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Calathea Roseoptica Care Guide

Rose painted Calatheas are beautiful plants. We spotlight three Roseopticas in this post. Calathea Roseoptica Medallion, Calathea Roseoptica Rosy and Calathea Roseoptica Dottie.

These are the rose painted Calatheas. There are several more varieties of roseopticas. However, for this post we focus on these three prayer plants you will more easily find.

You will come across them in your local garden shops and on Etsy usually. I have only purchased plants I found in person in local shops. But Etsy shops come well recommended in many plant circles.

As more roseoptica varieties come available I’ll update this post for you.

calathea dottie leaf detail

All calatheas are in the flowering plant family Marantaceae with the charming maranta prayer plants.

Roseoptica Calathea types are also prayer plants. This means the leaves are light sensitive and heliotropic. At night the leaves fold upwards and the plant closes as if in rest and prayer.

After sunrise touches the leaves they will quietly fall open to display their colors and photosynthesize. In this way they are similar to the maranta prayer plant. Although not all calatheas open and close in exactly the same way.

Learn More about All Calatheas in this post!

The Contented Plant
roseoptica varieties
My baby Calathea Roseopticas. From the top: The Calathea Medallion, Bottom left: Calathea Dottie Bottom Right Calathea Rosy

Calathea Dottie:

As you can see pictured in my grouping of roseoptica babies, the leaves of the Dottie unfurl into a pale green leaf with light pink markings. The colors darken as it ages.

The Dottie is one of my personal favorite roseoptica varieties. The intense coloring on this plant is stunning. And it keeps that showy hot pink veining on deep black leaves as it matures. The leaf bottom is dark burgundy.

Dottie with flower bud

Roseopticas can flower indoors with small flowers that are cute but not impressive.

calathea dottie
A mature Calathea Roseoptica Dottie

Calathea Rosy:

If ever a plant should be named Rosy this is it. That hot pink color is just amazing. The green banding just sets it off perfectly. I can’t wait to see this baby all grown up. I’ll write a post updating this pretty calathea when it matures.

If you find a rosy Let me know how your plant baby calathea grows. I’m nuts about mine so far.

calathea roseoptica rosy

Can you imagine what show stopper Rosy will be as a grown up plant? Find it just the right spot in your home and enjoy the uniqueness of Calathea Rosy.

Do you have a mature Roseoptica? Find us on instagram and Tag us!

The contented plant

How Big Does The Calathea Roseoptica Get?

The Calathea roseoptica varieties get to about 20 inches in height with a large leaf spread. They need room or you will need to keep them pruned.

Calathea Medallion:

The Medallion grows its gorgeous rounded leaves on upright stems. The Roseoptica Dottie and Roseoptica Rosy grow similarly.

Read more about the Medallion in this post.

The Contented Plant
calathea medallion
The Roseoptica Medallion is a lovely upright growing calathea.

Calathea Roseoptica Plant Care:

The medallion, Rosy and Dottie are particular about their care. Like all Calatheas they require certain conditions to grow. if you can accommodate these lovelies I highly recommend them.

The rose painted Calatheas are so pretty and showy they are worth taking care with. You will be rewarded with a nontoxic houseplant that improves your air quality and showers you with beauty all through the year.

This is our complete Calathea Care guide. These instructions work well for all Calathea plant care.

TIPS: In this guide you will find some recommended tools. I have found two tools to be inexpensive and essential to providing best care for Calatheas.

The hygrometer and the moisture meter are both VERY inexpensive. Each helps enormously with keeping the water in the soil correct and the humidity in the air just right. I highly recommend you get each for best success with your calatheas.

Yield: Printable Care Guide

Calathea Roseoptica Care Guide

calathea dottie leaf detail

Calatheas Roseopticas are beautiful, exotic plants with wide appeal. Their care needs are specific and important. They are sensitive. This is Not a forgiving plant group.

Once you find the perfect growing conditions for your calathea roseoptica it will perform well for you.

Learn what they need and give it to them. Their lovely foliage (in some cases they even flower) are so worth the effort!

All Calathea plant care is similar. No matter what type you own this care guide will apply.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Difficulty advanced


Soil Preference:

  1. Calatheas enjoy a light well draining soil.
  2. A mix of potting soil and perlite and peat or coir will keep the roots happiest.
  3. Our mix for this plant is 30 % potting mix, 30% succulent soil or coir and 30% perlite or pumas.
  4. A heavy soil potting mix is not recommended for these plants.

