How to Care for Calathea White Star

Rare houseplants can be a crowning jewel in any plant collector’s collection. Sadly, most people who purchase these rare plants do it without knowing how to take care of them, and their crowning jewel ends up dying.

If you are reading this article, this means you want to learn how to care for the Calathea White Star. Whether it is because you already have one or are planning to add one to your collection, that does not matter- what matters is that you want to keep this rare plant alive and thriving for years to come.

In this article, we cover the basic care instructions for this plant. We also cover the many names this plant goes by and other frequently asked questions you might have. So grab some paper and a pen, and prepare to take some notes as we learn how to keep the Calathea White Star alive and happy.

Caring for Your Calathea White Star 

The Calathea White Star goes by many names- the Calathea Majestica, White Star Calathea, and Majestic Prayer Plant. You might also find the Calathea White Star under its scientific name- Goeppertia majestica. 

The Calathea White Star is not a plant for beginner plant owners, so if you are new to keeping houseplants, we recommend holding off on adding this one to your plant family just yet.

If you are an old pro at keeping houseplants, then this could be the rare beauty your collection needs. So let us dive into caring for the Calathea White Star!

Light

The Calathea White Star is found in the rainforests of Brazil, so when caring for it, you want to try and replicate that atmosphere.

So for that reason, the Calathea White Star prefers bright, indirect sunlight for 6-8 hours a day. If you have an east or west-facing window, these are excellent choices for where to house your Calathea.

Though this plant can tolerate some shade, too much shade can cause its leaves’ color to fade, making it look sad and unhealthy.

On the other side, too much sunlight can severely damage your plant, causing the leaves to become sunburnt. In some instances, too much sun can cause your Calathea to die.

It might take a few tries to find the right spot for your Calathea. If you cannot find the perfect location, we recommend placing it near a window with sheer curtains. Sheer curtains will allow your plant to receive the correct amount of sunlight without becoming burnt.

Sheer curtains also mimic how the Calathea would be shaded in a rainforest canopy, so you would not have to worry about whether it is receiving enough light or not.

Relative Humidity

The Calathea White Star resides in the rainforests of Brazil, a tropical climate with high humidity. So for the Calathea Majestica, it thrives best in humidity levels that are 60% or higher. 

So figure out which room in your home is the most humid (our guesses are the bathroom, kitchen, and possibly your laundry room), and place the Calathea Majestica in the most well-lit part of that room.

If you are not sure which room in your home is most humid, or these rooms do not have decent lighting, then you will need to get creative!

To keep the humidity levels high enough for this gorgeous plant, we recommend purchasing a humidifier as it is an excellent way to keep humidity levels high.

If you have rambunctious children or pets and are concerned they will knock over the humidifier and cause a mess, then a pebble tray filled with water is another excellent option.

We also recommend grouping the plants to raise the humidity and misting the leaves once to twice a week to keep the humidity levels high.

Water

The watering rules for this plant are not one-size-fits-all as it is with other plants. Though one time a week might be the recommended amount, this might not hold true for your Calathea. For this plant, you need to consider its size, soil, humidity level of your home, and the time of year when watering it.

As a lover of higher humidity, this rare beauty will not tolerate dry soil. If its soil is too dry, it will shrivel up right before your eyes. So when the top layer of soil feels dry, this beauty needs a drink of water.

However, this temperamental tropical queen does not tolerate being overwatered either. Calatheas are prone to root rot, which can quickly happen if you are overwatering your plant or using the incorrect soil to house this beauty.

It would help if you also were picky with the water you use for this plant. While plants can tolerate tap water, this plant cannot. Tap water is high in chlorine, fluoride, salt, and other minerals, which can harm your Calathea. If you want or need to use tap water on this plant, then you need to leave it to sit out for at least 24 hours to ensure the chloride and fluoride have dissipated from it.

However, our recommendation is to skip the tap water altogether and use filtered water, distilled, or rainwater. These waters are pure, so there is no chance of accidentally hurting your Calathea (unless you overwater it).

During the winter, you can reduce how often you water this beauty. Not having to be watered often in the winter is a common trait amongst houseplants, so this is excellent news if you have lots of houseplants!

Temperatures

A tropical Majestic Prayer Plant demands tropical temperatures. So the best temperatures for this majestic plant are 65 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit. So if you live somewhere warm that does not have winter, this plant is sure to be a happy camper!

However, if you live somewhere that has Winter, The Majestic Prayer Plant is at risk during those months. While this plant thrives in the warm, cold can be potentially fatal to it. So during the Winter months, keep this plant baby away from cold and drafty areas. 

Do not open windows near where this plant baby is, and do not let it become exposed to freezing temperatures to avoid damage.

Also, we do not recommend placing this plant near a space heater, radiator, or any other appliance that emits heat. If you are looking to keep your plant warm during the harsh winter months, grouping it with other plants and keeping that humidity level high is your best bet.

Soil

Housing your plant in the wrong soil can be the difference maker in whether your plant survives and thrives or dies quickly.

Now you might think because this is a rare plant that, it will only survive in rare soil. Thankfully, that is not the case. This rare plant does not need rare earth to thrive. In fact, the White Star Calathea prefers ordinary potting soil.

Potting soils that have coco coir, orchid park, peat moss, perlite, pine bark, or worm castings in them are what you should strive to purchase. 

All these ingredients make for a soil that has excellent aeration and is well-draining, two qualities you need in potting soil for this Calathea. 

