How To Propagate a Peacock Plant

Part of the Calathea family, the Peacock Plant is known and loved for its incredible leaves, adorned with striking patterns and a natural tendency to curl up at night.

Part of the Calathea family, the Peacock Plant is known and loved for its incredible leaves, adorned with striking patterns and a natural tendency to curl up at night. It’s no surprise that plant parents across the world are looking to multiply these plants to share the love around, or simply expand their urban jungle. Thankfully, it’s quite simple to propagate Peacock Plants, and this post is going to provide you with a detailed step by step guide to the entire process.

How to propagate a Peacock Plant: The easiest, most successful method of propagating a Peacock Plant is to divide it. This can be done by dividing the roots at the natural divisions and potting each division separately. You can also grow Peacock Plants from seeds, but we don’t recommend this as it’s tricky and takes a very very long time.

How To Propagate Peacock Plants 

The best and most successful way to propagate a Peacock Plant is by division. Remove the plant from its pot and gently divide the plant where it has created its own natural separations in the roots. Peacock Plant can sometimes have very delicate roots, so you should be as gentle as possible to prevent damage to the root system. It can also happen that you need to slice one of the sections in half if your Peacock Plant doesn’t have natural separations. 

Once separated, plant your new Peacock Plants in new pots with fresh soil, then keep your new divisions warm, moist, and in as much humidity as possible for a few weeks to aid growth. 

Why Propagate a Peacock Plant?

There are many reasons that you might choose to or need to propagate your Peacock Plant.

If your Peacock Plant has outgrown its pot, it’s a great time to divide your plant. Peacock Plants generally don’t like being repotted unnecessarily, so dividing your plant at the same time as repotting is a good way to minimize disruption.

Dividing your Peacock Plant also gives you the opportunity to have more beautiful Peacock Plants that you can either keep for yourself or gift to friends and family to grow.

Dividing your Peacock Plant will also help to maintain the size of your plant to ensure it fits the space in your home. If you like having your plant at a particular size, propagating by division prevents your plant from growing too large and outgrowing the space.

When To Propagate Peacock Plants

The best time to propagate your Peacock Plant is in the early spring. This is because your plant will soon be entering the growth stage again. It will not only help the plants get over the stresss of propagation, but it means your new plants will grow new leaves and roots quicker. You can get away with propagating at other times of the year, but new growth will be slower and it can be a little riskier when temperatures are super low. 

Step by Step Method to Propagating a Peacock Plant

Follow these simple steps to ensure your Peacock Plant propagation is a success!

Before propagation

  • Choose your new pots for the divisions to be potted into. Make sure the new pots have good drainage holes to prevent waterlogged soil from damaging your new plants. The pots should be a couple of inches wider than the root ball of the divided portion of the plant.
  • Fill the pots about 1/3 of the way full with an appropriate potting mix. 

During propagation

  • The first thing you need to do is gently tip your Peacock Plant on its side and slide it out of the pot. You might need to untangle some of the roots that have grown out of the drainage holes first so these don’t rip. 
  • Shake away the loose soil and gently separate the roots by running your hands through them. 
  • Locate the natural divisions in the rootball of your Peacock Plant and carefully separate the roots at these divisions. At this stage, you can decide how to divide your plant. 
  • Place the new plants into the pots and fill up the pot with fresh potting mix.

After propagation

  • Water your new Peacock Plants and allow any excess water to drain away to avoid water stress.
  • Keep your new plants in a warm and humid environment to help recovery and aid new growth. 
  • Monitor your new plants closely for a few weeks to spot any issues early. This will give you the best chance of fixing the problem. 
  • Continue to care for your new Peacock Plants as you would your mother plant.

How big does my Peacock Plant have to be to propagate it?

Don’t force a division or cut apart the roots before it is ready, just wait until the plant has grown large enough to create its own divisions. A healthy plant will probably be large enough to divide every spring if it has had the right environment for the past year. You also want to ensure that your plant is more than 2 years old as this means it will often be mature enough to have divisions.

Aiding a Successful Peacock Plant propagation

You should always propagate healthy plants regardless of what type of plant you are propagating. Taking cuttings or dividing a sickly plant won’t often be successful. However, in some circumstances, propagating by division might be the only means to save a plant.

How To Care For Peacock Plants After Propagation

Peacock Plant divisions need much of the same care as their parent plants as they already have established root systems when dividend. 

For soil, you should choose a well-draining mix to avoid any issues with overwatering and waterlogged soil. Make sure the potting mix contains perlite, to aid with drainage and aeration of the soil. 

Peacock Plants, and especially offspring, need warm temperatures and indirect light to thrive. Ensure they are away from any drafts or intense heat. Direct sunlight can also scorch the plant or cause fading of the beautiful colour patterns so avoid this with all Peacock Plants.

When it comes to watering your Peacock Plant, only want to water when the top inch of the soil is dry. Then water thoroughly and let any excess water drain away.

Common Peacock Plant Propagation Problems

If you have propagated your Peacock Plant and the leaves on the new plants are getting brown edges, this signals watering issues, either too much, too little or inconsistent patterns. Make sure to keep the soil evenly moist and keep the humidity around the plant high to prevent it from drying out.

If the divided Peacock Plants start to develop curling leaves throughout the day, rather than just at night, then it suggests underwatering or low humidity. Confirm the issue by checking the moisture in the soil and using a humidity meter. 

If your new Peacock plants are wilting and drooping, it might be a sign that they are too cold Move them to a warmer spot in your home, ensuring they are away from drafty windows or AC vents.

Can You Propagate Peacock Plants From Seed?

Although it is possible for Peacock Plants to be propagated by seed, it is often better left to the professionals. It is a lengthy process and is often unsuccessful. However, if you would like a challenge, then here are the steps to maximize success with propagating Peacock Plants from seed:

  • Seeds should be grown in small pots or propagation trays. Use a seed-starting potting mix for the best results. 
  • Moisten the soil and plant the Peacock Plant seeds at a depth of 0.5-1cm deep.
  • Use a propagation tray cover to put over the pots. This helps to maximize humidity and keeps the seedlings warm which aids growth.
  • You might also choose to use a heat pad to warm up the area.
  • Keep the soil lightly and evenly moist and place the pots in bright, indirect light.
  • Once the seedlings are 3-4cm high, they can be very carefully moved into individual pots. You need to be very careful when doing this as the roots will be very delicate at this stage, and even the smallest bit of damage can harm your chances at a successful propagation.

Is it possible to propagate Peacock Plants from stem or leaf cuttings?

Unfortunately, it is not possible to propagate a Peacock Plant from either stem or leaf cuttings. Peacock Plant stem cuttings simply do not contain the correct plant tissue to grow new roots and develop into a separate plant which is why you need a section of the main plant to grow new roots from. If you do try to propagate your Peacock Plant through a single leaf, it will start to wilt and die pretty quickly.

To learn more about how to care for your new plants after propagation, check out our Peacock Plant care guide. 



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