Calathea Leaves Turning Brown: How to Restore Their Lush Green Color

Calathea leaves turn brown due to overwatering and low humidity. These issues stress the plant and cause leaf edges to turn brown.

Calathea is a beautiful tropical plant known for its vibrant foliage and unique patterns. However, if you notice your calathea leaves turning brown, it can be concerning. Brown leaves are usually a sign of stress caused by overwatering or low humidity.

In this guide, we will discuss the common reasons why calathea leaves turn brown and provide tips on how to care for your plant to prevent further damage. By addressing these issues, you can help your calathea thrive and maintain its beautiful appearance.

Calathea Leaves Turning Brown: How to Restore Their Lush Green Color


Understanding The Issue Of Calathea Leaves Turning Brown

Calathea plants are known for their vibrant and lush green leaves, which add a touch of nature’s beauty to any space. However, it can be disheartening to see those leaves turning brown. When this happens, it’s important to understand the possible causes and take appropriate action to restore your calathea’s health.

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In this section, we will explore the importance of lush green calathea leaves and identify the common causes of leaves browning.

Importance Of Lush Green Calathea Leaves

Calathea leaves are not just aesthetically pleasing but also serve as an indicator of the plant’s overall well-being. Here are a few reasons why lush green leaves are essential for your calathea:

  • Visual appeal: The vibrant green color of calathea leaves adds a pop of freshness and beauty to any indoor or outdoor space. It creates a calming and soothing atmosphere, enhancing the overall ambiance of your surroundings.
  • Plant health: Lush green leaves often indicate that your calathea is in good health. These leaves are actively photosynthesizing, ensuring that the plant receives sufficient energy to grow and thrive.
  • Stress indicator: Calathea leaves have a unique characteristic of closing up during the night and opening again in the morning. If the leaves turn brown, it may be an indication of stress, signaling that something needs attention.

Now, let’s delve into the common causes of calathea leaves browning:

Common Causes Of Calathea Leaves Browning

  • Inadequate watering:
  • Underwatering: Calathea plants require consistently moist soil. If the soil dries out between watering sessions, the plant may start showing brown leaves as a sign of dehydration. Ensure you water your calathea regularly, keeping the soil consistently moist.
  • Overwatering: Conversely, overwatering can also cause brown leaves on your calathea. If the roots are constantly sitting in waterlogged soil, they can develop root rot, leading to brown and wilted leaves. Be mindful not to overwater and allow the soil to dry out slightly between waterings.
  • Improper humidity levels:
  • Calathea plants originate from tropical regions and thrive in high humidity. If the air in your home is dry, especially during winter months or in arid climates, the leaves may turn brown and crispy. Consider using a humidifier or placing your calathea near a tray of water to increase the humidity around it.
  • Excessive sunlight:
  • Calathea plants prefer bright, indirect light. Direct sunlight can scorch the leaves, causing them to turn brown and crispy. Ensure that your calathea is placed in a location where it receives filtered or indirect sunlight for optimal growth.
  • Temperature extremes:
  • Calathea plants are sensitive to temperature fluctuations. Exposure to extreme cold or hot temperatures can cause stress and lead to browning of the leaves. Avoid placing your calathea near drafty windows or in areas with inconsistent temperatures.
  • Nutrient deficiencies:
  • Calathea plants require adequate nutrients to maintain lush green leaves. A lack of essential minerals like nitrogen, magnesium, or iron can result in brown spots or edges on the foliage. Consider using a balanced fertilizer specifically formulated for houseplants to ensure your calathea receives the necessary nutrients.

By understanding the importance of lush green calathea leaves and familiarizing yourself with the common causes of leaves turning brown, you can provide the best care for your plant. Being proactive in addressing these issues will help restore your calathea’s vibrancy and ensure it thrives in its environment.

Remember to closely monitor your plant’s watering, humidity, light, temperature, and nutrient requirements.

Identifying The Root Cause Of Browning

Calathea Leaves Turning Brown

If you’re a plant lover, you may have come across the frustrating issue of your calathea leaves turning brown. It can be disheartening to see your once vibrant and healthy leaves lose their luster. But fear not, as there are several potential causes for this browning phenomenon, and in this section, we will focus on identifying the root cause.

Environmental Factors Affecting Calathea Leaves

Calathea plants are known for their preference for certain environmental conditions, and any deviation from their ideal habitat can result in browning leaves. Here are the key points to consider:

  • Temperature: Calatheas thrive in warm and humid environments. Low temperatures can stress the plant, leading to leaf discoloration.
  • Lighting: These plants prefer bright, indirect light. Exposing them to direct sunlight can scorch their leaves, causing them to turn brown.
  • Humidity: Calatheas require high humidity levels to maintain their vibrant appearance. Dry air can cause leaf edges to turn brown.
  • Air circulation: Insufficient air circulation around the plant can contribute to excess moisture buildup, promoting fungal growth and browning of the leaves.

Overwatering As A Potential Cause

Overwatering is a common mistake made by plant enthusiasts, and it can have adverse effects on calathea leaves. Here’s what you need to know:

  • Root rot: Excessive water can lead to root rot, where the roots decay due to lack of oxygen. This condition prevents the plant from absorbing nutrients, resulting in browning leaves.
  • Fungal infections: Overwatering creates a breeding ground for fungi, which can attack the roots and spread to the leaves, causing them to turn brown.

Underwatering As A Potential Cause

Although calatheas prefer humid conditions, underwatering can also contribute to browning leaves. Consider the following:

  • Moisture stress: Insufficient watering can result in water stress, where the leaves lose their turgidity and turn brown.
  • Nutrient deficiency: Lack of water can impede the uptake of essential nutrients, leading to discoloration and browning of the leaves.

Remember that differentiating between overwatering and underwatering can be challenging, as the symptoms may appear similar. By observing your calathea’s watering needs and adjusting accordingly, you can prevent the browning of the leaves.

Now that you are aware of the environmental factors, overwatering, and underwatering as potential causes, you can take the necessary steps to address the browning of your calathea leaves. By providing the right conditions and adjusting your watering practices accordingly, you can help your calathea regain its vibrant and healthy appearance.

Step-By-Step Guide To Revive Your Calathea Leaves

Is your calathea plant looking a little brown and lackluster? Don’t worry, there’s hope for reviving those beautiful leaves! By making a few adjustments in watering, humidity, lighting, and temperature, you can bring your calathea back to life. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you out:

Adjusting Watering Habits

  • Ensure you’re not overwatering your calathea: Excessive water can lead to root rot and browning of leaves.
  • Check moisture levels with a finger test: Stick your finger about an inch into the soil – if it feels dry, it’s time to water your plant.
  • Use room temperature water: Avoid cold water, as it can shock the plant and cause stress.
  • Water thoroughly but avoid waterlogging: Make sure water drains properly from the pot.

Providing Adequate Humidity

  • Mist your calathea leaves: Regularly spraying the leaves with water can increase humidity levels.
  • Group plants together: Placing multiple plants close to each other helps create a humid microclimate.
  • Use a humidifier: If the air in your home is particularly dry, using a humidifier can significantly improve humidity levels.

Ensuring Proper Lighting Conditions

  • Indirect sunlight is key: Calathea prefers bright, indirect light. Direct sunlight can scorch its leaves and cause browning.
  • Find the right spot: Place your calathea near a north or east-facing window to provide suitable light levels.
  • Protect from harsh afternoon sun: If your plant receives intense afternoon sunlight, consider using sheer curtains to filter the light.

Addressing Temperature Concerns

  • Maintain optimal temperature levels: Calathea thrives in temperatures between 60°f (15°c) and 75°f (24°c).
  • Keep away from drafts: Avoid placing your calathea near drafts from open windows or doors, as sudden temperature drops can damage the leaves.
  • Avoid extreme temperature fluctuations: Drastic changes in temperature can stress the plant and lead to browning.

Remember, reviving a calathea plant takes time and patience. Be consistent with your care routine, and don’t panic if you don’t see immediate results. With the right adjustments in watering, humidity, lighting, and temperature, your calathea leaves will gradually regain their vibrant, green beauty.

Happy gardening!

Holistic Approaches To Revive Calathea Leaves

Calathea, with its vibrant and intricate leaves, provides an exotic touch to any indoor space. However, it can be disheartening to see those leaves turning brown and losing their luster. Fear not! By taking a holistic approach to plant care, you can revive your calathea leaves and bring back their natural beauty.

In this section, we will explore some effective techniques to help your calathea thrive once again.

Spraying The Leaves With Distilled Water

Give your calathea a refreshing mist by spraying the leaves with distilled water. This practice not only cleans the foliage but also helps to increase humidity levels around the plant. Here are a few key points to keep in mind:

  • Use distilled water to avoid the potentially harmful effects of chlorine and other chemicals found in tap water.
  • Mist the leaves regularly, especially during dry seasons or in dry indoor environments.
  • Ensure that the misting is gentle and fine, covering the entire leaf surface without causing excessive water accumulation.
  • Remember to focus on the undersides of the leaves, where pests and dust tend to accumulate.

Using Organic Fertilizers

Feeding your calathea with organic fertilizers provides essential nutrients that promote healthy leaf growth and overall plant vigor. Here are some important points to consider:

  • Opt for organic fertilizers to minimize the risk of chemical buildup in the soil.
  • Choose a balanced fertilizer, specifically formulated for houseplants, to meet the nutritional needs of your calathea.
  • Follow the recommended dosage instructions provided by the fertilizer manufacturer.
  • Apply the fertilizer during the growing seasons, typically spring and summer, and reduce or stop feeding during the winter months when growth slows down.

Creating A Pebble Tray For Increased Humidity

Calatheas are native to tropical regions, where they thrive in humid environments. Introducing a pebble tray is a simple yet effective way to elevate the humidity levels around your calathea. Here are the key points to keep in mind:

  • Select a shallow tray or saucer that fits beneath your calathea’s pot.
  • Fill the tray with water, ensuring that the water level is below the top of the pebbles.
  • Place the pot on top of the pebbles, ensuring that it is not submerged in water.
  • As the water evaporates, it increases the surrounding humidity, benefitting your calathea.
  • Regularly check the water level and refill as needed to maintain the desired humidity.

By incorporating these holistic approaches into your calathea care routine, you can breathe new life into your plant’s leaves and enjoy their stunning beauty once again. Remember to mist with distilled water, use organic fertilizers, and create a pebble tray for increased humidity.

With a little love and attention, your calathea will thrive, bringing joy and vibrancy to your indoor space.

Maintaining Healthy Calathea Leaves In The Long Run

Calatheas are popular houseplants known for their striking foliage patterns and vibrant colors. However, one common issue that can occur with calathea plants is the browning of their leaves. If you want to keep your calathea plants looking their best, it’s important to understand how to maintain healthy leaves in the long run.

Here are some key points to keep in mind:

Regularly Dusting The Leaves:

  • Dusting the leaves of your calathea plants is essential for their overall health and appearance. Dust buildup on the leaves can block sunlight and hinder the plant’s ability to photosynthesize effectively. Regularly wiping the leaves with a soft, damp cloth or using a gentle spray of water can help remove dust and keep the leaves clean.
  • By ensuring that your calathea leaves are free from dust, you can improve their ability to absorb light and carry out crucial processes such as transpiration, which aids in hydration and cooling.

Monitoring And Controlling Pests:

  • Pests can pose a significant threat to the health of your calathea leaves. Common pests that tend to infest calathea plants include spider mites, aphids, and mealybugs. Regularly inspecting your plants for any signs of infestation, such as webbing, sticky residue, or tiny insects, is crucial.
  • If you notice pests on your calathea leaves, it’s important to take immediate action to prevent the infestation from spreading. Use organic insecticidal sprays or insecticidal soap to eradicate the pests effectively. Remember to follow the instructions on the product label and apply the treatment consistently until the infestation is resolved.

Avoiding Extreme Temperature Fluctuations:

  • Calathea plants thrive in warm and tropical conditions, so it’s important to avoid exposing them to extreme temperature fluctuations. Drastic changes in temperature can cause stress to the plants and result in the browning of their leaves.
  • Keep your calathea plants away from drafty areas, such as close to windows or doors, where they may experience sudden temperature changes. Additionally, avoid placing them near heating or cooling vents that can create hot or cold spots.
  • Calathea plants prefer temperatures between 65°f and 80°f (18°c to 27°c) and thrive in humidity levels above 50 percent. Providing a humidifier or placing a tray filled with water near your plants can help create a more favorable environment for them.

Maintaining healthy calathea leaves requires regular dusting, keeping pests under control, and ensuring a stable temperature environment. By following these key points, you can support the vitality of your calathea plants and enjoy their beautiful foliage for years to come.

Recap And Final Thoughts

Calathea plants are popular for their beautiful, vibrant leaves that add a touch of tropical beauty to any home or office space. However, one common issue that calathea owners often face is the browning of leaves. In this section, we will recap the key points discussed in this blog post and leave you with some final thoughts on how to keep your calathea leaves looking lush and green.

