Calathea Warscewiczii (Jungle Velvet Calathea): Ultimate Care Guide

There is a beautiful tropical plant called the Calathea Warscewiczii, also known as Jungle Velvet Calathea, Maranta Warscewiczii, and Velvet Touch, which is known for its gorgeous dark-green crispy leaves and stunning foliage patterns.  While quite a fussy plant, this species of perennial plant is native to areas like Costa Rica and Nicaragua.  It is unique and vibrant with its long leaves and very velvety touch, which also feature deep purple undersides.  The leaves are also ridged on either side, but are fairly thick and long compared to most other leaves. 

This Calathea Warscewiczii plant offers several benefits which include purifying the air and providing fresh oxygen.  This will promote a healthier environment by taking in more carbon dioxide and releasing more oxygen into the air.  It also gives a pleasant and calming effect to any indoor setting.  Furthermore, the Calathea Warscewiczii removes unwanted toxins present in the form of dust.  This plant works especially well for anyone who has respiratory or dry skin issues because it adds additional moisture to the room.  They are kid and pet friendly and they can thrive in any room in the house. 

The Calathea Warscewiczii is part of the Calathea family and are often classed as prayer plants.  This is mainly in part to the leaves moving through the day which resembles a figure praying.  Since the Calathea Warscewiczii is a bit complicated to keep in your house, please follow this guide to make sure that your Calathea Warscewiczii stays healthy and happy.

Calathea Warscewiczii Care

The Calathea Warscewiczii can be a bit trying to take care of at first, but they are certainly not the most difficult plants to take care of.  In order to care for a Calathea Warscewiczii, it is imperative to provide it with bright to medium indirect light.  The potting mix must be consistently moist and the humidity should be high.  Also, be sure to use a well-draining potting mix so the Calathea Warscewiczii does not get overwatered.

If outside, the Calathea Warscewiczii thrives in areas that are similar to its native lands in Central America.  These hot and humid areas give the Calathea Warscewiczii everything it needs to survive and thrive. 

The Calathea Warscewiczii will be damaged if placed in direct sunlight, so make sure to only give the plant bright to medium indirect light.  One of the biggest advantages to keeping the Calathea Warscewiczii indoors is the use of grow lights, which give you a lot of control on how much light they actually receive. 

Calathea Warscewiczii
Calathea Warscewiczii

As for soil requirements, the Calathea Warscewiczii requires a well-draining pot mix that needs to remain moist.  It is recommended that you use a potting mix like Espoma or perlite to aerate the soil.  Using peat is a useful ingredient with a lot of benefits like helping the soil keep its nutrients.  It is not such a bad idea to add mulch to your potting mix to help keep the roots moist and cool. 

As mentioned before, the Calathea Warscewiczii needs to remain moist and needs watering fairly regularly.  The soil needs to be moist and damp, but be careful not to waterlog the soil.  This will cause the roots to rot and the plant will eventually die.  This is why it is imperative to have soil that will drain properly.  You can also use a pebble tray to allow the water to be absorbed into the soil.  Another important tip is to try to collect rainwater or use filtered or distilled water.  This is because some chemicals in certain types of water can damage the plant.  Try sticking your finger in the soil to test how moist the soil is.  If the soil does not stick to your finger at all, then you will need to water it more often.  This goes double for the summer time.  During the summer, it is best to water the Calathea Warscewiczii every two days or so.

Calathea Warscewiczii love humidity and they are known for being picky about their temperatures and moisture.  If they do not get enough moisture, then they can get brown and crispy leaf tips.  Some owners have chosen to mist their Calathea Warscewiczii to create a proper humid environment around the plant.  A humidifier works better in these kinds of situations.  The goal here is to maintain high humidity to keep the foliage healthy.  You want to aim for higher than 50% to make it grow and look its best.

Going with the humidity is the temperature.  The ideal temperature to keep the Calathea Warscewiczii is between 65-85ºF (18-29ºC).  The Calathea Warscewiczii is intolerant to colder temperatures and drafts.  Therefore, make sure you put the Calathea Warscewiczii in an ideal place in your house so that it can keep its temperature, humidity, and water somewhat level.  If you plant your Calathea Warscewiczii in the middle of winter, you may want to consider a heater.  In summer, you may be tempted to turn on your air conditioner, but your Calathea Warscewiczii will not like the consistent cool air.  Furthermore, the hardiness zone for the Calathea Warscewiczii is between 10-12.

When fertilizing your Calathea Warscewiczii, it would be best to do it during the spring and summer seasons.  Whatever you do, do not over-fertilize this plant.  Once a month during these seasons will be plenty for the Calathea Warscewiczii.  It would be best to use a water-soluble fertilizer and dilute it down to about half of its strength, depending on its size.  For a smaller plant, dilute it down to a quarter strength, otherwise, you can potentially burn the leaves.  Stay away from chemical fertilizers and always go for the organic ones.  Also, do not fertilize the Calathea Warscewiczii in winter.


