Calathea makoyana

peacock plant
Dramatic green leaves with painted fishbone pattern and micro patterning within. Leaf backs flushed in purple.
Calathea makoyana
height 1–2ft
width 2–3ft
tolerates Pots
Water when the soil surface is dry. This plant wants water when the top of the soil is dry, but you can still feel moisture just below the surface. This plant will often fall into a once-a-week watering cycle, but remember that your watering should be based on the moisture left in the soil, which will depend partly on the moisture in the room and the weather outside. The soil ‘surface’‘ goes a bit deeper for larger pots; for example, a plant in a 14-inch diameter pot should dry out a couple of inches deep before you water it, while a plant in a 4-inch pot will only want to dry out in the top ½ inch or so of soil.
exposure Full Shade
drainage In Pots: Potting Soil
fertilizing All Purpose
origin E Brazil

Sunset Zones Map

Outdoor Exposure Guide


Full Sun
Six or more hours of sun beams directly landing on the plant's leaves.

Part Shade
Three to five hours of sun beams directly landing on the plant's leaves.

Part Sun
One to two hours of sun beams directly landing on the plants leaves.

Full Shade
The plant is never fully lit by sun beams, but is in a bright spot or has dappled sunbeams playing over the leaves throughout the day.

Deep Shade
The plant never has dappled light on the leaves, and is in a place that feels dim, even on a nice sunny day.


Growing Notes

This plant naturally grows from the center, and as new leaves replace older ones the lower leaves will brown and then shrivel up. Pruning the leaves off once they begin to brown won’t hurt the plant. Alternatively, once the leaves are totally dry and they can be removed once they come off with a light tug.
Brown tips on newer leaves is often a sign of too little humidity in the room and should be dressed by moving the plant to a more humid area, like near a kitchen sink or bathroom.
Mature, fully unfurled leaves rolling back together is a sign of under watering or too much light, usually being direct sun.

Special Interest

During the day leaves spread out, showing off graphic patterns on their tops. These plants evolved their characteristic patterns to convince bugs and other predators that they’ve already been eaten and only the leaf skeleton remains. Amazingly, at night the leaves fold upwards and inwards. The undersides are dark, helping to cloak the plant from any predators. This upward nightly posture gives this plant its common name: the prayer plant.

Most houseplants are poisonous to cats and dogs, but calathea are not!