Calathea Watering: The Complete And Best Guide

Are you confused about how to water your Calathea plant right? Do the leaves seem droopy and you’re unsure how often it needs a drink, or even what type of water is best?

If so, don’t worry! This” Calathea Watering: The Complete And Best Guide” blog post will give you all the details you need to know to make sure your Calathea gets just the right amount of water. From when to water, how much water they need, and more – this guide has everything covered!

Importance of Proper Calathea Watering

All plants in the Calathea family are native to South America and are closely related to each other. They naturally grow amid the trunks of huge canopy trees, where they get little direct light but plenty of dampness.

Calathea plants like damp but not soggy soil, so it’s important to change up how often you water the plant and watch its watering needs based on the season. Since they might not be fans of the low humidity in the average home, they can do just fine indoors if watered right.

Watering your Calathea right is key for its health and growth. Overwatering or underwatering can cause a bunch of problems with your plant, like yellowing leaves, wilting, and root rot. To make sure your Calathea stays healthy and bright, follow our easy steps for proper Calathea care.

watering for calathea

Understanding Calathea Watering Requirements

When it comes to Calathea’s water needs, there are three big things to think about: soil dampness, air moisture, light, and heat.

Soil moisture

It’s important to check if the soil’s damp to make sure Calathea gets the right amount of water. Calatheas like damp soil, but too much water can rot roots. You can stick your finger into the soil or use a soil moisture meter to figure out how damp it is. Your Calathea is probably getting enough water if it feels cool and damp.


In addition to soil dampness, Calatheas need lots of air moisture to do well. You can boost the air moisture around your Calathea by misting it weekly, using a humidifier, or putting it on a tray of pebbles with water. These steps will help make sure that Calathea has enough moisture in its surroundings.

Light and temperature

Calatheas need shady light and should be kept in temperatures between 65-85°F. Calatheas can suffer if exposed to cold drafts or extreme temperatures, so be sure to keep them away from heating and air conditioning vents.

Related: Calathea Light Requirements: A Complete Guide 2023

Calathea Watering: When and How Much?

When it comes to watering Calathea, you should water when the top soil’s dry. If the soil is damp in the top inch or so, you can wait a bit more; however, if the soil is dry or just a little damp, it’s time to water your Calathea.

The size of the pot, the kind of soil, and the weather where the Calathea is planted all affect how much water it needs to live. During winter months, water less often as plants are less active during this season. As a rule of thumb, water your Calathea once every 1-2 weeks and make sure that the water is at room temperature.

If the Calathea plant is kept in a pot with drainage holes, you should water until the bottom of the pot starts to dribble water. Before watering again, let the top bit of the soil dry off.

To check if the soil is dry, stick your finger into the potting mix up to your first knuckle. If the soil is dry, water until water drains out of the bottom of the pot.

Additionally, it might be helpful to think about using a water meter or moisture gauge to help you measure how much water your Calathea needs.

How to water Calathea

When you water your Calathea, it’s good to know how much moisture the plant needs and when. The type of watering method you use also depends on the specific Calathea type you have.

  • Top-Watering: It’s all about pouring water onto the top layer of soil in your pot and letting it flow down through the container and out of the drainage holes. It’s a neat way to spread the wetness evenly throughout the soil in your pot.
  • Bottom-Watering: It’s about dunking your Calathea’s pot in a bucket or bowl of water until you see some of it starting to come out of the drainage hole. This method makes sure the soil is evenly wet and stops root rot or other overwatering problems.
  • Misting: Spraying Calatheas often helps increase the surrounding moisture, which Calatheas love. You can use a spray bottle with distilled water or rainwater specifically for this.
  • Using a Humidifier: It can help increase the humidity in your Calathea’s space, which is key for their health and lifespan. You should make sure to keep it away from the Calathea so that it doesn’t get too wet or cold.
  • Factors to Consider When Watering Calathea: It’s important to think about stuff like the Calathea’s type, size, and climate when deciding how much water it needs. Make sure to always check the soil before watering Calatheas, to make sure that it’s dry enough for ya to water again.

Overall, Calatheas need a careful look at their water needs for them to thrive. If you follow the above steps, your Calathea should be healthy and happy! Remember, Calathea water is super important for a Calathea’s health and energy, so make sure you’re giving it enough hydration.

Using a Humidifier for Calathea

Common Watering Mistakes

Calathea plants like somewhat damp soil, so overwatering or underwatering can be a common mistake when caring for Calathea. If you overwater Calatheas, the leaves will start to turn yellow and droop – keeping an eye on the top of the soil is super important in avoiding this. Underwatering Calatheas can also be a problem and make the leaves turn crispy and brown.

Overwatering for Calathea

If you overwater Calatheas, the leaves will start to turn yellow and droop – keeping an eye on the top of the soil is key in avoiding this.

Overwatering can make the leaves and roots of your plant to rot due to too much wetness. This leads to poor drainage and a pile-up of water in the soil that can be bad for your Calathea’s health.

If Calatheas are overwatered, root rot can happen and cause droopy leaves. It’s important to feel the top of the soil with your finger before pouring water onto the plant – if it feels damp or wet then you don’t need to water it.

