Home Plants Calathea Freddie – Calathea Concinna Zebra Plant

Calathea Freddie – Calathea Concinna Zebra Plant

by gardeningit
Calathea Freddie

Calathea Concinna, also known as Calathea Freddie, is a tropical evergreen plant. This plant has light green, elongated leaves with zebra-like markings on them. Hence, this plant is also popularly known as Zebra Plant. Its leaves are the real fun; they open in the day to receive sunlight and then close at night when it is dark outside. This circadian rhythm makes it an extraordinary houseplant.

This easy-to-grow houseplant adds color and texture to a room. Due to its small size, it can be placed in many places inside a home; it adorns every corner. You can place it on a window sill, on a tabletop, or in your workspace.

Common Names

  • Zebra Plant
  • CalatheaConcinna

Classification

  • Order: Zingiberales
  • Family: Marantaceae
  • Genus: Calathea

About the Genus Calathea

Calathea is a genus of decorative plants from the Marantaceae family. These plants are native to the tropical regions of America. This genus is popular for its beautiful plants having striking leaves. Some of its plants are also famous for their colorful inflorescence.

Origin and Distribution

Calathea Freddie was originally found in the tropical regions of Brazil in the Amazonian forests, where it grows below the thick canopy of tall trees. This plant is widely distributed in tropical North and South America.

Calathea Freddie Features

Foliage and Stem

Zebra plant has stunning foliage whose leaves open, and close periodically. Its leaves are lime green in color and they have dark green marks over them, pattered as the marking of zebras. Their edges are also deeply shaded. These leaves grow in circles around the stem. The leaves open in the morning; they absorb as much sunlight as they could. On the night, these leaves are drawn back to rest.

Evergreen

This stunning Calathea Freddie is a perennial and evergreen plant. Its leaves remain fresh and green throughout the year. Normally, the deciduous plants lose all of their leaves as autumn approaches. Their leaves turn yellow first and then fall off the branches. This process of shedding happens all at once. Evergreen plants are completely different from these. The leaves of evergreen plants turn yellow only when they are old enough. At a time, the plant has a maximum of one yellowed leaf. In fall, its foliage remains completely functional and green.

Calathea Freddie Flower

This angiosperm also produces pretty flowers. Calathea Freddie flower blooms on a stalk, growing out of the plant’s base. These flowers are white in color and have a golden-colored stigma.

Calathea Freddie Size

This Prayer plant attains a height of 2 feet. Calathea Freddie size makes it a perfect houseplant. Its foliage covers a width of 30 cm. All of this space is taken up by its leaves and not the branches. The branches are quite compact branches.. You might have heard that pruning a plant now and then can increase its height; it is just a myth! Pruning does not affect this plant’s size at all. It grows to a height of 2 feet and then stops growing.

Temperature Tolerance

This plant loves warmer temperatures. It cannot live in extreme temperatures. Its leaves start to turn yellow if it is placed in a colder or hotter room. If you live in the tropics, you can also grow this lovely plant outdoors during spring and summer. In winters, when the temperature drops, move it indoors. However, if you live in a colder climate, never grow this plant outdoors; cold winds and drafts will kill your Calathea. This plant is not frost-hardy.

Humidity Tolerance

Tropical plants never say No to humidity. This Zebra plant grows from the Amazon rainforest, where the humidity levels are quite high. The rainfall and plant grouping adds up the humidity levels. This beaut can live up to any higher humidity level. However, it cannot tolerate less moisture in the air. If the humidity falls below 30%, your plant might die from lesser humidity.

Drought Resistance

This pretty plant cannot tolerate low-water availability; it is not drought-resistant. The plants that have thick, waxy leaves have the ability to retain water and use it in a time of need. But this Zebra plant cannot save water. Its leaves cannot accommodate harsh conditions. They cannot retain enough water to keep going through droughts. However, it can tolerate being dry between waterings.

