The Calathea Makoyana or Peacock Plant as it is more commonly known is a wonderful plant that can be known to grow up to 2ft in height when cared for correctly. Also named Cathedral Windows.
Originally from Brazil this plant is a popular choice around the world for a house plant mainly because it makes a lovely addition to any home due to its beautiful foliage and bold markings.
With its somewhat tropical origins, The Peacock Plant is a tall, slender plant that with the right care can become a colorful house plant for your collection.
Due to its Brazilian roots, humidity is best for this particular plant and it loves nothing more than to be misted although it is important to use distilled or rain water as the fluoride can cause damage to the delicate leaves.
How it looks: The Peacock plant has all the elegance and beauty of a Peacock’s tail, which is why it has been given its rather glorious name. The leaves are pale green with a dark green feathered effect from the middle of the leaf to the outer edges.
When new leaves grow they are rolled up and show off their pinkish-red undersides; giving it another splash of color.
Where to display: Not one to be left in direct sunlight, the Peacock Plant should be placed in moderate to low light to avoid the leaves becoming dulled and less vibrant.
Due to the soil needing to be kept moist at all times, it is wise to place your plant somewhere where it can be watered and misted with ease.
Care Level: Due to the Calathea Makoyana requiring the right level of moistness and humidity levels to flourish this may not be the ideal plant for someone who is new to gardening or unsure whether they can keep the temperature and humidity right for this plant to grow.
One tip is always to make sure that you start with healthy plant if you are looking for a top quality species; avoid smaller plants with brown leaves as these may not grow as well as a healthier one.
|Names:||Peacock Plant, Cathedral Windows (common names). Calathea or Maranta Makoyana (scientific).|
|Max Growth (approx):||2ft tall.|
|Poisonous for pets:||Non-toxic to cats and dogs.|
Peacock Plant Care
|Temperature:||Ideal temperatures required should be between 60ºF – 75ºF (15.5-24ºC). Avoid sudden drops that will affect growth and cold drafts.|
|Light:||Indirect sunlight is best suited for this species. Direct sun will damage the leaves and low light will slow growth, so a bit of balance is required.|
|Watering:||Water thoroughly during the growing season then naturally reduce during winter. Good drainage is important.|
|Soil:||Use soil that holds moisture and drains well. A 2 part peat and 1 part sand or perlite mix will do the trick.|
|Re-Potting:||Repot once every 2 years. During spring is best.|
|Fertilizer:||Feed only during the growing season from April – October with a diluted liquid feed once every 2 weeks.|
|Humidity:||Calatheas enjoy humidity in their natural climate. If you can try and raise the levels even if you just mist the plant or seat the pot on a tray of pebbles with water inside. When the humidity is low from dry air you may notice leaf tips browning.|
|Propagation:||Propagation method for this species is by division. This is done when the plant has grown large enough to separate clumps of stems with roots. Until the new plant have new growth cover them with polythene to keep conditions warm and humid. Try to propagate when it’s time for repotting.|
Frequently Asked Questions
You can use a fertilizer high in nitrogen when feeding this plant. Fertilizer should be used during the growing season, from April to October once every two weeks.
The Peacock plant thrives on a tropical environment, so you should do your best to imitate that in your home. Calatheas need a humidity rating of 60% or more, which is high for the average house. Try moving your Calathea to a warmer area and mist it when necessary. If the humidity levels are still too low, you could try using a humidifier. These are relatively cheap and can be bought online.
Clean water is the best thing to use. Calatheas are sensitive to fluoride, which can be found frequently in tap water. If you’re concerned you could use bottled water or even collect rainwater to minimise fluoride exposure.
How expensive are Peacock plants?
They aren’t overly expensive, but the price will vary based on where you’re shopping. They can be found in most garden centres or even online. Most prices stand around the $30 mark, but you can find some online for cheaper. Be weary of buying plants online though, although they’re mostly safe, some plants can get damaged in delivery.
Is the Peacock plant toxic?
No – one of the great things about this plant is that it’s totally safe for pets and children. We still wouldn’t advise ingesting it, though!
How tall will this plant grow?
Calatheas can grow to around 2ft high. This is a maximum growth though, and will only be achieved with the right care requirements and conditions.
The Peacock plant has a striking appearance makes a fantastic centrepiece or statement decoration. Its unique image and beautiful foliage almost pass for artwork, so it’s a gorgeous plant addition to brighten up your home.
These plants are a bit more hassle to care for than the succulent or cacti varieties, but they’re worth it! These plants thrive in tropical climates, so humidity, high water levels and warm temperatures are a must.
Place your Peacock plant away from direct sunlight. Sunlight will bleach the leaves, causing their lovely colours to fade. It can also cause inconsistencies on the leaves and increase the possibility of drying them out. If you notice brown edges or ends to the leaves, it could be an indicator that your plant is being exposed to too much sunlight. These plants thrive in moderate to low light conditions, so on shelves, on top of dressers or on bedside tables are a great shout – basically anywhere but a windowsill!
The soil of your Peacock plant should be moist at all times. Use a soil that drains well but can hold in a decent amount of moisture. Make sure to position your plant somewhere easily accessible for watering and misting because you’ll be doing this frequently!
Elyssa Goins is an experienced house plant hobbyist who maintains over a hundred plants. She is a gardener, beekeeper, and a proud mother of four. She is a member of the American Horticultural Society, has been published in a Scientific Journal, and loves to talk about her love of plants. For the past twenty years, she’s been all about growing and caring for various fruits, veggies, herbs, livestock, kids, and houseplants. Managing a big garden to feed four growing kids and raising dairy goats has taught her so much about being an excellent plant parent and now is her time to share with you.