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May 16, 2020 3:05 PM CST
San Francisco, CA (Zone 10b)
This Calathea ornata plant has seen better days; initially I think I was overwatering it due to a suggestion that it constantly likes to be "wet," and it was too far from light - about 20 feet from a wide floor-to-ceiling window.

I've since moved it - I keep it in a windowsill and move it a few feet away for the 3 hours a day that direct sunlight comes through the window. We don't have hard water but I've been using filtered water just in case. I wait until the top half inch of soil is dry before watering again.

Is this plant recoverable? If so, where would I expect to see signs of improvement? A new stem coming up from the base? A new offshoot of an existing stem? If I am reading correctly I believe the current leaves won't regain any of their color, though they could stop losing it.
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May 17, 2020 12:37 AM CST
Name: one-eye-luke US.Vet.
Texas (Zone 8a)
Quitter's never Win
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If you let the soil dry between waterings it may recover. The problem you have is too much water and not enough dry time. If you let the top inch dry well and put it in the right lighting area it may recover. Lets keep our fingers crossed.
NOT A EXPERT! Just a grow worm! I never met a plant I didn’t love.✌
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May 17, 2020 9:10 AM CST
Name: Will Creed
NYC
Prof. plant consultant & educator
Now that you have improved its light and are watering it more appropriately, its recovery will depend on the condition of the roots. If the roots are still viable, then you should see new shoots emerge from each of the existing stems, but it will take a while for that to happen. Crossing Fingers!
Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
www.HorticulturalHelp.com
Contact me directly at wcreed@HorticulturalHelp.com
I now have a book available on indoor plant care
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Jun 24, 2020 3:59 PM CST
San Francisco, CA (Zone 10b)
Update... one month on, I haven't seen any improvement, but I haven't seen any deterioration either. One of two stems without leaves (hard to see in the photo) is brown and has a smaller circumference in the top half-centimeter, and I'm not sure whether to trim that or not. I am watering it every four days when the top half inch of soil gets dry.
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Jun 25, 2020 7:36 AM CST
Name: Will Creed
NYC
Prof. plant consultant & educator
Sometimes plants need to stabilize before they will start to improve. Are you seeing any new leaf growth emerging?
Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
www.HorticulturalHelp.com
Contact me directly at wcreed@HorticulturalHelp.com
I now have a book available on indoor plant care
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Jun 25, 2020 11:40 AM CST
San Francisco, CA (Zone 10b)
I haven't seen any new leaf growth, just the same leaves and stems as before.
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Jun 25, 2020 12:13 PM CST
Name: Lin Vosbury
Sebastian, Florida (Zone 10a)

Region: United States of America Region: Ukraine Region: Florida Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
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I've tried Pin Stripe Plant (Goeppertia ornata) (Synonym Calathea) a couple of times and I don't seem to have luck with any in that genera. The underground rhizomes need to stay consistently damp (not overly wet which causes rot but they can't be overly dry either, or they will wither and die.) They do prefer bright shady locations where they will not receive any direct sun and they require good air circulation.

Over the years, I've purchased a few of these beauties and eventually lose them to neglect. One time I sat a sickly looking, half dead plant under a shrub in the yard and forgot about it. Months later, I was weeding in the area and found the plant looking more beautiful than when I first got it! Since it was so happy, I left it when we sold the house and moved.
~ I'm an old gal who still loves playing in the dirt!
~ Playing in the dirt is my therapy ... and I'm in therapy a lot!


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Jul 20, 2020 2:54 PM CST
San Francisco, CA (Zone 10b)
First sign of new life! Just noticed this new stem - bottom right corner - for the first time today...
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Aug 12, 2020 2:51 PM CST
San Francisco, CA (Zone 10b)
Now a full flower!

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Feb 27, 2021 12:00 PM CST
San Francisco, CA (Zone 10b)
Wanted to update again - it's made a full recovery. So, yes, it's definitely possible! And I'm looking forward to the coming spring season to see if it will grow even more.
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