Ornata Prayer Plant Care Guide

So that you can get the most out of your Ornata Prayer Plant purchase, we’ve put together the following care guide detailing the steps involved in maintaining your plant's health.
Ornata Prayer Plant Care Guide

Ornata Prayer Plant, also known as Calathea Pinstripe or Calathea Sanderiana, is a tropical houseplant which originates from South America.

Boasting air purification benefits while also being pet friendly, Pinstripe Calathea will also add a striking visual statement to your home thanks to its dark green leaves, which are graced by pink stripes.

As a plant variety that usually lives in the rainforest, the Ornata Prayer Plant may require some special adaptations to ensure the plant thrives. For seasoned house plant owners, you shouldn’t find this to be much trouble, especially if you are already used to nurturing tropical plants. 

How to care for the Ornata Prayer Plant

Ornata Prayer Plant

The rainforest will continue throughout here since Pinstripe Calathea is used to its home being in South America.

So, how do we recreate the tropics in Manchester, London, or anywhere else you happen to be reading this post from within the UK? Read on to find out! 

Soil and potting

Soil is a great place to start with any houseplant since the soil is how your Ornata Prayer Plant will get nutrients. 

Calathea particularly appreciates good quality potting soil rich in Nitrogen, Phosphorus and Potassium. Opt for well-draining soil to encourage ease of drainage so the plant doesn’t become oversaturated at the roots.

While your Pinstripe Calathea will arrive in a pot, this information will be handy if you ever decide to repot your plant or if the soil needs a bit of a refresh. 

Light and temperature

Keep your plant in bright, indirect sunlight. The optimum room temperature is between 17°C and 26°C.

While both of these requirements might be easy to maintain during the warmer months, your Calathea may need some help when the temperature drops and, likewise, when the days get much shorter in the winter.

Don’t worry; you don’t need to transform your home into the Blackpool Illuminations to keep your Calathea alive in winter! However, we would recommend investing in some grow lights or heat maps to help maintain the ideal conditions for your plant. 


One of the most crucial aspects of caring for Pinstripe Calathea is getting the humidity right. Calathea prefers a warm environment that maintains high humidity. 

Ornata Prayer Plants of different sizes

Your first question here might be ‘how do I find out how humid my room is?’. We’ve got another great tip for you here, and that’s to purchase a humidity monitor, which you can pick up cheaply for under £10. Some monitors also have a built-in thermometer so that you can simultaneously check the temperature of the room.

High humidity is considered above 60%. If your room isn’t humid enough, a simple trick is to use an air diffuser. You can also try misting Calathea Ornata
often to keep it happy.

Watering requirement

As for Ornata Prayer Plant watering requirements, the clue is in the name with ‘rainforest’. But as we’re trying to mimic the conditions found in South America, think of humid rain rather than a great British downpour!

The best advice is to water every week or two. Calathea likes
damp soil, but it does not like to be oversaturated with water, so take care not to overdo the watering. A sign that your Calathea is thirsty is when the first 5 cm of soil is dry.

Look out for the Calathea Ornata growing season which falls between March and October. During this time, the soil should be kept moist. However, when dormant, watering does not have to be as frequent.

Now, you’ve heard of celebrity riders, where musicians make backstage demands before a show, such as having MnM colours separated or a helicopter on standby. Your Calathea is equally precious as the water it likes to drink.

Specifically, Calathea Ornata needs distilled water to filter out the impurities of tap water. As you might expect, rainfall in South America doesn’t contain the likes of fluoride, so it's essential to mimic the water this plant would drink in its natural habitat.

If you don’t filter the water, you may notice brown or crispy leaves starting to develop.

In summary: Ornata Prayer Plant care requirements

Light requirements - Bright indirect light but not too much sunlight (i.e. avoid direct sunlight).

Watering needs - Water every 1-2 weeks, but prevent overwatering by avoiding excess water around the base of the plant. If the soil starts to dry out the plant needs more water unless in its dormant state. 

