Cathedral Windows, Calathea picturata, is a plant that gets its name from the picturesque veining and striping on its leaves that resembles stained glass. It is in the Family- Marantaceae. and is sometimes called a peacock plant. Other plants in this family with stunning foliage is the prayer plant, and the zebra plant. Cathedral windows is a herbaceous plant that has a medium texture and will grow 12-15’ high by 12-15’ wide. It makes an excellent terrarium plant since it tolerates high humidity levels, as will episcia and peperomia plants.
Cathedral windows has variegated foliage that can serve as a folige plant, or as an architectural accent. They may need a little extra care for placing them , but the beautiful foliage is worth the effort. Provide them with medium to low light, keeping in mind that the purples and silvers of the foliage develop better in higher light. Provide average to warm temperatures (71 to 85 degrees F.) and high humidity of 60% or more.
Care of Cathedral Windows
You should keep this plant constantly moist through spring, summer, and fall. It needs much less water during the winter. Feed it only three times in the summer with a foliage plant food. Repot it before it becomes so pot-bound that it will no longer take up water, usually every 2 years. The plant begins to look ragged after a while, just set it aside and keep the humidity high. As soon as new sprouts appear, prune out the old leaves and water the plant well.
Propagation is done by simply dividing the ball. Pests to be concerned by are mealybugs and spider mites.
*To keep the plant looking its best, trim out any damaged or shriveled leaves, especially if watering has been neglected.
Related Species of Cathedral Windows
‘Argentea’ which has a central silver stripe with a green border and wine undersides. ‘Vandenheckei’ has elliptical dark green leaves with feathery white central and marginal bands.
The Calathea family of plants is very small, but they are known for their beautiful foliage. Other plants in this family, such as the Prayer Plant, and other members of the Calathea family, such as: C. Eclipse, C. lancifolia, C. makoyana, C. mirabilis, C. ornata, C. orbiculata, C. roseo-picta, C. rufibarba, C. vaginata, C. veitchiana, C. warsewiczii, and C. zebrina.