Calathea White Star (Top Tips & Care Guide)

calathea white star

The Calathea White Star (scientific name Calathea ‘majestica’ 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.

Common names: White Star Calathea, majestic prayer plant

Calatheas are notorious for being fussy, but if you give them the water, humidity, and light they need, they can thrive in your home. 

At night the this Calathea variety folds up as though it is praying, inspiring the Calathea species to be nicknamed prayer plants. For plants in the prayer plant family, you can expect the leaves to bow down in the daytime, which allows the leaves to soak up the light. And they move slightly to follow the direction of the sun. 

what star calathea

So, how do you take care of a White Star Calathea plant? 

Calathea White Star Care

Here are the basics of Calathea White Star care, which we will detail.

  • Soil: Nutrient-rich, moist, lightweight soil that drains well
  • Light: Indirect sunlight
  • Water: Water weekly, but always check the soil first
  • Humidity: At least 50% (ideally over 60%)
  • Pruning: Occasional, light
  • Where to buy: Most consistently available on Etsy and Amazon


You want a well-draining potting soil or soil mix. The best soil for Calathea White Star is one that will retain enough moisture to keep the plant hydrated but will drain any excess water quickly. A soil that is too dense or stays wet for too long is not right for a Calathea White Star.

You can use a store-bought potting mix and add in some of the following: 

  • coco coir or peat moss to retain moisture
  • pine bark
  • worm castings
  • perlite (lightweight pH-neutral granules that aid drainage and improve soil aeration)
  • Orchid bark (helps absorb extra water and releases moisture back into the soil as the mix becomes dry)

Two good options are: 

  • African violet soil is convenient because it already contains everything your plant needs, and you can pick up a bag at your local garden center. 
  • Two parts peat with 1 part perlite or sand is a combination that works well if you prefer creating a DIY potting mix to save money.


Don’t use too much fertilizer. A less-is-more approach will prevent salt deposits in the soil and turn the leaves brown. Once monthly, feed your Calathea White Star with a water-soluble fertilizer that helps your plant grow.

Dilute fertilizer solution strength by half.


Calathea White Star doesn’t like to be rootbound and will grow best in a pot that gives them room to grow. Keeping your plant in a too-small pot will restrict its growth. Ensure the pot you choose allows for adequate drainage holes since excess moisture can cause root rot. 

Plastic or terra cotta pots will both be fine for the this plant. If you live in a dry environment, you’ll probably want to choose a plastic pot that will hold the moisture in. Terra cotta will wick away extra moisture. 

When Should I Repot Calathea White Star?

As your plant grows, you’ll need to move it to a larger pot. Often you’ll need a new pot every two years. Although the speed at which the plant grows can vary depending on its living conditions.

When choosing a new pot, choose one that is about 2 inches wider. 

You will know it’s time to repot when: 

  • You see roots coming out of the drainage holes
  • Slow growth
  • Droopy, yellowing leaves even when you are sure you are watering properly

How to Repot Calathea White Star Plant

  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 any add-ins you choose, such as perlite. Then gently press down. 
  6. Water thoroughly and put in a location with indirect sunlight.

Sun/Light Requirements

The Majestica White Star thrives in bright, indirect light. Your plant will do OK with some shade, but the variegation in the leaves will fade over time. Direct sunlight can burn the leaves, so it’s best to keep the plant away from direct sun.

You may need to experiment with the perfect location for your plant.  

This pink tint on the leaves is a great bonus of this striking plant. If your Calathea white star is not pink, you probably need more light. Still, the light should be indirect. 

How to Water Calathea White Star

White Stars should be kept moist – never wet or too dry. Water them once every 1-2 weeks and always check the soil before watering. 

If the top 1-2 inches of soil feel dry to the touch, you can go ahead and water your plant.

Calatheas hate dry soil. Ensure that the top inch of soil is damp but not wet to touch. Once the top layer of the soil begins to dry, it’s time to water.

Even though this plant loves moisture, the roots of Calathea White star are prone to root rot. Thorough watering is preferable for this plant, and excess water must drain well. Never let your plants sit in excess moisture. Root rot can quickly happen if the soil you are using is not fast draining and you are overwatering your plant. 

Cut back on watering during winter.

You’ll want to get to know your plant and how often it needs to be watered. For the first 6-8 weeks, note how often you water your plant. Your notes will help you determine a watering schedule. Getting the balance may be tricky. This plant doesn’t like to dry out completely but doesn’t like to be too wet.

High concentrations of fluoride in your tap water can damage this plant. If you have water with fluoride, consider using bottled or distilled water, or even collect rainwater. This home water test can help you determine if you have too much fluoride in your water.


Calathea White Star is a tropical plant that originated in the humid rain forests of south and central America. So it loves high humidity, and you’ll want to mimic this environment in your home as much as possible. 

To maintain very vibrant and hardy leaves, humidity levels around the plant must be at least 50% (ideally over 60%). Low humidity levels can cause the plant to drop its leaves or have leaves with dry and crispy tips. 

Should I Mist My White Star Calathea?

If you prefer adding humidity through misting, you can go ahead and spray the undersides and tops of the leaves daily—mist in the morning to allow the leaves to dry out throughout the day.

There are many different ways to raise the humidity around your plant. You can get a humidifier, place your plant near the kitchen or your bathroom, or set up pebble trays. 

We have two fantastic articles detailing humidifiers 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. 


Temperatures between 65-77°F (18-25°C ) are best.

