There’s no doubt that Calathea plants are beautiful, exotic tropical houseplants. However, Calatheas can also have some brilliant uses and benefits, such as purifying the air or increasing household humidity. In this article, I’ll look at some of the most impressive uses and benefits of Calathea plants.
- About Calathea Plants
- 11 Fantastic Uses and Benefits of Calathea Plants
- 1) Calatheas Are Beautiful Ornamental Plants
- 2) Calathea Plants Come in Different Types
- 3) Calatheas Grow Quickly
- 4) Calathea Plants May Have Air-Purifying Properties
- 5) Calathea Plants Are Safe Around Pets
- 6) Calathea Plants Are Great for Feng Shui
- 7) Calatheas May Boost Productivity
- 8) Calathea Plants Can Help Reduce Stress and Anxiety
- 9) Calatheas May Improve Sleep Quality
- 10) Calathea Plants Can Increase Ambient Humidity
- 11) Calatheas May Help Alleviate Allergies
- Calathea Uses and Benefits FAQs:
- Wrapping Up
About Calathea Plants
Commonly known as prayer plants, Calathea plants are members of the arrowroot family (Marantaceae). Calatheas are closely related to Maranta plants, which are also known as prayer plants. Calathea plants are native to tropical forests in Central and South America.
Calathea plants have glossy, colorful leaves that come in several shapes. Some Calatheas have elliptical or oval-shaped leaves, while others have lance-shaped leaves with wavy edges. Some Calathea plants also have vibrant or variegated patterns on their leaves.
11 Fantastic Uses and Benefits of Calathea Plants
1) Calatheas Are Beautiful Ornamental Plants
Calatheas are popular houseplants that are highly prized for their beautiful foliage. Calathea leaves come in various colors, shapes, and patterns. Some Calathea plants have beautiful variegated foliage.
Calatheas are also active plants. The leaves of these tropical plants may close up at night before unfurling to greet the morning sun. When Calathea leaves curl up, they resemble the clasped hands of a praying monk, hence their common name.
2) Calathea Plants Come in Different Types
The Calathea genus contains approximately 60 species, which means that there are several types of Calathea plants. Every kind of Calathea has beautiful, glossy foliage that comes in several colors, patterns, and shapes. Most kinds of Calathea plants have the same basic care requirements.
It’s easy to find a Calathea to suit every home. Some of the most popular types of Calathea plants include:
- Calathea lancifolia
- Calathea makoyana
- Calathea orbifolia
- Calathea sanderiana
- Calathea zebrina
3) Calatheas Grow Quickly
Calatheas are relatively fast-growing plants that can grow by as much as one foot each year. That said, Calathea plants also stay at a relatively manageable size even at their mature height. Most Calathea plants can grow up to 4 feet tall.
If Calathea plants receive optimal conditions, they can reach their full height in approximately one to three years. Once they reach full size, Calatheas can live for several years.
4) Calathea Plants May Have Air-Purifying Properties
According to NASA’s landmark Clean Air study, many houseplants can purify the air within our homes. Calatheas can also purify the air by removing harmful VOCs (volatile organic compounds) such as benzene and formaldehyde.
These airborne compounds come from several everyday items, such as adhesives, cleaning products, and paint. Some studies indicate that being exposed to VOCs can increase the risk of cancer. As such, this Calathea plant benefit may help reduce this risk.
5) Calathea Plants Are Safe Around Pets
When adding houseplants like Calatheas, it’s essential to consider their potential effects on our furry friends. Thankfully, the ASPCA (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) believes Calathea plants to be safe for pets. Calathea plants are non-toxic to both cats and dogs.
However, keeping your pets away from your houseplants is still a good idea. Curious pets can knock over and damage houseplants, creating an annoying mess.
6) Calathea Plants Are Great for Feng Shui
Calathea plants are excellent feng shui plants because they are linked to the Wood element. In Five Elements Theory, the Wood element is associated with creativity, growth, prosperity, and wealth. Calathea plants can also disperse negative energy that collects in empty spaces within your home.
According to the Bagua map, the Wood element is strongest in the eastern and southeastern parts of the home. These areas govern family and prosperity, respectively. Placing Calatheas in these areas can boost these qualities.
7) Calatheas May Boost Productivity
When placed in your office, a potential Calathea plant benefit is that they may also help increase your focus and productivity. Various studies have examined the link between plants and productivity. One of these studies took place in offices in the Netherlands and the UK.
According to the results, the workers were 15% more productive when houseplants were present in their office. In a post-experiment survey, the participants also said they felt less stressed and more engaged with their work.
8) Calathea Plants Can Help Reduce Stress and Anxiety
Being around a Calathea plant may also help reduce anxiety and stress. One Korean study evaluated the stress levels of 24 participants during two different tasks. The first task was working at a computer, while the other involved repotting a houseplant.
The study indicated that the participants who repotted the houseplant were noticeably less stressed than those working on a computer. They also had lower blood pressure and felt more comfortable.
9) Calatheas May Improve Sleep Quality
One of my personal favorite Calathea plant benefits is that they may help you sleep better. This isn’t just because Calathea plants can purify the air or reduce stress. Chinese scientists conducted a study to examine the sleep patterns of astronauts in long-term isolation.
According to the results, the astronauts slept better when they could see, smell, or touch a plant. The astronauts also demonstrated lower cortisol levels and could regulate their central nervous systems better with plants nearby.
10) Calathea Plants Can Increase Ambient Humidity
According to Australia’s National Asthma Council, the ideal household humidity for humans is between 30 and 50%. If the ambient humidity isn’t high enough, we can suffer from problems like asthma. Thankfully, Calathea plants can help us achieve the right humidity levels.
Calatheas are tropical plants that thrive in warm, humid conditions. As such, Calatheas can raise the ambient humidity within your home.
11) Calatheas May Help Alleviate Allergies
Due to their air-purifying abilities, Calathea plants may also help alleviate allergies. Many respiratory allergies like asthma or hay fever can be exacerbated by VOCs and pollen particles in the air. However, Calathea plants can remove these VOCs from the air. What’s more, Calathea plants rarely bloom indoors, so you won’t have to worry if you have hay fever.
Calathea Uses and Benefits FAQs:
Does Calathea Clean the Air?
Calathea plants can help clean and purify the air in our homes by absorbing harmful VOCs. Moreover, Calathea plants are particularly good at removing benzene and formaldehyde from the air.
Where Should Calathea Be Placed in the House?
Why is Calathea a Prayer Plant?
Calathea plants are known as prayer plants because of how their leaves behave. Calathea leaves curl up at night and resemble the clasped hands of a praying monk. In the morning, the leaves unfurl to absorb sunlight.
What Are the Disadvantages of Calathea Plants?
Although Calatheas have several benefits, they aren’t without their disadvantages. One of the main disadvantages of Calathea plants is that it can sometimes be difficult to meet their care requirements. Calatheas need warm environments with high humidity levels.
Can I Put My Calathea in the Bathroom?
Bathrooms are ideal for Calathea plants because these areas provide warm temperatures and high humidity levels. East or south-facing bathrooms will also provide plenty of bright, indirect light.
Calathea plants are gorgeous tropical houseplants with beautiful foliage. However, these popular plants also have several fantastic benefits. Calathea plants may help purify the air in our homes. Calathea plants may also help reduce stress levels and improve our sleep quality while helping us be more productive.
Edd is a budding content writer and gardener living in the United Kingdom. He has a bachelor's degree in Creative and Professional Writing and has written for several gardening publications online. He is passionate about nature and sustainability with a focus on gardening and wildlife.