How to Grow and Care For Calathea White Fusion
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Native to the South American jungles, Calatheas are tropical houseplants that are popular for their bold patterned leaves and air-purifying properties. Because of the leaf's resemblance to animal patterns, some calatheas carry the animal's name such as peacock plant, zebra plant, and rattlesnake plant.
Calatheas can be finicky plants to care for, but once you learn the proper maintenance and establish the plant in the right environment, caring for these plants is fairly straightforward. Calathea White Fusion is known for its stunning, watercolor-like variegated white and dark green leaves with purple undersides. Although caring for Calathea White Fusion can be a little difficult, as long as you avoid direct sunlight and keep a humid environment, you should be able to grow and maintain a healthy plant.
In this guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know about how to care for the Calathea White Fusion to keep it thriving!
About Calathea White Fusion
Calatheas plants are native the tropical regions of South East Asia. The White Fusion was originally discovered by Taiyan Yam in 2007 at a commercial nursery in Malaysia. Calathea white fusion or Calathea lietzei is part of the Marantaceae family known more commonly as “prayer plants”. Prayer plants are known for their nyctinastic movement where the plant leaves fold up at night to “pray”.
Calathea White Fusions can oftentimes be confused with Calathea makoyana which also goes by the names of peacock plant. It is distinct in its marbled green and white patterned leaves bearing purple undersides. Each of the leaves produces unique variegation patterns making Calatheas a work of art. The variegation is why plant parents rave about the Calathea, but also requires proper light maintenance to upkeep.
What are the uses of Calathea White Fusion?
- Ground covers: Calatheas are great groundcovers especially in USDA hardiness zones 10-11 where they can grow perennially.
- Indoor plants: Calathea White Fusions make great, ornamental houseplants that can be a centerpiece to your living space with their watercolor-like, green-white variegation.
- Air purifying: According to Nasa, calatheas have air-purifying properties and help cleanse the space around you.
- Garden edge plant: Given their bush-like growth habit, calatheas are often times grown on garden edges to prevent animals and other pests from getting in.
Calathea White Fusion Care Guide
Window Locations (Ideal)
USDA Hardiness Zone
Calathea White Fusion Care Guide
Calathea white fusion is an impressive indoor plant that loves bright diffused light, high humidity, and warm temperatures. They are not drought tolerant plants and love consistently moist soil. Native to the tropics, Calatheas prefer warm environments but can survive in temperatures over 55 degrees Fahrenheit.
The key to maintaining the health of your calathea boils down to light and water in particular. Enough light is key to maintaining calathea white fusion’s marbled white and green patterned leaves. Calathea white fusion peacock plant loves consistently moist soil to grow, so a proper watering schedule with distilled water is key.
In this calathea white fusion care guide, we’ll cover in detail how you can best take care of your plant.
Growing Calathea Outdoors
Calatheas, including the White Fusion calathea, are evergreen perennials that prefer warmer temperatures and can thrive in USDA hardiness zones 10 and 11 year-round. Calatheas can make for great ground-covers and add variety to your outdoor yard and landscape.
If you live in a dry region or do not receive enough rain, make sure you water your plant frequently as these plants are not drought tolerant. According to its patent, White fusion calatheas can survive in temperatures above 55 degrees Fahrenheit and below 90 degrees Fahrenheit. However, if the weather gets too cold, overwinter your plant and keep it indoors until the weather improves.
Calatheas love bright light, but too much direct sunlight can burn the leaves of the plant. If planting outdoors, place your calathea white fusion in a spot with shade or filtered light.
Calathea White Fusion needs consistently moist soil. To determine whether your calathea needs water, tap the soil with your finger. If the top layer of soil is dry, your plant needs more water. Calathea plants are sensitive to fluoride in tap water, so please use distilled or rain water. Overwatering can result in waterlogged soil that leads to root rot and fungal disease, so be cautious while providing constant moisture. To avoid this, make sure the pot you plant your calathea in has drainage holes and use well-draining soil with perlite, pumice, or vermiculite.
