Calathea Makoyana | Peacock Plant Care Guide

Calathea Makoyana, also renowned as the Peacock plant, is famous for its gorgeous foliage with contrasting shades of green and purple. Calathea Makoyana will add appeal and vigor to any space with dark and colorful markings on its leaves. Besides cheering up the living spaces, its colorful foliage acts as an all-natural air cleanser. Calathea Makayona, also known as Cathedral Windows, is an evergreen plant that will certainly illuminate your area all around the year.

Calathea Makoyana | Peacock Plant
  • Botanical name:  Goeppertia Makoyana
  • Common name: Peacock Plant, Cathedral Windows, Calathea Makoyana 
  • Origin: Amazon Native Tropical Plant
  • Family Name: Marantaceae
  • Plant height: up to 2 Feet
  • Ideal temperature: 65 – 80° F
  • Hardiness zone: 11-12

Prominent Family Members: Calathea Medallion, Calathea Musaica, Calathea Crocata, Calathea Rufibarba, Calathea Ornata, Calathea Orbifolia, Calathea Warscewiczii

How do you care for a Calathea Makoyana?

Calathea Makoyona is an attractive houseplant that calls for a bit of care to be lovely. The Peacock plant is a tropical plant from Amazon jungles, prospers in medium light conditions away from direct sunshine, loves high humidity and warm temperatures.

Calathea Makoyana plant can grow up as high as 2 feet with extraordinary vegetation if appropriate care is provided. Please read our blog to get all the information to care for this charming plant. 

Bringing Plant to House

It is necessary to thoroughly check the plant when you obtain your brand-new Calathea Makoyana plant. It is preferable to place new addition in your home away from other houseplants for at least two weeks. If there are any signs of infestation on the leaves or soil, promptly remove the pests by pruning off affected leaves and manual cleaning.

You may apply neem oil or houseplant insecticide if an infestation doesn’t go away with cleaning and pruning. Once the isolation period of two weeks is over, and you do not see any plant disease symptoms, shift the Cathedral Windows plant to its desired setting.

No need to stress out if you notice drooping leaves, as these plants can be picky in their brand-new environments and may require some time to adapt to the new setting.

Blooms

Why my Calathea Makoyana is not blooming?

With its magnificent contrasting leaves, it’s no surprise that Calathea Makoyana is a popular houseplant. The plant creates blossoms in the wild; however, it is unusual to bloom indoors. Moreover, unlike Calathea Crocata, famous for its flaming bloom, the Peacock plant is adored because of its elegant foliage.

Therefore, if your Calathea Makoyana is not flowering indoors, there is nothing to bother about, and you shall enjoy the beauty of your plant’s vibrant foliage. 

Calathea Makoyana Flowers

Calathea Makoyana Blooms

sunlight requirement

Where should I put my Peacock plant?

In tropical jungles of the Amazon, canopies formed by larger trees secure small plants like Calathea Makoyana from direct sunlight direct exposure in their all-natural environment. As a result, Calathea Makoyana grows best in low to medium diffused sunlight. 

The very best location you can keep this impressive plant is where there’s lots of natural sunlight coming through the home. However, please make sure the plant is not exposed to direct sunlight because direct exposure can burn the delicate leaves, bleaching of color. Whereas insufficient lighting will cause fading of color and stunted growth.

humidity and temperature

Temperature and Humidity

The gorgeous Calathea Makoyana ambient conditions need to be taken care of to make the plant flourish and prosper. The plant thrives well if you maintain surrounding temperatures between 65 ° F to 80 ° F.

The Peacock plant cannot tolerate cold weather and will suffer if the temperature drops below 60 ° F . Therefore, if you are planting the Calathea Makoyana outside, please make sure to bring the plant indoors when night temperatures go below 60 ° F. 

In tropical jungles, the temperature does not vary much all around the year; therefore, these plants are habitual of living in the same temperature range. The plant will not react well to abrupt, significant temperature variations in your home. Therefore, ensure to keep this plant away from cold chill from windows or air conditioning. Similarly, take care to avoid exposure to heatwaves from the internal heating system. 

