Calathea Freddie (Goeppertia or Calathea concinna) is a beautiful tropical plant that is native to the rainforests of brazil. These plants can be easily recognized by their stripey, zebra print-like leaves in shades of deep and light green. Their leaves also have a distinct dark green border around them, making them look almost like they’re fake! They’re sure to draw attention as a display plant in your home.
Calathea Freddie is part of the Prayer Plant (Marantaceae) family, which includes many plants with 'dancing leaves'. That is to say, their leaves move around in response to light changes, and will close / open up when they are exposed to sunlight.
The dramatic foliage of this plant can grow quite large: each leaf, when mature, may reach up to 7 inches (18 cm) in length. The plant itself can become up to 3 feet (91 cm) in height when grown indoors as a houseplant. In their natural environment they can grow still larger!
Like other Calatheas, this plant can be a little picky about its care. They like warmth, humidity and moisture, and need the right balance of each in order to stay happy.
Most home environments should be warm enough for your Calathea Freddie, however, it’s important that you protect the plant from sudden temperature changes and / or cold drafts. Additionally, as much as it can seem tempting to place a warm-loving plant close to a heat source, this will quickly dry it out, which is not good news for tropical plants that crave humidity!
If the air is too dry then your Calathea Freddie will quickly start to develop crisp brown edges. It’s important to mist your plant regularly, and you may also want to place it on a pebble tray. As well as boosting the humidity around your plant, misting has the added benefit of helping to keep the leaves free of dust. Buildup of dust can interfere with efficient photosynthesis, which is especially important in plants that have large leaves such as the Calathea Freddie.
It’s also vital to get the watering just right with this plant. Water again when the top layer of soil is dry – it’s always a good habit to check the soil before adding more water – and always empty out any excess water that collects in the dish beneath your plant. Make sure your Calathea Freddie is planted in a pot with drainage holes. As much as this plant likes moisture, it definitely won’t appreciate overly wet soil, as this can lead to root rot.
In the wild, Calathea Freddie plants can produce small white flowers. However, it’s very unlikely that they’ll flower when kept indoors. These plants are prized for their foliage rather than their flowers, though, so this isn’t too much of a bother!
The Calathea Freddie is non-toxic to both humans and animals, so are safe for homes with kids and pets. However, it’s still a good idea to keep your plants out of reach to avoid them being damaged or accidentally knocked over.
As with some other tropical plants, which tend to be quite sensitive, Calathea Freddie may react badly to being watered with tap water, as it can contain too much fluoride and chlorine. This can cause the foliage to look damaged, such as by showing brown, burnt-looking tips and edges and perhaps a slight yellowish tint to the leaves too. Try switching to watering using distilled water, or alternatively, you can collect rainwater for your plants. Make sure to remove any damaged leaves and keep an eye on your plant for any further changes.