Home Plants Calathea Rufibarba – Furry Feather Calathea

Calathea Rufibarba – Furry Feather Calathea

by gardeningit
calathea rufibarba

Calathea Rufibarba, also known as Furry Feather Calathea, is an elegant tropical plant popular for its striking leaves. It has long, dark-green, feather-like, fuzzy leaves that have maroon undersides. Its undersides have hairy and velvety texture; it is tactile to touch. Its long leaves grow on multiple stems and arch outwards.

This evergreen plant can be grown in pots to be placed in patios, home gardens, or indoors. You can also grow this variegated beauty in your office space.

Common Names

  • Prayer Plant
  • Furry Feather Calathea
  • Calathea “Wavestar”
  • Velvet Calathea


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

About the Genus Calathea

It is a genus of flowering plants. Dozens of species have been classified into this genus. These plants are native to the tropical regions of America. These plants are popular houseplants due to their striking foliage and sometimes colorful inflorescence.

Origin and Distribution

This plant originated in tropical America and is native to the forests of Brazil. It is widely distributed in the tropical parts of South and North America.

Calathea Rufibarba Features

Foliage and Stem

This plant has long, dark-green leaves. Their upper sides are smooth; their undersides are a real spectacle. The undersides of its leaves are burgundy in color and velvety in texture. The undersides have tiny hairs on them. The leaves are feather-shaped and have a fuzzy appearance. Several green herbaceous stems hold up these leaves in an arching manner.

Calathea Rufibarba Flowers

This gorgeous plant also blooms in the growing season. It has bright, yellow-colored flowers. Calathea Rufibarba flowers normally grow at its base. These flowers form a cluster and grow in numbers. Several flowers also grow on long stems between the leaves.


This greeny-houseplant is an evergreen tropical. It remains fresh and green in every season. Unlike deciduous plants, its foliage remains functional throughout the year.


This variegated beauty attains a maximum height of 2 to 3 feet. Its average height makes it a perfect indoor greeny-ornament.

Temperature Tolerance

This prayer plant is native to the tropical regions. It likes warm temperatures. It must be kept indoors during winters because it is not winter-hardy. The chilly winds and blows can harm its fuzzy foliage. Also, in hot summers, protect it from the heat by hanging a shade cloth over it.

Humidity Tolerance

Just like every other tropical plant from the rainforests, Calathea Rufibarba likes more moisture in its air. It is pretty much tolerant of any high level of humidity, but if it falls below 40%, this plant starts to appear dull and less fresh. You must regulate the moisture around it.

Drought Resistance

Droughts and low water availability are nightmares for this fuzzy beauty. It must not be left dry and thirsty; you should water it regularly. If you are leaving for a vacation, set an automatic watering system for this plant so that you do not find it all dried out when you return home.

Pressure Tolerance

This evergreen is not a type of plant that you can forget about. It is not tolerant of external pressure and neglect. Also, make sure that no hard object is obstructing its normal course of growth.

Disease and Pest Resistance

Scales and spider mites are two types of pests that attack this elegant plant. Calathea Rufibarba is more prone to these pests when it is root bound or being under-watered. You can prevent these pests by moving your plant to a bigger pot. Spider mites can be removed by using insecticidal soap; neem oil is effective for treating scales.

This plant is susceptible to bacterial leaf spot caused by Pseudomonas spp. It can be prevented by cutting off and removing the infected parts.


These plants grow at a moderately fast rate. These reach their mature height in just a year. You do not have to wait for ages to use this plant as your room décor.

If you live in the plant hardiness growth zones of 8 and above, you can easily grow this plant indoors or in your home garden.

Air Purification

Its long, dark-green leaves are capable of removing pollutants from the air. This plant is a natural air purifier that will keep your indoors fresh, clean, and healthy.


This stunning plant is an excellent choice as a houseplant because it is not toxic to animals or humans; your toddlers and pets are completely safe from it.


This beaut has a reputation for living indoors for a long, long time. This plant is quite durable, and it has a long lifespan. You do not have to say goodbye to your Calathea anytime soon; it will live with you and keep beautifying your indoors for several years.


It is among the top low-maintenance plants that are really easy-to-grow. Even a plant grower with a black thumb can grow it without any hassle. It just needs regular misting and dusting. Your Calathea Rufibarba will thrive and flourish on its own.


This plant slows down its growth in winters; it goes dormant. It is better to let your Calathea rest in these dormancy times. Do not water or fertilize it during these months.

