Peacock Plant

By: Larry Hodgson

Proudly held foliage is a trademark of the peacock plant.See more pictures of house plants.

Peacock plants are, like the bird, very decorative and showy. While the foliage may not contain the exact colors of the peacock, it displays vivid shades of green and maroon and is carried very proudly like the peacock's tail.

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Peacock plants are grown for their decorative foliage, often heavily marked in intriguing patterns on the top and colored deep maroon below. Most have oblong leaves rising from clustered rosettes at soil level. Some leaves are attractively waved at the edges. The greenish flowers are of little interest.

The leaves quickly burn along the edges if exposed to dry air, but the plant will usually recuperate if humidity is restored. Smaller-leaved varieties tend to need less humidity.


Peacock Plant Quick Facts

Scientific Name:Calathea sp.

Common Names: Peacock Plant, Cathedral Windows, Zebra Plant

Light Requirement for Peacock Plant: Bright Light to Filtered Light

Water Requirement for Peacock Plant: Evenly Moist

Humidityfor Peacock Plant: High

Temperaturefor Peacock Plant: House

Fertilizerfor Peacock Plant: Balanced

Potting Mixfor Peacock Plant: All-Purpose

Propagationof Peacock Plant: Division

Decorative Usefor Peacock Plant: Floor, Table

Care Ratingfor Peacock Plant: Demanding


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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:Larry Hodgson is a full time garden writer out of Quebec City in the heart of French Canada where he grows well over 3,000 species and varieties. His book credits include Making the Most of Shade, The Garden Lovers Guide to Canada, Perennials for Every Purpose, Annuals for Every Purpose, Houseplants for Dummies, and Ortho's Complete Guide to Houseplants, as well as other titles in English and French. He's the winner of the Perennial Plant Association's 2006 Garden Media Award.