Calathea Orbifolia Brown Spots

Calathea Orbifolia Brown Spots (7 Main Causes & Solutions)

Calatheas make lovely indoor plants, but they can be challenging to maintain.

Calathea Orbifolia Brown spots is a major concerning affecting your plant’s optimal health.

Having Calathea Orbifolia among your plant collection is a sure way to attract people’s attention. Also known as the prayer plant, the Calathea orbifolia is one of the most beautiful in the Calathea family. But like most household plants, the calathea orbifolia leaves can begin to show brown spots for certain reasons.

For many gardeners, leaf discoloration is often a cause for concern. So it’s only natural to worry if your prayer plant is losing its green color gradually. But why are there brown spots on Calathea orbifolia?

Main Causes For Calathea Orbifolia Brown Spots

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While many factors can cause the browning of leaves in Calathea, watering the plant with tap water can be a major factor. Since the Calathea plants are sensitive, they are selective about the type of water you use in watering them.

Other factors include low humidity, temperature fluctuations, pest attacks, and overexposure to the sun.

Calathea Orbifolia is a one-of-a-kind plant that requires special care. Little or no monitoring can expose the plants to stress, which can cause brown spots on their leaves.

Interestingly, some seemingly harmless factors can be responsible for Calathea orbifolia discoloration. In this article, we will discuss the possible reasons your Calathea has brown patches and the solutions to them.

Keep on reading to find out!

7 Possible Causes Of Brown Spots On Your Calathea Orbifolia

Brownish leaves on your Calathea are a sign that the plant is unhappy. Even though several factors can be responsible for this problem, we will discuss 7 of them below.

1. Water Quality

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Apart from being a sensitive plant, the Calathea comes from a damp area. Hence, it’s not surprising that the plants cannot tolerate tap water. 

There are minerals, salts, chlorine, and other properties in tap water that can build up in your Calathea soil. As a result, your plant’s leaves can curl up or turn brown.


  • Use distilled water, such as rainwater, for watering since it doesn’t contain too much salt. 
  • Use a water filtration system if you have one. 
  • Leave the tap water in an open container overnight so that some minerals can evaporate.

2. Low Humidity

Calatheas flourish in places with high humidity as they are native to tropical environments. Keeping this plant in a place with low humidity can cause its leaves to turn brown. 

Generally, most Calathea plants will do well with humidity levels of 50%. But, being a sensitive plant, the Calathea Orbifolia needs at least 60% humidity to thrive.

Once the humidity levels of your round-leaf plant begin to drop below 50%, their leaves will change to brown. Some of the signs you’ll also notice are that the leaves may become crispy, yellowish, or droopy.


  • If your Calathea is indoors, keep them away from a heater as it keeps the environment dry. 
  • Put a humidifier close to the Calathea plants as it is the most effective method.
  • Place the prayer plant on the top of peat moss or stone that has been placed inside the water. As the water evaporates, the humidity levels in the environment will continue to increase. 
  • Group the plants so that they can release moisture during transpiration.

3. Inadequate Watering

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Usually, Calathea plants need a moderate amount of water to thrive. But when you don’t water the plant, especially when the surface is dry, it results in dehydration. 

Some of the signs you’ll notice in the dehydrated Calathea Orbifolia include droopy, curly leaves with brown spots.


  • Dip your finger or a stick in the soil and pull it out. If there is no moist dirt on your finger or the stick, the plant probably needs water. 
  • Create a weekly watering schedule for the Calathea. 
  • Add peat moss to the soil to improve its water retaining properties.

4. Excess Watering

While underwatering your Calathea Orbifolia is not ideal, overwatering the plant is similarly bad. When there is too much water in the soil, the air passages become clogged. This prevents oxygen from reaching the roots, which can result in root rot and brown spots on leaves.


  • Keep your plants away from exposure to direct sunlight. 
  • Use a well-draining pot to allow the free movement of water. 
  • Water the soil only when the top 2-3 inches of soil are completely dry.
  • Use potting soil that drains well to prevent waterlogging.

5. Pest Infestation

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Pests such as mealy bugs, spider mites, and aphids can cause brown spots on Calathea orbitora. Other signs of pest infestation include stunted growth, black spots, and webbing on leaves. Always monitor your plants for signs of infestation so you can get rid of them early.


  • Separate the infested plants to prevent the pests from spreading to the healthy ones. 
  • Apply insecticide or neem oil to the infested plant. 
  • Use cotton buds soaked in alcohol to manually remove the pests. 
  • Place the plant under running water to ward off the insects.

6. Temperature Stress

Normally, Calatheas thrive in temperatures between 65 degrees F and 85 degrees F. Cold temperatures tend to damage the plant’s cells, thereby preventing the free movement of water and nutrients. Little or no water and nutrients in the plants will cause their leaves to become brown or wilt.


  • During winter, keep your Calathea away from the windows or vents. 
  • Bring the plant indoors if it is outdoors.

7. Exposure To Direct Sunlight

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While the Calathea plants need light to grow healthily, they do not like too much sunlight. In their natural habitats, Calathea orbifolia grows under large jungle trees, which offer them shade. Keeping the plants in places where they receive direct sunlight can burn the leaves. 

This is one of the reasons brown patches appear on the calathea leaves. Sometimes you may also notice the leaves becoming crispy when you get excess light.


  • If your Calthea plant is close to the window, use a curtain to shield it from receiving direct sunlight. 
  • Place the prayer plant close to the east-facing or west-facing windows. While the north-facing windows receive little light, the south-facing windows receive too much light.

Final Thoughts

Under normal conditions, there shouldn’t be brown spots on your Calathea Orbifolia. But factors such as water quality, pest infestation, excess sunlight, and low humidity can discolor your plant’s leaves.

Keep in mind that Calathea orbifolia may not be as easy to care for as other household plants. However, with the right care and attention, your round-leaf plant will remain as healthy and beautiful as ever.

Similar post: Aglaonema Drooping?

Frequently Asked Questions

How Do You Fix Brown Leaves On Calathea?

Several factors can cause your Calathea leaves to turn brown but the most common ones are low humidity and moisture stress. Usually, these issues do not require much time and effort to resolve. Provide the plant with the right amount of water and keep it in a place with high humidity

Should I Cut Off Brown Calathea Leaves?

Yes, it is better to trim all brown or dead leaves from your Calathea. Since the plant grows quickly, consider pruning it at least once or twice every year. But make sure you sterilize the tools you use to prune the Calathea to keep the plant safe from diseases.

What Does An Overwatered Calathea Look Like?

Some of the signs you’ll notice in an overwatered Calathea include droopy leaves, yellow leaves, and little growth. If you don’t resolve the issue quickly, the tips of your Calathea leaves will turn brown. You may also notice the plant stems are beginning to turn mushy, which is a symptom of root rot.

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