The Maranta plant is part of the family Marantha, a genus of about 25 species. It was named after Bartolomeo Maranta, a medical doctor from Venice. In nature it is found in Central and South America and prefers to grow in woods and swampy areas. It is most commonly cultivated as an ornamental foliage plant, its foliage shape can vary from oval-circular to linear-lanceolate, it is usually green in color and has a pattern on its surface, which can be of different colors and shapes. When growing in room conditions, the plant hardly blooms, and if it does, it shows small white flowers.
Maranta tricolor, also called the prayer plant, was so named because of the foliage - in bad conditions it rises up, while in good conditions it is placed horizontally. In some species of maranta roots are used to make flour, it is used in dietary nutrition. This flower is believed to be able to protect the home from negative energy, reduce excessive agitation and prevent arguments, quarrels and scandals between housemates.
Brief description of cultivation
- Bloom. Maranta is grown as an ornamental and deciduous plant.
- Brightness. Needs plenty of light, which should be diffused. It is possible to grow the flower also under artificial light, but in this case the duration of the light day must be 16 h.
- Temperature regime. In summer - from 23 to 25 degrees, and the temperature of the soil mixture in the pot should be at least 18 degrees.
From the second half of the fall to the last weeks of spring, 18 to 20 degrees.
- Watering. During the spring and summer period, water abundantly, immediately after the top layer of the soil mixture has dried. During the cold season, watering should be moderate.
- Humidity of the air.
Should be elevated. Throughout the year, the bush is moistened with lukewarm water from a sprayer. To increase humidity, wet expanded clay is poured into the tray, and a flower pot is placed on it.
- Fertilizer. Fertilization is carried out throughout the year 1 time in 15 days, for this purpose alternately use organic and mineral fertilizers in half dosage.
- Dormant period. Not pronounced.
- Repotting. The procedure is done once every 2 years in the first spring weeks.
- Mixed soil.
It shall consist of garden soil, sand and peat (6:2:3).
- Propagation. Shrub division and cuttings.
- Pests. Spider mites.
- Diseases. The plant may lose its ornamentality in unsuitable conditions or due to improper care.
Marantha tricolor. Planting and care.
Marantha care at home
Marantha needs bright but diffused light and must be protected from direct sunlight.
Therefore, it is recommended to place it on a window facing east or west. If the flower is regularly exposed to direct sunlight, then the mature leaf plates may lose their spectacular color, and the young ones may become shallow. If you cannot find a place with the best light for the flower, it is recommended to grow it under fluorescent lights, the light duration of the day being not less than 16 hours.
Such a flower can be harmed both by too high and low air temperatures. In summer, make sure the air temperature is between 23 and 25 degrees, while making sure the substrate in the pot does not get too cold (not below 18 degrees).
From mid-autumn to early summer, the optimal air temperature for the maranta is 18-20 degrees. It can withstand a drop in temperature to 10 degrees, but if it is colder, the plant will die. Protect it from sudden temperature changes during the day as well as from drafts.
For the spring and summer period, water abundantly and make sure water does not stagnate in the substrate, but do not allow the ground to dry out either. During the cold season, watering is moderate and should be done as soon as the surface of the potting soil has dried out.
Warm water should be used for watering, at a temperature slightly above room temperature, because the root system reacts very negatively to supercooling. It must also be soft and well drained (at least 12 hours).
The flower needs high air humidity, so it is moistened throughout the year using a sprayer with settled soft water. If the air humidity is very low, then spraying should be done regularly in the morning and evening. And to increase humidity the container with the flower is placed on a tray, which is filled with moist expanded clay or pebbles, while making sure that the bottom of the pot is not in contact with the liquid.
In the warm season the plant can have a warm shower, but remember that the substrate in the pot should be covered with plastic wrap, so it does not get water during the procedure. However, be prepared that even under all these conditions, the maranta will dry out the tops of the leaf plates.
