Plant-o-Pedia: Pinstripe Plant

Calathea Ornata, Pinstripe Plant

Photo by Alec Perez

It’s a stripes on stripes moment on the Plant-o-Pedia as we take a look at Calathea Ornata aka the Pinstripe Plant.

Native to the rainforests of Central and South America and also found in Africa and Thailand, Calatheas belong to the Marantaceae Family, or prayer plants, whose leaves open in the morning and close at night. Calathea Ornata is a variety are known for its elegant green and pink leaf pattern that look like they were delicately painted by Mother Nature herself. She remembered all her angles and gave the Pinstripe Plant leaf a deep maroon color underside.

Pinstripe Plant in Kaya Cup Planter

Photo by Alec Perez

GET THE GREEN: Calathea Ornata, Pinstripe Plant -- this plantie will require more attention and care so if you’re a frequent traveler or looking for low maintenance plants these might be a challenge.

WATER: Calatheas are not drought tolerant and will require more attention as they love to have lightly moist soil. They are sensitive to chlorine and fluoride in tap water so if you notice the leaf edges browning then it could be a sign of either underwatering or it’s not a fan of your tap water. Adjust your watering schedule to keep the soil moist and water with either filtered, distilled or -- if you really want to show your calathea true love -- rainwater!

Pro tip: Leave your water out overnight so that the chlorine evaporates!

SOIL: Use a mixture of peat-based potting mix and perlite to give the Pinstripe Plant a strong foundation as regular potting soil will retain water which could lead to root rot.

FERTILIZER: During the spring and summer months, your plant will appreciate a balanced fertilizer once a month to aid in growth. Be mindful to not over-fertilize as it will lead to a lanky plant or fertilizer burn. To be on the safe side, I use a compost tea at half the recommended serving size for the plant.

HUMIDITY: Now that it’s cold and you may be running the heat, it would be best to give your planties some love by bringing in a humidifier or pebble tray. Daily misting works but humidifiers will really give your Pinstripe Plant the right conditions to thrive. Group your high humidity plants together so they aren’t lonely this winter. Not only will it help your plants but you will also benefit from the humidity! WINS ALL AROUND.

SUNLIGHT: Remember that these plants are native to the rainforest, so they can thrive in bright indirect light and tolerate low light. Your Pinstripe Plant will tell you what it needs, if you notice its pink stripes fading then it’s receiving too much light.

PLACEMENT: If your bathroom has a window then this would be the perfect environment for the pinstripe plant. The humidity from the shower will keep this plantie very happy!

Calathea Ornata, Pinstripe Plant

Photo by Alec Perez

PROPAGATION: Pinstripe Plants propagate by division, so it’s best to wait for the spring when the plant is ready for repotting.

EXTRA CREDIT: Keep your plant's leaves clean and shining bright for maximum visual effect. This will also keep your Pinstripe Plant in good shape to fight off any unwanted bugs or pests as they are prone to attract spider mites and mealybugs.

CAUTION: ASCPA lists Calatheas as non-toxic to dogs and cats.

GET THE LOOK: Give your Calatheas some height with our Kaya 3-piece planter -- this planter set comes with drainage and is fun to mix and match!

Calathea "Beauty Star"

Photo by Alec Perez

With over 300 varieties of Calatheas, I like to pair the Pinstripe Plant with its cousin Calathea “Beauty Star” -- these varieties together are a great addition to any space and break up the sea of green with their pops of pink!


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