Calatheas are popular house plants thanks to their impressive foliage. There are many species and cultivars to choose from, with the shape, size and pattern of the leaf varying for each. This fun and flamboyant foliage gives Calatheas a range of common names including Peacock Plant, Zebra Plant and Rattlesnake Plant.


Botanical name


Common names

Peacock Plant, Zebra Plant or Rattlesnake Plant

Potential height

Around 60cm

The ideal position for Calatheas

Native to tropical America, Calatheas really don’t like the cold. Position your indoor beauty in a well-lit spot, but out of direct sunlight which can burn the leaves.

Calatheas can be planted outdoors in warm climates - keep in mind, they do not tolerate frost - and are typically used as part of a tropical-inspired landscape. Shade is a must for outdoor-planted calatheas, just like in their native environment, where they're sheltered beneath the tall rainforest canopy.

Calathea plants


How to care for your Calathea

Keep the soil moist but not wet throughout warmer periods. In winter, you can afford to go a little longer between waterings, as the soil tends to take longer to dry out in cool weather. Help recreate your calathea's much-loved native humid environment at home by misting the leaves with water weekly, especially if they're positioned around drying heaters and air conditioning. If you notice dry, brown tips on your Calathea foliage it's mostly like due to dry air, so mist more regularly or move your plant out of the direct path of these appliances or any natural draughts.

Your Calathea will appreciate a liquid feed once a month and wipe the leaves down with a damp cloth regularly to keep the foliage looking amazing.

Calathea's clumping form can mean that they need re-potting from time to time, but thankfully the clumps are easy to divide to create multiple potted plants.

Pests and diseases to watch out for

Calatheas are rarely attacked by pests or disease. If in a low-light position or overly dry soil, you could find sap-sucking mealy bugs. These insects hide under a white, mealy covers that look like small pieces of fluffy cotton wool. Treat with an oil- or soap-based pesticide, and improve growing conditions by moving your plant into a position with more light and increase watering to limit the chances of a reoccurrence.