Fertilizing Calathea

Answer

There are more than 300 species of plants that belong to the genus Calathea. Some of them are attractive plants that are grown in gardens, such as the peacock plant (Calathea makoyana). It is recommended that they be grown inside because to their severe sensitivity to cold, however according to the University of Florida IFAS Extension, they may also be grown successfully outside in a protected location within the United States Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 10 and 11. Peacock plants do not do well when subjected to an excessive amount of fertilisers and do best when grown in soil that is just moderately fertile and has good drainage. However, the majority of peacock plants grown in containers thrive best when given an occasional, mild feeding over the summer months. This helps boost the plants’ general vigour and leaf output.

  1. When the plant is actively developing from the middle of spring to the end of summer, peacock plant food should be given. Stop giving the plant food in the late summer so that it will not produce any new growth before going into hibernation for the winter.

  2. Before feeding the peacock plant, give it a good soaking with water to avoid root burn. In the top three inches of the growing mixture, add water until it seems like it has a reasonable amount of moisture. Wait for the soil to fully absorb the water before beginning to feed it, but check that the surface of the soil is still wet before adding the fertiliser.

  3. It is recommended by Uncle Fred’s Farm that one quart of clean, cold water be combined with a quarter teaspoon of a fertiliser with a ratio of 15-15-15. If you can get your hands on filtered or distilled water, do so since it has a far lower concentration of minerals and salts than regular tap water. Stir the fertiliser for the required amount of time until it has fully dissolved.

  4. Make use of the fertiliser solution in lieu of one of the monthly waterings. Slowly pour the solution into the container until the soil is completely soaked and the drainage hole at the bottom of the container starts to seep fluids. If your planter does not come with a catch basin, you may place the pot on top of a shallow pan to collect any surplus fertiliser.

  5. Keep an eye out for leaves that have become yellow, since this is an indication of leaf chlorosis. To fix the problem, cut down on the amount of watering and ramp up the strength of the fertiliser solution by fifty percent. If the issue continues, move the plant to an area where there is less direct sunlight.

  6. Keep an eye out for telltale indicators of excess salts or nutrients in the soil, such as the margins of the leaves being charred or crispy. If this continues to happen, you should stop feeding them. Place the plant in the sink and rinse the soil with water for one hour to remove any extra nutrients. This process should be repeated once.

  7. If the peacock plant continues to have leaf damage even after the soil has been leached, you should repot it into new media. You may use the same planter or one of a similar size, and you should use ordinary potting soil that also contains perlite. You should steer clear of potting soil that has a slow-release fertiliser in it.

    Things You Will Need

    • 15-15-15 fertilizer

    • Planter (optional)

    • Potting soil (optional)

    Tip

    As a natural alternative to chemical houseplant fertilisers, you may try diluting half a teaspoon of fish or kelp meal fertiliser in one quart of water and using it.

    Warning

    It is important to keep pets from eating the peacock plant while the fertiliser is soaking in and drying up, so move the plant to a location that is not easily accessible.