Calathea Crocata (Eternal Flame Plant): Ultimate Care Guide

Common Name(s)Eternal Flame Plant, Tassmania blooms
Scientific NameCalathea Crocata
Sun ExposureBright indirect
Soil pH6.5
Watering RequirementKeep moist
Hardiness Zone11-12 USDA
Plant Height1-2 Ft
Plant Width1-2 Ft

With deep green variegated leaves that have rich purple undersides, Calathea Crocata is already a stunning plant, but the star of the show is its fiery orange blossoms.  They are the prima donna of the plant’s performance.

Calathea Crocata is native to Brazil and other tropical South American countries. They grow low to the ground and enjoy plenty of humidity and sunlight filtered through the tree canopy. Unfortunately due to damage to the rainforests, it’s difficult to find them in the wild these days.

Belonging to the Marantaceae family of plants, Calathea Crocata is a prayer plant.  Its leaves fold up in the night and reopen in the morning. Common names for Calathea Crocata are eternal flame plant and Tassmania Blooms.

Calathea Crocata
Calathea Crocata

What are the benefits of keeping a Calathea Crocata?

Plants boost your mood with their beauty.  Calathea Crocata with its beautiful orange flowers will absolutely delight you.  Not only that, Calathea Crocata is an air purifier, it filters pollutants out of your environment’s atmosphere so you can breathe fresher.

Calathea Crocata Care

There are plenty of people who struggle to care for their Calathea Crocata. They are a bit of a high maintenance plant with various needs that need to be met to keep them thriving. They have specific humidity. Temperature, watering, and light requirements and aren’t very forgiving when those things go by the wayside.

How to care for your Calathea Crocata as an indoor plant

Be sure to plant your Calathea Crocata in a large enough pot with drain holes. Place it near a North facing window if possible, but away from drafts and heating and cooling vents.

How to care for your Calathea Crocata as an outdoor plant

Plant your Calathea Crocata outdoors in a partially shady area.  Be sure your climate is humid enough to support your plant’s needs.  Water semi-frequently and make sure to cover it if the temperature dips below 65 degrees Fahrenheit.

Light Requirement

Bright indirect sunlight is exactly what Calathea Crocata needs.  If the light is too direct it will fade the leaves of the plant and it will not be as aesthetically pleasing.

Soil and pH requirement

A light airy soil that will allow the water to drain easily is best for Calathea Crocata.  Try 3 parts soil-based compost mixed with 1 part peat moss.

As soil pH of 6.5 is optimum

Watering Requirement

Water your Calathea Crocata regularly.  It likes to have moist soil, especially in the hot summer months. Make sure the soil is not soaking wet. This can cause root damage and lead to root rot.

Calathea Crocata is pretty particular about what kind of water they drink. Tap water won’t cut it as they are sensitive to some of the minerals typically found in tap water.

Use distilled water, rainwater, or filtered water. You can also let tap water sit out for 12-24 hours until the chlorine and fluoride dissipate.

Calathea Crocata
Calathea Crocata (Eternal Flame Plant)

Humidity Requirement

The humidity can not be too high for Calathea Crocata. It’s used to constant moist air in the rainforest and wants to keep living its best life that way in your home. Mist it daily with room temperature water, move it to your bathroom to get all that shower steam, or invest in a small humidifier to have near your plant. Don’t mist the flowers.

Temperature Requirement

Stable, warm temperatures are a must for Calathea Crocata. They do not like to be colder than 60 degrees Fahrenheit. Most room temperatures will be just fine as long as there are no dramatic fluctuations from warm to cold.

Keep your Calathea Crocata away from heating and cooling vents.

Hardiness Zone

The best hardiness zone for Calathea Crocata is 11-12 USDA

Fertilization Requirement

A good rule of thumb for feeding Calathea Crocata is to start when daylight savings time begins and stop when it ends. Use half of the recommended amount of general-purpose house plant fertilizer, fertilize once a month during spring and summer, then give fertilizing a rest in the fall and winter months.

Calathea Crocata Propagation

The way to propagate Calathea Crocata is to separate a section of roots and leaves from the parent plant and pot it in its container.

To do this you’ll need to cut away a section of the plant and roots with a sterilized blade or sheers.

Fill your new container about 1/3 with new fresh soil mix. Place the roots on top of the soil and fill in around the rest of the plant.  If the roots are too low in the pot they are more susceptible to root rot.

Place the new plants and the parent plant back in the same growing environment and care for them as usual.

If you’re planning to repot your Calathea Crocata, but don’t want to divide it, you can follow the steps above without cutting your plant. Repot in late June.

Size and Growth Rate

Calathea Crocata grows to be 1-2 feet tall. They tend to grow as wide as they are tall.  They have a moderately fast growth rate.

Calathea Crocata Problems

Spider mites move in when the soil is too dry. The best way to prevent them is to regularly water your Calathea Crocata.

Mealy bugs can also invade and suck the life juice from your Calathea Crocata

To remedy either of these pests, shower them off with tepid water then follow up by rubbing the leaves with insecticidal soap or neem oil

Leaves Curling

Leaves Curling means your Calathea Crocata is trying to conserve moisture. Give it a good drink and water regularly.

Leaves turning yellow

Yellow leaves could be a fungal infection for your Calathea Crocata, or it could be that the sunlight is too direct.

Leaves with brown edges

The humidity is lacking for your Calathea Crocata. Try misting it or using a humidifier.

Drooping leaves

Your Calathea Crocata has too much water. Make sure all drains are clear and don’t leave it sitting in water.

Plant Dying

The most common reason Calathea Crocata dies is root rot.

Do calathea Crocata flower?

Calathea Crocata produces a gorgeous orange flower.  They bloom naturally when the days are short and the nights are long.

Is Calathea Crocata safe for pets?

Calathea Crocata is nontoxic for both cats and dogs.

Where can I find Calathea Crocata for sale?

Calathea Crocata is available on Etsy as well as a few other online tropical plant shops. Calathea Crocata can be purchased for around 25 USD.

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