Wondering what makes the calathea beauty star different from the rest of the ornata cultivars? This calathea beauty star vs ornata guide is for you!
Calatheas are a big family with more than 300 different types and cultivars. Thanks to their foliage, they’re extremely popular and loved by many around the world.
The pinstripe plant or calathea ornata, in particular, is one of the most popular calatheas. It’s easy to identify with its large, striped leaves with red or purple undersides.
There are many different cultivars for calathea ornata, and the beautiful calathea beauty star is one of them. This plant is the star of our article.
Here you’ll find a detailed care guide for the calathea beauty star and how it can be different from the traditional ornata plant. Let’s get started!
Calathea Beauty Star vs Ornata Care Guide
Calathea beauty star is the most popular ornata cultivar. It’s a showy plant with its dense foliage. It can be more durable than other cultivars of the calathea ornata.
Taking care of the calathea beauty star isn’t much different than taking care of a traditional ornata. Here’s a detailed guide of how to care for your new beauty star plant:
The calathea beauty star is blessed with dense foliage that is striped like any other ornata cultivar. However, the leaves are narrower and longer.
The beauty star plant’s leaves are striped in white, silver, or pink. The dark green leaves also have lighter green highlights in the center. Like most calatheas, its underside has a deep purple color.
All types of calathea like to be watered regularly. However, they don’t like the soil to be wet as this causes root rot.
You only need to water calathea beauty star once every week or when the soil surface gets dry. To know when the plant is ready for its next drink, you need to stick your finger into the soil.
If the first inch of the soil is still wet, then wait for a couple of days and check again. When you water your beauty star plant make sure to water it thoroughly.
Make sure that the pot has drainage holes. These holes allow the excess water to drain out, so the roots don’t rot.
Like all calathea types, the beauty star is sensitive to tap water. You need to water your beauty star plant with filtered, distilled, or rainwater.
The chemicals in tap water like fluoride and chlorine cause salt build-up in the soil. This can badly damage your plant.
The beauty star requires more moist soil than other ornatas or calatheas in general. But be careful, never get the soil soaking wet.
This means that it needs soil that retains moisture but can breathe when it’s moist. It shouldn’t get heavy or compact when watered.
Calathea beauty star also requires free-draining soil like all calatheas. This prevents the roots from sitting in wet soil causing rotten roots.
Any commercial potting mix that is made for African violets is recommended for all types of calatheas. You can also make your own by mixing one part perlite and two parts peat.
You can add compost to the soil which is great at retaining moisture without suffocating the plant’s roots. However, keep in mind that if you add compost, you don’t need to fertilize your beauty star until repotting.
Calathea beauty star, like all types of calathea plants, lives under the canopy of large trees in its native home. This means that it only gets indirect sunlight.
The best way to achieve its light requirements is by placing it near a south-facing window with a thin curtain to provide some shade. You might need some time to find the best location for your beauty star plant.
Just keep in mind that calatheas are more tolerant of low light conditions than bright light conditions. So, when in doubt, place it in a shaded area.
The beauty star is a tropical plant native to Brazil. This means that your precious plant needs high humidity levels to be happy.
Keep the humidity levels above 50%. You can do that by simply placing your beauty star in the kitchen or the bathroom. If you don’t like that option, then invest in a good-quality humidifier.
Another easy way to keep the humidity suitable for your beauty star is by filling a tray of suitable size with water and pebbles, and then placing the pot on top of it. Constant misting is an option, too.
You can also create a microclimate for your beauty star by placing it near other ornatas or houseplants that require the same humidity levels. Just make sure that there’s enough air circulation to prevent fungus.
It’s a good idea to buy a hygrometer to monitor the humidity levels in your house. It’s cheap and will save you a lot of trouble.
Temperatures between 65ºF and 75ºF are ideal for your plant. The beauty star, like all calathea plants, cannot handle cold drafts.
Temperatures below 60ºF can badly hurt your plant and it’ll show on its foliage. If you keep your beauty star outdoors in winter, make sure to bring it inside, or cover it at night.
Also, keep the temperature consistent. Avoid sudden increases or decreases in the temperature.
Calatheas react aggressively to sudden temperature changes. It causes stress to the plant and can show in the form of browning on its beautiful foliage.
As mentioned earlier, calatheas in general don’t need much feeding. So, you have to be careful when it comes to fertilizing your beauty star.
You should only fertilize your calathea once every month in the summer or the spring. Use a balanced fertilizer and dilute to half its recommended strength.
Pro-tip: always water your calathea thoroughly before applying the fertilizer to avoid burning the roots. You should reduce the frequency of fertilization in winter or avoid it completely as the plant growth becomes way slower.
If the initial potting mix contains compost, don’t fertilize your calathea until repotting. Compost releases nutrients into the soil, slowly providing the plant with the food it needs over a long period.
Calatheas in general are prone to several types of pests, especially spider mites. You might not be able to notice them until they’ve taken over your beautiful plant.
If you notice webbing, movement, or sticky residue on the underside of the leaves or the stems, then your plant is under attack. The first thing you need to do in this case is to isolate the infected plant.
Next, spray neem oil on your beauty star following the label instructions. You can use an insecticidal soap spray as an alternative.
Also, cotton drenched in alcohol can do the job. You might need to repeat this process every couple of days for a week or so until the pests are all dead.
Calathea beauty star doesn’t like to be repotted. You should only repot it when the pot can no longer fit its roots. This should be done every two to three years.
Of course, the new pot should be about one size larger than the older one. After repotting your beauty star, make sure to water it thoroughly.
Repotting is traumatic for your calathea beauty star, so make sure to place it in a location with less light than its original location for a while or until you see new growth.
You should repot your calathea beauty star during the summer or spring months when it’s already growing vigorously.
You can propagate your calathea beauty star by separating the rhizomes with their attached leaves. You can make one, two, or as many plants as you want out of the mother plant during a single propagation session.
Put each new baby plant in a new pot and treat it like you normally do with the mother plant. Be patient, it’ll take a while until you see growth.
Calathea beauty stars and other cultivars of calathea ornata don’t need much pruning. You only need to cut the damaged leaves or roots.
Make sure to cut the damaged leaves from the stem. Soon you’ll notice new growth coming out from the same spot.
Calatheas, unlike many houseplants, are safe for pets and humans. This, of course, includes calathea ornata with all its cultivars.
Calathea beauty star never blooms when grown as a houseplant. However, if you own a greenhouse or a conservatory, it might bloom.
Cleaning might be necessary if your house accumulates a lot of fine dust. You only need a damp cloth to do the job.
Your beauty star plant might need a shower from time to time. Just use lukewarm water and make sure to drain the excess water.
The calathea beauty star typically grows to a height of two feet and a width of two feet. The period from March to October is its active growth season.
Keep in mind that although the calathea beauty star can tolerate low light conditions, if kept in it for a long time, it’ll stop growing.
To Sum Up
Although the calathea beauty star is a cultivar of the calathea ornata, it still has its unique characteristics and its distinctive foliage that differentiate it from the rest of the ornatas.
Calathea beauty star is a showy plant that needs your care and love regularly. If you give it your attention, it’ll fill your house with elegance and charm.