Calathea Ornata (Care Guide & Growing Tips)

calathea ornata

Calathea Ornata (also known as Calathea Pinstripe or Pinstripe plant) features large dark green leaves accented by delicate pink stripes. 

This plant can be a bit fussy at first, but once you find the proper balance of sunlight and water, it will be a great addition to your home for many years. 

So, how do you take care of Pink Calathea Ornata?

Calathea Ornata Care

Here are the basic steps to caring for a Calathea Ornata, which we will go over in detail in this article.

  • Soil: A soil that retains water. We recommend peat-based potting soil. 
  • Pot: Repot once every two years during spring. Only replace the pot if the plant has outgrown its current one.
  • Light: Bright, indirect light
  • Water: Water frequently. Drain excess water. 
  • Humidity: Thrives in humidity. Humidity higher than 50% is ideal. 
  • Pruning: Require very little pruning. 
  • Where to Buy: Most readily available on Amazon and Etsy.
calathea ornata care guide


The best soil for Pinstripe Calathea is a mix of 2-parts peat moss and 1-part perlite. You can also add some bark or charcoal. That combination creates a well-draining mixture that still retains some moisture and provides a little organic nutrient too.

Calatheas like to be potted in soil that drains well. Heavy, compact soil isn’t ideal. It can retain too much moisture. When your plant has too much moisture, the roots can develop root rot. Choose a potting soil that is made for tropical plants.

Pro Tip: African violet potting mix works well for your Calathea Ornata. 


Calathea Pinstripe should be placed in a pot with room for root growth and drainage holes on the bottom. 

Because it is an upright and deep-rooted plant, a pot with more vertical depth works better than a wide, shallow pot. Calathea requires a pot with enough space to grow and a pot that is deep and heavy enough to stabilize and support it. 

Choose a pot that is the right size, oversized pots tend to retain too much water, and the soil gets compacted and waterlogged more easily, which won’t be suitable for your plant.  

potted calathea ornata
Potted Calathea Ornata

How to Repot Calathea Ornata

Repotting your Calathea will prevent it from becoming rootbound—a pot packed with roots stunts growth and prevents proper soil drainage.

To repot your Calathea Ornata: 

  1. Gently remove your plant from its pot. 
  2. Shake off excess soil. Check the roots for any signs of damage, such as rot.
  3. Put a layer of clay pebbles on the bottom (optional) and half-fill with fresh potting mix. 
  4. Place your Calathea back into the pot at the same depth it was before. 
  5. Fill with potting mix and gently press down. 
  6. Water thoroughly and put in a sunny location.

Sun/Light Requirements

The Calathea Pinstripe is particular about light. It may take you some time and some trial and error to get just the right light for your plant. 

Does Calathea Ornata need sun?

If the Calathea (a prayer plant) doesn’t get enough light, it will not grow to its full potential. On the other hand, too much direct sunlight will burn the leaves. 

Keep a close watch on the leaves. If they are losing their stripes, your plant is getting too much sunlight. You should find a new location for your plant. 

An east-facing window covered by a shade or a curtain would be ideal for this indoor plant.

If in doubt, start with your Pinstripe plant in a less sunny spot, then move to progressively brighter places as needed until you find just the right location for your plant. 

Calathea Ornata Leaf Close Up
Calathea Ornata Leaf Close Up

How to Water Calathea Ornata

The best way to determine if it’s time to water your Calathea Ornata is to feel the soil. If the top inch or two feels dry, it’s time for water. 

As a general rule, you should water your Pinstripe plant at least once a week, if not more. It will depend on where the plant is, how much sunlight it is getting and what kind of soil you choose. Again, it is best to feel the soil before watering. 

When you water your plant, pour enough water into the soil until it drains out the bottom. When the water has stopped draining, put your Pinstripe Calathea back in its bright place.

It’s important not to let your soil get too wet or too dry. Excess Too much moisture in the soil can lead to root rot or disease. If you let the soil completely dry out, the leaves will become withered and crinkly.

When watering a Calathea, it is best to use room temperature water. Room temperature water will avoid shocking the plant and encourage healthy growth.

