Calathea Louisae is also famous as Thai beauty. It has beautiful long green leaves with yellow stripes.
Calathea Louisae care is very simple and anyone can grow it in plant pots.
For its good health do not expose it to direct sunlight. Also, keep the room humidity on the higher side because thai beauty is a rainforest plant.
In general, it needs indirect light, moist soil, and warm temperature. High humidity is required to prevent leaf damage. Fertilize Calathea Louisae occasionally to boost its overall health.
Below is the complete growing guide on Calathea Louisae aka the Thai beauty plant.
Louisae is naturally found in the rainforests of Brazil. This clears that it is a warm weather plant of the Calathea genus and Marantaceae family.
It is a temperature-sensitive plant. In low temperatures (mostly in the evening time) Calathea Louisae folds its leaves like we fold our hands in prayer.
Due to this habit, it is often called the Calathea Louisae prayer plant or Thai beauty prayer plant.
It has dark green leaves with yellow stripes and a burgundy underside.
Under ideal growing conditions, the thai beauty plants grow 2 to 2.5 feet high. The leaf’s size varies between 6 to 9 inches.
Depending upon the richness of the soil and quality of fertilizers.
It is easily available in garden stores in North America and you can also buy it from online plant-selling websites.
For a small plant, you will pay $ 10 and $18 to $ 25 for a big matured plant.
Louisae is a type of decorative plant. But it will not produce flowers when grown indoors.
If you want to see white flowers on your plant then grow it outdoors under the canopy of large trees. Because direct sun rays are harmful to its health.
USDA hardiness zone 8 or above is perfect for outdoor growing Calathea Louisae.
Calathea Louisae Care Needs
Light Requirements of Calathea Louisae
Light is a crucial part of Calathea Louisae care. Because in low light it will not develop yellow stripes and also lose its bright green color.
For its good health, place your plant in indirect sunlight. It needs a moderate amount of light to develop its beautiful colorful leaves.
In general, it needs 5 to 6 hours of moderate light.
Place it a few feet away from a sunny window. If there is no sunny window then use grow lights to full fill its light requirements.
If your plant is not producing yellow stripes this means you place it in low light. Increase the amount of light and it will heal itself.
To measure the amount of light in a particular place you can use the light meters. This device is very useful in taking care of indoor growing plants.
On the other hand, too much bright light or direct sunlight can burn the beautiful leaves of thai beauty.
Too much light also triggers dehydration situation and it is hard to save dehydrated Calathea Louisae.
Therefore, carefully choose the place for your plant.
Watering Thai Beauty
Water plays important role in creating an ideal growing environment for the thai beauty prayer plant. In its natural home, C. Louisae grows in moist soil.
You also need to keep the soil moist 365 days of a year.
It is only possible by supplying a good amount of water to the plant. But this plant is also prone to root rot.
Root rot is a result of overwatering the plant.
Therefore, you need to learn the correct watering technique. To maintain the balance between water and potting soil.
Before watering your plant, you should check the soil. If the top 1 to 2 inches of the soil are dry, give some water to your plant.
But if the potting soil has a good amount of moisture in its top layers, then do not think about watering it.
If you are an experienced plant grower then you can easily check the soil moisture by poking your finger in the soil.
For beginners and for proper reading you can use a soil moisture testing meter. This inexpensive device is easy to use, portable and gives exact moisture level reading in a few seconds.
Quality Water for Calathea Louisae Care
The type of water also decides the health and size of your growing plant. I do not prefer tap water. Because it contains unwanted substances like chlorine and fluoride.
They are not required by the thai beauty prayer plant to grow.
These substances get collected at the base of the plant and block the root functions. As a result, roots become unable to absorb nutrients and water.
This makes your plant dehydrated and nutrient deficient.
As a result, you will see yellow leaves with crispy edges of a weak growing plant.
To prevent this problem always use filtered water for indoor growing plants. This is called soft water and is easy for roots to absorb from the potting soil.
Your plant spends less energy on transporting soft water and uses saved energy to grow its leaves and stems.
Calathea Louisae needs potting soil that holds moisture for a long time without being wet. This type of soil is called well-draining soil.
The commercial potting soils are all fast-draining soil. But for your plant, you need to make some adjustments to the formula.
Choose a soil formula that has peat and perlite (the percentage of each ingredient does not matter). This combination is extremely helpful to grow calathea plants.
I am an experienced grower so I buy ingredients in bulk and prepare my own potting soil.
65 % peat moss + 35 % perlite or I use sand in case I don’t have perlite. Sometimes I mix perlite and sand in equal quantities.
The tricky part is correcting the pH of the potting soil. The General recommended pH for C. Louisae is between 6.2 to 7.5 pH.
Use a soil pH testing kit to measure the pH of your prepared formula. If you are using ready-to-use commercial soil then no need to check the pH.
In case your prepared soil formula has too high a pH, use sulfur to adjust it. For too low pH add baking soda to correct it.
If you are growing your plant indoors in plant pots. Then you must give it a balanced form of fertilizer once in 30 days from March to September.
Outdoor growing Thai beauty does not need fertilizers. It will get everything from the garden soil.
