Known for its beautiful foliage and unique variegation, the Calathea White Star adds the perfect amount of drama, elegance, and calmness to any environment that it is added to.
Whether you’re new to plant parenthood or well-experienced in plant care, the Calathea White Star care routine will always be slightly challenging. Unlike the common Calathea plant species, the White Star is known for being notoriously difficult to care for.
However, if you own a Calathea White Star, you must know what kind of a plant the White Star is and how you can take care of it to ensure it thrives.
The Calathea White Star: Appearance and Benefits
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Native to Brazilian rainforests in South America, this tropical plant is popular for its undeniable beauty, dramatic allure, and multiple benefits.
Interestingly, many plant parents wish to own a White Star Calathea just to challenge themselves and their plant care expertise.
Appearance and Appeal
Characterized by its green foliage that is beautifully variegated by cream, white, yellow, and at times pink stripes, this pinstripe plant can grow 4 to 5 feet in height when kept indoors and properly cared for.
Like all other Calathea plants, this member of the Marantaceae family is also known as a prayer plant for its unique behavior.
Depending on the time of the day, the oval-shaped leaves of this majestic prayer plant will fold up and down, giving it the appearance of lowering its head in prayer.
Moreover, another distinct quality of the Calathea white star that adds to its appeal is its ability to change the color of its striped foliage.
While the leaves remain predominantly deep green at all times, its stripes can become sharper and more vibrant and can develop a gorgeous subtle pink blush when the plant is provided with the correct light exposure.
Like most other Calathea plants, the White Star Calathea also contributes to air purification by adding oxygen to the environment and trapping the surrounding airborne dust.
Moreover, the White Star is also known for regulating atmospheric humidity, which leads to a more calming environment for people who have these plants in their homes.
If you’re looking to make the most of the appeal and health benefits of the Calathea White Star house plant, you must know how to take care of it.
Continue reading to learn all you need to know about caring for the majestic prayer plant.
The Calathea Prayer Plant Care Routine
Tropical plants like the Calathea White Star are adapted to growing in well-watered soil. If the prayer plant is left in dry soil for too long, its striped foliage may lose its vibrance, and the entire plant may start drooping sidewards.
In general, the key to keeping the White Star Calathea plant’s leaves healthy and plump is watering it two to three times every week.
However, the exact moisture requirements will depend on the weather and atmospheric humidity.
The goal is to keep the White Star plant’s soil evenly moist at all times. As soon as the top inch of soil begins to dry up, use a spray bottle to water the soil.
The reason for using a spray bottle is to wet the soil evenly and avoid excess water from accumulating inside the White Star Calathea plant’s pot. This precaution is crucial to avoid root diseases.
Moreover, like most indoor plants, the Calathea White Star should also be watered using tap water.
Since tap water contains more minerals than distilled water, it can facilitate rapid plant growth, especially during the growing season.
However, while tap water is recommended over distilled water, it is important to ensure that the water being is free of all harmful bacteria.
Bright Indirect Light Exposure
Like most other Calathea tropical plants, the White Star prayer plant requires prolonged exposure to bright indirect light.
If the Calathea white star is left under direct sunlight, its vibrant variegation and characteristic stripes begin to fade, and it’ll start to overheat.
This will cause the Calathea leaves to transpire water molecules to cool down and prevent overheating.
If the light conditions do not change, the White Star Calathea plant will eventually develop yellow leaves or brown leaf tips and might lose its visual appeal due to the drooping leaves.
In such situations, use a damp cloth dipped in cold water to wipe the top surfaces and violet undersides of the Calathea White Star plants.
Doing so will instantly help the plant cool down and prevent further water loss.
Moreover, to keep your Calathea white star pinstriped and colorful, place it in a well-lit corner of the house where it can get sufficient indirect sunlight.
As mentioned above, the indoor White Star Calathea species’ watering needs will directly depend on atmospheric humidity.
If you live in an area with 50 to 60% humidity, you must water your prayer plants twice a week. However, if the humidity level is around 70 to 90%, you must check the soil’s wetness before adding more water.
Investing in better air circulation or indoor ventilation is the best tip to avoid root diseases during such humid conditions.
Furthermore, if the atmospheric humidity is below 40%, you can invest in an indoor diffuser or place your White Star plant on a water-filled pebble tray. This will help prevent the dry air from drying out the plant.
Ideal Soil Mix
Calathea White Star plants are not considered beginner-friendly plants. Apart from watering the plant on time and providing it with sufficient indirect sunlight, the quality of the soil mix will also greatly impact the White Star plant’s health.
Ideally, the Calathea prayer plants need well-draining soil to maintain healthy roots.
Moreover, the potting soil for Calathea plants needs to include small bits of gravel and orchid bark, which will help loosen the moisture from the soil.
Furthermore, it is also essential to pot the White Star Calathea plant in peat-free soil that provides optimum growth conditions.
In general, an indoor Calathea white star plant does not require repotting throughout its lifetime. These prayer plants do not get too large and can usually thrive in the same soil and pot for an extended period.
However, it is vital to know that the Calathea White Star roots tend to grow quite long. If the roots are pushed against the pot’s inner walls, they can sustain damage and die.
Moreover, the overgrown roots can sometimes clog the drainage holes, resulting in water accumulation.
If you can spot roots growing out of your Calathea White Star plant’s pot, you should repot it in a slightly larger container that has more drainage holes.
Furthermore, if you end up needing to repot your plant, use this opportunity to replant your Calathea White Star in a fresh batch of highly nutritious potting soil.
