Calathea Ornata Brown Leaves Causes and Solutions

Calathea ornata is one of those lovely plants which can add a lot of beauty to your home. Depicted from its beauty it needs a lot of care for proper development. Its enormous silver leaves foliage is an extraordinary fascination for anybody who likes to have plants in his home. In case, that you aren’t able to take proper care of this plant then a lot of problems can occur. One of the primary issues which you can confront is Calathea ornata brown colored edges.

Without a doubt, having brown colored tips on your Calathea ornata leaves is certainly not a good experience. It can happen if you don’t know about your plant’s needs. The most well-known reason for Calathea ornata color edges or spots is pests. Other than bugs tainted or contaminated water supply, improper fertilizer compost, and moisture related issues can cause browning of plant leaves.

The most well-known solution for this issue is pruning. You can prune your Calathea ornata brown color edges after you have identified what is the cause behind it and fix that cause. Remember just pruning your damaged leaves is not going to help you unless you fix the cause of it.

If you are wondering Why are the leaves on my Calathea ornata turning brown on the edges? Here are the most common ways to identify the causes behind the browning of Calathea ornata leaves.

Check Water Quality and Quantity

The vast majority don’t know that the most of problems of a plant are because of water quality and quantity. Overwatering, underwatering, and water quality are three elements of it.

Presently we will look into how to recognize every one of these issues and see what are the potential solutions for them.

Overwatering of Calathea Ornata Leaves

You should realize how much water your plant needs since giving more water than your plant need can create problems for you. Additional water can clog the root oxygenated space, suffocating your plant resulting in root rot and Calathea ornata yellow leaves.

It is normal among individuals to overwater Calathea ornata leaves since they consider them tropical water requiring plants.

Make sure your plant pot has a good drainage system, it is recommended to use terracotta pots. If your plant doesn’t have a good drainage system even a normal watering routine can pose problems for you. So, make sure you are using a good pot for this purpose.

You can keep yourself safe from this issue by following these means.

  • Get a pot that has a decent framework or structure for water drainage. In this way, you are safe from conditions like waterlogging.
  • Only water the plant when your upper 5cm is dry. Ensure you tested the upper layer by contacting it with your fingers.
  • Keep your plant in filtered daylight so it can develop well.

Underwatering of Calathea Ornata Leaves

It generally doesn’t happen that any person underwater Calathea ornata. But if you are in such a condition, you will first experience the curling of Calathea ornata leaves due to low water availability. It happens because the plant doesn’t want to lose more water by transpiration, so it will start curling its leaves.

In this image causes of Calathea ornata brown leaves is shown.
Calathea Ornata Brown Leaves Causes

 You can follow these steps to avoid this issue:

  • Check the upper 2 inches of your soil. In case it is dry, then water your plant otherwise it doesn’t need water.
  • Most pots are not designed to retain moisture. If you are facing this issue due to water loss, you can use plastic ports which can retain a good amount of moisture for the long term.
  • You can use a pebble tray for retaining moisture.
  • You can use good soil combinations and products to retain moisture.

Poor Water Quality Can Turn Calathea Ornata Leaves Edges Brown

Calathea ornata care and propagation is not an easy thing to do. It requires pure water for good growth. But in case you are not able to do it then sooner you are going to face problems. Mostly Calathea ornata leaves turn brown because of impure water.

But you can avoid this issue using rainwater or filtered water because rainwater and filtered water are pure. Calathea ornata brown tips can be the result of hard water or impure water. It doesn’t matter whether your water quality is good or not in case if the pot doesn’t have a good drainage system there are going to be some problems for all of us.

Check the Overexposure to Sunlight

Notably, Calathea ornata is a tropical plant where it requires a lot of light for development. The vast majority of people commit a mistake putting it under direct daylight, which is not good for this plant. It doesn’t develop well under direct daylight. Calathea ornata leaves turn brown when they are overexposed to daylight.

To take good care of your Calathea ornata you need to ensure you place it under filtered daylight. You can do it by setting a straightforward window, or greenhouse shield over it, placing it in a nursery, or putting it against a wall with a glass door aside. A nursery is a good option considering it will create a natural environment when closely related plants are placed in one place.

Keep a Check on Soil Quality

Calathea ornata requires soil that can hold moisture and nutrients from fertilizer.

We have already discussed soil combinations for Calathea ornata. But as far browning of Calathea ornata leaves is related, it happens due to unawareness of plant needs or negligence. It is better if you have a look at the Calathea ornata care and propagation guide for the best soil combination. Different combinations of Peat, Coco coir, Perlite, and Pumice are used as soil for this plant.

In this image Calathea ornata leaves plant is shown.
Calathea Ornata Leaves

Check the Humidity Level for Your Calathea Ornata

Calathea ornata is a tropical plant, and it requires a high level of humidity around 60% or more. Its leaves turn brown when humidity is not in the optimum range. For a temporary solution, you can use a water bottle and spray it on your plant, but if you want a permanent solution place your plant in a good environment.

