25 Fun Calathea Varieties (From Easy To Challenging)

calathea varieties with pictures

Calatheas (recently reclassified as Goeppertia) are gorgeous but can be fussy. If you are up for trying them, some will have more patience with your mishaps. Others might be the challenge you want.

They grow large, sensitive leaves from horizontal stems called rhizomes. The challenge with this group is mimicking their native tropical rainforest habitat. The more sensitive to these requirements, the more difficult it is to care for the plant.

Calatheas need temperatures between 60–85°F (16–30°C), over 50% humidity, and moist soil. The easier varieties, like Freddie, forgive poor conditions with a little browning. Yet the harder varieties, like Misto, turn brown fast and take several seasons to recover.

Calatheas come in over 230+ species and varieties from across the tropics. This list will lead you through 25 popular Calathea varieties chosen for variation. We’ve ranked them from 1 to 5, 5 being the easy score and placed earlier in the list.

1. Freddie Calathea (Goeppertia concinna ‘Freddie’) 

calathea freddie

Ease of care: 5 (easy)

Freddie Calathea (Goeppertia concinna ‘Freddie’) is the variety most hailed as an easy calathea and most forgiving of mistakes.

The name “Freddie” often refers to Calathea Leopardina, Calathea Mirabillis, or Calathea Louisae. Concinna is the same species as Leopardina, renamed. So it can get confusing when you want to learn more about Freddies

Regardless of which Freddie species you have, each is easy to care for and behaves similarly.

  • Scientific Name: Goeppertia concinna’ Freddie’, Goeppertia mirabillis ‘Freddie’
  • Common Names: Freddie, Calathea Freddie, Calathea Mirabillis, Calathea Leopardina, Calathea Concinna
  • Native Region: Brazil
  • Full Size: 36 in (90 cm)

2. Rattlesnake Plant (Goeppertia insignis)

calathea lancifolia

Ease of care: 5 (easy)

The rattlesnake plant (Goeppertia insignis) has elongated leaves with knobby patterns of dark green on light green. They may remind you of a rattle. Dark pink covers the leaf undersides. The leaves also ripple up and down with these patterns rather than the Calathea typical flat leaf. 

As a whole, the plant grows denser than the wider-leaved Calatheas. Sometimes the leaves compete with each other. If they touch, then over time, they may turn brown. So encouraging the plant to grow will help it give the distance between leaves.

  • Scientific Name: Goeppertia insignis
  • Common Names: Rattlesnake Plant, Calathea Lancifolia
  • Native Region: Brazil
  • Full Size: 18 in (75 cm)

3. Peacock Calathea (Goeppertia makoyana)

calathea makoyana

Ease of care: 5 (easy)

The peacock calathea (Goeppertia makoyana) bears a similar design to the rattlesnake plant. The rattlesnake plant leaf topsides have a rattle-like pattern and dark green on silver-green. But the peacock has flat and almost circular leaves. The underside is a pink version of the top, with dark pink on light pink. 

If you look closely enough, the leaves look like peacock feathers, earning the plant its name. They can be hard to find, but those who care for them love them.

  • Scientific Name: Goeppertia makoyana
  • Common Names: Peacock Plant, Peacock Calathea, Cathedral Window
  • Native Region: Brazil
  • Full Size: 48 in (120 cm)

4. Round Leaf Calathea (Goeppertia Orbifolia)

calathea orbifolia

Ease of care: 4 (mostly easy)

Round-leaf calatheas (Goeppertia Orbifolia) have massive, rounded leaves. They have moderate variegation. A lighter color, often grayish, looks like someone painted them on with a dry brush. These stripes are thicker at the leaf’s rib and feathered at the edge. 

They develop brown-edged leaves in low humidity easier than the other “easy” calatheas. Calatheas survive in humidity above 40 percent. But 50 percent is better, especially for this variety. It also tolerates neem oil applications, which many Calatheas struggle with.

  • Scientific Name: Goeppertia orbifolia
  • Common Names: Round Leaf Calathea, Calathea Orbifolia
  • Native Region: Bolivia
  • Full Size: 36 in (90 cm)

5. Calathea Fasciata (Goeppertia fasciata)

calathea fasciata

Ease of care: 5 (easy)

Calathea fasciata (Goeppertia fasciata) has great contrast with dark green leaf & silver stripes. The stripes vary in thickness. Some are thick and visible from far away, and others are small enough to need close study.