While growing Calathea Makoyana plants, it is necessary to maintain high humidity indoors. The suitable humidity level for Makoyana Plant is 50-60%. There are several ways of achieving this if you stay in a dry location. The best method is utilizing a humidifier if your home has one readily available.

Otherwise, you can group your plants to preserve the dampness or use a pebble tray with water to provide extra moisture. In wintertime, it’s challenging to keep adequate humidity in your house due to internal heating systems.

Similarly, indoor humidity is depreciated with air conditioning in summer, as all air conditioning systems have built-in dehumidifiers. You might experience low moisture due to home heating and cooling systems.

watering requirements

How often should I water a Calathea Makoyana?

The watering routine of Calathea Makoyana is the most critical factor concerning maintaining good plant health. Overwatering mistakes typically result in root rot, fungi gnats, and other problems. Like its other family members like Calathea Crocata and Louisae, always deep water your Calathea Makoyana once the soil has become partly dry. Please ensure to drain all the excess water; soil shall remain moist but not soggy.   

The Peacock plant grows in spring and summer, whereas the plant goes into dormancy during winter. Water requirement for the plant is more in summer, and you may need to water the Calathea Makoyana two to three times a week in summer.

However, evaporation rate and watering requirement depend on various factors such as indoor climatic conditions and pot design; therefore, we recommend developing a watering routine for your Peacock plant, verifying the soil dryness. As a thumb rule, you shall rewater the plant once the top one inch of soil has become dry. 

Overwatering can be the prime reason for the rotting of roots, wilted colorless, and out of life leaves. In contrast, insufficient watering symptoms are brown leaves’ edges, drooped and crisp leaves. 

In winter, the soil remains moist for a long period due to low temperatures. Therefore, water the plant once a week as it is in the dormancy period. 

Calathea Makayona is highly sensitive to overwatering; therefore, to be on the risk-free side, you may water the plant less at the start until you discover the optimum watering schedule. Please do not forget to always drain water from the pot tray.

Always water the Peacock plant with water at room temperature. Calathea plants are affected by Chlorine, Fluorine, and other minerals present in tap water. Therefore, if your tap water is high in impurities, we recommend using rainwater or distilled water for your plant needs.

soil requirement

Peacock Plant Soil Requirements

Calathea Makoyana loves moisture in the air as well as in soil. Peacock plants live happily in moist soil with good draining quality. It implies that the plant’s soil mix shall have the property to retain enough moisture and expel the excess water through the drain. Additionally, the soil shall not be compact rather loose so the roots can have excess air for breathing.  

A suitable combination of soil for Calathea Makoyana would be a combination of Potting Soil, Orchid Bark, Peatmoss, and Perlite. Orchid bark will provide the necessary organic matter and enhance the soil’s aeration property, whereas peat moss will elevate the moisture-retaining capacity of soil mix. On the other hand, perlite will improve the draining capability of the soil.

Nevertheless, if you plan to choose a ready-made potting soil, the mix for African Violet is most suitable for Peacock Plant.

Calathea Makoyana prefers slightly acidic soil and soil with a P.H. level of 6.5 is most suitable for this plant.

maintenance and cleaning

How do I prune Calathea Makoyana?

The Peacock plant does not have any specific pruning needs. However, the plant parents shall take care of removing sick and dead leaves. If you notice any leaves with fading color, yellowing, or browning, cut the leaves from the stem using sterilized scissors or shear. Removal of such leaves will enlighten the plant and promote new growth.

Pruning of Calathea Makayona

Pruning of Calathea Makoyana

All kinds of Calathea plants need little maintenance. The same is the case with the Peacock Plant, and it requires time to time cleaning and occasional pruning. It’s essential to clean the plant’s leaves from time to time. It not only adds vigor to the plant and enhances its beauty, but you will also be able to timely notice and remove any pests or infestation from the plant.

