Peacock plants (Calathea makoyana).
Peacock plants (Calathea makoyana). lizfernandezg

A different kind of 'pet'

Have you ever thought of having a peacock, zebra or rattlesnake in your living room? It's possible, as long as it's the leafy kind.

Calatheas, sometimes called peacock, zebra or rattlesnake plants, are a diverse group of tropical looking foliage plants with very attractive colourful and patterned leaves. Some species have distinct dark markings on their leaves, others have burgundy colouring or beautiful white patterns.

Calatheas can be grown outdoors in a sheltered spot (such as underneath the shade of an established tree) in warm climates and are a wonderful inclusion in tropical garden designs.

Calatheas also make a fantastic lush indoor plant in a brightly lit spot that is protected from direct sunlight.

If you're planting a calathea out in the garden, enrich the soil in the planting hole first with some dynamic lifter.

For potted calatheas, choose a medium sized pot with good drainage holes and fill with a good quality potting mix.

Keep the soil or potting mix moist, but not wet, and feed regularly with an all-purpose liquid plant food, which is a complete plant food that contains a balanced blend of the nutrients required to promote healthy and colourful leaf growth.


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