One of our personal favourite plants, the Calathea Triostar adds that little splash of deep purple to a sea of green. Whilst they are super fast growers in summer, these plants aren’t always the most laid back and it can be quite common to see a few issues pop up from time to time. From brown or yellow leaves to drooping and curling leaves, we have experienced it all with our Calathea Triostar but as long as you catch the issue early, you should have no problem reviving it.
In this post, we will go over the various causes of the most common problems plant parents face with Calathea Triostar, as well as how to best solve the issue and stop it from occurring again.
Top Causes of Brown Calathea Triostar Leaves:
Low humidity can cause brown leaf tips and edges.
It’s often forgotten but high humidity is a key care requirement for Calathea Triostar plants and dry air can commonly cause them to develop brown leaf tips and edges. Although there is no way of reversing the leaves once they have turned brown, fixing the issue of dry air is quite a simple one. There are a few ways you can go about boosting the humidity, from misting to bathing, using a pebble tray and even just buying a humidifier. We recommend trying out a few of these methods to see what works best for you and your plant.
Another factor to consider when diagnosing the brown leaves on your Calathea Triostar is a lack of water. Over time it can be really harmful to your Calathea Triostar and cause it to develop light brown crispy leaves. Crispy roots are a sign that underwatering has been going on for a while so you might want to check these over too to confirm the problem. To solve the issue, slowly reintroduce water over the next few days and adjust your watering schedule moving forward to stop more brown leaves from developing.
It’s really important that you keep your Calathea Triostar away from areas that are often drafty during winter as the cold air from outside can damage your plant’s health. But it’s not just winter that you need to be concerned about as air conditioning vents can also shock your plant and cause brown leaves. Pick up a digital thermometer to monitor any temperature fluctuations.
Although a rare and often difficult to diagnose issue, if your Calathea Triostar has brown leaf tips and the issue isn’t humidity, then you should also consider sensitivity to chemicals in the tap water. If you live in a hard water area, then the high level of salts, chlorine and fluoride can build up in the soil and suffocate the roots, causing brown leaf tips and spots. This process is very slow and will start off as one small brown tip before progressing over the course of a few months, so if your Calathea Triostar has developed brown leaves quickly, then this won’t be the reason. To solve the issue, use purified water or collected rainwater.
Causes of Yellow Leaves on a Calathea Triostar:
The most common cause of yellow leaves on a Calathea Triostar is overwatering. If the roots are sitting in waterlogged soil for quite some time, it can lead the roots to rot, starving your plant of needed nutrients, oxygen and ironically, moisture. Measure the moisture in the soil and replace it if needed to prevent more yellow leaves from developing. In future, to prevent any more yellow foliage, make sure that the potting mix has time to dry out between waterings to prevent root rot.
If watering isn’t an issue with your Calathea Triostar, then it might be direct intense sunlight that is causing yellow leaves. This will usually show up as yellow burnt-like patches across the part of the plant facing the window. Although these are irreversible, moving your Calathea Triostar to a slightly shadier spot will prevent any more yellow patches from forming. You might want to think about buying a light monitor to make sure that your plant isn’t getting too much direct light.
A more worrying cause of yellow leaves is a pest infestation and this is one cause that is especially important to catch early. Give your Calathea Triostar a thorough check with a magnifying glass so you can spot any pests on your plant. Pay particular attention to the leaf undersides and stem joins. If you do spot pests on your Calathea Triostar then this is what is most likely causing the yellow leaves. Use neem oil daily for a week and isolate your plant from all other houseplants.
If you can’t seem to pinpoint what is causing your Calathea Triostar to develop yellow leaves from the issues above, then it might simply be the natural ageing process. As your Calathea Triostar matures, it will often drop a few leaves in favour of growing new growth and it’s common for these leaves to turn yellow before falling off your Calathea Triostar. This is nothing for you to worry about as long as the rate of yellowing continues to be slow (slower than the rate of new healthy growth).
