Calathea in a potThe rare Calathea types are known for their vibrant and unique foliage. These plants are ideal for foliage, pattern, and color-loving growers.

Each one of them has its own foliage patterns or markings and the most interesting thing about Calathea is that all varieties have the same care requirements.

This article will equip you with the much-needed Calathea care tips that help you to attain the best results.

Rare Calathea Types 

Rare Calathea Names Features
Calathea orbifolia Grows up to 36 inches in height. It has round leaves with a double-toned green color with darker and lighter green hues. This variety does well when kept in a well-draining soil mixture.
Calathea ornata This plant is quite as rare as the Calathea white fusion. It is also easy to care for and its leaves are green and long with silver-white and green stripes. It has a reddish-purple color on the back making it a great alternative for color seekers.
Calathea warscewiczii This one thrives in bright indirect sunlight, making it ideal for indoor gardening. This Calathea has colorful thick green leaves with silverish stripes on the front and a violet color underneath, which gives a vivid spark to your indoors.
Calathea sp. ‘White jade’ This variety is large and does well in bright but indirect sunlight. It is also perfect for outdoor growing. It is different from other Calathea varieties due to its big green leaves that have a pink tone underside. They also produce vibrant pink blooms.
Calathea roseopicta This variety likes to be kept moist and like other Calathea types, it does not like direct sunlight. It is also an easy-to-care-for plant that is highlighted by green and white leaves that have pink rose-colored hues on the face of the leaf.
Calathea Majestica ‘White Star’ This Calathea variety has much larger leaves than most Calathea varieties. The white color is more dominant than the green one on this plant. It requires well-fertilized soil which has good drainage qualities.
Calathea Pavonii This plant is also known as the red star Calathea, and unlike other Calathea species, it is characterized by splotches, square-like shapes, or diamonds rather than stripes. These designs are very useful in bringing vibrancy to your indoors.  
Calathea Makoyana This plant has the same care requirements as the White Star. It is also an ideal houseplant that is not toxic to your kids and pets.
Calathea crocata It is a relatively new houseplant species that also has a tropical origin. Environmental degradation is pushing this Calathea type close to extinction making it quite rare.
Calathea Zebrina Its variegation comes in the form of very significant ze. This plant’s leaves can be as large as 12 inches in length which makes it more eye-catching.
Calathea lancifolia Widely known as the rattlesnake plant, this species’ foliage resembles a reptile with its long, glossy, wavy, and lance-like leaves that have a pale yellowish-green color on top.
Calathea Rufibarba This type is not as elaborately colored as other Calatheas but that will not bother you due to other unique features it has. Unlike many Calatheas, It has a furry texture on the undersides of its leaves.
Calathea Musaica This species has semi-glossy, mid-green, and gently arching leaves. It has a mosaic or criss-cross pattern on the leaves which distinguishes it from other Calathea varieties.
Calathea Beauty Star It is a beautiful herbaceous perennial tropical plant that derives its name from the beautiful foliage. This plant is a cultivar of Calathea ornata which is known for its striped leaves. Its huge foliage grows to an average of six to 36 inches in height and six to 24 inches in width.
Calathea White Fusion This variety has green leaves and high contrast white marks with magenta hues on the undersides of the leaf that extends to the stems. They do well in environments with constant moisture but are sensitive to excessive moisture.
Calathea Freddy This tropical species’ foliage is very attractive and perennial. It is also called the zebra plant because of its deep green leaf color variegated with lighter green stripes making it best for decoration.

List of The Rarest Calathea Types

Calathea has several species from which you can choose. Each of the varieties has unique eye-catching features that you may consider in selecting the one you need. Let us take a look at Calathea alternatives, in brief, to widen your knowledge of these plants.

– Calathea Orbifolia

1. Calathea Orbifolia

This variety has big, round, leathery, and green leaves that grow up to 12 inches in width. When mature, this plant grows up to two and a half feet tall.

