Calathea Dottie (Calathea Roseopicta ‘Dottie’): Care Guide

A darker variety of Calathea family, the Calathea Roseopicta, or Dottie, adds an attractive contrast to the greener varieties. The deep green and burgundy leaves have a pink border and a central pink stroke. The undersides are a striking deep red. Consider the Calathea Dottie like the gothic, emo cousin of the Calathea family with her beautiful dark and pink foliage!

Calathea Dottie is also affectionately known as Rose Painted Calathea or Rose Painted Prayer Plant Dottie. This nickname of ‘prayer plant’ is given to this plant because of its own behaviours. Indeed, during the daylight the leaves are flat and open so that they can absorb as much sunlight as possible, however during the night-time when there are low light conditions, the leaves move and curl up and appear closed. This movement is to maximize the light absorption for the plant.

Calathea Dottie Care

Like most Calathea, the Calathea Dottie is native to South America, found most commonly in Brazil, and it thrives in more humid environments (think the kitchen or bathroom). This plant can grow quickly if it is in the right conditions so expect to regularly see some of those beautiful new leaves beginning to show! During the summer months the Calathea Dottie is known to produce small white blooms of flowers. However, these will rarely appear when they are kept as an indoor plant.

Just like many other species of Calathea she can be fussy and difficult to care for, but that is no reason to be put off.  If you pay good attention to any plant and give it the correct conditions, it will thrive and grow into a gorgeous addition to your collection. 

Light Requirement

As a rule of thumb, keep your Calathea Dottie away from drafts and heating systems and make sure it has access to medium indirect light. Direct sunlight will cause the leaves to fade and lose their markings. They can tolerate some degree of shade, but the more indirect light, the finer the foliage. Try to find a spot for it where it receives medium strength light and is protected from the sun. For this reason, a north or east facing room can be a great choice.

Calathea Dottie (Calathea Roseopicta ‘Dottie’)
Calathea Dottie (Calathea Roseopicta ‘Dottie’)


The Calathea Dottie comes from tropical forests so understandably it loves humidity! As with most tropical houseplants, these needs humidity to thrive. A great way to help it get the humidity it needs is to mist the leaves occasionally in the mornings; this way, they can absorb the water throughout the day with their Somata (like plant pores on their leaves). High humidity levels are a must. Mist frequently to improve humidity conditions and pop it near the shower from time-to-time to give it an extra boost. Calathea Dottie will do well in higher levels of humidity, approximately 50%. If the air is too dry the leaves will start to crisp and once this damage has happened, it cannot be repaired. Misting your plant several times a week can help your plant get the moisture it needs but getting a humidifier can be an excellent solution to dry air in your home.


The Calathea Dottie loves to be kept in damp soil at all times, but definitely do not allow the plant to sit in water or in very wet soil. Think ‘little and often’ as a watering policy. A quick and easy way to test the moisture levels in soil is by inserting two fingers 2-3 inches into the soil. If it feels almost dry, then it’s time to water your plant. If not, check back again in a few days. You might also find that tap water is too harsh for the Calathea Dottie, and you may want to consider using filtered water instead. If you are using tap water, it is best to allow the tap water to rest overnight so that the chlorine and other chemicals found in tap water can evaporate. This will make for happier plants and the leaves will not discolour or crisp on the edges! Another way to help keep your Calathea Dottie moist with the water it needs is to place some stones or pebbles in the bottom of your decorative pot and to add some water into the bottom of the pot. This helps to keep the roots dry, but they are still able to absorb all the water they need, and the water evaporating creates its own humidity. During the spring and summer, months make sure to water your plant more regularly and reduce the frequency of watering in winter.

Be careful though, as The Calathea Dottie needs to find a well-draining soil. The Calathea are not particularly picky with what soil they are placed in, a mixture of potting soil, charcoal, orchid bark and perlite, and moss in their correct quantities are all suitable. The key thing is that the soil allows for proper drainage and is not left soggy in order for them to thrive.


Like all Calathea plants, the Calathea Dottie can be sensitive to fertiliser so it’s important that you dilute the plant feed you use. Only feed your plant during the growing season and leave it over the winter months. It also does not require that much fertiliser and if you use too much it can burn the leaves so fertilise only once a month throughout spring and summer.


If you want to give it a try and care for your Calathea Dottie outdoor, you need to follow the same rules: beware of the temperature though! The Calathea Dottie prefers warm to high temperatures, ideally between 18-23°C, but can cope with as low as 15°C. Avoid draughts and ensure the plant has reasonable ventilation.


If you are thinking about obtaining more plants, The Calathea Dottie propagation can be done through root division. If you try to take a cutting from this plant, you won’t have much luck. Instead wait until new shoots start appearing from out of the soil. When this happens take your plant out of its pot and gently pull the sections apart being careful not to damage any roots in the process. Once you have separated the segments repot the old plant and plant the new section into a pot of its own with a well-draining potting mix.

How to Repot Calathea Dottie

As a rule of thumb, Calathea Dottie can be very sensitive to repotting, so you should only aim to do this when it is necessary, and the plant needs it such as when the roots become pot bound or your plant is looking too big for the pot. If you have newly purchased a Calathea Dottie and it seems that the pot is too small, then now is a good time to re-pot it as it will start to adjust to the new environment overall. After this, you should only re-pot your plant very occasionally, (every 2-3 years or so) as the plant can suffer from shock and may take time to recover. That being said, you do still need to check on the roots and pot often and look for signs of growth to identify when to repot. Roots that are beginning to poke out of the drainage holes at the bottom mean that it is time to re-pot, simple as that. The ideal time of the year to re-pot your Calathea Dottie is during the early spring months, as this will give the plant enough time during its growth period to adjust to the new size of pot.

Common Diseases & Issues

Be mindful of common diseases for the Calathea Dottie. One of the most common diseases of the Calathea Dottie is Fungus Gnat; because of the nature of their soil and high humidity requirements, this creates an ideal setting for fungus gnats and fruit flies to be drawn to and is very common. If this happens it’s nothing to worry about. Try spraying neem oil on your plants leaves, spraying the leaves and soil with a dish soap and water mixture, and watering your plant from the bottom are all effective ways to drive away the fungus gnats. If the problem persists you could also try using a chemical treatment for the problem. 

Keep an eye out for the following common issues for the Calathea Dottie:

Leaves curling: the leaves of your plant could be curling due to intense light or a lack of water. When these plants are underwatered or placed in sources of strong light this can cause their leaves to curl inwards in order to protect themselves. Test the moisture of the soil and try moving your plant to a less bright spot to see if this helps with the leaf curling issue.

Leaves turning yellow: the yellowing of lower leaves forms part of the natural aging process of your plant, however, if new growth is turning yellow, the plant is overwatered. Reduce watering immediately.

Leaves with brown edges: some brown leaf tips are common but low humidity will make things worse. Try daily misting or moving location to a bathroom or kitchen.

Drooping leaves: if you have noticed that the leaves on your Calathea have started to curl, your plant needs more water. Try to always keep the plant evenly moist, but not soggy.

Calathea Dottie Price

Calathea Dottie can be easily found online. Prices average from $15 to $25.

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