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Calathea Makoyana – How to Grow Calathea Peacock

One of the biggest reasons this variety of Calathea is so sought-after is due to the captivating appearance this plant offers. With leaves that glow with multiple shades of green, patterns that arrest the eyes, and dark pink hues on the underside of the leaves, it's easy to see why this luscious plant has become a staple in many households. 

Here is how you can grow and care for your Calathea Makoyana.


Calathea Makoyana – How to Grow Calathea Peacock

Calathea Makoyana Plant Details

Calathea Makoyana or Goeppertia Makoyana is part of the Marantaceae family

The Calathea Makoyana or Goeppertia Makoyana is part of the Marantaceae family, featuring many tropical and subtropical plants, often referred to as Prayer plants. 

Also known as the Calathea Peacock plant, this variety of Calathea is native to the eastern parts of Brazil where it flourishes in humid, tropical environments.

Grown and taken care of correctly, these Brazilian beauties will boast broad green leaves with patterns that resemble a peacock’s tail feathers. 

It is more commonly used as part of indoor plant collections as some gardeners have said it can be difficult to grow outdoors. This may be because this plant does not thrive well in direct sunlight. 

Once matured, the Calathea peacock plant will stand tall with slim stems shouldering broad, oval leaves that can grow to be up to 11 inches in length.

However, these plants are not known for blossoming extravagant flowers so if you are looking for a houseplant that can offer bigger blooms, this plant may not be for you.  

How to Grow Calathea Makoyana

How to Grow Calathea Makoyana

Since the peacock plant requires some know-how when growing it and specific conditions to thrive, many novice plant collectors tend to avoid giving it a go.

However, if you get it right, you will have a gorgeous, tropical houseplant that will impress all visitors. Let’s take a look at some of the growing conditions this plant requires.


The Calathea Makoyana grows best out of direct sunlight. Although it is natively a tropical plant, it responds best to indirect light and can even grow in full shade.

Should you want to use this plant indoors as a houseplant, placing it in a well-lit location away from direct sunlight is best. For outdoor scenarios, placing it in a shaded location with a warm climate and soft light is recommended.

They can be used as excellent ground cover plants outdoors. Should you notice in either case that the leaves begin to fade and lose their patterns, that is a good indicator that the location is too bright and a more sheltered location is needed.

Watering Calathea Makoyana

It is best to keep the soil or potting mix moist at all times meaning a regular watering schedule should be followed. However, overwatering can lead to fungal issues and underwatering can cause the leaves to curl, so you will have to test and see if water is needed. 

See our product review and buying guide on the best watering cans available online

Simply use your finger and poke into the top 2 inches of the soil or potting mix. Should the mixture feel wet, leave it to dry a little longer. If the mixture feels dry, you can continue with your watering frequency.

Naturally, the plant will require more frequent watering during the hotter summer months, and less during its more dormant winter months. If you have potted your Calathea peacock for indoor use, be sure to use containers that drain water well.

Calathea Peacock are easy to grow and care for indoors

Soil Needs

In general, well-draining soil and potting mix are recommended. A healthy combination of peat, moss and perlite is commonly used. To ensure your Calathea Makoyana grows with lush, colourful leaves you should try to use potting mix or soil rich in organic matter. 

Humidity & Temperature

Warm, frost-free climates are recommended with high humidity. Ideal temperatures should range between 60 to 78 degrees fahrenheit with a humidity of 60%.

Ensuring your plant is exposed to high levels of humidity is essential for your peacock plant to thrive. If you notice that the leaves are browning or curling, this should indicate that the humidity is too low. 

For indoor scenarios, you can control the humidity around your plant by investing in a small room humidifier or by placing a pebble tray underneath your plants' pot. Regular misting is another great way to help maintain healthy humidity levels.

The Calathea Makoyana is very sensitive to sudden changes in temperatures. Placing the plant in locations with regular drafts or near heating and cooling systems is not recommended.

Calathea Makoyana Propagation

Calathea Makoyana Propagation

This variety of Calathea is usually propagated through division. To place as little stress on the plant as possible, consider propagating while you are repotting during spring. To propagate using division, here’s what you need to do:

  • Gently pull your Calathea Makoyana from its existing pot or planting spot. 
  • Shake the base of the plant to remove any excess soil. 
  • Using your fingers or a sharp blade, divide the root ball into two or three pieces. When diving, ensure that each new clump has a good number of healthy leaves and roots. 
  • Repot divided plants into smaller pots or directly into the ground.
  • Keep the soil or potting mix moist and place the plant in medium, indirect light. 
  • Be patient as the new growth can take a little while to get going.

