Calathea concinna is a beautiful tropical species that is quickly gaining popularity as a household plant due to its unique foliage. However, this plant is not the easiest when it comes to its cultural needs.
Find out how to take proper care of this special plant at home using this comprehensive expert guide.
- What Is Calathea Concinna?
- Calathea Concinna Care
- Frequently Asked Questions
What Is Calathea Concinna?
Calathea concinna freddie is a tropical plant from the Northwestern regions of Brazil that is known for its patterned silver striped leaves arranged in a compact form. The plant’s leaves are unique in that they open during daytime and close at night.
Calathea Concinna Care
Calathea concinna plant needs indirect light and moist soil to grow healthy and happy. This plant has very specific temperature, humidity, and feeding requirements that need to be fulfilled if you want it to grow and thrive properly.
As a sensitive plant, Calathea care indoors is only for those who have the time and patience to fulfill all of its needs. Find out more in detail below.
– Light Requirements
This is a plant that can tolerate low light but not direct intense light or it will suffer from severe sunburns.
It needs indirect light for at least six hours daily. Learn about its light requirements in detail below.
– Keeping Indoors
Calathea concinna grows best in a bright room lit indirectly by ample sunlight. You can keep it near a window if it is facing towards the east or the west. These windows let in only moderately intense sunlight for a few hours during the morning and the evening respectively.
If your indoor space is lit by the southern-facing window, then either keep the concinna Freddie plant away from direct light or put a curtain on the window. These windows let in pretty intense light for most of the day, which is intolerable for this delicate plant.
– Keeping Outdoors
In its natural habitat, this plant grows under dappled and indirect sunlight blocked by larger trees. When growing it outdoors in a garden or lawn, make sure to provide it with some shade.
You can also keep the pot of this plant under the shade of a larger plant or tree to keep the light from directly falling on it.
– Water Requirements
The Freddie plant is very particular when it comes to its watering needs. It likes to grow under constantly moist soil at all times, so this is something you will have to be very careful about. As a completely non-drought tolerant plant, it doesn’t take kindly to being neglected in its watering requirements.
– Frequency of Watering
You will have to water this plant two to three times a week during the summer. This is unless you live in an extremely hot region because then you will have to increase the frequency of watering.
Decrease the frequency of watering to once per week during winters. Even during the colder months, you will have to keep their soil moist at all times.
– How To Water the Concinna Plant
Here is a step-by-step guide you can follow to water your plant properly:
- Always use a moderate amount of water each time.
- Pour a generous amount at the base of the plant, taking your time with it.
- Keep watering until excess water starts pouring out of the drainage hole at the bottom.
- After collecting this excess water in a pan, remove that pan to prevent your plant from sitting in water for long.
– Best Water for Calathea Concinna
Distilled water is the purest type of water to use for your household Calathea concinna plant. It is free of all sorts of chemicals and minerals that might harm it. You can also use filtered water for this plant.
Common tap water might contain harsh chemicals that might affect the growth of your plant. Have it checked from a lab to see whether it is safe for use. Remember that Calathea is very sensitive when it comes to the chemicals and salts present in the water that you give it.
– Soil Requirements
For Calathea concinna freddie plants, you will need soil that drains quickly but also retains moisture for a long time. The soil particles should be large enough to allow water and air to circulate through it.
– DIY Soil
Take a regular type of potting mix and add some perlite to it in order to loosen it up more. You can also use orchid bark instead of or in addition to perlite. For increasing the moisture retention of the soil, try adding sphagnum moss or peat to the potting mix.
Another way to increase the aeration of the soil is by adding pebbles to it. Take care to place pebbles only at the bottom of the potting mix. If you place it near the top, it can interfere with the growth and nutrition of the roots.
– Temperature Requirements
This plant needs to grow within a temperature range of 65 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit at all times. In fact, it will undergo a fatal cold shock if the temperature falls below 65 degrees Fahrenheit.
During winters, don’t forget to move this plant indoors.
– Humidity Requirements
Your Calathea concinna Freddie plant needs very high humidity levels of around 70 percent, so a bathroom is one of the best places in the house to keep this plant. Because of its sensitivity when it comes to the ideal moisture levels around it, we suggest you keep a hygrometer at hand to check the exact levels of humidity in your house.
Regularly prune and clean Calathea leaves to keep your plant looking healthy and spick and span. It is prudent to always remove lower leaves that have grown old so that the nutrients can be directed towards the younger growths.
– Fertilizing Requirements
Your Calathea concinna plant is not a heavy feeder, so light feeding with a balanced fertilizer around once a month should be fine for it. Fertilize your plant during the warm summer months, but take care not to overdo it as these plants are sensitive to over-fertilizing.
You can either propagate the Concinna plant using clumped offsets from the parent plant or by using seeds. Propagation can take place either in the water or in soil.
– Clumped Offsets
Calathea concinna freddie, aka the Freddie plant, grows in clumps of leaves placed together. It can easily be propagated using these clumps or offsets in the growing season. Take note that it is not always easy or even possible to differentiate between the individual offsets unless you take the entire plant out of its soil by the roots.
– How To Propagate Using Offsets
Take a knife to loosen the soil of the prayer plant from the sides of the pots, then gently remove the plant and shake loose the soil from it. After doing this, the clumps of leaves will most probably come loose at this point. You can also remove these Calathea Freddie leaves by hand yourself.
