The Peacock plant is also known as Calathea Makoyana. It is famous for its extraordinary foliage. The plant has green and purplish leaves. They shine under the ideal light conditions. For maintaining the good health of this plant, you need to know about the peacock plant care details.
To care for your peacock plant, grow in bright filtered light, in 60 to 75 degrees F temperature, and in high humidity. Water-soluble fertilizer is required for a healthy boost. If you want to grow this amazingly beautiful plant, you have to follow our best guide on growing and caring Peacock plant aka Calathea Makoyana.
About the plant
The Peacock plant is a tropical plant native to Brazil. There it grows under the canopy of large trees. Because it is a tropical plant therefore growing and maintaining it is an easy job.
The plant grows a maximum of 2 feet tall. In an ideal growing environment, the plant leaves grow up to 12 inches long. The leaves have a green top surface and purplish-red underside.
USDA Zones 10 A to 11 are best to grow outdoors. In Other zones, you have to grow it as an indoor plant.
For more information on its growing requirements read the below section of the article. Because in this post every necessary information about peacock plant care is discussed in detail.
Quick Care Guide
Calathea Makoyana, Peacock plant
Frequent in summer season
Above 60 %
60 to 75 Degrees F
Pests and Diseases
Aphids, Scales, Spider mites, and Root rot
Water-soluble only in the active growing stage
Light requirements of peacock plant
In their native place, these plants grow on the jungle floor. The large trees around them form a shed of branches and leaves over the peacock plants. They allow only limited light to fall on the ground.
This clears that it needs low intense light to make its food.
Place the plant pot in your house where it can get low bright light. If you are living in an apartment and do not have a sunny window. Then you can use artificial man-made grow lights. These lights are designed to grow plants in the absence of Sunlight.
Grow lights emit the full spectrum of light. Sun is the natural source of the full spectrum of light.
Avoid putting the plant pot in direct sunlight. Because the direct sun rays are high-intensity rays. They can damage the soft plant tissues. Faded leaf color is the first sign of extra bright light.
Peacock plants need soil that drains well and can hold the water content for a long time. Because it needs high humidity you need to water the plant more frequently. There is commercial potting soil that is suitable for all types of plants. All-purpose soil is good for growing houseplants. You can also alter it by adding peat and perlite. But do this only if you have potting soil experience. Otherwise use the soil as it comes in the bag.
These potting mixes do not contain normal garden soil. They are made from coco coir, peat, perlite, sphagnum, etc. Coco coir and Sphagnum are the two main ingredients of commercial potting soil. To grow and care peacock plants do not need to increase the draining power of commercial potting mix. They are perfect for calathea makoyana.
You can also use homemade potting soil for growing calathea makoyana.
A plant that needs high humidity also needs frequent water. But these types of plants are more prone to root rot like fungus diseases. Therefore, you need to take care of many factors while watering the plants.
Peacock plants need moist soil, but not wet or soggy soil.
When you feel the top layer of the soil is getting dry. It is time to water the plants. Take plant pot near the tap and water it thoroughly until the water starts draining through the bottom hole. Let the plant pot near the tap so that the extra water can drain out of the pot. After that put it back on its place.
This practice is best for summer days. Do not use the same technique to water peacock plants on winter days.
Wait for the top inch of the soil to get dry and then pour the limited amount of water to plant roots. If you see yellow leaves in the winter season this indicates that your plant is suffering from overwatering.
Use normal clean water at room temperature for watering houseplants. If you are using tap water then let the tap water sit in a bucket for 24 hours. This way the heavy salts will settle down on the bottom and you can use the water.
The good news is calathea makoyana is comfortable in the normal temperature range. We humans like to have temperatures between 60 to 75 degrees F. This range is good for our health, even it is also good for the plant.
This means you do not need to worry about the temperature if you are growing it indoors. But remember that like humans, the plants do not need air conditions and hot air from home heating systems. Sudden changes in room temperature can damage the plant tissues.
