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Care of the plant Calathea lutea or Cigar plant.

Care of the plant Calathea lutea or Cigar plant

The genus Calathea, family Marantaceae, comprises 100 species of herbaceous plants native to the tropical forests of America, Africa and Australia. Some species are: Calathea lutea, Calathea crocata, Calathea makoyana, Calathea zebrina, Calathea ornata, Calathea insignis, Calathea roseopicta.

Common names: Cigar plant, Cigar Calathea, Mexican cigar plant, Cuban cigar plant. This species is distributed from tropical Mexico to Brazil.

They are herbaceous plants that spread through underground rhizomes and reach 3 meters in height. The large yellowish-green leaves can measure 1 meter in length and 50 cm in width. The flowers are yellow and arise between reddish brown bracts. They can bloom throughout the year.

They are used as indoor plants and in patios and terraces; subtropical and tropical climates are used to form groups or as isolated specimens; they are suitable for planting next to a pond or swimming pool. They are also used for floral decorations or to wrap food with its leaves (tamales, etc.).

Appropriate exposure is in dimmed light or semi-shadow; direct sun in the middle of the day can burn leaves. In winter the temperature should not be lower than 15 ºC.

The soil must be well drained and contain abundant organic matter; it is important that it has the ability to retain moisture.

Water regularly with lime-free water so that the soil is always moist (never waterlogged); it is recommended to wait for the substrate surface to dry. It is important that the ambient humidity is high; indoors, spray the plant periodically.

Fertilize with compost in early spring and with mineral fertilizer every 15 days from mid-spring to late summer.

They do not require pruning.

They are quite resistant to pests and diseases but some caterpillars can eat the leaves.

They propagate by division of the plant or rhizome in spring.

Images of the plant Calathea lutea or Cigar plant

Calathea lutea
Calathea lutea
Calathea lutea
Calathea lutea
Calathea lutea
 

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