How To Save a Dying Calathea Plant (11 Causes & Solutions)

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A Calathea plant, commonly known as the prayer plant, is a beautiful, low-maintenance houseplant that offers a splash of greenery to any indoor space. But like all plants, they are susceptible to problems from time to time.

There are several reasons why your Calathea plant may be dying.

But, how to save a dying calathea plant?

This article will guide you through some of the most common causes of a dying Calathea plant and what you can do to save it.

Why Is My Calathea Dying?

There are several reasons why your Calathea plant may be dying.

The first step to saving your plant is to identify the problem so that you can take the appropriate steps to fix it.

Here are some of the most common reasons why a Calathea plant may be dying and what you can do about it:

1. Overwatering

Overwatering is one of the most common reasons for a Calathea plant to die.

Calathea plants are native to tropical rainforests and grow in moist, humid conditions.

However, they do not like to be waterlogged and will quickly start to die if they are overwatered.

Overwatering often occurs when the pot does not have drainage holes or the plant is left sitting in water.

How To Tell If You Are Overwatering Your Calathea

There are several signs that you are overwatering your Calathea plant.

These include:

  • The leaves are wilting or drooping
  • The leaves are turning yellow or brown
  • The leaves have brown or black spots or blotches
  • The leaves are curled or wrinkled
  • The stems are soft or mushy
  • The roots are black or rotten
  • The soil is soggy or waterlogged

If you see any of these signs, it is essential to take action immediately to save your plant.

How To Save An Overwatered Calathea

If you think you may have overwatered your Calathea plant, the first step is to stop watering it.

Allow the soil to dry out completely before watering again.

You may also need to repot your plant into a pot with drainage holes to help reduce the risk of overwatering in the future.

You must also prune your plant to remove any damaged or dead leaves.

It’s essential to check the roots of your plant to see if they have started to rot. If they have, you will need to cut away any affected roots and repot the plant into fresh, dry soil.

2. Underwatering

Underwatering is another common reason why a Calathea plant may start to die.

Calathea plants need regular watering to keep the soil moist but not soggy.

If the soil is allowed to dry out for long periods, the plant will start to suffer.

Calathea plants need to be watered at least once a week and more often in hot weather.

How To Tell If You Are Underwatering Your Calathea

There are several signs that you are underwatering your Calathea plant.

These include:

  • The leaves are wilting or drooping
  • The leaves are crunchy and dry
  • The stems are dried out and brittle
  • Stunted growth

If you see any of these signs, it is essential to take action immediately to save your plant.

How To Save An Underwatered Calathea

If you think you may have underwater your Calathea plant, the first step is to start watering it more regularly.

Water the plant at least once a week and more often in hot weather.

To help bring your plant back to life, water it deeply and let the soil dry out completely before watering again.

You should also increase the humidity around your plant by misting it regularly or using a humidifier.

3. Too Much Sunlight

Calathea plants need bright indirect sunlight to thrive.

If they are exposed to direct sunlight for long periods, the plant leaves will start to scorch and turn brown.

Calathea plants are also sensitive to changes in light and will start to suffer if they are moved around too much.

They need at least six hours of bright sunlight daily to stay healthy.

How To Tell If Your Calathea Is Getting Too Much Sunlight

There are several signs that your Calathea plant is getting too much sunlight.

These include:

  • The leaves have brown or black spots
  • The leaves are scorched or crispy
  • The leaves are dropping off
  • The plant is not growing as much as it used to
  • The leaves or soil feels hot to the touch

If you see any of these signs, it is essential to take action immediately to save your plant.

How To Save A Calathea Plant That Is Getting Too Much Sunlight

If you think your Calathea plant is getting too much sunlight, the first step is to move it to a shadier spot.

Calathea plants need at least six hours of bright indirect sunlight daily to stay healthy, so make sure the new location you choose can provide this.

An east- or west-facing window is a good spot for a Calathea plant.

You can also try using a sheer curtain to filter the sunlight and protect the plant from the direct sun.

4. Not Enough Light

Calathea plants need bright indirect light to thrive.

Light provides the plant’s energy to carry out essential processes, such as photosynthesis.

If a Calathea plant does not get enough light, it will start to suffer.

Calathea plants need at least six hours of sunlight daily to stay healthy.

How To Tell If Your Calathea Is Not Getting Enough Light

There are several signs that your Calathea plant is not getting enough light.

These include:

  • The leaves are pale or yellow
  • The leaves are small and stunted
  • Stretched or leggy stems
  • The plant is not growing as much as it used to
  • The plant leans toward the light
  • The plant is not growing as much as it should be

If you see any of these signs, it is essential to take action immediately to save your plant.

