Propagating Calathea

Propagating is an easy way to expand your Calathea collection or manage a plant's size. Calathea plants are best propagated through division, where the main plant is broken apart into multiple plants at the roots. It is best to divide plants during repotting, so you can see the root system as you separate the plants.The process is not difficult, but the mother plant must be big enough to provide an adequate root system for each new plant.


Methods To Propagate Calathea

Calatheas can only be propagated through seeds or division. Other propagation methods like cuttings and air laying do not work with Calathea plants.

Best Rooting Media To Propagate Calathea

Newly divided Calathea plants should be potted in their own containers. Multiple small plants can be planted in one large container, but you want to ensure the plants have room to grow over the next year or two. Plant newly divided Calathea plants in moist, loose, well-draining soil. These plants prefer damp conditions, and freshly propagated plants need consistent moisture for the first few weeks until they acclimate.  

Steps To Propagate Calathea

Step 1 - Remove the Calathea plant from the pot and gently remove as much soil as possible.

Step 2 - Loosen the root ball and see if any smaller plants are not connected to the main plant.

Step 3 - Use clean shears or a knife to cut any roots connecting small plants to the main plant.

Step 4 - Repot each plant into a container with fresh soil. The pots should be 1-2 inches larger in diameter than the root ball. Large plants need their own container, but multiple smaller plants can be potted together to create a full-looking plant.

Step 5 - Water the newly potted plants and place them in medium indirect light.

Caring For Calathea Divisions

Propagating can be stressful for plants. Help the newly propagated Calathea adjust and settle into their new homes by providing ideal care. Houseplants always need a certain level of care, but new plants will especially benefit from attention to sunlight, water, and humidity requirements. New plants can be particularly sensitive to intense sunlight conditions, so make sure you keep your new calathea plants out of direct sunlight. As the plant matures, it can be acclimated to brighter conditions.


Water new Calathea plants when the top layer of the soil is just barely damp. Return to regular watering after a couple of weeks when the plant has had time to settle.

Transplanting Calathea Divisions

When the divisions start to put on new growth, they can be moved to separate pots to prevent overcrowding. If they are already growing in separate pots, you can wait to repot them when the roots can be seen through the drainage holes, or when the top growth is too big for the current container. The best time to repot Calathea is in spring. Upgrade the plant to a container a few inches larger than the root ball. Fill with high-quality potting soil and water in the roots well.

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Author Alison Cotsonas - Published 03-08-2023