A Guide on Growing a Calathea Peacock Plant: All You Need to Know


The Calathea peacock plant (Calathea makoyana) is a perennial plant native to the tropical rainforests of Brazil. Known for its strikingly beautiful foliage, this plant is a must-have for any plant lover. With its unique patterned leaves and vibrant colors, the Calathea peacock plant is a true showstopper.

For those who are new to homesteading or are just starting out with indoor gardening, the Calathea peacock plant is a great choice. This plant is relatively easy to care for and its exotic appearance adds a touch of beauty to any indoor space.

One of the key factors in successfully growing a Calathea peacock plant is providing the right conditions for its growth. These plants prefer bright, indirect light, so placing them near a north or east-facing window is ideal. They also thrive in well-drained soil with good moisture retention, so make sure to water them regularly to keep the soil evenly moist.

Another important aspect of caring for a Calathea peacock plant is maintaining the right humidity levels. These plants love humidity and will appreciate a boost in moisture, especially during the dry winter months. Placing a tray with water near the plant or using a humidifier can help to increase the humidity in the surrounding area.

When it comes to fertilizing, it’s best to use a diluted, balanced liquid fertilizer every 2-4 weeks during the growing season. This will ensure that the plant gets the nutrients it needs without risking fertilizer burn. Avoid over-fertilizing, as this can lead to salt buildup in the soil and damage the plant.

One of the unique features of the Calathea peacock plant is its ability to fold its leaves during the night and open them in the morning. This phenomenon, known as nyctinasty, is a natural response to changes in light and temperature. It’s a fascinating process to observe and adds to the allure of this captivating plant.

If you’re considering adding a Calathea peacock plant to your indoor garden, it’s important to keep in mind that these plants can be toxic to pets if ingested. If you have pets, make sure to place the plant in an area where they won’t be able to reach it.

In conclusion, the Calathea peacock plant is a stunning addition to any indoor space. With its vibrant colors, unique leaf pattern, and interesting growth habits, it is sure to be a conversation starter. Whether you’re a seasoned plant pro or just starting out with indoor gardening, the Calathea peacock plant is a great choice. Follow these care tips and you’ll be rewarded with a beautiful and thriving plant.

Calathea Makoyana Best Way to Care For the Peacock Plant

The Calathea Makoyana, also known as the Peacock Plant, is a popular choice among plant enthusiasts. With its vibrant foliage and unique patterns, it adds a touch of tropical beauty to any indoor space. If you’re an aspiring plant parent or an expert looking to add a new addition to your collection, here are some tips for keeping your Calathea Makoyana happy and thriving.

Light: The Calathea Makoyana thrives in medium to bright indirect light. Placing it near a north or east-facing window would be ideal, as it will receive the right amount of light while avoiding direct sun exposure that can scorch its leaves.

Water: The Peacock Plant prefers to be kept evenly moist, but not waterlogged. Watering when the top inch of soil feels dry is usually a good rule of thumb. Ensure that you’re using well-drained soil to prevent water from pooling around the roots, potentially causing root rot.

Humidity: The Calathea Makoyana is native to the tropical rainforests of Brazil, where humidity levels are high. To mimic its natural habitat, you can increase the humidity around the plant by misting it regularly or placing a humidifier nearby. Another method to increase humidity is to use a pebble tray filled with water beneath the pot.

Temperature: Calathea Makoyana prefers temperatures between 65-80°F (18-27°C). It’s important to keep the plant away from drafts or sudden temperature fluctuations, as it can cause stress and leaf damage.

Fertilizing: Providing your Calathea Makoyana with a balanced, water-soluble fertilizer diluted to half strength every four to six weeks during the growing season can help keep it healthy and vibrant.

Problems and Pests: Calathea Makoyana is generally a disease-resistant plant, but it can be susceptible to common houseplant pests like spider mites and mealybugs. Regularly inspect your plant for any signs of infestation and treat it accordingly.

Dividing: If your Calathea Makoyana outgrows its pot or becomes rootbound, you can consider dividing it. Gently remove the plant from its pot and separate the clumps into multiple plants, ensuring each division has a healthy root system and a few stems with leaves.

Tips for Keeping Your Calathea Makoyana Alive:

  1. Keep it in a well-drained potting mix.
  2. Provide it with medium to bright indirect light.
  3. Keep the soil evenly moist, but not waterlogged.
  4. Ensure humidity levels are adequate.
  5. Avoid exposure to direct sunlight and drafts.
  6. Regularly inspect for pests and treat accordingly.
  7. Fertilize every four to six weeks during the growing season.
  8. Consider dividing if it outgrows its pot.

