The Rattlesnake Plant is one of the most animated of the Prayer Plants. It transforms throughout the day, folding down its leaves to show off their contrasting green patterns each morning, and folding them almost entirely vertically to display the ruby red undersides for the night.
You'll even hear it rustling occasionally in the evening as it makes its dramatic transformation. Some people find the sound of that creepy, but we love having a little plant buddy rustling in our bedrooms!
Better known as Calathea lancifolia, but more recently reclassified as Goeppertia insignis.
It forms clumps of stems with long spear-shaped leaves whose faces are dramatically patterned with vivid contrasting greens. The undersides of the leaves are dark red and fuzzy.
Like other members of the Marantaceae family, they show off their diurnal rhythm unusually dramatically as the fold their leaves vertically as night approaches, and unfolds them at dawn. This effect is caused by a short section of stem at the base of the leaf, which can fold 90º and back over the course of the day. The long leaves of Goeppertia insignis make this display especially dramatic.
The accepted botanical name is Goeppertia insignis, but is also often referred to as Calathea lancifolia and Calathea insignis. It's commonly known as Rattlesnake Prayer Plants, Rattlesnake Plant.
Images pictured in this section are for illustration only. Please see the product photo above for an accurate representation of the size of plant you will receive.
The most important aspect to the health of any house plant is finding a spot which meets it’s basic needs for light, temperature and water.
Perfecting the environment and ensuring long-term care needs are met will take your plant from surviving to thriving.
Read through these care instructions for Goeppertia insignis (aka Calathea lancifolia, Calathea insignis), and remember if you need help, we’re an email away.
Repot when stems are crowding the nursery pot, or when roots begin to grow out of the holes in the bottom. When repotting, it's advised to separate the plant into 2-4 clumps and space these out in the new pot.
Bright filtered or indirect light is ideal, though shade is tolerated. Too much exposure to direct sun may scorch leaves and dull the intensity of the patterned leaves.
Keep the compost constantly moist througout the growing season, but never let roots sit in water. Let the roots breathe a little bit inbetween waterings. Ideally, water with purified water as Marantaceae plants are not accustomed to soils heavy in minerals. If watering with tap water, flush the compost a few times a year to wash out any accumulated minerals.
All Prayer Plants love humidity, so provide extra, particularly in dry winter heating, with a humidifier, or by grouping plants together.
Tropical plants in general don't like to drop below about 12ºC. We've seen Rattlesnake Plants go as low as 8ºC for extended periods without significant damage, but we would recommend to keep them at 15ºC or above all year round.
The Rattlesnake Plant is quite forgiving of missed waterings and sub-optimal conditions, and will quickly rebound even after a period of ill-health or leaf damage with a bit of TLC.
Prayer Plants are all members of the Marantaceae family, which are non-toxic to pets.