If all of its growing requirements are met, new growth emerges from the center, enhancing its thick foliage that brings a tropical feeling to your places. Warm indoor temperatures are most recommended. Ensure that the temperature ranges between 65 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit.

Temperatures below 60 F are very bad for this plant as they negatively affect the foliage. This Calathea variety also thrives in moist and well-draining soil. Providing them with such a growth medium curbs brown edges and leaf curling.

Just like any other Calathea plants, avoid growing the Calathea orbifolia in cold locations. When exposed to too much sunlight, its leaves burn and fall whereas low sunlight causes this plant to be leggy.

– Calathea Ornata

2. Calathea Ornata

Also known as the pin-stripe Calathea plant, the leaves of this plant are ornately striped, which explains this name. It is a rare variety that is grown as a houseplant. This plant originates from the tropical regions of Ecuador and Columbia.

This Calathea species has glossy and oblong dark green leaves which have purple undersides. Its vibrant pinkish-white stripes on the leaves form a feathery pattern which is the center of attraction on this plant. The leaves grow well over one foot long and its clumping nature averages around two feet in height as well as width.

The pinstripe Calathea has the same plant care requirements as other Calathea species. It does best in bright filtered sunlight and temperatures between 65 degrees Fahrenheit and 80 degrees Fahrenheit.

When exposed to direct sunlight, the plant loses its gorgeous foliage color, and the leaves may end up drying out. Too little light slows down the growth rate and distorts this plant’s foliage appearance.

– Calathea Warscewiczii

3. Calathea Warscewiczii

This Calathea species is native to Nicaragua and Costa Rica and is a tender and evergreen perennial plant. The plant has lance-shaped and velvety dark green leaf color. The leaves have a distinct lighter green banding that comes in a fishtail pattern and the leaf undersides have an intense purple color.

This Calathea plant is susceptible to cold and drafty conditions. Also, ensure that this plant receives bright and indirect sunlight. Too much sunlight scorches the Calathea leaves whereas low light causes the plants to be leggy, thereby distorting its development.

– Calathea sp. ‘White Jade’

5. Calathea Majestica ‘White Star’

The Calathea sp. ‘White jade’ has big green leaves that have a pink tone underside. Its foliage is large and needs bright but indirect sunlight to thrive. During spring, it produces pink blooms that are quite insignificant. Consider fertilizing this plant once a month during the growing season to help it fully develop.

– Calathea Roseopicta

Calathea Roseopicta varieties are mainly known as the Rose Painted Calathea because of their striking foliage with bright patterns. These varieties have large, glossy, and oval leaves that have a green color on top and purple undersides.

In the middle of each leaf, there is a smaller leaf-like distinctive pattern that is light green. This species has a bunching nature with an average of 20 inches in height and width making it ideal for foliage and color seekers.

We recommend that you mist this plant as it loves high humidity conditions. Ensure that the temperatures around the plant are kept between 65 degrees Fahrenheit to 80 degrees Fahrenheit and avoid drafty and cold sites.

– Calathea Majestica ‘White Star’

The Calathea white star variety is an elegant cultivar of the Calathea ornata variety. It is characterized by much larger leaves compared to other Calathea varieties. This plant’s leaves have white and pink stripes that are more dominant as compared to green. This variety thrives on well-fertilized soil with good drainage qualities.

The Calathea white star does best when grown indoors with high humidity conditions with bright but indirect sunlight. When watering, consider using soft water which is free from minerals like calcium carbonate. Ensure that you do not overwater this plant to avoid root infections which also lead to foliage discoloration, stunted growth, and death.

– Calathea Pavonii

This Calathea variety is evergreen and has alternate leaves. Also known as the red star Calathea, this plant has splotches, square-like shapes, or diamonds rather than stripes. These pretty designs are best for bringing beauty to your indoors. These perennials do best in partially shaded environments with moist soil.

Ensure that you grow this variety on sandy clay, gritty loam, or sandy loam soils which have good drainage qualities to do away with excess water. Soggy soil leads to root rot which leads to reduces uptake of water and nutrients. Consider fertilizing this variety during the growing summer and spring to aid its development and blooming.