Root rot is a big concern with Calathea Ornata. Figuring out the proper water routine is essential.  


Does Calathea Ornata like humidity? All Calatheas, not just the Ornata, love humidity. 

If you want your Pinstripe plant to thrive, you’ll need a humidity level of more than 50% surrounding the plant. If you have a plant humidifier, keep it close by.

Cold winters and hot summers can be a challenging time for your Calathea because of home heating and air conditioning. Both cause the air in your home to dry out. Be sure to monitor the humidity of your home closely during these seasons. A device that measures humidity – called a hygrometer – is an excellent investment to help you make sure your plants are getting the humidity they need.

Should I mist my Calathea Ornata? You can spray the undersides and tops of the leaves daily—mist in the morning to allow the leaves to dry out throughout the day.

Even if you do mist your plant, the best way to add humidity is a humidifier for plants. A humidifier allows the plant to get the moisture it needs, and it’s easier for you. Once you set the humidifier up, you can let it do its job every day, filling it when required.

We have two fantastic articles detailing humidifiers for plants:

Best Humidifier for Plants
How to Use a Humidifier for Plants

Pro Tip: An inexpensive hygrometer is a wise investment in testing the humidity level in your home and adjusting it accordingly for your plants. 


Calatheas require very little pruning. Any pruning you do will just be to make your plant look better. Pinstripe Calathea is a naturally bushy houseplant. Trim off the brown parts of the leaves. Also, prune off dead or yellow leaves.

How to Prune Calathea Ornata

Cut the leaf with a sharp knife or a pair of scissors near the stem. Cutting back dead or yellow leaves will help your Pinstripe plant grow new leaves instead of spending energy on the dying leaves. 

Removing yellowed or browned outer leaves regularly also improves the appearance of your Calathea Plant. 

Occasional dead leaf is not a cause of alarm. However, frequent or excessive yellowing may be an indication of disease or improper lighting.

How to Solve Common Calathea Ornata Issues

Why is my Calathea Ornata Curling?

Your Calathea leaves may curl up at the edges. To prevent leaf curl, keep your Calathea Pinstripe plant warm, humid, and away from direct sunlight. 

Brown Edges

Your home is probably too dry for a Pinstripe Plant without some extra humidity. If the air is too dry, your Calathea Ornata leaves may develop brown edges. We suggest adding a plant humidifier. 

Yellow Leaves

Calathea Pinstripe leaves turn yellow for a few different reasons, most of which or easily fixed. The reasons Calathea Ornata leaves yellow are:

  1. They are old leaves. This yellowing is natural and nothing to worry about. Cut them back or let them fall off. 
  2. Too much or too little water. 
  3. Too much sunlight can cause yellow patched on the leaves
  4. Overfeeding

Spider Mites

Spider Mites create small webs on the bottom of your plant’s leaves. You may notice very tiny white, red, or black colored spiders. Your plant leaves will look dusty and dull. 

Spider Mites will eventually kill Peperomia Prostrata. To avoid spider mite infestations, keep the humidity levels high and use neem oil as a preventive spray.

To get rid of spider mites:

  1. Use a mixture of alcohol and water to remove and kill visible spider mites.
  2. Dilute 1 cup of alcohol in 30 oz of water and pour this solution into the spray bottle.
  3. Spray both sides of the leaves well and wipe them off with a paper towel.
spider mites
Example of Spider Mites (on a Tomato Plant Leaf)

Questions and Answers: Calathea Ornata

How Do I Know if My Calathea is Happy?

Although Calathea Pinstripe can be a fussy plant, it will give you plenty of early warning signs when it is unhappy. 

Brown and crispy leaves, leaves that turn yellow, and the pink stripes fading to a white color are all signs that your Pinstripe Plant isn’t doing well. 

When you see these signs, it doesn’t mean your Calathea is dying. Your plant just isn’t getting exactly the care it needs and wants.  

When the leaves start to turn brown or yellow, try adding humidity. Your home environment might be too dry for the plant. 

