Peacock Plant (Calathea Makoyana)

Plant: Table of Contents

The Peacock Plant (Calathea Makoyana): A Comprehensive Guide to Care, Cultivation, and Common Issues

The vibrant and stunning peacock plant, scientifically known as Calathea makoyana, has taken the houseplant world by storm. Its eye-catching, intricately patterned leaves and relatively low-maintenance nature make it a popular choice for indoor plant enthusiasts. In this comprehensive guide, we will delve into the various aspects of caring for the peacock plant, including its cultural needs, common uses, propagation techniques, potential diseases and pests, and much more.

What is the Peacock Plant (Calathea Makoyana)?

The Calathea makoyana, belonging to the Marantaceae family, is a species of tropical plant native to eastern Brazil. It is widely recognized for its remarkable foliage, with distinct patterns that resemble the feathers of a peacock, hence its common name – the peacock plant. This plant is a clump-forming evergreen perennial that flourishes in the warm and humid conditions of its natural habitat. The striking contrasting patterns and colors on its leaves have made it a highly sought-after decorative plant for indoor spaces.

Key Takeaways – Peacock Plant (Calathea Makoyana)

Before delving deeper into the nuances of caring for the peacock plant, let’s examine the key takeaways that will be covered in this guide:

  • Culture: Understanding the cultural requirements to ensure optimal growth and health of Calathea makoyana.
  • Uses: Exploring the ornamental and decorative uses of the peacock plant in indoor spaces.
  • Water: Unveiling the watering needs and techniques for maintaining adequate moisture levels without causing water-related issues.
  • Sunlight: Identifying the ideal light conditions that contribute to the thriving of peacock plants.
  • Fertilizer: Recognizing the appropriate fertilization practices to promote healthy growth and vibrant foliage.
  • Soil: Explaining the importance of suitable soil and the ideal composition for peacock plants.
  • Pruning: Learning the art of pruning a peacock plant to maintain its aesthetic appeal and overall well-being.
  • Propagation: Discovering the propagation methods for expanding your collection of peacock plants.
  • Container: Understanding the significance of selecting the right pot or container for Calathea makoyana.
  • Popularity: Unveiling the reasons behind the growing popularity of peacock plants in the world of indoor gardening.
  • Common Diseases: Identifying potential diseases that may affect Calathea makoyana and appropriate management strategies.
  • Common Pests: Exploring the common pests that threaten the well-being of the peacock plant and effective pest control methods.
  • Botanist’s Tips: Gaining insights from experts on best practices for successfully caring for Calathea makoyana.
  • Fun Facts: Delving into some intriguing and lesser-known facts about the peacock plant.

Now that we have outlined the key components of our in-depth exploration, let’s embark on a comprehensive journey into the world of Calathea makoyana care and cultivation.


Cultivating the peacock plant successfully hinges on understanding and fulfilling its cultural requirements. These encompass various factors such as water, sunlight, fertilizer, soil, and overall maintenance. By comprehensively addressing each of these aspects, we can create an environment that emulates the natural habitat of Calathea makoyana, enabling it to thrive and display its captivating beauty. Let’s delve into the cultural needs of the peacock plant.


The watering needs of Calathea makoyana are pivotal in its care regimen. Given its tropical origins, the peacock plant thrives in humid environments and appreciates consistent moisture without being waterlogged. Here are some essential considerations to ensure optimal watering for the peacock plant:

  1. Moisture Retention: Calathea makoyana flourishes in soil that maintains consistent moisture levels. However, it is crucial to avoid overwatering, as it can lead to root rot and other water-induced issues.

  2. Room Temperature Water: When watering your peacock plant, it is advisable to use room temperature water to prevent shocking the roots with abrupt temperature changes.

  3. Water Quality: It’s essential to use water that is free from harsh chemicals, such as fluoride and chlorine. If tap water is the primary source, consider allowing it to stand for 24 hours to allow any chemicals to dissipate.