Pressure Tolerance

The Zebra plant is not pressure-tolerant. It cannot survive neglect and pressure. It is better if you place this mini plant in a place where no hard object is pressing against its foliage. You have to give some space to let this plant grow easily. If you are growing several plants in a group, keep a distance of some inches between them so that airflow is not obstructed.

Growth

Calathea plant grows at a moderately fast rate. It attains its mature height in about a year. If your plant is growing slowly, you might be doing something wrong. Its growth slows down, mainly due to low-light conditions. Moving your plant to a well-lit window helps a lot.

Calathea Concinna Freddie is a tropical plant that grows best in USDA plant hardiness growth zones of 10 and 11.

Toxicity

If you have a pet in your home and want to grow a pet-friendly plant, Calathea Freddie is a great choice. This gorgeo will not only adorn your home but will also keep you tension-free. This plant is not poisonous as its leaves do not contain toxic oxalate crystals. Your toddlers are also safe around this lovely plant.

Durability

This plant is quite durable; it has a longer lifespan. If cared for properly, the Prayer plant can live for several years inside a home. If this plant is left without being watered for a longer period, it enters a resting period and stops growing. When watered again, it returns to life from dehydration.

Maintenance

If you are a beginner who wants to grow a plant inside your home for the first time then you should not grow this plant. Because it is a high-maintenance plant that needs to care for every now and then. This plant is not for people who have a black thumb as it asks for the complete attention of its grower. If you have mastered the basics of growing a plant and have a green thumb, you should go for this Zebra plant. It adds a pleasing statement to a room and embellishes the interior.

Dormancy

This plant goes dormant in winters and stops growing completely. This is a period of resting for this plant. It does not need any watering or feeding during its dormancy stage. If you stop watering your plant, it can also go dormant in any month of the year due to dehydration. However, it bounces back to life once you start watering it again.

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Calathea Freddie Care

Calathea Freddie Care involves watering it thrice a week and misting it often. It requires bright, indirect light and about 70% humidity for healthy growth. The optimum soil pH for this Zebra plant is 6.5. It prefers a temperature range of 18-24ºC. The recommended growth zones are 10 and 11.

Calathea Freddie Watering

The watering schedule for this mini plant is a little tricky than the other common houseplants. This peep does not want to be overwatered but also loves moist soil. There is a thin line between Calathea Freddie watering requirement and exceeding the water limit. It is better if you let about 75% of its soil dry before you water it again. You can use the rule of thumb to check its dryness. All you have to do is inject your index finger 2 inches deep into the topsoil and check if it is already dry. You should always pour the water at a moderate to slow pace, so let it drain easily through its soil to the drainage holes. This will prevent the plant from standing water and from getting root rot.

Its watering needs depends a lot on the climate and humidity levels around it. During the growing seasons, you must water it about thrice a week. This watering frequency must be cut down to only once a week during winters when the plant is pretty much dormant. Yellowing of its leaves indicates overwatering, while brown leaves mean that the plant is being under-watered. You should regulate the watering schedule as per the signals.

Soil Requirements

Calathea Freddie prefers to be grown in rich, loose, and slightly acidic soil. The pH of the soil must be kept at 6.5. If you have a neutral soil mix, you can increase its pH by misting the plant with a little vinegar. You should be very careful with its quantity because its excessive amount can burn the roots. Add only 1-2 drops of vinegar to a gallon of water, and keep misting the plant with it.

Concinna plant grows best in well-drained soil. You can use a potting mix that has two parts peat moss and one part perlite. These two ingredients not only increase drainage of the soil but also increase its aeration. More drainage means more space in soil, so excess water can flow out of the pot. Better aeration means more oxygen can flow through the roots, so the roots can breathe and grow healthier. For best results, you can also place pebbles below the soil; it will further increase the draining capacity. However, you should only add the recommended amount of perlite because increased drainage than the required level will do more harm than good.