Fertilize systematically once every 2 weeks, alternating between organic and mineral fertilizers (concentration of nutrient mixture to be 2-3 times lower than the manufacturer's recommendation).
Transplant once every 2 years in the first weeks of spring. The container for planting is taken low and better if it is plastic, and it should be slightly larger than the old one.
At the bottom make a drainage layer of coarse sand and broken bricks (claydite). Substrate is needed weakly acidic. It can consist of peat, sand and garden soil (3:2:6) or peat, humus and leaf soil (1:1:1). A small amount of charcoal and pine soil should be added to the soil mixture.
Before transplanting, all withered and sluggish leaves should be cut off from the bush, so that the young shoots will develop more actively.
Tricolor Maranta transplanting
Propagation by division
Maranta can be multiplied by dividing its rhizome. This procedure is recommended in conjunction with transplanting. First remove the mature plant from the pot and divide it into 2 or 3 parts, being careful not to damage the root system. The divisions are planted in separate pots filled with peat. Young bushes are watered regularly as soon as the surface of the earth mixture in the container dries out.
The container with the divide is placed in a cellophane bag, which is not very tightly tied. Keep it warm until young leaf plates appear.
Preparing cuttings is done in May-June, cut off a part of the young shoot, which should have 2 or 3 leaf plates. A jar filled with clean water is used to root the cuttings, the roots should appear after 4-6 weeks. Once rooted, the cutting is placed in a peat mixture and given the best possible care.
Morantha not properly cared for or not properly maintained can develop problems:
- Leaf tips dry up.
- Rooting has appeared. If the plant is watered too much or kept cold during the winter, the shoots can lose their turgor and rot can form on them.
- Stains on the foliage. If the flower feels a lack of moisture, spots form on its leaf plates, they begin to curl, and yellowing of the lower leaves is observed.
- The bush becomes faded. The plant reacts extremely negatively to direct sunlight, because of this the leaves lose their spectacular coloration and wither up.
The greatest danger to it is spider mites.
Species of maranta with pictures and names
In natural conditions the plant can be found in the tropics, more precisely in the humid forests of Brazil. It has a tuberous root and the stem length can reach about 0.3 m. The petioles of the leaves do not exceed 20 mm in length.
The leaf blade is about 9 centimeters wide and up to 15 centimeters long and has a rounded-elliptical shape with a heart-shaped shape at the base. Their front surface is dark green, decorated with a pale green pattern and white veins, while the underside is greenish-blue or pale red. The most popular among florists are the following varieties of this species: Kerchoveana, Massangeana, tricolor or leuconeura:
This herbaceous perennial is about 25 centimeters tall. The short-petioled, oval leaf plates are about 15 centimeters long. There are numerous dark green speckles on the top deep green surface of the plate, and a white stripe runs along the midsection.
The opposite surface of the plate has a coloration that can vary from light blue to pale red. The white flowers are 2-3 in florets.
The plant is very similar to the Kerkhoven variety (see above), but it has brownish-olive spots on the leaves.
Marantha tricolor (tricolor) (Maranta tricolor)
The oval pubescent leaf plates are about 13 centimeters long and up to 6 centimeters wide. The coloration of the front surface of the plates may vary from a dark green to greenish hue, it is decorated with red veins and pale green spots along the middle vein, and there are dark green feather-shaped spots along the lateral veins.
The undersurface is crimson with veins of pink. The flowers are colored pale lilac.
Marantha bicolor (Maranta bicolor)
This species does not form tubers. The oval, short-petioled leaf plates have a slightly wavy edge and are about 15 centimeters long. It has brown spots on the front surface of the green plate along the median vein and hairs on the reverse, and is colored pale red.
Marantha reed (Maranta arundinacea)
This species is a shrub that is slightly over 100 cm high. Its roots are thick and tuberous. The ovate leaflets are about 25 centimeters long and have a slight cusp on top. The undersurface is pubescent and dark green in color. The flowers are white.
Marantha is an unpretentious house flower. My flowers. Мой опыт.