The Plant: A showy foliage plant with large oval well-marked leaves, darker centrally, with heavy venation giving rise to a striped effect.
Calatheas rarely flower when grown as a houseplant, and in any event, the flower is not showy.
Its needs: Originating in the Brazilian rain-forest, the Peacock plant enjoys heat and high humidity, but no direct sunlight. Bright sunshine will cause scorch of the leaves. Plant sulks if subjected to a sudden fall in temperature. A loose open soil mix allowing free-drainage should be used.
Care: Water regularly and mist-spray the leaves. Place plant on
or near a saucer of water to increase local humidity. Use a
foliar (leaf) feed, but water this onto potting mix not directly onto
the leaves as it could mark them. Reduce
watering and feeding during
winter months. If Calathea has outgrown its pot divide it carefully in
late spring. Watch for signs of
Aphids, red spider mite or
mealy bug. If
detected treat with insecticide. Do not allow Peacock plant to dry out.
Good for: Stunning foliage plant.
Propagation: Calatheas can be divided in Late spring, re-potting each division into a pot of good multi-purpose potting mix.