Calathea insignis

Peacock Plant, Zebra Plant, Rattlesnake Plant

From £16.95

Admired by many for their unique, intricately patterned and colourful foliage, Calatheas make for stunning statement plants to add a tropical flair to your home.

Calathea insignis is a Prayer Plant with magnificent soft green swords, inked with dark blotched patterns and deep burgundy-purple undersides.

Origin: Brazil
Genus: Calathea
Species / Cultivar: insignis
Common Name: Peacock Plant, Zebra Plant, Rattlesnake Plant
Synonym: Goeppertia latifolia

Plant Biography

The genus Calathea consists of more than 300 species which usually live in the relatively lowlight and humid conditions of the understories of tropical forests. Whilst many plants in this environment, such as climbers, have evolved to get closer to the light above, Calatheas have adapted to the conditions provided by the forest floor.

In their natural habitat, many Calatheas produce beautiful and boldly coloured flowers, but its their striking foliage which has led them to become a popular houseplant. So much so, that there are now countless cultivars each with their own unique foliage, ensuring that there’s a Calathea for everybody, and every home.

Calathea insignis
Light: Medium
This plant likes a spot further away from windows, but still lit by sunlight.
Soil: Moisture Retaining
Requires moisture retaining soil with a high compost, low sand content.
Temperature: >12°C
Temperature range at which this plant is healthiest and grows best.
Growth Rate: Medium
Expect to see moderate growth during growing season.
Water Requirement: Regular Watering
Water regularly to keep the soil slightly moist. Allow it to somewhat dry out between waterings to prevent it becoming too damp.
Humidity: High
Prefers moister air, typically because it evolved in a wet tropical climate. These plants will benefit from supplementary misting.
Skill & Care: Simple & Easy
Easy to care for so long as it is tended to every so often.

Expert Tip

Wiping the leaves regularly helps to prevent a build up of dust and can help your Calathea thrive.

Calathea insignis

Calathea insignis is native to Rio de Janeiro in Brazil, where it lives on the rainforest floor. The distinctly patterned, lance-shaped foliage of insignis, as well as its tolerance of shadier rooms, has made it a popular Calathea to keep as a houseplant.

Plants in its native rainforest floor environment often evolve purple undersides to the leaves. After the light passes through the green tops of the leaves, purple coloured undersides reflect the useful parts of the light spectrum back through the leaf, allowing the plant to effectively consume twice as much light, and enabling it to survive in such dimly lit conditions.

Why Prayer Plants 'Pray'

As a member of the Prayer Plant family, the leaves of this Calathea will characteristically ‘pray’, folding up at night before re-opening again as the morning sun rises.

At the base of each leaf is a joint-like thickening called the pulvinus, which swells and shrinks in response to pressure developed in the leaves. This is what enables the ‘praying’ to take place.

This movement of the leaves is a process known as nyctinasty, which serves a number of purposes. It allows the plant to absorb as much light as possible in its low light rainforest environment, helps to absorb and retain water, and reduces the risk of fungi and bacteria forming on their leaves.

Care Tips

Calatheas can be fussy when placed in the wrong location, so choosing a good spot is essential.

A place with bright but indirect light is ideal. Avoid south facing spots with too much intense direct sunlight, unless you diffuse the light with a sheer curtain.

Like other Calatheas this plant enjoys high humidity, but overly wet soil can quickly lead to root rot.

Wipe the leaves regularly to prevent a build up of dust.

Absolutely gorgeous, healthy and huge plant, very carefully packed and safely delivered. Thanks so much.


Absolutely gorgeous, healthy and huge plant, very carefully packed and safely delivered. Thanks so much.

1 customer review for Calathea insignis

Absolutely gorgeous, healthy and huge plant, very carefully packed and safely delivered. Thanks so much.