During active growing season in the summer, you’ll likely water once or more a week. We recommend you lean on watering less frequently during the winter months to prevent overwatering, root rot, and fungal diseases.
If you’re underwatering, you’ll start to see symptoms like crispy, brown leaf edges.Avoid getting water on the leaves when watering.
If growing outdoors, make sure to water regularly. If you live in a hot, arid area like the desert, you’ll want to water even more regularly to ensure consistent soil moisture.
Why are my calathea white fusion leaves curling?
If your calathea white fusion leaves are curling, it's likely a sign of underwatering. Your plant is thirsty so make sure to get it a deep and thorough water and maintain a consistent watering schedule moving forward allowing topsoil to dry in between waterings.
Can I water calathea with tap water?
Calatheas are sensitive to flouride in tap water. We recommend watering with distilled water or rainwater.
Calathea White Fusion prefers bright, filtered, indirect light, or medium light. It needs adequate light to preserve its white and green leaf patterns, which are dependent on light. Without sufficient light, this plant may become stunted and lose its vibrant colors. North, east, or west-facing windows are the best location for this plant. Avoid south-facing windows, which receive direct sunlight unless you keep them at least 3-5 feet away, as they might burn the leaves and create crispy, brown leaf edges.
West and east-facing windows get direct sunlight exposure for a few hours interspersed with indirect light and north windows never get direct sunlight. Making these the most ideal placements for your Calathea.
If planting outdoors, plant Calathea white fusion in a partially shaded area.
Where do I place my calathea white fusion?
Place your calathea in a space that received bright, indirect light. West or east-facing windows are most ideal.
Can I grow my calathea white fusion in low light?
Although calatheas can survive in low light, calathea white fusion can start to loose its variegation if it doesn't get enough light.
How do I know if my white fusion is getting too much light?
You might notice that the variegation on your calathea will begin to fade or the leaves will become scorched. Move it out of direct sunlight a couple of feet away from a window.
Temperature and Humidity
Being tropical plants, Calathea white fusion prefers warm and humid climates. According to its discoverer, Taiyan, Calathea white fusion are tolerant to temperatures as low as 55 degrees Fahrenheit and as high as 90 degrees Fahrenheit. Temperatures in 70-80s are most ideal.
Calatheas are not drought tolerant, so follow a proper watering schedule to ensure moisture requirements are met.
Avoid placing your calathea near a heater which can dry up moisture in the air. Calathea White Fusion prefers high humidity levels with 75% or over for best results. If you’d like to increase humidity in your space, you can use a small humidifier, group your houseplants together, or place your plant on a tray filled with pebbles and water that will eventually evaporate.
Calatheas are great for terrariums!
Calatheas are great plants for terrariums! They are natural greenhouse plants that love a humid environment that a terrarium can encourage.
Calathea whit fusion does well in standard, well-draining houseplant potting mix. You can always add perlite, peat moss, orchid bark, or other gritty substances to encourage proper drainage and avoid soggy soil. You can also use standard African violet potting mix because they tend to retain moisture and drain excess water. Make sure to pot your plants in containers with drainage hole to prevent fungal disease, root rot, and other issues.
Pro Tip: Avoid using terracotta pots for your white fusion calathea!
Avoid terracotta pots as they can cause the soil to dry out quicker!
Calatheas like acidic soil. Recommended pH levels are acidic 6.5-7.5. If you’d like to raise your pH you can add baking soda, calcitic or dolomitic lime, and wood ash.
Being dense foliage, and tropical houseplants, Calathea white fusion prefers nitrogen-rich fertilizers (NPK ratio 3-1-2), but a general balanced houseplant fertilizer will do (NPK 10-10-10, 20-20-20). You can also use slow-release fertilizer as overfertilization can lead to root burn turning your calathea’s leaves brown and yellow.
As a general rule of thumb, you can fertilize once a month during the growing season in the Spring to Fall and pause feeding during dormancy in the winter.
Why do calatheas like nitrogen-rich fertilizers?
