Calathea rufibarba is one of the most stunning houseplants, it’s very difficult to resist buying one of these cute, furry feather plants.
But you know what’s more difficult? Taking good care of these plants and keeping them alive.
If you just got yours and you’re wondering what steps to take to keep them in good condition, you’re in the right place.
So how can you take care of your calathea rufibarba and keep it healthy?
Calathea rufibarba can be very fussy, however, you’ll need to be mindful of its humidity, light, and water requirements to keep your plant healthy.
It’s really easy to kill your furry feather plant if you’re not aware of these little things. But we’ve made things much easier by providing you with the ultimate furry feather care guide.
If you want to keep your plant healthy and avoid those annoying brown, crispy edges and yellowing leaves, read this article now. This is the only guide you need.
Calathea Rufibarba Care
Calathea rufibarba care starts from the planting stage. Furry feather plants must be planted properly to grow well. By providing adequate light, humidity, water and other requirements, calathea rufibarba leaves will get up to a meter tall.
Calatheas rufibarba is a tropical plant, the way you care for it would reflect in its appearance.
Your plant care routine would be much easier if you understand the requirements and needs of your furry feather plants.
Discover the requirements and needs below. Follow these furry feather plant care guidelines religiously and see your plant thrive.
1. Calathea Rufibarba Light Needs
Calathea rufibarba is normally found in the shaded understory of humid forests in its natural habitat.
So you’ll need to create a similar, ideal lighting condition in your home to keep your plant happy!
An easy way to meet the light needs of your cute furry feather plants is using bright, indirect sunlight. And while most people think that the furry feather plant is perfect for low light conditions, this isn’t entirely true.
To properly care for the calathea rufibarba, you must understand that it needs bright indirect sunlight to thrive. Avoid direct sunlight at all costs.
You want to keep them not too close to the windows. So you can place your calathea rufibarba at least 3- 4 feet from your window. Placing other plants around your furry feather plant would help to protect it from intense sunlight.
You may be wondering why furry feather plant doesn’t like direct sunlight? Well, the answer is simple. Direct sunlight on the plant can make its leaves dim and can make the leaves lose their beautiful markings.
Would you want that for your beautiful tender calathea rufibarba? I guess not, so you’ll need to supply it with the ideal light for proper growth.
2. Calathea Rufibarba Soil Needs
One of the ways of caring for your calathea rufibarba is by providing it with ideal soil for its growth.
Calathea rufibarba can never do well if planted on the wrong soil. What then is the ideal soil for calathea rufibarba to grow well? As I already said, the furry feather plant is a tropical plant, so it grows very well in well-draining, mixed soil filled with organic matter.
Getting such a type of soil isn’t a big deal, it is prepared and readily available in stores that sell gardening materials. But you can achieve this type of soil by adding moss, some hull rice, the bark of the orchid, and some perlite to your soil.
To get a better idea of calathea’s soil requirements, check out our dedicated guide on the best soil for calathea plants. We also suggest a couple of soil mix recipes so that you don’t have to waste time figuring out correct compositions.
3. Calathea Rufibarba Water Requirements
Calathea rufibarba loves to stay moist at all times. So you want to make sure your plant doesn’t dry out in-between waterings.
To prevent root rot and keep your plant from dying, you must keep the soil moist but never waterlogged.
Calathea rufibarba would need the right type of water for it to grow well. If you spot brown tips on the plant’s leaves, this is a sign that your furry feather plant is receiving water with inadequate minerals or the wrong type of minerals.
Fortunately, there’s a quick fix for this kind of problem. Place water in a jar and allow it to sit for days before using it for your plants. Then in the rainy season, you could easily use rainwater.
4. Calathea Rufibarba Temperature Requirements
As mentioned before, Calathea rufibarba is a tropical plant. Hence, it needs to stay within temperatures ranging from 60° degrees to 70° degrees Fahrenheit.
You’ll also need to keep your plant away from drafty areas, fireplaces, stoves, or any other intense source of cold or heat.
Furry feather plants are not winter-hardy, chilly winds and breeze can damage the plant’s foliage. So you’ll also want to keep your plant indoors during winters.
You can protect your rufibarba calathea from the heat by keeping it in a cool, shady area.
5. Calathea Rufibarba Humidity Requirements
Another thing you need to be mindful of is the humidity requirement of your plant.
The calathea rufibarba survives better when you keep the air humid. If the humidity level is below 40%, the calathea rufibarba may find it difficult to survive.
When your plant is surviving below 40% humidity level, it will show on the leaves, they become very dull and unfresh. Once you spot such symptoms on your furry feather plant, know that it needs urgent treatment.
Furry feather plants prefer 50% humidity or higher. Maintaining a proper humidity level can be a bit tricky depending on your climate, but once you know what works for your plant, then it’ll be easy to take care of your plant.
Regulating the plant’s moisture would be much easier with a humidifier.
Generally, Calatheas are humidity-loving plants, you can keep the air around humid by misting your plant moderately, placing it above pebble trays or in bathrooms where the humidity level is high.
Misting can promote diseases and cause so many other troubles, so you want to do it moderately. If you live in a dry climate, regulating humidity is extremely important.
6. Calathea Rufibarba Fertilizer
Calathea rufibarba is slow-growing, fertilizers that are rich in nitrogen are suitable for your plant.