Pot Size and Type:calathea medallion

  1. Calatheas grow from rhizomes. And they grow new offshoots to the sides of the mother plant.
  2. This means they will fill a pot out as a wider plant eventually. Quite a nice table top centerpiece.
  3. Calatheas will grow to the size of the pot with one or more rhizomes. If you leave it to grow as a grouping of rhizomes in one pot you will need to find a pot that has a wider circumference. They do not like to be overly root bound.
  4. If you want to encourage faster growth choose a pot about 2 inches wider in diameter than the current pot.
  5. Use a well drained ceramic or plastic pot. It MUST have excellent drainage.
  6. Terra cotta pots are not recommended. They will wick too much water away from the soil.
  7. Repot every second year or when roots come out the drainage holes on the pot bottom To the next pot size up.
  8. Don't jump to a huge pot from a small one unless you wish to encourage faster growth. Just go to the next size up pot. A Too large pot with too much constantly moist soil will encourage root rot.
  9. For Calatheas self watering pot systems work well. (linked above). They control the watering for you and help avoid root rot, overwatering and under watering.


  1. Calathea Roseoptica varieties enjoys indirect light for best leaf variegation and optimal growth.
  2. If the leaves fade move to a less bright area and see if that helps. Too much light can also fade the leaves and crisp the leaf edge.
  3. It will tolerate lower indirect light but the plant may grow more slowly. Leaf variegations may not be well expressed.
  4. Shield the plant from strong direct light in summer south and west sunny windows. The leaves will burn and the colors will fade. Look for dry brown spots on the leaves and curling brown edges. If you see them move the plant to lower light.
  5. Tip: Window sheers or blinds can offset some brief periods of high direct light.


  1. Your Calathea is VERY sensitive to the water you use. These plants love low mineral, soft acid water between 5.5 and 6 Ph. Hard water high in minerals and salts will burn the leaves.
  2. Collect rain water or use Filtered or distilled water to prevent problems with minerals and PH.
  3. Water your Zebra plant when the soil is dry down an inch or so. Calatheas enjoy even moisture in the soil. But never let it sit in soaking wet potting mix.
  4. Be sure to use your moisture meter every couple of days and especially before watering. The dial should read moist when pushed down to the bottom of the root system. If the meter reads dry you need to water. But if it reads wet WAIT. This is important. Calatheas are sensitive to root rot. Do not overwater!
  5. Calatheas enjoy evenly moist soil.

Watering Problems:

  1. If your calathea leaves start to roll up and curl, the plant droops or the edges turn brown suspect watering problems.
  2. Under watering can show all the symptoms listed above but most often causes leaf edges rolling up, brown tips and crisping. Adjust your watering or soil mix to accommodate.
  3. Over watering will end in root rot, grey mold on the leaves, algae growth on the soil and fungus gnats or other pests moving in.
  4. Try a watering schedule of once a week. But do not water if the soil is wet. Alternately, Do not let the soil dry out completely.
  5. Watering is best done on a regular schedule with a moisture meter check so the plant is not over or under watered. Both can cause stress.
  6. These tropical plant enjoy humidity of 40 to 60%. Use a hygrometer next to your calathea to make sure you have enough humidity for them.
  7. Never let this plant get wet feet. If the soil is compacted the bottom of the soil can remain wet which encourages, grey mold on the leaves, root rot and Fungus Gnats. If you see yellow leaves or leaf tips you are probably overwatering or Inconsistently watering.
  8. In dormant winter months reduce watering to when the soil is dry down 2 inches .
  9. Humidity Tips:

  1. Calatheas are happy at 40 to 60% humidity. Although they can tolerate higher, do not let it drop under 40%.
  2. In dry climates this plant will thrive with a humidifier nearby. Or set it in your kitchen or bathroom.
  3. Frequent misting on a regular daily schedule will help.
  4. Set the Calathea plant on a pebble tray with water not touching the pot bottom for added humidity as necessary.
  5. Grouping plants together will also provide more humid conditions as they respire and evaporate.