These ingredients are also excellent at keeping your plant adequately moisturized without it becoming waterlogged. If you are unsure what soil would be best, we recommend asking your local gardening store for their recommendations or finding a plant enthusiast group and asking for their opinions!

Fertilizer

The White Star Calathea is not a fan of fertilizer. So we do not recommend using fertilizer on this plant for that reason. However, we understand wanting to fertilize your plants to allow them to grow to their fullest potential. 

With this plant, less is more. Under fertilizing this plant will benefit it more in the long run. If you did not know, fertilizers tend to deposit too much salt into the soil. If you remember from earlier in the article, we mention how salt can harm this rare beauty.

So if you choose to fertilize this beauty, use a slow-release fertilizer. These types of fertilizers lessen the amount of minerals introduced into the soil, meaning you reduce the likelihood of ending up with a damaged plant. 

But, if a slow-releasing fertilizer is unacceptable to you for some reason, then we recommend a water-soluble fertilizer. Cut the amount suggested in half and dilute it. Apply once a month in Spring and Summer (April through October), but skip the Winter months!

Calathea White Star vs. Ornata

The Calathea White Star has beautifully contrasting white and green foliage with a violet underside. White stripes extend from the midrib of this plant to its leaf blades. Depending on the light conditions and maturity of the plant, your Calathea White Star could feature pink shades near the midrib.

Compared to the White Star, the Calathea Ornata (known as the Pinstripe plant and the Peacock plant) has thinner features. The stripes on this plant are white and more spaced-out and have a more noticeable pink overtone to its leaves.

The similarity between these two plants is that they are non-toxic, need the same kind of soil, and are prone to getting the same pests and other issues (such as root rot). 

Both plants are gorgeous, and you honestly cannot be wrong about having either of them in your plant collection.

If you are interested in learning more on how to care for Calathea Ornata, we have a separate article just for that plant too! Click here to read more on how to care for Calathea Ornata.

Calathea White Star vs Vittata

Compared to the White Star Calathea, the Calathea Vittata is more similar in its appearance. It shares the bold, wide striped foliage but has a green underside to its leaves, not a violet one.

The other difference between these two is that the Calathea Vittata is smaller in size. Its maximum height is 1.9ft. The maximum height of the Calathea White Star is 5ft.

Both plants enjoy the same type of soil and lighting requirements. They are both gorgeous plants that would make an excellent addition to your plant family!

FAQ

Now that you have the basic knowledge to care for this rare tropical beauty, it is time to dive into some frequently asked questions that you might have!

Q: Is the Calathea White Star toxic?

A: According to the ASPCA (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals), the Calathea White Star is non-toxic to cats, dogs, horses, and humans.

So if your fur baby snacks on your plant baby, rest assured your fur baby will be fine.

Yellow leaf and brown spots

Q: Why does my Calathea White Star have yellow leaves?

A: If your Calathea White Star’s leaves are turning yellow, this could be a sign of many possible issues. It could be an issue with the type of water you are using, the amount of light they are getting, and more!

As we mentioned above, Calatheas do not like tap water as the salt and other minerals in tap water can damage it. So if you are watering your Calathea with tap water, switch to pure, distilled, or rainwater.

If you are already watering your plant with water that is not from the tap, then you might need to move your plant to a different part of your home because it is not getting enough light!

If your Calathea is receiving enough light, then consider how much you are fertilizing them and possible changes in the weather. These could be other potential reasons why your plants’ leaves are turning yellow.

If you have expended all your options and could not find the culprit, it could be an indicator that your plant is growing and this individual leaf’s energy has been spent. In that case, pull off the yellow leaf and let your plant put its vitality into developing new ones in its place.

Q: Why are my Calathea White Star’s tips brown?

A: If you notice your Calathea’s leaves are becoming crispy and the tips are becoming brown, this could mean that your plant baby is in desperate need of some humidity. So increase the moisture in that room of your home and see if it helps.

Brown tips could also be an indicator that the plant is being overfertilized, so cut down on your fertilizing schedule and usage per scheduled feed to see if that helps.

Q: Why are my Calathea White Star leaves curling?

A: If you notice the leaves of your Calathea White Star starting to curl, this could mean it is being over or underwatered. Adjust your watering schedule and keep an eye on the leaves to see if they uncurl.

If the leaves curling is not caused by improper watering, this could be a stress response. Have you recently moved your plant to another room? Has the temperature drastically dropped since you noticed the curl?

If you answered yes to either of these answers, we recommend moving the plant back to its original spot and increasing the temperature back to the one that makes it the happiest. 

Q: Why are there spots on my Calathea White Star leaves?

A: If you notice brown spots on your Calathea, this could be a sign of plant rust. Plant rust can be caused by too much exposure to light or from over or underwatering your plant. So move your plant to a shadier area and adjust your watering schedule to see if that helps.

Brown spots could also be an indicator that you have red spider mites. Red spider mites pierce the cells of the leaves, leaving behind mottled brown specks. We recommend using an insecticide to treat this issue.

Conclusion

We have learned a lot about the Calathea White Star today. We hope this guide to caring for it will help keep your plant baby happy and thriving for years to come. So go ahead and purchase one! It is a beautiful plant that any plant owner would be honored to own!

Where to Buy the Calathea White Star

If you are interested in owning your own Calathea White Star or want to check the price, the Calathea White Star is available for sale from different sellers on Amazon or Etsy.

Click Here to Check Price on Amazon

Click Here to Check Price on Etsy

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