Calathea rufibarba (commonly known as furry feather or velvet
Calathea) is an ornamental houseplant. It has long, narrow deep
green leaves with a deep purple underside. The fine hairs
covering the leaves feel like velvet. The Calathea rufibarba
gets its normal name from velvety feel of the underside of the
leaf. It will produce yellow blossoms at the base of the plant
and when matured will deliver sprays of little mauve blooms.
Velvet Calathea is non-toxic indoor houseplant.
Scientific Name: Calathea rufibarba
Synonyms: Goeppertia rufibarba, Phyllodes rufibarba
Common Names: Furry feather or velvet Calathea
How to grow and maintain Calathea rufibarba:
Calathea rufibarba plant likes bright indirect light, so
placing it in front of an east, west, or north window is ideal.
Too much direct sun burns the leaves and causes the beautiful
leaf colors to fade.
Velvet Calathea prefers to grow in rich organic, moist, Well-
drained soil. Use a good potting mix consists of two-part peat
and one part sand or perlite mix.
Water your plant regularly during the growing season and always
keep the soil evenly moist but not soggy. You can allow the
topsoil to become slightly dry between each watering. Reduce
watering slightly in winter.
It thrives well in temperature between 65 degrees Fahrenheit to
80 degrees Fahrenheitand and do not like cold drafts or
temperatures below 55°F -60°F. Hot temperatures cause the
leaves to curl.
Fertilize monthly in the spring, summer, and fall with a basic
houseplant food diluted to half the recommended strength. Do
not feed if the plant is not growing.
It doesn’t need pruning other than the removal of brown or
Re-pot your plant once every 2 years during spring. Only
replace the pot if the plant has outgrown the present
It can be easily propagated by division. Take divisions from
mature plants at a re-potting time. Simply divide the plant by
half or more segments and plant each segment into a separate
pot. Make sure to carefully isolate the stems of each plant.
Pests and Diseases:
There is no serious pest or disease problems. Watch for scale,
Mealy Bugs and Aphids.