Calathea makoyana

Peacock Plant


Calathea makoyana is known commonly as the peacock plant as its memorable patterned leaves are said to resemble the feathered tail of a peacock. This evergreen perennial is not only stunning, but also an exceptional air purifier in your indoor plant collection.

Upon the tall thin stalks sit exceptionally pleasing round, pale, glossy green leaves with visibly intricate venation, marked with dark green blotches. New growth starts pleasantly rolled, displaying the attractive purple undersides of the leaves as it unfurls.


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Origin: Brazil
Genus: Calathea
Species / Cultivar: makoyana
Common Name: Peacock Plant

Plant Biography

Native to eastern Brazil, it was first identified by Édouard Morren, a prominent botanist and editor whose main field of expertise was not actually Marantaceae (which includes Calatheas and arrowroots), but Bromeliaceae (pineapples and air plants).

After his death, the watercolour plates Morren commissioned were sold to Kew Gardens and led to the identification of numerous unpublished species.

Calathea makoyana
Light: Medium
This plant likes a spot further away from bright windows, but still lit by natural light.
Soil: Indoor Potting Mix
Enjoys moist well drained soil with composted organics and some drainage material.
Temperature: 15-25°C
Temperature range at which this plant is healthiest and grows best.
Growth Rate: Medium
Expect to see moderate growth during growing season.
Final Size: Medium
Final size will be suitable for a table, plant stand, or large strong shelf.
Water Requirement: Regular Watering
Water when soil surface is dry to the touch. Water must draining easily away.
Humidity: High
Provide moist air via daily misting or trays of wet grit. Keep away from drafts and heaters.
Maintenance: Moderate
This plant has specific requirements. Incorrect care can quickly lead to signs of distress.

Expert Tip

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

Purple Foliage Undersides

The beloved purple undersides of the plant’s foliage gives a hint as to the light conditions Calathea needs. In its native habitat, the Peacock Plant grows on the rainforest floor in limited light conditions.

Plants in these environments 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. This allows the plant to effectively consume twice as much light, and allows it to survive in its native limited light conditions.

Care & Size Guidance

Care & Size Guidance

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. 


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