How to propagate Calathea Plants

Last Updated: March 4, 2023

Known for their incredible foliage, Calathea plants can be a little tricky to take care of. However, when it comes to propagation, Calatheas are super easy to propagate if you know how to do it. We have written this post to give you a complete guide to Calathea propagation and luckily for all of us, each type of Calathea can be propagated in the same way. 

Below you will find a step by step process, as well as what tools you will need, what issues you may face and all of our top tips to help you propagate your Calathea successfully.

Why propagate a Calathea plant?

There are several reasons why you might choose to propagate your Calathea, The main one is simply wanting to multiply the number of plants you have without actually having to buy any more. Who can say no to free Calathea plants?! Calathea cuttings also make great gifts for friends, especially when it might be hard for them to get their hands on their own. 

The other main reason why many plant parents choose to propagate is that their plant is either becoming too big or very leggy. Cutting your Calathea back encourages bushier growth and is a great way to cut back that winter growth which may have become straggly or leggy. But instead of simply throwing away those beautiful Calathea cuttings, why not propagate them and start a whole new mother plant. 

You may also want to propagate your Calathea if you notice that it is starting to die. If you are unable to revive your plant, then propagating the healthy parts of it is a great way to save your plant.

What tools will I need to propagate a Calathea plant?

Let’s start off with the easy part. It’s important to make sure you have all the right things before taking the first cutting!


What methods can I use to propagate my Calathea plant?

Unlike many other houseplants, the disadvantage of propagating Calathea plants is that there is only really one way to do it. Whilst you can also propagate through seeds, this is very difficult, takes a very long time and is not always successful. The main method of propagating Calathea plants is through the division of the mother plant. This means you will need quite a mature Calathea to be able to make two or more plants out of it.

How to propagate Calathea plants through division

Follow this quick guide and hopefully you’ll have a successfully propagated Calathea in no time!


  1. Take your Calathea out of its pot

    In order to locate the various sections of the Calathea plant, you will need to take your plant out of the pot so you can divide the root system. Carefully lift the plant out and shake off the potting mix around the roots. A good way to loosen the soil is to run your fingers through the roots to start to separate them.

  2. Locate the various offshoots 

    When looking for a part of the plant to divide it will become very obvious if there are various offshoots on your Calathea. They will be completely separate and growth will stem from the middle of each section. 

  3. Separate the sections 

    You may have to trim off the odd root if they aren’t detangling easily but you should be able to carefully pull the sections apart from each other. It’s ok if you have to slice around the plant a little to separate them but just make sure that each part of the plant has a substantial amount of the root system to aid a successful Calathea propagation. 

  4. Place in water or fresh potting mix

    Pot the main mother Calathea plant back into its original pot and decide whether you want to place the offshoot in water first or straight into potting mix. This depends on the size of the cutting and the maturity of the root system. If the offshoot has quite mature roots then it will be totally fine growing in potting mix already. However if you feel the roots need to grow a little more, then we recommend placing them into water as a middle step. 

  5. Continue normal care

    If your cutting is now in fresh potting mix then you can care for it as you would your other Calathea plant. If it is in water first you want to refresh that water every couple of days and repot into potting mix once the roots have matured a little.

Calathea Propagation FAQs

Whilst propagating a Calathea plant is a fairly simple process compared to some other plant propagation needs, it’s still really important to understand the basics, such as time of year, equipment and fertiliser needs. Below you will find all the answers to your Calathea propagation questions!

Common problems when propagating a Calathea plant

Propagating plants will never have a 100% success rate and you may encounter some problems along the way. But don’t worry, we have learnt the hard way to bring you all the different problems that might arise as well as what this means and how to solve them!

We hope you have found this complete guide to Calathea propagation useful. It’s never an exact science and some divisions of the plant will take longer to grow than others. But with the right methods, care and environment you should be successful.

Check out our Plant Index to find all of our Calathea care guides for more information on how to care for your Calathea plants after propagation.

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