Calathea Makoyana care: The Complete and Best Guide

I have the perfect plant if you’re wanting to give your house a little more wow factor. Calathea makoyana, often known as the peacock plant, is one of the most beautiful indoor plants you may find in your neighborhood garden center. Although it has a diva attitude to match its regal appearance, you should be able to successfully grow a peacock plant in your home with the appropriate care!

For complete instructions on how to Calathea Makoyana care: The Complete and Best Guide in your own house, continue reading.

Calathea Makoyana care

Calathea Makoyana Care Quick Overview

Scientific Name Calathea makoyana
Common Name Peacock Plant or Cathedral Windows
Origin Eastern Brazil
Plant Type Herbaceous perennial
Family Marantaceae family
Color Pale green leaves with a dark line on the top and pink/purple lines underneath
Height 24-inches (60cm)
Favorable Climate Tropical Climate
Preferable Fertilizer Plant food high in nitrogen
Propagation Splitting roots
Toxicity Warning  Non-toxic


Calathea Makoyana Care

The Peacock plant requires a little more care than other plants because of its Brazilian origins. For it to survive, it helps if you create the right humidity and extra sprays of water. So, be sure to read everything in our care guide here if you want your indoor plant to flourish.


The soil must be able to hold enough moisture for the peacock plant. But it also has to drain well. Some ways to soil mix like:

  • Two parts of peat moss and one part of perlite or coarse sand make the perfect potting soil.
  • African violets or peaty mix is another remarkable type of soil. However, adding some coarse material like coconut coir, pine bark, sand, or perlite can be helpful. Compost can be used to replace 10% of the peat moss when using the mentioned material.
  • Two portions of ordinary potting soil for houseplants, one portion of sphagnum moss or coco coir, and one portion of perlite. A small amount of moisture is retained by the moss/coir. On the other hand, the perlite keeps things airy and allows extra water to drain freely.

Use a container with a drainage hole at all times! Consider using a regular plastic nursery pot inside of a fancy overpot, or a planter with a hole and a saucer, to stop color leaks on your windowsills.

soil calathea makoyana

Temperature Requirement

This is a vital step in Calathea Makoyana care, let’s get started.

Perfect temperatures for your peacock plant are between 60°F and 75°F (18°C and 30°C). Always keep the temperature range steady.

In no case should the temperature go below 61°F (16°C). If it does, you must protect it from freezing damage.

You should remember:

  • It’s best to maintain things at or slightly above room temperature, however, this species doesn’t mind being in normal warmth. In the forests of Brazil, they are accustomed to experiencing normal warmth.
  • It is important that the plant is not exposed to any sudden big changes in its environment.
  • Most importantly, keep your Peacock plant away from breezy spots.

Watering for Calathea makoyana

water. Plus, keeping a water routine is beneficial. Your peacock plants will thrive if you stick to these simple guidelines.

If the leaves start to curl up, it might mean not enough water. Root damage might happen if there’s too much water. Lots of fans of these plants use a wetness measure gadget to decide when the plant needs water because these plants like constant and balanced amounts of moisture.

Although these plants still need water in the winter, you should cut back on the watering because they enjoy some time off.

It’s good to touch the soil with your fingertips every few days. Figure out if the top inch is dry or overly wet. It’s time to add water to the pot when it’s dried out.

Use rainwater or filtered water for your Calathea Makoyana. It could get damaged from the fluoride in tap water.

watering calathea makoyana


Your plant needs the right level of moisture in the air, which is as crucial as the right temperature. Keep lots of moisture in the air, at least 60%, for Calathea Makonaya.

There are loads of ways to up the moisture:

  • You can make a tray filled with small stones. Fill it below the stone line to stop your plant from sitting in the water. Doing it wrong might cause root damage.
  • If you notice the tips of your Calathea’s leaves starting to turn a lot of brown, bunch the plants together and use a humidifier to try and get the moisture in the air to at least 50%.
  • Calathea Makoyana leaves shouldn’t be sprayed with water because this lowers the moisture in the air, which ups the chance of getting brown spots from germs on your plant’s leaves.

