WORDS BY LAURA BAYLISS
We don’t usually go in for the whole New Year, New You mindset – we love the old you just the way you are! But 2021, could, perhaps, improve on 2020, just a little bit… And here’s the plant to help.
Calathea is a symbol of new beginnings, fresh starts and things getting better. And, boy, do we need a bit of that right now. Its meaning comes from the saying ‘to turn over a new leaf’, which this clever plant does when in its darkest hour, neatly folding its leaves over and upwards, then opening them back up again at sunrise. What a perfect message for 2021.
Calathea plants are famous for their decorative leaves, in a large palette of greens and deep rich burgundy colours, patterned with spots, spatters, stripes and zigzags. They are also good air purifiers.
Like all the best things, they’re a little bit high maintenance, but as long as you remember the basics, they should thrive. The rainforest is their native home, so keep an eye on the humidity and don’t let them get cold. These plants do not like a draught – there are no draughts in the rainforest. With the heating on in winter, the air can get very dry inside, so if your Calathea’s leaves roll up and turn brown at the edges, give them a spritz with some water. They don’t mind low-level light (think forest floor), so will be happiest in a corner away from bright sunlight. Keep their soil moist but not soggy.
Come on Calathea, do your thing and work your magic for 2021. We’re counting on you.