Importance Of Proactive Care For Calathea Leaves

  • Consistent watering: Calathea plants require moist, but not soggy, soil. It is important to water them regularly and ensure that the pot has good drainage to prevent overwatering, which can lead to root rot and brown leaves.
  • Humidity and misting: Calathea plants thrive in high humidity environments. To prevent the leaves from drying out and turning brown, it is important to place the plant in a humid spot or use a humidifier to increase moisture levels. Misting the leaves with water can also help to maintain humidity.
  • Proper lighting: Calathea plants prefer bright, indirect light. Placing them near windows with filtered light or using curtains or blinds to prevent direct sunlight can help to avoid leaf scorching and browning.
  • Maintaining temperature: Calathea plants prefer temperatures between 60°f to 75°f (15°c to 24°c). Avoid exposing them to cold drafts or extreme temperature fluctuations, as this can stress the plant and lead to leaf browning.

Achieving And Maintaining Lush Green Leaves

  • Proper soil and drainage: Calathea plants thrive in well-draining soil that allows excess water to escape. Using a mixture of peat moss, perlite, and potting soil can provide the ideal growing medium for your calathea.
  • Regular fertilization: Calathea plants benefit from regular feeding during the growing season. Using a balanced, water-soluble fertilizer every 2-4 weeks can help to provide the necessary nutrients for healthy leaf growth.
  • Dusting and cleaning: Dust accumulation on the leaves can hinder their ability to photosynthesize, leading to browning. Regularly wipe the leaves with a damp cloth or use a soft brush to gently remove dust and debris.
  • Pest control: Certain pests, such as spider mites and mealybugs, can cause leaf damage and browning. Regularly inspect your calathea for signs of pests and take appropriate measures, such as using organic insecticidal soap or neem oil, to control infestations.

Proactive care is essential for maintaining lush, green leaves on your calathea plant. By following these key points, including consistent watering, providing adequate humidity, ensuring proper lighting, maintaining a suitable temperature, using well-draining soil, regular fertilization, dusting and cleaning the leaves, and implementing pest control measures, you can enjoy the beauty of vibrant, healthy calathea leaves in your home or office.

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Happy gardening!

Frequently Asked Questions For Calathea Leaves Turning Brown

Why Are My Calathea Leaves Turning Brown?

The brown leaves on your calathea could be due to underwatering, low humidity, direct sunlight, or the plant being too cold. Ensure that you are watering your plant regularly, providing adequate humidity, placing it in indirect light, and maintaining a warm temperature to prevent further browning.

How Can I Prevent Calathea Leaves From Turning Brown?

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To prevent calathea leaves from turning brown, keep the soil consistently moist but not waterlogged, increase humidity levels by misting or using a humidifier, avoid placing the plant in direct sunlight, and ensure the temperature is between 65-85°f. Regularly dusting and wiping the leaves can also help maintain their health.

Can Overwatering Cause Calathea Leaves To Turn Brown?

Yes, overwatering can cause calathea leaves to turn brown. When the roots are constantly soaked, they can become waterlogged and start to rot, leading to browning of the leaves. It is important to allow the top layer of soil to dry out slightly between waterings and avoid overwatering to maintain the health of your calathea plant.


Keeping your calathea plants healthy and preventing their leaves from turning brown requires proper care and attention. Remember to maintain consistent humidity levels by misting the leaves regularly and placing the plant away from drafts. Providing ample indirect sunlight is crucial, as direct sunlight can scorch the delicate leaves.

Water your calathea with filtered or rainwater to avoid the accumulation of mineral salts in the soil, which can lead to browning leaves. Lastly, make sure to keep an eye out for pests such as spider mites or aphids, as they can also contribute to leaf browning.

By following these simple guidelines, you can ensure that your calathea plants thrive, with vibrant, green leaves adding a touch of beauty to your home or office space.

Amelia Clark

I'm Amelia Clark, a seasoned florist and gardening specialist with more than 15 years of practical expertise. Following the completion of my formal education, I dedicated myself to a flourishing career in floristry, acquiring extensive understanding of diverse flower species and their ideal cultivation requirements. Additionally, I possess exceptional skills as a writer and public speaker, having successfully published numerous works and delivered engaging presentations at various local garden clubs and conferences. Social Profile: LinkedIn  YouTube  Pinterest Facebook