Calathea Maui Queen Plant: Ultimate Care Guide

The Calathea Maui Queen (Goeppertia Louisae ‘Maui Queen’), sometimes called the Zebra Plant Maui Queen, is an evergreen perennial plant indigenous to the Brazilian rainforests. The Maui Queen has long oval deep green leaves with a cream-colored feather-like pattern running vertically along the middle of the leaf and contrasting rich purple undersides. This species of plant is a hybrid cultivar, a cross between two varieties of plants.

The Calathea Maui Queen is also an air-purifying plant. When kept as an indoor plant, the Calathea will filters toxins out of the air in your home.

Calathea Maui Queen Care

Calathea Maui Queen requires a moderate level of care. Planting this Calathea in a suitable soil blend, providing bright but filtered sunlight, and following a routine watering schedule appropriate for the season will allow your Maui Queen to flourish.

How to Care for Calathea Maui Queen as an Indoor Plant

The Calathea Maui Queen is a light sensitive plant and because of this many people choose to keep this as an indoor houseplant. If kept inside, make sure to keep the temperature and humidity at appropriate levels for your Maui Queen.

How to Care for Calathea Maui Queen as an Outdoor Plant

Calathea Maui Queen can be kept outdoors without issues in certain hardiness zones. Keep your Maui Queen in a spot that receives bright light but keep the plant shaded to avoid sunburn. It is recommended to keep an outdoor Maui Queen in a pot, making it easy to bring inside during the winter when it is too cold for this plant to survive.

Calathea Maui Queen
Calathea Maui Queen


The Calathea Maui Queen thrives in bright indirect sunlight, approximately 8 to 10 hours a day. Too much sun exposure can result in sunburnt and discolored leaves and can potentially kill your plant. However, leaving your Maui Queen in low light is unfavorable as well. Placing your Calathea several feet from an East or West facing window will provide the best indoor lighting. Keeping sheer or light filtering curtains on the window will offer extra protection from the sun.

Soil Type & pH

Calathea Maui Queen requires a soil blend that is lightly moist and well-draining. Using an orchid potting mix or an African violet soil blend would be suitable for the Calathea. You can also make your own soil blend. Use a base of 50% potting mix and add 10% perlite, 20% orchid bark, and 20% activated charcoal. Perlite will aid in providing proper drainage while orchid bark will be able to maintain moisture in the soil. Activated charcoal also helps to drain excess moisture, preventing waterlogged soil, as well as inhibiting pests and infections in the plant. Another optional addition to your soil blend is peat moss since it is commonly added to soil for moisture retention. Peat moss can also assist in keeping the soil at the correct pH level for this plant. The Maui Queen prefers neutral or slightly acidic soil, the pH level typically ranging between 6.0 to 7.5. Peat moss is slightly acidic and the addition to your Calathea soil blend can help to maintain the correct level.


Your Calathea Maui Queen will need regular waterings during its growing season. Watering once or twice a week during this time is ideal, however the amount of weekly waterings your plant will require depends on the plant size as well as the temperature and humidity of its environment. Check the soil of your plant often and water again when the top inch of soil is dry. This species may suffer if left in dry soil for prolonged periods. Alternatively, avoid allowing the soil to be waterlogged as this may damage the roots and result in disease. In winter the Maui Queen’s growth slows and waterings can be reduced to once every 2 weeks. This plant may be sensitive to chemicals in water therefore it is recommended to use filtered water for this plant.


The Calathea Maui Queen enjoys an environment with high humidity so maintain levels between 50% to 60%. A hygrometer can measure the humidity in your home and assist you in keeping proper levels for your Maui Queen. If your home has lower levels of humidity, then you can keep a humidifier by your plant or use a pebble tray to raise the humidity levels. Keeping the soil moist by misting your plant can be beneficial as well, however make certain you are not overwatering or leaving water on the plant itself as this may cause disease or attract pests.

Calathea Maui Queen in a pot
Calathea Maui Queen in a pot


Calathea Maui Queen is native to tropical climates in South American rainforests and hence should be kept in an environment that emulates those temperatures. Aim to keep the temperature between 65°F and 85°F (18°C to 29°C). While the Maui Queen can endure temperatures as low as 60°F (15°C), keeping it at this temperature for prolonged periods can be harmfu. Extreme or sudden changes in temperature, either hot or cold, can cause stress and damage to your Calathea. If you keep your Maui Queen outdoors, you will need to bring the plant inside during winter.

Hardiness Zone

The Calathea Maui Queen grows in USDA hardiness zones 10b to 12. Areas within these zones will have more ideal conditions for growing the Maui Queen outdoors.


