Goeppertia are ideal plants for indoor use

Published 4:59 pm Monday, September 11, 2023

By Eddie Smith
MSU Extension Service

During a recent visit with a friend, I admired her stunning indoor plants. She mentioned some of their names, and I realized that a couple of them had outdated names that have been recently updated.

Plants, like all living things, are constantly evolving and changing.

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As new research is conducted and more is learned about different species, it’s not uncommon for plants to be reclassified. This can happen for a variety of reasons, including changes in the plant’s characteristics, advances in scientific technology or a better understanding of the plant’s genetic makeup.

One recent example of plants being reclassified is the genus of Goeppertia, formerly known as Calathea. About 200 Calathea plants were reclassified after genetic analysis showed they were more closely related to other plants than previously thought.

While this may seem like a minor change, it can have important implications for how the plant is studied and understood.

Goeppertia plants have gained popularity among indoor gardening enthusiasts in recent years. These plants are known for their vibrant colors and unique patterns, which can instantly add a touch of beauty and elegance to any room.

Beyond their aesthetic appeal, Goeppertia plants also offer a range of health benefits.

One of the most notable benefits is their ability to purify the air. These plants have high oxygen production and can remove harmful toxins such as formaldehyde and benzene from the air. This makes them an excellent choice for those living in areas with poor air quality.

Goeppertia plants are also believed to have a positive effect on mental health by promoting feelings of relaxation and reducing anxiety and stress. The gentle rustling of their leaves can have a calming effect, making them a great addition to a workspace or living area.

I love the look of Goeppertia makoyana — also known as the peacock plant — which has striking foliage that resembles a peacock’s tail. Its broad, oval leaves have creamy-white backgrounds and dark green designs and striping. The dark green markings are pinkish-purple on the undersides of the leaves.

Another of my favorites is Goeppertia insignis, commonly called rattlesnake plant. It has wavy-margined leaves in pale green, variegated colors. The leaves have dark green, elliptical blotches and thin, dark green edges. The undersides of the leaves are reddish-purple to maroon.

The leaves are said to resemble the markings found on some rattlesnakes, hence the common name for this plant.

Goeppertia zebrina, commonly known as zebra plant, is another on my favorites list. Its striking leaves feature broad, parallel stripes in chartreuse on a dark green background.

It is a compact, evergreen perennial. The leaves fold together at dusk, exposing silvery to light green undersides. The folded leaves resemble praying hands, which is where its other common name, prayer plant, comes from.

Overall, I think Goeppertia plants are a wonderful addition to any home or office. In addition to their air-purifying and stress-reducing properties, they are quite beautiful and striking.

If you’re looking to add a touch of natural beauty to your space, consider investing in a Goeppertia plant today.