Otherwise, take a knife and cut them manually, taking care to use only sterile scissors or knives. Remember that each clump should have its own roots and some leaves. Now simply fill a new pot with fresh soil and plant these offsets in it.
– In Water
Simply take a medium-sized jar and fill it with clean, filtered water. Then place your offset in this water. Remember that each offset should have its own roots and a couple of leaves. Keep changing the water every week and don’t forget to put fertilizer in the water occasionally.
– Using Seeds
First of all, make sure that the seeds you have bought are from a trusted source as a lot of vendors are reported to be selling fake seeds. Take a seedling tray and fill it with an appropriate growth medium. You can buy it from the store or make your own by mixing potting mix with some soil or peat.
Press the seeds into the soil gently until they are just inside it. Move the seedling tray to a bright, warm and humid location. Cover the tray with a plastic sheet or some cover to increase the humidity levels around the seeds. This will help them germinate.
In a couple of weeks, the seeds will sprout shoots. You should remove the cover after this. Let the shoots grow some more until you feel that it’s time to repot Calathea Freddie in a larger pot.
– When Is the Right Time ?
The right time to propagate the concinna plant is during the warm months of spring. This is the time when the growth period of this plant is just beginning. Both the offset and the mother plant will have a better chance of survival if potted at this time of year.
Some common problems that you might face with this plant include yellowing or browning of leaves, fertilizer burn, or cold shock. Learn all about these problems at length below.
– Yellowing of Leaves
Yellowing of leaves is the most common issue with the Freddie plant and can be caused by overwatering, underwatering or sunburn.
Even though these are water-loving plants, they can still be overwatered if the soil and the pot don’t have adequate drainage. The leaves will turn mushy and yellow due to the over-retention of excess water. The only solution is to improve drainage and to water the plant according to a set schedule.
Excessive and direct exposure to sunlight will also turn Calathea Freddie leaves yellow and wrinkly. Check to see if your plant is receiving direct sunlight. If so, then move it to a bright place where sunlight doesn’t fall directly on the leaves.
Underwatering will most definitely cause yellowing of your Calathea leaves. The leaves will appear dry and wrinkly too. This will be followed by other symptoms such as leaf curling and dropping.
Improve your watering routine as soon as possible. This plant doesn’t take kindly to being underwatered.
– Normal Shedding
Sometimes, the leaves of your Freddie plant turning yellow might not even be an actual problem. The lower and older leaves of this plant will eventually turn yellow and fall off with time.
This is a natural process that is meant to open up resources for the younger leaves by getting rid of older ones. You shouldn’t worry about your plant if the leaves turning yellow are old and present towards the base of the plant.
– Curling and Browning Of Leaves
The leaves of your Calathea plant will start turning browning and curling around the edges in case of both over and underwatering. You can differentiate between the two conditions by seeing whether the leaves are plump or dry.
This plant is also sensitive to the use of tap water. Unless your municipal tap water is filtered regularly, even the usual amounts of salts and chemicals in it can affect the leaves of the freddie plant. That is why we always recommend using filtered or distilled water for these plants.
– Fertilizer Burn
Concinna Freddie is a very sensitive plant and it will suffer from burns if fertilized without dilution. The leaves of your plant will turn brown not only around the edges but from the middle as well.
With store-bought commercial fertilizer, always dilute the solution before spraying it on your plant. Organic fertilizers tend to be safer and are not known to produce burns in this plant.
– Cold Shock
This plant cannot tolerate cold weather. When placed under temperatures below 65 degrees Fahrenheit, it undergoes cold shock. Its leaves will begin to wilt and the plant will start dying. Unfortunately, once your plant goes under cold shock, then it becomes nearly impossible to salvage it.
This is one of the most serious problems your plant might face and that’s why you should always be mindful about maintaining the right temperatures around your plant.
Frequently Asked Questions
Find out answers to some frequent queries regarding this plant in this section.
– Can the Freddie Plant Be Propagated Through Cuttings?
No, Freddie plants cannot be propagated through cuttings at all because this plant has no stem and its leaves don’t have cells that are capable of propagation. You will need to use offsets with roots and leaves to propagate this plant.
– Why Is This Plant Called the Freddie Prayer Plant?
This plant is called the prayer plant because its leaves open up during the day to absorb as much sun as possible, making it look like hands that are in prayer.
During the night, these leaves withdraw into themselves to form a compact shape.
Today you learned a great deal about the Freddie plant. Given below is a brief summary to ensure that you haven’t missed any important points.
- The Calathea Freddie plant needs indirect bright light for at least six hours each day. When grown indoors, keep this plant in a brightly-lit room. Don’t expose this plant to direct sunlight even when grown outdoors as this can lead to severe sunburn.
- The soil should be kept moist at all times. Water your plant at least two to three times each week during the hot summer months. You can decrease the frequency of watering in the winters but never let the soil become dry.
- Your soil should be well-draining and loose as well as able to retain moisture for long periods of time. Mix perlite with potting mix for drainage and add sphagnum moss for moisture retention.
- The Calathea concinna plant cannot be propagated using cuttings. You can take offsets from their base to propagate them, though. Take note that each offset should have its own roots and several leaves in order to propagate successfully.
- The Freddie plant needs 70 percent humidity and a temperature range of 65 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit at all times. Overwatering, underwatering and sunburn are all known causes behind the leaves of the concinna plant turning yellow.
So, are you confident enough that you can fulfill the requirements of this sensitive plant at home? If yes, then go ahead and try growing the exotic Freddie plant today.
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