maranta leuconeuraAlso known as tricolor maranta or prayer plant, it is classified as a houseplant outside of its natural habitat. It belongs to the Marantáceas family and is native to the tropical forests of South America, more precisely from Brazil. It is widely used as decoration indoors and outdoors. Many people wonder what the care of the tricolor Maranta is.
For this reason, we are going to dedicate this article to tell you about the care of the tricolor Maranta, its characteristics and some aspects that you must take into account so that you want it to grow correctly.
Maranta tricolor is a perennial plant that, as you might guess from its origin, prefers moist, frost-free conditions. the tricolor maranta It is a slow-growing plant that does not require much care and has a very peculiar aesthetic. It is also known as a prayer plant precisely because it shows the ability to slightly close its leaves at night.
Its main visual attraction is its leaves. These are oval and have a strong color contrast. In the beams, its texture is strongly marked in red, which contrasts with the surrounding greens in different shades. At its base, purple tones dominate.
They are usually sold in hanging pots, although it is also an ideal plant to combine with other plants to recreate very interesting decorative pieces. It has a creeping habit, so it is used as a hanging houseplant or needs a stake to grow vertically.
Care of the tricolor Maranta
From the point of view of caring for a tricolor maranta, our first consideration is precisely its natural habitat. So we know that it needs quite high temperatures, humidity and when it grows under tropical trees it does so in semi-shade.
So the Maranta tricolor is a plant that we will appreciate as an indoor plant. Only when the prevailing climate is subtropical can we plant it in the garden, it will be in the shade and we should even know that it is ideal to cover the ground under the tree.
That is, we will place our tricolor Maranta in a well-lit place so that the color of its foliage can be seen well, but not in direct sunlight. The ideal temperature range for its development is between 20 and 28ºC. It grows without difficulty despite temperatures between 17 and 35ºC. It does not support temperatures close to 0ºC. The location inside the house will be in partial shade, out of direct sunlight.
One of the considerations for this plant is environmental humidity. It must be high, so we have to spray its leaves with water several times a day during the hottest months of the year. In winter we will solve the heating problem, because they will increase the temperature, but they will significantly reduce the humidity of the environment. A wide container of water will help increase humidity.
Maintenance of the tricolor Maranta
Summer watering must be adequate, we will reduce watering in autumn and winter. Since it requires a peat substrate, we must avoid waterlogging in all cases. If we put a plate as a base, we remove the excess water as soon as it drains.
We will fertilize every 10 or 15 days with a liquid or crystalline soluble fertilizer. They should be fertilized more frequently between March and October, with fertilizers that are not too nitrogenous to avoid green leaves and greater exposure to pests and diseases.
The tricolor maranta must be transplanted annually to promote the renewal of its root system. The best date to make this change is spring, although if we cannot do it before, we can do it before the fall.
The substrate must be with peat and it likes constant humidity, especially in the hottest months, without getting flooded. It is easily propagated by cuttings in spring and fall. The best substrate for planting or even cutting is the type of substrate for indoor plants.
It requires the typical acidic pH of tropical soils. A maximum of between 5,5 and 6,5. An ideal value is close to 6. We need a well-nourished and well-drained soil. To do this, we can do the following mix:
- Place stones or gravel in the bottom of the pot to ensure that water escapes through the holes in the bottom of the pot and prevent standing water.
- 2/4 peat (provides a lot of organic matter)
- 1/2 sand and perlite (to improve drainage).
- 1/2 general substrate or even something more lumpy or clayey.
If you want your plants to grow faster, you may need to fertilize them. Not recommended if the substrate is new. Wait at least a year to start fertilizing. You can use liquid fertilizer for indoor green plants dissolved in irrigation water. In general, it is recommended to reduce the rate to avoid excessive fertilizer burn. It should be applied every two weeks in spring and summer.
Spread and disease
It can be done by division of plants and cuttings in spring and autumn. If it is by cuttings, the stem is cut just below the petiole of the leaf and submerged in water. It is best to use a rooting hormone to stimulate root expulsion. The water should be changed every two to three days. When it has taken root, It is time to transplant it and ensure humidity and temperature conditions.
If propagated by division, simply separate the plant and roots carefully. Roots may have nodules. Each branch must have several stems and numerous roots to ensure its rooting. When propagated by division, the plant is often under stress that it has to deal with. The condition for it to take root is to maintain the ambient temperature and humidity higher than normal. They can be placed in a seedbed or germinated in a shaped seedbed. In this way, it can grow correctly if it is propagated by division.
Regarding possible pest attacks, the red spider mite is more dangerous when the temperature is very high and the environmental humidity is very low. Aphids can also appear on new shoots. Treated with acaricides and systemic insecticides respectively, they are easy to control.
If the temperature drops a lot and the humidity is high, the most common disease is botrytis. Preventing this from happening with good ventilation is the best solution. Although we say that it is an indoor plant, it can also be enjoyed as a garden plant if the prevailing climate is subtropical. In this case, it grows well in the shade and is even perfect as ground cover under trees.
I hope that with this information you can learn more about the care of the tricolor Maranta and its characteristics.