How to propagate calathea is a process that you should do correctly, in order to have a greater number of these beautiful prayer plants that are some of vibrant and exotic but can be tricky to take care of, especially for beginners.

How to Propagate Calathea

But propagating calathea plants is easy once you understand its step-by-step guide and know what to do and how to do it. So, let’s discuss some of the best ways to propagate your beautiful plants in this complete guide.

How To Propagate Calathea Prayer Plant With Nine Steps?

To propagate calathea pray plant you must begin with choosing the right plant and picking the right tools. Then, prepare your work environment, reveal the plant’s roots, and stand the plant upright. Split the roots, divide the plant, pot it, and provide the right growth requirements.

Remember that they are one of the simplest plants to propagate because of the division mechanism. To propagate a second calathea plant from the mother plant, you only need to separate the root ball and place it in a new container.

1. Choose Your Plants

Only mature, healthy prayer plants close to maturity should be chosen for division. The division may upset plants still eagerly expanding rather than inspiring them. The size of a mature Calathea varies depending on the cultivar, but most reach a height of two to three feet.

Choose Your Plants

Make sure you pick the right and healthy plant, because if a leaf or stem is damaged, then it cannot grow roots, no matter how well you care for it or how much rooting hormones you use to encourage it.

Similar to how a succulent may grow into a complete and strong plant merely from a leaf, it lacks the type of tissue necessary to support that growth. The only portion of a root ball that has associated stems and leaves from the mother plant will develop into a new plant.

Also, remember that one stem and one leaf linked to the roots of stem cuttings or division pose a significant danger of death. The plant relies solely on its leaf for nutrition as it strives to develop roots; however, this requires more energy than a single leaf can supply. Make an effort to ensure that each division has at least three to four sound stems and leaves after being divided.

2. Pick The Right Tools

Plant shears or another type of snipping is a fantastic tool, no matter what project you are working on because they are essential for propagating practically any plant. They are also handy in helping prune down roots and remove sick or dead foliage and leaves.

Plant shears will also play a significant role in your plant propagation effort because it will be much simpler to maintain regular trimming of the center of the plant when it is much smaller. Moreover, certain stems that need to be cleaned up may be bruised or damaged.

Watering will be necessary if exposed; naked roots, or ones without any soil, are present at any time. Most propagated calathea want a smooth, steady stream with a diffused flow to avoid upsetting the delicate roots seeking to establish themselves.

You may also ensure that the new pots’ soil is completely saturated by using a diffused attachment on your watering can to avoid any roots from dieback after potting. Take caution when potting clashes since dry roots are dead roots, as these are points to take into consideration so that the task would be a successful one.

3. Prepare Your Work Location

Locate a flat, well-lit workplace, such as a table or a part of the garage floor. To make it easier to clean up all the soil that has spilled, cover the area with newspaper or a small tarp.

You may also need to sterilize it properly so that the area is clean and tidy, and no bacteria are present. The latter would result in your plant and the unsuccessful propagation process, or it would result in propagating an unhealthy plant in the long run, if you had already helped a plant previously that has an infestation of some sort.

4. Reveal The Plant’s Roots

Lay the leaf out on the original plant, so it is not crushed as you carefully tip the plant onto its side. If required, twist the pot or container to loosen it before sliding it away from the plant’s roots.

Although some soil will leak out, most should stay wrapped up with the roots, and when this happens you should brush it off; make sure that you would do this in a gentle way with your hands or use a gardening brush. Consider delaying the division of the plant until it has recovered if the root mass is not robust and healthy-looking and the roots are cream to white.

Note that you should see this color of roots, and they should look strong and healthy. They shouldn’t be the ones that have been turning brown, but they should look white or cream-colored.

5. Stand The Plant Upright

The plant should be balanced as best it can on its root ball. Try to mentally distinguish the two new plants by scanning the entire plant. Almost half of the root ball and at least three to four robust, healthy stems with foliage are required for each new plant. Producing divisions that are less than half the size of an established plant is likely to fail.

Stand The Plant Upright

Give your plant plenty of water, then let it drain for about an hour. Make sure you have some pots that can hold the newly divided calathea plant and have drainage holes in the base. Take the plant out of the pot after shaking any compost off the root ball; if none comes off at this point, that’s okay.

