The Stromanthe is a member of the family Marantha, like the Maranta and Calathea. In various sources you can find information that in natural conditions there are 5-15 species, the difficulty lies in the fact that it is quite difficult to understand that in front of you is a stromanta, but not related to it ctenanta or calathea. And there are some systematists who include stromanta in the genus Calathea and do not classify it as a separate species. This plant is native to the tropical rainforests of South America.
Brief description of cultivation
Cultivate stromanta as an ornamental-leaved plant.
- Brightness. Slight shading or diffused bright light.
- Temperature regime. During the growing season, from 22 to 25 degrees, during the winter time the flower should be in a cooler place, but not colder than 18 degrees.
- Pouring. Water abundantly and systematically during the spring-summer period, and water moderately to sparingly during the winter months.
- Humidity of the air. Should be elevated (about 90 percent). Experts advise, every day several times during the day to moisten the foliage from a sprayer, systematically the bush is arranged warm shower, and also the pot with flowers is placed on a pallet filled with damp pebbles.
Near the container with the plant you can put moss, which you will systematically moisten.
- Fertilizer. Fertilize from May to August 1 time in 15 days, using complex fertilizer for ornamental deciduous plants, making a solution taking ½ the dosage recommended by the manufacturer.
- Dormant period. Not pronounced.
However, it will be better if the flower rests in winter.
- Potting. It is carried out in the last spring weeks by the method of transplanting. While the plant is young, it should be transplanted once a year and older plants once every two or three years. If you don't want to disturb the plant, you can change the upper five centimetre layer of substrate for a fresh one.
- Raising. By apical cuttings or bush division.
- Pests. Aphids, thrips, whiteflies, mealybugs and scale.
Problems with the flower can start if it is not cared for properly or if it does not have optimal growing conditions.
Description of stromantha
The stromanta is a herbaceous perennial plant that can be up to 100 cm tall in natural conditions. This plant is prized for its spectacular large leaf plates, which are about 10 centimeters wide and up to half a meter long. They can be colored in various combinations of pink, green, cream and white. The plate itself is attached to the petiole by an articulation that allows it to unfold toward the light source wherever it is located.
Like all arrowroot plants this plant has one peculiarity - in the evening the leaves are turned upwards, in the morning they open and fall down. Because of this peculiarity all maranthas are also called "praying plants".
Be prepared for the fact that it is very capricious and demanding to care for if you're going to grow a stromantha at home. This is why some flower growers do not buy such a flower, because they are afraid of not being able to cope. However, if you have a good understanding of the nature of this plant, it will be much easier to care for it.
In nature, stromantha prefers to grow on the banks of reservoirs, and since it occurs only in South America, this flower is always in the warmth and high humidity. The plant prefers loose and well-permeable soil. In the forest, it can be found at a level where the direct sunlight hardly penetrates due to the closed crowns of tall trees. Therefore, the stromanta grows well in diffused bright light. Remember also that where this flower comes from, the daylight hours are much longer than in middle latitudes.
Taking into account all these features and characteristics, try to create such conditions for the flower, in which it would be comfortable to grow and develop. Small species of such a plant are recommended to grow in terrariums, and large ones, with good care, develop normally on a windowsill as well.
Stromantha. HOME KEEPING. My flowers.
Care for the stromanta at home
Buying a stromanta, be prepared to take care of it every day. During the warm season the best temperature for such a flower is 22 to 25 degrees, and during the winter months make sure that the room is not cooler than 18 degrees. Remember that the room stromanta very negatively reacts to sudden temperature changes and draughts, so be careful during the ventilation, close all cracks in the window frames and in no case in the winter do not move the container with a shrub too close to the glass. Also make sure the potting soil is always warm.
Bright but diffuse light, protect the shrub from direct sunlight. This plant is shade-tolerant, but remember that if it lacks light, the coloration of the leaves will be monochromatic rather than mottled.
Watering and Humidity
Wet the soil mixture with well-distilled soft water, which should be close to room temperature. In spring and summer, watering should be systematic and abundant. With the onset of winter, the frequency and abundance of watering should be reduced.
The plant needs very high air humidity (about 90 percent). To increase the humidity level, the bush during the day is sprayed with water several times, and it is also recommended to pour wet claydite, pebbles or gravel into the tray. Instead, around the container with stromantha put moss, but do not forget to humidify it in a timely manner. Periodically warm showers should be arranged for the flower.
Feed throughout the growing season (from May to August).
A liquid compound fertilizer for indoor deciduous plants is added to the substrate once every 2 weeks. To prepare a nutrient solution, use half the dosage of that recommended by the manufacturer (see the package). Remember that a high mineral and calcium content in the soil mixture has a very negative effect on the growth and development of the plant, so it is better to forget to feed the flower than to overfeed it.
Potting the stromanta
The indoor stromanta is transplanted in the last weeks of spring. Young shrubs are transplanted regularly once a year, older plants should be transplanted less often, once every two or three years.
In order not to traumatize the root system too much, transplant gently by the method of transferring. If you fear that the bush will be severely injured by transplanting, simply change the top layer of substrate in the container with new soil mixture.
Fabulous soil mixture suitable for growing this flower should be loose, humus, air and water permeable and slightly acidic (pH 6). Approximate substrate composition: humus, sand, leaf soil and peat (1:1:3:1). You can also buy a premade maranta mix at a specialist store or a palm heart mix if you prefer.