How to Fertilize:

  1. Calatheas require a regular fertilizing schedule. BUT, they are susceptible to fertilizer burn.
  2. Apply a good quality fertilizer (linked in materials) monthly through Spring and summer at half dose. If you see burn marks on the plant leaves reduce fertilizer by half again.
  3. Decrease feedings by late Fall and allow your Calathea plant to rest through the winter months.
  4. Look for brown spots on the leaves of your plants. This may indicate an over concentration of salts in the roots from over feeding. It can burn the leaves.
  5. The remedy is to set the plant under a faucet of water and let the water run through for 10 minutes or so. Allow the pot to Completely drain. Discontinue fertilizer until the plant recovers.


  1. Optimal temperatures for Calatheas are 65 degrees F. to 75 degrees F.
  2. Calatheas are sensitive to cold drafts from windows and doors.
  3. In winter, beware heat vents blowing on your plant leaves. Calatheas cannot tolerate uneven heating, or drying heat vents or drafts.

Pruning and Training:

  1. Sharp sterile Hand pruners or sharp scissors are preferred for pruning. They will give a clean cut that will heal quickly.
  2. Pruning is usually done to shape the plant or cut off unsightly leaves.
  3. Calatheas grow wider rather than taller with time. The zebrina grows to about 24 inches high. This makes them ideal table top or window sill plants.

Leaf Care:

  1. For the best care your Calathea leaves enjoy occasional washing.
  2. This helps keep the stomata (leaf pores) open for plant respiration.
  3. Healthy leaves with a good clean surface are most able to resist pests. Neem oil leaf shine is a good choice for leaf washing.
  4. Dusty leaves will starve the plants of water exchange through humidity.
  5. Hand Wash the leaves monthly with water and neem oil.
  6. You can also use a shower to clean off a calathea. Beware the water temperature. Keep it room temperature to avoid shocking the plant.


  1. All plants get attacked by pests. Calatheas are especially susceptible to spider mites.
  2. Stress by longterm poor watering practices, poor light, extreme temperatures and soil conditions are contributors to pests. Fungus gnats will set up house in the soggy soil of an overwatered plant.
  3. Washing the plant leaves occasionally with neem oil leaf shine will help keep pests from establishing themselves on the plant.
  4. Spider mites are the biggest problem for Calathea plants. Watch for the webs. Treat immediately and continue for two weeks or more to remove the next generation of spider mites after the adults die. Eggs attach to the leaves and cannot be washed off easily.
  5. Mealy bugs, scale, thrips and whitefly are also common houseplant pests you will see in a stressed Calathea.
  6. Read our post on How to get rid of aphids and other pests with our homemade pesticide soap recipe or neems oil.spraying Pothos with DIY Pesticide soap
  7. To minimize the possibility of pests be sure to check all nursery plants before bringing them home. Carefully examine the top and bottom of the leaves.
  8. Do NOT purchase plants with signs of pest damage or disease.
  9. Quarantine all new plants until you are sure no pests live in them.

How to Propagate Calatheas:

  1. Propagation is best done through root division.
  2. Seed propagation can be done but the seeds can be difficult to source.
  3. Dividing a calathea is easiest when repotting it in spring or summer.
  4. Unpot the plant gently. Look at the root system. If the plant is mature you should see a natural parting in the leaves and roots. This is the two plants growing together.
  5. Gently pull the two parts to separate them. If the roots are heavily intertwined cut them as necessary with sharp sterile scissors or small pruners.

Pot the two plant sections in separate pots. In 2 to 4 weeks the divisions should be settled and growing.

Non Toxic Plant:

  1. All calatheas are non toxic to humans and pets. Still it is not recommended to chew any houseplant.
  2. Biting or swatting are not good for the health of the plant.
  3. Also you don't know what chemicals or pathogens are in the soil or fertilizers you use. So best practice is to keep houseplants away from pets and kids.


The video below is relevant to the care of all calatheas:

More Prayer Plants:

There are so many different and beautiful prayer plants. Come take a look at these!

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learning about the stunning calathea roseoptica-pin image
Rose painted Calatheas are beautiful plants. We spotlight three Roseopticas in this post. Calathea Roseoptica Medallion, Calathea Roseoptica Rosy and Calathea Roseoptica Dottie. These are the rose painted Calatheas.

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