Goeppertia orbifolia

Family: Marantaceae

Countries: Brazil, South America

Goeppertia orbifolia is a tender plant that produces very handsome, striped leaves with alternate markings in shades of silver and green.  These striking plants thrive in a warm and humid environment and make wonderful houseplants in areas that enjoy bright but soft, filtered light.  Avoid growing Goeppertia orbifolia in areas with harsh lighting and afternoon sunshine, which tends to be more intense.  Goeppertia orbifolia flourish in very humid environments.  Misting plants will increase humidity levels for a short while, but by grouping plants that need similar growing conditions together you will improve the humidity levels around your plants.  Another effective method is to utilise a tray of pebbles topped up with water – place your humidity-loving houseplants’ containers on top of the pebbles and the water below will increase the humidity levels even more.

Sometimes, plants can get rather dusty, however, there’s no need to use leaf shine on Goeppertias.  In spring and summertime, I prefer to give my plants a gentle shower of lukewarm rainwater to wash off any dust.  In autumn and winter, I occasionally wipe the leaves over with a piece of damp kitchen paper, using a small, torn fragment of kitchen paper per leaf.  In wintertime, I don’t shower my plants at all.  During autumn and winter I use less water when watering; I also don’t water my plants quite as often (although I never let Goeppertia orbifolia plants’ compost dry out), as these plants will not be happy sitting in water or in wet or water-logged soil in autumn and winter.

Water Goeppertia orbifolia plants regularly.  These plants want consistently moist soil, they don’t want to grow in growing media that is too wet.  Goeppertia orbifolia certainly don’t want to sit in water (especially overwinter, when they’re more susceptible to decline due to overwatering) but Goeppertia orbifolia plants also don’t want to be grown in too dry a compost.  Check your plant’s growing media before you water and only water when the compost has started to dry out.  When watering, take care to ensure that any water that runs through your plant’s container has drained away (into your sink, shower, etc.) before you pop your plant back inside its decorative container.  Simple checks like this will avoid your Goeppertia standing in water.

I prefer to use rainwater to water my houseplants.  I always ensure that the rainwater I use to irrigate my houseplants was bottled and brought indoors at least a couple of days before I use it.  Never give your houseplants a shower of cold, icy water in wintertime (or any time) as this will be the last thing they will want.

Goeppertia orbifolia can be found growing in the wet tropical biome of Eastern Brazil, where these wild plants enjoy a climate that boasts naturally warm and humid growing conditions.  By replicating these conditions inside your home and providing your plant with warm temperatures and high humidity, Goeppertia orbifolia will flourish!  Goeppertia orbifolia are tender plants that are killed by cold temperatures.  Ensure your plants are grown in rooms when the minimum nighttime winter temperature will never drop below 15C (60F).

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