When it comes to style, there are so many plants that tend to get overlooked. Well, The Plant Provocateur is here to say it is my mission to make plain ol' plants...superstars! Today's model is inspired by the Carly Simon song "You're So Vain" and those baristas out there makin' coffee. May I present to you Calathea 'Burle Marx'. Now what do Carly Simon and coffee have to do with this stylishly sexy foliage plant? Come closer...look at the pattern on the leaves. What does it look like to you? Well it looks to me like the clouds baristas make in the foam of a coffee confection. Swirly pearly color creates a pattern so exotic that you can't help but hear the Tropicalismo music in the background. The sound of cocktails being shaken while you sit comfortably on the lido deck as the sun melts into the deep blue sea. Take me away I say...take me away!
Calathea 'Burle Marx' also referred to as Ctenanthe burle-marxii comes to us from Brazil. It grows up to 15 inches/38 centimeters tall. It produces luxurious 6"/15 cm paddle shaped leaves with a cloud-swirl of pattern that resembles the view from the earth's upper atmosphere. It gets its name from famed Brazilian Landscape Architect Roberto Burle Marx. He had a passion for the plants of South America and used them freely in his lyrical landscapes.
This plant makes the perfect houseplant as it needs low light/shady situations. They thrive in temperatures 65 -85 degrees fahrenheit/ 18-29 degrees celsius. Keep their soil moist, well-drained but never water logged. Out of doors, in shady situations, this plant makes a sensuously tropical groundcover. Works well in areas where the coldest temps don't drop below freezing. Another huge tip, if you want Calathea 'Burle Marx' to look its best give it only distilled water. Too much fluoride in tap water will make the leaves burn (brown burn patches form on the leaf).
There's also something very mid-century stylish about this plant. I could imagine there's one of these babies in Mad Men Don Draper's pad. Looking groovy, cool, and baby you know it. So join me. Let's start a revolution or a renaissance. Check out the amazing foliage form, pattern, and color of Calathea 'Burle Marx'. Let's do something a bit different. Shake things up and amp up our style profile indoors and out!