ABOUT OUR CALATHEA RUFIBARBA
Hey hey! I’m Mike the Calathea rufibarba, although I’m better known as the furry feather Calathea because of how my crimped leaves supposedly look like the feathers of a bird. My rich, purply-red underleaf is quite eye-catching, wouldn’t you agree?
Like the 500 other varieties of Calathea, I’m most at home basking in the warmth of the Amazon rainforest. I’m not going to say there’s sibling rivalry, but my narrow, green leaves with a purple-red underside attract quite a lot of jealousy from some of the other Calatheas - although I won’t name names!
The rainforest, with its humidity, warm temperatures and large trees that give my delicate leaves shade from the hot sun, might be my ideal habitat, but I’m pretty excited to move into your home, too. I’ll be a colourful and intriguing addition to your shady living room, bedroom or kitchen!
Small height (including nursery pot) 50-55cm; pot diameter 14cm.
Big height (including nursery pot) 65-75cm; pot diameter 19cm.
DID YOU KNOW?
Among those in the know, Calatheas or prayer plants symbolise a new start and are often given as a gift to represent turning over a new leaf and welcoming new change. It’s all because of their curious habit of moving their leaves upwards at night - just like hands in prayer!
Thanks to their purply-red undersides, Mike’s gorgeous foliage will add a quirky splash of colour to your living room.
QUICK CALATHEA RUFIBARBA PLANT CARE
Mike is a stylish plant who loves high humidity and filtered water to keep his leaves in tip-top condition.
I prefer a partially shady room. Any direct sunlight will cause my leaves to wilt.
I don’t like dry soil, so little-and-often amounts are ideal for my survival. In the summer, water me twice a week or whenever the first few centimetres of my soil is dry.
I love humidity and will benefit from being placed near a humidifier or another Calathea for a humidity boost.
You can give me a diluted fertiliser once a month in the growing season. Don’t fertilise me in the winter months.
FAST FACTS ABOUT MIKE
The best room for Mike is in a shady living room where he’ll receive dappled sunlight.
THINGS WE ALWAYS GET ASKED
How do you care for a Calathea rufibarba?
Taking care of your Calathea Rufibarba is relatively easy once you’ve got to grips with a few basic Calathea care tips. Keep the temperature consistently between 18°C and 25°C and keep Mike away from direct light or the hot sun; dappled, shaded light is the best for keeping him happy. You might notice Mike’s leaves curl if he’s placed in a cold room with a draft, so avoid cold hallways as these can really upset him.
If you notice his leaves start to crisp or turn brown, this is most likely from a lack of humidity or a bad reaction to tap water. Place Mike near a humidifier or on a pebble tray to keep his humidity levels over 60% and, if possible, always use filtered or rain water when watering him.
How often should I water my Calathea rufibarba?
It’s important to check the first few centimetres of soil every week and only water if they feel dry. Mike can be sensitive to overwatering and doesn’t like to sit in any excess water or overly wet soil. In the summer, Mike may need watering twice a week - particularly during warm spells - but you’ll probably want to reduce this in winter months.
Why is my Calathea rufibarba drooping?
The best thing about Calatheas is they have an in-built “I’m ready to be watered” warning mechanism! Drooping leaves is a common sign that Mike - or any Calathea really - is ready for a drink. Feel the first few centimetres of soil to make sure they’re dry, and then give him some water. However, don’t be fooled: as Mike is part of the prayer plant family, you’ll soon notice his leaves move naturally throughout the day and this can be mistaken for him needing more water. He may therefore look droopy during the day, but he’ll eventually stand up tall at night.
PLANT STYLING TIPS
Mike’s quirky purple foliage can be displayed on a shelf or side table as a pretty splash of colour in your home. House him in our stylish cool grey clay pot to avoid detracting any attention away from Mike’s beautiful burgundy underleaf.
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HEALTHY PLANT PROMISE
If you have received a damaged plant or within 30 days you have any trouble after following our care guidance we will offer you a replacement.