Overwatering can be stopped by making sure that the soil gets to dry out between waterings and that the pot drains well. If your Calathea starts to suffer from overwatering, try repotting it into a larger pot with fresh soil and better drainage. Also, check the soil before watering and water only when needed.

Underwatering for Calathea

Calatheas like somewhat damp soil, so if the soil is too dry, the plant can suffer from dehydration and cause leaves to turn crispy and brown.

Underwatering can be avoided by giving enough water and not letting the soil to dry out completely between waterings. Pay attention to how much and how often your Calathea needs water, as different varieties respond differently to different climates and places. You can use a watering can and pour the water around the base of the plant.

It’s also important to check the soil often for signs of underwatering. If the soil feels dry, it’s time to water your Calathea. Underwatering can be easily avoided with a little attention and care. Regularly check the moisture level in your plant’s soil and provide consistent watering to ensure your Calathea is well-hydrated.

Using Tap Water for Calathea

When it comes to calathea water, use filtered water. Tap water can have chlorine and other additives that calatheas can’t stand. Tap water can cause brown spots on leaves. Make sure to use lukewarm water when watering calathea plants as they don’t like temperature swings.

It’s best to let tap water to sit for 24 hours before using it on calatheas as this lets the minerals take a hike.

Improper Drainage for Calathea

Bad drainage can easily cause root rot and other problems in Calathea. When water can’t easily drain from the soil and instead hangs out in the pot for too long, bad drainage happens. This might be because of overwatering or because compacted soil that blocks good drainage.

By making sure the soil is not too packed and watering only when needed, you can avoid bad drainage. If the soil does get too wet, it should have a break to dry out before you add more water completely.

Plus, using a well-draining potting mix could help avoid bad drainage in the first place. The plant should be protected from more harm as soon as you spot bad drainage.

You can add gravel or stones at the base of the pot to fix drainage and stop roots rotting.

One of the most common Calathea problems is bad drainage, but it can be avoided with a bit of thought and care.

Overall, calatheas need careful watering to stay healthy and thrive. It’s important to watch for signs of giving it too much or too little water, and use filtered or distilled water instead of tap water. Finally, make sure it drains well to avoid root rot which can kill calathea plants.


Best Tips for Calathea Watering

When it comes to Calathea Watering, there are some tips and tricks to help make sure your plant gets the right amount of water.

  1. First, it’s important to remember that Calatheas prefer their soil damp but not soggy. This means water it little and frequently – around once a week or when the top few inches of the soil starts to dry out. To water your Calathea, use a watering can or gently pour warm water around the base of the plant, making sure not to wet its leaves as this could cause damage.
  2. You should also keep an eye on how humid your place is – Calatheas prefer higher humidity levels (usually around 50-70%), so you may need to mist the leaves regularly, or get a humidifier.
  3. Check if Calathea’s soil is moist is also important – too much water can lead to root rot and discoloration of the leaf edges, while not enough water will cause the leaves to curl.
  4. Finally, be sure to use distilled water for your plant – tap water has too many minerals and salts, which can hurt your plant over time

Calathea Watering FAQs

Q: How do I know if I’m overwatering my Calathea?

A: Overwatering your Calathea is one of the most common problems people encounter. Some signs that you’re giving too much water include yellow leaves and rotten roots, and brown spots on the leaves. If you notice any of these signs, water it less often or improve how your soil drains to help it get better.

Q: How can I improve the drainage for my Calathea?

A: Improving soil drainage is important in order to keep your Calathea healthy.

Adding some organic stuff or perlite to the soil can help with drainage and aeration, as well as keeping the soil loose and fluffy. You should also make sure your pot has good drainage holes, and consider raising it up on a platform or tray so that extra water can drain out.


Q: How much water should I use when watering my Calathea?

A: You want to make sure that you are giving your plant enough water without overdoing it. Try to give enough water so that it can start to run out of the holes at the bottom of your planter, but not so much that it’s running down the sides.

Q: Can I water my Calathea with tap water?

A: Generally, tap water is okay for your Calathea. If you have hard tap water or notice any signs of discoloration or yellowing on the leaves, it’s best to use cleaned-up or distilled water instead.

Q: What should I do if the leaves on my Calathea are curling?

A: Curled leaves may indicate under or overwatering. Checking how wet the soil is and making sure your plant is being watered regularly and effectively should be your first steps. Water it more often if the soil feels dry. Water less and check that your planter is draining right if it feels too wet. It can take a few weeks for the leaves to start looking normal again in either case.

Q: Do I should mist Calathea?

A: Misting it daily or every other day is good for Calathea. To prevent brown patches on the leaves, use a basic mister and, if you can, clean or rainwater.


When you water Calathea, you should regularly check how wet the soil is and adjust your watering as needed. Make the right tweaks to help your plant get better if you see any signs of giving too much or too little water.

Hope this helped get you started on your Calathea watering journey. Gardening can be fun, but it’s important to learn a bit so you can best take care of your plants. If you have more questions on watering Calathea or gardening in general, feel free to get in touch with me at Famiplants. Thanks for reading!

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.

Leave a Comment