OLLIE THE CALATHEA ORBIFOLIA
A medium to bright light will be perfect for Ollie. If he is placed in a bright room, keep him away from any windows. The bright sun will burn his leaves. While Ollie likes a good amount of light he will be tolerant of lower light in the winter months when sunlight is minimal.
Ollie likes small amounts of water on a regular basis. Check the soil frequently. Getting the balance may be tricky as he won’t like his soil to completely dry out or be too soggy. Every week check the first 2-3 inches of the soil and make sure it is dry before watering. In the winter time you can reduce his watering schedule to once a week but always check his soil is dry before you water him.
Ollie is from a very humid climate and will appreciate moisture on his leaves. To replicate his natural habitat you can mist his foliage every 2-3 days, group him with other humidity loving plants or place him in a bathroom.
The perfect indoor temperature for Ollie is between 18-24 degrees celsius. As long as the indoor temperature doesn't dip lower than 18°C Ollie will be happy.
To promote growth use fertiliser every 4 in the months from March-September. Make sure to dilute the fertiliser to a quarter strength to avoid fertiliser burn to Ollie’s roots.
Ollie is fast growing and will produce a lot of new growth over the spring and summer months. Repot him every year to give him more room to grow. You can check the bottom of the nursery pot. If you can see his roots sticking out the bottom, it's time to repot.
TROUBLESHOOTING YOUR CALATHEA ORBIFOLIA
Curling leaves - The curling leaves are a sign that Ollie is suffering from the cold. Have a look around the home to make sure Ollie is not close to any windows or doors that could be causing drafts.
Drooping leaves - Ollie prefers his soil to be semi moist without drying out completely between each water. When the soil dries out Ollie’s foliage will start to droop and this will indicate that he needs a drink. If the first few inches of soil is bone dry to touch, Ollie should be watered lightly. It’s worth noting that Calathea’s leaves move with the light. The leaves appear droopy during the day and will move upwards in the evening.
Yellow leaves - Yellow leaves often indicate that Ollie has been overwatered. You can remove this leaf by cutting the stem at the base of the plant. Reduce his watering schedule especially in the winter months.
Brown edges: The brown edges could be caused by a variety of things.
- Ollie is sensitive to hard water which could be causing the leaves to brown. Use filtered or rainwater moving forward.
- Lack of humidity levels. Be sure that Ollie is getting regularly misted, is near a humidifier or a pebble tray is used underneath the pot.
- Occasionally the brown tips could be from over fertilising, it is good to note that Orbifolia are very sensitive. Always dilute a generic houseplant fertiliser.
OUR TOP 3 CARE TIPS
Top tip 1: Ollie is very draft sensitive. He will suffer from cold damage if he is placed in a draughty spot. Keep him away from any open windows or draughty hallways.
Top tip 2: To promote growth use fertiliser every 4 weeks in the spring and summer months. Always dilute to a quarter strength.
Top tip 3: Always water and mist Ollie with filtered or rain water. Harsh chemicals found in tap water will cause his edges to brown.