Last Updated on June 1, 2021 by Sophie
If you’re a fan of prayer plants and love variegated varieties, then the Calathea White Fusion may well be the plant for you. Characterised by its stunning lanceolate-shaped green leaves which are marked by white and silver stripes and deep maroon undersides, this is one Calathea you’ll love to add to your indoor collection.
Scientifically, Calathea ‘White Fusion’ is known as Calathea lietzei and it is often gifted the name ‘peacock plant,’ though should not be confused with Calathea makoyana, which is also nickanmed the ‘Peacock Plant’ or ‘cathedral windows’. Here’s a complete Calathea White Fusion care guide, including watering advice and tips for propagation!
Fully grown, this plant reaches 12 to 24 inches in height. A hybrid plant, the White Fusion is a newer variety of Calathea but is fairly easy to care for and is no harder to look after than the Calathea roseopicta.
With this being said, it should be noted that, as is often the case with variegated plants, the White Fusion Calathea will grow at a slower rate and pace than its non-variegated counterparts. So as to allow the plant to properly photosynthesise (which can be harder for plants with less chlorophyll- i.e. less green parts on their leaves), the plant should be wiped down regularly from dust and dirt.
Is Calathea White Fusion rare?
Calathea White Fusion is quite rare in comparison with many other Calathea varieties such as Calathea roseopicta or Calathea rufibarba. It can be harder to find for sale in plant shops or garden centres and, as such, is often sold with a higher price tag than its more common counterparts.
Calathea White Fusion Care Guide
Light levels for the White Fusion
It’s an unfortunate misconception that Calatheas are often advertised as low light plants as this leads to people placing them into areas of their home which are too shady and low lit for the plant to thrive.
Instead, the White Fusion should be put into a spot which is brightly lit with indirect light such as a few feet away from an east or west facing window. If the Calathea White Fusion is placed into bright direct sunlight (such as on a South facing window) it can end up with burnt leaves (this is when the leaves become brown and look burnt).
Leaves which are burnt will not recover and so should be removed from the plant in order to leave room for healthy growth. Another common symptom of the White Fusion receiving too much direct sunlight is that the leaves will start to become dull and new leaves will grow with less variegation. If this occurs, find a slightly less brightly lit spot as soon as possible.
Watering your White Calathea
One of the biggest issues which plant owners face when growing any Calathea variety is getting the watering schedule correct. You see, Calatheas are particularly susceptible to minerals in the water and are prone to brown and crispy leaf tips. White Fusion Calathea is no exception to this.
Prayer plants in general don’t like to dry out completely between waterings as this can lead to brown and crispy leaves. As such, the plant should be watered little but often. Water the plant when the top inch or so of the soil is dry.
With this being said, it should be noted that while the White Fusion likes having its feet moist at all times, it does not want to sit in water as this can lead to root rot, from which there is little chance that the plant will recover.
If your plant starts to develop crispy leaf edges, this is an indication that the water it is receiving has too many dense minerals in it. This can be a particular problem for people like me who live in areas with hard water.
Calathea lietzei humidity levels
Watering schedule aside, another common cause for brown leaf tips and crispy leaves in the Calathea lietzei is not high enough humidity levels. This can become a particular problem during the winter months when central heating can dry out the air in your space.
In order to combat this, you can mist the plant every few days, though try not to get the leaves too wet as this can lead them to rot. You can also try grouping like plants together as this will improve the humidity around them.
Best soil conditions for the Calathea White Fusion
Like most Prayer Plants, Calathea White Fusion should be planted in neutral/ slightly acidic soil that is well-draining. There is no prescribed soil mix per se, though the substrate should be part organic matter, part well-draining material such as perlite and sand.
The easiest thing to do is to head to your local garden centre and purchase a soil blend which is formulated specifically for indoor plants which originate from the jungle. As mentioned previously, the Calathea White Fusion grows particularly slowly and so will only need to be repotted every two to three years or so.
When repotting the plant, be sure not to plant the Calathea into too large of a container. The container should be no larger than 1/3 bigger than the container that it has been replanted from. If it’s too large, then the plant can go into shock and wither.
Straight after replanting, it will appear that the plant is growing even more slowly than usual. This is because it is focused on growing new roots to fill the pot up as opposed to putting out newt foliage.
Calathea White Fusion Propagation
Unfortunately, unlike many succulent plants and philodendron varieties, most types of Calatheas grow via rhizomes and so cannot be propagated by rooted stem cutting. Instead, propagation is through division whereby the plant is divided at the roots into several plants during the start of the growing season (i.e. in the spring and summer).
When you’re repotting your calathea plant, simply shake off the excess soil and divide the plant at the roots and stems. Each division should ensure that the ensuing plant has at least three or four stems to allow for the best chance to survival.
Following division and repotting, be wary not to overwater the plants. As each individual plant is smaller than the original, they will require less water. I simply love propagating plants via division thanks to the fact that it creates an entirely new plant for free which can then be gifted to a friend!
White Fusion Calathea flower
Calatheas are pretty hard to take care of in general and so require exceptional treatment in order to flower. If you are lucky enough to get your White Fusion to flower, then you can expect to see small spathes with white flowers which are fairly insignificant and small in comparison to the beautiful variegated foliage of the Calathea lietzei.
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