Posts Tagged ‘Peacock Plant’

Calathea makoyana

Common name: Peacock Plant, Cathedral Windows, Brain Plant, Calathea Peacock

Family: Marantaceae

Synonymous: Calathea olivaris
Goeppertia makoyana
Maranta iconifera
Maranta makoyana
Maranta olivaris
Phyllodes mackoyana

Calathea makoyana

Calathea makoyana

Distribution and habitat: Calathea makoyana is a species of evergreen perennial native to eastern Brazil, occurring in the undergrowth of the tropical forests. It grows from a thick rhizome and reaches a height of 30-50cm (12-20 inch). In their native environment, the soils are sandy and seasonally moist, not consistently wet.

Description: Calathea makoyana is a tropical plant with decorative foliage. Although the leaves may seem to rise directly from the root stock, they are normally connected to short multi-trunked or clumping stems. It has roughly oval leaves 25-30cm (10-12 inch) long on 25-30cm (10-12 inch) long stalks and they turn slightly to display the pinkish-maroon underside as well as the green upper surface. Both surfaces have very fine lines running from the central vein in a V-shape to the leaf edges, along with elliptic patches dark green on the upper surface and deep maroon on the underside. The new leaves are rolled up when they emerge and are pinkish-red on the undersides.
Flowers may be seen peeping through pale green bracks on mature plants, but they are insignificant. They are white and appear periodically throughout the year.
The Calathea makoyana plants will reach their maturity and ultimate height in an interval between 5 to 10 years.

Hoseplant care: Typically tropical, Calathea makoyana need heat and humidity and shade from direct sunlight. Remove the dying or discoloured leaves.

Light: Calathea makoyana prefers medium light – for example at a tree-shaded window. Bright light is often the cause of spoiling the foliage.
Move the plant outdoor in the spring and summer, bringing them indoors in autumn.

Temperature: A temperature ranging between 16°C (60°F) and 21°C (70°F) is ideal. In warmer rooms high humidity is essential and the foliage should be mist-sprayed daily. Rainwater is excellent for this, since it leaves no unsightly white lime deposit.

Watering: During the active growth period water plants plentifully – as often as necessary to keep the potting mixture thoroughly moist. In the rest period water moderately, enough to make the potting mixture moist, but allow the top centimetre (0.4 inch) or so of the potting mixture to dry out between waterings. Use water at room temperature.

Feeding: Calathea makoyana should be given generous amounts of standard liquid fertiliser every two weeks during the active growth period. Additional, foliar fertiliser with nitrogen or iron content can be used if the foliage colour needs improvement.

Potting and repotting: Add up to one third leaf mould or peat moss to a soil based potting mixture. In later case, however, the mixture must be kept constantly supplied with application of liquid fertiliser when plants are in active growth. Healthy plants need to be moved into pots one size larger every year – which should preferably take place in late spring or early summer.

Gardening: Calathea makoyana can be grown outdoors in warm, sheltered, frost free climate in draught-free conditions.
The dead leaves should be pruned away.

Position: Bright or direct light will cause the leaves to appear washed out. Calathea makoyana plants need shade from full sun, but can stand a little morning sun.
Very low light will cause leaf colour to pale.

Soils: Calathea makoyana thrive in well-drained acidic soils and will grow in clay, sand or loam soils as long as they are given sufficient organic material. Amend garden soil with organic matter such as compost and ground bark to enhace both drainage and water-holding capacity.
Keep the plants mulched with 3cm (1 inch) of organic matter such as ground bark. Work the mulch into the bad as it rots and replace it with fresh one.
Space the plants 30cm (12 inch) apart in beds.

Irrigation: Water only as the soil begins to dry. Water thoroughly, keep soil evenly moist to touch (not saturated). Do not allow plants to sit in water. In winter, water only when the soil becomes dry and do not soak the soil to avoid root rot.
Prepare to water outdoor plantings very regularly, using shaker hoses or dip irrigation.

Fetiliser: Feed with a liquid fertiliser every two weeks during spring and summer and once a month during autumn and winter. Do not fertilise the plant too often as overfertilising may cause leaf spots.

Propagation: In late spring divide any overcrowded clumps of Calathea makoyana, making sure that some roots remain on each part. Plant the sections in 8cm (3 inch) pots of moistened standard mixture, enclose them in plastic bags and keep them in medium light. Remove the plastic bag when the new roots have formed on the sections.

Brown tips or edges on leaves indicate low humidity, fluoride in water or too much fertilizer.
Treatment: Increase the humidity around plants by placing the pots on trays of moistened pebbles. Use only soft water to water the plant or to spray the foliage. Flush the pot with water to wash the potting mixture from fertiliser surplus.

Plants do not thrive in low humidity where leaves may roll or brown up.
Treatment: Increase the humidity around plants by placing the pots on trays of moistened pebbles. Additionally mist-spray the plants with soft water. Water the plant adequatelly in high temperatures.

