Calathea ornata, or the pinstripe houseplant, is a striking member of the Maranta or prayer plant family. Their beautifully veined leaves make a striking statement in your home. Like any Calathea, houseplant care can be tricky and extra effort is needed for them to look their best indoors.
Care for Pinstripe Plants
Calathea ornata likes bright, indirect light. Be careful to avoid too much direct sun; otherwise, the leaves can fade or even burn. This plant has adapted to grow in dimmer, humid environments, so choose a spot that is well lit, but with little to no direct sun.
As far as soil goes for the pinstripe plant inside, choose a peat-based mix. A simple mixture would be two parts peat moss to one part perlite. Or you can use a pre-packaged African violet mix to keep it easy.
It is critical to meet soil moisture and humidity requirements in order for the indoor pinstripe plant to look its best. High humidity is important to keep the leaves in good condition. Increase humidity by setting the plant on top of moist pebbles or use a humidifier.
As far as soil moisture goes, aim to keep an evenly moist. Calathea plants, in general, are not drought tolerant at all. You can allow the surface of the soil to dry out slightly, but don’t allow too much of the soil to dry out; otherwise, you might risk getting brown and crispy leaf edges. On the other hand, avoid keeping the soil very wet or sitting in water. If you do, you can risk root rot. You will notice that if the soil is kept too wet, the entire plant may start to wilt.
Water quality is also important for the pinstripe plant. Poor water quality can cause the tips of the leaves to burn. Avoid using water that has gone through a water softener, as this is toxic to plants in general. These plants can also be sensitive to hard water or water that has too many additives. The best water to use is distilled water or rain water. If you can’t obtain this, you can allow your tap water to sit out overnight at a minimum.
Use a general houseplant fertilizer throughout the growing season. Avoid fertilizing in the winter when plant growth has slowed.
Pinstripe plant likes warm temperatures between 65-85 F. (18-29 C.) and minimum temperatures of about 60 F. (16 C.). Avoid cold drafts.
With a little extra attention, it is possible to keep a beautiful pinstripe houseplant in your home! And, it is well worth it.