When shopping for fertilizer, you’ll notice that most plant fertilizers will contain an N-P-K ratio on the label. Nitrogen in fertilizers is a building block to help stems and leaves grow which is why it’s recommended for foliage plants like Calatheas. Phosphorus (P) in most fertilizers encourages flowers, fruits, and root systems to develop, while Potassium (K) helps maintain root health and also helps in developing flowers and fruits.
Pruning and Maintenance
If you’d like to encourage a bushier appearance, pruning is a great way to encourage new growth. Like most houseplants, the best time to prune a plant is during its growing season in the spring and summer to promote fast recovery. Calatheas don’t require pruning, but if you’re seeing curled, brown, or damaged leaves, don’t hesitate to trim them and deadhead any fading or dying flowerheads or blooms.
How to Repot White Calathea Fusion
Being slower growers, Calatheas generally should be repotted every 1-2 years to give its roots space to grow and replenish the nutrients in the soil. The best time to repot is during the growing season in the spring and summer, but you can repot at any time.
If you’re ready to repot, make sure to select a container bigger than your existing one to allow room for new growth. Make sure to use well-draining, fresh potting mix. Once you repot your plant, water thoroughly.
Prepare a new pot bigger than your existing one to allow room for growth.
Gently remove your existing Calathea White Fusion and softly shake off soil and undo the rootballs.
Fill up your new container up with soil and place your new plant into the container.
Backfill the container with fresh potting mix.
Water your plant thoroughly after repotting and follow a regular maintenance schedule.
How to Propagate White Calathea Fusion
Unlike most common houseplants, Calatheas aren’t commonly propagated through cuttings because cuttings don’t have nodes to help the roots grow. The most common ways to propagate a Calathea is by division of from seeds. We’ll cover each one of these below.
Propagating by Division
This method of propagation is best done when your Calathea White Fusion is a mature plant. To prepare for propagation, we recommend you water your plant the day before to reduce shock of the process.
Gently remove your Calathea white fusion from its pot and softly shake off the soil so you can clearly see the entire root system.
Detangle any roots first and gently shake off any remaining soil.
Inspect closely and see where the plant’s natural divisions are.
Once you see a spot, gently separate the sections apart. You can use sterilized garden shears to cut any entangled roots.
Take your separated sections and repot them each into new pots filled with the same soil they were potted in previously.
It takes roughly 2-4 weeks for your calatheas to settle in.
Growing From Seeds
Although you can grow Calathea White Fusion from seeds, the seeds are quiet hard to come by. Although Calathea white fusion can bloom, they rarely bloom indoors. Propagation through division is the most accessible method to create a new plant.
However, if you stumble on Calathea White Fusion seeds, follow these steps to germinate:
Prepare your new containers by filling them up with seed starting mix or acidic, well-draining potting mix.
Take your calathea seeds and plant them one-quarter to one-half inch deep.
Cover your containers with plastic wrap or a propagation tray cover to encourage humidity. You can also place them on top of a heating pad for faster germination.
Place in an area with bright, indirect light. It can take 30-60 days for seeds to germinate fully.
Once the seedling is a few inches tall, transplant into a larger container to continue growth.
Common White Fusion Calathea Pests & Disease
Unfortunately, Calathea White Fusion is susceptible to common houseplant diseases and issues like root rot, yellow or brown leaves, and pests like fungus gnats, spider mites, mealybugs, and more. Due to its high humidity and water requirements, the most common issues Calathea White Fusion is susceptible to include root rot, fungus gnats, yellow and brown leaves. We’ll cover how you can treat the most common issues below.
If this is your first time experiencing root rot, read our full guide on root rot.
Root rot is a common issue with most houseplants. It’s usually caused by moist or waterlogged soil for prolonged periods of time. Symptoms can include rapidly yellowing leaves, stunted growth, and a rotten brown base. If you’re seeing these symptoms, here’s how to treat root rot.
- Remove the plant from the pot and gently remove the soil so you can see the root system.
- If the roots are brown and mushy, you must take action immediately.
