With shiny black and pink striped leaves, the Calathea Dottie is another striking addition to your Calathea collection, we cover all you need to know about care and propagation..
Calathea Dottie Care Summary
|Light needs:||Medium to bright indirect sunlight.|
|Watering needs:||Keep soil moist but not soaking. Check twice a week.|
|Fertilizer:||A well diluted, balanced fertilize monthly in summer.|
|Soil:||A good potting compost mixed with perlite.|
|Where to buy:||Try our list of Rare Plant Shops.|
|Other names:||Calathea Roseopicta “Dottie”.|
|Common issues:||Lack of humidity or watering issues.|
The Calathea Dottie can be found in the wild throughout Central and South America in the tropical areas. The leaves are such a dark green color that they appear black. This creates an incredibly unique appeal with its bright pink variegation. Similar to other Calatheas, the Dottie needs exact elements in order to thrive and can be a bit finicky. This plant will generally need a bit more maintenance compared to your Philodendrons or Monsteras. A good place for this plant along with your other Calatheas could be a glass cabinet, this will provide them with stable conditions.
Calathea Dottie Light Needs
The Calathea Dottie will do well in medium indirect light. So, you can keep your Dottie in your north or east facing room right against the window. Never expose the Dottie to direct sunlight as this will result in a sunburn and could cause the gorgeous pink colors to fade.
This Calathea needs to receive frequent water so that the soil stays moist. However, make sure that you do not overwater or leave the plant sitting in a pool of water. When the top 1-2 inches of soil begin to dry out, this is a good time to give your Calathea Dottie another drink. Similar to other Calatheas, your tap water may be too harsh. Consider using filtered or reverse osmosis water if you find your plant is suffering. You can also collect rainwater (it’s free!) and see if your plant does well with this.
This plant is sensitive to high amounts of fertilizer. Only feed the Calathea Dottie during the growing season and consider diluting the fertilizer you do use. Fertilize about once a month but keep an eye on the leaves of your plant to make sure there are no signs of fertilizer burn. You may need to adjust your fertilizing schedule depending on how your individual plant reacts. Choose a slow release fertilizer to avoid fertilizer burn.
The best soil is one that can stay evenly moist but not compacted. The soil should be light and allow for the extra water to easily exit the pot. You can simply choose a houseplant mix and add in some coco coir, peat moss, or perlite to fluff it up.
Repot when the plant has completely filled out the pot and multiple roots are climbing out through the drainage hole. When your plant matures, you’ll likely see baby shoots sprouting up that can take over the pot. Instead of repotting the entire thing, you could just remove these using the instructions in our “How to Propagate” section. This way, you can keep the mother plant in a happy state and she’ll keep producing new plants for you. You may also consider repotting if your Calathea Dottie has become unhappy or you find that the soil is no longer retaining moisture.
Calathea Dottie Humidity
This plant begs for humidity. If you do not provide enough, the leaves will show damage like crispy browning. Keep a humidifier next to the plant or keep it in a glass cabinet. Humidity levels over 60% are best. If your summers are humid, you can put your Calathea Dottie outside in a shady spot, just make sure to keep an eye out for pests.
Since the Calathea Dottie is native to South America, it will enjoy water temperatures and it does not have a tolerance for cold. Household temperatures above 65 degrees fahrenheit and 18.3 degrees celsius will be fine. Make sure that your Dottie is not placed anywhere near a vent or a heater as the changes in temperature and dryness can be detrimental.
How to Propagate Calathea Dottie
The best way to propagate the Calathea Dottie with the highest success rate is through taking pups from the mother plant, or by root division. When your plant is mature, new shoots will start emerging from the soil. Follow these down to the root and pinch them off, making sure that their roots stay connected. Then, you can pot these up into their own containers.
The full name of Calathea Dottie is Calathea Roseopicta “Dottie.” Calathea in general are also referred to as “Prayer plants.” They’re called prayer plants due to the fact that the leaves tend to close up at night, as if they’re two hands in prayer.
Where To Buy
Try our list of Rare Plant Shops.
- The Calathea Dottie is a sport variegated version of the Calathea Roseopicta.
- Like other Calatheas, the Dottie is photonastic and will react to the light, humidity, or temperature it receives. It will move towards the light, or away from an unfavorable condition. If you set up a time lapse, you will be able to see your Calathea moving in lots of crazy ways.
- The pink coloration on the Dottie is caused by a group of plant pigments called anthocyanins. Even though a plant could be a different color than green, they’ll still be able to photosynthesize because they will still contain enough chlorophyll to do so.
- Under the name Calathea there are only about 60 species. Calathea come in a very wide variety of leaf patterns and are known for their colorful stripes or variegation.
Calathea Dottie Common Pests, Issues, and Treatments
The most common pests for the Calathea Dottie are spider mites, mealybugs, and aphids. You can treat the entire plant by spraying it with a natural insecticidal spray or a diluted solution of neem oil.
A very common issue that can be observed with all Calatheas are burnt or crispy brown edges on the leaves. This can be due to many different things such as too much sunlight, not using filtered or reverse osmosis water, over-fertilizing, or watering too little. It may also be that your Calathea is next to an air vent or heater, which it will definitely not enjoy. Evaluate your Calathea and adjust any criteria that are not ideal. Soon, you’ll have a happy, flourishing Calathea Dottie.
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