Don’t forget to keep a close eye on your home’s level of moisture too. It’s not a shock that peacock plants don’t always do well in our dry homes given that the jungles where they come from are often fully moist (especially in winter with our heaters and fireplaces on).


Coming from Brazil’s tropical jungles, peacock plants thrive in the lower area of the forest where there’s little straight light from the sun on the ground. Because of this, they need less light than many other indoor plants.

Put your peacock plant somewhere with straight light that is bright. You can find good light levels near an east window or on a north-facing windowsill. If there’s a lot of straight light in a room, put your plant farther from the window, or block the light from coming in with furniture, curtains, or blinds. Or place it behind other indoor plants.

Straight light from the sun might harm your poor plant, and not enough can stop it from growing. You can put them away from the window if your room has too much light.

How can you tell if your Peacock plants are getting too much light? The patterns on the leaves will start to fade. The edge of the leaves will also go brown.

The leaves of the Calathea have patterns but are smaller when there’s not enough light. Also, the leaves will start to split apart from each other.

Relate: Calathea Light Requirements: A Complete Guide 2023


When the plant is growing a lot, which is from spring through early autumn, feed it every two to four weeks. Growth in winter is very slow, so no need to feed it during this time.

Don’t give your Calathea too much fertilizer. Use a plant food that’s liquid or can dissolve in water and is half or less of the recommended amount.

Ideally, you should use a type of fertilizer with more nitrogen and a mix of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium (3-1-2), as suggested here. In reality, though, I’ve had great results using an even mix of nutrients.

Another tip is to remember that salts can gather in the plant soil when using store-bought fertilizer. Give your plant a drink before you feed it. This way, you won’t burn the roots.

Using natural liquid plant food that you can buy online, you can buy or make one yourself. When moving your plant to a new pot, you can add compost to the plant soil for slow nutrient feed. Compost can be poured halfway into a bucket, then fill the same amount of water. Please wait a few days, then add half to the mix.

As Calathea probably won’t be growing much during the winter, stop feeding your peacock Calathea. Too much fertilizer may burn the roots and lead to ugly leaf spots.

fertilize calathea makoyana

Repot & Propagation

You should propagate your Calathea Makoyana when it’s big enough. Makoyana is split at the root, the same as other Calatheas.

Ideally, repot in the spring when the plant is waking up and getting ready for growing time.

Give your Calathea Makoyana a drink a day before moving it.

Make sure your new pots drain well.

Your potting soil should fill the pot up to about 1/3 of the way.

To help it slide out of the pot, lean your plant on its side.

Split the root balls from the soil. Cut the root balls in half and clean off any sick or hurt parts. If your mother plant is big, you can split it into several parts.

Put each root ball in its own pot. Put soil around them to the same level as the old soil container your plant was in. Using some of the same soil as your mother plant is a good idea.

Water your plant while letting the extra water drain.

To help new growth, you might cover them with clear plastic.

Remove the plastic as soon as you see new leaves, then look after your plant as usual.


Pruning Calathea makoyana” is not needed all the time. Just get rid of the old and hurt leaves. Before and after each growing season, you can do some basic upkeep, removing any dead leaves and wiping the remaining foliage of dust with a damp cloth to help with the food making process.

Pests And Diseases

While they do exist, sickness and bug issues don’t play a big role in peacock plant care. Water plants only when they need it to prevent bug invasions because giving too much water, like with many other houseplants, is one of the main causes of sickness and pests.

Check your plants regularly to see problems with sickness and bugs early and then treat them right away to minimize total harm.

Common Problem with Calathea makoyana

If you’re struggling with your Calathea makoyana, it could be because of several reasons.


One of the most common bugs messing with indoor plants is the aphid. These teeny, pear-shaped critters stick to the plant, sucking sap from its tissues. Losing leaves and twisted leaves are signs.

