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Maranta: description of varieties and growing tips

HomeAll flowers that start with MMaranta: description of varieties and growing tips

Maranta (Maranta) belongs to the Marantaceae family. Homeland – the tropics of Brazil.

In some countries, this genus is also called the “ten commandments”, a prayer herb or a prayer plant.

Indoor arrowroot flower is a beautiful ornamental plant, 20-25 cm high, with tuberous thickenings on the roots.

The leaves, 10-15 cm long, have a bizarre pattern of dark green, red-brown, sometimes almost black velvety spots or stripes.

They are elliptical or oval-round in shape. Depending on the species, the leaves can be basal or grow on stems.

The photo shows that the descriptions of arrowroot flowers may differ, as different types and varieties have different appearances.

Their reverse side is not as bright as the top. This becomes especially noticeable when in the evening, when the lighting deteriorates, the plant lifts the leaves and folds them so that only the monotonous lower part is visible. In the morning and throughout the day, the plant has a normal appearance.

Types of arrowroot: photo, variety names and description of how the plant blooms

As can be seen from the photo, arrowroot blooms with three-membered flowers of various colors, collected in apical spike-shaped inflorescences.

The flowers are small, white or blue, inconspicuous, sitting on a short peduncle. There are also varieties with lilac inflorescences. After the petals fall, a fruit will appear in their place – a one-seeded box.>

There are about 25 varieties of arrowroot, which were named depending on the appearance of the leaves. However, only a few of them are often used by gardeners as a house plant. The reason for this is an uninteresting color in one case and variegated color transitions in another.

In indoor floriculture are popular:
Maranta white-veined Kerkhova (M. leuconeura var. kerchoveana).

Maranta white-veined Massanga.

Maranta two-color (M. bicolor).

Maranta tricolor (M. tricolor).

Maranta reed (M. arundinaceae).

White-veined arrowroot (Maranta leuconeura).

As can be seen from the photo, this type of arrowroot got its name due to the silver-colored vein that runs through the center of each leaf.

This is a low plant – it reaches no more than 25 – 30 cm. The leaves of this species are oval in shape and medium in size – 15 cm long and 9 cm wide. The petioles are no more than 2 cm long. The color of the upper side of the leaves is dark green with silver-white veins and a light green pattern. The reverse side of the leaf may have a reddish or bluish-green color, depending on the variety.
Maranta white-veined Massange . It differs from the previous variety in the color of the spots on the leaves. While the Kerkhov arrowroot has dark green blotches, in this variety they are olive brown.

Maranta black Massanga (var. massangeana) . It has a very dark leaf blade, decorated with light silvery veins and a light central stripe. In indoor floriculture, this variety is quite rare, because it is the most delicate and demanding compared to other varieties. In general, it is more compact than other members of the species.

Maranta white-veined Kerkhova (M. leuconeura var. kerchoveana) . This variety of arrowroot has a bright green color of leaves with patterns in the form of eyes or feathers. A white stripe runs down the center of the main vein. The underside of the leaves also looks unusual – it has a red color with a blue tint.

Maranta tricolor (M. tricolor) . You can see from the photo that this variety of arrowroot got its name due to the presence of several colors on the leaves.

The leaves themselves are dark green, fading to lighter near the edges. You can see blotches in the form of spots of yellow-green and light green colors. The lateral veins of this plant are brownish in color, while the central one is silvery.

Maranta reed (M. arundinaceae) . Under the right growing conditions, it can be a small shrub 120 cm high. As can be seen from the photo, this type of arrowroot has large ovate leaves of a dark green color with a tint and splashes of gray. The leaves are slightly pubescent on the reverse side.

How to grow arrowroot at home: how to care for a plant during dormancy and flowering