- Clean off the roots with sterile water.
- Take sterilized scissors and trim any mushy roots.
- You can use a diluted hydrogen peroxide solution to disinfect the roots.
Once cleaned up, repot your plant in fresh houseplant soil mix.
Fungus gnats are tiny fruit-fly sized insects that infest moist soil, potting mix and other mediums. They are gray to black-gray in appearance and their long legs and antennae can give them a mosquito like appearance. Because Calatheas love humid environments and moist soil, they can be particularly susceptible to fungus gnat infestations. Although harmless to humans, fungus gnats love to feed on the plants’ thin roots.
How to spot fungus gnat infestation on my calathea?
You’ll find them primarily on the surface of your potted soil.In an early infestation, fungus gnats are unlikely to do much damage. But because fungus gnats reproduce rapidly, laying up to hundreds of eggs on the soil surface, what was once a small infestation can turn into a severe infestation fairly quickly.
Symptoms of a fungus gnat infestation include stunted growth, yellow, or dropping leaves.
The best way to rid of fungus gnats is to use sticky card traps, cider-vinegar traps, or flypaper. These are similar methods to contain fruit flies.
Spider mites are ectoparasitic arthropods that feed on plants. They prefer hot weather along with dry conditions, and they feed on a wide range of plants. Spider mites can be red, yellow or orange, depending on species. They are tiny, but they can be seen with the naked eye.Spider mites attack plants through their leaves, sucking the nutrients out of them.
They leave stalks behind as they feed. While feeding, spider mites create webbing, and drain the life from plants causing leaves on infested plants to turn yellow and brown. They can cover and kill an entire plant within a week or two if left uncontrolled in your garden.
How to spot a spider mite infestation on my calathea?
Spider mite damage is different from that of cutting insects. There won’t be a hole in a leaf, but rather large discolored areas made up of tiny dots or stippling. You may notice that your plant leaves are covered in a web-like substance as previously stated or you may notice small specks on the leaves, or if the infestation has gone further you might see leaves or whole portions of your plant start to curl and wither.
Leaves Turning Brown
If you’re seeing crispy, brown leaf edges, this is a sign of under-watering or too much sunlight. Make sure your soil is consistently moist between waterings. Leaf curling can also happen because of underwatering.
Leaves Turning Yellow
Yellow leaves are typically a sign of overwatering. Make sure you are letting the topsoil dry between watering and using distilled water. Calatheas are sensitive to fluoride in tap water. You’ll want to make sure that your Calathea is planted in well-draining soil. You can add peat, perlite, or orchid bark to help with drainage.
If you haven’t repotted your calathea in a year, yellow leaves could be a sign of a nutrient deficiency. In this case, we recommend refreshing the potting mix by supplying your calathea with nitrogen-rich fertilizer or repotting with fresh soil.
Leaf Patterns Disappearing
Disappearing variegation is a sign of improper light conditions. White portions of the variegated plants lack chlorophyll making the plant require more light in order to thrive. If the light is too low, the plant will produce more chlorophyll and the leaves can loose their variegation.
Make sure your plant gets bright, indirect sunlight by placing near east or west facing windows.
Common Care Tips to Take Good Care of Your Calathea
Water consistently and keep soil moist. Use distilled water (no tap water)!
Place in bright, indirect sunlight especially if you want to upkeep the variegation. East, west, or north facing windows are ideal.
Propagation can happen by division or from seeds, not stem cuttings!
Calathea White Fusions love humidity of 75% or more.
Common FAQ for Calathea White Fusion
Should I mist white fusion calathea?
Although misting can help temporarily with immunity, water and moisture that accumulates on leaves can create fungal issues like leaf spots.
Is Calathea White Fusion hard to care for?
Calatheas can be finnicky overall, but with proper water and light care they can be easy to maintain.
How often should I water Calathea White Fusion?
Generally, you want to water once a week. Wait for topsoil to dry between waterings.
How do I propagate Calathea white fusion?
You can easily propagate from stem cuttings or through seeds.
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