How to Grow Rattlesnake Plants Indoors?

How to Grow Rattlesnake Plants Indoors
14 min reading time

Rattlesnake Plants, also known as Calathea Lancifolia, are a stunning addition to any indoor garden. Their uniquely patterned leaves and vibrant colors can brighten up any space. However, growing them indoors requires precise care and attention to ensure they thrive. Whether you’re an experienced indoor gardener or a beginner, this comprehensive guide on how to grow Rattlesnake Plants indoors will provide you with all the essential steps and tips to successfully nurture healthy and thriving plants in your home.

Important Discoveries:

  • Understand the unique characteristics and requirements of Rattlesnake Plants before growing them indoors.
  • Choosing the right location is crucial for the success of growing Rattlesnake Plants indoors.
  • Light is an essential element for proper growth.
  • Proper watering, fertilizing, pruning, and propagating techniques are essential for optimal health.
  • Identify common pests and diseases that can affect Rattlesnake Plants and learn effective prevention and treatment methods.

Understanding Rattlesnake Plants

Before you can successfully nurture and care for Rattlesnake Plants, it’s crucial to understand their unique characteristics and requirements. Here’s what you need to know:

Features of Rattlesnake Plants

  • Rattlesnake Plants, also known as Calathea Lancifolia, are native to Brazil and other parts of South America.
  • They belong to the Marantaceae family, which includes many other popular indoor plants such as Prayer Plants and Stromanthe.
  • Rattlesnake Plants have long, slender leaves with a distinctive green and purple striped pattern that resembles a snake’s skin, hence the name “Rattlesnake”.
  • The leaves are usually around 12-18 inches long and 3-5 inches wide.
  • When the sun goes down, the leaves of Rattlesnake Plants move up slightly, giving the plant a unique and captivating appearance.

Caring for Rattlesnake Plants

Rattlesnake Plants require adequate care and attention to thrive indoors. Here are some tips to keep in mind:

  • Keep the soil moist but not overly watered. Rattlesnake Plants prefer consistently moist soil, but too much water can lead to root rot and other issues.
  • Avoid placing Rattlesnake Plants in direct sunlight, as this can scorch the leaves. Instead, place them in a bright but indirect light location.
  • Rattlesnake Plants prefer temperatures between 65-75°F and humidity levels around 50%. If your home is too dry, consider using a humidifier or placing a tray of water near your plant.
  • Prune your Rattlesnake Plant regularly to prevent dead leaves from accumulating and to promote a bushier, more attractive appearance.
  • Keep an eye out for common pests such as spider mites and mealybugs, and treat them promptly to prevent damage to your plant.

“Rattlesnake Plants are known for their unique striped pattern and ability to move their leaves at night, making them a fascinating addition to any indoor garden.”

Now that you understand the basics of Rattlesnake Plants, let’s move on to choosing the right location for your plant.

Choosing the Right Location for Your Rattlesnake Plants

Indoor gardening with Rattlesnake Plants requires careful consideration of the right location. These plants thrive in areas with bright, indirect light, and high humidity. Here are some tips to ensure your Rattlesnake Plants get the best growing conditions:

  • Find a bright spot: Rattlesnake Plants need bright, indirect light. Place them near a window that receives plenty of sunlight, but avoid placing them in direct sunlight, which can scorch their leaves.
  • Opt for high humidity: These plants are native to tropical regions and prefer high humidity. You can provide humidity by placing a humidifier near your plants, using a pebble tray, or misting them regularly.
  • Avoid cold drafts: Rattlesnake Plants are sensitive to temperature changes, so avoid placing them near windows or doors that may let in cold drafts.
  • Consider the room’s temperature: Rattlesnake Plants prefer temperatures between 60 to 85°F (16 to 29°C) to thrive. Avoid placing them in areas with extreme temperature fluctuations, such as near heaters or air conditioning units.
  • Keep them away from pets: Rattlesnake Plants are toxic to pets if ingested. Keep them out of reach of curious pets by placing them on shelves or hanging them from the ceiling.

By choosing the right location, you’ll be setting your Rattlesnake Plants up for success. They’ll be able to absorb the right amount of light, humidity, and temperature to promote healthy growth.

Providing Adequate Lighting

When growing indoor Rattlesnake Plants, it’s essential to ensure they receive enough light to thrive.

  • Indoor plant care for Rattlesnake Plants: Place your plants in a location that receives bright, indirect sunlight. East or west-facing windows are ideal for providing the right amount of light. If natural light is not sufficient, consider using artificial grow lights to supplement it.

The intensity and duration of light exposure are critical factors in promoting proper growth. Here is a chart that outlines the recommended light requirements for Rattlesnake Plants:

Light IntensityDuration
Low8-10 hours
Moderate12-14 hours
High16-18 hours
  • Growing indoor Rattlesnake Plants: To provide optimal light exposure, you can rotate your plants frequently to ensure all sides receive adequate light. Avoid placing them in direct sunlight, as this can scorch the leaves and damage the plant. Monitoring your plants’ response to light exposure is crucial in determining whether they are receiving enough or too much light. Signs of inadequate light include pale or yellow leaves, while excessive light exposure can lead to brown spots on the leaves.
  • Rattlesnake Plants indoor gardening: By understanding their light requirements and providing the proper exposure, you can ensure your Rattlesnake Plants flourish in your indoor garden.

