Prayer Plant Care
The tropical forests of Central and South America are replete with bright extraordinary plants that have become indoor inhabitants in the middle lane. Such is the tricolor arrowroot depicted in the photo — a prayer plant, as this flower is called by the people.
With the brightness of colors, it can compete with any flowering species. But the main advantage of arrowroot is not flowers, but colorful foliage. On the outside, it has an asymmetrical colorful pattern, and on the back it is painted in an elegant purple hue.
Arrowroot tricolor — a plant from the rainforest
Like most tribesmen belonging to the Marantaceae family, Maranta leuconeura erythroneura is a spectacular ornamental leafy plant that lives in nature under the canopy of a tropical forest and delights lovers of such cultures with a head of painted leaves throughout the year.
But why is the tricolor arrowroot shown in the photo a prayer plant? The point is in the unusual abilities of culture, which responds to changes in external conditions by raising, as if in prayer, folded sheet plates.
The wild-growing arrowroot tricolor is a native inhabitant of a fairly moist shady undergrowth. And this feature of the leaves is very useful if the plant falls under the rays of the scorching southern sun for a long time, or a dry period sets in.
Moisture evaporates much less from the raised leaves, and sunburn is not so terrible. But finding itself in comfortable conditions, the flower lowers its foliage, and everyone around manages to admire the bright ornament that combines all shades of green, white-yellow and crimson.
Conditions for keeping arrowroot tricolor
Attracted by the beauty of the tricolor arrowroot, flower growers should remember that this decorative native of the tropics needs special conditions for active growth and well-being. First of all, it concerns the location of the flower.
If most indoor crops claim to be well-lit areas of the windowsill, then it is better for the arrowroot to take the corner away from direct sunlight, but in dense shade, where the leaves will lose their brightness and acquire a grayish tint. In summer, arrowroot tricolor, as in the photo, there is enough natural light, but from mid-autumn it is better for the grower to take care of additional lighting .
Maranta needs warmth and moisture. Drying out the soil in a pot, like staying in a cold room, is a serious risk for a plant that is used to something completely different in nature.
The combination of cold and excessive moisture of the substrate is especially dangerous. Coolness is perceived by the arrowroot tricolor as the beginning of a dormant period, so the plant reduces the consumption of moisture and nutrients. With an excess of non-consumable and poorly evaporated moisture, harmful microorganisms multiply in the soil, and putrefactive processes develop on the roots.
Rainforest plants not only respond well to moisture in the soil, but also cannot exist in the dry air of apartments. To provide a prayer plant or a tricolor arrowroot, as in the photo, with complete comfort, you will have to take care of:
- about frequent irrigation of crops;
- about maintaining high humidity with the help of all available means;
- about protecting the flower from hot air from radiators or cold drafts.
Culture feels best when in a home greenhouse. But the creation of acceptable conditions of detention does not end with the care of a bright native of the tropics.
Tricolor arrowroot care at home
Due to the difficulty of fulfilling all the requirements, arrowroot flower growers consider this culture to be capricious. But if you find an approach to a flower, it will respond with rapid growth, the constant appearance of new tricolor foliage and even flowering.
Compared to the leaves of the prayer plant, the tricolor arrowroot photo of its flowers does not cause a storm of admiration. Some flower growers do not even suspect that their pet forms spike-shaped sparse inflorescences with whitish or lilac small flowers towering above the rosette of leaves.
In the care of arrowroot tricolor at home, be sure to include:
- plant nutrition in spring and summer;
- spring transplants carried out at two-year intervals;
- hygienic processing of foliage from dust and removal of dead or damaged parts of the plant;
- maintaining air humidity.
Watering should be regular and plentiful, while it is useful to use soft water at room temperature. Allow the substrate to dry out a little between waterings. In summer and when heating is running in winter, the soil is moistened more often. If the room is cool, the watering schedule is adjusted.
Maranta tricolor perfectly perceives top dressing with mineral compounds and organic matter. Such procedures to maintain the growth rate and decorative foliage are carried out in the warm season with an interval of two weeks. At the same time, they take care of the cleanliness of the leaves by regularly wiping them with a damp cloth. This will give the plant brightness, help maintain the required air humidity and activate the respiration of foliage.
If the flower is in dry air for a long time, the risk of infection with the arrowroot tricolor spider mite increases significantly. The pest settles on the back of the leaf plates and leads the pet to exhaustion.
As they grow, the arrowroot is transplanted. For a moisture-loving culture, wide plastic pots are chosen, from which irrigation moisture does not evaporate longer, and superficial rhizomes are comfortably placed. In order to avoid rotting of the root system, powerful drainage is made at the bottom of the container, and for planting a tricolor arrowroot, a nutritious slightly acidic mixture is taken from equal parts of peat, humus and leafy soil. To acidify the substrate, crushed coniferous bark and charcoal are added to it.
During transplantation, arrowroot can be propagated by dividing an adult plant so that the resulting rosettes have their own roots and a healthy growth point.