New leaves that are lighter in color are not getting enough nitrogen or iron.
Treatment: If the fertiliser does not contain nitrogen and iron nutrients, use a foliar spray that lists these nutrients on their label. Improvements should appear within a few weeks.

Calathea makoyana plants tend to be vulnerable to root rot.
Treatment: Avoid constantly wet soil. Water the plants only when necessary as recommended.

Spider mites are common plant pests of the Calathea makoyana plant. Signs of an infestation include bronzing, flecking or scorching of leaves. Once injured, the leaves will fall off and the plant may die if the infestation is not controlled.
Treatment: To control spider mites, ensure the plant has adequate water. Occasionally hose the dust off leaf surfaces to remove and kill spider mites. For heavier infestations use suitable miticides, but these do not affect the eggs and must be repeated in two-week intervals until the mites are under control.

Watch for aphids and scale insects.
Treatment: Remove the scale insects by gently scraping them off. Aphids should be removed by hand. Isolate plants that show signs of insect pest infestation to prevent infestation of other plants.

Slugs and snails may damage the beautiful foliage of these plants.
Treatment: These pests are controlled using an appropriate molluscicide, both pellet and liquid forms or by hand pick at regular inspections.

Bacterial diseases which may affect Calathea makoyana plant is Pseudomonas leaf spot.
Fungal diseases which may affect Calathea makoyana plant are Alternaria leaf spot, Fusarium root rot and Helminthosporium leaf spot.
Parasitic nematodes which may affect Calathea makoyana plant are Burrowing and Root-knot.
Viral diseases which may affect Calathea makoyana plant is Mosaic.
Treatment: Prevent and treat most fungal and bacterial diseases with a broad spectrum bio-fungicide which uses a patented strain of Bacillus subtilis that is registered for organic use. Isolate or discard affected plants to contain the diseases. Sanitize the soil and containers of the affected plants.

Note: Calatheas are closely related to marantas and species from the two genera are often confused.

Companion plants: Calathea makoyana plant is excellent in combinations with Burbidgea scheizocheila (Golden Brush Ginger) and cane Begonia species and looks sweet beneath Medinilla magnifica (Malaysian Orchids) and Rhapis excelsa (Lady Palms). It will work good when planted with Orchid, Aglaonema or Bromeliad species.

Uses and display: The handsome leaves of Calathea makoyana plant are the attraction for tropical gardeners and indoor plant lovers as well. These warm climate plants will grow well under taller plants in their dappled shade or under trees. They will make a wonderful ground cover foliage in shaded positions.
Also, this plant is perfect for home or office if humidity can be provided. It is perfect for all kinds of containers and is very decorative on a small table or in a hanging basket. Calathea makoyana plant are mostly used for sub-tropical patio planting or as container plants. They look best when grouped with other foliage plants. Also, as these plants need high humidity and are relatively small in size, they can be used in a bottle garden or terrarium.


Foliage – variegate
Shape – bushy
Height: 30-50cm (12-20 inch)
Spread: 45-60cm (18-24 inch)

Watering in rest period – moderately
Watering in active growth period – plentifully
Light – medium
Temperature in rest period – min 16°C max 21°C (61-70°F)
Temperature in active growth period – min 16°C max 21°C (61-70°F)
Humidity – high

Hardiness zone: 10a-11

Calathea makoyana leafCalathea makoyana Calathea makoyana Calathea makoyana flowersCalathea makoyana

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Calathea warscewiczii

Synonym: Maranta warscewiczii, Phrynium warscewiczii
Family: Marantaceae

Common name: Prayer Plant, Calathea, Calathea Plant

Calathea Warscewiczii

Calathea Warscewiczii

Description: Calathea warscewiczii  is a tropical and tender evergreen perennial herbaceous plant native to Costa Rica and Nicaragua and produces lanceoate leaves that have a dark green background and an attractive fishtail pattern on the upperside of the leaves. The wonderful coloured leaves of Calathea warscewiczii are completed by a  velvet-fuzzy texture, an attribute of this particular species.  Calathea warscewiczii can grow up to 0.5 to 1 metres (20-40 inch) high, 0.5 to 1 metres (20-40 inch) wide. The leaves have a contrasting maroon-purple coloured on the reverse of each leaf .
Besides its attractive leaves, Calathea warscewiczii also produces showy cone-like inflorescences. The bracts that cover the cone are creamy white in colour when they first emerge and they gradually turn to yellow and take on a pinkish hue with time. They are spirally arranged around the cone and the rims of these bracts fold over the edge, which make the entire cone looks somewhat like a rose flower when viewed from the top!

Care: Calathea warscewiczii needs to be grown in an area with bright, filtered sunshine. Like most other sensitive calatheas, direct sunlight can burn the leaves of this plant. This plant likes to be grown in an area with high humidity and protected from winds.

