Calathea rufibarba Calathea rufibarba
Calathea rufibarba Calathea rufibarba

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Calathea rufibarba

Calathea rufibarba

Velvet Calathea really is velvety to the touch! This is a great plant for a home office or bathroom since it will do well in low light. It likes to stay warm and humid - adding a humidity tray underneath the pot with colorful stones and water will help moisture evaporate into the leaves.

Growzone: 9-11

As Low As: $26.95

1. Choose Size & Quantity
Size Price Quantity
4 Inch Pot $26.95
2. Choose Recommended Add-Ons
Product Price Quantity
Ocean Forest Potting Soil
12 Dry Quarts
$21.95
Jack's Classic Houseplant Special Fertilizer
8 oz. Tub
$17.95
Osmocote Plus Outdoor and Indoor Plant Food
1 LB Shaker
$16.95
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Calathea rufibarba Plants for Sale Online

Calathea rufibarba earns its common name, Velvet Calathea. From the soft velvety leaves to the deep underside color, it's perfect in low light situations in your home or office. While not as bright as many other Calathea plants, its rich green leaves make up for this with deep burgundy undersides. Its muted tones make this a little easier to work into modern home designs. As an added benefit, Calatheas are air-purifying plants, so you can breathe easier knowing the velvet calathea is working for you.


Growing Zone: 9-11
Mature Height: 2 to 3 feet
Mature Width: 1 to 2 feet
Classification: Colorful foliage
Sunlight: Fluorescent to bright, indirect
Habit: Wider than it is tall, compact
Foliage: Spear-shaped dark green leaves, velvet texture, dark reddish-maroon undersides
Soil Condition: Evenly moist, well draining
Water Requirements: Likes humidity and even moisture, can tolerate drying out between waterings
Uses: Excellent indoors in offices or low light areas
This Plants Growzone: 9-11 Calathea rufibarba Hardiness Zone

How to Care for Calathea rufibarba

Before buying a Velvet Calathea Rufibarba, be sure to read the recommended care instructions to ensure a successful transition to its new home.

How often should I water my Velvet Calathea?

How often should I water my Velvet Calathea?

Velvet Calathea are similar other Calathea species - they prefer to stay evenly moist in well draining soil. They will tolerate the soil drying out some between waterings, but if you leave them too dry for too long the leaves will droop and may even start to brown at the edges. Leaving them in soil that is too wet is not ideal either, since that could cause root rot. We recommend watering well, until the water drains out the bottom of the pot, and then discard any excess water after you are finished. Then, wait until the top inch or so is dry to the touch before watering again. A humidity tray (a tray wider than the base of the pot filled with stones and water) can help maintain humidity within the leaves. Filtered water is preferable to hard water.

How much light do Velvet Calathea Plants need?

How much light do Velvet Calathea Plants need?

Calathea rufibarba plants are native to tropical environments where they are protected from direct sunlight by a big tropical canopy. Keep this in mind when selecting a place for your Velvet Calathea - they will be perfectly happy in most low light situations. Bright indirect light is better, but direct sunlight can cause the leaves to become scorched.

What is the right potting soil for Calathea rufibarba?

What is the right potting soil for Calathea rufibarba?

Velvet Calathea do well in any well-balanced organic potting mix. Make sure it retains moisture but still has adequate drainage, so that your plant has the moisture it needs but does not sit in too much water. Potting mixes can be amended to have more drainage with some coarse sand, or to be more water retentive with some peat moss, humus, or other organic matter.

What kind of fertilizer is best for Velvet Calathea?

What kind of fertilizer is best for Velvet Calathea?

Velvet Calathea will benefit from any well balanced indoor plant fertilizer. You can use a liquid formula every 4 to 6 weeks from spring to fall, or you can use a slow release granular formula as often as the care instructions say to use. Using your fertilizer at half strength is better for smaller, younger plants.


Additional Information

Velvet Calathea really is velvety to the touch! This is a great indoor plant for a home office or bathroom since it will do well in low indirect light. It likes to stay warm and humid - adding a humidity tray underneath the pot with colorful stones and water will help moisture evaporate into the leaves.

Calatheas make great houseplants to collect because the Calathea family features plants with many different colors and textures of leaves. Velvet Calatheas get their name from the tiny hairs that cover their leaves and give the plant a soft, velvety feel. They have purple stems with deep green leaves and dark purplish-maroon undersides. These tropical beauties are great for livening up a warm spot in the bedroom or bathroom due to their affinity for indirect sunlight and high humidity.

Often called Calathea Wavestar due to the undulating texture of its leaves, this plant can be slightly challenging for the beginning house plant grower. Calathea rufibarba likes bright indirect light and it may take a try or two to find the exact location where it will be happiest. 

Don't stress out too much though it will tell you if it's in a place where it won't be happy. If it gets too much sun the leaves will curl up to let you know. If you see this, try to move it away from the window or even try a new location. 

As far as watering call all calatheas prefer spring water when you water or mist them. Calatheas are from the pristine tropical jungles of South America and thrive on the clean water and humidity of the understory there. In many locations that have tap water, the water is cleaned using chemicals that leave behind residues called salts. In time these salts can build up in the potting soil and harm the plants' roots. Also, it's not wise to allow a calathea plant to set in a dish of water for an extended period of time as this can cause root rot and cause your plant to struggle. 

Calathea plants also like humidity, so it’s a great plant to keep in a bathroom if you have a window for natural light, or near a humidifier. If you don’t have a humidifier, try placing your Calathea on a humidity tray. You can make your own humidity tray with a shallow dish (plastic or glass), pebbles, and a small amount of water that will evaporate around the plant to boost the humidity! Do not let the water level touch the bottom of the pot if possible. 

Feed your Calathea bi-weekly to monthly. To do this use any good quality houseplant fertilizer but dilute to half strength to avoid salt build-up from the fertilizer. Don’t fertilize your calathea during the winter months. 


Frequently Asked questions

Can I propagate my Velvet Calathea?

Are Calathea rufibarba plants pet safe?

Should I mist my Calathea rufibarba plants?


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