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Calathea Musaica Care – Top Tips

Calathea Musaica Care – Top Tips

Calathea “Musaica” (Goeppertia kegeljanii) is a beautiful plant native to Brazilian tropical jungles. It has an intricate network of fine yellow-green lines that create a mosaic that covers the entire surface of its medium-green leaves. 

The network of fine lines gave Calathea “Musaica” its popular name Calathea “Network”. Let the light shine through the leaves to see just how spectacular this networkis. 

The leaves of Calathea “Musaica” are slightly arching and form a clump. This growing habit makes it a nice addition to your other Calatheas. 

While not as flamboyant as its other Calathea relatives, “Musaica” is a stunningly beautiful plant that has the added advantage of being a bit easier to care for than most other Calatheas.

 

 

Calathea White Fusion Care

To thrive in your home, Calathea “Musaica” requires indirect bright light, humid but well-draining soil, and humidity between 50 and 80 percent. As a tropical native, “Musaica” needs a consistently warm temperature between 65 and 85°F (18-30°C). Your Calathea should be placed away from direct heat sources and drafts. It benefits from the diluted fertilizer every four to six weeks during its full growing season. 

 

Soil

Calathea “Musaica” grows well in the soil that is consistently moist, but never wet. It has to be well-draining so that the excess water leaves through the pot drainage hole and the roots do not sit in it. 

A combination of two-thirds peat moss, compost, or coco coir and one-third perlite, coarse sand, or crushed orchid bark will make your Calathea happy and disease-free. 

You can use most commercial soil mixes and add some material that will make it better-draining such as perlite, bark, or coarse sand. If you have a nice collection of house plants, you might want to experiment with making your own potting mix. 

If you are adding compost to the soil you use, keep in mind that the compost is highly moisture-retaining. You will need to add more perlite or sand to make sure the soil does not stay too wet. 

 

Watering

Watering your Calathea “Musaica” is a bit of trial and error. It does need consistently moist soil, but if you overwater it, its roots will rot. If you underwater it, the leaves will wilt. 

The rule of watering your plant once a week or once every two weeks does not work very well because Calathea’s needs for water change with seasons, the temperature, the light exposure, and the available humidity. 

One way to avoid watering mistakes is to make sure your plant actually needs water.  Stick your finger in the soil and if the first inch of the soil is dry, water your Calathea thoroughly.

Make sure that water excess gets drained out of the pot’s drainage hole. When you touch the soil and it is still moist, check again in a few days. Do not wait too long or you’re the soil of your Calathea “Musaica” will get too dry.

Like other Calatheas, Calathea “Musaica” is sensitive to fluoride and other minerals in the water. Water your Calathea with rain, filtered, or bottled water to avoid fluoride toxicity and accumulation of minerals in the soil.

 

Light

Calathea “Musaica” is a tropical plant and its native home is the Brasilian tropical jungle. It will be happiest in your home if you try to give it similar conditions – bright, filtered, indirect light.

It might take you some time to find the best place in your home for your “Musaica.” Try different locations, on the window sill where it gets indirect light but not direct sun.

Calathea “Musaica” is more tolerant of insufficient light and will enjoy early morning or late afternoon sun, but not in the summer when the sun might burn the leaves. If you notice that your Calathea leaves have brown edges or spots, it is very likely getting too much light.

Turn the pot occasionally to give all the leaves of your Calathea “Musaica”  the same amount of light.

 

Temperature

Calathea “Musaica” grows happily in indoor temperatures between 65°F (18ºC) and 85°F (30°C). Do not allow the temperature to drop below 60°F (15°C) or your Calathea will stop growing.

Keep your Calathea away from heating elements, air conditioners, and draft. 

 

Humidity

Calathea “Musaica” requires humidity that is higher than 50. If the humidity reaches 80 percent or higher, you risk a fungal or bacterial disease. Make sure that the plant has enough air circulation. 

If you keep more than one plant together, give them enough space so they can breathe. If they do not have enough ventilation, use a ventilator, but keep it at safe distance. 

You can increase humidity by placing a humidifier in the room where your Calathea lives. You can also place a pot on a tray of pebbles filled with water.

A bathroom humid environment is great for Calatheas and your “Musaica” will enjoy a window sill in the bathroom as long as it does not get sprayed with hot water. 

 

Fertilizer

If you mix your potting soil with about ten percent compost, you will not need to fertilize Calathea until the next repotting. Compost will provide a slow release of all the nutrients your plant needs.

Do not forget that compost retains water. To avoid overwatering and soggy soil, add additional perlite, sand, or bark.

You can also fertilize your Calathea “Musaica” with a balanced house plant fertilizer. Dilute it to about half the strength the label recommends and fertilize every four to six weeks during the Calathea’s active growing season.

If you regularly use chemical fertilizer, you might see salt deposits accumulated on the inside of your pot.  They can damage your Calathea “Musaica” so flush its soil from time to time.

 

Repotting

Your Calathea “Musaica” will overgrow its pot every two to three years and will need to be repotted. You will know it is time for repotting when you see roots growing from the drainage hole and the soil is filled with roots. 

Repotting is important if you want to place your Calathea in a bigger pot to give it space to grow. It is also the opportunity to give your plant fresh soil and even propagate it.

Keep in mind that the repotting is traumatic for your Calathea “Musaica” so you will have to give it a bit extra care after.

