Calathea makoyana

Common Name: peacock plant 
Type: Herbaceous perennial
Family: Marantaceae
Native Range: Eastern Brazil
Zone: 11 to 12
Height: 1.00 to 2.00 feet
Spread: 0.75 to 1.00 feet
Bloom Time: Seasonal bloomer
Bloom Description: Purple to white
Sun: Part shade to full shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Medium
Flower: Insignificant
Leaf: Colorful, Evergreen


With good humidity and warmth, this plant can be an extremely attractive indoor foliage plant for the St. Louis area. Best grown with a well-drained humusy potting mixture. Plants may be sited in part shade to shade locations. Plants need high humidity which can be difficult to provide in winter. Consider growing in a humidified room or in an indoor greenhouse. Water regularly to keep soils moist during the growing season. Does not require winter dormancy, but appreciates a resting period with reduced watering from fall to late winter.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Calathea makoyana, commonly called peacock plant or cathedral windows is native to eastern Brazil. It is named for its striking foliage that purportedly resembles the beauty of a peacock’s tail. It is a compact species that typically grows to 1-2’ tall. It features reddish-stemmed, broad-oval leaves (to 12” long) with pale cream backgrounds and oval dark green designs and striping. Dark green markings are pinkish-purple on the leaf reverses. Purple and white flowers are somewhat insignificant and rarely appear on indoor plants.

Genus name comes from the Latin word calathus meaning basket in reference to the inflorescence looking like a basket of flowers.


Watch for aphids, scale and spider mites. Plants do not thrive in low humidity where leaves may roll or brown up.


Houseplant for bright areas with little direct sun.