– Calathea Makoyana

6. Calathea Makoyana

Calathea makoyana is also known as the Peacock Plant or Cathedral Windows. This variety’s beautiful egg-shaped leaves that have colorful markings are the main reason why it is widely sought-after.

Its leaves are thin and have dark and light green peacock marking colors, as well as some cream feathering on the face. The leaves also have purple undersides and can grow as long as 12 inches.

These peacock Calathea plants have reddish-pink stems and their new leaves will be in a rolling form showing their purple undersides.

Although it is quite rare for a houseplant to flower, this species produces insignificant white flowers in spring, thereby giving more color to your indoors. It grows up to around 12 inches and the thick foliage enhances the tropical mood in your homes and workplaces.

Ensure that this plant is grown in a well-draining and fertile potting soil. It thrives in high humidity as well as a temperature range of 60 degrees Fahrenheit and 75 degrees Fahrenheit.

It is sensitive to over-fertilizing which leads to foliage burns as well as plant death. Consider using a water-soluble houseplant blend at half strength and remember to flush the soil regularly to curb the build-up of salts.


– Calathea Crocata

7. Calathea Crocata

The Calathea crocata is a relatively new species in the houseplant scene. It is also known as the Eternal Flame because of its beautiful and eye-catching flowers.

The flowers of this plant are noticeable due to their bright yellow and orange color which lasts for about two to three months. Despite the fading away of the blooms, this species’ dark green and metallic foliage take over in illuminating your indoors.

This tropical native species is becoming even more difficult to find because of environmental damage.

When mature, they grow between one and two inches in height and width. Although this Calathea enjoys sunlight, it does not tolerate direct or full sun. Try to situate it indoors on a spot with medium to bright sunlight.

A well-drained soil mixture is important for this Calathea plant to curb overwatering effects like bacteria infestation and root rot. Furthermore, a half-strength application of water-soluble houseplant fertilizer should be considered monthly during the growing season.

– Calathea Zebrina

8. Calathea Zebrina

The Calathea zebrina type is a perennial tropical plant that is native to Brazil’s Southeastern region. It is also known as the Zebra plant because of its striking velvety and light green leaves that have dark green stripes that run across them.

Like many Calathea types, this plant’s leaves also have purple undersides which makes it even more attractive.

The leaf of this plant can be as large as 12 inches in length and folds at night. A mature plant of this species grows over two feet in width and length.

However, during spring, it produces whitish-purple blooms that are quite insignificant. For you to be able to maintain this variety’s beauty, regularly flush the soil to get rid of excess salts that may adversely affect the beauty of your plant.

– Calathea Lancifolia

9. Calathea Lancifolia

Due to its uniquely marked foliage that resembles a reptile, Calathea lancifolia is commonly known as the rattlesnake plant. This Calathea variety is taller than several Calatheas and when mature, it reaches an average of 18 inches in height.

It is characterized by long, glossy, wavy, and lance-like leaves that have a pale yellowish-green color on top and purple undersides. Both the top and undersides of the leaves have blotches that are dark green.

The plant has rare blooms when grown indoors but during spring, yellow flowers will bloom on four-inch spikes which adds to the beauty of this plant. The Rattlesnake remains healthy as long as it is grown in a well-drained potting mix that is kept moist.

Try to avoid keeping the soil soggy, especially during the growing season to help this plant to flourish. Bright and indirect sunlight is vital to maintain this beauty’s vibrancy.

– Calathea Rufibarba

10. Calathea Rufibarba

The Rufibarba variety’s foliage is not elaborately colored like other Calathea types but this does not take away its gorgeousness.

It is commonly known as the Velvet or furry feather Calathea because of its furry texture on the undersides of the leaves. Placing the velvet Calathea in bright and indirect light helps it to grow healthy with the best leaf colors it can give.