You can get rid of aphids by wiping down the plants with a fresh, soft cloth or giving them a spritz with a mild water solution that has a few drops of dish soap.

Spider mites

The tops of the leaves on your Calathea will become brown as a result of spider mites eating holes in the leaves. Before they become a significant infestation, you must stop them. Your Calathea could be slain by them.

Regularly check your plant for the tiny webbing or sticky residue that indicates the presence of spider mites on calathea. Due to their small size, they are frequently hard to see.

You got a few ways to tackle them:

  • You can give your Calathea a gentle shower.
  • Clean each leaf with a cotton ball soaked in alcohol.
  • Give your plant a mist of water and dish soap. Give a spray of neem oil on your Calathea plant.
  • It’s a super plant-friendly pesticide. Lacewings, thrips, and ladybugs are all helpful critters. They’ll chow down on all existing pests.

Leaf Spot

You might have bumped into pseudomonas leaf spot with your Calathea. Pseudomonas is the bacteria that cause the reddish-brown patches on the Calathea leaves. Plus, leaves may end up deformed.

The bacteria, carried by water droplets on leaves, spreads from other sick plants. Snip off the hurt leaves and treat your Calathea with a copper-based anti-bacterial.

Root Rot

Your plant’s roots could rot if you water it too much. When a plant gets too much water, the roots can’t get to the oxygen. Plus, it lets soil fungus sneak into plant roots and spread infection.

Dead roots can’t feed the plant, which causes the leaves to turn yellow and fall off. Because root rot is an underground issue, it’s tricky to catch it before it’s too late.

You can save your plant by taking it out of the pot and cutting out the rotten roots. Then, stick your plant in soil that drains well to help it get better.

Use top-notch soil and water only when the top of the soil feels dry.

calathea makoyana root rot

FAQ Calathea makoyana care

Do Peacock Plants Flower?

Peacock plants do flower, but not that often. On mature plants throughout the year, you might spot little white flowers poking out from light green bracks.

Why are the leaves on my calathea makoyana curling?

It’s because you’re not watering your plant enough, which means it’s dehydrated. Not enough humidity or too much heat could also be to blame. If this happens, think about using a humidity tray to boost the humidity or watering it properly. Keep checking the soil to see if it’s dry, because that’ll help you avoid underwatering.

Why are the leaves on my Calathea makoyana dying?

It could be because of a bunch of reasons like lack of light, too much or too little humidity, not enough water, or too much water. Calatheas can get attacked by a variety of bugs, with spider mites being the most common. They seem to love the thin, papery leaves of this plant.

Does Calathea makoyana need sunlight?

Absolutely! Your Calathea comes from the tropical rainforest, where it’s used to hanging out in the shade of big trees. So, they need less light than a lot of other indoor plants.

Here are some tips you gotta remember for Calathea makoyana care:

Your Calathea makoyana needs a consistently warm temperature. Don’t expose it to sudden temperature changes.

Calathea makoyana needs humidity more than 60%. If you can’t buy a humidifier, get a cheap hygrometer, which measures humidity.

Check your Calathea for bugs regularly. Find the bugs early, and it’ll be easier to squash them.

For Calathea makoyana, keep the soil constantly moist. When the top inch of the soil is dry, water it thoroughly.

Keep your Calathea makoyana in indirect light.

If you stick to FamiPlants tips, your Calathea Makoyana should be a healthy, happy plant that will last for years to come. With the right care, your plant can flourish and can make for a beautiful and interesting houseplant that will surely liven up any room. Got any other Calathea Makoyana care tips? Share them in the comments below!

Learn more about Other Calathea care resources:

Hi, I'm Cathleen Clemens. I graduated from Cornell University with a degree in plant science. I gained detailed knowledge about various kinds of plants and how to properly care for them. My experience has enabled me to easily detect any issues such as pest infestations, nutrient deficiencies, or signs of diseases in the plants.

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