Calathea and Maranta are beautiful indoor plants, but most people get confused between them and assume that they are the same plants. Yes, they have some similarities between them but you can find obvious differences between them too. People often question, “Are Calathea and Maranta the same?” and the answer is no, they are not. Read along, and you will find the similarities and differences between them. This will help you in making the right decision if you are planning on buying either one of them.
Do Calathea And Maranta Belong To The Same Family?
Calathea and Maranta do belong to the same Family, called Marantaceae, but their genus is different. They are also native to different places. Calathea is native to Africa and South America, while Maranta is native to Central and South America. Both are tropical plants.
Similarities Between Calathea And Maranta?
Even though there are only a few similarities between both plants, people still think of them as one. The main similarities between Calathea and Maranta are:
As mentioned above, both of these plants have a similarity in their family. They are from the Marantaceae family, also known as the arrowroot family.
Calathea and Maranta categorize as houseplants, but Calathea can also serve as an outdoor plant. They are tropical plants and often look alike because of their leaves.
Differences Between Calathea And Maranta
Unlike the similarities, you can find endless differences between these two plants. These differences are the ones that make each of them a whole separate plant. Let’s see what these differences are:
Shape Of The Leaf
You can tell the difference between these plants by the shape of their leaves. In the Maranta plant, leaves are only oval-shaped in all varieties. But in Calathea, you can find different leaves ranging from oval, rounded, or lance-shaped.
The main difference lies in their foliage color. Calathea has green and yellow splashes of colors on their leaves, and sometimes even red and white. Maranta has striped patterns on its leaves and variations of green, yellow and gray.
Number Of Varieties
They have differences in their varieties too. The Calathea plant has over 60 varieties, but only 15-20 varieties of Maranta have been discovered.
Modes Of Propagation
Root Division is the only way to propagate Calathea. But on the other hand, you can propagate Maranta through different modes like root division, stem cuttings, and also through seeding.
You can also see the obvious difference between the growth trends of these two plants. Calathea does not grow upright; rather it grows like a shrub. But on the other hand, Maranta liked to spread around its leaves and stems.
Do Calathea And Maranta Need The Same Plant Care?
Both are similar in terms of plant care. They are easy-going plants and do not need your extra attention to grow. However, Calathea is more sensitive than Maranta. But it’s nothing that you cannot handle.
As they are topical plants, they need low indirect sunlight. In some cases, you can put Calathea outdoors too. But make sure it is not in direct contact with the sun, or its leaves can burn.
Both the plants don’tlike overwatering. But Maranta needs to be always moist. But you should always wait for the soil of Calathea to dry before watering them. Both of these plants like distilled water, so make sure not to water them with unfiltered water because it can burn their leaves.
They both are tolerant of cold temperatures, but Calathea is less cold tolerant than Maranta. They like room temperature and grow their best in normal weather. However, a temperature less than 60°F is dangerous for both of these plants.
Calathea and Maranta need room temperature humidity. Sometimes if the weather has become extremely dry, you can use a humidifier to keep them moist.
Are Both Calathea And Maranta Known As Prayer Plants?
Referring to both Calathea and Maranta as Prayer Plants is wrong because only Maranta is called the prayer plant because of a process called nyctinasty, which this plant goes through. It is the process in which the plant leaves fold themselves in the evening into a praying hands shape. However, Calathea does not go through nyctinasty, and that’s why it doesn’t go into prayer shape. That’s why it is not a prayer plant.
Calathea and Maranta are not the same as they have huge differences. You can tell these differences by looking at the shape of their leaves and plant structure. Often, sellers also get confused about both these plants, but once you know the differences between them, it will be easy for you to distinguish between them.
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