How to Grow & Care for Calathea Burle Marx ‘Fishbone Prayer’ (2024)

Who doesn’t want a plant that adds beauty to your space and attracts attention? I think I already know the answer, and to help you, I have here shared an attention-grabbing plant. Do you want to know what it is? Stay with me.

Here I am talking about Calathea Burle Marx ‘Fishbone Prayer’ that blooms with colorful leaves and has interesting growth patterns. I have ensured that you will love growing them without struggling by mentioning all the basic requirements needed for the plant. Let’s start to get to know the fishbone prayer plant closely.

Quick takeaways:

Scientific NameCtenanthe burle-marxii
Common Namefishbone prayer plant, blue ice plant
LightBright direct light and low indirect light
WateringKeep soil moist during warmer months
Temperature65°F to 75°F (18°C to 24°C)
Hardiness ZoneUSDA hardiness zone 10 to 12
HumidityA highly humid environment with at least 60% humidity
Soil Typemoist, fertile soil with good drainage
Soil pHbetween 5.6 and 6.5 
FertilizingOnce a month, balanced houseplant fertilizer during growing season
RepottingOnce a month, balanced houseplant fertilizer during the growing season
PruningRemoving the withered leaves and clean dust from the leaves
PropagationDivision or offsets in the spring
ToxicityNon – toxic to humans and pets
Mature SizeMature height: 20 inches; Mature width: 10 to 16 inches
Bloom TimeWinter or early spring

Interesting facts:

1. The plant is an excellent choice for decorating them in indoor spaces which gives you a  fresh and serene aura.
2. The plant leaves are awe-striking icy-blue having alternating dark and light green stripes which make the plant more attractive.
3. The leaves are oval-shaped have tiger stripes bands and are seldom purple forming a unique fishbone look.
4. The plant is able to grow upto 15-20 inches in height and about 12-15 inches in width. 
5. At night the leaves of the plant get folded which looks like the plant is praying due to which the plant is also called the fishbone prayer plant. 
How to Grow & Care for Calathea Burle Marx 'Fishbone Prayer' (2023)

How to Grow for Calathea Burle Marx ‘Fishbone Prayer’?

The common method to grow for Calathea Burle Marx ‘Fishbone Prayer’ is by propagation by simple techniques. You should propagate the plant in spring that the growing season. The following are the steps to propagate the Fishbone Prayer.

Propagating by selecting a mature plant:

  1. First, you need to take a new pot in which you have to pot the plant.
  2. Fill the pot with fresh potting mix.
  3. Take a section of roots from the mature pot then cut the root using clean shears.
  4. Always cut a root having both stem and leaves.
  5. Now you are ready to put the baby plant in the new pot.
  6. After potting the baby plant add adequate water.

Propagating by selecting from stem cuttings:

How to Grow & Care for Calathea Burle Marx 'Fishbone Prayer' (2023)

How to Care for Calathea Burle Marx ‘Fishbone Prayer’?

For growing the plant you need to know how to care for them by providing perfect and limited requirements. The following are some important requirements that help the plant to grow in a beautiful and healthy way.

  • Light 
  • Temperature.
  • Watering 
  • Soil 
  • Fertilizer
  • Humidity 
  • Potting and repotting 
  • Pruning   


  • To grow the Calathea Burle Marx you need to provide the proper light conditions. 
  • According to their habitat, they grow under the canopies of the trees so you need to give the plant bright but indirect light for 8 to 10 days. 
  • In the case of planting the plant outdoors, you need to protect the plant from full sun all day.
  • If the plant gets more light then the leaves of the plant will be harmed.
  • In the case of planting Calathea Burle Marx indoors, you can spot them in easter facing window.


  • The way of the water Calathea Burle Marx is moderate to avoid the risk of overwatering the plant or underwatering them.
  • You need to adjust the frequency of watering the plant according to the season as the plant needs more water during summer and spring but during winter it needs less amount of water.
  • You need to make sure the excess amount of water should drain out.
  •  The plant does have thin and fragile roots that will cause root rot if they are over water.


  • For growing Calathea Burle Marx you need to maintain the temperature from 65°F to 75°F (18°C to 24°C).
  • The plant has a tolerance level of up to 85 to 90°F (29 to 32°C).
  • Avoid the freezing temperature that causes damage to the plant.
  •  The plant comes under USDA hardiness zones 10 to 12.
  • In the case of growing the plant indoors, you need to avoid placing the plant near drafty locations like near a door or air conditioner. 
  • Providing the plant with the right temperature will help the plant to grow at the perfect height.


  • The humidity for growing the plant is 60%.
  • The plant does love the moist environment due to having a habitat of tropical jungle.
  • You need to maintain the humidity of planting them by making extra effort to mist the plant at least three times a week during the day.
  • You can increase the humidity level of the plant by pot the plant on a pebble tray.  


  • In order to maintain a good mixture of soil there are several amendments that you can combine together like peat, perlite, coco coir, sand, coconut husks, or orchid bark forming this soil mixture will result in good water retention and also resulting in drains well.
  • With a good soil mixture, you need to provide them with a pot having sufficient holes in the bottom which will help to flow out the excess amount of water.
  • The pH level of the soil for planting ranges from 5.6 to 6.5
How to Grow & Care for Calathea Burle Marx 'Fishbone Prayer' (2023)


  • The right time for growing the plant by adding fertilizer is during the growing seasons i.e. spring and summer.
  • Avoid adding fertilizer in winter because at that time the plant is in the resting phase. 
  • You need to add the fertilizer in the perfect amount of the ratio as excess will result in overfertilizing.
  • Using commercial fertilizer in excess amounts will cause burns and will damage the roots as there is a presence of high salt concentration.
  • The perfect amount of fertilizer will make the plant lush and vibrant.

Potting & Repotting:

  • You need to repot the Calathea Burle Marx plant every other year. Because after a year the plant does grow more which makes the pot size small for large plants.
  • For repotting the plant you need to gently remove the plant from the pot so that the roots of the plant dont get damaged. 
  • After that divide the rhizomes into two or three parts and use a bigger pot than the existing one and do mix new potting mix and at least plant it in the pot and water the plant well.
How to Grow & Care for Calathea Burle Marx 'Fishbone Prayer' (2023)


  • You only need to prune in case the plant stem gets leggy and out of place.
  • You need to trim the stem off so that the plant looks more compact.
  •  You can make the plant look in any desired shape.
  • With pruning, you can cut the dying leaves Stems with yellow, aged, and diseased.
  •  Always sterilize the shears before cutting the Calathea Burle Marx in order to avoid the spreading of disease.
  • For pruning the plant make a clean and slanted cut at the base of the sem which will help in fast healing.


For planting Calathea Burle Marx you need to follow the above-mentioned explanation so that in the end you get positive results without wasting the time and money that you spend in planting the plant.

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