How To Save A Calathea Plant That Is Not Getting Enough Light

If you think your Calathea plant is not getting enough light, the first step is to move it to a brighter spot.

Calathea plants need at least six hours of bright indirect light daily to stay healthy, so make sure the new location you choose can provide this.

An east- or west-facing window is a good spot for a Calathea plant.

You can also try using grow lights to give the plant the light it needs to thrive.

Avoid using fluorescent lights, as these can cause the leaves to scorch.

5. Poor Drainage

Calathea plants need well-drained soil and will not tolerate wet feet.

They also need to be planted in a pot with drainage holes to allow excess water to escape.

If the soil around your Calathea plant is constantly wet, the roots will start to rot, and the plant will die.

Rotten roots cannot absorb the nutrients and water the plant needs to stay alive.

How To Tell If Your Calathea Plant Has Poor Drainage

There are several signs that your Calathea plant has poor drainage.

These include:

  • The leaves are drooping
  • The leaves are yellowing
  • The leaves are brown or black
  • Mushy or soft roots
  • The plant is not growing as much as it used to

If you see any of these signs, it is essential to take action immediately to save your plant.

How To Save A Calathea Plant With Poor Drainage

If you think your Calathea plant has poor drainage, the first step is to improve the soil’s drainage.

Mixing in some perlite or sand is the best way to do this.

This will help to improve aeration and drainage.

You can also try planting your Calathea in a pot with drainage holes.

Make sure the pot you choose is not too big, as a pot that is too large will hold too much water and cause the roots to rot.

It is also essential to make sure you are not overwatering your plant.

Allow the soil to dry out between waterings to prevent root rot.

6. Root-Bound

Calathea plants need room to grow and will become root-bound if planted in a pot that is too small.

A root-bound plant will have a mass of roots that fill the entire pot and start to crowd each other.

This can cause the plant to suffer as the roots will not be able to absorb the nutrients and water they need.

How To Tell If Your Calathea Plant Is Root-Bound

There are several signs that your Calathea plant is root-bound.

These include:

  • The roots are growing out of the drainage holes
  • The roots are wrapped around the inside of the pot
  • The leaves are wilting or drooping
  • The leaves near the bottom of the plant are yellowing or dying
  • Stunted growth

If you see any of these signs, it is essential to take action immediately to save your plant.

How To Save A Calathea Plant That Is Root-Bound

If you think your Calathea plant is root-bound, the first step is to transplant it into a larger pot.

Make sure the new pot you choose is at least 2-3 inches wider in diameter than the previous pot.

It is also essential to loosen the roots before transplanting to give them a chance to spread out.

You can gently break up the root ball with your hands.

After transplanting, water your Calathea plant well and make sure the soil is moist but not soggy.

7. Cold Temperature

Calathea plants are tropical plants and will not tolerate cold temperatures.

They must be kept in a warm environment with temperatures above 60°F.

If the temperature drops below this, the Calathea leaves will show signs of stress, and eventually, the plant will die.

How To Tell If Your Calathea Plant Is Cold

There are several signs that your Calathea plant is too cold.

These include:

  • The leaves are wilting or drooping
  • The leaves turn black and become mushy
  • The leaves lose their color
  • The plant stops growing

If you see any of these signs, it is essential to take action immediately to save your plant.

How To Save A Calathea Plant That Is Too Cold

If you think your Calathea plant is too cold, the first step is to move it to a warmer location.

Make sure the new location you choose has temperatures that remain above 60°F.

Place the Calathea plant in a bright spot but out of direct sunlight.

You can also try using a heat mat or grow light to create a warm environment for your plant.

8. Hot Temperature

Although Calathea plants prefer warm temperatures, they cannot tolerate hot temperatures.

If the temperature gets over 85°F, the plant will start to suffer.

The Calathea leaves will start to lose moisture and turn brown and crispy; eventually, the plant will die.

How To Tell If Your Calathea Plant Is Hot

There are several signs that your Calathea plant is too hot.

These include:

  • The leaves are wilting or drooping
  • The leaves turn brown and crispy on the edges
  • The leaves fall off the plant
  • The plant stops growing

If you see any of these signs, it is essential to take action immediately to save your plant.

How To Save A Calathea Plant That Is Too Hot

If you think your Calathea plant is too hot, the first step is to move it to a cooler location.

Make sure the new location you choose has temperatures that remain below 85°F.

Place the Calathea plant in a bright spot but out of direct sunlight.

You can also try using a fan to create a cool environment for your plant.

Calathea plants do best in humid environments, so if the air in your home is dry, you may need to create a more humid environment for your plant.

You can do this by placing the pot on top of a pebble tray or using a humidifier.

