In this guide you'll learn: How to care for your plant, how & where to buy the Calathea leopardina and answers to FAQs to keep your plant happy
The Calathea leopardina is a fantastic, easy-to-care-for choice out of the Calathea varieties. It brings life to indoor home and office environments with its sharp green-on-green markings.
Having originated within the rainforests of South America it loves bright indirect light and warm home temperatures. On top of that, the Calathea leopardina also likes to be kept well watered and can sometimes benefit from the occasional misting.
Despite the name leopardina, the plant does not have any spots, instead, each leaf features one bold dark green stripe on a bright green background.
Calathea leopardina is actually the older scientific name, with the newer one being Goeppertia Concinna. However, both names get used often and sometimes the common name of ‘shadow plant’ also gets used. A less common and incorrect name is the Calathea Freddie.
Calathea leopardina In The House & Office
Calathea Leapordina likes light, but being a rainforest dweller it’s used to avoiding direct sunlight as it would be shaded by a natural canopy.
With the above in mind, you can recreate this condition in your home or office space by placing around 3-4 feet away from north, east or west-facing windows or 1-2 feet away from south-facing windows.
Calathea leopardinas need a minimum temperature of 15°C (59°F) but it’s best to keep it a little above that. In addition, they also thrive in humid environments. Misting may be necessary for dry places, although this condition requirement also makes them ideal for bathrooms.
Calathea leopardina Size
Height: 50-60cm / 20-24in / 1.64-1.96ft
Spread: 50-60cm / 20-24in / 1.64-1.96ft
Calathea leopardina Care
Light: The Calathea leopardina (Goeppertia Concinna) requires bright indirect sunlight for around 6 hours of the day. Be sure to avoid placing the plant in direct sunlight such as on a window sill, especially on one that is south-facing. This may burn the plant.
Ideally, a Calathea leopardina should be placed around a few feet away from north, east, and west-facing windows and over 5 feet from south-facing windows.
You can use a light meter to measure the area you are thinking about putting the leopardina. Look for an area with between 10,000 and 20,000 at the best part of the day. If you don’t have a light meter, phone apps are available, but accuracy will depend on your device’s light sensor.
Soil: Your Calathea Leapordina will do well in potting compost that drains well and includes nutrients. Organic soil is best, and to lessen the impact on the environment peat free compost.
The soil should retain moisture but not to the point where the plant sits in the water. To improve drainage perlite can be mixed in the soil or alternatively stones in the bottom of the pot.
Watering: Watering your leopardina should be done around once per week, however, this should not be a steadfast rule. Before watering test the soil by inserting a finger one inch into the pot. If the soil is dry then water the plant.
Do not let the plant sit in water as this can cause root rot. To help avoid this you can place the potted plant in the sink and let the water drain through.
Distilled water is the best water to use when watering the Calathea leopardina this avoids too many minerals or calcium. Alternatively filtered tap water is the second best, and is primarily a requirement if you live in a hard water area.
Humidity: Calathea leopardina (Goeppertia Concinna) is a plant that’s originally found in the jungle, so it likes a little bit of humidity. If your home is dry, you’ll need to help the Calathea feel comfortable. An easy way to increase humidity is by grouping it with other plants or you can place the pot on a tray of wet pebbles. In more extreme circumstances you can mist the plant regularly with a spray bottle of water or an easier but pricier option is to buy a humidifier.
Feeding: During the summer and spring months feed with regular plant feed at half strength. This can be done every couple of weeks, however, if you notice any browning of the leaves then you’ll need to hold back on the frequency of feeding.
Temperature: Your plant should be kept above a temperature of 15°C / 60°F. For the best care, a temperature of 18-24°C / 64-75°F is ideal for the Calathea leopardina. If the temperature changes then you may need to move it to a more comfortable place.
Ailments: The Calathia Lepordina can suffer from different pests but a common one is spider mites. The mites are really small but can be identified by the strands of spider-like silk they leave behind. To rid the plant of mites mix a solution of olive oil or soap and water together in a spray bottle and spray the plant at least every three days. Keep this cycle up until the mites have gone.
If you discover brown crispy leaves then it’s likely that you need to increase the humidity level, if the leaves lose their colour then you may need to move the plant to an area with less light.
Further care: The above only covers a small portion of how to care for your plant, and to further give your plant the best chance to thrive you should check out our full care guide to the Calathea leopardina (Goeppertia Concinna)
Where To Buy Calathea leopardina Online
- eBay (UK) / (USA)
- Bloombox Club (UK) / (USA)
- Local Facebook Groups
The Calathea leopardina is a very popular variety and can be found on many online house plant stores.
Always look for trusted sellers, especially on platforms like Etsy and eBay, and be sure to take a look at reviews for online stores. Make sure you read the description to be certain of what you will receive, not all pictures will be of the exact plant you will receive. Remember plants are living things. and can vary a lot.
Most sellers have feedback or reviews that you can go off. If you are unsure of a seller then you can always message them to gain more details including more photos. Buying through social media sites such as Facebook or Instagram can be cheaper but riskier, especially if you are having the plants posted to you rather than collecting locally.
When you receive your plant be sure to inspect it carefully. It’s natural for a small amount of damage to occur during shipment, but any excessive damage, especially due to poor packing should be raised with the seller. In addition, always check for pests on any new plant coming into your home, it’s good practice to isolate any new plans for a couple of weeks to be safe.
Is Calathea leopardina a prayer plant?
Yes, one of the common names for not just leopardina but many Calatheas can be the prayer plant. This is because the leaves close up together during the night and are similar to a pair of praying hands.
How do you care for a Calathea leopardina?
In order to care for your Calathea leopardina in the best way, you’ll need to take into account the most important aspects which are water, light, humidity and temperature. There are secondary factors to consider too which are humidity, feeding and soil type as well as ailments such as pests and diseases. Firstly focus on the main conditions, for lighting place your leopardina in indirect bright sunlight. Then Water around once per week and when the top inch of soil has dried out. If the plant’s leaves edges start to brown then humidity might be low, spray water on the plant to supplement. Finally, for temperature ensure that
How tall do Calathea leopardina grow?
Most Calathea leopardina can grow to an approximate max size of 50-60cm (23″ inches), this is also coincidentally the spread of the plant too. The size that your plant will reach can be affected by many factors including, the amount of light, the size of the pot, as well as the amount of watering and feeding.