How Do You Keep Pinstripe Calathea Pink?

If pink stripes on your plant start to fade to white, your plant is getting too much sunlight. Move it to a place that’s a little bit away from the light, and notice if you see the pink start to come back. 

Calathea Ornata White

How Do You Make Calathea Ornata Bushy?

You can make Calathea Ornata bushy by following these steps:

  1. Cut the plant back to about 3 inches above the soil line. Cutting back will encourage new growth.
  2. Fertilize with a low-nitrogen fertilizer once a month or as needed.
  3. Give it plenty of water, but don’t let it sit in water for long periods. 
  4. Keep the humidity around 50%.

Is Calathea Ornata Rare?

Calathea Ornata is a rare plant, but it is not as rare as some other plants.

How Big Does Calathea Ornata Grow?

The Pin Stripe Calathea isn’t known as a fast grower. When grown as a houseplant, it will grow to be a maximum of about 2 ft wide and 2 ft tall. It will take quite a long time to reach that height. 

Is Calathea Ornata Toxic?

Calatheas are not toxic or harmful to pets and young children. All Calathea, including the Calathea Ornata, is safe for pets and won’t harm them when they chew your plant. 

Is Calathea Ornata an Indoor Plant?

Yes. Calathea Ornata is a tropical plant that can be grown indoors, requiring high humidity and warm temperatures.

Calathea is a tropical plant that requires warm temperatures, moist soil and lots of indirect sunlight. You should water your plant when the top inch or so of soil is dry. Watering could be once a week or as frequently as every two days. The soil should be allowed to dry out in between watering.

Is Calathea Ornata a Prayer Plant?

Calathea Ornata, or the pinstripe houseplant, is a member of the Maranta or prayer plant family. Prayer plants feature leaves that raise and lower in response to sunlight. 

Does Calathea Ornata Close at Night?

In addition to looking beautiful, Calathea Ornata also has another cool feature – it closes its leaves at night and opens them again in the morning! The plant closes due to a small joint between the leaf and the stem. The joint will move based on how much light the plant is getting. As a result, the Calathea’s leaves open and close. 

If you don’t see this movement, but your plant is otherwise healthy, your plant might be getting too much light to trigger the joint to close. 

When the leaves rise and fall with the sun, the purplish-magenta undersides are exposed. This exposure further adds to the beauty of this plant.

The Calathea Family

There are more than 300 different types of Calathea plants around the world. These plants traditionally have gorgeous leaves with a red or purple underside with colorful patterns on top. 

Calathea Ornata Beauty Star

Calathea Ornata beauty star is a variety of the Calathea Ornata with a similar appearance, but its leaves have a darker color. Its leaves have a star shape. 

Calathea White Star

The Calathea White Star is known for its gorgeous patterned foliage. The underside of Calathea White Star leaves is dark with a deep burgundy-purple hue. The upper side of the leaf features a lush green background with bright white stripes and faded pink patches.

Read our complete Calathea White Star (Top Tips & Care Guide) here.

Calathea Ornata Sanderiana

Calathea Ornata Sanderiana, a hybrid of the Calathea Ornata, has a long stem and glossy green leaves. The Sanderiana has some of the same characteristics as the Ornata, but also some differences.

For instance, the leaves of the Sanderiana are heart-shaped and have a pattern of white lines on them. Also, Sanderiana is more tolerant to cold and dry conditions than the Calathea Ornata. Sanderiana is a bigger plant with broader, shorter leaves.

Where to Buy Calathea Ornata

Calathea Ornata can be found at many garden centers. You can also find Calathea Ornata on Amazon and Etsy

Final Thoughts on Calathea Ornata

If you’re looking for a stunning house plant that will provide years of enjoyment when properly cared for, this is it! I hope this article has helped you learn how to care for your Calathea Ornata (Pinstripe Plant). 

Some items we discuss that will help you care for this unique plant and keep it growing strong:

Good luck growing your Pinstripe Calathea and making it part of your cozy, fresh, and green home!

Other Pink Plants you might enjoy:

calathea ornata for beginners