Peacock Plant Care – A Complete Guide

Peacock plant
Peacock plant

How to Care for Peacock Plant

Peacock plants are popular house plants that are well known for their foliage. These plants are slender and tall, they can grow up to about two meters in height.

Peacock plants can be demanding which is something that should be considered when choosing house plants.

The foliage on these plants has bold markings which resembles the tail of the peacock. The peacock plant is a non-toxic plant that is native to Brazil.

Although these plants prefer a high level of humidity they do better when they are in indirect sunlight.

What Does Your Peacock Plant Require?

Light Requirements

Peacock plants thrive in areas where they have indirect sunlight. These plants should be protected from direct sunlight as it can cause problems for them such as leave damage.

Getting the correct amount of light for the plant is important as too little light will affect the growth of the plant.

This plant tends to do best in areas of bright indirect light. Peacock plant can grow up to four feet in height when kept in the optimum conditions.

Temperature Requirements

Peacock plant prefers temperatures that are between fifteen and twenty-four degrees centigrade. These plants should not be kept in areas that have a temperature lower than fifteen degrees centigrade.

Naturally Peacock plant would do better in an area that has a constant temperature with no sudden temperature changes or cold draughts.

Soil Requirements

Peacock plant requires a soil that can retain the moisture whilst providing good drainage. The best soil for these plants is a potting mix, which consists of one-part sand and two parts peat.

These lush plants will grow and produce vibrant colorful leaves when they are kept in the correct conditions.

Humidity Requirements

Peacock plants prefer a high level of humidity. In their natural habitat, Peacock plant would thrive in moist areas with high humidity.

Misting the leaves of these plants is one way to increase the level of humidity. Another way to create a high level of humidity is a tray of pebbles with water inside but the water shouldn’t touch the pots.

When the level of humidity is not high enough, the plants will develop brown edges and brown spots on the leaves.

How to Water

During the growing season, the peacock plant will need to be thoroughly watered. It is also important that the plant has good drainage.

The amount of watering should be reduced over the winter months, but they will still require water. Too much water can cause the problem of root rot.  

How to Fertilise

Your Peacock plant will need to be fertilized and this is best done using a diluted liquid fertilizer once every two weeks.  Fertilizer should be added to the plant during the growing season, which is between April and October.

These plants do not need to be given fertilizer during the winter months and feeding can completely stop.

Foliar sprays that contain a mixture of iron and nitrogen can be useful for your Peacock plant. The plants tend to thrive in soils that have a neutral acidic level and are slightly alkaline.

Extra Tips for A Peacock Plant

Pests and Diseases

Peacock plants are not too hard to care for in terms of pests and diseases, although they can be affected. One of the biggest problems that can affect Peacock plant is overwatering, therefore only water the plant when they need it.

As with all plants, monitor the peacock plant regularly for signs of pests and diseases. Regular monitoring will make it easier to catch problems in the early stages and therefore be able to minimize any problems.


One of the biggest diseases that can affected Peacock plant is root rot which is the result of overwatering especially during the winter months when the plant requires less water although it does still require water.

Peacock plants can be affected by reddish brown leaf spots, and this can cause leaf distortion.

This problem can be avoided by keeping the leaves dry when watering, but if this does happen then just remove the affected leaves and use copper based bactericide to treat the plant.


There are several pests that can affect your Peacock plant, and these include aphids and spider mites.

Aphids is one of the most common problems of indoor plants, and they affect the plant by sucking sap from the leaves. If your plant is affected by aphids, then this will show as leaves dropping and distorted foliage.

Aphids can be removed from the plant by wiping the leaves with a soft clean cloth, or using a mild solution of water and a couple of drops of dish soap to spray the leaves.

Another problem that can affect your Peacock plant is spider mites, and these can be found on the underside of the leaves. Spider mites affect the plant by feeding on the fluid that is inside the plant which they access by making a hole in the waxy coating.

An infestation of spider mites will cause the leaves to become discolored and the leaves can become yellow.


Peacock plants do not require much attention in the form of pruning. As the leaves age they will naturally become brown or yellow and die off.

Dead leaves can be trimmed off using  sharp scissors that have been sterilized. The leaves should be removed at the point where they join onto the stem.


Peacock plant needs to be re-potted every couple of years, and this is a task that is best completed during the spring. When the weather becomes warmer in the spring, your Peacock plant will begin to grow and can bounce back quicker from the shock of re-potting.

When re-potting, add new soil or a mix of old compost and fresh to create a refreshed soil for the plant. If the roots are rootbound then loosen the roots. These plants can grow easily when they have the correct conditions.


The spring is a good time to propagate your Peacock plant, and this is best done during the re-potting process. Peacock plants are best propagated through division and this is best done when the plant is large enough so that it’s an easy task to do.

Propagation of this plant is best left until the plant has become well developed into a big clump.


How Do You Take Care of a Peacock Plant?

Peacock plants are tropical plants, and therefore they thrive in conditions of high humidity. A high level of humidity is important for growing your Peacock plant.

These plants will need to be sprayed with mist regularly. The soil should be kept moist for these plants.

Peacock plants need to have a good balance of water, therefore these plants can be a bit tricky to care for so perhaps not good for beginners.

How Big Does A Peacock Plant Get?

Peacock plant can grow up to two feet in height when they are cared for correctly and kept in the right conditions.

Should I mist my Peacock Plant?

Peacock plants need to be misted on a regular basis. The water that is used to mist these plants should be either rain water or distilled water. Avoid using tap water for misting as the fluoride can cause damage to the leaves.

Why Are the Leaves on My Peacock Plant Turning Brown?

There are several reasons that can cause the leaves on a peacock plant to turn brown. The reasons can include fertilising, re-potting, and incorrect watering.

This problem can also arise due to environmental conditions such as diseases, pests, heat, drafts, lighting, and humidity. There are also some natural causes that can cause the problem which is age. 

Lack of Light

If the lower leaves on the plant are turning yellow or brown, then this can be due to a lack of light. If the discoloration on the leaves is in an isolated side of the plant, then try moving the plant to get more light.

Excessive Heat

Peacock plant that is getting too much heat can develop curly leaves and this usually coincides with plants getting too little water. If the plant is wilting, increase the amount of water that you are giving the plant.

Incorrect Water

Increase the amount of water that you are giving a peacock plant that is wilting. The problem of wilting usually starts at the bottom, however on bushier plants it may start on the outer leaves.

Lack of Humidity

When the Peacock plant has a level of humidity that is too low the leaves will display a brown tip whilst most of the leaf is green. These are plants which require a high level of humidity.

Can Peacock Plants Be Outside

Peacock plants do better in soil that is moist but not too wet. These plants can be affected by root rot and therefore do best on soil that is well drained. Although these plants tend to be kept indoors, they can also be planted outdoors.

Planted outdoors these tall plants can be used to provide cover to flower beds.

Photo by Kae Anderson on Unsplash

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