Plants native to high humidity climates have cellular structures adaptive to high moisture content. When Calathea ornata doesn’t get the required level required it will lead to failure of cellular functions ultimately leading to the browning of Calathea ornata leaves.

How to Keep a Check on Calathea Ornata Humidity Level?

If you want to keep Calathea ornata leaves healthy and keep enjoying their ornamental beauty, then you need to adjust the plant surrounding humidity level to around 60% or higher. There are a lot of methods to do it. The two most common ways are the use of a humidifier and a pebble tray.

  • A plant humidifier or room humidifier can be used to adjust the humidity level of the room or area where your plant is placed. No one wants their Calathea ornata pink shiny leaves to turn brown.
  • The second way is to place your Calathea ornata pot on a pebble tray, the rest will take care of it.

Keep A Check On The Temperature Level

In case you are not able to provide optimum temperature for Calathea ornata it will not show good growth. To get a good level of growth, you need to maintain a temperature between 19°C to 29°C. Temperature problem is the most common cause behind the browning of Calathea ornata leaves.

There are some months when you need to keep a special eye on the temperature level. In winter and summer, when the temperature is either too hot or too cold, it is most likely that your Calathea ornata leaves will get damaged. You can avoid this problem by placing your plant in the right place. In the winter season, you can place your plant in the greenhouse, a small garden, or a locally built place to save the plant.

Where in the summer season, you need to make sure that it doesn’t get too hot around your Calathea ornata. You can place your plant near the window where temperature fluctuations are minimum, make sure you place it away from the air conditioner.

Keep a Check on Your Fertilizer Usage

People hardly make mistakes when choosing a fertilizer Calathea ornata. None of us want to damage their beautiful pink shiny leaves. If you are careless and applied the wrong fertilizer then it can create a lot of problems like root rot, yellowing of leaves, browning of leaves, or disturbing the dance movements.

The most common issue that results in the browning of Calathea ornata leaves happens because of extra fertilizer usage. Fertilizer contains salt and minerals, and overuse of it can suck out water from the soil, damaging the plant’s root and eventually leading to the browning of leaves.

In This image Calathea ornata plant is shown in a darkist brown black dotted pot.
Calathea Ornata

You can avoid this problem by following these recommendations.

  • Choose a balanced fertilizer or all-in-one-purpose fertilizer that can fulfill all required conditions.
  • When you are applying to feed, make sure to give a good soaking (water in the soil must be high so fertilizer doesn’t mess up the things) to avoid excess mineral makeup, which can result in browning of your plant leaves.
  • Apply fertilizer a few inches away from the roots of your plant.
  • Make sure you use nutrient-rich and brand fertilizer.

Keep an Eye for Pests Around Calathea Ornata Brown Edges

In some cases, all requirements for Calathea ornata growth are good but leaves still get damaged. In such a situation, you need to check your plant because there can be an infestation. It is common for Calathea ornata to have brown leaves from the underside when pests are concerned, or present in your area.

Spider Mites

They mostly invade the Calathea ornata leaves from the underside. It is advised that you keep a special check on the plant. If the plant is infested, it is advised that you first mix 3 tablespoons of dish soap with a gallon of water to create a solution, then spray it on the affected area of the plant to get rid of spider mites. You can spray it on your plant weekly if it seems necessary.

Gnats of Fungus

They grow in moist areas or places where the humidity level is high. It is one common thing with Calathea ornata, enough to turn your plants’ pink leaves brown. Gnats of fungus are dangerous at the larval stage, so look after them if you don’t want to turn your leaves brown.


The Coccus hesperidum is known as scale, the most common pest that you will find as the culprit for the browning of Calathea ornata leaves. They mostly invade the underside of leaves, leaving a brown sap with the damaged plant.

It is not easy to get rid of them. The most effective and safest way to control them is with a horticultural oil spray method. Such insecticide contains oil; when sprayed on the scale they block their breathing pores, allowing you to get rid of them.

In this image Calathea ornata infestation by thrips insects is shown.
Thrips on Calathea Ornata


These are the worst as far Calathea ornata is concerned. They primarily feed on plant sap and greenhouse tropical plants. You need to check the underside of your Calathea ornata leaves if you want to keep them in good condition. Otherwise, minor negligence can turn them brown and dead. You can get rid of mealybugs by mixing water, with 1 teaspoon of neem oil, and 3 drops of liquid dish soap in a bottle that can be sprayed.


Calathea ornata indeed is one of those plants which can add a great deal of beauty to your house. Its shiny silver leaves are a great attraction. But on the other side, it is also complicated to take care of it, unless you provide it with the optimum environment. Calathea ornata brown edges only appear when you are not taking good care of their leaves. Pests, temperature, humidity, and water all can be causes of it.

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