This small shrub grows to 2-5 feet tall and bears ornamental foliage and yellow to orange flowers. Calathea rufibarba (Velvet Calathea) is native to Brazil and thrives best in USDA Zones 9-11. It can tolerate some shade and semi-shade, requiring regular to moderate water in order to remain healthy.
For growing this plant in a pot in cold regions it is important to ensure the pot used is a good insulator. Clay pots are not recommended as these can increase the risk of the plant freezing in extreme temperatures. It is best to use plastic or fiberglass pots, but please note that these do not offer the same breathability as ceramic or clay pots which can help the soil to dry evenly. Additionally, potting soil should be mixed with perlite or coarse sand to further enhance breathability, and to ensure the soil does not become waterlogged.
When bringing the plant in during colder temperatures, it is recommended to check and treat the plant for pests. This can be done by wiping down all foliage using a diluted mixture of dish soap and water, or using a specialized pesticide. Lastly be sure to monitor the temperature and humidity of the indoor air to make sure the plant is not exposed to environments which are too dry or too cold.