Goeppertia roseopicta
Common Name: goeppertia 
Type: Herbaceous perennial
Family: Marantaceae
Native Range: Western South America to western Brazil
Zone: 11 to 12
Height: 1.00 to 1.50 feet
Spread: 0.75 to 1.00 feet
Bloom Time: Seasonal bloomer
Bloom Description: White to purple
Sun: Part shade to full shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Medium
Flower: Showy
Leaf: Colorful, Evergreen
Other: Winter Interest

Culture

With good humidity, consistent soil moisture, warm air temperature, and an absence of direct sun, this tropical perennial will usually develop into an extremely attractive indoor foliage plant. Best indoor container growth typically occurs in uniformly moist, well-drained, peaty potting mixtures in room temperatures ranging from 65 to 75 degrees F. in bright shade locations. Avoid full sun, particularly in the heat of the afternoon. Tolerates some early morning sun or diffused sun. Plants need high humidity which can often be difficult to provide in winter. Consider standing a potted plant on a bed of wet pebbles, misting the foliage regularly and/or growing the plant in a humidified room. Water regularly to keep soils moist (but not wet) during the growing season. Reduce watering in winter when plant growth typically slows down. Winter hardy to USDA Zones 11-12.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Goeppertia roseopicta, commonly known as jungle velvet or calathea, is noted for its striking variegated leaves. In the wet tropics and sub-tropics, this plant is commonly grown outdoors in shaded areas and courtyards for display of its highly ornamental foliage. It is native to tropical areas along the upper Amazon in northwestern Brazil, Peru and Columbia. In the U.S., it will survive outdoors in far southern Florida and Hawaii, but otherwise must be grown indoors in containers. This is a compact, rhizomatous, evergreen perennial that typically grows to 12-16” tall in containers. Elliptic leaves (to 6-10” long) are glossy dark green with a distinctive rose-colored midrib and an irregular feathering of rose markings forming a ring between the midribs and leaf margins. Leaf undersides are reddish-purple. Leaves fold together at dusk in a manner somewhat resembling praying hands, hence the sometimes used common name of prayer plant. Inconspicuous, white to purple flowers bloom in spring on upright stalks, but flowers rarely appear on indoor plants.

Formerly known as Calathea rosea-picta.

Specific epithet means zebra-striped in reference to the leaf appearance.

Problems

No serious insect or disease problems. Watch for aphids, scale, mealybugs and spider mites. Leaf spots may appear. Plants do not thrive in low humidity where leaves may roll or turn brown. Direct sun usually causes leaf scorch.

Uses

This plant is grown for its attractive foliage. Houseplant for bright areas with no direct sun. Popular landscape plant in Hawaii.