9. Overfertiilzing

Calathea plants are sensitive to fertilizer and will not tolerate too much.

If you fertilize your plant too often or with too high of a concentration, it will show signs of stress.

These houseplants need to be fertilized about once a month during the growing season.

Using a balanced fertilizer that is half the recommended concentration is best.

How To Tell If Your Calathea Plant Is Overfertilized

There are several signs that your Calathea plant is overfertilized.

These include:

  • The lower leaves are wilting and yellowing
  • The tips and margins of the leaves turn brown and crispy
  • The soil surface is covered in white salt crystals
  • The roots are black and mushy

If you see any of these signs, it is essential to take action immediately to save your plant.

How To Save A Calathea Plant That Is Overfertilized

If you think your Calathea plant is overfertilized, the first step is to flush the soil.

To do this, water the plant thoroughly until water runs out of the drainage holes.

This will help to remove any excess fertilizer from the soil.

After flushing the soil, do not fertilize your plant for at least a month.

Calathea plants are also sensitive to chemicals and toxins in the environment.

If you think your plant has been exposed to any chemicals, it is best to flush the soil and rinse the leaves with water.

10. Pest Infestation

Calathea plants are susceptible to various pests, including mealybugs, spider mites, and scale.

These pests can cause severe damage to your plant and may even kill it if they are not removed.

Mealybugs are small, white insects that suck the sap out of plants.

They can cause your Calathea leaves to turn yellow and eventually drop off.

Spider mites are tiny, red, or black spiders that spin webs on the underside of leaves.

They feed on the plant by piercing the leaf and sucking the sap.

Spider mites can cause your plant’s leaves to turn yellow, brown, and crispy.

Scale insects are small, brown, or black insects that attach themselves to the stems of plants.

They feed on the plant by sucking out the sap.

Scale can cause the stems of your plant to turn yellow and eventually die.

How To Tell If Your Calathea Plant Has Pests

There are several signs that your Calathea plant has pests.

These include:

  • The leaves are wilting or yellowing
  • The leaves have small holes in them
  • The leaves are covered in webbing
  • The plant has small, brown, or black insects on the leaves or stems
  • The plant has a sticky substance on the leaves or stems

If you see any of these signs, it is essential to take action immediately to save your plant.

How To Save A Calathea Plant With Pests

If you think your Calathea plant has pests, the first step is to isolate the plant from other houseplants.

This will prevent the pests from spreading to other plants.

Next, inspect the plant carefully and remove any pests that you see.

You can do this by hand or with a cotton swab dipped in rubbing alcohol.

After removing the pests, treat the plant with a natural pesticide.

There are a variety of natural pesticides that are effective against mealybugs, spider mites, and scale.

Some of these include neem oil, insecticidal soap, and horticultural oil.

After treating the plant, keep an eye on it for further signs of pest infestation.

11. Disease

Calathea plants are susceptible to various diseases, including root rot, leaf spot, and powdery mildew.

These diseases can cause severe damage to your plant and may even kill it if they are not treated.

Root rot is a disease that affects the roots of plants.

It is caused by a fungus that attacks the roots and prevents them from absorbing water and nutrients.

Leaf spot is a disease that affects the leaves of plants.

It is caused by a fungus or bacteria that causes brown or black spots to appear on the leaves.

Powdery mildew is a disease that affects the leaves of plants.

It is caused by a fungus that causes a white, powdery substance to appear on the leaves.

How To Tell If Your Calathea Plant Has Disease

There are several signs that your Calathea plant has a disease.

These include:

  • The leaves are wilting or yellowing
  • The leaves have brown or black spots
  • The leaves are covered in a white, powdery substance
  • The plant has mushy or rotting roots
  • The plant has a foul odor

If you see any of these signs, it is essential to take action immediately to save your plant.

How To Save A Calathea Plant With Disease

If you think your Calathea plant has a disease, the first step is to isolate the plant from other plants.

This will prevent the disease from spreading to other plants.

Next, remove any affected leaves or roots.

You should also disinfect any tools you use to avoid spreading the disease.

After removing the affected parts, treat the plant with a natural fungicide.

There are a variety of natural fungicides that are effective against root rot, leaf spot, and powdery mildew.

Some of these include neem oil, baking soda, and hydrogen peroxide.

After treating the plant, keep an eye on it for any further signs of disease.

Final Thoughts

A Calathea plant shouldn’t die easily since they’re relatively low-maintenance, but it can happen.

The most common cause of death is incorrect care, but plenty of other reasons exist.

If you think your indoor plant is dying, look closely at it and see if you can identify the problem.

Once you know what’s causing the issue, you can take steps to save your plant.

With the proper care, your Calathea will be healthy and thriving in no time!