Native to South America, the Network Prayer Plant is a beautiful and unique plant that is becoming increasingly popular among plant enthusiasts. Like other prayer plants, Calathea Musaica care is relatively easy, making this a great houseplant for beginners while still being interesting to look at and giving itself a rare plant “wow” factor to visitors.
If you’re ready to add this plant to your collection but aren’t sure how to care for it, here is a care guide to help you keep your new plant baby healthy and happy, plus a few tips for propagating and troubleshooting what to do when things go wrong.
Calathea musaica: Maintenance overview
|Scientific Name||Goeppertia kegeljanii|
|Common Name||Network prayer plant|
|Light||Bright indirect sunlight|
|Water||Allow the top of the soil to dry out in between watering|
|Soil||Peat-based potting mix|
|Fertilizer||Monthly during the growing season|
|Toxic to Cats or Dogs?||The calathea musaica is not toxic to either cats or dogs.|
|Where to Buy||Buy on Etsy|
Calathea Musaica Characteristics
Native to South American tropical areas this member of the Marantaceae family is less widely available than some other Calatheas, but it’s a joy to watch grow and would be a gorgeous, unique addition to your plant
Most prayer plants have stunning foliage, but the Calathea musaica is more understated and easier to keep flourishing than its cousins. Goeppertia kegeljanii (the official scientific name) leaves have intricate grid-like patterns, like a network of grid shapes (hence the name). It’s very similar to the Madagascar Lace plant, though that’s an exclusively aquatic plant and cannot live in soil.
Like other prayer plants it will produce flowers in its native habitat but rarely flower in a home. If you have an exceptionally happy plant then you’ll see the flowers are tiny and white and will often shoot out from the middle.
Calathea musaica care requires less effort than its cousins and often gives off warning signs that it needs attention. If you see your calathea musaica leaves curling then you know it’s time to give it some love (more on that below).
Calathea Musaica size
The calathea musaica plant can grow to be quite large, up to three feet in height. If you are growing it indoors, you will need to provide it with a large pot and plenty of space to stretch out. If treated well, it is a fast-growing plant and can become overcrowded quickly, so be sure to give it enough space in your plant collection so that it can flourish.
Does Calathea Musaica like to be root bound?
Calathea Musaica does not necessarily like to be rootbound, but it can tolerate it to an extent. If you do decide to keep your Calathea Musaica in a pot that is rootbound, make sure to repot it every couple of years to ensure that the roots have enough room to spread out.
Most experts recommend going around 2″ wider every time so that your plant acclimates easily and doesn’t die from “plant shock.”
Calathea Musaica light requirements
The network prayer plant does best in bright, indirect sunlight. If the light is too direct, the leaves will start to fade, and the plant will become leggy. If the light is too low, the leaves will start to develop brown spots.
The easiest way to ensure it gets enough light is to try your best to keep it near a shaded window that faces west so it can get filtered afternoon sunlight daily.
Calathea Musaica water requirements
The Calathea Musaica requires moderate amounts of water, so be sure to keep the soil evenly moistened but not soggy. Allow the topsoil to dry out slightly in between waterings, approximately down to your finger’s top knuckle (the one under your fingernail).
This plant does best in humid environments, so misting it occasionally will help to keep its leaves looking their best, especially if your home gets dry in the winters like mine does.
Calathea Musaica humidity requirements
All prayer plants prefer high humidity levels, so be sure to mist the leaves regularly and keep the soil moist. You can also use a pebble tray or humidifier to increase the humidity around the plant. I really love these continuous misters over the traditional style; they make it much easier when you’ve got to mist multiple plants. (Also, the red color is just killer!)
Calathea Musaica soil requirements
This plant does best in rich, moist soils that are high in organic matter. It is important to keep the soil evenly moist, but not soggy, and to avoid letting it dry out completely. A general rule of thumb is to water your plant when the top inch or so of soil feels dry to the touch.
Since it prefers moist soil, try using a dense potting mix instead of one meant for succulents or cactus’ as these let water drain too quickly.
Calathea Musaica fertilizer requirements
This plant does best with a light fertilizer that is high in nitrogen. A good time to fertilize is every 2-3 weeks during the growing season. During the winter months, you can cut back down to fertilizing every month or so.
Troubleshooting Common Calathea Musaica Problems
Basic Triage: If you are having trouble with your Calathea Musaica, there are a few things you can do to troubleshoot the problem. First, make sure that the plant is getting enough water and sunlight. If the plant is wilting or showing signs of stress, it may not be getting enough moisture or light. Second, check to see if there is any debris on or around the plant. This can include leaves, twigs, flowers, and bugs. If there is debris on the plants, it may be causing them to lose water or light faster than they should. Finally, if you notice that one of the plants in your collection is not growing as fast as the others or has started to show signs of disease or pests then you may need to fertilize or water more frequently.
Prayer plants are fairly tolerant of being forgotten about, but there are some calathea musaica care problems that will let you know when it’s time to start paying more attention.
If your Calathea Musaica’s leaves are browning or wilting, it could be a sign of too much direct sun exposure. Move your plant to a spot with indirect sunlight and see if there’s an improvement.
If the leaves are still browning, it could also be a sign of too much water. Allow the soil to dry out completely before watering again.
If the leaves are yellowing, it could be a sign of too little water. Be sure to water your plant regularly and keep the soil moist but not soggy.
Curling leaves are typically a sign that the plant needs more water as it tries to conserve resources. Try first spritzing it with a mister directly onto the leaves. If this doesn’t work, start increasing the amount of water you give it during its regular watering sessions.
Trim off any crunchy brown areas to help your plant rehab, as these spots won’t grow back and just expend unnecessary energy for your plant to treat on its own.
If you see any pests on your plant, treat them immediately. You can use a natural pesticide, such as neem oil. Unfortunately, you need to catch pest problems early…if your plant is too far gone, you may have to discard it.
How to Propagate Calathea Musaica
To propagate Calathea Musaica, simply take a stem cutting with at least two leaves attached and place it in moist soil. Once the cutting has grown new roots, you can then transplant it into a pot of its own. Be sure to keep the soil moist but not soggy, and provide bright indirect light.
Propagating cuttings step-by-step guide:
- Gardening shears (sterilized)
- Rooting hormone (optional)
- Fresh soil
- New pot
Step 1: Use a sharp, sterile knife or gardening shears to cut at a node that has at least two leaves. Nodes are the knobby thing on roots where stems will typically split.
Step 2: Fill a small pot with fresh soil. Your pot should be small; going too big will make it difficult to know if you’re overwatering or not. Let the cutting root in a baby pot for now and then upgrade it as needed.
Step 3: Dip the cutting in rooting hormone and drive it into the potting soil. If you don’t have root hormone you can just stick the cutting directly into the soil. Rooting hormone only gives it a little oomph but isn’t required.
Step 4: Put the pot in an area with bright but indirect sunlight and let it grow.
Step 5: Once it’s rooted, you can transfer it to a new pot.
Calathea Musaica Care: Conclusion
Now that you know how to care for your new plant, enjoy it in your home or office! With proper care, this beautiful plant will thrive and bring you years of enjoyment.