Calathea Freddie Light Requirements

Calathea Louisae Freddy has light-green colored foliage that shines in moderate light conditions. This plant must be provided with bright, indirect light. Six hours of light exposure per day is recommended for the lush growth of its foliage. This gorgeo suits best in an east, north, or west-facing window. However, a south-facing window might not be good for it. Because when a plant is placed on a window sill facing south, it receives direct sunlight. Direct sun is not beneficial for a plant; it is harmful. The direct sun scorches the leaves and fades their color. This is why you should be really careful with the placement of this plant. If you were planning to grow it outdoors, protect it from direct sun rays by placing it under shade cloth.

Temperature Requirements

This Zebra Calathea plant is from tropical regions. That is why it prefers to be placed in a warmer room where the room temperature remains in an average range. It prefers a temperature range of 18-24ºC. This temperature range is normal in tropical homes. However, if you live in a colder region where the temperature drops below this, even in months other than the winters, you should place a radiator inside the rooms to regulate the temperatures around this plant so that it does not get chilly injuries.

Never let the temperature fall below 15ºC, because below this temperature, this plant is more susceptible to chilly injuries. Also, it should be kept in mind that a chilly injury can even kill a plant, so you better be taking good care of this peep if you live in a colder region. This gorgeous plant should also be kept away from drafts. If you have a radiator or an air conditioner in your room, do not place this plant near them. The hot or cold drafts can damage its vibrant foliage.

Humidity

Tropical plants mostly grow in the rainforests, where there are surrounded by many different plants and trees. All these plants are grouped; their transpiration rate adds up, and so the humidity levels around them are always high. This is why tropical plants always love high humidity levels. If you grow a tropical plant inside your home, you have to maintain the humidity levels around it. Calathea Freddie is also a tropical plant that loves a high amount of moisture in the surrounding air. The humidity around it must be kept above 70%. This level is higher than the normal household humidity. That is why you should try other ways to increase the humidity levels inside your home. You can do so by either placing this plant over a pebble tray.

This helps because when water evaporates from the pebbles, the moisture in the surrounding air increases. This way, the humidity around it is compensated. Another way to increase humidity around this plant is to mist it often. Misting always helps, but keep in mind that do not spritz this plant directly; always mist it from bottom to top. Installing a humidifier inside the room is also a way to increase and regulate the humidity level. This way might cost a little more than the others, but it is the ultimate solution.

Fertilizer

Calathea Concinna Freddie is not a foodie. It does not need to be fed every now and then. It needs to be fertilized every four weeks in the growing season. This includes the months from April to August. In winters, this plant goes dormant, and its growth rate slows down. During these months, it does not need any additional nutrients for growth. That is why it is better if you cut down its feeding frequency in this resting period.

You can use the common houseplant fertilizer for Calathea Freddie. Common houseplant fertilizer contains all the necessary nutrients for this plant. However, this fertilizer is a bit stronger than the need for the Zebra plant. You should be diluted before fertilization. It is better if you dilute it to 1/4th of its strength. You can do so by mixing 1 tablespoon of fertilizer with one gallon of water. Excessive fertilizer can harm the plant. If you see any yellow edges around the leaves of this Calathea plant, cut down its feeding. It is a sign that you are over-feeding your Calathea Louisae Freddy.

Grooming and Pruning

Many people fear that if they prune their houseplants, it will damage their foliage. However, this is not true. Pruning is actually necessary for the healthy growth of a plant. It gives the leaves more space to grow and saves the plant from spending extra energy and nutrients on the dead, old leaves. You should always prune your plant before the growing season. Once you remove the old leaves, new buds can easily grow and bloom. All you have to do is to take sharp shears and cut the yellow leaves off the branches.

If the yellow leaves are more common in the interior portion of the plant, it is actually a sign of some problem. It can be due to lightning, watering, fertilizing, or temperature issue. Disinfecting and sterilizing the pruning shears before pruning your plant is most important. If you do not disinfect them, your plant may get several dangerous bacterial or viral infections.