Its care requirement is similar to Calathea Orbifolia, but it grows much slower. Calathea Fasciata’s large, round leaves are prone to browning in low humidity. But otherwise, the plant is easy to care for.

  • Scientific Name: Goeppertia fasciata
  • Common Names: Calathea Fasciata
  • Native Region: Brazil
  • Full Size: 20 in (50 cm)

6. Furry Feather (Goeppertia rufibarba)

calathea rufibarba

Ease of care: 4 (mostly easy)

Furry feathers (Goeppertia rufibarba) resemble a cross between rattlesnake plants and jungle velvets. They have the rippling, elongated leaves of rattlesnake plants but the velvety texture of jungle velvets.

They are more tolerant of being moved around, having low humidity, non-distilled water, and direct sunlight. But furry feather’s stems and leaves also grow dense and can hide infestations if you aren’t careful. They also tend to drink more.

  • Scientific Name: Goeppertia rufibarba
  • Common Names: Furry Feather, Velvet Calathea, Calathea Rufibarba
  • Native Region: Brazil
  • Full Size: 42 in (105 cm)

7. Jungle Velvet (Goeppertia warscewiczii)

calathea warscewiczii

Ease of care: 4 (mostly easy)

Leaf texture makes the Calathea jungle velvet (Goeppertia warscewiczii—pronounced vark-zeh-wik-zee-eye) distinct. It feels like a thin layer of velvet. 

It also has deep color contrast with dark red-purple on the underside and green on the topside. Light green follows the major veins, and dark green fills in the rest of the leaf.

Jungle velvet is a calathea that needs lots of humidity. The leaves will brown if there isn’t enough dampness in the soil or more than 50 percent humidity in the air. It also drinks a lot like a larger calathea.

  • Scientific Name: Goeppertia warscewiczii (pronounced vark-zeh-wik-zee-eye)
  • Common Names: Calathea Jungle Velvet, Jungle Velvet
  • Native Region: Costa Rica and Nicaragua
  • Full Size: 40 in (100 cm)

8. Calathea Network (Goeppertia kegeljanii ‘PP0005’)

calathea musaica network

Ease of care: 4 (mostly easy)

The network calathea (Goeppertia kegejanii ‘PP0005’) is a variety with a leaf structure no other calathea has. Most have veins wafting out and forward from the midrib or other major veins. The network has major veins that curve like normal but connect with perpendicular lines that form boxes. 

It’s like someone on their first attempt at patching torn clothing. The color contrast between dark green lines and light green boxes shows up best from underneath while looking up at the light.

  • Scientific Name: Goeppertia kegeljanii ‘PP0005’
  • Common Names: Calathea Musaica, Network Calathea, Maranta Bella (original name)
  • Native Region: Brazil
  • Full Size: 36 in (90 cm)

9. Eternal Flame (Goeppertia crocata)

calathea crocata

Ease of care: 4 (mostly easy)

Eternal flames (Goeppertia crocata) resemble other tall Calatheas. They grow dense and have leaves with dark green on the topsides and dark purple on the backsides. But what makes them unique is their bright orange flowers that grow easier than any other calathea. 

Most calathea flowers grow low and have subtle colors that draw energy away from the rest of the plant. Eternal flames lack this issue. Their flowers stand tall above the leaves if you have ideal humidity and light conditions. Overall, they aren’t as fussy as many Calatheas.

  • Scientific Name: Goeppertia crocata
  • Common Names: Eternal Flame, Saffron Colored Calathea
  • Native Region: Brazil
  • Full Size: 24 in (60 cm)

10. Medallion (Goeppertia roseopicta ‘Medallion’)

calathea medallion

Ease of care: 4 (mostly easy)

Goeppertia Roseopicta varieties have a deep pink for the leaf undersides and petioles and have ornate topsides. Medallions, in particular, have up to four shades of green radiating from the leaf’s midrib. They have a yellow-green, then dark green, then a loop of silver-green, then enclosed with rich middling green.

It is less sensitive to overwatering and browning from low humidity. If your household lacks a humidifier or you struggle to find the perfect amount of water, you may find this plant more forgiving.

  • Scientific Name: Goeppertia Roseopicta ‘Medallion’
  • Common Names: Medallion, Calathea Veitchiana
  • Native Region: Brazil
  • Full Size: 30 in (75 cm)

11. Rosy (Goeppertia roseopicta ‘Rosy’)

calathea rosy

Ease of care: 4 (mostly easy)

Rosies (Goeppertia Roseopicta ‘Rosy’) have one of the most pronounced pink leaves. They are round and have hot pink covering most of the area but with dark green along the outer rim.