At home, caring for the arrowroot flower is not so difficult – the plant is not very demanding, and in order to provide it with the necessary environmental conditions, it does not take much effort.
The flower needs bright light with shading from direct sunlight. Exposure to the sun is not good for this plant, so the arrowroot will begin to curl its leaves, which can be bewildering to its owner. The best place for her is the north, east and west windows.
In winter, arrowroot as a houseplant is no different from most other domestic flowers – it needs additional lighting with fluorescent lamps. Otherwise, the shoots will begin to stretch, and the leaves will become smaller, which will spoil their decorative appearance. Too much light can adversely affect the color of the leaves – they get a pale tint. This may also be the reason why the arrowroot turns yellow, as the plant tolerates a slightly shady location much better.
Maranta is moderately thermophilic, it must be protected from drafts, otherwise the leaves will begin to dry. Dislikes sudden changes in temperature. In the warm season, the flower will feel best at 20 – 25 ºC. In autumn and winter, the temperature should be reduced to 18 – 23 degrees. If it falls below 12 degrees, the flower may die. In winter, the temperature in the room should be at least 18 °C. The soil in the pot should never dry out.
Do not place a pot with this plant on a cold floor or windowsill. If weather conditions permit, arrowroot can be taken outside, but it is necessary to choose the right location – without drafts and direct sunlight.
This flower feels good with moderate humidity. If the air in the room is very dry, the plant should be sprayed frequently. In addition to spraying, there are several other ways to increase the humidity around the arrowroot. You can put the pot on a pallet with wet pebbles or expanded clay. But the roots must not be allowed to touch the filling.
You can also simply place a small container of water near the flower. On days when the air temperature rises above normal, the plant must be gently washed in the shower. Before this procedure, it is important to cover the soil with polyethylene. If the air in the house is too dry, the pattern will no longer be distinct, the leaves will lose their tone, and their tips will begin to die.
Before you start caring for arrowroot, you need to remember that home conditions are not entirely natural for it, and in its native land it lives in wet areas near water bodies, in wetlands. Therefore, it is desirable to bring the conditions of its growth closer to natural ones. To do this, use the tips below.
As you can already understand, this plant loves moisture. During the period of growth and development (spring and summer), arrowroot needs abundant watering. It is better to cover the earth in a pot with wet moss. With insufficient watering, the flower droops and can completely dry out. However, an excess of moisture is also very harmful – it can lead to rotting of the root system. A particularly high probability of such an outcome appears at low air temperatures and heavy soil.
In winter, watering should be moderate. Water is better to use separated, room temperature. Be sure to ensure that water does not fall on the leaves when watering, as this will lead to the appearance of fungi.
From time to time, the plant needs to be wiped from dust and dirt. It is advisable to do this with a soft dry cloth.
In the warm season, every two weeks, arrowroot should be fed with flower fertilizers, the concentration of which should be two times lower than indicated on the package. It is best to use a fertilizer nutrient ratio (NPK) of 3:1:2. If in the winter season the temperature and light conditions remain optimal, the plant must be fed once a month. However, if the plant is at rest, fertilizing is not necessary.
Flowering is not considered the main advantage of arrowroot, so often only a bud that has appeared is cut off so as not to tire the plant once again. However, at home, this genus blooms extremely rarely, so this is a whole event for some flower growers.

Proper transplantation of arrowroot at home (with video)

The main guarantee of proper cultivation of arrowroot is a loose, breathable substrate. Heavy soil in this case is undesirable. You can use ready-made store substrates for this plant. Substrate from leafy, humus soil and peat (1:1:1). You can not use a component such as perlite. It contains a small amount of fluorine, which will adversely affect the development of the flower.
The video shows that arrowroot transplantation should be done on average once every two years, while moving the plant into a pot just a few centimeters larger than the previous one.

In order to prevent excess moisture from stagnating in the soil, it is necessary to put a small layer of drainage on the bottom of the vessel for the plant. For this you can use expanded clay. As the next layer, a slightly acidic substrate is poured. The plant is transferred along with an earthen clod from an old pot and the missing amount of soil is filled up.

Pruning arrowroot: how to prune a plant to form a bush

At home, gardeners often cut the plant completely before transplanting arrowroot, as young leaves look more colorful and fresh. It is also believed that after pruning the arrowroot, the new growth will be much thicker, and the bush will become much more beautiful and brighter. There are other reasons for removing certain parts from a plant.
If any leaf is dead and completely dry, it must be disposed of with scissors. You need to cut off such leaves in the place where the petiole connects to the plant. In order to form a neat bush, arrowroot, like most other plants, must be cut, removing too long shoots.
Most flower growers do not recommend tying shoots to various supports and ladders, but on the contrary, it is advisable to direct them horizontally. Therefore, arrowroot is often grown in hanging baskets and planters.

In the winter season, you can artificially introduce a flower into a dormant period. Such an action will turn out to be a way out if the leaves turn yellow or even completely dry out in summer as a result of improper care. To do this, it is necessary to cut the arrowroot, just as they are cut if desired to make the bush thicker. After that, the plant is placed in a cool dark place for the whole winter. Thanks to a strong root system with thickenings, the flower can be saved even after severe damage.

How to propagate arrowroot at home by dividing the bush

At home, the easiest way to propagate arrowroot is by dividing the main bush into several parts, – 2 or 3, if the plant has grown greatly. You can carry out this procedure during a flower transplant. When dividing, it is worth paying special attention to the root system – each part must have a sufficient number of roots for self-restoration. After that, new plants must be planted in different pots and poured with warm water.
The upper part of the flower is covered with a plastic bag, after which the pot is placed in a warm room until fresh leaves appear. If young shoots have already appeared, then you need to grow such an arrowroot in the same way as all other representatives of this genus.