Re-potting

Calathea Freddie care involves yearly re-potting. Re-potting a plant is necessary to ensure its healthy growth. Re-potting is done in three conditions.

  1. If the plant outgrows its size.
  2. Its roots start to grow out of the drainage holes.
  3. If the soil needs fresh nutrients.

Once every year, you should move your plant to a new pot with fresh soil and fresh nutrients. This way, the plant will always have enough supply of potassium, nitrogen, and phosphorus. Follow the following steps to re-pot your Zebra plant:

  1. Take a clean newspaper and spread it out on the floor.
  2. Pull out your Calathea plant from the soil gently.
  3. Shake the plant so that extra soil is removed.
  4. Take a new pot with drainage holes.
  5. Place the plant carefully in the center of the pot.
  6. Fill the pot with new soil and pat its surface.
  7. Water the soil thoroughly and allow the excess water to drain down.
  8. Place the pot in a well-lit spot.

That’s all. Re-potting is not as difficult as many think. Your plant will stay in shock for about 2-4 weeks, and then it will adapt to its new home.

Propagation

Calathea Freddie is a lovely houseplant that adds a pleasing effect to rooms if grown indoors. Two plants are always better than one, and three plants are even better than two. You can propagate your own Calathea plant to increase your collection rather than buying new ones. Propagating a Calathea is the same as re-potting it; the only difference is that you will be moving the parent plant into two pots rather than one.

Zebra plant can be propagated through plant divisions. It must be grown in a soil mix; you cannot use water to grow its roots. If you have never propagated a plant before, the following step-by-step guide will help you do it.

  1. Take a healthy Calathea plant and gently remove it from its pot.
  2. Shake off excess soil.
  3. Use your fingers to untangle its roots carefully.
  4. Take a sharp knife and sterilize it.
  5. Cut 1/3rd part of the plant.
  6. Now you have two Calatheas.
  7. Move both plants to separate pots and water them.
  8. Keep the baby Calathea in a place where it receives bright, indirect sunlight.
  9. It will start growing properly in about 2-4 weeks.

Calathea Freddie Problems

Diseases

Calathea Freddie can suffer from several diseases. It can suffer from Pseudomonas leaf spot, Pseudomonas blight, Alternaria leaf spot, Helminthosporium leaf spot, fusarium, root rot, and cucumber mosaic virus. These diseases. Once your plant gets these diseases, it is difficult to eradicate them. Applying bactericides is beneficial for diseases like leaf spots. However, viral infections cannot be treated with bactericides. You have to cut the infected parts if they get infected with a virus to save the healthy parts from being infected.

Pests

This plant is not prone to many insects or pests. However, red spider mites and scale insects tend to be more attracted to these. Getting rid of spider mites is not difficult. Rubbing alcohol is effective to get rid of these suckers. Take a cotton pad and dip it into rubbing alcohol. Rub the infected parts with this cotton pad and leave it for some time. Rinse off the foliage once these mites leave your plant. This method is also effective for getting rid of scale pests. Another way to free your plant from these pests is to prune and cut the infected parts.

Calathea Freddie Yellow Leaves

Some growers complain that their Calathea have yellow leaves more than often. Obviously, the old leaves turn yellow; but what if younger leaves also start to turn yellow? This can be due to several reasons. If you are not fulfilling its requirements, its leaves will start to lose colors and turn yellow. Calathea Freddie yellow leaves can be due to less lighting, temperature extremes, draughts, over-watering, or nutrient deficiency. You have to determine the reason behind the yellowing of the leaves and eradicate the cause.

Final Thoughts

The beautiful, high-maintenance tropical plant, Calathea Freddie, is grown worldwide, inside homes for its showy foliage. It is a perennial plant that has exquisite, elongated, lime-green leaves having dark-green markings and deep-shaded edges. It is a small-sized plant that can be grown in bedrooms, office space, and kitchens. This stunning plant is a must-grow for people who have got a green thumb.

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