Calathea Ornata Care, Tips & Photos

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Calathea Ornata or Calathea Pinstripe, as it is commonly refereed as, is a plant that will leave your guests speechless. The dark green leaves with their signature pink stripes make a lasting impression.

How to care for a calathea ornata plant

When it comes to care, Calathea Ornata is no different, it’s not too hard to look after but it does have it’s attitude. It does need attention but will gladly let you know when her optimal conditions are not meet and you can take action accordingly.

Quick Summary

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

Plant name: Calathea Ornata, Pinstripe Calathea, Pin Strip Calathea

Native to: South America

Lighting: bright indirect sunlight

Care: frequent watering, higher humidity, warm temperatures

Common Problems: curling leaves, root root, spider mites, leaf yellowing, pink stripes becoming white

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

How To Care For Calathea Ornata

Calathea Ornata Care

How to Care for Pinstripe Calathea

If you want to enjoy dark leaves with beautiful pink stripes you will need to give this houseplant love. Frequent watering, indirect sunlight and good air humidity.

Bringing the Plant Home

Carefully inspect the plant for any potential damage and disease. Even if the plant looks totally healthy, place it far from other plants that are already in your home to prevent potential spread of problems (put it in a quarantine).

Find a spot that has enough indirect sunlight and pay close attention to the plant for a week or two to catch any potential issues.

Your plant will need a while to adapt to the new environment so there is no need to panic if it doesn’t look the best during that time.

Light – Where to Place Your Plant?

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

When it comes to calatheas, Calathea ornata, in our opinion, is the best at letting you know if it receives to much light. It’s beautiful pink stripes will start to fade and turn white if it’s exposed to too much light. Simply move the plant to an area with less direct light.

Watering and Misting Leaves

All Calatheas like humidity and require frequent watering, however they do hate to sit in water so be sure to not overwater your calathea ornata. Develop a good watering routine to keep your plant strong and healthy. 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. It is best to water by “feeling”, as humidity conditions vary from home to home.

The soil should be slightly moist most of the time, make sure you water the plant when the top inch or two of soil is dry. Don’t over water them though as Calatheas don’t like to sit in water and can develop root rot and other issues quite fast.

If you won’t water your pin stripe calathea enough, the leaves will turn brown or start curling.

Avoid using chlorinated water or water that is heavy on minerals. If your tap water is heavily chlorinated or heavy on minerals filter the water and let it sit overnight for the water to get dechlorinated. If your calathea develops spots on leaves this might be to too much minerals in the water. Rainwater is great!

Your calathea ornate will appreciate misting. Spray the leaves, using a spray bottle, with water regularly (don’t mist them too much, the leaves should not be left wet).

Listen to your plant. Check the soil often and water accordingly. Not all homes have the same conditions (air humidity, temperature…) so there is no unique watering routine to follow. Watch your plants and act accordingly.


As a tropical plant, Calathea Ornata does like its humidity (in our experience it’s less prickly than calathea flamestar for example). It thrives in rooms with higher level of humidity, so if your bathroom gets enough light to support this plant, it’s a good spot to place your plant.

Misting the leaves will help keep up humidity levels and might be enough to keep your plant happy. If you notice the plant needs more humidity, add a air humidifier near the plant or make a humidity tray with stones.

Our favorite solution to up the humidity is to add more plants! Increase your calathea collection and bundle them up together.

Cleaning / Plant Maintenance

You want to keep your plant nice and shiny so you are wondering how to clean your Calathea Ornata? A soft damp cloth will do the job and it’s all you need. When you notice dust on the leaves, clean them. The leaves have a natural shine to them, you shouldn’t use any shining products on this plant.

Occasionally, you can also shower your plant. The water needs to be lukewarm. Carefully work your way through the leaves. After you are done, let the excess water run out from the pot (remember, calathea doesn’t like to sit in the water).

Do you need to fertilize Calathea Ornata plant?

Yes! Add fertiliser during spring, summer and fall (every 2-3 weeks) to ensure your plant will look as gorgeous as it can. While you certainly can fertilze less, your plant will precipitate all the extra nutrients. Be sure to not overdo it though.

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


You can re-pot your calathea every couple of years. If your plant is happy and thriving, it needs more room to spread its roots.

Repot the plant every 2-3 years. There are also signs you might notice that will let you know it’s time to move your plant up a pot size (1 to 2 pot sizes per repotting at most).

Two telltale signs are if you see roots coming out of the pot holes and roots growing above soil. Another way to know your plant needs repoting is to see the rots in the pot. Gently lift the plant out of the poot and ispect the roots – if the plant is rootbound it needs a bigger pot.


Calatea pinstripe loves moist soil, but not wet soil, so 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.


Why have on calathea ornata if you want more. Or maybe you want to share one with a friend. Calatheas can be propagated by division, this can be done when you are repotting them.


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

* There have been no negative health issues reported with Calathea ornata. 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 Ornata Problems and Pests

Pink stripes on leaves turning white?

Your plant receives too much direct sunlight. Move the plant to the area with less direct sunlight.

Calathea Ornata Leaves turning yellow or starting to curl?

This can be a sign of both overwatering and not watering enough. Take closer attention to soil humidity and water accordingly.

Leaves Drooping/Wilting

Your plant isn’t getting enough water.

Root Root

Root rot can develop if you overwater your plant or let it sit in water. 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 there are still enough healthy roots left and you spotted the issue early enough, there is still a chance to save your plant.

Gently pull out the plant out of the pot and wash the roots under running water. Remove the damaged roots with sterile scissors. Plant in new soil.

If you removed a good portion of roots, prune the plant leaves too, so that you decrease the number of leaves the roots will have to support.


Frequently Asked Questions

Why is my calathea ornata drooping?

This usually means your plant needs water. However calatheas are praying plants, which means their leaves will move up and down during the day and night so make sure this isn’t just a part of its natural movement.

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