Goeppertia Rufibarba Care

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goeppertia rufibarba


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

Goeppertia rufibarba, also known as Calathea rufibarba (previous classification), is a well-known houseplant in the Goeppertia genus. It is defined by its long, slender, and crinkly dark green leaves from above, and deep purple leaves below. The stems of the Goeppertia rufibarba are long and the same purple colour as the undersides of the leaves. 

Goeppertia rufibarba also has fuzzy or hair-like fuzz on the purple stems and on the undersides of the leaves, which is why it is also referred to as the fuzzy feather Calathea, velvet Calathea, and furry Calathea. 

Origin and Indoor Environment

Goeppertia rufibarba is native to Brazil, and as such prefers conditions that have low light, high humidity, and moist soil. When grown indoors, trying to mimic its natural environment can help ensure its continued growth.

Lighting Requirements

Goeppertia rufibarba prefers low-light conditions. Placing your houseplant in north-facing windows, or a few steps back from east or west-facing windows would be recommended. Avoid placing your houseplant in an area that receives direct sunlight as this can damage its leaves. 

Watering Frequency of Goeppertia Rufibarba

Goeppertia prefer moist soil, so we recommend watering your Goppertia rufibarba on a moderate schedule during the growing season. In the fall and winter months, you can cut back on watering as much, and only water when the first layer of soil is dry.

Goeppertia are also sensitive to the salts and minerals in tap water which can build up and lead to crispy or browning leaf edges. While this is not inherently a bad thing, opting for rainwater or distilled water can avoid crispy leaves.

Increasing Moisture and Warmth

Goeppertia love and appreciate moist conditions. To gauge the moisture levels in your home, you can opt for a moisture meter to determine what percentage the moisture level in your home generally sits at. Based on this, you can choose to increase moisture should the moisture dip below 60%.

There are a few ways you can do this – placing all your Goeppertia together can raise the humidity in that area. Or you can choose to opt for a humidifier to raise humidity.

Do not allow the temperature in your home to dip below 20 degrees celsius, as Goeppertia are also sensitive to the cold. Exposure to cold temperatures can lead to yellowing leaves and/or damage to the foliage.

Re-potting Tips and Potting Mix 

Only re-pot when your Goeppertia rufibarba has outgrown its existing pot i.e. when it is root-bound. If you are planning to re-pot your Goeppertia rufibarba, we recommend doing so in the Spring. Opt for a pot that is sized 2 inches up, but is the same depth as the existing pot, and has a drainage hole. Utilize a potting mix that is well-draining but is also able to maintain some moisture as this plant appreciates damp (not soggy) soil.


You cannot water propagate the Goeppertia rufibarba. You can propagate through division when you repot by simply separating a section from the main root ball.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you care for Calathea Rufibarba?

Goeppertia rufibarba will do best in low light conditions (north-facing windows, or a few feet away from east or west-facing windows), moderate watering, and high humidity. 

How often should I water Calathea Rufibarba?

We recommend applying a moderate watering schedule in the growing season for your Goeppertia rufibarba as this plant prefers having moist soil. 

Does Calathea Rufibarba need sunlight?

All plants require light – including the Calathea (Goeppertia) rufibarba. This plant does not like direct sunlight, however. Placing your houseplant in a well-lit North-facing window would be recommended. 

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