Why Is My Calathea Medallion Plant Dying? Tips for Rescuing Your Dying Calathea Veitchiana

The calathea medallion plant is one of the prettiest low-light tropical plants you can find, so if you think yours is dying, it is understandable you would be upset.  

The Calathea veitchiana is not a plant that is super easy to care for, but it pays off in dividends what you put into it. It really isn’t that difficult to get into a good rhythm with this plant.  

It just takes dedication to finding the right balance of water, sunlight, and humidity.  

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A Calathea Medallion Plant Is a Great Choice for Your Home or Office 

With bright, variegated green leaves that span outward in a medallion shape on the top and a deep burgundy color on the undersides, the calathea medallion plant is a wonderful addition to a bright, warm space.  

A Calathea Medallion Plant Is a Great Choice for Your Home or Office 

It can be surrounded by other tropical plants, or, as a virtual tree that will grow up to 3 feet tall on firm stems, you can give it a place of honor near a window all its own.  

The calathea medallion will clean the air for you and bring good luck and positive energy into your life. 

The benefits of having this plant are undeniable, but the trials of keeping it alive can be just as hard to deny. 

Signs of a Dying Calathea Medallion Plant 

If you are worried that your calathea medallion plant is dying, you might have noticed any of the following signs:  

  • Fading color on leaves 
  • Curling leaves 
  • Drooping leaves 
  • Spider mites 
  • Brown leaf edges 
  • Leggy or wilting plant 
  • Aphids 
  • Root rot 

Common Causes of a Dying Calathea Medallion Plant 

Common causes of a dying calathea medallion plant include:  

  • Underwatering 
  • Overwatering  
  • Too much light 
  • Pests 
  • Too low humidity 
  • Too little light

The calathea medallion plant is not a plant for succulent lovers, those who want to water the plant a couple of times a month and leave it be. While it is not a super challenging plant, it does take some extra care. 

It’s all about understanding your plant.  

Watering Needs of a Calathea Medallion Plant 

The calathea medallion plant needs regular watering, but it does not like soggy soil. Take a look at this article on watering mistakes that might be killing your plant. 

Watering Needs of a Calathea Medallion Plant 

To be sure your plant is well-watered but not overwatered, learn to check its soil. Stick your fingers into the topsoil of the plant. If the top 1-2 inches is not fully dry, it is fine. If those top couple of inches of soil have completely dried out, you can water it again.  

With a tropical plant, you want to prevent it from drying out because it is not drought tolerant but not overwater it to the point of a long soaking. You’re riding a fine line.  

Am I Underwatering My Calathea Medallion Plant? 

You will know your calathea medallion plant is dehydrated when the leaves begin to curl up, droop, or go limp. They may also start to turn brown.  

Restoring Water to Your Underwatered Calathea Medallion Plant 

To restore water to your plant, place the plant under a faucet or hose and fully soak the soil to the point of the water running through your planter. Allow it to dry for an hour or so then replace it in its usual home.  

Then be sure to check your plant more frequently to stay on top of its water needs.  

Am I Overwatering My Calathea Medallion Plant? 

The classic signs of overwatering are root rot and pests. You will notice your soil not drying out and pests starting to live in the soil in abundance.  

Restoring Balance to Your Overwatered Calathea Medallion Plant 

If your soil is soggy, but you don’t notice mushy stems or leaves, you can simply place it in a brighter location and make sure you have enough humidity. 

If the soil seems to be forming mold on top or the stems seem mushy, you are likely dealing with root rot, and you will need to repot the plant.  

To repot, simply remove the plant by its root ball from the pot and break the roots up, cutting off any mushy parts.  

Then empty the pot of the old soil and replace it with fresh houseplant potting soil.  

Place your root ball in the soil and cover it with more fresh soil. Water the plant and place it in a bright location with plenty of indirect light where it can stay warm and moist but also have enough light to dry out.  

Then maintain a regular watering schedule.  

Soil Needs of a Calathea Medallion Plant 

The calathea medallion plant calls for a well-drained nutrient dense soil. You can choose a simple indoor houseplant soil and include a basic indoor houseplant fertilizer with iron once a month during the warmer months of the year.  

Soil Drainage Needs for a Calathea Medallion Plant 

If you notice your calathea medallion plant is not draining well, you can place rocks or pebbles at the bottom of the pot. Also make sure your pot sits on a saucer so it can fully drain water out of the pot.  

Soil Drainage Needs for a Calathea Medallion Plant 

Resolving Soil Drainage Issues for a Calathea Medallion Plant 

Once you have made the above changes, you can also place your calathea medallion plant in a brighter space with more indirect light to ensure the plant dries out well.  

Lighting Needs of a Calathea Medallion Plant 

The calathea medallion plant is a low-light plant that thrives in a warm, humid, indirect light location. A kitchen or bathroom away from the window is usually perfect for meeting these needs.  

Resolving Lighting Issues for a Calathea Medallion Plant 

The most noticeable sign your plant is receiving too much light is the colors start fading on the leaves and may even turn brown because edges are getting burnt.  

Too little light will result in soil that does not drain and leaves that start to droop.  

To resolve either issue, simply move the plant away from or closer to a natural light source where it can catch the light without being harmed by the direct rays.  

Pests or Diseases that Can Cause Issues with a Calathea Medallion Plant 

Aphids, spider mites, and mealy bugs are the most common pests that will nest in your calathea medallion.  

Pests or Diseases that Can Cause Issues with a Calathea Medallion Plant 

You can avoid them by spraying the leaves with a hose regularly when you water the plant. You can also increase the humidity, which these pests will not tolerate.  

Fake Calathea Medallion Plants Are an Additional Consideration 

Finally, if you find this plant just takes too much work, you can of course consider going fake. A fake calathea medallion plant looks just like the real thing, and it can bring the greenery and positivity to your space without causing you the headache of caring for a difficult plant or the sorrow of loss if you kill one.  

Wondering if fake plants are trendy right now? Check out my article on whether artificial plants and flowers are tacky here. 

Do you have a calathea medallion plant you’ve nursed back to life? What worked for you? Leave your tips and tricks in the comment section below.  

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