This funky guy comes from the steamy jungle of Brazil and rather appropriately it is also known as the peacock plant. By lifting its 'plumes' it goes to sleep every night and greets you every morning by opening up.
Light shade best described by East or West facing window. Avoid direct sunlight.
Keep moist but not soggy from April - August. Reduce water during winter month but don’t allow soil to dry out.
Humidity and temperature
Mist once every two weeks with a fine mister using lukewarm water. Do not allow the temperature to drop below 10°C (50°F).
Feeding and repotting
Feed from April – August with a diluted liquid fertiliser every two weeks. Repot every other year; shake off the old soil and add fresh medium to reinvigorate the plant.
Quick guide to common problems and how to deal with them.
If the leaves are yellowing and falling off slowly over time, this is not a reason to be alarmed. It is a natural cycle of the plant renewal; old leaves dying back to make room for new growth.
Dry foliage or leaves with brown lower edges.
A sign of low humidity and a result of under watering. To speed up recovery increase watering and misting. Ensure fine mister is used, since sitting water on the foliage causes fungal and bacterial growth.
Droopy, curling leaves, with limp stems.
Draughts and cold cause the plant to go into shock. Check for any cold air currents and move the plant out of the way.
Grey fine mould on the leaves and stems.
This is known as Botrytis cinerea, which is a necrotrophic fungus caused by too much humidity.
It is unlikely that Calathea will suffer with this in a home setting, however should this happen, ensure there is a good air circulation around the plant, which will allow for the excess moisture to evaporate.
Leaves are turning pale green suddenly.
The plant is too hot. Move it out of direct sunlight and check the leaves for scorch marks. Check the soil isn't too dry and if it is give it a good drink.