  4. Frequency: The frequency of watering largely depends on environmental factors such as humidity and temperature. In general, it’s recommended to water the peacock plant when the top inch of the soil feels dry to the touch. However, it is crucial to avoid letting the soil completely dry out, as this can lead to leaf curling and browning.

  5. Humidity: If the indoor air is particularly dry, employing a humidifier or placing the peacock plant on a water-filled pebble tray can enhance the humidity levels, mimicking its natural habitat.


Proper light conditions play a crucial role in maintaining the vibrant foliage and overall health of Calathea makoyana. While the peacock plant thrives in bright, indirect light, it is sensitive to prolonged exposure to direct sunlight, as it can scorch and damage its leaves. Here are some key points to consider regarding sunlight requirements for the peacock plant:

  1. Indirect Light: Position the peacock plant in a location that receives bright, indirect light. This can include areas close to a north or east-facing window, where the intensity of direct sunlight is mitigated by a sheer curtain.

  2. Avoid Direct Sunlight: Direct sunlight can lead to the fading, burning, or curling of the intricate leaves of Calathea makoyana. Therefore, ensure that it is shielded from direct sun exposure to maintain its striking appearance.

  3. Adjustment Period: When relocating your peacock plant to a new spot with different light conditions, allow it to acclimate gradually to prevent shock and stress.

  4. Seasonal Variations: During the summer months, it’s beneficial to shield the peacock plant from the intense midday sun, while providing it with more direct light during the cooler months.

  5. Monitor Light Levels: Regularly observe the foliage of the peacock plant for signs of light stress, such as leaf discoloration, and adjust its placement accordingly.


Fertilizing the peacock plant is essential to provide it with the necessary nutrients for robust growth and vibrant foliage. However, it is imperative to apply fertilizers judiciously to prevent potential issues such as salt buildup and nutrient imbalances. Here are some key fertilizer-related considerations for Calathea makoyana care:

  1. Frequency: During the growing season, which generally spans from spring to early autumn, feed the peacock plant with a balanced, water-soluble fertilizer every four to six weeks.

  2. Dilution and Strength: When diluting the fertilizer, it is advisable to use it at half the recommended strength to prevent overwhelming the plant with concentrated nutrients.

  3. Avoid Over-Fertilization: Excessive fertilization can lead to salt buildup in the soil and cause leaf browning and other issues. Adhere to the recommended feeding schedule and dosage to avoid such complications.

  4. Nutrient Balance: Opt for a balanced fertilizer with a formulation such as 10-10-10 that provides equal proportions of essential nutrients without skewing the nutrient balance.

  5. Winter Rest: In the dormant phase during winter, reduce or completely withhold fertilization, as the plant’s growth slows down and it requires fewer nutrients.


The soil composition and quality significantly influence the health and growth of the peacock plant. Given its preference for consistent moisture and good drainage, the soil mix should be specifically tailored to meet these requirements. Here are some crucial considerations when it comes to selecting and preparing the soil for Calathea makoyana:

  1. Well-Draining Soil: Calathea makoyana thrives in well-draining, aerated soil that allows excess water to flow through without waterlogging the roots.

  2. Peat-Based Mix: A peat-based potting mix, enriched with components such as perlite, vermiculite, or bark, is well-suited for the unique needs of the peacock plant. These materials contribute to moisture retention and excellent drainage.

  3. pH Levels: The ideal soil pH for peacock plants ranges from slightly acidic to neutral, around 6.0 to 7.0. An appropriate pH level ensures that essential nutrients are readily available to the plant.

  4. Avoid Compaction: Compacted soil impedes root growth and affects the overall health of the peacock plant. Regularly aerate the soil and refrain from excessively compacting it within the pot.

  5. Re-Potting: As the peacock plant grows, it may necessitate re-potting to provide ample space for its roots. When re-potting, use a fresh, well-draining potting mix to support continued healthy growth.


Pruning the peacock plant is primarily geared towards maintaining its desired shape, removing damaged or diseased foliage, and promoting new growth. By employing proper pruning techniques, we can ensure that the plant retains its aesthetic appeal and overall health. Consider the following points when undertaking pruning activities for Calathea makoyana:

  1. Sanitization: Before pruning, sterilize your pruning tools with rubbing alcohol or a disinfectant to prevent the spread of diseases and pests.

