Calathea Medallion (Calathea veitchiana): Ultimate Care Guide

If you are looking for a gorgeous plant that is easy to take care of, then look no further than the calathea medallion, otherwise known as calathea veitchiana.  While this calathea can be a bit tricky, it is one of the easier versions of the species to take care of.  The calathea medallion is a prayer plant because it folds up its leaves at night which gives it the impression of praying.  During the day time, depending on how much light the calathea medallion gets, the leaves will also start to move upwards or downwards. 

The calathea medallion is a tender perennial and can easily become your favorite houseplant.  It comes from Brazil and has a gorgeous green pattern on the top of the medallion leaves.  On the underside, you can notice a burgundy shade that will reveal itself as the leaves fold up at night.  The green leaves are oval in shape and have colorful foliage that can brighten up any room.  The pattern on the leaves makes the calathea medallion look like it has leaves settling on top of it, when in fact, the leaf itself has a powerful combination of dark and light green.  The calathea medallion thrives in tropical climate and has a unique look to it. 

One of the biggest benefits to keeping the calathea medallion is the fact that it filters the air of any room and gives off more clean oxygen.  This is particularly useful in keeping a room or an office smelling fresh and looking beautiful. 

Calathea Medallion Care

The calathea medallion is a bit tricky, but not impossible to make the plant grow in the way you want it.  It is mainly due to the type of environment that you keep the calathea medallion in.  By creating the proper environment, the calathea medallion will thrive.


One of the most important factors to remember about most calathea plants is that they do not do well in direct light.  If you are going to keep the calathea medallion indoors, then it would be best to keep it in medium to low light without any direct sunlight.  It is important for the calathea medallion to keep the same sort of habitat that it would in its tropical origins.  Therefore, make sure not to place the calathea medallion by a window that gets a lot of direct light coming through.  This will damage the plant and cause it to dry out.  This light should be bright, but low.  For example, a room that faces north will never pull in direct light would be an ideal place for the calathea medallion.  You could also put it in a bright lit corner of a room as well.  However, if you notice that the leaves are starting to turn a brownish color or curl, then you might need to move the plant to a better location.

Calathea veitchiana
Calathea Medallion (Calathea veitchiana)


When soiling the calatheas medallion, it is important to remember to keep this plant moist, but make sure not to waterlog it.  A mix of perlite or bark with potting soil will work best.  Make sure to keep the pH levels at around 6.5 and avoid any exposure to high fluoride environments.  You can use store bought soils as well, but be sure to buy soil that has low potassium because it will affect the color of the plant.  You can also get soil that is higher on nitrogen, which promotes more lush green color.


When watering your calathea medallion, the soil needs to stay moist.  Be sure to water the top of the soil if it begins drying out.  On the bottom, have some drainage holes to allow water to flow through nicely.  You can also allow water to sit in an open pot overnight to get rid of any fluoride or chlorine.  The calathea medallion does not like to be dry and prefer to be in a setting that is similar to their tropic origins.  Generally speaking, you want to water your calathea medallions two or three times a week in the summer months, but be careful not to overwater.  But definitely keep an eye on the top soil as that will be your best indication of the dryness occurring in the plant.


Calathea medallion enjoys high humidity levels.  You still may find that your home’s humidity still too dry for your calathea medallion.  If you notice that your leaves are drooping or curling, then there are a few things that can be done to give the plants what it needs.  For starters, group your plants together with the calathea medallion.  It will help to create additional moisture for the plant.  You can also mist your calathea medallion using distilled water, but be sure not to spray directly on the leaves, as it might lead to the growth of fungi.  You can also use a humidifier with your indoor plants to help keep the humidity level around 50%.  Having a high humidity environment for your calathea medallion is the best way to keep it healthy and happy.

Temperatures and Hardiness

As for the temperature, the best temperature for the calathea medallion is between 65°F – 85°F (18°C – 27°C.)  The average room temperature should work fine for this plant, but make sure to keep the calathea medallion away from any cold drafts or hot sunlight.  This plant reacts to different temperature changes and is very delicate.  If you are growing the calathea medallion outdoors, then bring the plant in if it starts to get too cold outside. You can grow the calathea medallion outdoor if you are living in the US Hardiness Zones of 8 and up.  The best growing zones for the calathea medallion is between nine and eleven.  The outside temperature needs to be warm and humid, much like Brazil.

