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The Calathea genus consists of about 60 plants and various cultivars, many of which produce large, attractive foliage. 

The Calathea Maui Queen is one such variety that is grown for its stunning foliage that adds interest and a touch of the tropics to your indoor living space. 

While this plant isn’t too difficult to grow, it does require a certain level of care for it to thrive in your home. 

Keep reading to learn more about the Calathea Maui Queen and what is needed to keep this plant healthy and happy.

a healthy calathea maui queen
Source: Canan (CC BY-SA 4.0)

How to care for a calathea maui queen

As with other Calathea varieties, the Calathea Maui Queen needs warm temperatures, indirect but bright light, high humidity levels, regular waterings, and soil that drains well. You should also fertilize it from time to time during its active growing season.

While this plant doesn’t have many problems, there are a few issues that you should be on the lookout for to keep your Maui Queen healthy.

1. Select the right soil

The soil that your Calathea Maui Queen is growing in can make or break your success with this plant. Select soil that drains well while also retaining moisture. 

Look for the best soil for your Calathea, which is likely going to be a mixture that contains perlite, peat moss, and coco coir, as these three ingredients provide the Maui Queen with all the aspects it needs for a good growing medium.

Best soil for Calathea

Miracle-Gro Tropical Potting Mix

Light and well-draining (perfect for avoiding root rot) while being packed with just the right nutrients – that will feed your plant for up to six months. The best soil for keeping your calathea healthy and strong.

2. Give the plant bright, indirect light

As with other Calathea varieties, the Maui Queen needs bright, indirect sunlight for at least 6 to 8 hours a day. 

This plant should never be subjected to direct sun, as it is too harsh for the sensitive leaves of this plant. Allowing the Calathea Maui Queen to sit in direct light will cause discoloration to its leaves.

3. Keep the temperatures warm throughout the year

The Maui Queen cannot tolerate cold temperatures, nor can it handle frost. Because of this, you should keep the plant indoors, protected from the elements, and in an area that has a consistent temperature of 65 to 85 degrees. 

Furthermore, you should keep this plant away from areas where drastic temperature fluctuations occur.

a healthy calathea maui queen
Source: Joseph Dupont (CC BY-SA 4.0)

Areas under or near a heating/cooling vent are an example of locations where you shouldn’t put the Calathea Maui Queen.

4. Aim for a humidity level of above 50 percent

Calathea Maui Queens are humidity-loving plants that need a much higher humidity level than what most homes currently are. 

The average humidity level for homes is about 40 percent, while these plants need at least 50 percent humidity, but would prefer 60 percent or above.

Thankfully, there are ways to increase the humidity level near the plant without distrusting the rest of your home. 

Humidifers and drip trays, for example, are the two most common tools used to increase humidity. You can also mist the Calathea Maui Queen to add moisture to the air.

calathea maui queen on a white pot
Source: sana rauf (CC BY-SA 4.0)

5. Water the calathea maui queen when the soil feels dry

Calathea Maui Queen needs regular watering, but they don’t do well when their soil or roots are soggy. 

Checking how wet or dry the soil is before watering goes a long way to preventing overwatering. To do this, simply insert your finger about two inches into the soil.

If the soil feels damp, wait one or two days before checking again. Only water the Calathea Maui Queen when the soil starts to feel dry. 

You may also want to consider bottom-watering the Calathea, as this lets you hydrate the plant deeply while reducing the chance of accidently overwatering the plant.

You may also be interested in: How Often to Water Calathea Plants (So They Thrive)

6. Mist the plant’s leaves when conditions are dry

Misting the Calathea Maui Queen provides a few different benefits for the plant. Not only does it help to keep the plant hydrated during periods of dry conditions, but it also increases the humidity level of the air around the plant. 

Furthermore, misting the leaves helps to gently wash off any dust or debris that can collect on the Calathea’s leaves.

Just remember that you can over mist the Calathea Maui Queen, and doing so may lead to fungal growth. 

Before you mist the plant, you should examine its leaves and look for signs of problems. Water droplets on the leaves that don’t dry could be a sign that the plant is too hydrated.

big leaf of calathea maui queen
Source: Michel P (CC BY-SA 4.0)

7. Don’t overwater the plant

Overwatering is the most common problem that indoor gardeners face when they grow the Calathea Maui Queen. 

