Calathea Lancifolia Care: The Complete And Best Guide

Rattlesnake Plant, also known as Calathea Lancifolia, is a cool houseplant with eye-catching leaves and cool patterns. Without the right know-how, caring for this plant might be tough. We wrote this detailed guide on Calathea Lancifolia care for that reason. Everything you need to keep your plant healthy and growing will be covered in this article, including tips on watering, lighting, soil, humidity, and more. This tutorial will show you how to take awesome care of your Rattlesnake Plant whether you’re a newbie or a pro plant lover.

About Calathea Lancifolia

As its name hints, Rattlesnake Plant (also commonly known as rattlesnake plant, zebra plant, or snake plant) is a type of calathea that comes from the tropics of Brazil. Its leaves are have a dark green color with light green stripes running down them length-wise. The undersides of the leaves often have a purple or deep red color.

Rattlesnake Plant thrives best in conditions like those found in its native Brazilian rainforests. If you give your Rattlesnake Plant the right lighting, temperature, and humidity, it will reward you with a bright leaf show all year. If you live in a place with different seasons, variegated Rattlesnake Plant cultivars may change color over the course of a year.

Even though the Rattlesnake Plant needs some love, it’s a stunning houseplant with leafy texture that won’t disappoint. Rattlesnake Plants, which can grow to be 2-3 feet tall, are a great fit for indoor spaces as potted floor plants or table decorations.

calathea lancifolia

Calathea Lancifolia Care Quick Overview

Common name Rattlesnake Plant
Botanical name Calathea Lancifolia
No. of varieties 1
Family Marantaceae
Biological life cycle Perennial
Foliage Always green
Mature size 2.5 feet (76cm) or more
Time to maturity 6 months – 2 years
Origin Brazil
Light conditions Medium to bright indirect light
Soil type Airy and full of nutrients – African violet potting mix works well
Soil pH Acidic / Neutral
USDA Zone 8-11
Toxicity Not harmful


Calathea Lancifolia Care: How?

Rattlesnake Plant is part of the prayer plant family, and its leaves close up at night like a pair of praying hands.

Here are some methods for caring for your Rattlesnake Plant:


When watering your Rattlesnake Plant, be sure to use lukewarm water. Allow the top layer of soil to dry out before watering again. These plants do not like to sit in wet soil, so good drainage is key.

You may need to water your calathea more during the summer months, as it will be growing lots. Never let your Rattlesnake Plant sit in water, as this will lead to rotting roots. Watering every 7-10 days is usually enough.

Rattlesnake Plant needs the right amount of water to stay happy and healthy. Here are some watering tips to help you take the best possible care of your plant:

  • Water your Rattlesnake Plant when the top inch of the soil feels dry.
  • Be sure to use lukewarm water, as cold water can upset your plant.
  • Give your Rattlesnake Plant a nice drench, until water runs out of the drainage holes at the bottom of the pot.
  • Let the soil dry out a bit between watering to avoid root rot.
  • If you’re unsure whether your plant needs watering, check the leaves for any sign of drooping.

watering calathea lancifolia


Rattlesnake Plant love humid spots, which mimic their original tropical home. Ideally, you should aim to keep the humidity around your plant between 60-70%.

To boost the humidity around your Rattlesnake Plant, you can use several methods. One way is to use a humidity machine in the room where the plant is located. If you don’t have a humidity machine, you can also place a tray of water near the plant or mist the leaves regularly with a spray bottle. Another option is to group your Rattlesnake Plant with other plants, which can create a small climate zone.

It’s important to note that if the humidity is too low, the leaves of your Rattlesnake Plant may start to curl or become crispy. On the other hand, if the humidity is too high, the leaves may develop fungi problems or yellowing. Finding the right balance of humidity is key to keeping your plant vibrant and healthy.

Ideal light

The perfect light for a Rattlesnake Plant is medium to bright indirect light. It’s important to avoid direct sunlight, which can cause brown burn marks on the leaves. The rattlesnake plant can deal with low light for short periods of time, but keep this tropical beauty in sunlight during the warmer months. This will help the plant’s growth and health.

If you cannot provide bright, indirect sunlight, you can provide fake light in the form of fluorescent lights. Place your plant near a window that gets plenty of light during the day, but keep it out of direct sunlight to prevent burning the leaves. Or put your Rattlesnake Plant in a low-light spot, such as your bathroom or kitchen.

Unlock the Secrets of Thriving Calathea: Mastering Calathea Light Requirements for Lush Foliage!

light calathea lancifolia

Required temperature

In order to keep a healthy Rattlesnake Plant, the temperature should be kept at around 65-85 degrees Fahrenheit. If the temperature gets too low, the leaves will start browning and drop off. Too high of a temperature will cause the leaves to curl up and dry out. It’s best to maintain indoor temperature above 64°F.

If the leaves of your Rattlesnake Plant start browning or curling, the environment is too dry. You should regularly mist it with lukewarm water. Rattlesnake Plant prefers moisture, so mist it daily or use a pebble tray. Avoid cold drafts and sudden temp changes as well.


Calathea Lancifolia plants are not big eaters and don’t need often feeding. However, giving the right food can help your plant grow stronger and get brighter leaves.

You should feed your Calathea Lancifolia once a month during the growing season, which is usually from spring to early fall. You can use a balanced, water-soluble feed with equal parts of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium, like 10-10-10 or 20-20-20. Be sure to water down the feed to half the suggested power to avoid hurting the plant’s roots.

During the winter months, you can cut down or even stop feeding your Calathea Lancifolia since the plant goes to sleep and growing slows down.