  2. Removing Yellowed Leaves: It is normal for older leaves to turn yellow and eventually die off. Gently remove these leaves to improve the overall appearance of the peacock plant.

  3. Controlled Shape: If the peacock plant’s growth becomes unruly, prune back the stems to maintain a compact and desirable shape, promoting a bushier, well-balanced appearance.

  4. Pruning Frequency: Regularly inspect the foliage and prune as needed, particularly during the growing season, to facilitate active growth and prevent the accumulation of dead or decaying material.

  5. Propagation Material: The cuttings obtained from pruning can be utilized for propagation, offering a sustainable means to expand your collection of peacock plants.

Key Takeaways – Culture:

  • Consistent and moderate watering is crucial for the thriving of Calathea makoyana, ensuring that the soil remains consistently moist without waterlogging.
  • Bright, indirect light is optimal for peacock plants, while direct sunlight should be avoided to prevent leaf damage and stress.
  • Fertilize the peacock plant regularly during the growing season, employing a balanced, water-soluble fertilizer at half the recommended strength.
  • Provide the peacock plant with well-draining, peat-based soil that maintains appropriate moisture levels and a slightly acidic to neutral pH.
  • Prune the peacock plant to maintain its shape, remove damaged foliage, and utilize cuttings for propagation.


The peacock plant, with its remarkable foliage and captivating patterns, serves multiple decorative and ornamental purposes in indoor spaces. Its striking appearance and relatively low maintenance make it an attractive choice for various settings, from homes and offices to public spaces such as hotels and shopping centers. Let’s explore the prominent uses of Calathea makoyana:

  • Ornamental Display: The vibrant and intricately patterned leaves of Calathea makoyana make it an ideal plant for ornamental displays, adding an aesthetic appeal and a touch of natural beauty to indoor environments.

  • Indoor Décor: The peacock plant’s unique foliage and striking appearance allow it to serve as a statement piece in interior décor, complementing various design styles and color schemes.

  • Natural Air Purification: Like many other plants, Calathea makoyana contributes to air purification by removing certain air pollutants and enhancing indoor air quality, serving a functional purpose in addition to its ornamental value.

  • Stress Reduction: The presence of indoor plants, including the peacock plant, has been associated with stress reduction and enhanced well-being, making it a valuable addition to spaces where relaxation and tranquility are desired.

  • Biophilic Design: Incorporating Calathea makoyana into spaces adhering to biophilic design principles, which aim to connect occupants with nature, enhances the overall ambience and visual appeal.

Key Takeaways – Uses:

  • The peacock plant serves as an ornamental and decorative plant, adding natural beauty and visual interest to indoor spaces.
  • Calathea makoyana contributes to air purification and stress reduction, enhancing the overall well-being of individuals in its vicinity.
  • Its captivating foliage makes it an excellent addition to spaces embracing biophilic design principles, facilitating a stronger connection with nature.

With a comprehensive comprehension of the cultural requirements and uses of the peacock plant, we have laid a robust foundation for successfully caring for and incorporating Calathea makoyana into indoor environments.

In the upcoming segments, we will further explore the propagation techniques, container considerations, common issues, and pest management strategies related to the peacock plant, delving deeper into the nuances of cultivating and maintaining this captivating species.

In part 2 of this comprehensive guide, we will delve into the propagation, container considerations, common issues, and pest management strategies related to Calathea makoyana, offering extensive insights into the optimal care and cultivation of the peacock plant.


  1. “Calathea Makoyana Care Guide,” The Spruce, URL:
  2. “Calathea makoyana (Peacock Plant),” Missouri Botanical Garden, URL:
  3. “Calathea Makoyana: How to Grow Peacock Plant,” Epic Gardening, URL:
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Peter Taylors

Expert botanist who loves plants. His expertise spans taxonomy, plant ecology, and ethnobotany. An advocate for plant conservation, he mentors and educates future botanists, leaving a lasting impact on the field.