Propagating plants is a fun way to get more plants you love for little or no money. The peacock plant is a beautiful foliage plant you cannot get enough of. Let’s learn how peacock plant propagation is done the right way!
The peacock plant or cathedral widows have the scientific name calathea makoyna. It is a species from a genus of primarily rizhomous flowering plants known as Goeppertia. This plant is native to brazil and likes warmth, humidity, and sunlight.
This beauty was given the Award of Merit by the Royal Horticultural Society. It has large ovate silvery green leaves with a dark green midrib and veins. It is known for its regular pattern of dark green dots on either side of the midrib. These dots are purple on the leaves’ underside. The design of dots is similar to the eyes on peacocks’ feathers. That’s where they get their name from.
This gorgeous plant is a clump-forming evergreen perennial. That means it rarely loses leaves except for disease and continues to grow over the years. It is a quick grower and needs re-potting often to avoid being root bound.
While re-potting your calathea, you may notice several swollen root nodules. These root nodules are actually rhizomes and a sign your plant has a healthy root system.
Is Peacock Plant Propagation With Leaf Cuttings Possible?
Unfortunately, you cannot propagate your calathea makoyana through leaf cuttings. Usually, an advantageous way to utilize leaves is accidentally broken off. This method won’t work here. You’ll have to chuck any accidentally broken leaves into the compost bin.
Only one part of the plant allows propagative growth. That is the base where the leaf stems clump together or the rhizome.
How to Propagate Peacock Plant
Propagating any plant is exciting but unnerving at the same time. You can’t wait to see your new plants grow. At the same time, you are worried about a cutting failing and ruining a perfectly good plant. The worst-case scenario is that most of your cuttings fail, leaving you with a diminished mother plant. However, don’t fear! We will give you tips to ensure that all your cuttings are successful.
Supplies For Peacock Plant Propagation
Here are the supplies you will need to propagate your peacock plant.
You can make the base of the potting soil mix with regular garden soil. We will use this potting soil mixture to plant the cuttings in. Garden soil has plenty of nutrients, so you don’t have to invest in expensive potting soil.
Vermiculite is an excellent drainage soil additive to aerate the soil. Along with helping the cutting roots get oxygen, vermiculite holds on to water nutrients well.
Instead of top dressing the new cuttings and risking over fertilization, we will rely on liquid fertilizer we can dilute as required. Over fertilization can lead to leaves burning at the edges.
Small Terracotta pots with drainage holes
All our plant cuttings will need a new home to grow and establish themselves as new peacock plants. Terracotta pots will do fine, but you can recycle plastic cups by adding drainage holes.
Little Water Trays
Calathea makoyana loves humidity. You’ll need to ensure that your cuttings get adequate humidity until they stabilize and grow more leaves. Even after that, they need plenty of humidity. You can accomplish that by putting trays under the pots and adding water to them. These trays can also catch any water that trickles out of the pot’s drainage holes.
You cannot let the pots sit in water, or else the roots will be devoid of air and develop root rot. To ensure that the pots don’t get wet while sitting in a water tray, we’ll use pebble to raise them a little. That way, as the water in the trays evaporates, they provide the plant with humidity without wetting the plant roots.
While separating the mother plant into cuttings, we will need a sharp knife. The knife has to be sharp to make clean cuts and not bruise the plant. If we injure the plant, there’s a bigger chance of it developing rot or fungal infection.
When we replant the plant cuttings, we will need to give it a watering. For that, we need a watering can. You probably already have a watering can in your home. If you don’t, you can use a regular water bottle and water your plants carefully.
Steps for Peacock Plant Propagation
Here’s what you need to do to propagate your peacock plant. Remember to do this during the summer growing season. If you do this in the dormant season, the plant cuttings will fail to grow new leaves.
1. Dig up the plant
The entire plant must be divided at the base, where the stems clump together. We must first dig up the plant from its pre-existing pot. Gently dig up the plant to not hurt it. You can separate it from the pot’s walls and shake it out.
2. Remove access soil
The peacock plant roots and stems will be covered in soil. We will have to remove the excess soil to look at the main rhizome and root structure. Gently shake the plant and gently remove the remaining soil with your hands. Be careful and do not damage the root structures.
3. Analyze the Stems
Now that you have a clear view of the plant parts below the ground, you can analyze the plant. Try to map out where four or five-leaf stems merge in the rhizome. If you look carefully, the peacock plant is divided into parts already. You should be able to separate these clumps of stems by hand. Once you have analyzed the plant carefully, you can plan out where to cut the rhizome.
4. Separate the Rhizome With Your Hands
Using your hands, pull apart the clumps of five or six leaf stem clumps as much as possible using gentle force. The goal is to pull apart as much as it separates naturally. If you are careful, then no leaves will fall off. However, if one or two leaves are lost, it’s a small sacrifice for several new peacock plants.
5. Cut the Rhizome
Now that you have clear separate clumps or plant cuttings, using a knife, separate them completely. An average-sized Peacock plant can get about three cuttings this way. A larger plant can get you more. Once the rhizome is separated, pull apart the plant cuttings and detangle any attached roots. If you must cut the roots to separate the plant sections, go ahead.
6. Mix the Potting Soil
Quickly before the plant cuttings dry out, mix the potting soil. It should be 70% garden soil and 30% vermiculite. Add 60% garden soil and 10% compost instead of just 70% garden soil if you want.
7. Plant the New Plant Sections
Each plant section gets its own individual pot. Place each plant section in a separate pot and pack the soil mixture around it. Cover the plant with soil to the same point the mother plant was covered.
8. Set Up the Plant Trays
Now place the water humidity trays under each pot with a layer of pebbles, keeping them raised up a little. The pots do not have to be filled with water since they will catch water from the first watering.
9. Water the Plants
Now using the watering can, water all the plants until water drips out of the drainage holes. The excess water will fill the humidity trays. The plant cuttings need extra water to establish the new root networks.
10. Fertilize the Plants
The plants need a little boost to ensure that they thrive. Mix some liquid fertilizer with twice the amount of water and give the plants some nutrition.
11. Tender Love and Care
Now care for the plants as you usually would care for peacock plants. However, give them extra attention and care. Watch out for any signs they are over-watered, under-watered, or need more sunlight. Once new leaves start growing, you can be sure the plants have stabilized.
We did not instruct you to use rooting hormone or fungicide while planting the cuttings. Usually, these aren’t necessary. However, if you want to use them to ensure that all the cuttings or smaller plant cuttings succeed, you can. Some people use honey and cinnamon on the roots as a home remedy to facilitate root growth.
Now you know everything about peacock plant propagation. You can fill your home with them from a single-mother plant. You don’t have to buy a whole new plant but grow them on your own. Like other clump-forming plants, they are quick to grow. Soon you will have plenty of luscious decorative foliage plants. We hope you have fun with your new ostentation of peacock plants!
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Hi! I’m Sophia, and I love plants – especially an expert in growing house plants. I stay in Chicago, United States of America, and through my blog and social media platforms, provide tips and tricks on how to grow healthy, vibrant plants indoors. Check out more here.