This beautiful plant also goes by the name Calathea insignis, also called a Rattlesnake Plant. It has an impressive appearance.
As a standalone ornamental houseplant or among a variety of other houseplants, the rattlesnake stands out in any case.
Leaves with wavy contours and dark decorative spots (alternating dark green ovals) are lance-shaped with a deep rich purple underside.
Rattlesnake Plants are indigenous to Brazil and belong to the Marantaceae family (prayer plants).
You need to know a few care details before adding this potted tropical plant to your collection.
How to care for Calathea Rattlesnake Plants
Caring for a Rattlesnake is easy.
- Provide the Rattlesnake plant with indirect bright light and lots of high humidity.
- The room temperature should range from 65° – 75° degrees Fahrenheit.
- Make sure the soil is moist.
- During the growing season, April to August, fertilize once per month.
- During winter, stop fertilizing and reduce watering.
- Spider mites are problematic.
Size and Growth
In most areas of the United States, Calathea is recommended for USDA hardiness zones 11 to 12, meaning that it cannot be grown outdoors.
A rattlesnake of the Calathea species will only thrive outdoors in the southern tip of Florida and California.
A Calathea plant is usually grown indoors as a houseplant.
It may reach a height of one and a half feet when grown indoors, but it might grow almost twice that amount when grown outdoors.
It produces wavy leaf blades reaching 18′′ inches in length. The foliage produces the most exciting characteristic of the Rattlesnake plant.
You may also notice purple undersides to the leaves. The leaves have a pale green color with dark green oval shapes.
Flowering and Fragrance
When it’s grown indoors, this plant doesn’t bloom as often, and it doesn’t grow as tall. However, it still matches well in any room, and it’s a great addition.
You may have noticed yellow flowers blooming in late spring or early summer if you live in a suitable area for growing outdoor. These flowers appear on conical spikes between 2′′ and 4′′ long.
Light and Temperature
The rattlesnake plant should be grown in an area with partial shade and bright indirect sunlight in the afternoon. Direct sun will cause the leaves to burn, causing the plant to wither, eventually killing it.
Provide bright indirect sunlight to your indoor plants throughout the day. Consider supplemental lighting to increase the intensity of the sunlight.
A rattlesnake’s best growing environment is 65°-75° degrees Fahrenheit and plenty of humidity.
NOTE: Avoid temperatures that change suddenly. Avoid exposure to cold drafts.
TIP: If your house tends to get dry, mist the plants every day with water, especially during the winter. Add a humidifier or use a tray filled with water for the plants.
Watering and Feeding
The soil moisture of a Rattlesnake Calathea plant should be kept evenly moist. Water your plants every few days in most cases. However, you should avoid keeping the soil too wet or creating large puddles of water.
In the growing season, which lasts between April and August, fertilize once a month with a 12% solution that is diluted a bit. Do not fertilize during the winter and water less often.
A typical Calathea will show its displeasure by turning brown at the leaf tips due to fluoride or chloride in tap water. Don’t use municipal water. Instead, use reclaimed water, well water, or distilled water.
Soil and Transplanting
When growing rattlesnake plants in a pot, always use a well-drained soil and a potting mix that keeps the soil moist while draining quickly. Adding peat moss will help keep the soil moist and drainage controlled.
Repotted plants for rattlesnake plants is necessary to keep them healthy. Remove them in the spring and replace with new soil.
It is important that the root structure is not damaged.
The best mix of soil for calatheas is:
- 2 parts Peat Moss
- 1 part Perlite
TIP: Repotting is the perfect time to think about propagating the plant.
Grooming and Maintenance
Unless it doesn’t get enough moisture, the leaves won’t fall off unless you remove the old leaves. The plant doesn’t flower indoors and it won’t grow very tall.
Additional Calatheas To Collect
- Calathea orbifolia – shiny green leaves with a white texture resembling the letter “O”
- Calathea ornata care – the Pinstripe Calathea
- Calathea concinna Freddie – deep green leaves with lighter green stripes
Calathea Lancifolia Propagation
The easiest way to propagate rattlesnake plants is by division. If possible, divide the plants during repotting.
Place the divisions in individual pots in a shady location and cover them with plastic bags. When new leaves appear, remove the plastic bag and care for the plant following the Calathea lancifolia care instructions.
What Types of Insects or Diseases Do Snake Plants Encounter?
There are not many serious diseases to rattlesnake plants, but it is still critical to observe them for the usual pests.
It is possible that aphids, mealybugs, and spider mites will locate the thick leaves to be attractive. Spider mites may also be a problem during the winter in dry surroundings.
Any insects you spot should be washed off the foliage with soapy water or treated with an insecticide such as Neem oil or insecticidal soap.
Look for signs of dryness as well as pests and diseases. If the plant’s leaves start to curl or the plant becomes brown, It may not be receiving enough humidity.
Try misting the leaves in the morning and then again in the early afternoon if you spot the leaves are dying from lack of humidity.
The Rattlesnake Plant: Suggested Uses
The snake plant is grown mainly for the leaf’s attractive, appealing looks. As mentioned, it is primarily grown in the rainforest of Brazil, where it is not suited for outdoor cultivation.
You probably can’t grow it outdoors, but it’s a great houseplant. Consider placing it in a large pot in a high-visibility area as a floor plant, where you can emphasize the complex patterning on the leaves.
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