Goeppertia Ornata Care

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Goeppertia ornata care


OriginColombia, Venezuela
Watering FrequencyModerate Watering
ToxicityNon-toxic for cats, dogs, and humans

Goeppertia ornata – also referred to as the Calathea ornata, Calathea Pinstripe, or the Pinstripe Plant, is well-known for its large dark green leaves and pink stripes. As beautiful as this plant is, it also comes with a reputation for being difficult to care for. As such, for beginner plant parents – we do not recommend starting with the Goeppertia ornata unless you are willing to put in the time and effort to ensure this houseplant receives the care it needs.

Goeppertia ornata has recently been re-classified under the Goeppertia genus. Previously the plant was classified into the Calathea genus. It is for this reason that you might still hear people refer to it as Calathea ornata rather than Goeppertia ornata. 

This plant is relatively easy to find in many big box stores, nurseries, and independent plant shops. 

How to Care for Goeppertia Ornata

Like many Goeppertia and even within its previous genus classification – Calathea, the Goeppertia ornata has earned a reputation for being difficult to care for. However, with the help of our guide, we intend to offer a few tips and tricks to ensure that your Goeppertia ornata receives the conditions it needs to thrive. 

From lighting, moisture, soil requirements, and everything in-between read below for our care tips and tricks to ensure the success and growth of your Goeppertia ornata. 

Goeppertia ornata foliage

Origin and Indoor Environment 

Goeppertia ornata originates from the South American countries of Colombia and Venezuela. As perennial plants that come from the humid rainforest region of this continent, they thrive under high-moisture conditions. When grown indoors as houseplants, you’ll want to do your best to mimic their high-moisture environment by ensuring they have enough humidity to thrive. 

Much like that of other prayer plant varieties, the Goeppertia ornata raises and closes its leaves at night – opening them up when morning comes. 

Lighting Requirements

The Goeppertia ornata will do best in low-light conditions. Please note that this does not mean NO light conditions. A north-facing window, for example, would be a great place to put your Goeppertia ornata as it likely received little to no direct sunlight. 

Direct sunlight can damage the leaves of your Goeppertia ornata, so we do not recommend placing your houseplant in a place that receives bright direct sunlight like in south, west, and east-facing windows. 

Watering Frequency of the Pinstripe Plant

As mentioned above, the Goeppertia ornata appreciates moisture but will not appreciate soaking wet soil. Adjust your watering frequency to a moderate watering schedule, checking the soil to ensure it does not get too dry. We recommend waiting until the first inch of soil is dry before watering. 

During the growing season, you’ll find yourself having to water your Goeppertia ornata more frequently in comparison to the fall and winter months. 

Like other Goeppertia (and Calathea), the Goeppertia ornata is picky when it comes to the type of water you use to water them. As such, they prefer distilled or rainwater that has little to no minerals and salts that can build up in the plant’s soil and eventually lead to the edges of their leaves becoming brown and crispy. If having non-crispy leaves are important to you, then we recommend using distilled water or rainwater when watering your Goeppertia ornata.

Temperature and Moisture of the Goeppertia Ornata 

Goeppertia ornata will thrive in warm, high-moisture conditions and can react negatively when these needs are not met. Do not allow the temperature of the room your Ornata is in to go below 20 degrees celsius – this can lead to yellow leaves.

Also, try to maintain a consistent moisture level of at least 60% in the room where your Goeppertia ornata is placed. There are a few ways you can try to raise the humidity in your space. Grouping moisture-loving plants together can raise the humidity in that area. Alternatively, you can opt to purchase a humidifier to raise humidity as well.

Potting Mix and Fertilization

Always wait for your Goeppertia ornata to become rootbound before repotting. When it is time to re-pot, opt for a pot that is the same depth and 2 inches larger than the pot the plant was originally in. 

Select a potting mix that can retain moisture, but is still well-draining enough to ensure water can escape (this is to avoid soaking wet soil – which Goeppertia ornata is not fond of). 

Fertilization is likely not necessary if you have just brought your Goeppertia ornata home from the nursery or the garden center. This is because the potting mix your plant comes with will likely have enough nutrients for the plant to thrive for the months to come. 

You can also choose to fertilize your Goeppertia ornata during the growing season through the spring and summer months. When choosing a fertilizer, select a balanced, all-purpose fertilizer with a 10/10/10 NPK ratio. Follow the instructions when fertilizing your Goeppertia ornata to ensure you do not over-fertilize as this can also lead to yellow leaves.

Goeppertia Ornata Propagation

Like other Goeppertia varieties, you cannot water propagate Goeppertia ornata. Instead, you can propagate by seed or through division.

It is easiest to propagate through division when it is time to re-pot your Goeppertia ornata. Simply separate a section from the main root ball and pot the divided section up in a separate container. 

Addressing Pest Problems

When it comes to prayer-plants in the Goeppertia and Calathea family, spider mites are a common enemy to many varieties. These tiny mites aren’t easily noticeable, however, the webbing they leave on the leaves of your houseplant are – hence the name “spider” mites. 

As a preventative measure, regularly spraying down the foliage of your Goeppertia ornata can help mitigate the likelihood of a spider mites infestation from occurring. We also recommend using neem oil preventatively to deter spider mites from colonizing your Goeppertia. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Calathea Ornata easy to care for?

Calathea ornata (now Goeppertia ornata) has earned a reputation for being difficult to care for. However, ensuring that the growing conditions are as similar to its natural environment as possible can help keep your houseplant happy. Goeppertia ornata appreciates high humidity, low light conditions (similar to its natural South-American rainforest environment).

How often should I mist Calathea Ornata?

Calathea ornata (now Goeppertia ornata) appreciate high humidity conditions – however, misting with a spray bottle isn’t the best way to maintain humidity indoors. Instead choosing to group your Goeppertia ornata with similar high-humidity-loving plants can raise the humidity in the area. Alternatively, you can opt to use a humidifier to raise humidity as well. 

Should you cut dead leaves off Calathea?

Yes, cutting dead leaves off your houseplant can improve its appearance. But allow the leaf to turn completely yellow before cutting off any leaves as the plant is still in the process of taking back its nutrients from the leaf. 

How do you propagate Goeppertia Ornata?

The easiest method of propagating Goeppertia ornata is through division when it is time to re-pot your Goeppertia ornata. Simply separate a section from the main root ball of your houseplant and pot the divided section up in a separate container. 

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