Soil preferences - Calathea prefers moist soil and never completely dry soil. If in doubt, think 'soil lightly moist'.

Humidity - Keep your Calathea in a humid environment with high humidity preferred.

Ornata Prayer Plant care FAQs 

We’re keen to provide the most helpful Pinstripe Calathea Ornata care guide possible. So here are some common questions that other Calathea owners have asked.

Psst: If you’re in the market to shop for even more Calathea house plants, we can also help you there too! 

 Ornata Player Plant

  • What are plants with pink stripes called?

Plants with pink stripes and green leaves are known as the pinstripe plant or Pinstripe Calathea. Other names for this variety include Calathea Pinstripe, Calathea Sanderiana and Calathea Ornata.

  • How much sun does a pinstripe plant need?

A pinstripe plant (aka Ornata Prayer Plant) prefers indirect sunlight. During the winter months, using artificial lighting can help maintain your plant's health. Avoid keeping a pinstripe plant in direct sunlight, as this can scorch the leaves.

  • How often to water Pinstripe Calathea?

Water your plant once every 1-2 weeks, allowing the soil to slightly dry out before topping up. You will typically need to water your plant more often during lighter conditions in the summer months. 

  • How to propagate Ornata Prayer Plant

First, remove the mother plant from its pot, being gentle so as not to damage the delicate root system. Place the plant on a flat surface and gently tease the root ball apart. If you are experiencing some resistance, you can use a knife to loosen the roots apart. Ensure that each section you pull or cut apart has a healthy set of leaves and roots. Replant each new division without delay in fresh potting mix so that the new plants can begin to receive nutrients. 

  • Are Calatheas considered tropical plants?

Yes. Due to Calathea originating from the South American rainforest, the plant is considered to be a tropical plant. However, with some careful modifications of your environment (i.e. monitoring the temperature and humidity) Calathea plants including other varieties such as the Medallion Prayer Plant can thrive in the UK so long as it is kept indoors. 

  • Why are my Pinstripe Calathea leaves curling?

They might be trying out for the Olympic team. Or, you may have underwatered your Pinstripe Calathea, meaning you have a thirsty plant on your hands. 

  • How to prevent Pinstripe Calathea root rot

Use a well-draining potting mix and avoid overwatering. Signs that a Calathea Ornata has been overwatered include the leaves turning yellow or wilting leaves. Prevention is always better than a cure, but if the plant has been overwatered, then cease watering for a while. Place the plant on a bed of soil or gravel to encourage the excess moisture to drain away. 

  • What soil moisture level does Pinstripe Calathea prefer?

Pinstripe Calathea prefers to be in damp soil at all times. However, take care not to overwater so that the plant doesn’t sit in water or very wet soil. If in doubt, little and often is best with a Calathea.

  • Is Calathea good for air purification?

Calathea plants have excellent air purification qualities. This makes Calatheas ideal indoor plants, particularly if you live in a city or similar urban area where the air is subject to lots of air pollution. If the air-purifying abilities of plants are important to you, check out our air-purifying plant highlights. 

  • What houseplant care tips will help keep my plant alive?

Every house plant is slightly different, but in general, you need to pay attention to the temperature, humidity, watering schedule, lighting and soil conditions that the plant prefers. Some houseplants are easier to care for than others, so a handy tip is to start your collection with low-maintenance houseplants. 

  • How to put a houseplant in a decorative pot?

Houseplants are typically shipped in a plastic nursery pot. However, if you purchase your Calathea Ornata Toxic or other indoor plants from Prickle, your plant will arrive in a decorative plant pot. We have several colour options to choose from with all our pots. In any case, always look out for a plastic nursery pot or decorative pot which has good drainage holes.

Got another question about the Ornata Prayer Plant? 

If you need any further advice on how to care for Pinstripe Calathea or any other plant variety on our site, we’re here to help.

For some one-on-one advice, email us at
contact@prickleplants.co.uk. We’re always happy to chat about houseplants! 

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