Potted plants always need extra nutrients to make their structure strong and beautiful.
You should use liquid form balanced fertilizer. There are many general-purpose fertilizers that are made for all types of houseplants.
No need to choose any specific type of fertilizer. Check the ratio of NPK, it should be well balanced. Like 10 -10-10 or 20-20-10.
To reduce your fertilizer expenses, you can add compost to the soil (just a few ounces or roughly 10% in the formula.)
Calathea Louisae will grow perfectly fine at indoor temperatures. The ideal temperature range is 65 to 85 degrees F.
Keep your home temperature in this range and your all tropical plants along with Calathea Louisae will stay healthy and thriving.
Below 65 F is not suitable for its health. Your plant will stop absorbing water and nutrients from the soil.
This will make your plant nutrient deficient and it will develop yellow leaf edges.
Do not forget that the Thai beauty prayer plant grows in warm weather. Therefore, protect it from cold winds.
This is the difficult part of Calathea Louisae care. Because in rain forests it enjoys high humidity generally above 85%.
This range is not possible to maintain inside homes. It is also not suitable for humans.
But the good news is this plant can live in moderate humidity. Between 50 to 65 % is the perfect range for good health.
It is also easy to maintain this range throughout the year.
On low humid days, you can use the pebble tray method to give comfort to your plant. If you have a good budget then invest in a plant humidifier.
This portable device is inexpensive and is a one-time investment.
It is easy to use and you can set the range, it will automatically turn ON when it detects the drop in air moisture.
Occasionally you can spray water on its leaves. But if the room is warm enough then I suggest avoid misting water.
Because warm weather and wet leaves result in bacterial leaf spots.
Pruning is not necessary for the Calathea Louisae plant. Because it is not a messy plant like vine plants.
One stem of this plant will only have one leaf on it. This clean structure of the plant reduces the need for pruning.
Moreover, we only trim those parts of the plants that are overgrown or dead, or damaged. This means you only need trimming when the leaves of your plant become yellow or dead.
Cutting and removing them will encourage new growth and also encourage flowering.
Use sharp shears for trimming Calathea Louisae. After pruning, use rubbing alcohol to sterilize the tools before storing them.
Calathea plant parts and their sap is safe for pets and humans. This makes it the best indoor plant. Teach your pets not to destroy this beautiful houseplant.
Almost all Pets have the habit to chew on different things.
Shift Calathea Louisae to the big pot every 2 years. It is a moderate growing plant so frequent repotting is not required.
Repot your plant once you see:
- Roots are coming out through the drainage hole of a plant pot.
- Roots are visible over the top surface of the plant soil.
- The root ball is compact and the soil easily gets dry out.
- Everything is good but your plant looks weak.
Propagating Calathea Louisae
I tried the stem cutting method but it is less successful than the root division method. Stem propagation needs lots of time to develop new roots and it is difficult.
On the other side, just divide the roots and have a second Calathea Louisae in a few minutes.
- Water your plant well before 24 hours of propagation.
- Take your plant outside or cover the floor with new paper.
- Gently lose the potting soil and tap around the plant pot.
- Lift the plant up and place it over the newspaper
- Remove the soil from the roots but do not use water to rinse them
- Divide the roots into two parts and this way you will have two plants.
- Plant the division in the new pot and give some water to moisten the soil.
- Give regular care to your newly propagated plant.
Common Problems with Calathea Louisae Care
Like other houseplants, Calathea Louisae also encounters some pests and diseases at some point. The diseases are the result of neglected care.
Brown Leaf Tips
These are the result of underwatering, low humidity, and plant injury. Sometimes overwatering can also cause brown leaf tips.
Therefore, limit the use of fertilizers and learn the right watering technique.
Yellow Calathea Louisae Leaves
Yellow leaves are the result of overwatering and underwatering. In overwatering roots get root rot and this makes them weak.
They do not absorb a good amount of water and this makes the green leaves yellow.
Whereas underwatering causes dehydration and plant use stored water to live. This turns green leaves to yellow.
It is a disease that eats the roots of Calathea Louisae. Only the excessive use of water is the cause of this root fungus.
To save your infected plant you need to cut the infected roots and repot it in new potting soil.
If you learn the watering method of Calathea Louisae. Then you will never face root rot-like problems.
Pest Infestation and Calathea Louisae
Aphids, mealybugs, and scales are the pests that are enemies of your Calathea Louisae aka Thai beauty plant.
These pests suck the nutrients of the plant and make your plant weak and droopy. There are several reasons for pest attacks.
The thing that matters is the solution to this problem and the prevention method.
To prevent pest infestation, you should use neem oil spray and mist twice on your plant. Neem prevents pest attacks and fungus infections.
In case of strong infestation, you can use rubbing alcohol to wipe stems and leaves one by one. This way you can wipe your entire plant with rubbing alcohol to get rid of pests.
You can rinse your plant with insecticidal soap. This soap is safe to use on small to medium size houseplants.
Move your plant outdoors and rinse it with the soap.
Then allow it to drain extra water and keep it separate from other healthy plants. When you see healthy signs then you can move it to its permanent place.