Calathea Rufibarba Plant Care

Calathea Rufibarba care includes measured watering and frequent misting. It must be watered twice every week. It grows best at 18°C to 23°C temperature and in neutral soil. The plant requires bright, indirect sunlight for its lush growth. The recommended growth zones for this tropical plant are 8 and above.

Water Requirements

Calathea Rufibarba is a tropical plant whose water needs differ a lot from Philodendrons. This fuzzy-textured plant love to be kept damp, but standing water is a big No-No. You should know exactly when to stop watering. Do not let the plant be dry between waterings. Water it every two days in the growing season.

The changing color of its leaf edges from green to brown is the most common problem faced by its growers.  It indicates the presence of certain minerals in its water that are unnecessary. To avoid this problem, leave your water overnight before watering your plant so that all the unwanted minerals sit at the bottom.

Soil Requirements

Just like other tropical plants, Calathea Rufibarba prefers well-drained, moist soil. There is a difference between moist and soggy soil; soggy soil is not included in Calathea Rufibarba plant care. It requires neutral soil to grow properly. The pH of the soil and the water that you are pouring into must be around 7.

This plant goes well in the common household potting mix; you can get it from your nearby garden center. You can also make your own soil mix. The best percentages are 5 parts potting soil, 2 parts orchid bark, 2 parts charcoal, and 1 part perlite.


Calathea Rufibarba Wavestar grows on the floor under the thick canopy of the forest trees. It receives indirect sunlight. When you grow it indoors, you should mimic these conditions. Place it in a spot where it receives an adequate amount of indirect sunlight.

The striking variegated leaves of this plant needs a considerable amount of light exposure for photosynthesis. It is better if you place it on a bright window sill. But you should save it from direct sun as direct sun rays will damage its leaves, and their color will fade away.

Temperature Requirements

This elegant, velvety houseplant prefers warmer temperatures. The optimum temperature for its ideal growth rate ranges from 18°C to 23°C. It is the healthy room temperature of the tropical indoors. This is why it thrives inside the walls. Never let the temperature fall below 15°C. Also, make sure that your plant is placed in a spot that has good airflow.


The normal household humidity level is 40-50%. This is not sufficient for the lush growth of Calathea Rufibarba. It is native to the rainforests, where the humidity levels are quite high. So if you are growing this tropical beauty inside your walls, you must regulate your indoor humidity levels. You can do so by either installing a humidifier in your room. You can also go for some economical methods. Try misting your plant regularly. You can also place it above a pebble tray. This way, water will evaporate in the surroundings. This increased moisture in the air will be absorbed by the broad leaves of Calathea Rufibarba elger grass.


This variegated plant from the genus Calathea needs to be fed every two weeks. You should add fertilizer to its soil in the growing seasons; spring, summer, and fall. Because the plant is growing and blooming during these months, it needs the necessary nutrients. It needs a type of fertilizer that is high in nitrogen. You can use the usual houseplant fertilizer. Liquid fertilizer will also prove effective, but always dilute it to its half strength before feeding.

Grooming and Pruning

This tropical plant does not need occasional pruning and grooming. It is better if you want for autumn and let it shed its own dead leaves by itself. However, you can also prune them by yourself if the yellowed leaves look unattractive to you. All you have to do is to cut the leaves from the stem by using pruning scissors.


Calathea plant needs to be re-potted every two years. It does not like to be root bound. You can also re-pot it before every growing season to provide it with fresh soil and nutrients. If you do not want your plant to grow any bigger, move it to a same-sized pot. If you want to watch your plant grow in volume and height, move it to a one-sized bigger pot.

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Calathea Vittata

Calathea Fasciata

Anthurium Radicans


Propagation of this Calathea Rufibarba is far easier than other plants. Although it cannot be propagated in water. You can propagate it through root cuttings. This is done during re-potting. You can increase your collection of Calathea Rufibarba through the following simple guide.

  1. Before every growing season, take out the Calathea from its pot.
  2. Shake off the excess soil.
  3. Divide the plant into two parts from its roots and stems by using a pair of sharp scissors.
  4. Plant these two divided parts in separate pots with a proper potting mix.
  5. If your Calathea is big enough, you can cut it into three to four parts too.

This is all that you have to do to increase your collection of elegant and stunning Calathea Rufibarba elger grass.

Final Thoughts

Calathea Rufibarba is a stunning plant that is an eye-catcher in every interior. It is a natural air-purifier so it will keep your air fresh and clean, and keep your room lovely and green. No person will find it difficult to grow and care for this plant as it is really low-maintenance. You can easily grow it without any hassle.

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