Scientific Name: Calathea rufibarba
Common Names: furry feather, velvet Calathea
Calathea rufibarba is a houseplant with a lot to offer! Visually, it has long, textured, narrow leaves with an unusual coloring pattern combination of green on top and a deep red color on bottom; tactilely, it has fine hairs covering the leaves that feel like velvet. A favorite among plant collectors looking for a less common vibe!
As far as care goes, this plant isn’t too picky:
- Give C. rufibarba bright indirect light. Too much direct light will sunburn the plant and make that deep red color fade away!
- We recommend using a healthy, organic potting soil for this one. If you don’t have any, you can find some with our convenient repotting kit here! Once a month, re-up the bacteria in the soil to keep it healthy with some bacterial inoculant, which you can find here - bacterial inoculant is a fertilizer replacement that works on anything with roots, so this takes the question of fertilizing your plants off of your plate.
- Water this plant enough to keep the soil evenly moist (but not soggy). It’s okay to let the top part of the soil dry out a bit between waterings. As with all plants, this plant will become less active in the winter and will not need quite as much water, so make sure you’re keeping an eye on it as the year progresses and working with it to match its needs in your homes specific environment.
- Temperature isn’t something that usually needs talking about with indoor plants (considering most homes have about the same temperatures), but this plant does not like to get too hot! Keep it under 80 degrees. Since you’ll be keeping it out of direct sun it shouldn’t be much of a problem, but some people like their houses to be hot! Other than that, keep it out of the way of cold air from vents - but that goes for most indoor plants.
If you’re doing a great job, this plant will flower cute little yellow flowers at the base! Look forward to that, it’s an amazing feeling to see your plant friend so content with your care.