A slow-release fertilizer is equally ideal. And the perfect time to use such fertilizers is when planting or transplanting them.
Using fertilizers during the winter months is not advisable, give your plant fertilizer during growing seasons such as summer and spring instead.
In summer, you can add fertilizer once every two weeks for evergreen leaves and optimal growth. Plus, never apply fertilizer to a furry feather plant when the soil is moist.
After applying fertilizer to your plant, carefully observe it to make sure there are no negative symptoms. Also, keep in mind that Calathea rufibarba can still do well without being fertilized as long as it is well taken care of.
Can you grow Calathea Rufibarba outdoors?
Yes, Calathea rufibarba is an impressive, ornamental plant that can be grown outdoors depending on your climate.
If you live in a warm, humid climate, you can easily grow furry feather plants in pots. However, they’ll need a bit of shade just like in their natural habitat.
Also, you’ll want to take the plant inside when the weather gets cold.
Keep in mind that Calathea rufibarba is a tropical plant, so it cannot survive in a cold environment.
When & how to repot Calathea Rufibarba?
To properly care for your calathea rufibarba, one of the things you must learn is how and when to repot your plant.
Repotting a furry feather plant can be useful when one notices faint leaves or root rot, this can help to save the plant.
You may also need to repot your plant when the pot initially used becomes too small for the plant. In this case, you’ll need to use a pot that is larger than the one previously used.
Generally, it’s recommended to repot your calathea rufibarba every 2 or 3 years depending on the growth rate of your plant. This would help to enable the plant to continue growing in fresh soil with fresher nutrients.
To report your plants, the first thing you need to get ready is your pot. Make sure it has proper drainage holes before you put them in the soil.
We’ve learned how to prepare the soil for furry feather plants, so it shouldn’t be much work. At this point, you can carefully report your plant. Now, make sure to water it and keep it healthy.
Is pruning necessary for Calathea Rufibarba?
One of the ways to properly care for a calathea rufibarba is to prune it when necessary.
Pruning helps to carefully remove discolored, dry leaves especially when they are too many. This will help prevent the plant from spending unnecessary energy and nutrients on the discolored leaves instead of other, healthy parts.
Although it’s sometimes advisable to wait for the yellow leaves to dry and fall off the plant naturally, you can decide to prune them if you find them rather unpleasant.
You can prune your furry feather plant at any time of the year as long as some leaves are yellow. So the question is how can one prune a furry feather plant?
Pruning your calathea rufibarba should be the simplest caring antic for your plant. To do this, you would need a pair of scissors made specifically for gardening activities.
Simply use the gardening scissors to cut the discolored or dry leaves from their stem but be careful not to damage healthy leaves.
How to propagate Calathea Rufibarba?
Most people simply purchase Calathea rufibarba as it can be a bit difficult to propagate it as the seeds are rare.
So you’ll have to propagate it through a root division.
And you can easily achieve this by dividing the plant’s roots gently and then potting each individually.
The best time to propagate your furry feather plant is during growing seasons such as spring and summer.
If you care for your calathea rufibarba well enough, then you must be gentle during the division to avoid damaging the roots and killing the plant, I know you wouldn’t want that!
Calathea Rufibarba Pests & Diseases
One annoying drawback of keeping plants is the fact that you’ll have to deal with pests once in a while.
With furry feather plants, scales and spider mites seem to top the chat. Most times, calathea Rufibarba become vulnerable to these pests when they are stressed out or not getting enough water.
But there’s a way to kick these creatures off your plant. You can use neem oil to keep scales off and treat spider mites using insecticidal soap.
The most common disease of the calathea rufibarba is discoloured leaves caused by root rot of the plant. You can treat this by simply repoting or carefully removing damaged areas.
Calathea Rufibarba Care – Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Are calathea rufibarba hard to care for?
Generally, Calathea Rufibarba is considered to be easy to care for houseplants that are quite resistant to diseases and severe pest attacks. If you provide proper light, temperature, water and soil mix then you don’t have to worry much about calathea rufibarba’s growth.
Is calathea rufibarba indoor or outdoor?
Calathea Rufibarba is grown as an indoor and outdoor plant across the world. Since they are tropical plants, it’s better to grow them indoors in western countries where winter conditions are quite harsh.
On the other hand, if you are in a country where the climate is quite humid and tropical, then you can grow them outdoors.
Should I mist my calathea rufibarba?
Even though misting improves the humidity temporarily, it is not a scientifically recommended method to improve the humidity for the houseplants. It can damage the leaves and may become a hub for pests and other fungi.
Why is my calathea rufibarba drooping?
Droopy leaves in calathea rufibarba are one of the commonly seen symptoms of underwatering your plant. If you are seeing droopy leaves, check the soil and water the plant thoroughly.
Another thing to keep in mind is that calathea plants are known for moving their leaves in the direction of sunlight. So, don’t confuse this natural movement with drooping.
How big does a calathea rufibarba grow?
If you can provide a care routine that mimics the natural habitat of calathea rufibarba, then you can expect the plant to reach a height of up to 80 cm. However, based on the average conditions provided by most beginners, calathea rufibarba can attain a height of 60 cm quite easily.
You see, caring for your calathea rufibarba isn’t that hard a task after all.
It simply requires dedication and little time to adequately care for the plant. I hope this article meets you well and helps you care for that tender, beautiful calathea rufibarba.
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