Description of stromant, advice on its cultivation, recommendations for reproduction, transplantation and watering, problems arising from cultivation, species. Stromanthe is a member of the Marantaceae family, which includes another 5 to 15 species of these plants. It is often confused with its related bushes - calathea, arrowroot or ktenante. And no wonder, because these plants are so similar to each other with their leaf plates. The homeland of this decorative "minke whale" is the humid wooded areas of the tropical regions of Central and South America.
Stromanta is a herbaceous plant that lives indoors as a perennial. Its height can reach 60–80 cm. The plant is highly decorative due to its leaf plates, which are painted in contrasting shades of beige, pinkish-red and emerald irregularly sized stripes of different thicknesses, which are as if painted by an inept artist on the surface, like on canvas, along the midrib … The length of the sheet plate is approximately 50 cm long and 10 cm wide.
The leaf is always oriented towards sunlight, which is similar to a sunflower flower. This is due to the fact that the leaf petioles are connected in such a way that allows the leaves to respond to the light source. Also, the plant has a feature common to all representatives of the Marantov family - with the arrival of evening time, leaf plates, like palms in a prayer gesture, fold and rise to the top. And as soon as the stromants touch the sun's rays, the leaves open up again and turn to the luminary. For this unusual feature, these plants are popularly called "praying plants" or "praying plant".
Flowers also grow in stromant, but they are not in any comparison with leaves. The buds have whitish petals that reach a centimeter in length. Sepals are colored orange-red. They are used to collect panicle-shaped inflorescences with a diameter of 5–8 cm. The flowering process stretches from the end of the winter months to spring. However, it is almost impossible to achieve flowering of stromant in indoor conditions.
It is quite difficult to grow a plant as a pot culture, since it is necessary to maintain a sufficiently high level of humidity and temperature indicators not lower than 18 degrees Celsius. Therefore, it is customary to cultivate it in the so-called "bottle gardens", where it is placed in phytocompositions or separately from other representatives of the flora. But the stromant feels best in greenhouse conditions or greenhouses. However, for those who want to have this exotic beautiful striped bush at home or in the office, you should simply follow some recommendations related to the natural growth of the "praying plant". Since it likes to settle in natural nature on the banks of river arteries, it is clear that in these places the body is damp, and the soil is sufficiently air and water permeable. And the duration of daylight hours will be much longer than in our latitudes. Sunlight, which penetrates the dense vegetation of tropical forests, makes it possible to receive it in the right amount, but not be harmed by strong ultraviolet light.
Tips for growing stromant
- Lighting. As already mentioned, good lighting coupled with shade is important for growing stromant at home, then window sills of eastern or western locations are suitable for installing a pot with a plant, there will be a lot of light in the morning and evening hours, and streams of dangerous ultraviolet radiation at noon will not cause the plant harm.If you still have to keep a flowerpot with a "striped" in the southern room, then you need to put the pot in the back of the room or hang tulle or curtains from light translucent materials on the window. This will prevent the leaf plates of the plant from being sunburned. A northern window sill is also a good fit. An indicator of too much illumination will be leaves that are deformed and lose their color. He loves a plant when he is given a "summer vacation" - at constant warm night temperatures, you can take a pot of stromant into the air, a terrace, garden or balcony is suitable for this. However, it is required to choose a location that is protected from direct sunlight at lunchtime and from the effects of gusts of wind.
- Content temperature. In order for the stromant to feel comfortable, at home it is necessary to adhere to heat indicators of 22-25 degrees, if the column grows, then it will be necessary to increase the humidity indicators so that the plant does not suffer. In winter, it is not necessary for the temperature to drop below 22 degrees, since the "striped beauty" is a resident of tropical regions, then the changes in heat are very harmful for her. If the room is ventilated, then try to protect the stromant from frosty air and drafts.