If you like to bring the plant outside to show others. You can do so in the spring time when the weather is a little warm.
Once the temperature starts to drop below 55 degrees F. Move the plant pot inside for plant safety.
Peacock plants will surely thrive at a comfortable humidity level. Between 60 to 76 % is the best humidity level for peacock plant care.
Your plant will tell you when the humidity will get low in the room. It will develop brown leaf tips. You have to fix this issue fast or you will lose your plant.
In such conditions use plant humidifiers to increase the humid level. Or you can put the plant in the bathroom right after you take shower. Because after shower humidity in the bathrooms raise to 80 %. Such a growing environment is perfect for peacock plants.
While putting it in the shower room you need to check that the plant gets continuous fresh air. If there is no window for fresh air then you can adopt other ways of saving your plants.
The common way of saving calatheas from low humidity is misting water on plant leaves. Or group the plants together to help them. Use a humidity tray or at least, you have an advanced option and that is plant humidifiers.
Balanced liquid fertilizers are best to use to care for peacock plants. Spring to autumn is its active growing period. Fertilize plants in these months.
If you accidentally give more fertilizers in active months. Then the plant will absorb them. But if you give fertilizers in the winter season. Then the plant will not tolerate them.
If you are new to gardening then you should use pre-fertilized soil.
Because this not a bushy type plant and do not have dense growth. Therefore, you do not need to prune it. As the plant age, the leaves turn into yellow color, and some turn brown. You need to trim the dead part of the leaves.
If at any stage your plant will get suffer from deadly disease. Then you can cut off the infected stem or leaves.
Otherwise pruning is not necessary for peacock plant care.
Potting up is required to have large beautiful plants. In general growing conditions, this plant take 2 years to grow bigger and you need repotting. For repotting of peacock plant choose the springtime. This is its active stage and it can easily get established in the new pot.
Use new potting soil but if you do not have the budget for buying new potting soil. Then add organic compost to the old soil and make it perfect for the plants.
The new pot must have a draining hole at the base. This hole saves a plant from accidental over-watering.
Propagation is only possible by the root division method. Follow the below steps.
- Lose the soil and Take the plant out of its pot.
- Remove the soil from the root ball.
- Inspect for infections. If you find then cut that part of the root ball.
- Then divide the roots into one or more sections.
- Then plant these sections of roots in new pots.
- Put these pots in appropriate location and give some water
- Now give proper care to the newly planted pots.
Peacock plant Diseases and Pests
The interesting part is peacock plants do not get easily infected by plant pests and diseases. But there are some common pests and plant diseases. They almost infect every houseplant that do not get good care.
Read the below section to save your calathea makoyana plants from pests and diseases.
Root rot (root fungus)
This root fungus disease is common in the winter months. The common reason for root disease is extra water. Excess water in the root area cut the oxygen supply and thus bring the new disease. Phytophthora, Fusarium fungi are fungal bacteria that live in soggy soil.
Once the root gets infected by the fungus they start to decompose. You cannot reverse the conditions. But you can save some parts of the roots. Take the plant out of its pot and cut the infected roots.
Then use new potting soil and plant it again in the pot. Then follow our grow guide and grow it healthy.
Aphids, Scales, and Spider mites are common pests that attack peacock plants. They suck the sap of the plant. Your plants become nutrients deficient and they start dying. The only way to get rid of these pests is to use insecticidal soap and neem oil at the first stage.
If the problem is mild then use soap to wash plants. After that use neem oil spray to prevent their re-attack.
On the other hand, if the problem is served then the only solution is using commercial pesticides. These pesticides are sold in pesticidal and insecticidal control shops. Tell them about the plant problem and they will give you the ready-to-use spray.
Read the safety instructions on the spray bottle. Take the plant in an open space, wear safety glasses, safety gloves and then use the spray. After that let the plant outside for 24 hours. Then move it inside.