How to Care for an Indoor Plant Called Calathea


Calathea (Calathea makoyana) is a fussy plant with a specific set of guidelines that must be met for it to survive. However, once you've mastered care and feeding of the calathea plant, you'll be rewarded with strikingly beautiful leaves, which are purple underneath with green stripes on top. Native to the jungles of Central and South America, calathea is appropriately nicknamed "peacock plant."

Step 1

Increase humidity around calathea by setting the container on a saucer filled with wet pebbles. Don't allow the pebbles to dry out, but keep the water level low so that the water doesn't touch the bottom of the container. Never allow the container to sit in standing water.

Step 2

Keep the potting soil evenly moist at all times. Calathea will also benefit from being sprayed daily with a fine mist. Always water calathea with room-temperature distilled water as the minerals in tap water are harmful to the plant.

Step 3

Feed calathea monthly during spring, summer and fall, using an all-purpose liquid fertilizer for indoor plants that has been diluted to half strength. Don't fertilize calathea during the winter months.

Step 4

Repot calathea every spring, using a potting mixture made of three parts commercial potting soil and one part peat moss. The container should be just one size larger.

Step 5

Keep calathea in a warm room with temperatures between 70 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit.

Things You'll Need

  • Saucer
  • Wet pebbles
  • Plant mister
  • Distilled water
  • Liquid fertilizer for indoor plants
  • Container for repotting
  • Commercial potting soil
  • Peat moss


  • University of Florida: Calathea makoyana
  • Top Tropicals: Calathea makoyana, Maranta makoyana
  • Peacock Plant
Keywords: peacock plant, calathea, water calathea

About this Author

M.H. Dyer is a long-time writer, editor and proofreader. She has been a contributor to the East-Oregonian Newspaper and See Jane Run magazine, and is author of a memoir, “The Tumbleweed Chronicles, a Sideways Look at Life." She holds an Master of Fine Arts from National University, San Diego.