While overwatering can quickly lead to calathea root rot, it is completely preventable. Just make sure to always check how dry the soil is before watering, and then only water when the soil feels dry.

If you think you have overwatered the Calathea Maui Queen, immediately stop all watering and let the soil dry out a bit before you start to water the plant again. 

However, if you have overwatered the plant for several days, you will need to remove the plant from its pot and discard all of the soil. Once the soil has been removed, examine the plant’s roots and prune off any that are dead or diseased. 

calathea maui queen on the floor
Source: titilili (CC BY-SA 4.0)

Repot the Calathea Maui Queen in a sanitized container with fresh soil. Lightly water the plant and then set it in an area where it will receive bright, indirect light.

8. Prune dead or damaged leaves off the plant

Even though the Calathea Maui Queen doesn’t require much pruning, you may still want to remove any dead or damaged leaves from the plant. What this does is free up space and resources for new leaves and growth to occur. 

Furthermore, removing these dead and damaged leaves improves the overall appearance of the Calathea Maui Queen.

If the leaves are removed from a healthy Calathea Maui Queen, you can compost them or simply toss them in the trash. Never compost any plant matter from a plant that is diseased or infested. Clean and sanitize the pruning shears before putting them up for the time being.

You may also be interested in: 9 Proven Steps to Treat a Calathea With Spider Mites

9. Repot no more than once a year

In most cases, you will probably only need to repot this plant once every one to two years if it starts to outgrow its current container. 

Repotting is a stressful situation for plants, and should only be done during the spring and summer when the plant is actively growing.

Make sure to always water the Calathea Maui Queen a few days before you repot the plant. Since the entire transplanting process is stressful in itself, you want to eliminate anything else that could trigger additional stress, such as underwatering the plant.

calathea maui queen indoor
Source: Maršalkova JANA (CC BY-SA 4.0)

10. Fertilize the calathea maui queen during its active growing season

The Calathea Maui Queen doesn’t need a lot of feeding, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t fertilize the plant at all. In fact, giving this tropical houseplant a balanced fertilizer once a month during the spring and summer will help promote strong and healthy growth.

Best fertilizer for Calatheas

Jack’s Classic 20-20-20 All Purpose Fertilizer

A great fertilizer with the perfect balance for your calathea. Simply dissolve in water and feed your plant to watch it thrive.

Just remember to thoroughly water the Calathea Maui Queen before feeding. If you try to feed the plant when it has dry soil, you will burn and damage its roots.

Even though fertilizer is beneficial in many ways, it can cause problems if you overfeed the plant. That is why it’s important to follow the instructions on the calathea fertilizer container and never give the plant more than the recommended dosage.

calathea maui queen near another plant
Source: Cinzia Cartisano (CC BY-SA 4.0)

11. Avoid tap water when possible.

Tap water should be avoided when watering the Calathea Maui Queen, as this plant is sensitive to the additives that are commonly found in it. 

When possible, use distilled water to hydrate or mist the Maui Queen. If distilled water is not available, use filtered or rain water instead.

Unfortunately, there may be situations when tap water is all you have. In this case, you will want to let the tap water sit out for at least 24 hours before watering the Calathea Maui Queen. 

While this won’t get rid of all the additives in the water, the chlorine will dissipate in this timeframe.

calathea maui queen leaves closing
Source: J Fonseca (CC BY-SA 4.0)

Is calathea maui queen rare?

Calathea Maui Queen is considered a rare houseplant, although it isn’t the rarest one in the family. This Calathea cultivar is a hybrid of two different Calathea species. It is often called the Zebra Plant because of its stunning zebra-like markings on its leaves.

The Calathea Maui Queen isn’t the rarest of the Calathea cutlivars. That title goes to the Calathea lietzei ‘White Fusion’, which is a variegated variety. One of the main reasons why this variety is so rare is because it can revert to its natural green coloring if it doesn’t receive the ideal care.

In most cases, when an unstable variegated plant reverts, or loses its variegated coloring, it is due to the plant not getting enough sunlight. 