This plant is resilient, but if it’s kept in temperatures below 65°F you will see slow growth and maybe even no growth at all. The plant will try to conserve its energy and will go dormant.

Calathea White Star Buy on Amazon


White Stars are not particularly bushy and rarely grow beyond 5 feet, so they will not require regular pruning.

Be sure, however, to remove dead/diseased leaves by gently “pinching” the leaf or carefully cutting the affected area at the stem with clean scissors.

Wipe down the leaves regularly with a damp cloth.

How to Propagate Calathea White Star

The best way to propagate your Calathea is to divide the plant’s healthy roots when you repot it. As you remove the plant to repot it, gently separate the plant where there are natural separations in the roots.

Be gentle as you do this so you don’t damage the roots. If the roots become too tangled, cut them with clean, sharp scissors.

Because this plant is a moderately fast grower, you should be able to propagate several new plants off of the original. 

Size and Growth of Calathea White Star

The Calathea Majestic White Star is fast growing and will produce a lot of new growth in the spring and summer. The plant’s shrub-like form means its stems grow upright and tall in their pot instead of draping over like ferns or climbing like vines.

How big do Calathea White Stars get?

With proper care, your plant could grow as high as 4 to 5ft and the leaves can become very long.

Calathea White Star Problems

Calathea White Star’s most common problems are leaf spot, root rot, yellowing leaves due to lack of sun, scorched or burnt tips due to lack of humidity, or too much salt in the water.

Curling Leaves

The curling leaves signify that the Calathea Majestic White Star is too cold. Have a look around the home to make sure your plant is not close to any windows, radiators, or doors that could be causing drafts.

Drooping Leaves

The Calathea White Star prefers soil that is somewhat moist without drying out completely between each water. When the soil dries out, the leave will start to droop. Droiping means your plant needs water. If the top few inches of soil are completely dry to touch, your pant needs water.

Also remember that Calathea’s leaves move with the light – they close up in the day and relax at night. If the leaves look droopy during the day, check to see if they move upward in the night.

Brown Edges

Various things could cause brown edges on the leaves of your Calathea White Star. 

  1. The Calathea Majestic White Star is very sensitive to hard water, which could cause the leaves to brown. Use filtered or rainwater moving forward.
  2. Lack of humidity. Place your plant near a humidifier.
  3. Occasionally the brown tips could be from over fertilizing. Always dilute a generic houseplant fertilizer. 

Not Growing

Watering incorrectly causes most of the issues you will see with issues are the most common cause for a Calathea White Star not growing. The problem is usually too much water, not too litte. When the soil gets too wet for too long, it can smother the roots and cut off the oxygen they need.


The most common pests to Calathea White Star are spider mites. Although, aphids and mealy bugs are also common for the plant.

Regular inspection is the best way to spot these critters early and treat them. Then use neem oil or insecticidal soap to eliminate the pests.

If you notice small insects that look similar to fruit flies around your plants, it’s probably fungus gnats who are attracted to the high humidity. They are harmless but not something you want in your home. Try to decrease the humidity until they go away. If this doesn’t work, some diatomaceous earth mixed into the top part of the soil should help.

FAQ’s: Calathea White Star

Are Calathea White Stars rare?

Calathea’ White Star’ is one of the rarer varieties of Calathea plants because of its desirable, dCalathea’ White Star’ is one of the rarer varieties of Calathea plants. It’s popular because of its desirable, decorative foliage of vibrant white-and-green stripes and subtle pink blush between the leaf veining.

How do you get pink on a Calathea White Star?

If your Calathea begins to lose its beautiful pink pattern and the leaves fade, it is getting too much light.

Note that Calathea leaves fade with age. If your plants is older, this is just part if the normal aging process.

Is Calathea White Star toxic?

According to the ASPCA (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals), Calathea varieties are non-toxic to humans and pets. 

Other Calathea Varieties

Calathea White Star vs. Ornata

The Calathea White Star and the Calathea Ornata (or Pinstripe Calathea are so similar they are often mistaken for one another. The White Star plant has more and thicker stripes that almost fill the whole leaf. 

Calathea Pinstripe plants feature thinner, more spaced-out white striping than White Stars, and the Pinstripe has a more noticeable pink overtone on its leaves.

The two tropical plants require similar care.

Read our complete Calathea Ornata Care Guide.

calathea white star vs. ornata

Calathea White Star vs Vittata

Calathea Vitatta plants have the same broad striped foliage of White Star but they are much smaller (reaching maximum heights of 1.9 feet).

The Vittata also has green undersides to their leaves instead of the purple coloring on White Star.

Calathea White Star vs. Beauty Star

Calathea Beauty Star features long, relatively narrow dark green leaves striped in paler green, silver, and white. The underside is rich purple. The leaves on the Beauty Star are longer and thinner than a white star. 

calathea white star vs beauty star

Where to Buy Calathea White Star Plant

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

What Is the Price of a Calathea Majestica White Star? 

Calathea White Star prices vary among plant retailers and will depend on the White Star’s size and maturity. Prices typically range between $20-$70.

Final Thoughts on Calathea White Star

If you’re looking for an indoor plant that’s beautiful, unique, and has a touch of color, this is it!

Some items we discussed that will help you with Calathea White Star plant care to keep it growing strong:

Good luck growing your Calathea Majestica White Star plant and making it part of your cozy, fresh, and green home!

Enjoy these other pink plants: