Calathea musaica is a beautiful plant with amazing leaves. It has a green line on yellowish leaves. This forms a beautiful network of lines that cover the top surface of plant leaves. This is the reason it is also called the calathea network plant.
Easy Calathea musaica care techniques makes it a good houseplant than other calatheas. Even if you are new to the houseplant, you can still grow them in containers. Just make sure your plant container has a drainage hole.
Place the plant pot in indirect light, set the humidity between 50 to 70 %. And use well-draining soil. Fertilization is only required in spring and summer.
Today we will explain how to grow and care for calathea musaica plants.
About the plant
Calathea Musaica, network plant, maranta bella are its few popular names. The plant is naturally found in Brazil. And a member of the Marantaceae family.
Where other calathea plants are easily available in all parts of the country. Calathea network plants are hard to find out.
Most people think that calathea plants are hard to care for. So, they leave this plant in the garden stores. But in actual calathea musaica care is easier than other same family plants.
Follow our calathea musaica care guide and grow it in your home. I am sure you will love this plant.
Quick care steps
Network Plant, Calathea bella
Need moist soil so water frequently
50 to 70 %
Pests and Diseases
Spider mites, mealybugs, etc.
Calathea musaica Care guide
Follow the below-written care guide and grow healthy beautiful plants in few days. Move to the last section of the article if you are dealing with plant problems.
Light requirement of Calathea Musaica
Calathea musaica plant is naturally grown in Brazilian tropical jungles. This means they grow under the shadow of large trees. This clears that the plant does not need much bright light. It can survive in low light conditions. Other calathea plant species cannot make it in low-light locations.
Find a place in your home where this plant can get sufficient filtered light.
Do not put it on the window sill because it cannot tolerate the afternoon sunlight. It will be too bright for the plant. High intense light turns its leaves into brown color.
On the other side if you see your plant is stretched towards the source of light. This means the light you’re giving it is not sufficient for its growth. It needs more bright light to make the plant food.
For apartment living growers LED grow lights are the best option. Grow plants under these lights and have healthy beautiful houseplants.
Note: Before buying a grow light check its price and energy consumption rating.
This is a little tricky part because calathea musaica needs consistently moist soil. But they are more prone to root rot.
Their watering needs also change according to the season, light exposure, and humidity. In summer they need more water only if humidity is also low.
To avoid mistakes, you need to stick to the basic watering technique. Check the soil condition. If the top 1 inch is dry, water it thoroughly. Otherwise, wait for another day.
The pot you use must have a draining hole. Because when you water it thoroughly. There should be some way for extra water to come out of the pot.
Where other calatheas are not sensitive to water. This plant is very sensitive. If there are unwanted salts in the water like fluoride and chloride. The plant will not absorb the water and its leaves develop brown tips.
In this condition, you need to take the plant out of its pot and flush the potting soil. Do not use tap water. Stick to the distilled water or rainwater.
To store rainwater, use rainwater barrels.
Keep the temperature between 18 to 30 degrees C. But it can survive in 15 degrees C. Once the temperature drops below this point. Then this plant starts suffering from respiratory issues.
Warm weather is not a problem for calathea musaica. There is another concern with high temperature and that is frequent water. Because the hot air makes the soil dry in few hours.
Frequent watering is not good for the plant because it is prone to root rot.
Therefore, grow it inside your home at normal room temperature. Generally, we have 18 to 24 degrees C room temperature.
The best soil will be the commercial potting soil. This type of soil holds the water for a long time and reduces the need for frequent watering applications.
But there is only a problem with this and that is musaica plants need well-draining soil. So, you need to mix some amendments. Perlite is a good choice. If the potting mix that you buy already has perlite in it then no need to mix it.
If it is absent in the mix then buy it separately and add it into the potting mix.
Never use garden soil and organic compost together. Because the organic substances start to decompose in a consistently moist environment.
This can lead to root rot and you will lose your plants.
You can fertilize the musaica plants in 2 methods. Both are equally effective, choose which one is easy for you. Remember that fertilizers can boost the health of your growing network plants.
First method: Add fertilizer to the soil just two weeks before the planting. This will make the soil extra fertile. This makes it easy for you to grow and care for the calathea musaica plant.
