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How to Plant, Grow, and Care for Calathea Makoyana Indoors

Calathea Makoyana Leaves

If you’re looking for the perfect tropical houseplant to add to your indoor garden collection, this plant is just for you. Prayer plants are among the most popular houseplants in your local garden

If you’re looking for the perfect tropical houseplant to add to your indoor garden collection, the calathea makoyana may be just for you. 

Prayer plants are among the most popular houseplants, and the Calathea Makoyana is no exception. 

So do you have your eye on this plant but are still trying to decide whether you should get it? 

This guide will teach you everything you need to know about calathea makoyana care.

Botanical NameCalathea Makoyana 

Common Name: Peacock Plant, Cathedral Windows 

Family: Marantaceae 

Plant Type: Evergreen, Herbaceous, Perennial 

Hardiness Zones: 10 – 11, USA

Sun Exposure: Partial Sun, Full Shade

Soil Type: Moist but well-drained

Soil pH: Acid, Neutral, Slightly Alkaline 

Height: Up to 4 ft. tall 

Bloom Time: Anytime, but flowers are small

Flower Colors: White

Native Area: Brazil

Calathea Makoyana Leaves

Photo Credit: Dreamstime.

What’s a Calathea Makoyana?

Calthea Makoyana, also known as the peacock plant, is a stunning tropical houseplant framed by its contrasting green-purplish-red leaves that will brighten up any area in your house.

The Calathea makoyana is a member of the family Marantaceae.

Although this plant can be found all over South America, Brazil (specifically in the Espirito Santo state) holds the undisputed record for this plant’s presence.

Calathea makoyana is a beautiful evergreen perennial with oval leaves on long thin stems. This plant’s delicate leaves sprout from the central rhizome and have dark green feathered effect blotches on a lighter green base.

Mature plants may bloom tiny white flowers. These small flowers are uncommon in younger peacock plants.

Like Oxalis triangularis, this prayer plant folds its leaves up during nighttime in “prayer,” a unique natural trait that is not fully understood.

Calathea Makoyana Houseplant

Photo Credit: Dreamstime.

Calathea Makoyana Care

Although they’re very adaptable plants, Calathea makoyana needs the right conditions to thrive properly. 

Keep reading to learn everything you need about peacock plant care.

Light

Despite being a tropical plant, the calathea makoyana prefers indirect light instead of direct sunlight. Placing it in a north-facing window would be an ideal location.

Harsh direct sun can cause the foliage’s colors and patterns to fade. 

Filtered light conditions are recommended, but this plant can also grow in full shade – although its growth can be slowed down significantly in full shade.

Water

Getting the right balance for irrigation is key for this plant. Underwatering this plant can lead to its delicate leaves curling up, and overwatering can lead to root rot. 

Peacock plants like consistent and even moisture levels- some people may use a moisture meter to gauge when this plant needs to be watered. 

Although peacock plants still need watering during winter, they need rest, and watering frequency should be reduced considerably.

Distilled water or captured rainwater is considered a better option than tap water. These plants are sensitive to fluoride, and it can result in the tip of the leaves turning brown. 

Ensure your water is room temperature or lukewarm, as cold water can shock your plant.

Humidity

High humidity levels are also crucial for your calathea makoyana plant to thrive. 

Low humidity can lead to curling leaves or brown leaf tips. 

Misting or using a humidifier should help keep your home environment adequate for your plant. 

You can also use a well-draining pot and place it on top of a tray filled with pebbles; this way, any excess water will drain through and sit under the pot to add humidity.

Temperature

True to its tropical origins, this plant’s ideal temperatures are 60°F to 75°F. 

Also, it is essential to ensure that your plant is not exposed to any extreme or sudden environmental changes. Quick shifts and cold drafts in temperature can be problematic for your plant.

Soil

Select a potting medium that retains enough moisture but still drains well. 

For optimal soil, Calathea makoyana plants need a mixture of equal parts of sand, perlite, and peat is often recommended. It should also be rich in organic matter to guarantee a vibrant and lush leaf color and production. 

Ensure you use a pot with one or more drainage holes.

Fertilizer

It’s important to feed your plant fertilizer during its growing season from spring to fall, given its copious foliage production. 

Fortnightly feeding your peacock plant with a diluted liquid fertilizer is recommended. 

Sprays that contain iron and nitrogen can help if fresh leaves don’t have the color depth of mature leaves on the plant. 

In winter months, feeding should be stopped immediately.

Calathea Makoyana Houseplant

Photo Credit: Dreamstime.

Calathea Makoyana Propagation

The best way to propagate the Calathea makoyana houseplant is by propagating during late spring when their active growing period has begun -or when you’re repotting your plant. 

To propagate your calathea makoyana, lift it out of the pot and gently wipe all soil from the roots. 

Then, use a clean knife and carefully divide the rootball into two, ensuring both parts have enough leaves. Then plant both plants into separate pots ensuring each one grows well after being divided. 

And lastly, place them somewhere warm and humid and watch them grow!

Calathea Makoyana Common Problems

These tropical houseplants are known for being unproblematic plants. 

However, there are some problems you may encounter if there’s something off in their environment. 

Here are some common problems and how to solve them:

Pests

Aphids, red spider mites, and scale can be removed by wiping the plant with a clean, damp cloth. 

These pests can be caused by your calathea makoyana being near infected plants or being overwatered. 

Monitor your plants to catch problems early and treat them immediately to reduce overall damage. 

Diseases

The main disease that affects Calathea plants is Pseudomonas leaf spot. 

This bacterial disease creates reddish-brown spots on the leaves that may cause leaf distortion. 

You can prevent this by keeping the plant’s foliage dry when watering. You can treat the plant with a copper-based bactericide.

Root Rot

Root rot is caused by too much water. 

The root dies due to a lack of oxygen, and the soggy soil encourages the growth and multiplication of Rhizoctonia, Phytophthora, Fusarium, or Pythium fungi which spreads into the roots, infecting the plants.

If caught soon enough, repotting your plant should save it. If the whole base of the plant has been affected, you can propagate healthy foliage’s stem cuttings. 

Calathea Makoyana Toxicity

Calathea makoyana and all prayer plants, for that matter, are nontoxic and completely pet safe!

This trait makes them an excellent option for safety-conscious parents and pet owners.

 

Other Houseplant Guides from Planet Natural:

How to Plant, Grow, and Care for Calathea Plant Indoors

11 Best Indoor Plants of 2023 (Easy, Low-Maintenance Plants)

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Melissa Askari is a biologist and master gardener who is known for her contributions to the field of sustainable living. She is a regular contributor to Planet Natural, a website that provides information and resources for gardening, composting and pest control. Melissa's work focuses on promoting environmentally-friendly practices and helping people create beautiful, healthy gardens using natural methods. With her expertise in both biology and gardening, Melissa is able to provide valuable insights and advice to gardeners of all levels. Her passion for the natural world is evident in her writing and her dedication to promoting sustainable practices that benefit both people and the planet.