Light: Place the Calathea warscewiczii plants in an area of the home or garden that remains bright during the day, but receives very little direct sunlight. Direct sunlight can bleach the color out of the leaves, and can even curl or burn the leaves. Calathea warscewiczii should be kept in partial shade especially during the hotter months of the year. During the cooler winter months, the Calathea warscewiczii should be moved to a brighter area to provides a fair amount of sunlight, but still should not be exposed in direct sunlight. Direct sunlight will not only dull the vibrant colors of the plant, it can scorch the leaves and ultimately kill the plant.

Temperature: The Calathea warscewiczii prefers average to warm air temperatures: 18-27°C (65-80°F) year-round. During the cold months, the Calathea warscewiczii should be kept at temperatures of 16°C (60°F) and above. Sudden drops in the air temperature can damage the foliage.

Water: Water Calathea warscewiczii depending on the season. During the growing season and during warm or hot temperatures, keep the soil moist but not soaking. In the winter and during cold temperatures, allow the soil to become slightly dry before watering again. Place Calathea warscewiczii’s pot in a pebble tray filled with water. This will help keep the humidity high near the plant.  Keep well watered in summer; Calathea warscewiczii love high humidity mist. The soil should be kept moist at all times but should not be water-logged.

Water Calathea warscewiczii with distilled or bottled water. Hard water and contaminants sometimes found in tap water can damage the plant’s roots. Soft, tepid water is best for watering the Calathea warscewiczii.

Leaves that become curled, spotted, or appear to have yellowed are signs that the Calathea warscewiczii is not receiving enough water.

Humidity: The Calathea warscewiczii is a humid-loving plant and should be misted regularly. The soil can be surrounded with damp peat to help provide and retain humidity levels. For rooms that have low levels of humidity, a humidifier can help maintain humidity levels that this plant needs. The ideal temperature for a Calathea warscewiczii is between 18-27°C (65-80°F) with a humidity level above 70 percent. Try to maintain at least 50% relative humidity year-round.

Browning of the foliage tips or loss of leaves can be a sign that the plant is not getting the humidity that it requires.

Wintering: Keep warm minimum of 16°C (60°F). During the winter months (non-growing season), reduce the amount of water provided as too much water in the cooler weather may lead to rotting stems.

Display Calathea warscewiczii in light shade during summer. Brighter in winter but keep out of direct sun, this will dull the colour of the leaves, and could be fatal!

Soil: Peat-rich potting mix. Loam with high organic matter.

It is best to grow Calathea warscewiczii in well-drained mix that is rich in organic matter. The fibrous roots need to be in contact with moist soil at all times and it should not be allowed to dry out completely. Mulch generously to help keep the roots moist and cool. Waterlogged conditions should also be avoided as roots can rot away.
When the plant is grown in an area that is too hot, dry or windy, its leaves will curl up into a roll and leaf edges will likely to turn brown as well. Unhappy plants tend to exhibit stunted growth. It is a challenging plant to grow in highrise apartments due to the dry and often windy conditions.

Fertilizer: Feed Calathea warscewiczii with a liquid fertilizer diluted by half every 2 weeks spring through fall or feed with a very weak solution when watering the plant. Use only water-soluble fertilizers and follow product instructions regarding the amount of fertilizer to use, as this will vary depending on the size of the plant. Do not use fertilizer at full strength or fertilize the plant too often. Overfertilizing can cause leaf spots.

Pruning tip: Calathea warscewiczii will benefit from occasional pruning, which helps to give it a nice shape and promote new growth. Fall is the best time to cut it back. Use sharp pruners to cut away some of the older leaves.

Re-potting: The Calathea warscewiczii should be re-potted every two years, preferably in the spring. A peat-based potting mix will help the plant retain moisture and humidity. Propagation can be done when the plant is being repotted.

Do not repot too often and use a peat based compost.

Propagation: By dividing rhizomes, tubers, corms or bulbs (including offsets).

In spring, take 10 cm (4-inch) stem cuttings with 3-4 leaves attached. Root them in moist potting mix. When the plant gets too big, it can easily divide it in half by pulling apart its shallow roots. Propagated plants should be kept warm until they have been established.

Uses: Common as houseplants the Calathea warscewiczii are a stunning plants. With bold leaf markings as well as the bonus of the purple underside they are a great choice for a shady room. In warm climate condition Calathea warscewiczii is a beautiful plant for shady areas in a tropical themed garden.

Problems: Watch for spider mites. Dry indoor air in the winter months encourages these pests to invade house plants, another reason to keep the humidity up. A webbing will be noticed between stems and on the undersides of leaves.


Hardiness Zone 11: above 4.5 °C (40 °F)
Climate Zones: humid subtropical to humid tropical
Sun Exposure: Partial to Full Shade
Tropicals and Tender Perennials
Size: 0.5 to 1 metres  (20-40 inch) high, 0.5 to 1 metres  (20-40 inch) wide
Bloom Color: Pale Pink
Bloom Time: Blooms repeatedly
Foliage: Grown for foliage, Evergreen, Mid green and light green, Velvet/Fuzzy-Textured
Flower colour: White
Propagation Methods: By dividing rhizomes, tubers, corms or bulbs
Maintenance: Low

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