6. Split The Roots

From the base of the root ball, begin manually splitting the roots a little. This might or might not be doable, depending on how thick and wrapped up the roots are. The leafy stems can be carefully pulled apart into two or three clumps, each with a few healthy roots attached if the roots are not packed too tightly. Care guides will always include being gentle with your plant, no matter the type, even if it is a calathea rosepetica.

Allowing your plant to become pot-bound is a typical indoor plant error. At this point, the roots form a solid mass that is impossible to tear apart. Cut the rootball into a few parts using a clean, sharp kitchen knife that is well-cleaned. Carefully cut away any roots that appear to be dark, black, or unhealthy after dividing them.

7. Divide Your Plants

As mentioned now you must be gentle and divide the two plants by cutting from the top of the soil downward with a pointed hand trowel. Pause and frequently check to ensure you align with any divisions you manually made in the root ball.

Divide Your Plants

You might require a sharp kitchen knife or garden knife to cut through the thickest areas in the middle of the root mass because it’s a physically demanding task. Roll the plant around to expose the roots, not damaging the foliage.

Check that the pots you have prepared are just a bit larger than each plant’s rootballs when laying out your separated clumps on a table. On the bottom of the pots, add a layer of houseplant compost or a two ratio of one mixture of soil-based compost and perlite before adding the plants.

8. Pot The Plants

Place each plant’s two distinct halves in a container only half an inch bigger than its new root mass once separated. Fill in the area surrounding it with a mix of loose, quickly draining dirt that isn’t heavily fertilized.

Pot The Plants

Your calathea’s preferences will determine the sort of soil you need. Many calathea varieties have different preferences for different soil types; some like loose, well-draining soil, while others prefer a more compact mixture to prevent drying out. Match the soil combination that your calathea appears to thrive in.

You can even create your soil blend based on the demands of your particular calathea species. This helps prolong the soil’s life and is better for the plant in the long run. All calatheas will often need perlite in their soil combinations, no matter the type, whether it is a calathea ornata, or calathea orbifolia

Plants that have just been divided need a neutral base since they are sensitive to fertilizers. Gently compact the dirt, then thoroughly water it to soak the entire soil mixture. For the first few weeks, ensure the divided plants are well-watered because they lack the deep roots necessary to maintain their moisture levels.

Once your calatheas are planted, ensure they are at the same level in their new pots as in their original container by adding more compost to the area surrounding the rootballs.

9. Provide the Right Care

After calathea division, calathea can take a while to take root. They often start producing new roots one week to one month after division if kept moist but not very wet. As a result, you must provide it with the right soil, that has a well-draining properly and water will not be clogged, as the plant is now in a vulnerable state.

When the plant focuses on root growth below the surface, you might not see change on the upper side of the plant for three months. To examine a division’s rooting, wait to pick it up because doing so will destroy the new roots. Change the soil mix and keep the new plants from drying out if you have divisions that are dying and never taking root.

Every type of this plant can only survive with good pots with sufficient drainage holes. Without it, most plants become overwatered and perish from root rot before anybody recognizes a problem. Adequate drainage is a crucial aspect of plant health. Of course, with correct drainage, any pot is suitable for calatheas.

Avoid planting only one small start in a medium- to large-sized pot because they usually prefer to have a slightly smaller pot. Stick to smaller pots initially for smaller starts because doing otherwise will also result in rotten roots.


– Can Calatheas Be Propagated in Water?

No, calathea cannot handle water propagation. First off, it is only divided and not spread. That implies that the new plants require the same soil as before. Second, putting the roots of Calathea in clean water suffocates them and makes rot in roots more likely.


Now you are fully geared to begin your calathea plant propagation journey. With just a few care tips from above, you, too, will be able to propagate your prayer plants in no time. Remember the following points:

  • Make sure to loosen tightened roots gently, as you can damage the plant with excessive roughness.
  • They thrive in bright, humid settings, so make sure to give your plants enough water and allow them to continue growing there.
  • Even though you can propagate it in different ways such as propagation with calathea seeds, calathea bulbs on roots, the one with the division and cutting is the simplest method.
  • Always choose healthy and happy plants when using them to propagate to increase chances of success. While this plant may need intermediate gardening skills, you can still do it with a bit of precision and care.

So, ready to get your hands dirty with some calathea plants? You can easily propagate prayer plants with the right tools, and having the right time in mind; when will you start the process?

5/5 - (19 votes)
Evergreen Seeds