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How to Care for your Peacock Plant

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How to Care for your Peacock Plant

What is a Peacock Plant?

The leaves of this plant draw gardeners and non gardeners alike as the watermelon-like leaf pattern is especially attractive along with the contrasting maroon-purple color on the reverse side. This tropical is an evergreen perennial in its native homeland in South America. Their leaves move in relation to light which is why it gets the common name ‘Prayer Plant’ since the leaves fold upward. Their beauty is appreciated and valued for their beautiful foliage and will add an interesting tropical vibe to any green space.

Toxicity Level:

Safe for humans, pets, cats and dogs.

Air Cleaner:

Great at keeping the air in your space clean!

Great for People:

  • Who need a hobby and like challenges
  • Who are nurturers with no kids at home
  • With lots of bright indirect southern exposure
  • Who like their homes warm
  • Who love an exotic touch to their green spaces

Great for Space:

Rooms that need an exotic punch of color in the room

How to Care for a Peacock Plant

Light preference:

Medium to bright indirect light. Never direct sunlight. Give it at least 8 hours of bright light a day. Preferably a southern or two direction exposure.

Water/Humidity:

Enjoys high humidity between 50-60%. Spritz daily or set up a humidifier. You can also set up a pebble tray with water and set them on to create adequate humidity levels. Peacock plants like medium moisture but not standing in water or soggy soil. Water with rainwater, filtered or bottled water at room temperature when they are partially dry. (They don’t like hard water.) Check all the way around the plant for moisture levels. Using a moisture meter may be helpful too.

Ideal Temps:

Above 65°F or above. They will start to fail below this temperature. Their favorite is 75°F or above. Keep these indoor plants out of a drafty location.

Plant Food/Fertilizer:

Fertilize once a month  for optimum growth and plant health.

Repotting Frequency:

Each spring divide any overcrowded clumps of your indoor plant. Use an African Violet potting mix. Depending on how big your plant has become, either propagate or replant in a bigger container each year. Normally increase the pot size by 1-2 inches in diameter with a drainage hole.

To propagate, moisten the mix for planting.  Gently lift the plant out of the container, and move the soil away from the roots.  Observe where the joints attach to the stems. Gently pry and divide stems and root segments. Transplant into multiple pots, covering the roots as before. Enclose the new plantings in plastic bags and keep them in medium light. Remove the plastic bag when the roots are established. You may observe some leaf changes as it acclimates to its new environment. It may suffer some transplant shock depending on how tight the roots were intertwined together. Trim off any declining leaves as it regains its energy and gets rooted into the soil over time.

Cleaning:

Gently wipe any dust off the leaves with a clean, damp cloth. Support the leaf as you gently wipe down each leaf being careful not to bend the stems. Another way is to put in a shower and fill a watering can with filtered water and rinse the leaves. Groom this indoor plant regularly by removing any discolored leaves. Spritz both sides of the leaves to ensure it gets adequate humidity.

Common Issues of the Peacock Plant

  • Browning edges or rolling leaves can mean low humidity levels or the water has high salts, fluorides and chlorines.
  • Leaves falling off, scorched, bronzing or flecked leaves are a sign of spider mite infestation. Use a miticide and repeat application every two-weeks until the mites are under control.
  • Over watering can lead to root rot. Avoid constantly wet soil.
  • Lack of the right temperature or humidity levels

Complimentary Plants with your Peacock plant:

Enjoy the Lady Palm with your Peacock Plant. It’s complimentary shaped leaves and height make it an attractive addition. It requires the same light intensity and is safe for pets too. This one doesn’t require as much attention and is super easy to care for and perfect for beginner indoor plant gardeners.

Another excellent choice and similar in gardening needs is the Money Tree Plant. This one is also pet friendly, loves bright, indirect light and requires comparable humidity levels.

For more information on caring for your new indoor plant, check out our comprehensive care guide here.

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