As my collection continued to grow, I began to find that I had a whole lot of green. While that is standard for plants, and kind of what they do, I also knew that there were other color options out there and that it would be entirely possible to add even just a little color to my collection to add some depth. When I found the Rattlesnake Plant at work, I immediately knew that this was exactly what I was looking for. The variations in color and patterns along the leaves were a perfection variation upon what I had become so familiar with.
The Rattlesnake Plant or Calathea lancifolia is a tropical Brazilian plant known for it green and purple leaf tops and purple underside. The plant is known to follow the sunlight, meaning that the leaves open and close depending on how much light is available. The leaves tend to cover my other plants when they are open in the sunlight. This plant is also another simple care air purifier and is known to be safe to dogs, cats, and humans.
The hardest part of caring for these plants is the need for a warm, humid environment. Anything below 65 degrees is too cold for them and they will begin to respond negatively to their environment by loosing their leaves. They also do not respond well to sudden temperature changes and air drafts.
Beyond that, these plants are quite simple to care for. They are among the plants that need less frequent waterings. In the cooler seasons, it is only necessary to water them every few weeks, when the soil becomes dry. In the warmer spring and summer months, waterings should become more frequent and be done when the soil is halfway dry. Never let your plant sit in standing water.
The Rattlesnake Plant is also one that requires a lesser amount of sunlight. Optimally, they like being near a window where the sunlight does come in, but to lesser degrees. Mine sits underneath the windowsill of a window that already only receives direct sunlight for a few hours of the day. It has been thriving there.
Much like many of the other plants I have featured thus far, this would be an excellent addition to any collection and allows for a lesser level of care. They also come with the benefits of being safe for animals and children, and not burning to the touch, unlike the ZZ Plant. Though they both have waxy appearing leaves, the Rattlesnake Plant will cause no irritation.