It is recommended not to apply any shine product on the leaves of Calathea Makoyana as it degrades the plant’s health by blocking the leave’s aspirating pores.  

The Peacock plant does not have any specific pruning needs. The plant parents have to take care of removing sick and dead leaves. Removal of such leaves will enlighten the plant and promote new growth.

Fertilizing Calathea Makoyana

To maintain your Calathea Makoyana plants healthy, you shall feed them every four weeks during the growing period of spring and summer. The Calathea Makoyana plant stops growing in the winter season; therefore, there is no requirement of fertilizing the plant once the autumn starts.

Please be informed that peacock plants are sensitive to over-fertilization, and exposure to excessive minerals can damage the plant’s root system and affect growth. Browning of the leaves’ edges is also one of the symptoms of over-fertilizing.

The best practice is to utilize a well-balanced houseplant plant food and dilute it to one-quarter of strength before mixing water.

Excessive minerals can accumulate in the soil over the period. The source of these minerals is either fertilizer or impurities present in tap water. The excessive minerals will lead the plant into a weakened state, and the following procedure of soil flushing shall be carried out every two to three months to avoid the situation.

Repotting

Repotting of Flame Plant

You shall plan repotting your Calathea Makoyana every two years. It will undoubtedly help rejuvenate the potting mix, add even more room for roots development, and assist in removing issues related to fungus in the soil. Repotting is necessary if your plant’s roots have outgrown the container and the plant have become root-bound.

A root-bound plant will have stunted growth; furthermore, tangled and outgrown roots will negatively impact soil’s draining and moisture-retaining capabilities. If you observe roots coming out of the pot bottom or emerging from topsoil, it is time to repot your Peacock Plant. 

Please follow our straightforward guide for repotting your Calathea Makoyana.

  • Water, your Calathea Makoyana, at least 24hrs before repot.
  • Use a new soil mix as described in the soil requirement section.
  • Select a bigger pot to provide extra room for outgrown roots.
  • Fill the pot up to 50% with the new soil mix and form a crater in the middle.
  • Delicately remove the plant from the pot with the soil.
  • Inspect the roots and cut away unhealthy roots.
  • Place the root ball in the already made crater.
  • Topup the new soil in the container up to the required level.
  • Perform the deep watering of the plant and ensure to remove excess water.
Propagation

Propagation of Calathea Makoyana

The most successful way to propagate a Calathea Makoyana is by division at the roots early in the season of development. Please note that Calathea Makoyana’s propagation visa seeds and cutting have not been successful. Anyhow, you shall attempt the propagation via roots if your Peacock plant is healthy and thriving.The best period to propagate is during the spring and plan along with repotting activity.

While repotting the plant, take the following action to propagate your Cathedral Windows plant.

  • Take the plant out of the pot and remove the soil from the sides.
  • Carefully separate the roots from each other.
  • Remove a shoot from the mother plant, ensuring the shoot has roots, stem, and few leaves.
  • Plant the baby shoot in a smaller pot at the same depth as it was planted before.
  • Water the new plant thoroughly and keep it in a humid and low-light place until fresh growth sprouts.
  • Move your new Calathea Makoyana plant to its permanent setting after witnessing the new growth.
toxicity

Is Calathea Makoyana poisonous?

Calathea Makoyana is harmless to pets and humans. Calathea Makoyana is a popular plant due to the contrasting colors of its foliage. Pets and kinds intend to touch and play with the plant leaves out of attraction. Do not be alarmed if a pet or youngster accidentally ingests a leaf.

The Peacock plant is entirely non-toxic; however, ingestion of plant leaves in higher quantities can be harmful to pets and plants, despite the non-toxic nature. Therefore, keep an eye on pets and small kids to avoid them feeding on the leaves.

common problems

Pests Diseases and common Queries

The bugs and parasites usually live on the lower surface of the leaf by making colonies. They feed on the leaf sap, and intense attacks can weaken or even cause the death of the plant. You shall take immediate action to control the pests’ spread before moving to the other indoor plant collection.