- Watering the stromant. It is necessary to moisten the soil constantly and abundantly, but the soil should not be too wet, waterlogging is harmful. In the summer months, you will have to water every 5 days. If the soil was very dry, then the sheet plates begin to deform and dry out. In winter, the soil in the pot is moistened only once every 7 days. The substrate should have time to dry out between waterings. Water is taken only soft and warmed up to room temperature. It is recommended to collect water after rain and warm it or melt snow in winter, but if this is not possible, then distilled or well-settled water is used. The tap must be passed through a filter and boiled. You can soften the water using a little peat soil - if it is immersed in water overnight, after wrapping it in gauze.
- Fertilizer selection. When May comes and until the end of summer, it is necessary to feed the stromant. To do this, you need to take any liquid mineral complex intended for indoor decorative deciduous plants. Top dressing will have to be done every 14 days, but the dosage must be halved from that indicated by the manufacturer. It should be remembered that over-fertilization is much worse for the "striped beauty" than under-feeding.
- Transplantation and selection of a substrate. When the plant is still young enough, the pot and soil change must be carried out annually with the onset of the April days. It is recommended to choose a container that is not very deep, since the root system of the stromant is almost on the surface. Subsequently, when the “striped beauty” has grown enough, the change is carried out only once every 3-5 years, and only when roots appear from the drainage holes. The transplantation process can be combined with dividing the bush - this will help not to disturb the scent again. When carrying out a transplant, the stromant is planted a little deeper than it grew before. If, after changing the soil and container, leaf plates curl up at the plant, it is recommended to put the pot in a shaded place and wrap it with plastic wrap to increase the humidity until the "striped" adapts. 1–2 cm of drainage is poured into the pot on the bottom, usually expanded clay of fine fraction or pebbles, but it is important that the material does not fall out through the holes for water drainage.
The substrate should have a slightly acidic reaction, be nutritious and with good air and water permeability. You can make up a soil mixture yourself from the following components:
- leafy soil, humus soil, sod soil, coarse sand or perlite and peat (in proportions 1: 1: 0, 5: 1: 1);
- garden soil, peat soil, river sand (in a ratio of 3: 1, 5: 1), dry mullein, well-crushed charcoal and a little coniferous soil are also added there;
- sterilized river sand, chopped sphagnum moss, heather soil, peat soil (all parts are equal);
- turf soil mixed with sand in equal parts or soil for arrowroot or azaleas.
Since the plant likes to settle near waterways, the moisture indicator should not be lower than 65%. To do this, beautiful leaves of stromant are sprayed daily with soft water at room temperature (22-24 degrees Celsius). When summer temperatures rise, you will have to spray even several times a day. It is important that the water is soft, as an unaesthetic whitish spot appears on the leaves from too hard moisture. Dry air is especially terrible for a plant in the autumn-winter period, when central heating batteries and heating devices begin to work. At this time, you will have to raise the air humidity by all available means, except for spraying:
- Install mechanical humidifiers.
- Place vessels filled with water next to the stromant pot.
- Take a deep and wide pallet, pour expanded clay or pebbles into it, pour some water into it, and then put the pot on a saucer. The main thing is that the water's edge does not reach the bottom of the flowerpot.
You can also wipe the leaves with a soft damp cloth or brush, remember that the leaves are very easy to damage. Therefore, it is advised to grow stromanthus in terrariums or florariums, where a sufficiently high level of humidity can be maintained.
Self-breeding tips for stromant
You can get a new decorative bush using the method of dividing the plant during transplantation or cuttings.
When it is decided to change the pot for the stromant, then it must be carefully removed from the old container and carefully, trying not to damage the roots, divide the bush into 2-3 parts, so that each part has several good roots (2-3 units) and several leaf plates. It should be planted in a peat substrate well moistened with warm water. New bushes take root very slowly and is problematic, therefore it is recommended to place the transplanted parts of the stromant in a very warm and humid place, but without direct dining rays of light. They are wrapped in plastic wrap to create greenhouse conditions.
