Calathea musaica, also known as (Goeppertia kegeljanii), has wonderful delicate leaves and needs less care than other Calatheas, which makes it an excellent houseplant. This guide includes everything you need to know about Calathea musaica’s care so that you can keep your plant alive year-round.
Calathea musaica needs indirect sunlight, 50-80% humidity, and good quality soil that is maintained mildly moist throughout the day. During the spring and summer, keep temperatures between 18-30°C, minimize drafts, and fertilize every 4-6 weeks depending upon the temperature.
This species from the Marantaceae family originated in Brazil and was first reported as Maranta Bella in 1875. Calathea musaica is difficult to find than other Calatheas, but you will feel happy after growing it as a houseplant.
The majority of Calatheas have adorable, enticing foliage, providing an eye-catching look to your home. Calathea musaica is much more subtle but equally lovely in my perspective. It is easy to see that the popular name Network was established, with mega, softly arching, mildly glossy foliage patterned with some of the most unique and attractive crossed or mosaics patterns. Calathea musaica, Calathea Network, and Network Prayer Plant are the most popular names throughout the houseplant industry. In comparison, Goeppertia kegeljanii is the scientific name of this beautiful plant. In the past, this particular species is called by so many names, but we will stick to calathea musaica so you can understand things easily.
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Soil is the most important ingredient when planning to grow calathea musaica. Make sure to choose a good quality soil that has well drainage but also moisture retentive. To improve the drainage, you can add gravel, perlite, or sand to prevent overwatering. You can also make this potting mix at home by mixing two parts of coco coir or peat and one portion of perlite. This will work well for all types of calatheas as well as other houseplants. It drains quickly and has a high organic content.
The ideal soil for Calathea musaica needs a PH-neutral soil mix, which is used to avoid the soil becoming acidic or alkaline. The acidic or alkaline soil isn’t healthy for Calathea musaica. That PH-neutral mix will eventually drain in the soil by keeping the moisture in it. That moisture will help you to supply the nutrients to the roots. The Calathea Musaica comes in a plastic nursery pot with soil in it. Make sure to keep it in that pot for some time. Because it needs to be adjusted to its surrounding, move it to another place after time passes or when you think it’s necessary to move.
Calathea musaica is a very curious plant. It will do best if it has bright, indirect light but can also survive in variable lighting conditions that would normally burn the leaves of other plants. A little direct sunlight in the morning or late evening won’t hurt this hardy weed, although more intense exposure might scorch its leaves.
Calathea lighting is a fine balancing act, as you must offer enough light to encourage healthy development while maintaining the leaves in good condition. When the temperature drops, you may need to relocate your Calathea musaica to normalize lighting.
In the wintertime, a windowsill is ideal, but in the summertime, it will be too much light that can harm your plant. Keep an eye on the leaves for any signs of brown patches or edges. At first, sign, consider whether the light is right in your home, and make adjustments accordingly to keep them green. One interesting thing about light is how it shines through the leaves of Calathea musaica so beautifully. Hold your plant up to a window and look from under the leaves for a mosaic leaf patterning in full glory!
This plant needs humidity of about 50% or more. But if the humidity level reaches 80% or higher, then there is also a chance of other fungal or bacterial diseases. So, make sure to maintain a certain level of humidity around. These Calathea musaica lives in a high humidity environment, so if you leave them in low humidity, you will eventually see the browning of the tips of leaves.
To increase the humidity in the room where you placed the calathea, you can use a humidifier in the room. Also, if you spray water daily on leaves, it can also help maintain humidity. Moreover, you can put a pot on a water-filled tray or place a group of houseplants near it to boost the room humidity level. But make sure to give enough space between the plants. So they can breathe easily. Another way to maintain the humidity is to place the pot in the bathroom. Your plant will surely enjoy that humid environment.
Calathea musaica needs a fixed consistency of moisture every time. That’s why water needs to be checked frequently. What you have to do is simply insert your finger in 1-2 inches of soil. If it feels dry, then you need to water the plant. But, if you feel any moisture above 2 inches, it means your plant does not need water. Don’t provide extra water to your plant. Watering may be needed every 1 or 2 weeks to make sure that the soil is not too dry and not too soggy at the same time.
This plant needs extra care to protect itself from any sort of damage. That’s why the water you are using needs to be filtered and at room temperature. Cold or hot water might not be acceptable for plants. Moreover, tap water can also be used but, as time passes, the leaves will get brownish due to fluoride in tap water. The best tip for watering calathea musaica is to leave water for 24 hours. This will help to evaporate chemicals, and water will also reach room temperature.
If your calathea is still small and not growing well, it means your plant needs fertilizer. The amount of fertilizer depends upon the size of the plant. If you use a heavy amount of fertilizer on small plants, then your plant will eventually burn. Make sure to dilute the liquid fertilizer first and then apply after watering your plant. Also, you can use a suitable organic fertilizer for the better growth of plants.
Following are few easy tips for fertilizing your Calathea Musaica:
⦁ Fertilize your plant in the growing season. In the early spring and then the start or end of the summer.
⦁ Make sure to apply liquid fertilizer in wet soil. If you apply it in dry soil, it may burn the plant.
⦁ Use a distilled water to flush the soil to remove the mineral salt.
It’s important to fertilize your plant during its growth period. In autumn and in winters, it is necessary to stop fertilizing your plant. Because the Calathea musaica is physically inactive at that specific period of time, but remember to fertilize your plant after every 1-2 months when it’s summer and sunny. The small plant needs fertilization two times a year.
Sometimes you notice that the leaves of your Calathea plant get brown and crispy, which looks too off. At that time, your plant needs trimming. Simply cut the crisp brown part of leaves with fine sharp scissors. Be careful in removing the crisp part and leave the majority of foliage still intact.
As the plant gets older, some outer leaves get yellow or brown. Removing these leaves regularly makes your plant attractive and beautiful. By using a sharp knife, cut those leaves from where they are attached to the stalk. This will help to improve the growth of your plant.
Moreover, if the maximum of leaves gets crisp brown and dead, then the best option is to remove all the leaves with the help of scissors. After that, new and healthy leaves will grow. This process is totally safe, as it does not damage your plant. Your plant will grow healthier than before.
Diseases and pests
This Calathea plant luckily isn’t subjected to any particular disease. But other than those which are caused because of improper growth of the plant. Moreover, this plant is subjected to some common houseplant pests which include mealybugs, fungus, thrips, and spider mites. If you notice any pests on your Calathea Musaica, then:
⦁ The first thing you need to do is isolate it from other plants.
⦁ Remove the pests as much as possible by using a damped cloth, spray it with water, or wash your plant. Make sure not to damage the leaves during cleaning. And it’s important to check both sides of the leaves.
⦁ After that, spray your plant with dilute neem oil or isopropyl alcohol to kill the remaining pests from the plant.
The spider mites are difficult to spot. Make sure to properly check your plant every week. Early detection and treatment are beneficial to prevent major damage to your Calathea. The main way to prevent disease is to take proper care of your plant, provide good ventilation and avoid it from overwatering.
Related: Common Plant Diseases