Rattlesnake Plant has darkly patterned leaves with purple undersides that does well inside in low light areas. Rattlesnake Plants bring personality and color to any space indoors. They are well suited to offices or areas with only fluorescent light, or even a northern facing window. It is a part of the Marantaceae family, and likes bright, indirect light at most, as the colors will fade and the leaves will burn if exposed to too much direct light. These plants like to dry out some between watering.
Growing Zone: 9-11
Mature Height: 8″ – 12″
Mature Width: 10″ – 16″
Classification: Colorful Foliage
Sunlight: Fluorescent to bright, indirect
Habit: Wider than it is tall, compact
Flower Color: White, rarely flowers
Foliage: Green with stripes, purple undersides
Soil Condition: Well draining
Water Require: Likes to dry out between watering
Uses: Excellent indoors in offices or low light areas
Does Not Ship To: CA, WA, OR, AZ
Rattlesnake Plant is a pretty, pet friendly plant that does well indoors with minimal light and care. This plant looks like it’s been painted, and likes to dry out between watering. While it is tolerant of wet roots, it prefers not to be that way. The foliage will fade or burn if exposed to excessive light. The foliage is both cat and dog safe, according to the ASPCA Plant Toxicity List. This family of plants is known for its bright, intense foliage as it performs well indoors and holds its color without much light or care.
Light Requirement of Rattlesnake Plant:
Indoors, Rattlesnake Plants do well with bright, indirect light. An eastern or northern facing window would be ideal. A western or southern window would work, as long as a curtain or blind prevents direct light from touching the foliage. This plant also performs well without any bright indirect light, and just fluorescent light.
Watering Rattlesnake Plant:
Rattlesnake Plants like to dry out occasionally between watering. They will tolerate staying moist, but prefer not to have constantly wet soil. Rattlesnake Plants appreciate humidity, a pebble tray or window in the kitchen or the bathroom would suffice.
Fertilizing Rattlesnake Plant:
Any all purpose, foliage fertilizer will work for Rattlesnake Plant. Indoor houseplant fertilizers fall into two groups: water soluble, liquid quick release, and granular, slow release fertilizers. Jack’s Classic Indoor plant food works well as a powder, quick release fertilizer that is mixed with water to quickly provide nutrients to a plant that has been in a container for an extended time. On the other hand, Biotone Starter or Osmocote Indoor/Outdoor is an option as a granular, slow release fertilizer that can be applied while potting and planting. Any type of fertilizer offers nutrients that help plants with the transition to a new environment. We offer a one year warranty on our plants when you purchase Bio-tone at checkout and use it per label instructions. All of these fertilizers may be used when planting Rattlesnake Plant.
A common occurrence with other plants in this family (less so with Rattlesnake Plant) is for the tips or edges of the leaves to turn brown. This can be caused by fertilizing when the plant is dry, using a fertilizer high in salts, or extremes in watering (going from too wet to too dry). While this won’t kill the plant, it does start to look unslightly, and the browned edges are usually removed. It’s important to make sure the plant has been watered recently before using a water based fertilizer. With Rattlesnake Plants, it can be useful to dilute your regular fertilizer by 3/4 to 1/2 strength to avoid the brown edges.
Best Growing Soil for Rattlesnake Plant:
Rattlesnake Plants need a very well draining soil, and prefer to have slightly dry conditions. Regular potting mix or potting mix with sand mixed in works well for plants potted in containers. Rattlesnake Plant likes to be root bound.
History and introduction of Rattlesnake Plant:
Native to Brazil, Rattlesnake Plant is found in slightly moist soil with bright, indirect light. The soil, while moist, drains quickly so that the roots don’t constantly stay wet. Thus, the plants like some humidity and can survive with little to no direct light. Rattlesnake Plants produce small flowers that are white, but rarely seen when the plant is grown indoors. The leaves move upwards, near vertical, come nighttime when the light is no longer available. Many have hypothesized why some plants do this, but there is not a consensus.
Calathea lancifolia is the Latin name for Rattlesnake Plant. Calathea means basket, which refers to the shape of the flower, while lancifolia means lance-shaped leaves.