Calathea Rufibarba Tropistar (Prayer Plant)
Long and narrow, the leaves have ruffled edges that are unique to this Calathea species (Marantacae family). The underside of the leaves are purple. And like its family members, this tropical foliage plant folds its leaves at night as hands in prayer. Grown as an ornamental foliage plant, this tropical may also produce small white and purple flowers, emerging from green bracts. They are insignificant compared to the magnificent leaves.
Height: 2 ft (60 cm) tall
Light: Bright, indirect sunlight. No direct sun, which will cause brown scorch marks on its leaves.
Water: Aim to keep the potting mix lightly moist; never allow it to dry out. Pot your Calathea lancifolia in a container with drainage holes. Water thoroughly, then empty the drainage tray to prevent soggy soil, which can lead to root rot. Calatheas are sensitive to fluoride and chlorine in tap water -- use distilled or rain water.
Humidity: Marantas love high humidity, and this Brazilian native is no exception. Try to maintain at least 50% relative humidity around your Calathea all year. It's a good idea to use a cool-mist room humidifier near your plant, especially in winter. Dry air may cause brown leaf tips.
Temperature: Warm room temperatures (70-85°F/21-29°C) year-round.
Soil: Peat-rich potting mix with added perlite and/or vermiculite. African violet potting mix is ideal.
Fertilizer: Feed monthly spring through fall with a balanced water-soluble fertilizer. Do not feed in winter.
Propagation: You can divide plant when it gets big. The best time to divide is in spring, when it's starting its most vigorous time of growth.