Calathea orbifolia is a species of prayer plant. Native to Bolivia, it is commonly kept as an houseplant in temperate zones for its ornamental leaves. It requires partial shade, humidity, and good drainage to thrive.
Grow calathea in medium to low light. Like many tropical indoor plants, calathea prefers a spot with low to medium light and abundant humidity. If the air is too dry or the plant dries out too frequently, the leaf edges may turn brown and crispy.
Calathea plants don't like to be heavily watered. Feed them room temperature water when the soil an inch (2.5 centimeters) below the surface is dry. The plants require regular watering during the summer months and less frequent watering during the colder months.
While some might appreciate being misted, take care not to mist them directly on the top of the leaves (or have moisture fall into the tightly raveled straws the new leaves make). Spray from the bottom up, and higher overall humidity is preferred over misting.
Calathea's are also special for another reason it closes its leaves at night and opens them again in the morning! The plant owes this ability to a small 'joint' between the leaf and stem. Light moves the joints and, as a result, Calathea's leaves open and close – which is sometimes accompanied by a rustling sound.
A single Calathea Orbifolia in a 14cm plastic nursery pot.