Why is my Calathea Triostar Losing Leaves?
Warmth is crucial to keeping a happy Calathea Triostar and a drop in temperature can cause them to drop leaves. Keep your plant away from drafty doors and windows and at least 1 metre away from air conditioning vents during summer. One way to monitor changes in the temperature is to use a digital thermometer. This will help ensure your Calathea Triostar is not being exposed to any extreme temperatures.
Shock or stress.
Plants can be a bit like people in that sudden and drastic changes in their environment stress them out. This stress can cause them to drop a few leaves in response. If you have moved your plant to a new spot, or have recently repotted or divided your plant then these are all things that can cause a few leaves to fall off. The good thing about this though is that if the new environment is right for your Calathea Triostar, the stress will be temporary and you shouldn’t see your plant consistently lose leaves. Monitor the leaf loss to make sure that something else isn’t wrong.
If your Calathea Triostar is only losing a few leaves each year but nothing in the environment is changing that would indicate stress, then this leaf drop might be natural. It usually happens that your Calathea Triostar will lose some of its oldest and lowest leaves. Ensure that your plant is growing more new leaves than it is losing them throughout the year and this shouldn’t be a problem.
Causes of a Drooping Calathea Triostar:
If your Calathea Triostar has waterlogged soil then this can cause root rot which cuts off nutrients, moisture and oxygen from your plant, causing it to droop down and look quite limp. This is often one of the earlier signs of trouble so this can hopefully mean you have caught the problem early. Inspect the potting mix and replace any soggy soil with fresh dry mix. Moving forward, make sure to allow the water to fully dry out before watering again and this should avoid not only a drooping plant but many other more extreme issues too.
On the other end of the spectrum, a lack of water can also cause your Calathea Triostar to droop down. Your first instinct might be to give your thirsty plant a bucket full of water but this can actually be harmful to your Calathea Triostar if the soil goes from one extreme to the other (see stress paragraphs above). Instead, you want to reintroduce watering by giving your Calathea Triostar a bit of water each day for one full week. As with overwatering, you want to make sure you are monitoring the soil moisture and adjusting your watering habits to prevent your Calathea Triostar from drooping again in future.
Causes of Curling Leaves on a Calathea Triostar:
Calathea Triostars naturally curl their leaves at night and unfold their leaves in the morning, this is a trait of the prayer plant family and something you’ll see in most Calathea types. It can be easy to mistake this curling for an issue but as long as the leaves uncurl at some point during the day, this is totally fine.
If the leaves on your Calathea Triostar do not uncurl, then this would suggest that it is not natural praying but that instead, you might be underwatering. Curling up their leaves is the best way for plants to retain as much moisture as possible. Inspect the potting mix and give your Calathea Triostar plenty of water over the next few days and you should see the leaves starting to uncurl soon.
One early warning sign that your Calathea Triostar is unhappy with the temperature is curling leaves. This can happen if your plant is being exposed to both hot and cold temperatures. Although the general room temperature might feel fine, things like drafts and hotspots can occur near windows so use a digital thermometer to check that your room sits within the ideal temperature bounds.
Dry air can also cause curling leaves.
These plants are lovers of high humidity and can struggle in homes with dry air. Whilst this can also cause brown leaves, one of the earlier signs is curling leaves. If this is the case, then you need to act quickly to stop the issue causing more irreversible problems for your Calathea Triostar. The best thing to do is buy a humidifier as this will take care of everything for you and keep a nice stable humidity level next to your Calathea Triostar.
Those are the most common issues you might experience when caring for a Calathea Triostar. We recommend you get into the habit of giving each of your plants a quick check when watering them to spot any issues. This will help you catch anything early, giving you the best chance at reviving your Calathea Triostar and getting it back to full health.
Check out our Calathea Triostar care guide to find out more about how to care for your plant and prevent any further problems.
Written by Billy Dawson