Calathea insignis is an evergreen perennial that forms clumps of narrow, erect, wavy-edged, lance-shaped leaves that are pale green with dark blotches and purplish red on the undersides that are soft to the touch.
White flowers that are small and tubular in shape are sometimes produced at ground level in spring.
It is a popular tropical landscape plant grown generally for its very showy foliage though it is very popular as a houseplant across the US, UK and Australia.
Its clumping form means that if grown indoors it may need re-potting form time to time, though they are easy to divide to create multiple potted plants.
Soil: When planted outside Calathea insignis prefers moist, organically rich soil in a shady position, akin to their natural jungle habitat. It can also do well in slightly sandy soils, though an acid to neutral pH is preferred.
Maintenance: As a house plant it can take quite low light conditions, though the leaves should be misted with water several times a week. Keep a uniform high humidity and temperature if possible. Leaves may turn brown if not kept moist enough or if it is bothered by cool draughts.
Propagation is relatively easy, by root division.
Other Species: 300 species in the Calathea genus
Comments: Towards the end of the day the leaves will fold together as if in prayer, which is why they are sometimes referred to as the Prayer Plant.