Like most other Calathea plant species, the White Star does not require a lot of fertilizing.
However, in cases of yellowing leaves and slow growth, using a mild, slow-release fertilizer can help facilitate the healthy growth of new stem clusters during the growing season.
Moreover, you must use a high-quality, water-soluble fertilizer that is very slightly acidic in nature.
The added acidity will help break down the larger micro-nutrients into smaller, more absorbable bits, which makes it easier for the plant to extract nutrients from the soil.
As a result, the Calathea white star root division will get more of the micronutrients from the soil and will have a better chance of developing immunity and resistance against unideal conditions.
The Calathea White Star care and health are directly dependent on pest control. To keep the prayer plant healthy and fresh, it is vital that you pay close attention to the plant’s leaves, stem, and soil.
Usually, the common pests that attack Calathea White Stars include spider mites, fungal gnats, leaf scales, and mealy bugs.
Due to their small size, it is challenging to spot the presence of these plant pests. Usually, poor plant health, shedding of leaves, or brown leaf tips indicate a pest infestation.
In such cases, it is best to take action as soon as possible. Apart from spraying the plant with an appropriate pesticide, you can also try some simple home remedies that are effective against the pests mentioned above.
For instance, mix one tablespoon of mild soap into a quarter cup of water. Evenly spray the mixture over the Calathea White Star body and soil. Repeat until you can notice most of the pests and gnats dying and falling off the plant.
Another popular remedy requires the use of neem oil. According to plant experts, neem oil is said to be effective against 200 different types of plant pests.
Simply mix two tablespoons of neem oil with mild soap and water. Spray the entire plant with the oily mixture and wait at least twenty-four hours.
If you can still spot the presence of any more spider mites or mealy bugs, repeat the procedure until your plant is free of these pests.
However, if these home remedies do not control the growing pest population, it is best to repot the entire plant in a fresh batch of pest-free potting soil.
The Calathea White Star is a rare plant that you may not necessarily find at your local plant shop.
However, the advantage of getting your hands on a healthy White Star is that you can propagate it to grow new plants.
The new White Star plants can be used to further grow your indoor plant collection and can also serve as an excellent gift for your family and friends.
Moreover, propagating calathea white star plants is quite easy for both new and experienced plant parents.
Gently separate some of your White Star plant’s healthy roots and stem clusters. Ensure that the roots are not entangled, rotten, or dead.
Fill up a large deep tray with an orchid bark-rich potting soil and plant the individual White Star stems in the soil. Water your prayer plants generously and place them outside under the early morning sun.
Once you spot new leaf and root growth, replant your new White Star plants into separate pots. Soon, you will have your very own collection of healthy White Star plants to keep, sell, or gift to your friends and families.
Bonus Tip: Keep Your Pets Away from the Non-Toxic Calathea White Star
Perhaps one of the greatest attractions of the Calathea White Star plant is the fact that it’s not toxic in nature. In general, the Calathea White Star is a pet-friendly plant that poses no threats to animals and human beings.
However, despite this quality, plant experts warn against letting your pets nibble on the prayer plant’s leaves. While these plants are non-toxic by nature, this isn’t necessarily the case all the time.
Frequent nibbling will probably not poison your cat, dog, or other pets you may have at home; however, it could trigger an allergic reaction or lead to stomach problems.
Hence, if you own the Calathea White Star or other plants, it is best to discourage your house pets from approaching or eating them to eliminate any chances of sickness or allergies.
Common Calathea Plants Disease: Root Rot
Apart from a pest infestation, Calathea White Star plants can also die from root diseases.
What is Root Rot in a White Star Calathea?
As mentioned above, excess water can lead to root rot. This is how it happens:
When a White Star Calathea plant is overwatered, the excess moisture begins to accumulate inside the plant’s container
If the soil mix retains moisture for too long, it creates an ideal environment for fungal growth
If any airborne fungal spores settle on the wet soil, it only will take a few days for them to grow and attack the plant’s roots
This will cause the roots to decay and die, which will directly impact the entire plant’s water uptake
Due to the insufficient hydration, signs of root diseases and poor plant health will become evident
How to Identify the Signs of Root Rot?
The common signs of root rot are as follows:
Leaves develop brown tips
Excessive leaf loss
A layer of yellow-green fungus covers the plant’s topsoil
Leaves lose their distinct pattern and striped variegation
Poor plant growth
Tips for Treating a Calathea White Star’s Rotten Roots
If you can spot any of the root rot signs mentioned above, follow the steps below to make your White Star Calathea plant healthy again:
Begin with adding an appropriate fungicide to the soil. If this does not treat the infected plant, you will have to repot the plant
Using a small garden shovel to carefully dig out the entire White Star Calathea plant from its pot. Make sure to keep its root ball intact during this process
Wash the entire root ball under running water and use a soft-bristle brush to further remove any dirt or soil
Inspect the condition of the roots and use a pair of pruning shears to cut off all dead and decayed root bits
Finally, fill another container with a well-draining potting mix and replant your White Star plant
Water the plant evenly and place it under bright indirect sunlight
Final Thoughts – Get Yourself a Calathea White Star Now!
A rare plant like the Calathea white star is no less than a plant lover’s dream. With stunning foliage and colorful striped variegation, this prayer plant’s dramatic appeal is undoubtedly second to none.
However, due to its moderate to challenging care routine, you must be well-informed about the pinstripe Calathea White Star’s basic care routine.
The golden tip here is to do your best to replicate this tropical plant’s natural habitat indoors so that it maintains its vibrant variegation and lasts and lives a long life.