Some plants have a silver-green core where the rose color should be. Like other variegated plants but more pronounced with the rosy, colors develop depending on the lighting. The more you optimize Calathea’s preferred medium indirect light, the better the hues.

  • Scientific Name: Goeppertia Roseopicta ‘Rosy’
  • Common Names: Rosy, Rosy Calathea, Rose-Painted Calathea
  • Native Region: Brazil
  • Full Size: 30 in (75 cm)

12. Dottie (Goeppertia roseopicta ‘Dottie’)

Calathea dottie

Ease of care: 

Dottie (Goeppertia roseopicta ‘Dottie’) is a small variety of the same species as the Medallion. It has the usual Calathea Roseopicta leaf pattern of dark pink undersides and variegated topsides. 

But Dottie’s size and bright pink markings on the topside are distinctive. The pink follows the midrib and loops around the surface like a second frame inside the green.

This variety needs the soil moist more than other Calatheas. The roots are delicate, and the extra moisture from frequent small waterings helps. If you get this plant, you might prefer to get a mature one. Mature Dotties will be more willing to transition from their old home to yours. Smaller ones tend to be more sensitive than other young Calatheas.

  • Scientific Name: Goeppertia Roseopicta ‘Dottie’
  • Common Names: Dottie, Calathea Dottie
  • Native Region: Brazil
  • Full Size: 30 in (75 cm)

13. Calathea Picturata (Goeppertia picturata ‘Argentea’)

calathea picturata argentea

Ease of care: 3

Calathea picturata (Goeppertia picturata’ Argentea’) of this variety gets the ‘Argentea’ part of its name from the leaf color. The Latin word for silver is ‘argentum’, and the leaves have an immense silvery center and a dark green brim. Yet it still has the dark pink underside that many colorful Calatheas have, giving it more contrast.

This species can be sensitive to tap water and pest oils. Brown burns or stains may remain and stress the plant enough to take a long time to heal.

  • Scientific Name: Goeppertia picturata ‘Argentea’
  • Common Names: Calathea Picturata, Calathea Argentea
  • Native Region: Brazil
  • Full Size: 24 in (60 cm)

14. Calathea Zebrina (Goeppertia zebrina)

calathea zebrina

Ease of care: 3

Zebra Calathea (Goeppertia zebrina) has long, flat leaves. They have a uniform light green from leaf to stem except for blocky dark green stripes between the leaf midribs and edges.

Many Calatheas are called zebra plants, but this species also has it specific to itself. It’s also confused with the closely-related prayer plant, Maranta, both in name and appearance.

It can be sensitive to low humidity and water situations, so you may take time to find the right balance. Some people easily find this balance, while others have a hard time.

  • Scientific Name: Goeppertia zebrina
  • Common Names: Calathea Zebrina, Calathea Zebra
  • Native Region: Mexico
  • Full Size: 40 in (100 cm)

15. Pin-Stripe Plant (Goeppertia ornata)

calathea ornata pinstripe

Ease of care: 3 

Pin-stripe Calathea (Goeppertia ornata) has one of the most pronounced light and dark variegation. The leaves have nearly-white sharp-lined stripes against dark green. The contrast is so stark that it’s hard to misidentify the plant.

This calathea achieves a different appearance if you change your lighting. The stripes get a pink tinge when there’s a perfect amount of indirect light. But they can be white if they get too little or too much. 

Keeping it healthy is a similar game of balancing light. Some people find pin-stripes easy to nurture, while others struggle. It’ll come down to how much indirect light your house has.

  • Scientific Name: Goeppertia ornata
  • Common Names: Pin-Stripe, Calathea Pin-Stripe, Calathea Ornata
  • Native Region: Columbia and Venezuela
  • Full Size: 24 in (60 cm)

16. Maui Queen (Goeppertia louisae ‘Maui Queen’)

calathea maui queen

Ease of care: 3 

Maui queens (Goeppertia louisae ‘Maui Queen’) have rippling long leaves with dark green but a light green design along their midrib. The design resembles small, feathery tufts. Stems will also be a light green.

This species requires that you find the ideal balance of moisture and stay on top of it. The plant will curl and brown in a hurry.