Maintaining Optimal Temperature and Humidity Levels

Rattlesnake Plants require specific temperature and humidity ranges to grow healthily and vibrantly. These requirements may not be the same as other indoor plants you have grown before.

The ideal temperature range for Rattlesnake Plants is between 60-80°F (15-26°C). Keep in mind that these plants are sensitive to temperature fluctuations, and sudden extreme changes can cause stress and affect their growth.

In terms of humidity, Rattlesnake Plants prefer moderate to high levels of humidity, around 50-70%. Keeping the air moist around your plants can help them thrive, as increased humidity can prevent issues such as browning leaf tips.

Here are some easy tips to help you maintain the ideal temperature and humidity for your Rattlesnake Plants:

  • Keep your plants away from cold drafts or hot air vents, which can cause temperature fluctuations.
  • Use a thermometer to monitor the temperature of the room your plants are in.
  • Use a humidifier or place a tray of water near your plants to increase the humidity.
  • Group your plants together to create a more humid microclimate around them.

By keeping the temperature and humidity within the ideal range, your Rattlesnake Plants will reward you with thriving growth and stunning visual appeal.

How to Grow Rattlesnake Plants Indoors: Watering Your Rattlesnake Plants

Proper watering is essential for the health and growth of Rattlesnake Plants. These plants require consistent, but not excessive, moisture to thrive. Here are some rattlesnake plant care tips for watering:

  • Check the soil regularly: Use your finger to check the moisture level of the soil in the pot. If the top inch of soil feels dry to the touch, it’s time to water your plant.
  • Water thoroughly: When watering, make sure to saturate the soil in the pot until water flows out of the drainage holes. This ensures that the roots receive adequate moisture.
  • Avoid overwatering: Rattlesnake Plants are susceptible to root rot if they are overwatered, so make sure not to let them sit in standing water.
  • Consider the environment: If your home is particularly dry, you may need to water your plants more frequently, and if your home is humid, you may need to water less often.

It’s important to note that the frequency of watering may vary depending on the season, the size of the pot, and the environment. As such, it’s essential to pay attention to your plant’s individual needs and adjust your watering routine accordingly.

Fertilizing Your Rattlesnake Plants

Fertilization is essential to the growth of Rattlesnake Plants. You should choose the right type of fertilizer, observe an appropriate feeding schedule, and ensure the correct application method to nourish your plants adequately.

Organic fertilizers are the best choice for Rattlesnake Plants. These fertilizers release nutrients slowly and prevent overfeeding. You can also consider using synthetic fertilizers with low nitrogen and high potassium and phosphorus levels. However, be careful to avoid overfertilization, which can cause leaf burn and other problems.

You can fertilize your Rattlesnake Plants once a month during the growing season, from spring to early fall. During the dormant season, reduce the frequency of fertilization to once every three months.

Always follow the directions on the fertilizers’ packaging when feeding your plants. You can apply fertilizer to the soil, mix it with water, and give it as a slurry, or use slow-release fertilizers. Be sure not to get fertilizer on the leaves or stems of your plant, as it can burn the plant.

Pruning and Propagating Rattlesnake Plants

How to Grow Rattlesnake Plants Indoors

Pruning and propagating are essential practices to keep your Rattlesnake Plants healthy and thriving. Pruning helps maintain the shape of the plant and prevent overgrowth, while propagation helps to create new plants from cuttings.

How to Prune Rattlesnake Plants?

Pruning Rattlesnake Plants is a simple process that requires a few essential tools and techniques. Follow these steps to prune your plants correctly:

  1. Use sharp scissors or pruning shears to cut the stem just above a node, which is the point where leaves grow from the stem.
  2. Make sure to remove any dead or yellowing leaves while pruning.
  3. Trim the stem to the desired length and shape, keeping in mind the overall appearance of the plant.
  4. Dispose of the trimmed foliage and clean your tools before storing them away.

How to Propagate Rattlesnake Plants?

Propagating Rattlesnake Plants involves taking cuttings from a healthy plant and rooting them to create new plants. Here’s how to propagate your Rattlesnake Plants:

  1. Choose a stem with at least two leaves and a node.
  2. Cut the stem just below the node, making a clean and straight cut.
  3. Place the stem cutting in a jar or vase filled with water.
  4. Keep the jar in a bright, indirect light area and change the water every few days.
  5. After a few weeks, the cutting will develop roots.
  6. Once the roots are at least an inch long, you can plant the cutting in a pot with well-draining soil and care for it like a mature Rattlesnake Plant.

Remember to keep your newly propagated plants in a warm and humid environment to promote their growth and development.

Note: Pruning and propagating can be done throughout the year, but it’s best to perform these tasks in the warmer months when the plant is actively growing, as this will help it recover quickly and thrive.