Repotting Goeppertia Makoyana

The Calathea Makoyana will most likely require repotting every couple of years as once they are established, they are fast-growing and can possess clump-forming habits.

Should you not be planning on dividing up your plant, pick a larger container for it to grow in with sufficient drainage holes.  

Calathea Makoyana Care Tips

Calathea Makoyana Care Tips

To provide your Calathea Peacock plant with some extra care, you can perform one or more of the following care tips:

  • You can feed the plant liquid fertilizer every two weeks during the warmer months. It is best to use a balanced all-purpose fertilizer with a NPK ratio of 10/10/10. Cut back on the fertilizer during the winter months.
  • Every few months, you can clean the leaves by wiping them down with a damp cloth to ensure dust and dirt can be removed. This will also ensure the leaves are breathing correctly. 
  • Perform light pruning to remove any dead or damaged leaves when necessary. They will normally be seen around the base of the plant. 
  • When watering, try to use collected rainwater or bottled, distilled water without fluoride present. Calathea Makoyana is very sensitive to fluoride. Ideally, the water should also be room-temperature or lukewarm as they do not enjoy cold water. 

Calathea Peacock Pests, Problems & Diseases 

The peacock plant is not known for having any significant disease problems. However, there are a few other warning signs to look out for and address. Some common issues may include:

Red Spider Mites

Should you notice red spider mites on your plant, this could indicate that the environment around the plant is too dry. Make sure to keep your Calathea Makoyana in humid conditions out of direct sunlight as much as possible. 

Browning/Curling Leaves

This could indicate that the humidity is too low and that your plant may require more water. You can improve moisture through regular misting and check your soil more frequently to make sure it is moist enough.

Alternatively, as mentioned earlier, you can also use a small room humidifier or place a humidity tray of pebbles under your plant.

Root Rot 

Root Rot is a clear indication that the plant is receiving too much water or that the soil or container is not draining the water sufficiently enough. You can notice root rot forming if the root of the plant starts turning dark brown or even black.

The roots texture could also change from being firm to a little more mushy. To combat this, cut back on your watering and make sure you are using well-draining soil and a container that allows the water to drain properly at all times. 

Leaf Spots

This is an indicator that the water you are supplying the plant with has too much fluoride or other chemicals found in tap water. Alternatively, it could also mean your fertilizer is not correct or does not have enough organic matter in it.

Try using rainwater or bottled, distilled water for your plant and if you use fertilizer, try to keep it as organic as possible.

Calathea Peacock – FAQs

Growinng Goeppertia Makoyana

Is Calathea Makoyana the same as Goeppertia Makoyana?

Yes, they are the same plant. Should you come across gardening guides which mention the Goeppertia Makoyana, do not be dismayed. This is still the same tender, evergreen perennial plant.

The Calathea Makoyana has recently been reclassified and is now known as Goeppertia Makoyana. 

Is Calathea Makoyana easy to grow?

Yes, these plants are easy to grow and care for indoors. Outdoor locations would require a little more effort and maintenance. 

How often should I water a Calathea Makoyana?

Calatheas love water and moist soil. It is recommended to water your Calathea Makoyana every three to four days on average. Remember to always check the soil to make sure it needs water.

Should you find your soil is a little too dry most of the time, increase watering to every two to three days. 

Do Peacock plants close at night? 

Calatheas are also known as the living plant and yes, they do indeed close their leaves at night and reopen them in the morning.

Looking for more Calathea varieties to grow in your home? Don't miss our Calathea growing guides below: 

Wrapping up Our Calathea Makoyana Guide

So, there you have it, everything you need to know to grow this spectacular plant. This plant is grown easier indoors where little maintenance is required other than frequent watering.

Should you wish to grow the Calathea Peacock plant outdoors, be sure to select the perfect location. Overall, this leafy, luscious and loved Calathea is an excellent option for those who want to add a touch of wild beauty to their homes and living spaces.

With vivid hues of green and dark pink, topped with a distinctive leaf pattern, this beauty is bound to turn heads in your home.  

About the Author Mabel Vasquez

Mabel has enjoyed a long career as a horticulturist, working in nurseries and greenhouses for many years. Although she loves all plants, Mabel has developed a particular passion over the years for herb gardens and indoor plants. Mabel has since retired from her horticulture career and loves sharing her many years of experience with our audience here at Sumo Gardener.

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