Besides feeding, giving your Calathea Lancifolia the right care, like enough water and light, can also help its total health and vitality.


The soil should be free and draining well, with a pH between 5.5 and 6.5. A soil mix that contains peat moss or coco coir is ideal. Avoid using soil that is too sandy or too clay-like, as this can cause problems with drainage. Add perlite, vermiculite, or both to make draining better. If the soil is too dense, it can lead to problems like root rot.

Stuff like compost or manure can be added to the soil to help give food. Calathea Lancifolia does best in soil that is kept wet but not waterlogged. Let the top inch of soil dry out before watering again. Be sure to water thoroughly, until water runs out of the bottom of the pot.

You could whip it up on your own if you wanted. A mix of 2 parts peat and 1 part perlite is well-suited but again, store-bought soil will likely do the trick.

soilmix calathea lancifolia


Calathea Lancifolia is a beautiful plant with unique patterns on its leaves. However, like any other plant, it can get attacked by various pests, including mealybugs, spider mites, and scale insects. These bugs can damage the leaves, causing yellowing, wilting, and even death of the plant.

Here are some tips to fix bug attacks on your Calathea Lancifolia:

  • Spot the insect: Before taking any action, it’s important to spot the bug that’s hurting your plant. Different bugs need different treatments, so make sure you know what you’re dealing with.
  • Separate the sick plant: Once you’ve spotted the bug, separate the affected plant from your other plants to prevent the spread of the attack.
  • Take off any bugs you see: Use a damp cloth or cotton swab dipped in rubbing alcohol to take off any bugs from the plant. Be sure to get rid of all the bugs, including the ones hiding on the underside of the leaves.
  • Use bug killers: If the attack is severe, you can use bug killers to get rid of the pests. However, make sure to use a bug killer that is safe for use on Calathea Lancifolia plants and follow the instructions carefully.
  • Improve plant care: Bugs are often attracted to weak or stressed out plants, so it’s important to improve your Calathea Lancifolia’s care. Make sure it’s getting the right amount of light, water, and humidity, and consider feeding it to boost its total health.

    By taking these steps, you can effectively get rid of bug attacks on your Calathea Lancifolia and keep it healthy and thriving.


Pruning is a big part of Calathea Lancifolia care as it helps to promote new growth and maintain the plant’s shape. Here are some tips on pruning your Calathea Lancifolia:

  • Remove any dead or yellowing leaves: This is important to stop the spread of disease and to keep your plant looking healthy.
  • Trim back tall and skinny growth: If your plant is getting tall and skinny, you can trim back the stems to help bushier growth.
  • Pinch off old flowers: If your Calathea Lancifolia makes flowers, you can pinch off the old flowers to encourage the plant to put its energy into making new leaves.
  • Use clean, sharp cutting tools: When pruning your Calathea Lancifolia, it’s important to use clean, sharp cutting tools to prevent hurting the plant.
  • Prune in the spring or summer: The best time to prune your Calathea Lancifolia is in the spring or summer when the plant is actively growing.

Remember to take it easy when pruning your Calathea Lancifolia, as it is a delicate plant that doesn’t respond well to deep cutting. A little bit of pruning here and there can go a long way in keeping your plant looking its best.


Growing Calathea lancifolia, or more commonly called the spider plant, is a gorgeous houseplant that’s a breeze to grow. Although you can grow it from seed, growing by division is the usual way and it’s the easiest.

Growing by division can be done by gently taking off offsets, or “baby” plants, from the mother plant and potting them in their own containers. This is best done when your plant needs to be repotted, ideally in the spring during its growing season.

  • Step 1: Water your Calathea Lancifolia the day before dividing to allow the root ball to separate without cutting.
  • Step 2: Fill two pots with new soil. Before cutting into the rootball of the Calathea Lancifolia, take it out from its original planter and shake off any loose soil.
  • Step 3: Rattlesnake plant roots are pretty fragile and should be handled gently.
  • Step 4: Trim any damaged or diseased roots with clean gardening scissors before repotting the divisions.

Growing by division can also be done by taking a cutting from the mother plant and growing it in water or moist soil. Here’s how to do it:

  • First, you’ll need to take a cutting from an existing plant. Choose a healthy leaf and cut it off at the base, making sure to include a bit of stem.
  • Next, fill a pot with soil that drains well and place the cutting in it. Water lightly and keep the soil moist but not soggy.
  • Place the pot in a warm, bright spot away from bright sun and wait for the cutting to root. This can take anywhere from a few weeks to a few months.
  • Once the cutting has rooted, you can transplant it into its own pot and care for it as you would any other houseplant.

Growing your own plants is a fab way to save money and have more plants to enjoy. Plus, it’s really satisfying to see a plant you’ve grown thrive!

Final Thoughts

To wrap it up, taking care of your Calathea Lancifolia can be a cool experience, but it needs an eye for details and some patience. You can provide your plant with the best growing conditions by following the tips and guidelines outlined in this all-in-one guide. Keep your Calathea Lancifolia in a bright, humid spot and away from direct sunlight.

In addition, water the plant regularly and use soil that drains well. Finally, trimming your plant can help it grow and keep its shape. With the right care, we at FamiPlants believe that your Calathea Lancifolia can provide you with stunning leaves and the satisfaction of knowing you’ve grown a beautiful plant.

Learn more about Other Calathea care resources:

Hi, I'm Cathleen Clemens. I graduated from Cornell University with a degree in plant science. I gained detailed knowledge about various kinds of plants and how to properly care for them. My experience has enabled me to easily detect any issues such as pest infestations, nutrient deficiencies, or signs of diseases in the plants.

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