Calathea Medallion
Calathea Medallion


When fertilizing your calathea medallion, be careful not to apply too much because it can cause too much leggy growth and can even kill the plant.  The fertilizer that you use should be lower on potassium and higher in nitrogen.  During the growing season in the summer, fertilizer should be applied every few weeks.  Any standard fertilizer that is tailored for houseplants should work fine.  It is important to flush out the soil after the growing season and when fertilizer time is over.  This will ensure that any buildup of unnecessary nutrients will be washed out.


The best way to propagate your calathea medallion is through the root splitting method.  This means to cut the roots in half and then replanting.  That replanting should be done in the same potting mixture that the mother plant uses.  Once it is repotted, make sure to water the plant well and keep it out of bright light.  The best time to propagate the calathea medallion is after the winter when the plant will be moving towards the growing period.  Give it a good drink before you start the propagating process.  Cut off any new growths into new plants with their own root systems and put it into a smaller pot than the mother pot.  Fill it with potting soil and make sure that it is well-draining but holds moisture.  Water it well enough to wet the soil, but does not soak through.  If you do this in the early months of spring, make sure that the pot is kept out of any draughty areas as well.

The calathea medallion will grow fairly well in these conditions and can get to about two feet in height.  Depending on the environment, the soil, and the watering the calathea medallion will grow differently but will not be too invasive. 

Common Problems

Many of the calathea are quite fussy when it comes to caring for them, however, the calathea medallion is not as bad as its counterparts.  That being said, there are still some pests and diseases that you should keep an eye out for when caring for your plant.  For pests, spider mites can be a big problem.  They are so small that they can barely be seen and are usually discovered when the eggs have hatched.  These pesky spider mites will eat and destroy the leaves and stem, causing it to roll up and shrivel.  To find them, look for purple underside of the leaves with a sprinkling of white dust.  Best thing you can do is gently scrub the leaves with soap and water and rinse the whole plant with a hose. 

As mentioned before, you also want to keep an eye out for how much you are watering the plant.  Root rot is hard to detect but you may notice the plant becoming mushy from the base or even a foul smell of damp soil, even if you have eased up on the watering.  This will show a fungal infection to the point where they cannot absorb any water or nutrients from the soil.  If this happens, you may not be able to save the plant.  To avoid this, make sure you are only watering the calathea medallion when the top soil is dry.

If you see the leaves curling or turning colors, that is a common sign of distress for the calathea medallion.  Check the environment that the plant is living in and monitor how much watering you are doing.  Usually when a plant falters like this, there is some issue with the aforementioned aspects.  If the leaves are drooping, for example, the calathea medallion is probably too cold and needs to be placed into a section that is warmer.

Other Information

The calathea medallion does not bloom any flowers or anything, but the leaves do curl up at night so do not be surprised if the plant looks different between night and day. 

The good news is that the calathea medallion is perfectly safe for house pets and children.  They are non-toxic plants and are safe with dogs and cats.  That being said, it would be in your best interest to put these plants somewhere safe where pets and children cannot disturb them too much.  Since the calathea medallion is so delicate and fussy, it is best to make sure that the environment is picked out before you even buy one.  That way, you will have the landscape scoped out and ready to go.  As stated before in this article, humidity and temperature are key factors for the calathea medallion to remain healthy.  If a cat, dog, or child knock it over, then it will traumatize the plant and will need to immediately be repotted and fixed up.  Otherwise, the plants could die.  If you are putting so much effort and commitment into the calathea medallion, then it would be best to keep it in a spot that is safe for it to be admired for its beauty and not damaged from the household occupants. 

Where to Find Calathea Medallion for Sale

If you are sold on buying one of these beautiful and popular plants, there are many options for you to purchase one.  As always, Etsy, Amazon, Walmart, Target, Home Depot, Lowe’s and Macy’s have calathea medallions for sale at their shops.  A fully grown calathea medallion will run you anywhere between $20-50.  This will depend highly on the size of the pot and the size of the plant.  Many of these companies will deliver the calathea medallion to you, but there might be an additional cost. 

However, many of these companies rarely have anyone really looking after these plants.  The last thing you want to do is buy a plant, take it home, and then have to either nurse it back to health or have it die on you altogether.  With that said, it might be better to go to an actual flower shop to either find this plant or to pick up seeds where you can start from scratch.  Not only do they take better care of their plants, but most of these places have professionals who know the plant well and can further recommend helpful hints to make sure your calathea medallion has a long life.

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