 

Step-by-step repotting of Calathea “Musaica”

  1. Take your Calathea out of the pot by sliding it out;
  2. Check the roots and cut off any damaged or rotting parts;
  3. Shake off the old soil but try not to disturb the roots unless  you are planning to divide the root ball for propagation;
  4. Prepare a pot one size bigger  than the old one by placing a bit of soil mix at the bottom;
  5. Make sure that the new pot has a drainage hole;
  6. Place the Calathea in the middle of the pot;
  7. Fill your pot with the soil mix on all sides;
  8. Water your Calathea thoroughly until the excess water comes freely from the drainage hole.

The best time for repotting is when the plant is growing vigorously, in spring and summer.

 

Pruning

Pruning of Calathea “Musaica” should be done only to remove damaged or rotting leaves. Cut each bad leaf at the stem. The new leaves will grow in their place fairly quickly.

 

Propagation

The only way you can propagate your Calathea “Musaica is by dividing its root ball into two or even more parts where roots naturally separate. The time to do is during repotting. 

Plant each new plant into its own pot and fill it with the same soil mix you use for the mother plant.  Water them well and put them in a spot with bright but indirect light. 

It will take some time before you see the new growth, but that is normal. You will have several skinny looking Calatheas, but if you give them the right care, they will quickly start thriving.

 

Blooms

Calathea “Musaica” rarely blooms in the home environment.  If it does bloom, the small white flowers appear directly from the rhizome on a short stalk and are not very exciting.

 

Growth

Under the best conditions, a mature Calathea “Musaica” will grow to the size of about two feet high and two to three feet wide.  It is not a fast grower and its growing season is in spring and summer. 

If your Calathea stops growing during spring and summer, it is not getting all it needs. Check the humidity and light and make sure you are not overwatering or under-watering it.

“Musaica” does not need frequent repotting. Every two to three years move it to one size bigger pot and replenish the soil with the fresh one.

Calathea “Musaica” rarely blooms when treated as a house plant. Even in its native environment, its flowers are small and not exciting.

This Calathea does not require pruning. Just cut at the stem all yellowing, crisping, or rotting leaves.

 

Common Problems for Calathea Musaica

Calathea “Musaica” is prone to many pests common to houseplant, such as spider mites, thrips, mealybugs, scale, and fungus gnats. Most of them you can spot if you regularly inspect your Calathea. 

Do not wait for the infestation, check the plant every few days. Look at every leaf on both sides, check the soil and stems. Look for fine webbing or sticky residue if you cannot spot insects due to their tiny size.

If you see any pests on your Calathea “Musaica”, wash it first with a damp cloth or give it a nice shower or hose it down with mild spray. You can also use a cotton ball soaked in alcohol to clean the plant.

After you wash all traces of pests that you could see, spray your Calathea with neem oil. Neem oil is an effective natural insecticide derived from the neem tree. It is safe for pets and wildlife and is biodegradable. 

 

Tips for growing Calathea “White Fusion”

  • If you can provide your Calathea “Musaica” with adequate watering, high humidity, and bright but diffused lighting, it will grow happily in your home for many years.
  • Bear in mind that humidity in your home varies due to the change in seasons, weather, temperature, and other factors. Monitor it regularly, your plant’s health depends on it.
  • Water your Calathea only when it needs it, when the first inch of the soil is dry. Your finger is the best judge when your plant needs watering.
  • Check your Calathea for pests regularly. Try to catch pests before they become a serious problem.
  • Your Calathea “Musaica” will show you that something is wrong by having brown spots on leaves or on the edges. You will have to find out whether they are caused by low humidity, overwatering, under-watering, too much fertilizer, chemicals in the water, or too much light. Eliminate potential problems until you find what is wrong.

 

Frequently Asked Questions about Calathea Musaica Care 

 

Why is my Calathea “Musaica” not blooming?

Calathea “Musaica” rarely blooms when it is grown as a house plant. In its native home in the tropical jungle, it grows small white flowers that grow directly from the rhizome.

 

How can I propagate my Calathea “Musaica”?

Calathea “Musaica” is propagated by divided its root ball. When you take the plant out of its pot for repotting, divide the root ball at its natural division. 

You can make two or more baby Calatheas. Repot each in the same soil mix as the mother plant. It will take some time before your baby plants grow as lush and vibrant as their parent.

 

Is Calathea “Musaica” toxic?

No part of Calathea “Musaica” is toxic for humans or pets. Keep kids and pets away from your Calathea so that they do not damage by accident its delicate leaves.

 

The tips of the leaves of my Calathea are turning brown. What is wrong?

When the edges or tips of your Calathea leaves turn brown, it is most likely that you are watering it with tap water. 

Tap water is full of chemicals such as fluoride, chlorine, and salts. Most of them are damaging for your plant, especially in time, as they accumulate in the soil. Use rain or filtered water for watering.

 

How often does Calathea “Musaica” need watering? 

There is no exact rule for watering your Calathea. You should water it when the top inch of the soil dries out. 

Stick your finger in the soil and if it is dry, give your Calathea a good watering. If it is still moist, wait for a few days and then check again. Overwatering your Calathea is worse than under-watering it.

 

Conclusion

Calathea “Musaica” is one of the easiest Calatheas to care for. Adequate warmth, high humidity, proper watering, and light, free-draining soil are going to keep your Calathea happy for a long time.  

Compared to some other more finicky Calatheas, “Musaica” is much more forgiving of your mistakes and is tolerant to a wider range of conditions such as humidity and light. 

Nevertheless, follow the instructions and give your “Musaica” what it needs so that you can enjoy its beautiful leaves with their fine network of lines. 

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