Pests and Diseases

Peacock Plant shows resistance to diseases, but the high moisture atmosphere makes them ideal for hosting pests and diseases. Fungal infections usually attack roots in case of overwatering or if the soil is waterlogged. An early sign of root rot will be stunted growth and rapid yellowing of the foliage. However, the soil becomes smelly in the later stages, and black spots start appearing on leaves.

Early root rot can be cured, but the late diagnosis will lead to plant death. Therefore do not overlook any deterioration in plant health and take necessary corrective action immediately. To remedy the root rot, remove the plant from the pot, cut away the diseased roots, and plant the pot in new soil with fungicide. Please review your watering cycle and reduce the frequency to avoid over-watering.

Aphids and spider mites also attack the leaves of Calathea Makoyana and are usually hiding the underside of the foliage. Inspect the plant leaves regularly for any sign of infestation. The first step shall be manual removal of pests by cleaning with a damp cloth and pruning sick leaves.

To ensure effective cleaning, you can use a 10% solution of rubbing alcohol. However, please attempt the solution on one leaf and review the results before applying the solution to the whole plant. You may use Neem oil, as it is an effective organic solution for common pests. 

Why are my Calathea Makoyana leaves yellowing?

If your Calathea Makoyana develops yellow leaves occasionally, it’s not an issue or problem. It is the natural phenomenon of leaves dying because of aging. However, if leaves of your Makoyana Plant are regularly and excessively becoming yellow, it can be a sign of trouble.

The most likely reason for leaves becoming yellow is overwatering. Please assess your watering schedule, and address it as soon as possible because overwatering can lead to severe issues like rotting of roots.

Why do my Peacock Plant leaves have brown edges?

The crunchy brown edges on the huge Calathea fallen leaves are triggered by moisture and humidity concerns. If the plant’s environment is less humid, the leaves’ edges can turn brown. Please address your indoor humidity level issue for better growth of the plant. 

Brown edges of Calathea Makoyana

Brow edges of Calathea Makoyana

Another reason for the browning of edges could be excessive minerals in the soil. If this is the case, stop feeding the plant and carry out the soil’s flushing. If your tap water is high in mineral content, shifting to rain or distilled water will better serve the Peacock plant. 

Why are my Calathea Makoyana leaves drooping?

Leaves curling and drooping are common issues connected to temperature level and moisture. Peacock plant leaves transform their position with day and night adjustments. This regular movement is a natural plant feature and is different from drooping movement due to health problems. However, if the plant leaves remain curled or drooped, diagnose the problem for a solution.

Exposure to high temperatures will curl up the leaves, as leaves change the shape to retain the moisture level. Remove the high heat source or shift the plant to a cooler place to address the issue. A dehydrated Calathea Makoyana plant will droop the leaves, deep water the plant, and revise your watering scheme according to plant needs.

Is Calathea Makoyana easy to care for?

The Calathea Makoyana plant is among the more difficult plants in the Calathea family and requires more care than other houseplants. The plant is very specific to its watering and humidity needs and does not like temperature variations.

To successfully grow the Calathea Makoyana in your home, you shall provide the plant with optimum climatic conditions and provide with appropriate soil mix as explained in our guide.

Is Peacock plant indoor?

The Peacock plant is native to Amazon rain forests and has specific climatic conditions like its natural habitat. It won’t be easy to replicate those conditions outdoors; however, we can provide the desired environment indoors to Peacock Plant with little effort. Therefore, the Peacock plant is mainly grown as an indoor plant due to its fuzzy nature.  

Is a Peacock plant a prayer plant?

Like other Calathea family members, Peacock plant leaves respond to day and night changes. Therefore, mistakenly they are called as prayer-plants. However, the actual prayer-plants like Red Vein Prayer-Plant, which show praying hand movement, do not belong to the Calathea genus though they are of the same family, Marantaceae.

How big do peacock plants get?

The Peacock plant usually grows up to 2 feet in height if proper care is taken. However, some Peacock plants exhibit taller sizes up to 4 feet when fully mature.