you bring your plant home, it’s best to find a good spot that will satisfy the plant’s needs but is also separated from other plants. A plant quarantine. Keep the plant separate from your other houseplants (a week or two or more if needed) to prevent any potential spread of pests or disease. Carefully inspect your new plant.

Check the humidity of soil. Depending from where you got your plant it might come sufficiently watered or it might need watering. Check the soil humidity – it should not be dried out, but also not to saturated with water.

A change of environment is a shock for your plant so give it a couple of weeks to fully adjust to it’s new home. During the adjustment period your plant might not look it’s best, be sure to pay close attention to it and give it enough time to adjust.

If your plant has leaves that are heavily damaged, you can remove them.

Light – Where to Place Your Plant?

Photo: Sonyachni

Calathea flamestar, as other calathea plants thrives in bright places with indirect sunlight. Do not expose them to direct sunlight as it will burn the leaves.

If you notice the beautiful patterns on the leaves start to fade or disappear, your Calathea Flamestar is receiving too much light. Simply move the plant to an area with less light.

Watering and Misting Leaves

Calatheas need their water (but also frown upon overwatering). Develop a good watering routine to keep your plant happy. Generally watering the plant 2-3 times per week (during summer) and a little less during colder months of the year is what the plant needs, however it’s best to go by feeling.

The soil should be slightly moist at all times, when the top inch or two of soil is dry, the plant should be watered. Don’t over water them though as Calatheas don’t like to sit in water and over watering will cause the plant harm.

If your plant isn’t getting enough water, the leaves will turn brown or start curling. Watering will fix this issue.

Calatheas don’t like chlorinated water and water that is heavy on minerals. When using tap water, let it sit overnight for the water to get dechlorinated. If your water is heavy on chemicals, use filtered water. If your calathea develops spots on leaves this might be to too much minerals in the water.

As Calatheas love humidity they will appreciate misting. Spray the leaves with water regularly (don’t mist them too much, the leaves should not be left wet).

Most importantly… Listen to your plant. There are many factors that will determine how often you need to water your plant and mist it. Check the soil often and water accordingly. If your Calathea Flamestar resides in a home with dryer air, watering might need to be more frequent than a plant in a more humid environment.


Calathea Flamestar is a native rainforest inhabitant, so it does like humidity. If you have a bathroom that gets a good amount of indirect sunlight your Calathea will love it.

If humidity levels in the room are not ideal, you can increase the humidity with air humidifiers or by making a humidity tray (place stones in a tray and add water). Misting the plant helps with humidity levels too.

Cleaning / Plant Maintenance

Wondering how to clean your Calathea Flamestar? How to clean the leaves? A soft damp cloth will do the job. Clean the leaves when they have dust on them. Calathea leaves have a natural shine to them, don’t get tempted to use leaf shining products.

You can also shower your plant. Make sure the water is lukewarm (not cold, not hot) and carefully work your way through the leaves. Mind the water pressure and be careful not to wash out soil. After you are done, let the excess water run out from the pot.

Using soap on a damp cloth if you start to notice pest on your plant will help with getting rid of the pest.

Do you need to fertilize Calathea Flamestar plant?

During the growing season your plant will appreciate the extra nutrients. Add fertiliser during spring, summer and fall (every 2-3 weeks) to ensure your plant will look as gorgeous as it can.

Standard houseplant fertilizer or fertilizer for green leaf houseplants works well, mixed according to instructions provided on the fertilizer.


It’s a good idea to re-pot your calathea every couple of years. As the plant grows and you want to keep it growing and keep it alive, it needs more room to spread its legs, or well roots.

Generally it’s good to repot the plant every 2-3 years, however there are also signs that will let you know it’s time to move up a pot. That said, it’s best to go up in 1 to 2 pot sizes per repotting at most.

How do you know that it is time to repot? It’s all about the roots! Two telltale signs are if you see roots coming out of the pot holes and roots growing above soil.

Gently pulling the plant out of the pot and checking if the plant is rootbound is another way to know if you need to repot your calathea flamestar.


Calatea flamestar loves moist soil, not wet soil, so your soil mix should reflect that – you need a soil that drains well and holds moisture. A mix of potting soil, moss, perlite and bark.

Some stores already sell mixes that cater to specific plants so ask at your local store.


Share it with a friend :). Calatheas can be propagated by division, this can be done when you are repotting them.


Calathea Flamestar is considered non toxic to humans, cats and dogs. (animal toxicity information ASPCA)

* There have been no negative health issues reported with Calathea flamestar. Keep in mid toxicity information on plants can change. This is something that is best talked about with your veterinarian. Even with non toxic plants, nibbling plants should be avoided and keeping plants away from pets, especially if they like to eat them, is best.

Common Calathea Flamestar Problems and Pests

Patterns on leaves disappearing?

Your plant receives too much direct sunlight (chlorophyll in its leaves it’s doing its job). How to fix this? Move the plant to the area with less direct sunlight.

Calathea Flamestar Leaves turning yellow or start to curl?

If you just brought your plant home and you notice this, it is stress probably stress related and even if you are doing everything right, you might not stop it. Prune the leaves that are too damaged and don’t worry, with proper care you will soon see many new leaves.

If your plant is already adapted to it’s new environment and you see leaves turning yellow – this can be a sign of both overwatering and not watering enough. Take closer attention on soil humidity and water accordingly.

Calathea Flamestar Leaves Drooping/Wilting

Your plant isn’t getting enough water.

Flamestar Root Root

If you overwater your plant or let it sit in water you risk your plant getting root rot. If you notice leaves yellowing, wilting and stunned growth, gently take the plant out of the pot and inspect the roots. Brown or black and mushy roots speak trouble.

If you can still see healthy roots, there is a chance to save your plant.

Remove the plant from the pot. Wash the roots. Remove the unhealthy roots with sterile scissors. Repot. If you are using the same pot, sterileze it before planting the calathea back in.

If you had to remove a lot of the root system you will need to prune some of the leaves too, so that your roots will have less leaves to support.


Frequently Asked Questions

Why are the tips of leaves on my Calathea Flamestar brown and dry?

Lack of humidity. You can have a good watering routine, mist your plant and it will still lack humidity. Make a humidity stone tray and place it near the plant.

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