Variegated plants typically need more sunlight than non-variegated varieties, and if they don’t get it, they will lose their stunning variation.

calathea maui queen on a brown pot
Source: Simon Baur (CC BY-SA 4.0)

Where to find a calathea maui queen for sale

The internet is a great place to look for rare houseplants, such as the Calathea Maui Queen, and you could potentially find this plant from a reputable grower. If you have access to a local gardening club, you should also consider reaching out to them.

They can help you to see if anyone has a Maui Queen that would like to sell or know where you could purchase one.

Because it is rare, you probably won’t find the Calathea Maui Queen for sale on the shelves of your local garden center. 

That doesn’t mean you’re out of luck if you want to grow this plant. It just means you will have to be a little creative when it comes to finding this plant for sale.

a healthy calathea maui queen
Source: Elizabeth van der Stap (CC BY-SA 4.0)

How to propagate calathea maui queen

Calathea Maui Queen is propagated by the division method. These plants create offshoots that have their own root system. As such, to propagate them, you have to remove the plant from its pot and gently use your fingers to separate the offshots and roots from the main plant.

Once you have done this, plant the young Calathea in its own pot filled with the same type of soil that the mother plant is growing in. Then care for the young plant as you normally would.

This is exactly the same manner as how you propagate other Calathea varieties, Since this method does require removing the entire plant from its pot, it’s best to wait until the spring when you repot the Calathea Maui Queen.

calathea maui queen on a white pot
Source: Natálie Štaflová (CC BY-SA 4.0)

Common calathea maui queen problems

Calathea Maui Queen doesn’t have too many problems, but it is susceptible to overwatering, which can lead to root rot and other fungal diseases. It can also not tolerate drastic temperature fluctuations, nor can it tolerate temps that are too cold.

To help prevent overwatering, make sure to always feel the soil before watering and only water if the top half of the soil feels dry. As for the drastic temperature fluctuations, just ensure the Calathea isn’t sitting near a drafty door or window, or under a heating or cooling vent.

Additionally, since this plant cannot tolerate cold or frost, it should never be subjected to temperatures lower than 60 degrees. Temperatures below 60 degrees can throw the plant in shock, which will disrupt its growth and even kill the plant.

calathea maui queen with yellow spots
Source: viapiana janice (CC BY-SA 4.0)

Why does my calathea maui queen have brown tips?

Brown tips are a common sign that the Calathea Maui Queen has been exposed to tap water. Tap water is filled with additives, such as salts, minerals, and chlorine, that can damage the plant and cause its leaves to develop brown tips.

Even if you have watered the plant with tap water in the past without problems, these additives can build up in the soil and not show signs of problems until much later. 

The good news is that you can prevent this from occurring by simply using distilled water to hydrate your Calathea Maui Queen. While distilled water is by far the recommended option, you can also use filtered water or rain water instead.

Related: 12 Causes of Brown Spots on Calathea (+ How to Fix It)

Calathea maui queen vs misto

The main difference between the Calathea Maui Queen and the Misto is that the undersides of the Maui Queen leaves have a deep, vibrant purple color, while the undersides of the Misto’s leaves are more maroon. Maui Queen also has thinner, cream-colored markings at the center of the leaves.

These markings on the Misto variety are much wider than Maui Queen and are pale green in color.

Despite being two different plants, the Calathea Maui Queen is sometimes confused with the Misto variety. While they do share many of the same characteristics, these are the easiest ways to tell the difference between the two, including the coloring of each plant.

calathea maui queen on a white pot
Source: Nancy Capritto (CC BY-SA 4.0)

Does calathea maui queen flower?

The Calathea Maui Queen can flower, although it is more often seen in the wild and not a common sight when grown indoors as a houseplant. That doesn’t mean that if your Maui Queen doesn’t flower it’s not healthy, far from it. 

The truth is that for this plant to flower, it needs perfect growing conditions, which is extremely difficult to provide when grown indoors.

Is calathea maui queen toxic?

Calathea Maui Queen is not considered a toxic houseplant, and is a safe option for homes with children and pets. Despite this non-toxic status, you should still not allow children or pets to bother the plant. 

Not only can this damage the Calathea Maui Queen itself, but it can still result in an upset stomach if any part of the plant is consumed.