Whichever one you choose, it is advisable to add a small amount of charcoal and moss. Before transplanting, place a layer of drainage at the bottom of the new pot with a thickness of ¼ of the pot's height.
When flowering, panicle-like inflorescences, reaching 60-80 mm across, consisting of white, unsightly flowers with red bracts and reddish-orange sepals, the flower stalks are long. But in room conditions such a plant practically does not flower. Flowers can only be seen if you provide the most suitable conditions for the stromanta and take care of it properly and in a timely manner.
Calatea / Stromanta care at home
The stromanta can be multiplied by bush division during replanting. If the bush is large, it is divided into 2 or 3 parts and the roots are not damaged. Each part should have two or three well-developed roots and a few leafy plates. They are planted in low wide pots, on the bottom of which make a drainage layer, for planting use the appropriate soil mixture. The planted cuttings are placed in a warm place and tightly covered with a polyethylene bag, which should always be transparent.
Do not remove the bag until the bush has taken root and the young leaves have grown.
The Stromanta can also be propagated by top cuttings. Cuttings should be taken in late spring or during the summer; they can be anywhere from 7 to 10 centimetres long and should have 2 to 3 leaf blades. Cut the cuttings from the parent bush so that the cutting point is just below the attachment of the leaf plate to the shoot. For rooting, cuttings are placed in a jar of water, and to create greenhouse conditions, they are covered with a transparent plastic bag on top.
Rooting will be completed after about 5-6 weeks, then the cuttings are planted in individual pots filled with peat-based soil.
It is not unusual for flower growers to encounter this problem - the leaf plates of the indoor stromanta begin to wither. This can be caused by too low an air moisture level or by spider mites settling on the bush, which also prefer dry air. Moisten the flower with a sprayer as often as possible and make sure the keramzite in the tray is always wet. Leaf plates are treated with a soft sponge soaked in a solution of soap, the agent is washed off the bush only after 3-4 hours.
After that, it is removed under a plastic bag, so that the pest dies for sure. If the mite does not die after the "soap" treatment, then the bush is sprayed with a solution of Aktellik, which is highly effective.
It also happens that at first the leaves lose their rich color, and then they begin to dry up. This happens when the light is too bright. In this case the shrub is moved to a light penumbra or it is protected from direct midday sunlight.
If the stromantha conditions are violated, this will definitely affect the condition of its leaves. For example, if the shrub is not watered properly, the leaves can start to dry out or they will curl and become speckled. With a lack of moisture, and stagnant fluid in the root system, the leaves of such a flower will curl and fly off. Remember to always keep the potting soil slightly moist and never allow it to become too dry or have moisture in the roots.
Leaves wilting in stromante
If the leaves wilt and rotting appears on the shoots, it means the room is very humid but also too cold.
To correct the situation, do not lower the humidity, but raise the temperature to 25-30 degrees.
The bush may be infested with scabies, whiteflies, thrips, spider mites and mealybugs. To get rid of spider mites, thrips and whiteflies, treat the plant with an Actellic solution. Add the contents of one ampoule of the drug to 1 liter of water, moisten the resulting solution abundantly with a sprayer, then put a transparent bag over it, remove it only after 24 hours. If one treatment is not enough to kill the pest, the treatment must be repeated after 7 to 15 days.
Inta-vir or Fitoverm are recommended to kill the aphids. To exterminate mealybugs, prepare the following remedy: combine a small amount of hot water with 1 tsp. of grinded soap (you can use any soap). Add so much water to the mixture that you end up with a volume of 1 liter, and then pour into the solution 2 tbsp. of vodka.
Mix everything well and moisten the bush with the remedy, making sure to protect the surfaces of the soil mixture in the container with cling film. After 24 hours wash the bush, removing the soap from it, while protecting the surface of the substrate in this case from getting the solution. A total of 3 or 4 treatments with such a soap mixture will be required to kill the pest, 7 days apart. Soap can be replaced by dishwashing detergent.
Stypes and varieties of stromantha with photos
The most popular flower growers are such species as: stromantha bloody and pleasant.
Stromanthe amiableis (Stromanthe amabilis)
This ornamental-leaved plant is about 0.3 m tall. The leaf plates have long petioles and a regular broad-oval shape, they are 4-5 centimeters wide and 10-20 centimeters long. On the obverse surface of the leaves is herringbone pattern, with dark green stripes diverging from the central vein on a greenish background. The opposite surface is greenish-gray with a faint pinkish tinge.
Flowering is very rare and occurs in the spring or summer.
Stromanthe bloody or blood-red (Stromanthe sanguinea)
This species is native to the tropical rainforests of Brazil. This plant is larger than stromanthe pleasantus. The oval leaf plates have pointed tops and reach 15-40 centimeters in length and 7-13 centimeters in width. The front surface is glossy greenish with a V-shaped pattern in a dark green shade, while the underside is a rich cherry color.
The plant blooms in late spring or early summer and forms spike-like inflorescences consisting of white, unsightly flowers. Best varieties:
- Multicolor. The front surface of the foliage is dark green with streaks of almost white or lettuce, while the underside is burgundy red.
- Horticolor. The coloration of the upper side is olive yellow-salad and the underside is dark red.
- Tricolor, or triostar. This variety is most popular with florists. The dark green front surface of the leaves is decorated with a pattern consisting of divisions of white, lettuce, pink, and white hues. The underside of the leaves is dark maroon.
The front surface is greenish with a greenish median vein, and the coloration of the underside is dark red.
- Stripe Star. A pale colored band runs along the median vein on the deep green face, and the underside is maroon.