Propagation method of marnata cuttings

For those who are afraid to damage the rhizome of the flower during separation, the method of propagation of the arrowroot plant by cuttings is suitable. This is also not a very complicated process, and even an amateur grower can get new specimens using this method. In water, the plant gives roots within a week. Cuttings are best rooted in the spring in a mixture of peat and sand, covering the vessel from above with a plastic bag or glass.
At home, before propagating arrowroot in this way, it is necessary to prune the flower. However, you can take those shoots that remain after the formation of the bush and the usual care of the flower.
In order for reproduction to be successful, it is necessary to select cuttings 8–10 cm in size and with at least two internodes or leaves. After the shoots have taken root, they can be planted in a moist substrate. The container with cuttings is covered with polyethylene and placed in a warm place, which will create greenhouse conditions and help the plant develop faster.
From time to time they need to be ventilated and slightly moisten the soil. Best of all, those branches that were obtained from May to September take root. With the help of cuttings, reproduction is desirable if the plant has formed sufficiently long shoots.

Why arrowroot leaves curl and dry and what to do to treat diseases

Often, arrowroot has unexpected diseases associated with improper care, even though it is not a very capricious flower.
For example, novice flower growers often wonder why arrowroot leaves curl and how to prevent it. The reason, most likely, will be too bright lighting or even direct sunlight on the flower, which is completely contraindicated.
Also, do not confuse with diseases the characteristic feature of this plant to behave in this way after dark. It is necessary to sound the alarm if, despite the fact that the arrowroot leaves are twisted, they also begin to dry from the edges.
This indicates that the soil is not sufficiently moistened, or that the temperature in the room is too low. In any case, the reason must be sought in the care of the flower. All that needs to be done if arrowroot leaves continue to curl is to find out the cause and eliminate it.
If the soil is regularly moistened normally, then the plant must be moved to a warmer place. It is possible to find out that insufficient watering became the cause of such changes if, with the above symptoms, brown spots appear on the leaves. In rare cases, leaf curling can occur in conditions that are too dry. In this case, you can save the situation by spraying and mineral fertilizers.
It is also not uncommon for arrowroot leaves to dry, but not everyone knows why this happens, making mistakes as a result of trying to somehow correct the situation. In this case, you need to pay attention to how exactly the drying takes place.
With the help of fertilizers, arrowroot can be treated if the disease spreads from the edges, and then appears as brown spots throughout the leaf area. Reduced air humidity leads to the same result. If at the same time the lower leaves of the arrowroot also turn yellow, we can definitely say that the cause of the disease lies in improper watering and insufficient water procedures. An unexpected, but quite likely cause may be the presence of lime in the soil, so it is imperative to check the soil indicators.
There can be many reasons why arrowroot leaves began to turn yellow, so you need to look for other factors that would help answer this question. The fact is that most plants respond to any stress by changing the color and texture of the leaf surface.
One of the main reasons may be cold air in the room. This flower does not tolerate rapid temperature changes. Direct sunlight will cause yellow burns on the leaves. Drafts can also cause such changes in the appearance of the plant.

How to get rid of arrowroot pests

Often, the arrowroot is damaged by pests, which can not be noticed immediately, but they worsen the condition of the flower significantly. Insects that most often damage this plant are spider mites and mealybugs.
A spider mite can appear on a plant if dry air prevails in the room where the arrowroot stands. You can notice this pest with the naked eye – a small white cobweb appears on the back of the leaves, and the tick itself, although small, has a bright red color. If you touch it, it will begin to move quickly through the plant. To remedy the situation, it is necessary to remove the damaged leaves and spray the plant with Actellik or Fitoverm.
The mealybug can be seen by the white fluffy coating on the axils of the leaves. To get rid of this pest, it is necessary to wash the damaged areas with soapy water. It is important to carefully remove all soap from the flower after this. If this action does not help, you will have to spray the arrowroot several times with an actellik solution in a ratio of 2 ml per liter of water.
You can stop spraying if you are completely sure that the pest is no more.
A very unpleasant and difficult-to-remove pest is the scale insect. Its signs are brown scales on the leaves and their petioles, as well as a shiny, sticky coating on the plant. Sometimes thrips settle on the arrowroot, the presence of which can be established by moving silvery stripes.
The first sign that something is wrong with the plant and it is damaged is usually the movement of the leaves – they may stop curling or vice versa.

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