Pronounced: (cal-uh-thee-ah mah-coy-ahn-uh) Fast facts:
commonly known as 'peacock plant' or 'cathedral windows'
a flowering tropical evergreen low shrub that is native to Brazil
non-toxic to cats and dogs
member of the family 'marantaceae' of which prayer plants are also a member, though in a different genus (maranta)
A revered genus, Calathea are truly a crowd pleaser that will not fail to impress with their showy foliage. The peacock plant, as well as other members of this genus, love high humidity environments and its important to be mindful of not placing them directly in front of heating or air conditioning vents. They will not appreciate the dry air! Small ways to increase humidity are by placing bowls of water near plants, grouping plants together, or setting plants on a tray of water filled with pebbles so that water is underneath plants, but not touching the pots. Medium-to-low lighting conditions are best, and the soil would like to be moist to touch, but not soggy. To achieve this, it can be helpful to plant into a medium with proportional amounts of peat moss and perlite. Fertilizing these plants on alternating weeks during the growing season will aid in healthy growth. Browning at tips is somewhat common in a home environment, and is usually due to a lack of humidity, or fluoride present in the water. In happy conditions, the peacock plant will reward you with blooms of small purple flowers!