  • Scientific Name: Goeppertia louisae ‘Maui Queen’
  • Common Names: Maui Queen, Calathea Maui
  • Native Region: Brazil
  • Full Size: 36 in (90 cm)

17. Beauty Star (Goeppertia Ornata ‘Beauty star’)

calathea beauty star

Ease of care: 2 (mostly hard)

Beauty stars (Goeppertia Ornata ‘Beauty star’) are like their pure pin-stripe relatives but with a different color distribution. They have fewer off-white stripes and more of a light green background wrapped by dark green edges.

This variety is more sensitive to minerals in water than some other Calatheas. If you live in an area with tap water that is hard or fluorinated, then distilling the water will help your plant. It can also be challenging to find suitable lighting and humidity to keep the leaf colors.

  • Scientific Name: Goeppertia ornata ‘Beauty star’
  • Common Names: Calathea Beauty Star
  • Native Region: Brazil
  • Full Size: 36 in (90 cm)

18. White Star (Goeppertia majestica ‘White Star’)

calathea white star

Ease of care: 2 (mostly hard)

White Stars (Goeppertia majestica ‘White Star’) have long leaves with dark green outlines filled with silver-green and pale rose. Their bright colors and large leaves make them easy to spot among most other Calatheas.

Compared to other Calatheas, White Stars are known for being poor growers. They struggle to become adult plants at the size of other Calatheas, particularly if the plant has problems while it’s still young. Mature plants are more resilient.

  • Scientific Name: Goeppertia majestica ‘White Star’
  • Common Names: Calathea White Star
  • Native Region: Brazil
  • Full Size: 48–60 in (120–150 cm)

19. White Fusion (Goeppertia lietzei)

calathea white fusion

Ease of care: 2 (mostly hard)

White fusions (Goeppertia lietzei)have long leaves that look like someone took a paintbrush to them. One brush would’ve been laden with dark green, another with an off-white. The colors don’t follow vein patterns except for the general direction. Otherwise, the colors are more random than other Calatheas.

This variety is sensitive to humidity. It will begin to brown sooner than other calathea under the same conditions. A greenhouse or a humidifier is almost required unless you live in a tropical region and don’t use an air conditioner.

  • Scientific Name: Goeppertia lietzei
  • Common Names: White Fusion, Calathea Lietzei
  • Native Region: Malaysia (invented by Taiyan Yam)
  • Full Size: 24 in (60 cm)

20. Calathea Vittata (Goeppertia elliptica ‘Vittata’)

calathea vittata

Ease of care: 2 (mostly hard) 

Calathea vittata (Goeppertia elliptica ‘Vittata’) leaves have a zebra pattern and many shades of green. The leaves have a middling green on the rim and dark green on the major veins, and they have two types of stripes. Broad ones are thick and light, and between them are thin mid-toned ones.

This variety is picky about tap water, fertilizer, direct sunlight, and low humidity. You will want to make an effort to provide distilled water and organic or ¼ diluted fertilizer. You will also want to keep the Calathea Vittata away from windows and keep it near a humidifier.

  • Scientific Name: Goeppertia elliptica’ Vittata’
  • Common Names: Calathea Vittata, Prayer Plant Vittata
  • Native Region: Northern South America
  • Full Size: 14 in (35 cm)

21. Thai Beauty (Goeppertia louisae)

calathea louisae thai beauty

Ease of care: 2 (mostly hard)

Thai beauties (Goeppertia louisae ‘Thai Beauty’) have a mix of lime, light green & dark variegated. The slight ruffling groups up at the base where the leaf meets the petiole, giving a fabric-like appearance.

This species requires that you find the ideal balance of moisture. It will curl and brown in a hurry.

  • Scientific Name: Goeppertia louisae
  • Common Names: Thai Beauty, Calathea Louisae
  • Native Region: Brazil
  • Full Size: 30 in (80 cm)

22. Misto (Goeppertia louisae ‘Misto’)

calathea misto

Ease of care: 1 (hard)

Calathea Misto (Goeppertia louisae ‘Misto’) leaves have a middling green throughout. But near the midrib, they have a feathery, dry brush pattern of lighter green. Ridges along major veins that bounce light at different angles add to the subtle color contrast. It makes one shade of green look lighter on one side and darker on the other.

Mistos turn brown and crisp fast from low humidity. They also take a long time to rebound. Initial new leaves will show the same problems even after you adjust the conditions.

  • Scientific Name: Goeppertia louisae ‘Misto’
  • Common Names: Misto, Calathea Misto
  • Native Region: Brazil
  • Full Size: 36 in (90 cm)

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