• AGM plants

    AGM plants have been through a rigourous trial and assessment programme. They are:

    • Excellent for ordinary use in appropriate conditions
    • Available to buy
    • Of good constitution
    • Essentially stable in form & colour
    • Reasonably resistant to pests & diseases

Calathea lancifolia

Rattlesnake plant

Rattlesnake plant

© � RHS 2003

  • Other common names Rattlesnake plant

  • Synonyms Calathea insignis hort.

  • Genus Calathea are evergreen rhizomatous perennials forming clumps of elliptic leaves, often attractively patterned; spikes of small flowers are seldom produced in cultivation

  • Family Marantaceae / Marantaceae

  • Species C. lancifolia is an evergreen perennial to 60cm, forming a clump with undulate, lance-shaped pale green leaves with dark patches either side of the midrib, deep purple beneath. Small yellow flowers appear in short spikes in summer

  • Plant range Brazil


  • Foliage Evergreen

  • Habit Clump-forming



  • Partial Shade

  • Aspect North-facing or East-facing or West-facing or South-facing

  • Exposure Sheltered


  • Chalk


  • Chalk


  • Chalk


  • MoistureWell-drained, Moist but well-drained

  • SoilClay, Chalk, Loam

  • pHAcid, Alkaline, Neutral


  • Ultimate height

    0.5-1 metres

  • Ultimate spread

    0.1-0.5 metres

  • Time to ultimate height

    5-10 years

How to grow

Cultivation Under glass grow in loam-based or loam-less potting compost with bright indirect or filtered light. Provide high humidity, draught-free conditions and a constant temperature of at least 16 �C. Water moderately when in growth and keep just moist in winter. Apply a balanced liquid fertiliser monthly

Propagation Propagate by division in late spring

Suggested planting locations and garden types Low Maintenance Patio & Container Plants

How to care

Pruning No pruning required

Pests May be attacked by glasshouse whitefly and glasshouse red spider mite

Diseases Generally disease free

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