Keeping the Calathea Makoyana, or Peacock Plant, happy requires a little extra care and attention, but the vibrant and unique foliage it brings to any indoor space is well worth it. Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned plant enthusiast, the Calathea Makoyana can be a stunning addition to your home or garden.

About Calathea makoyana

Calathea makoyana, also known as the peacock plant, is a popular choice among garden enthusiasts. This beautiful plant is native to the tropical rainforests of Brazil, and it adds a touch of exotic elegance to any indoor or outdoor garden.

Gardeners are often drawn to the Calathea makoyana because of its stunning foliage. The large, oblong leaves are a vibrant green color with intricate patterns that resemble the feathers of a proud peacock. The undersides of the leaves are a deep purple, adding to the plant’s overall beauty.

One point to remember when caring for a Calathea makoyana is that it can be a bit finicky. These plants prefer a humid environment, so it’s important to provide them with regular misting or a humidifier. They also prefer to be kept in a well-drained potting mix to prevent root rot.

When it comes to light, Calathea makoyana enjoys bright, indirect light. Placing the plant near a window where it will receive a few hours of morning sun is ideal. However, direct sunlight should be avoided, as it can cause the leaves to fade or scorch.

Calathea makoyana thrives in temperatures between 65-85°F (18-29°C), making it a suitable option for indoor cultivation. However, it’s best to keep the plant away from drafts or sudden temperature fluctuations.

To keep the foliage of the Calathea makoyana looking its best, regular fertilizing is recommended. Use a balanced, diluted liquid fertilizer every 2-3 weeks during the growing season, and reduce fertilization in the winter months.

One common problem that gardeners may encounter is browning leaf tips. This is often caused by low humidity or underwatering. To prevent this, mist the leaves regularly and keep the soil moist but not soggy. If the tips do become brown, simply trim them off with clean, sharp scissors.

Another common issue with Calathea makoyana is the folding of leaves during the evening, which is a natural occurrence. The leaves fold up and open again in the morning, as if in prayer. This characteristic behavior has earned the plant the nickname “prayer plant”.

Overall, Calathea makoyana is a stunning addition to any plant lover’s collection. Its striking foliage and unique habits make it a favorite among gardeners. With proper care and attention, this plant will continue to bring beauty to your garden for years to come.

For more information on how to care for and propagate Calathea makoyana, read our recent article on Calathea Care and Propagation Guide.

Natural habitat

The Calathea Peacock plant, also known as Calathea makoyana, is native to the tropical rainforests of Brazil. It thrives in warm, humid environments with temperatures ranging from 60 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit.

This plant is often found growing on the forest floor, underneath the dense canopy of trees. In its natural habitat, the Calathea Peacock plant receives filtered sunlight, as the canopy helps to diffuse and limit direct exposure to the sun’s rays.

Calathea makoyana is a part of the Marantaceae family, which is known for its striking foliage and intricate patterns. The leaves of the Peacock plant have a dark green color with deep purple undersides and feather-like patterns. These patterns vary from plant to plant, making each one unique.

In addition to its beautiful foliage, the Calathea Peacock plant is also known for its ability to thrive in high-humidity environments. In fact, it is a good idea to keep a hygrometer near this plant to monitor the humidity levels. The humidity in its natural habitat helps to keep the leaves healthy and prevents them from turning brown or curling.

When it comes to caring for the Calathea Peacock plant, providing it with the right humidity levels is key. If you’re concerned about the humidity in your home, you can increase it by placing a tray of water near the plant or using a humidifier. Misting the leaves can also help create a more favorable environment, especially during dry winter months.

While the Calathea Peacock plant can tolerate lower humidity levels, it may not thrive and its leaves may start to droop, become discolored, or develop brown edges. But don’t worry, a little extra care can help turn things around.

Native to the tropical rainforests, the Calathea Peacock plant also prefers well-drained soils. It needs to be watered regularly but not excessively. It’s important to allow the soil to dry out slightly between waterings to prevent root rot.

When planting the Calathea Peacock plant, choose a pot with drainage holes to ensure excess water can escape. A good-quality, well-draining potting mix is recommended to provide the plant with the nutrients it needs.

This tropical plant is also known for its ability to purify the air. It can remove toxins from the surrounding environment, making it an ideal choice for indoor spaces. The Calathea Peacock plant makes for a great addition to any home or office, not only for its beauty but also for its air-purifying benefits.

In summary, the Calathea Peacock plant, native to the rainforests of Brazil, is a beautiful plant that thrives in warm, humid environments. Caring for this plant involves maintaining humidity levels, providing well-drained soils, and ensuring proper watering. With its stunning foliage and air-purifying properties, the Calathea Peacock plant is an excellent choice for any plant lover.

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Dr Heidi Parkes

By Dr Heidi Parkes

Senior Information Extension Officer QLD Dept of Agriculture & Fisheries.