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Calathea Musaica Network drooping and leaves are shrivelling

I was gifted this calathea a week ago, it was very unhappy when I got it but I’ve read that they can bounce back quite quickly when looked after properly. My bedroom is quite dark so I ensured the plant was in a place where it would get indirect light. I watered it once since receiving it, the top layer of soil is starting to dry out but rest is still nice and moist. I also placed the plant next to a humidifier. None of this seems to be helping and the plant remains limp and some leaves are shrivelled and dry. I have made sure to research as much as possible and everything either says it is overwatered or underwatered, however i don’t believe this is the case as the soil proves otherwise. 

Please help me fix this plant as its really not looking good.


  • JennyJJennyJ Posts: 10,424
    edited December 2020
    The dried, shrivelled leaves won't recover but any remaining green parts will continue to photosynthesise and feed the plant, so cut them off when they've completely drirsd/shrivelled. Continue to keep it damp but not soggy and the air humid, cross your fingers and it should grow new healthy leaves if conditions are right and the roots are still OK. There's a chance that it's been kept soaking wet by its previous owner, in which case it could have some root rot. You could gently turn it out of the pot and have a look. If you can see that the roots are still firm and healthy, it should recover. If any are soggy/slimy remove them and add some fresh compost when you put it back in the pot, to fill the gaps. If there aren't any healthy roots at all then I'm afraid it's a goner, but I don't think it looks that bad.
    PS Welcome to the forum!
    Doncaster, South Yorkshire. Soil type: sandy, well-drained
  • You've only had it a week and it was poorly when you got it. You've read up about it and tried to do everything right, but what about the previous owner? If they over watered, its roots may have been damaged and that could be why it is still looking droopy and dry even though the soil is moist.
    They are tricky plants to please, I know, I've got one and it is a constant balancing act. They prefer a north facing window, away from a heat source and any air currents, but not too cold. The soil must never dry out but not get too wet either and they need humidity either from resting on damp gravel or from being surrounded with other plants. Mine has spent quite a lot of its time with me in intensive care inside a plastic bag, but is currently recuperating in the south facing back porch amongst lots of friends and with regular misting.
    The old leaves don't seem to recover, but you've got a couple of reasonably healthy looking young leaves there, so there is still hope! It may take a  long time, but if you keep on doing things right and get to know your plant you might succeed.
    Hope you're up for a challenge :)

  • Update: I have done everything that was suggested, when I checked the roots they were all perfectly healthy and the soil was evenly moist. I cut back some shrivelled leaves, and also noticed some of the stems were rotting at the bottom so I cut them back too as they were causing the leaves to droop. Instead of only having a few shrivelled leaves, they are all starting to get really bad. I have just watered it this morning, making sure to allow excess to drain out. 
  • JennyJJennyJ Posts: 10,424
    I suggest just leave it alone for a while, somewhere reasonably warm and humid, and away from draughts, don't put it outside or in a place that gets freezing at night. The  dying leaves won't be taking up water so it won't need much until it grows new ones. Healthy roots is a good sign - it should put up some new leaves from below the soil, given time.
    In the meantime here's some detail on what conditions it likes .
    Doncaster, South Yorkshire. Soil type: sandy, well-drained
  • I hope this is not too late ... I think your issue is with the water, you ABSOLUTELY NEED to use DISTILLED water for that plant. Otherwise the plant become crispy. 
    Change the water type and save your plant! 
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