Airing and watering at home is also carried out regularly, with the same warm water, as soon as the top layer of soil in the pot dries out. Continue this adaptation mode until new plants take root and produce new leaves. To carry out cuttings, the tops of young young branches are selected. Breeding is necessary from late spring and during the summer months. The length of the cutting should not be less than 7-10 cm and have 2-3 leaf plates. The cut must be done slightly below the internode. The cut branches are placed in a vessel with boiled water. Then you need to create the conditions for a mini-greenhouse, covering the cuttings with a plastic bag or film. After 5–6 weeks, root shoots should appear. Next, you should plant in small transparent plastic cups with a peat substrate. And again, greenhouse conditions are created for further strengthening. As soon as the young stromant has new small leaves, it is recommended to gradually accustom the plant to fresh air, lengthening the airing time.
At the ends of the stems, leafy rosettes develop, which also take root easily.
Difficulties in cultivating stromant
Usually, problems arise when the conditions for caring for the "motley beauty" are violated, of which the following can be distinguished:
- drying of leaf plates provokes either too low air humidity or the plant is affected by a spider mite;
- casting begins to deform and twist, if the soil was too dry, it should always be kept moist;
- if shoots and leaves began to wither and rot, then this is a consequence of too much humidity and low temperature of the content;
- the appearance of white spots on the leaf plates provoked spraying with hard and cold water.
Of the pests that can infect the stromant, one can distinguish:
- a spider mite, all the leaves and stems begin to cover a translucent, thin cobweb and they begin to dry out;
- thrips appear as spots on the leaves, they are strongly deformed and fall off;
- scale insects begin to suck vital juices from the leaves and they can be seen as brown dots on the back of the leaf plate, and then the plant will be covered with a sticky sugary bloom - the waste products of the parasite and this can lead to fungal disease;
- when a mealybug is affected, the leaves, internodes and stems are covered with a bloom similar to pieces of cotton wool;
- the whitefly is also visible on the back of the leaf in the form of whitish dots - these are the eggs of the pest, but if measures are not taken, then soon the whole bush will be covered with small white midges.
It is necessary to treat the plant with soap, oil or alcohol solutions. Or apply modern insecticides.
Types of stromant
- Pleasant stromanthe (Stromanthe ambilis). The plant reaches a height of 30 cm. The leaf plates are attached to long petioles. They have a regular elliptical wide-oval shape. They reach lengths within 10–20 cm, with a width of 4–5 cm. The upper side of the leaf is decorated with a herringbone pattern - stripes of dark color are drawn on a light green background, which originate from the central vein. The back (underside) of the leaf is colored gray-green and has some pinkish tint. Flowering occurs in the spring or summer months of the year. The flowers are inconspicuous and small.
- Bloody stromanthe (Stromanthe sanguinea) it is sometimes found under the name Blood-red stromanths. The homeland of the plant is considered to be wooded Brazilian territories. This variety is much larger than the pleasant stromant. The shape of the leaf plates is elliptical with a pointed tip at the top. They grow to a length of 15–40 cm and a width of about 7–13 cm. The upper side of the leaf is shiny, light green. The drawing on the leaf has a V-shape and is painted in a rich emerald color. The back is tinted with a beautiful cherry color scheme. Flowering occurs in late spring and summer. The flowers are white and completely expressionless, collected in spike-shaped inflorescences.
This variety of stromant is divided into the following varieties:
- Stromanthe Tricolor or it is called the Tricolor. This plant has a leaf color of a dark emerald hue, its upper surface is painted with stripes of pale pinkish or light green color, and the back side casts a burgundy color.
- Stromanthe Multicolor. In this "minke" the upper surface is decorated with spotting and stains of a whitish or pale green hue on a dense green background of the leaf plate.
- Stromanthe Horticolor. The color of this variety includes stripes and spots with a yellowish, olive tint, as well as green of various saturations (from light to emerald).
- Stromanthe Maroon. In a plant of this variety, the leaf plate casts a dark, rich green color, and only the middle vein is painted in a lighter tone. The back side takes on burgundy shades. This cultivar is not often grown as a pot plant due to its less ornamental leaves.
- Stromanthe Straip Star. The leaf plate is distinguished by a bright green background, along which a light strip runs along the central vein, and the lower side of the leaf shines with a burgundy color.
For more information on growing stromant at home, see here: