Calathea Magicstar or Calathea Triostar? (Variegated scam?)

Last Updated on March 22, 2021 by Sophie

If you’ve purchased a Calathea Triostar and it doesn’t at all have the kind of variegation that you were expecting, then there may be a very simple reason for this; it might not actually be a Calathea Triostar at all! Here’s a guide to Calathea Magicstar or Calathea Triostar (a variegated scam)?

Please note that while the Calathea Magicstar is advertised as a Calathea, it is actually a relative of the Calathea and its name is technically Stromanthe Sanguinea Triostar. Stromathes are also part of the prayer plant family and originate in jungles in South America. 

If you’ve searched for plant photos online for long enough, then you may well have come across photos of the beautiful green leaves of the Calathea Triostar. Characterised by its green leaves marked by colour block white and pink sections (and maroon undersides, like many calathea varieties), the Prayer Plant has rapidly become a must-have for many keen plant collectors.

calathea triostar

Why is my Calathea Triostar not variegated?

Try as you might, if you have purchased a Calathea Triostar and it doesn’t have the variegation you were expecting (despite exposing it to ample amounts of sunlight), then I have some news for you; the plant will never have the variegation you were expecting.

If the variegation on the leaves is largely characterised by its green leaves with mottled specks of pink and white and maroon undersides, this means that you have actually purchased the Calathea Magicstar, which is a completely different type of Stromanthe.


How can you tell if you have a Calathea Magicstar vs a Calathea Triostar?

The main way to tell the different between the Calathea Triostar vs the Calathea Magicstar is that the Calathea Triostar has patches of solid variegation. Meanwhile, the Magicstar has specks of white and pink.

Both plants require some green in them so as to keep the plant healthy with ample amounts of Chlorophyll. In the Calathea Magicstar, the variegation patches will be small solid parts of white, in stark contrast with the Calathea Triostar which will have larger patches. Whereas the green parts of Calathea Triostar will be block green, Calathea Magicstar will be mottled and speckled throughout.

What often happens (as happened to me), is that a Calathea Magicstar will be miss-sold as a Calathea Triostar, even though they are two entirely different cultivars. Though this may be frustrating, the Calathea Magicstar is still incredibly beautiful.

From personal experience, it’s also worth noting that the Calathea Magicstar also seems to be less prone to browning tips (an aesthetic problem in nearly every Calathea variety and other type of prayer plant). In the end, the plants are the same species, but different cultivars or varieties.

Calathea Magicstar images

Calathea Magicstar

Calathea Magicstar

Calathea Triostar images

Calathea Triostar

Calathea Triostar

About Author

Sophie Nadeau is a travel, pizza, and history lover who is currently based in Paris, France. A keen indoor gardener, she spends her time at home reading books, looking at too many dog photos, and growing an indoor jungle in her tiny flat!