Fertilize the plants every time in their growing season. And use liquid houseplant fertilizer. Granular fertilizers are for outdoor in-ground rooted plants. Apply fertilizers once every 4 weeks according to the plant health.
I recommend liquid fertilizers because they are easy for plants to absorb and to transport to all parts of the plant. Whereas powdered forms of nutrients build up salts in the rooting area.
This can be a deadly condition for delicate plants. Once this happens plants are unable to absorb nutrients and even water from the pot. The soil becomes wet because plants are unable to absorb water. This invites root rot.
Whereas over-fertilization causes brown leaves and, in some case, totally burn the leaves and plant roots.
Musaica needs humidity between 50 to 75 % for optimum growth. Brown leaf tips and curling edges are the signs of low humidity. If the humidity goes above 75 % then this will increase the chances of fungal infection.
Therefore, you have to keep it in the normal range. Generally, we have our home humidity between 40 to 60 %. This range is good to grow houseplants like calathea.
Do not try to increase the humidity to a 100% level. Because even in its native place (tropical rain forest), we do not have 100% humidity in the air. Moreover, we cannot breathe in 100% humidity. This will cause lung and other respiratory problems.
Excess moisture in the air invites many harmful bacteria.
In case your home humidity is lower than 50 % then you can turn on the humidifier.
You can put two big bowls of water next to the plant. When the dry air touches the water, it gets evaporated. These water vapors add moisture to the air of the room.
There are many other ways of increasing humidity. You can adapt to any of them. Choose that methods which need less time and fewer efforts like a pebble tray.
In this technique, you take a tray filled with pebble and water then place the pot over it. The water get evaporates and increases the humidity.
10 to 15 % humidity can be easily increased by grouping the plants together. Make a group of all your houseplant in a room. This will help them to form a high humid bubble in a limited area.
Calathea network plant does not need pruning. You will just need to remove the dead and fallen leaves. In case you are lucky enough and your plant grows more than the normal size. Then you can cut the overgrown parts.
Otherwise, no need to cut and remove any part of the plant.
Plants like calathea grow from the rhizome. This means they are slow-growing plants. Every slow growing plant does not need repotting in the first 2 to 3 years. If you see the roots are bounding over no need to worry. Your musaica plant will tolerate it. But it will not tolerate frequent movement.
If you strongly feel your plants need repotting then follow the below steps
- Gently take out the plant from its current pot.
- Remove the old soil and inspect the roots.
- Do not touch the roots or use any sharp tools.
- Choose the 1 to 2 inches wider and deeper pot and the current pot.
- Fill it with the potting mix and plant the calathea in it.
- Give some water to make the plant comfortable.
- Do not mist water on plant leaves at the time of repotting.
- The new pot should have a draining hole
- Tetra cotta pots are a good choice for calathea plants.
Propagate calathea musaica
The only possible and easiest method of propagation is by dividing the rhizome into parts. At the time of repotting. Divide the rhizome with hands. Do not use tools because with them you can damage the offsets.
Once you divide them. Plant them in different pots. They will not show any growth for the first 40 days. This time is called traumatic time. After that, you will see slow growth in all divisions.
Calathea musaica pests
Scales, fungus gnats, spider mites, and mealybugs are the few common pests. They mostly attack the weak plants. If you give proper calathea musaica care then your plants will not get infected by them. Let’s say your plants become infected and pests are destroying your plants. In this situation you have to act fast and you need a strong solution.
First of all, make a strict schedule to check your plants. Inspect the underside of leaves, upper surface of soil and plant pot.
For all types of pests use isopropyl alcohol and neem oil spray. First, spray alcohol on the plants this will kill them in few minutes. Then apply diluted neem oil on the plant leaves.
This way you can get rid of them. You can also use insecticidal soap to wash your plant.
Freshwater will be the best choice for plant shower.
Calathea musaica care and diseases
You will be surprised to know that your calathea musaica plants are resistant to many houseplant diseases. No need to worry about the common houseplant diseases.
The only part of the concern is fungus bacteria. Overwatering invites the fungi and these fungi destroy the plant roots in the first stage. Then this spread to stems of the plants and then to other nearby plants.
So, follow the good watering technique and have beautiful healthy growing calathea musaica plants.