Calathea Leopardina: The Exotic Houseplant That Is Easy To Care For

Looking for an exotic houseplant that is easy to care for? Look no further than the Calathea leopardina! This beautiful plant is native to South America and can be found in tropical rainforests. It has dark green leaves with striking silver markings that make it a showstopper in any home.

It is a very low-maintenance plant and is perfect for those who don’t have a lot of time to spend on maintenance. In this blog post, we will discuss the care requirements of the Calathea leopardina and how to keep your plant healthy and looking its best!

What is Calathea Leopardina?

beautiful evergreen leaf of calathea leopardina

The Calathea leopardina, also known as the leopard plant, is a tropical plant native to Brazil. It is a member of the family marantaceae, which includes several other species of Calathea.

The leopard plant gets its name from its distinctive leaves, which are marked with dark green spots that resemble the spots on a leopard’s coat. The plant grows to a height of two to three feet and has wide, elliptical leaves that can reach up to eight inches in length.

The flowers of the leopard plant are small and white, and they bloom in clusters throughout the year.

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While the Calathea leopardina is a relatively easy plant to care for, it does have some specific lighting requirements. This plant prefers bright, indirect light and will do best if it is placed near a window that receives morning or afternoon sun.

If the light is too intense, the leaves will begin to fade and the markings will become less distinct. Conversely, if the light is too low, the leaves will become floppy and the plant may become leggy. 

If you cannot provide indirect sunlight, you can supplement with an artificial light source, such as a fluorescent grow light.

Watering Patterns

lady watering plants in pot

When it comes to watering your plant, it is important to never let the soil dry out completely. Allow the top layer of soil to dry out before watering again.

Be careful not to overwater as this can lead to root rot. In general, watering once a week should be sufficient. If you notice the leaves start to droop, this is an indication that the plant is thirsty and needs more water.

Maintaining Humidity Levels

The Calathea leopardina requires high humidity levels to thrive, and there are a few different ways to provide this environment. One option is to use a humidifier, which will raise the overall level of moisture in the air.

Another option is to place the plant on a pebble tray, which will help to increase humidity through evaporation. Finally, regular misting will also help to keep the leaves healthy and hydrated.

calathea leopardina mini trivia info


When it comes to plants, the old adage “it’s all about the root” couldn’t be more true. A plant’s roots are responsible for functions such as anchoring the plant in the ground and absorbing water and nutrients from the soil.

Therefore, it’s important to make sure that your plants are growing in soil that is rich in nutrients and well-drained.

If you’re looking to grow Calathea leopardina, one of the best soils to use is a potting mix designed for African violets. This type of soil is light and airy, allowing the roots to easily spread out and absorb moisture.


Fertilizing your leopardina is vital to keeping your plant healthy. Use a balanced fertilizer that is high in nitrogen and low in phosphorus. Apply the fertilizer every two weeks during the growing season and once a month during the winter.

Common Issues

One common issue is browning or yellowing leaves. This can be caused by several factors, including too much direct sunlight, too little water, or low humidity.

Another common issue is leaf curling. This can be caused by stress from too much or too little light, temperature changes, or drafts. If your Calathea leopardina is experiencing either of these issues, make sure to adjust its care accordingly.


spider mite on a leaf

While the leopard plant is generally easy to care for, it can be susceptible to pests such as scale insects, spider mites, and mealybugs. These pests can cause damage to the leaves of the plant, leading to yellowing or browning.

Additionally, pests can introduce diseases to the leopard plant, which can weaken the plant and make it more susceptible to other problems.

Fortunately, there are a few ways to control pests on Calathea leopardina plants. For example, regularly cleaning the leaves with a soft cloth can remove mealybugs before they have a chance to establish themselves.

Additionally, using a diluted solution of dish soap and water can help to control scale insects. By taking these measures, you can help keep your leopard plant healthy and free from pests.

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Root Rot

Root rot is a serious condition that can affect many different types of plants, including Calathea leopardina. This disease is caused by a variety of fungi that attack the roots, causing them to rot and eventually die. If left untreated, root rot can quickly spread to the rest of the plant.

There are a few different ways to treat root rot, depending on the severity of the infection. In some cases, simply removing the affected roots and replanting them in sterile soil may be enough to save the plant. More severe infections may require the use of fungicides or other chemicals.

Whatever the treatment, it is imperative to act quickly once root rot is suspected, as this disease can spread rapidly and kill even healthy plants if left unchecked.


The leopard plant blooms infrequently, but when it does, the flowers are small and white. The blooming process begins with the formation of a bud at the base of the leaf.

The bud slowly grows and opens until it finally blossoms into a flower. After blooming, the flower will eventually fade and fall off, leaving behind a seed that can be used to grow new plants.

The Calathea leopardina does not typically bloom when grown indoors. However, with the proper care, it is possible for the plant to flower. To encourage blooming, keep the plant in a bright location and fertilize regularly.

Growth Rate

Despite its beauty, it is not the easiest plant to care for. One of the most challenging aspects of owning this plant is its slow growth rate. It can take months, or even years, for this plant to reach its full size.

As a result, patience is key when caring for a Calathea leopardina. However, the wait is well worth it.


Propagation is a simple and rewarding way to add to your collection. In nature, this species of plant propagates via runners, or stolons, which root themselves at the nodes, or joints, along the stem. 

To propagate at home, simply cut a section of stem with several nodes from an existing plant and pot it in moistened potting mix. Be sure to keep the soil moist but not soggy, as too much water can cause the roots to rot.

With proper care, your cutting should take root within four to six weeks. Once rooted, you can then transplant it into a pot of its own.


hands repotting plants

Though it’s commonly thought that houseplants should be repotted every year, this isn’t always the case. Over-potting can do more harm than good, so it’s important to know when and how to repot your plants.

If you have a Calathea leopardina, you’ll want to be especially careful when repotting. Here are the steps that you’ll need to follow:

  1. One way to help loosen the roots of a plant and make it easier to remove from its current pot is by placing the plant in a sink or bathtub and watering it thoroughly.

By doing this, you will be able to reduce the amount of time and effort it takes to remove the plant from its pot, as well as help to ensure that the roots are healthy and free from pests.

In addition, watering the plant thoroughly will also help to prevent the plant from drying out while you are working on it.

  1. Gently remove the plant from its pot, being careful not to damage the roots. If the roots are especially tangled, you may need to use a sharp knife to carefully free them. Once the plant is out of the pot, loosen the roots with your fingers and spread them out evenly.
  2. Choose a new pot that is only slightly larger than the old one. Be sure that there are drainage holes in the bottom of the pot.
  3. Fill the bottom of the pot with fresh potting mix and then add the plant, being careful not to damage the roots.
  4. Water the plant well and place it in a spot where it will receive bright, indirect light.


landscaper pruning plants near the pool

The leopardina does require some pruning from time to time. Pruning helps to keep the plant looking its best and encourages new growth.

When pruning, be sure to use sharp, clean shears and cut just above a leaf node. Remove any yellow or brown leaves, as well as any stems that are longer than 12 inches. After pruning, water the plant thoroughly and apply a balanced fertilizer.


If you are looking for an easy-to-care-for houseplant, the Calathea leopardina is a great option. This exotic plant does well in indirect sunlight and doesn’t require much watering. With its beautiful leaves and interesting texture, the Calathea leopardina is sure to add some personality to your home or office.

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