You can fertilize your Calathea Maui Queen once a month during blooming season. Use small amounts of a slow-release fertilizer diluted to half strength. The Maui Queen can be sensitive to chemicals added to its coil, so using full strength fertilizer can harm the plant. The Maui Queen will not need to be fertilized while dormant in the wintertime.


The most efficient way to propagate a Calathea Maui Queen is through division. You can propagate your plant during its growing season between March and September. Choose a healthy plant to propagate from to ensure success in growing your new plant.

  1. Prepare a new pot filled halfway with fresh soil suitable for the Calathea.
  2. Remove the mother plant from its pot and gently brush the dirt from the roots and detangle them.
  3. Use a sterile tool to cut off a main section of the roots.
  4. Place the mother plant into its pot, covering the roots again with soil. Place the cutting into its pot and cover with soil.
  5. Water the new plant immediately and place the pot into bright indirect sunlight.
  6. Provide the new plant with the same care and routine as the original plant.

Calathea Maui Queen Size & Growth Rate

The Calathea Maui Queen is a fast-growing plant, its growing season occurring in spring and summer. It will typically reach maturation within a few years. This plant can grow up to approximately 3 feet high by 3 feet wide.

Common Problems Growing Calathea Maui Queen

The Calathea Maui Queen may experience infections, disease, or pest infestations if given improper care. Here are some of the signs to look for in a sick plant and what cause them.

  • Curling leaves are a sign of underwatering. Check the soil more often and make sure no more than the top inch of soil is drying out between waterings.
  • Yellow and wilted leaves are typically a result of sunburn so move your plant out of direct sunlight. Yellow leaves may also be a sign of excess chemicals in the plant coming from tap water. If you are unable to use distilled or filter water for your Calathea, try leaving the tap water out over night to allow the water to soften.
  • Brown leaf tips are a common sign of underwatering. If the leaves begin to become brown, dry, and brittle then check the soil for moisture level and add water accordingly. Afterwards, monitor the soil more often to ensure the soil maintains proper amounts of moisture.
  • Drooping leaves occurs from overwatering so check the soil as well as the roots of your plant. Overwatered plants can lead to root rot, which can be fatal to your Calathea. If the soil has not been overwatered, then the drooping leaves could result from excess heat. Make sure to check the temperature in your Maui Queen’s environment and adjust if necessary.
  • Root rot can occur if the plant is being overwatered or has waterlogged soil. This disease will begin in the roots and can spread up the stems and to the leaves. Browned and soft roots or stems are telltale signs of root rot. To treat this disease, remove the plant and cut away any infected parts of the plant. Repot into a new sterile pot with new soil and continue to treat the plant by spraying with a hydrogen peroxide and water mixture.
  • Spider mites may appear as small white webbed areas, typically on the stems or the underside of the leaves. If you see these pests on your Calathea, treat it immediately. Isolate your plant from others and wash or brush the bugs off. Treat the plant with neem oil but avoid spraying the oil directly onto the leaves or stems as this can cause discoloration. Instead use the neem oil directly on the soil.
  • Mealy bugs are another pest you may see on your Maui Queen. These bugs appear as small, white, and round spots on the plant. If your Calathea has a mealy bug infestation use a rubbing alcohol solution to remove and kill the bugs.

How to Repot Calathea Maui Queen

The Calathea Maui Queen will need to be repotted once every year or two, or once you begin to see roots coming out of the pot’s drainage holes. Your new pot should be one size up and only a couple inches larger than the current pot in use. Using the wrong size pot for your plant can increase the risk of overwatering your soil. Use new soil when moving the plant to a new pot. Once transplanted, water and keep in a warm spot with filtered light.

Do Calathea Maui Queen Flower?

The Calathea Maui Queen is capable of blooming small flowers, typically purple or white in color, during the blooming season. However, this phenomenon is not commonly seen in houseplants unless provided with exceptional care.

Do Calathea Maui Queen Move at Night?

Calathea Maui Queen is considered one of the “prayer plants”, which receive their nickname from the motion their leaves make at night in which they fold up and resemble praying hands. The leaves stay closed over night and open again during the daytime.

Is the Calathea Maui Queen Safe for Pets?

This Calathea Maui Queen is safe to keep indoors for households with children and pets, as it is non-toxic to animals and humans.

Where Can I Find Calathea Maui Queen for Sale?

Calathea Maui Queen is a rare houseplant and can be more difficult to find in a brick-and-mortar shop, however this plant can be found online in specialty stores. You can expect to pay somewhere between $25 and $60 for your Maui Queen.

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