Fertilizing Calathea

Fertilizing is an essential part of caring for houseplants like Calathea. Plants in nature gain nutrients as nearby plant matter breaks down into the surrounding soil. Houseplants do not have this ability, so they depend on you to receive fertilizer. Feeding Calathea helps the plants push out new growth and even set flowers. Fertilizing Calathea helps your plants thrive.


Why Fertilize Calathea

Fertilizing Calatheas helps the plants grow bigger and set more leaves. Supporting foliage growth is important for all plants, but Calatheas are known for their colorful and uniquely patterned leaves, so helping the plants push out more foliage helps the plants thrive and look amazing. Houseplants only bloom when they are healthy and well-cared for; fertilizing is necessary for Calatheas to bloom.

Calathea plants do not need to be fertilized when they are dormant during the fall and winter. Houseplants only need to be fertilized when actively growing during the spring and summer.


How Often To Fertilize Calathea

Start to feed Calathea during the spring. Apply fertilizer every two to four weeks while the plant is actively growing. Stop fertilizing Calatheas in the fall. Houseplants typically are dormant or less active during the colder months, and it is unnecessary to feed dormant plants.

How To Tell If Calathea Needs Fertilizer

Fertilize Calatheas if foliage and roots are healthy, but growth has slowed. If the plant has not bloomed or set new leaves, or if the leaves remain small and do not reach full size, then the Calathea may be underfed. Underfed plants will experience limited growth or stop growing altogether. Growth slows when the plant is dormant, but if it is not growing by late spring and summer, then it may need fertilizer.

Best Fertilizer For Calathea

A balanced fertilizer with a ratio of 10-10-10 or 20-20-20 is best for Calatheas. This plant needs even amounts of nitrogen, phosphorous, and potassium. Feeding Calatheas a balanced fertilizer allows the plant to grow new foliage, expand the root system, and set flowers. Always follow the dosing instructions on the packaging to provide the best results.

Calathea Fertilizing Tips

Feed Calatheas when the plant is actively growing during the spring and summer. Dormant plants do not need to be fed. Plants not pushing out new leaves or blooming during the active growing season could be underfed, but they may also have problems with lighting, drainage, and watering. If you have provided the right growing conditions for your Calathea, and growth is still lagging, try a light fertilizer application. Feed Calatheas using a balanced fertilizer and follow the instructions on the packaging.

  • Fertilize Calatheas to support new growth and blooms
  • Apply fertilizer every two to four weeks during the spring and summer
  • Use a balanced fertilizer to feed Calathea


-Always wear protective gloves and a face mask when handling chemical fertilizers. 

-Closely follow all directions and storage guidelines that are on the fertilizer label.

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Author Alison Cotsonas - Published 03-08-2023