How to help a poorly Calathea Musaica?

Time to read:

2 minutes

The last few months, having discovered the joys of bringing the outside in, I’ve slowly but surely been growing the plant gang. First there were the Bazzes (a basil plant substitution in the online groceries). Then came the Colonel (a bird’s nest fern), and Murray (a Boston fern, sort of). Then there was Alfred (a parlour palm, forced to reside in the bathroom to protect from an overly munchy cat) and No Face (a fishbone prayer plant).

The latest to join is Network, a Calathea Musaica with the most beautiful patterns on its leaves (think the Matrix or mysterious alien codes) who was a present from my other half for my birthday last month (OH GOD AGE IS HAPPENING WHAT IS THIS TIME THING THAT KEEPS SNEAKING BY?)

Brownish marks, like someone’s ignored the no-smoking signs and missed the ashtray

And Network is admittedly very pretty, but I’m not sure that they’re very well and I’m not sure on the best way to make them better.

When they arrived a few of the leaves had brownish/yellow marks, almost like cigarette burns. I should have taken photos at the time as now I’m not sure if they’ve grown or not, I think perhaps that they have. But, what’s probably more worrying, is the state of the new leaves coming out. They’re paler than the others, and slightly ragged, as if something’s been munching on them. There’s the odd speck of dirt or soil here and there but I can’t spot any bugs on them. I did spot a lone fly at one point so started thinking there might be fungus gnats, but I’ve not seen any more and from what I’ve read online they don’t have a rep for chewing holes in leaves…

New leaves left holey and ragged by… a secret muncher? tap water? lack of humidity? Both cats were interviewed as part of ongoing investigations and have been ruled out of the suspect list due to rock solid alibis

I’ve changed from watering them with tap water to distilled water, but I’m not entirely convinced the water was to blame. I heard Calatheas can be a bit fussy, but I’m stuck as to what’s best for this one, and don’t want to inadvertently make things worse.

So, my question for you dear reader is: any ideas on what’s up with Network, and what I should do to make them feel better? Any and all of your green-fingered guidance will be much appreciated by me and even more appreciated by Network.

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