This Calathea has semi-glossy spear-like leaves that have green tops and the undersides are burgundy. Its leaf stems have a dark-red color that is tinged with purple making them ideal for color lovers.

These types of Calathea grow up to about two to three feet both in height and width just like several Calatheas.

– Calathea Musaica

11. Calathea Musaica

Calathea musaica is widely known as Goeppertia kegeljanii and it is the easiest Calathea variety you can find. It has intricate foliage that is stunning making it a wonderful indoor plant.

This Calathea species has semi-glossy, mid-green, and gently arching leaves. These leaves also have a mosaic or criss-cross pattern, which is the reason why is also called the Network prayer plant.

These prayer plants tolerate high ranges of light than most Calatheas but, bright and indirect sunlight is most recommended.

It needs thorough watering only when the top inch of the soil dries up. Bear in mind that maintaining moist but not overwatered soil is vital in Calathea care to keep it in great shape as well as to avoid root rot and bacterial infections.

– Calathea Beauty Star

The Calathea beauty star is a pretty herbaceous perennial tropical plant that is named after its beautiful foliage. Although it is not included in the most popular Calathea varieties group, this species is widely sought after.

This plant is a cultivar of Calathea ornata which is known for its striped leaves. The Beauty Star Calathea can grow to an average of six to 36 inches in height and six to 24 inches in width. It grows wide by producing offshoots from underneath the soil.

This Calathea is a plant whose leaves fold up resembling the praying process. During the day, its leaves bow down allowing them to absorb light and they slightly move following the direction of light.

These plants produce upright, long, and narrow leaves that have a beautiful dark green shade. Along the leaf’s center, there are light green highlights.

However, to keep this wonderful plant healthy, be on the lookout for pests and diseases which are the most common Calathea problems you may encounter.

The beauty star’s leaf tops have vivid stripes that come in pink, white, or silver colors. The leaves also have dark or rich purple undersides. This species’ care requirements are very much the same as other Calathea types.

– Calathea White Fusion

12. Calathea White Fusion

The white fusion Calathea cultivar also termed the Calathea lietzei, has green leaves and high contrast white marks with magenta hues on the undersides of the leaf that extends to the stems.

It is the rarest Calathea variety and has genuine variegations that other Calathea do not have. This Calathea’s foliage grows profusely and fast giving you magnificent indoor views when all the care needs are met. They do well in constant moisture-supplied environments but are sensitive to excessive moisture.

Exposure to sunlight is vital for its development but excessive light destroys the beautiful foliage and blooms. Ensure that you regularly wipe this plant’ large leaves with a clean cloth to remove dust.

This keeps the leaf pores open for uninterrupted transpiration to take place. If you notice any brown, dead, or pest-infected leaves do not hesitate to cut them off using sterilized equipment.

Remember that this species hates cold and draft conditions because they distort their beautiful leaves and foliage

– Calathea Freddy

The Calathea Freddy plant is even known as the Zebra plant or prayer plant, both of which are collective Calathea names. The other specific name for the Calathea Freddy is Calathea concinna. This tropical species is very attractive and perennial

This zebra plant’s leaves have a deep green color variegated with lighter green stripes and this gives it a finesse appearance. Just like several Calatheas, these plants are nyctinastic meaning that their leaves fold at night and spreads open during the day.

calathea green



Hopefully, this article has given you the much-needed insight into the rare Calathea types to consider when choosing the perfect species for your indoors.

Below are the major points in brief:

  • Calathea has many varieties but the rare ones are the most sought because of the uniqueness they bring to your indoors.
  • All Calathea types have relatively the same care requirements and are beginner-friendly.
  • These plants are humidity lovers although you have to maintain the humidity at recommended constant levels and avoid fluctuating it.
  • Too high temperatures are as bad as too low temperatures because they both lead to stunted growth as well as plant death.

Consider using a water-soluble houseplant blend to fertilize your beauties once a month during the growing season to support foliage development and blooming. With this guide, we hope your mind is now made up so pick your choice and enjoy the adventure!

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