Wednesday, June 8, 2011


What's your favorite plant that you CAN'T grow? We all seem to seek the impossible. I can take it one step further. I've not even SEEN my favorite plant let alone grown it.... until today. Oh yes, I've drooled over pictures of it and been to specialty shops, garden centers, and even florist shops to find this Holy Grail of the foliage world.
I've grown its cousins...and all have failed (save one). So I'm not even tempted to buy one, but just to admire the beauty. I found about 20 of them at the Welch dentist atrium on Mason Rd. in Katy, Texas. I had to kneel on the floor in a public atrium to get these shots so I'm certain I caused some worried looks by passerbys.  Sound familiar?
The plant is from the tropics and is called Calathea makoyana. It requires high humidity year round with no hint of temperatures under 70 degrees. They like very well-drained soil that's a mixture of coarse gravel, peat moss, organic matter and volcanic rock in a clay pot. Keep moist, but not saturated. Growth requirements are very much like some orchids, so if you have a warmed orchid shade house, go for it!
Click on the image and start counting the intricate veins. There are thousands on one leaf.
There's another plant with the name heiroglyphica that's similar.

There were dozens of these at my dentist's office. I'd never seen my dream foliage plant except in books.
The foliage is naturally glossy. Use only rainwater to avoid white streaks and stains.
These were in immaculate condition.

Calathea makoyana with oval leaves on the left/ Aglaonema with pointed leaves on the right. Aglaonema (closet plant) is much easier to grow if you want to try some. Keep them warm in winter.
Thanks for stopping by!

:-) David/

1 comment:

  1. It is a beautiful variety of Calathea. The markings on the leaves of this plant are just so eye-catching! I'm lucky enough to be able to grow a Calathea roseopicta out in my shadehouse. The foliage is just stunning, but I also rather like the flowers.


I always appreciate your comments & questions! Happy Gardening from David/ Tropical Texana

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