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Calathea White Star: Ultimate Care Guide, Tips and FAQs

Going deep into the initial cause of the yellow leaves in Calathea White Star might point toward inconsistent watering schedules.

Generally, Calathea White Star grows in at least 6 hours of indirect light, 50-60% humidity and temperatures of 65-80ºF. Also, the Calathea variety prefers damp, organic soil, watering if the top inch dries, monthly fertilizer, yearly pruning, and repotting biyearly.

Scroll down to learn the care technique of Calathea White Star to prevent problems attacking the peaceful-looking leaves.

Calathea White Star Overview

A native to the tropics of South America, the Calathea White Star has signature leaves that were initially used to make baskets for transporting fish and rice.

Scientific NameCalathea majestica "White Star"
Common nameMajestic prayer plant
Zebra plant
NativeBrazil (South America)
USDA Zone 9-12
NatureTropical evergreen foliage
Average height/Width4-5 feet/2-3 feet
FoliageGreen leaves with white pinstripes and green leaf edges
Blooming seasonSpring to summer
Growth HabitUpright shrub, Perennial
ToxicityNon-toxic to human or pets

Care for Calathea White Star: A Complete Guide

Starting the Calathea White Star for the first time might seem daunting, thanks to its attractive foliage, but that is not the case, as you can easily cater to it.

FactorsFavorable Parameters
Sunlight6-8 hours of bright indirect sunlight
WateringOnce every 1-2 weeks or when top 2 inches dry
Humidity50% to 60%
SoilPorous organic soil with water retention capacity (6.0-6.5 pH)
FertilizerOnce every 4-6 weeks with 1/4th diluted slow releasing fertilizer
RepottingOnce In 2 to 3 Years
PruningOnly when leaves die or turn yellow

1. Sunlight and Temperature

Calathea White Star is a medium to bright indirect light lover, given its tropical rainforest origin with a temperature of 65-80ºF.

To maintain a warm environment, place the plant under a shade, near an east-facing window or three feet away from the south-facing window for at least 6-8 hours.

Avoid direct sun rays to prevent scorched and burnt leaves with yellowing caused by extreme temperature and high transpiration.

However, check for the optimum light level, as darkness makes the leaves lose variegation and turn leggy when aided by low temperature.

So, mimic the Calathea White Star’s natural habitat by installing a grow light and placing the plant under it for 10 to 12 hours.

Cover the plant with a frost blanket and use a heating mat during the frost month. Do look out for heating vents to clear out the risk of temperature fluctuation.

2. Watering and Humidity

Although the White Star is from the rainforest, it loathes soggy soil and humid condition beyond 60% that invites root rot.

The optimum watering frequency for Calathea White star is once every 1-2 weeks when the top 2 inches of soil dries out by keeping the humidity around 50-60%.

However, following the schedule all the time can be deadly as the surroundings affect the water consumption rate of the plant.

For the hot summers, check 2-inch deep soil using the index finger or chopstick to look out for any moisture. If not, water it, or the leaves may turn brown and shrink.

Cut back on watering to once every 3-4 weeks during winter to prevent overwatering and increase the saline level in the soil of the Calathea.

Also, humidity during summer tends to go low, so mist the plant once a week or install a humidifier for the best result. Alternatively, you can use humidity trays.

Encourage the bottom-watering method to let the plant gradually absorb moisture through the soil.

Note: Always use distilled, filtered, or rainwater for watering to avoid chlorine and fluoride toxicities that may burn the plant roots and leaves.

3. Soil and Fertilizer

Choose a slightly acidic (6.0-6.5 pH) potting soil mix that retains moisture and enough nutrients while draining excess water.

For the best, prepare your DIY using potting soil, orchid bark, activated charcoal, and perlite or pumice in a 5:2:2:1 ratio and fertilize monthly using balanced liquid fertilizer.

Avoid using the denser potting mix with a lot of clay that absorbs excess water.

Alternatively, you can buy mulch-rich potting mixes like Miracle-Gro Potting Mix, Pothos Air Plant Soil, or Espoma Organic Potting Mix.

However, restrain from applying fertilizer for the first six months on the store-bought mix to prevent burning leaves and roots due to excess salt build-up led by overfertilization.

Also, dilute the fertilizer before appliance but remember to balance the ratio as lack of required nutrients can discolor the leaves and stunt the growth.

4. Potting and Repotting

The Calathea White Star requires well-draining soil to retain enough moisture, possibly with a dense pot like terracotta or glazed ceramic.

However, remember that Calathea does not like to be root-bound, so choose a 5-6 inches container that should be increased by at least 2 inches in every repotting.

A mature plant does well in a pot size of 8-10″, but the White Star becomes root bound after a year or two, demanding to repot.

Some initial signs for repotting include roots poking out from the drainage hole and stunted growth of plants.

Before starting, water the plant and leave it for at least 12 hours to soften the soil. Pull out the plant and remove any dirt and damaged, black, mushy roots.

