How to propagate a Calathea Orbifolia

With their large flat striped leaves, the Calathea Orbifolia stands out in every room, and here’s how you can make more of them through propagation!

There’s no such thing as too many houseplants, but constantly buying more green friends can get a little expensive, so propagating your existing collection is a great cheap way to get more plants. Cuttings can also be used as gifts for friends or you can choose to sell them to make a little bit of money on the side. 

In this post, we will go through the entire process to show you how to propagate a Calathea Orbifolia and share our top tips to make sure it’s a success!

Is propagating a Calathea Orbifolia difficult?

You’ll be very pleased to hear that propagating a Calathea Orbifolia is actually quite an easy process, and it’s super quick too! If you know what steps you need to take, then there’s no reason you should run into any problems. It’s also a lot simpler than propagating other plants so if you’ve any previous propagation experience, this should be easy!

What methods can I use to propagate my Calathea Orbifolia?

The only downside to propagating a Calathea Orbifolia is that there is only really one method you can use; division. Whilst it’s possible to propagate through the use of seeds, this is a very difficult and slow process that is better left to the professionals. The division method does require a fairly mature plant that can be divided into sections.

How to divide your Calathea Orbifolia to ensure the propagation is a success! 

  • 1

    Take your Calathea Orbifolia out of its pot

    Carefully lift the plant out without tugging at the leaves. Instead, you want to hold the plant firmly at the bottom of the stems and gently pull. We recommend squeezing the pot (if it’s plastic) to help it come away from the pot. Be careful if any of the roots have started to grow out of the drainage holes as you might need to untangle these to prevent them from snapping.

  • 2

    Remove the potting mix from the roots

    To be able to divide your mother plant, you’ll need to locate the various offshoots that make up the plant. To do this, carefully remove some of the potting mix from the roots so you can see the roots clearly. Our top tip is to loosely run your fingers through the root system to shake off the soil.

  • 3

    Untangle the various natural sections

    To do this, you might need to slice through a few roots using pruning scissors. If your Calathea Orbifolia only has one central section, then you will need to slice your plant in half or slice off a section to create two individual plants.

  • 4

    Grow in water or straight into fresh potting mix

    Get your mother Calathea Orbifolia plant back in its pot (or downsize if you have removed a large section of the root system and leaves). Then you need to decide if you want to grow your new plant in water first or plant it straight into potting mix

    Either will work but if your new plant has quite small roots, you might want to grow them in water a bit so they mature.

  • 5

    Continue a normal Calathea Orbifolia care routine

    If your new plant is now in fresh potting mix then you can care for it as you would your other Calathea Orbifolia. If you’ve decided to grow it in water for a while, make sure to refresh the water every few days to prevent it from stagnating. Once the roots have matured a little, pot into fresh soil.

Is it possible to propagate a Calathea Orbifolia from just a single leaf?

Unfortunately, you can’t propagate using just a leaf cutting from your Calathea Orbifolia. If you were to try it would die on you pretty quickly. This is because it needs a node to grow roots from so the best way is through division.

What time of year should I propagate my Calathea Orbifolia?

We always recommend that you do this in Spring or Summer. This means that your plant can grow new roots and leaves during the warmer months. However, as you can only propagate your Calathea Orbifolia through division, you can actually get away with doing it at less than ideal times of the year. This is because you aren’t trying to grow a stem cutting or leaf cutting, but instead your new plant will already have an established root system.

There you have it, all the important things you need to know to propagate a Calathea Orbifolia. Each and every plant is different so the process won’t always be identical each time you do it but as long as you follow the steps correctly and give your new plant good lighting and warmth, you should have plenty of success. 

To learn more about how to care for your new plants after propagation, check out our Calathea Orbifolia care guide.



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