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Calathea lancifolia

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© RHS 2003

Characteristics

Plant type

Conservatory/Greenhouse or Houseplant

Habit

Clump-forming

Resilience

Hardiness

H1b (heated greenhouse - subtropical)

Colour

Flower

Yellow in Summer

Foliage

Pale Green, Dark Green or Dark Purple in Autumn, Spring, Summer or Winter

Size

Ultimate height

0.5-1 metres

Ultimate spread

0.1-0.5 metres

Time to ultimate height

5-10 years


Preferred common name

rattlesnake plant

Family

Marantaceae


Calathea are evergreen rhizomatous perennials forming clumps of elliptic leaves, often attractively patterned; spikes of small flowers are seldom produced in cultivation

C. lancifolia is an evergreen perennial to 60cm, forming a clump with undulate, lance-shaped pale green leaves with dark patches either side of the midrib, deep purple beneath. Small yellow flowers appear in short spikes in summer

Synonym(s)

  • Calathea insignis hort.

How to grow

Sunlight

  • Part shade

Aspect

  • North-facing, East-facing, West-facing or South-facing
  • Sheltered

Cultivation

Under glass grow in loam-based or loam-less potting compost with bright indirect or filtered light. Provide high humidity, draught-free conditions and a constant temperature of at least 16 °C. Water moderately when in growth and keep just moist in winter. Apply a balanced liquid fertiliser monthly

Soil

  • Well-drained or Moist but well-drained
  • Acid, Alkaline or Neutral
  • Clay, Chalk or Loam

Propagation

Propagate by division in late spring

Suggested planting locations and garden types

Low Maintenance or Patio/Container Plants


How to care

Pruning

No pruning required

Pests

May be attacked by glasshouse whitefly and glasshouse red spider mite

Diseases

Generally disease free