Dealing with Common Pests and Diseases

Rattlesnake Plants are susceptible to pests and diseases that can affect their overall health and vitality. Early detection and proper care are key to preventing infestation and treating any issues that arise. In this section, we will discuss common pests and diseases that can impact Rattlesnake Plants and provide effective methods to combat them.


Some common pests that can affect Rattlesnake Plants include:

Spider MitesSmall, speck-like pests that can cause yellowing and dryness of leavesUse a neem oil spray or wash affected leaves with a mild soap solution
MealybugsWhite, cottony pests that can cause stunted growth and yellowing of leavesRemove them manually with a cotton swab dipped in rubbing alcohol or use a neem oil spray
ScaleSmall, hard-shelled pests that can cause yellowing and dropping of leavesUse a neem oil spray or remove manually with a cotton swab dipped in rubbing alcohol

Note: It’s important to regularly inspect your Rattlesnake Plants for any signs of pests and act quickly to prevent them from spreading to other plants. Quarantine any infested plants until they are treated.


Rattlesnake Plants can also be susceptible to fungal and bacterial diseases. Some common diseases include:

  • Root Rot: Caused by overwatering or poor drainage, resulting in yellowing and wilting of leaves. Remove affected foliage and repot the plant in fresh, well-draining soil.
  • Powdery Mildew: A fungal disease that causes a white, powdery coating on leaves. Remove affected foliage and treat with a fungicide spray.
  • Bacterial Leaf Spot: Caused by overwatering or high humidity, resulting in dark spots on leaves. Remove affected foliage and maintain proper watering and humidity levels.

Note: Always follow the instructions carefully when using any pesticide or fungicide spray, and use them as a last resort.

By following proper care techniques and regularly inspecting your Rattlesnake Plants, you can prevent and treat common pests and diseases to keep them healthy and thriving.

Troubleshooting Common Issues

Despite your best efforts to care for your Rattlesnake Plants, issues may arise. Don’t panic! Here are some common problems and their solutions to help you troubleshoot.

Yellowing Leaves

Yellowing leaves can be a sign of overwatering or underwatering your Rattlesnake Plants. Check the moisture of the soil and adjust your watering schedule accordingly. Additionally, make sure your plant is not receiving too much direct sunlight as this can also cause yellowing.


If your Rattlesnake Plant is drooping, it may be due to underwatering, lack of humidity, or low light levels. Make sure you are providing enough water and humidity for your plant, and consider moving it to a brighter location.


Wilting can be a sign of both overwatering and underwatering. Check the moisture level of the soil and adjust your watering schedule as needed. Wilting can also be caused by pests or disease, so inspect your plant closely and take action if necessary.

Pests and Disease

Unfortunately, Rattlesnake Plants can be susceptible to pests and disease, just like any other plant. If you notice any signs of infestation or disease, such as brown spots or webs, take action immediately. There are many natural and chemical treatments available to help control these issues.


Now that you have completed this indoor plant care guide, you are well-equipped to care for your Rattlesnake Plants and other indoor plants like a pro. Remember, the key to success in indoor gardening is to understand the unique requirements of your plants and provide them with the care they need.

If you’re a beginner, don’t be intimidated. With patience and practice, you’ll soon be nurturing healthy and thriving plants. And if you’re an experienced indoor gardener, we hope you picked up some new tips and tricks to take your plant care to the next level.


Can Rattlesnake Plants be grown indoors?

Yes, Rattlesnake Plants can be successfully grown indoors. They are well-suited for indoor environments and can thrive in the right conditions.

How often should I water my Rattlesnake Plants?

Rattlesnake Plants should be watered when the top inch of soil feels dry to the touch. Avoid overwatering, as it can lead to root rot. Watering once every 1-2 weeks is typically sufficient.

What type of lighting do Rattlesnake Plants require?

Rattlesnake Plants prefer bright, indirect light. They can tolerate lower light conditions, but too much direct sunlight can scorch their leaves. Place them near a window with filtered light or use artificial grow lights.

How do I propagate Rattlesnake Plants?

Rattlesnake Plants can be easily propagated through stem cuttings. Simply take a healthy cutting with at least two leaves and place it in water or well-draining soil. Keep it moist until roots develop.

What are some common pests that affect Rattlesnake Plants?

Common pests that can affect Rattlesnake Plants include spider mites, mealybugs, and aphids. Regularly inspect your plants for any signs of pests and take appropriate measures such as using organic insecticidal soap or neem oil.

How do I care for Rattlesnake Plants during winter?

During winter, Rattlesnake Plants may benefit from slightly reduced watering and a decrease in fertilization. Avoid exposing them to cold drafts and provide sufficient humidity by using a humidifier or placing them near a tray of water.

What should I do if my Rattlesnake Plant’s leaves turn yellow?

Yellowing leaves can be a sign of overwatering or underwatering. Ensure you are watering your plant properly and adjusting the frequency as needed. If the issue persists, check for other potential problems such as pests or nutrient deficiencies.

Can I use regular houseplant fertilizer for my Rattlesnake Plants?

Yes, you can use a balanced houseplant fertilizer diluted to half-strength. Apply it during the growing season, typically from spring to fall, and follow the instructions on the fertilizer packaging for proper application.

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