When propagating the Calathea Warscewiczii, it is important to know that it contains a rhizome in the roots.  When removing the plant from the soil, make sure to select a rhizome, which looks like a tube like part of the plant which has the roots.  Use some clean shears to cut the rhizome into two to four pieces and make sure that each cutting still maintains some of the root.  Trim back or remove any roots that are unhealthy to ensure that it will grow properly.  The roots that are unhealthy are usually dark or mushy.  Then, plant one or two of the rhizomes just below some fresh soil.  Water it lightly as it will need some time to grow stronger roots.  After the stronger root system emerged then you can continue with normal care.  The best time to do this is during the spring or early summer.

Calathea Warscewiczii in a pot
Calathea Warscewiczii in a pot


The growth of the Calathea Warscewiczii will turn into a beautiful luscious evergreen jungle plant that can do well in indoors and outdoors as well, but this very much depends on the climate.  The Calathea Warscewiczii will grow up to over three feet in height.  In a pot, the plant can grow 20 to 40 inches (50 cm to 100 cm) tall and 20 to 40 inches (50 cm to 100 cm) wide.  It will grow large leaves with a fishtail pattern in shades of light and dark green.  The leaves themselves can grow up to two feet wide.  However, due to the sensitive nature of the Calathea Warscewiczii, various factors can affect the growth of the plant.  It is a moderate grower and takes some patience for it to grow to its full size.

Problems, Pests, and Diseases

One of the biggest threats to the Calathea Warscewiczii is spider mites, which might attack the plant.  This will happen in the humidity is too low and the air becomes too dry.  You will be able to see these little spider mites’ webbing between the stems and on the lower side of the leaves.  In order to get rid of them, you can spray your plant with an alcoholic/water solution.  Be careful not to use too strong of a solution or you could damage the plant. 

There is also the possibility of fungus gnats, which can also infest your plant.  These fungal gnats will not be too bad of a problem if you deal with them quickly.  A weak insecticide can be used to deal with these little pests.  There are also a legless insect called scales that can come in many colors and extremely hard to spot.  The kind of look like little bumps on the plant and they excrete sticky honeydew that can result in sooty mold.  Using a type of isopropyl alcohol is the best way to treat these pesky pests.

An important thing to remember about the Calathea Warscewiczii is that the humidity is a major factor for its health.  If the humidity level is too low, then the leaves will tell you by turning brown at the tips and the leaf faces will start turning yellow.  This can be dealt with by spraying the plant with a mist spray or move the plant to a spot that has more humidity.  The plant will also lose its colors if it gets too much direct sunlight and the leaves will begin to droop if they do not get enough water.  Since the Calathea Warscewiczii is such a delicate plant, it will be in your best interest to take proper care of it and make sure you have an area suitable for it, otherwise the plant will wither away and die.


If you are planning on repotting the Calathea Warscewiczii, then it is best to use fertile, organic soil that is moist and well-draining.  Make sure that your new pot has drainage holes at the bottom to prevent water from accumulating at the base.  It is recommended that you use non-plastic pots, like terracotta or clay pots to reduce pollution cause by plastic.  Plus, the alternative pots just look nicer.  Place a layer of gravel at the base of the new pot to ensure proper drainage.  It would also be good to replace the soil every few years for the good of the plant. However, it should be noted that the repotting process only needs to be done once every two years or so.  If there is slow growth or the Calathea Warscewiczii seems like it needs more water than usual, then it might be time to report the plant and give it some new, fertile soil.  Another sign is when the foliage seems to be oversized compared to the pot.

The Calathea Warscewiczii does not flower, but its leaves will close at night and then reopen in the day time.  While there are many plants that are toxic to pets and children, the Calathea Warscewiczii is not one of them.  This plant is very clean and will not harm anyone in the household, but be sure to take care of any pests quickly that might show themselves, so as not to add unwanted guests to your house.  Regardless, it might be in your benefit to keep plants out of reach to children anyway just to be on the safe side.

Where to Find Calathea Warscewiczii for Sale

If you are looking to add this beautiful jungle plant to your home or office, then you can easily find the Calathea Warscewiczii sold on Etsy.  The price can vary a bit, but generally speaking the price of the Calathea Warscewiczii is around $30-40.  You might be able to find the Calathea Warscewiczii in other major retailers like Walmart, Target, or Amazon.  You can also buy the Calathea Warscewiczii in bulk in many places for around $100.  However, if you are looking for quality over quantity, then it is recommended that you find the plant at your local floral shop.  These people can give much more advice for the Calathea Warscewiczii.  Since it is such a finicky and sensitive plant, it may be in your best interest to talk with a professional someone to make sure you have all the right equipment for the Calathea Warscewiczii, so as to give it the best possible life it can get.

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