Calathea Orbifolia Brown Edges And Tips Causes & Solutions


Calathea orbifolia is one of those beautiful plants which can add a great deal of beauty to your home. But it also needs a lot of care for proper growth. Its large silver leaves are a great attraction for anyone who likes to have plants in his house. But if you cannot take care of it properly, then a lot of problems can occur. One of the main problems which you can face is Calathea orbifolia brown edges.

Indeed, having brown tips on your Calathea orbifolia leaves is not a great feeling. But it can occur if you are not aware of your plant’s needs. The most common cause of Calathea orbifolia brown spots is pests. But other than pests’ impure water supply, improper fertilizer and moisture issues can also result in the browning of Calathea orbifolia leaves.

The most common way to get rid of this problem is pruning. You can get rid of your Calathea orbifolia brown edges by cutting them off in a proper manner. But make sure you identify the problem before following the pruning procedure. So, you can prevent it from happening again.

But if you want to take care of your Calathea orbifolia all you need is to that make sure that the environment and conditions are proper for its growth

Calathea Orbifolia Care Requirements Parameters
Light Requirement Indirect or filtered light
Temperature Requirement 60.8°F to 77°F
Soil Requirement Mixture of Peat, Coco coir, perlite and pumice
Water Requirement Pure Water or Rain Water
Fertilizer Requirement Mixture of seasol fish emulsion, liquid fertilizer or compost fertilizers like worm castings
Humidity Requirement High humidity (60% or higher humidity)
Height and Width 3 feet in hieght & 2 feet in width
Common Name Calathea Orbifolia, Prayer Plant
Scientific Name Goeppertia Orbifolia
Family Marantacea

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

Check Water Quality And Quantity

Most people are not aware that most of the issues of a plant are due to water quality and quantity. Overwatering, underwatering, and water quality are three dimensions of it. 

The most common cause that your Calathea orbifolia is turning brown on leaves edges can be the use of impure dirty tap water. The tap water mostly contains ionic compounds like salts, minerals, chlorine, and fluoride ions which can disturb the soil’s chemical structure resulting in the Calathea orbifolia browni leaves and tips.

Overwatering Of Calathea Orbifolia Leaves

You must know how much water your plant needs because giving more water than your plant needs can create many issues. In most cases, extra water is used to clog the space and ways in the plant’s soil. It eventually led to the diminished oxygen supply to roots leading to the browning of leaves.

It is common among people to overwater Calathea orbifolia leaves because they think of them as tropical water-needing plants which is true.

Causes Of Calathea Orbifolia Brown Edges and its Solutions infographics
Calathea Orbifolia Brown Edges Infographics

But mostly alone, overwatering cannot result in the browning of your Calathea orbifolia leaves unless your pot has a poor drain system or its size is larger than the standard requirement. Other than this, poor light availability can also cause it. It is necessary that you check these things first. So, you don’t have to face this problem of browning of Calathea orbifolia leaves.

You can avoid this issue by following these steps.

  • Get a pot that has a good system for drainage holes. So, you can avoid conditions like waterlogging.
  • Always water the plant when your upper 5cm is dry. Make sure you check the upper layer by touching it with your fingers.
  • Keep your plant in indirect sunlight so it can grow well.

Underwatering Of Calathea Orbifolia Leaves

It is not common for any person to underwater Calathea orbifolia. But if you are in such a condition, you will first see the curling of leaves resulting from low water availability. The plant doesn’t want to lose more water by transpiration, so it will start curling its leaves. But you can avoid this problem by following these steps.

  • Check the top 5cm of your soil. If it is dry, then your plant requires water.
  • Most pots are not able to retain moisture. For this issue, you can use plastic ports which can maintain a good amount of moisture for the long term.
  • You can add a small layer of pebbles or small stones to the bottom side of the port. This will create a drainage area, also adding moisture for leaves in the surrounding area.
  • You can use good soil combinations and products to retain moisture.

Poor Water Quality Can Turn Calathea Orbifolia Leaves Edges Brown

Calathea orbifolia care and propagation is not an easy job. It requires pure water for this purpose. But if you are not able to supply it. Then sooner or later you are going to face problems. Mostly Calathea orbifolia leaves turn brown when people compromise on water quality.

But you can avoid this issue using rainwater or boiled water because rainwater and boiled water are pure in their content. Calathea orbifolia brown tips can be the result of hard water or impure water. It doesn’t matter whether your water quantity is alright or pot got a good drainage system. Unless the water you are supplying is not pure, it won’t turn out to be good.

Check The Overexposure To Sunlight

It is well known that Calathea orbifolia is a tropical plant where it requires a good amount of light for growth. But it is not a clear case. Most people make a mistake putting it under direct sunlight, which is wrong. It doesn’t grow well under direct sunlight. Calathea orbifolia leaves can turn brown due to overexposure to sunlight.

Calathea Orbifolia Overexposure to Sunlight
Calathea Orbifolia

You can identify overexposure to sunlight by checking the soil moisture. If your soil gets dry quicker than usual, then something is wrong.

If you want to take well care of your Calathea orbifolia. You need to make sure you place it under indirect sunlight. You can do it by placing a transparent shield over it, putting it in a greenhouse, or placing it at a closed window. A greenhouse is an excellent option because plants in a closed environment tend to create a system. In a closed system, plants can manage temperature and humidity, which are essential for proper growth and propagation.

Keep A Check On Soil Quality

Calathea orbifolia requires soil that can retain moisture and nutrients for growth and propagation.

We have already discussed the best soil combinations for Calathea orbifolia. But as far browning of leaves is concerned it happens due to unawareness and ignorance. When you use sandy sand which absorbs the water it can ruin your plant’s beautiful leaves. The same is with other soil combinations and types that cannot retain moisture and fertilizer content for the Calthea orbifolia. So, you need to make sure that plant soil can retain moisture and fertilizer nutrient content.

Check The Humidity Level For Your Calathea Orbifolia

Calathea orbifolia are tropical plants, and they require a high level of humidity. Basically, it needs more than 50% to 60% of humidity to show optimum growth. Its leaves can turn brown when humidity is below the required level. You can tackle this issue temporarily by spraying water on your plant or misting it. But it is just a temporary solution.

Plants native to high humidity environments have cellular structures adaptive to the high moisture content in soil and environment. When you are unable to provide Calathea orbifolia required moisture content it will lead to the failure of cellular functions ultimately leading to the browning of Calathea orbifolia leaves.

How to Keep A Check On Calathea Orbifolia Humidity Level?

If you want that your Calathea orbifolia leaves don’t turn brown. Then you need to make sure that the humidity level around it stays above 60%. It can be done in various ways. The two most common methods are the use of humidifiers and stone trays.

  • A plant humidifier or room humidifier artificially can adjust the humidity level for your plant. No one wants their Calathea orbifolia silver shiny leaves to turn brown. So, it is a common thing to have a humidifier for your plants.
  • Many people also put their Calathea orbifolia on top of a tray of wet pebbles. This tray is also called a pebble tray. It is mostly used to fulfill required conditions of high humidity. Because the whole day water keeps evaporating and keeps the leaves healthy.

Keep A Check On The Temperature Level

It is a normal thing that without optimum temperature Calathea orbifolia can’t show good growth. To get a good level of growth, you need to maintain a temperature between 18°C to 24°C. But if the temperature is not optimum then it is common for Calathea orbifolia leaves to turn brown. It doesn’t happen in a night. Instead, it occurs over time when you continuously ignore the temperature then leaves start to get damaged.

There are some months and seasons when you need to keep a special check on the temperature. In summer and winter, when the temperature is either too hot or too cold, it is most likely that on your Calathea orbifolia brown edges will appear. You can avoid it by placing your plants in the right place at the proper time. In winter, you can use a greenhouse, a small garden, or a locally built place to save your plant.

Calathea Orbifolia
Calathea Orbifolia

In summer, you need to ensure that it doesn’t get too hot around your Calathea orbifolia. You can do it by placing Calathea orbifolia indoors. But when you place your plant indoors, make sure that you put it away from the bathing site and air-conditioned rooms because such places can disturb the temperature level of your plant.

Keep A Check On Your Fertilizer Usage

It is not very common for people to tend to use the wrong fertilizers for Calathea orbifolia. Because none of us want to damage their beautiful shiny silver leaves. In negligence applying the wrong fertilizer or the wrong combination of fertilizer can damage your plant leaves. Most people use fertilizer on a monthly basis or quarterly basis, depending upon the combination.

The most common issue that causes the browning of Calathea orbifolia leaves occurs because of extra fertilizer usage. Fertilizer contains salt, and overuse can suck out water, damaging the plant stem and resulting in the browning of leaves. It is the most common way in which fertilizer can cause Calathea orbifolia to turn brown.

You can avoid this issue by following these recommendations.

  • Make sure to choose a balanced fertilizer that can fulfill all required conditions.
  • When you are applying to feed, make sure to give a good soaking to avoid excess mineral makeup, which can cause the browning of your plant leaves.
  • Apply fertilizer a few centimeters far away from the roots of plants.
  • Make sure you use the nitrogen-rich fertilizer according to your required needs.

Keep An Eye For Pests

In many scenarios, all requirements for Calathea orbifolia growth are under optimum conditions. But still, leaves get damaged. In such a situation when your plant leaves are getting damaged, you need to check your plant because small pests probably invade it. It is common for Calathea orbifolia to have brown under leaves when the case of pests is a concern.

Calathea Orbifolia Brown Edges
Calathea orbifolia

You need to keep constant surveillance on your Calathea orbifolia in pest season. If you really care for the beautiful shiny leaves of your plant, you need to look out for these guests.

  • Spider Mites

They like to invade the Calathea orbifolia from the underside. Spider mites are the common reason for turning leaves brown from the underside. It is better if you keep a special check on your plant in winter. If your plant is invaded by this pest and you have no idea what to do then it is recommended that you mix 3 tablespoons of dish soap with a gallon of water to get rid of spider mites. You can spray it on your plant weekly if it seems necessary.

  • Gnats of Fungus

They are most likely to grow in moist places or places with a high level of humidity. It is one common thing with Calathea orbifolia, enough to turn your plants’ shiny leaves brown. You need to look after your plant. Gnats of fungus are dangerous at the larval stage, so look after them if you don’t want to turn your leaves brown.

  • Scale

The Coccus hesperidum also known as brown scale, is the most common type of pest that you will find as the culprit. They mostly are found on the underside of leaves where they infest your plant, leaving a brown sap with the damaged plant. There can be a case faced by you where you see that your Calathea orbifolia leaves are being infested by them and they are turning brown.

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

  • Mealybugs

These are the worst of all pests as far Calathea orbifolia is concerned. They primarily feed on plant juices and greenhouse tropical plants. You need to check the underside of your Calathea orbifolia 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.

These pests can be a common cause of the browning of Calathea orbifolia leaves. But there is no such issue that cannot be resolved. The only thing you can do is keep a good eye on such invaders and keep them away from your plant.


Calathea orbifolia 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 orbifolia 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.

The best action you can take now is to make a checklist of all these things and keep surveillance over your plant.

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