How to Care for Calathea Wavestar


The Calathea rufibarba “Wavestar” is a beautiful houseplant with uniquely patterned leaves that stand out in your collection! This plant has a reputation for being a bit challenging, but this care blog will give you an overview of what you need to know for optimum Calathea Wavestar care. Best of all, Calathea is a pet friendly plant that won’t hurt your pets if they get too close.

How much light does a Calathea need?

Calathea likes bright, indirect light or partial shade, so keep it in a sunny room but out of direct sunlight. Keeping the leaves free of dust will help them absorb more energy from the light! Avoid leaf shine applications, simply wipe with a microfiber cloth and plain water.

You’ll know if your Calathea is getting too much light if the pattern on the leaves fade or you notice dark spots (sunburn).

How much water does a Calathea need?

Calathea likes to be kept moist, so water often to keep the soil evenly dampened (but not soaking wet!) Make sure it doesn’t sit in excess water at the bottom of the pot, as this can cause root rot.

Aim to water consistently with small amounts of water every few days, as soon as the surface soil becomes dry to the touch. You can back off on watering in the fall and winter, but during spring and summer you’ll need to keep Calathea well watered!

Calathea also likes humidity, so it’s a great plant to keep in a bathroom if you have a window for natural light, or near a humidifier. If you don’t have a humidifier, try keeping your Calathea on a humidity tray. You can make your own with a shallow dish, pebbles, and a small amount of water that will evaporate around the plant to boost the humidity!

Pro tip: Use filtered water for Calathea, as impurities from tap water may cause the leaves to turn brown at the tips.

Does a Calathea need fertlizer?

Our plants are grown for a strong transition into the home, so they shouldn’t need a boost from fertilizer to continue healthy growth. If you do want to feed your Calathea, do so in the growing season (spring and summer) with a biweekly fertilizing routine. Any regular houseplant fertilizer should be fine, but dilute to half strength. Don’t fertilize in the winter months.

You’ll want to repot your Calathea every two years or so to provide fresh, nutritious soil. Or you can repot sooner if your Calathea is root bound or overgrowing its pot.

What is the best temperature for a Calathea?

Calathea likes to stay warm and cozy at room temperature, between 65-85 degrees. Don’t let it dip below 55, and keep it away from drafts.

Common Calathea Problems

Cold Damage

Calathea is especially prone to temperature fluctuations, so keep it away from cold and drafts to prevent cold damage.


Curly, crispy leaves and dried out soil indicate that your Calathea wants more water! Be careful not to underwater this moisture-loving plant.

Root Rot

Even though Calathea likes to stay well watered in the growing season, it can’t handle being left in sitting water. Make sure your roots aren’t sitting in excess water in order to prevent this common houseplant problem.

Bright Light

Direct sunlight will burn or fade Calathea leaves, and the plant will not tolerate direct sunlight. Make sure it gets partial shade and indirect light for optimal health.


Like other houseplants, Calathea can be infested with pests like spider mites, scale, and mealy bugs. Inspect the leaves regularly to look for small round pests or a web-like substance on your leaves!

Ask Us Anything!

If you have questions about the Calathea, feel free to email us at or find us on Instagram @wild_interiors!

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