Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Cathedral Windows, Peacock Plant
Calathea makoyana

Family: Marantaceae
Genus: Calathea (ka-LAY-thee-uh) (Info)
Species: makoyana (mak-koy-AH-nuh) (Info)

7 members have or want this plant for trade.


24-36 in. (60-90 cm)
36-48 in. (90-120 cm)

18-24 in. (45-60 cm)

USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)
USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)
USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Sun Exposure:
Light Shade
Partial to Full Shade
Full Shade


Bloom Color:
White/Near White

Bloom Time:

Grown for foliage

Other details:
Requires consistently moist soil; do not let dry out between waterings

Soil pH requirements:
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
By dividing the rootball

Seed Collecting:
Unknown - Tell us

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3 positives
2 neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive keimanu On Dec 26, 2013, keimanu from Bellair-Meadowbrook Terrace, FL wrote:

Incredible plant growing in a pot outside here in Jacksonville that I found in a local nursery.
I can make small plants to share especially if you have any small everglades palm plants to share

Positive BayAreaTropics On Sep 24, 2012, BayAreaTropics from Hayward, CA wrote:

A few years ago Home Depot had many variety's of Calathea and Maranta's for I bought 8 or 9 different types...5-6 years later only Ctenanthe "tricolor" and the Peacock plant are still alive..and better-thriving.
Peacock plant likes a east windowsill here in the bay area..morning sun is greeted with facing leaves. I also drop on it sometimes used Lipton tea leaves--bags cut open and the shredded insides spread on the Peacock.
One more..your better with a cool and mild room then a hot dry room for all these plants..although Ctenantha "tricolor" can take even hot and low humidity...a bonus review!

Positive JayFond On May 26, 2012, JayFond from Kuala Lumpur
Malaysia wrote:

As with all Calatheas, these plants indicate their displeasure quickly with less than ideal soil, water and sun.

The two biggest mistakes that are made are (a) overwatering (sometimes compounded by a heavy soil) and (b) too much sun. In nature, they live in the shade of large trees, in very fertile soil that rain runs off quickly, with a layer of decaying organic matter constantly providing nutrients. Not easy to replicate in an 8" pot!

The plant will be much better off if standard potting soil (which should be rich and organic) is amended to make it truly free-draining. There are so many ways of doing this - Perlite, river sand, sphagnum moss, etc. or some of the more modern alternatives. Check the soil for the first month to see when it starts drying. The leaves curling inwards *can* be a sign that they're feeling dry (but can also be the exact opposite) so you can get a watering rhythm based on your observation (though don't wait for the plant to get stressed, of course.) If soil surface is damp to touch, hold off until the soil is pat-dry but there is clearly damper soil about 1-2 inches below.

The Makoyana looks great when displayed elevated, with bright indirect light behind it. The beautiful inner structure of the leaves will then make you understand its rarer nickname, "Cathedral Windows". But no sun rays striking the leaves directly, they do scorch easily in this species.

Neutral Jakey_GigisMom On Feb 23, 2005, Jakey_GigisMom from Mission, TX wrote:

I am wondering if anyone can help me out...I have this plant in my living room and it was doing well for about two weeks. Now, it seems to droop a lot and the leaves are curling in. I have tried to water it, then I tried letting it dry out a bit, then I gave it light (although I know if prefers low light). It doesn't get a draft and there is not direct natural light on it. Any suggestions? I love the way it looks and I hope I can save it. Thanks.

Neutral smiln32 On Nov 30, 2004, smiln32 from Oklahoma City, OK (Zone 7a) wrote:

I have grown this as a houseplant before and seem to do nothing more than kill it. I think I pay too much attention to it, though. It likes humidity, but not overly wet soil. It likes rich humus soil, but not soil-less potting mixtures. Aphids can be a problem if you take it out during the summer and bring it back indoors.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Bartow, Florida
Orange Park, Florida
Clinton, Mississippi
Scio, Oregon

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