Then, choose 2 inch bigger terracotta pot and fill it to 1/3rd of its height with potting mix.

Place the plant on the pot and gradually fill the rest space with the potting mix, leaving one inches gap from the rim.

Water the pot to dampen the soil and place it in a warm, shaded location. Avoid fertilizing until 2-3 months to prevent overfertilization and stressing the plant.

5. Occasional Pruning

A shrub-like plant Calathea White Star grows vertically to reach 4-5 feet without requiring massive trimming.

However, the plant tends to wilt, get damaged and have yellow leaves when external factors like pests and diseases occur.

The White Star becomes prone to pests like mealy bugs, spider mites and leaf scales when the humidity or temperature is below adequate.

During pest infestation, discoloration is expected, followed by a silky web, drooping, and leaves curling with yellow spots.

On the other hand, basal stem rot and rust fungus attack the plant due to waterlogging and highly damp conditions.

The diseased plants show signs of decaying root systems, swollen, mushy stems and small brown rings on the upper side of the leaf.

Both situations demand pruning to shift the focus on growing instead of recovering. Also, use neem oil and insecticidal soap for pests while bonide fungicide for diseased plants.

Cut back on pruning during fall and winter when the White Star enters dormancy.

Calathea White Star: All About the Growth Rate

Calathea White Star will grow to 4-5 feet in height and 1-2 feet in width to give out lush green foliage throughout the year under proper care.

The moderate to fast grower features streaked leaves 16-18 inches long and 4-5 inches wide with white and pink stripes extending from the midrib to the leaf edges over the dark green surface.
Striped foliage of Calathea White star growing over a brown pot
Majestica White Star has a tinge of pink hue on the striped foliage.

Also, the White Star gives out 4 to 5 new leaves having violet undersides every growing season.

However, if you expect to enjoy the blooms, you might need to go into the tropical wild as Calathea White Star rarely or never blooms indoors.

Because of that, the variety is grown for its majestic patterned foliage instead of flowers.

Toxicity of Calathea White Star

Belonging to the Marantaceae family makes the Calathea White Star a pet and human-friendly houseplant, as all varieties of Calathea are non-toxic.

Even ASPCA has reported the Calathea varieties to be free from any toxic compound that hampers the health of cats, dogs, and humans.

However, do not let your pets and toddlers roam around the White Star, as chewing on the non-toxic plants can cause stomach discomfort.

In case of consumption, immediately reach out to the helpline numbers.

Propagation of Calathea White Star

The best time to propagate Clathea white star is spring or early summer.

After the timing, select the propagation method significantly available for Calatheas, including stem cutting and rhizome division.

However, the stem-cutting method does not work well, as the stem tissue of Calathea White Star cannot adequately support new growth.

Hence, the more reliable method is rhizome division, where you cut the healthy root with a stem and grow it in a new potting mix.

Propagation by Rhizome Division

The best time to propagate Calathea White Star by rhizome division is when repotting the plant, as disturbing the roots repeatedly might hamper the plant’s growth.

  • Start by sliding out the plant and washing the roots to untangle the root system without causing any damage.
  • Separate a healthy root and stem from the plant and cut the healthy root attached to the stem using a sharp pruning shear.
  • However, be careful not to accidentally harm the root system as it may cause plant stress.
  • Then, get an adequately sized plastic pot and fill it in half with the same potting mix.
  • Place the rhizome carefully into the pot with roots first. Then, add another layer of potting mix.
  • Immediately water the soil so the root can quickly take up the nutrients.
  • Afterward, place the pot in a room with indirect sunlight at a warm temperature.
  • Water frequently to keep the soil moist until you witness healthy foliage set.
  • Resume the usual watering schedule and fertilizer only after 2-3 months.

Take reference from the video for a visual aid!

Calathea White Star For Sale

After learning the care tips, you are ready to home a new variety to your plant collection. So look at the sites to buy  Calthea White Star.

Places to Buy Shipping Details
EtsyWithin 10-12 days
My Home Nature Within 3 weeks
Garden GoodsWithin 5-7 days

FAQs About Calathea White Star

What is the difference between Calathea White Star and Ornata?

Most of the Calathea varieties are similar in appearance, but a slight difference can always be noticed.

The leaves of White Star are narrower and longer than Ornata and have white, silver or pink stripes leaves over the dark green leaves.

What is the difference between Calathea White Star and Vittata?

Vittata is also a striped variety of Calathea, but the leaves are much smaller than the White Star and feature a green underside rather than the purple found in White Star.

What does the Calathea White Star symbolize?

The literal meaning of Calathea refers to a new beginning from the English saying, ‘to turn over a new leaf.’

Take reference from the video for any confusion!

From Editorial Team


Growing Calathea White Star may be challenging when grown indoors. Therefore, monitor the plant’s condition to catch early signs of problems.

Once you establish an excellent, caring routine, your White Star will become integral to your home décor.

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