HOW TO GROW AND CARE FOR OUR PLANTS
The Maranta they are wonderful fast growing plants particularly suitable for those who have little patience with plants and want to see the results immediately as they are very fast growing.
Species: see the paragraph on "Main species"
The kind Maranta belongs to family of Marantaceae. They are plants native to the equatorial forest of Brazil and Guyana where they grow in the shady places of the undergrowth.
The Maranta I'm evergreen plants, herbaceous and their peculiarity are the leaves, variously arabesque with extraordinary shapes and colors. The leaves also have the particularity of remaining erect during the night and folding during the day to conserve humidity.
THE flowers they are very small, white, gathered in spikes and inconspicuous.
They are fast growing plants so they are suitable for those who have little patience with plants and want to see results immediately.
There are numerous species of Maranta among which we remember
There Maranta leuconeura It is a small plant that does not exceed 30 cm in height with leaves around 15 cm long carried by long sheathing petioles.It includes three main hybrids:
Maranta leuconeura ‘Kerchoveana’
The plant has velvety leaves of an intense gray-green color with square-brown spots that over time become dark green on both sides of the main light green vein while the underside is gray-blue. It produces pretty white flowers.
Its peculiarity is the brightly colored red ribs. The leaf is velvety and has a characteristic stripe, in correspondence with the central rib of a very light green color, while the areas between the red ribs are of a very dark green color. The underside of the leaves is deep red.
The leaves are velvety and characterized by silver spots that extend like a herringbone from the central vein towards the edge of the leaf.
Maranta leuconeura 'Kerchoveana'
Maranta leuconera 'Messangean'
Maranta leuconera 'Erythoneura'
There Maranta makoyana it has ellipsoidal leaves of an olive green paper consistency with reddish streaks. The leaves are carried by long petioles that start from the root tubercles.
There Maranta arundinacea it has leaves up to 30 cm long and 10 cm wide, variously mottled than in theMaranta arundinacea 'Variegata' (pictured above) are white in color.
Temperatures optimal for a good cultivation of Maranta are between 20 ° C and 28 ° C. with a very high relative humidity of 90%. For this reason they are grown in shady places.
To get healthy leaves, well developed and colored, it is advisable to keep the plant from April to September almost in the shade.
There Maranta water often in order to keep the soil constantly humid during the spring - summer period. During the rest of the year, irrigations must be reduced and must be as much as necessary to keep the soil just moist.
The plant loves humid environments so take care to spray the foliage often. If temperatures are above 20 ° C, spray daily. Same thing during the winter period if the heaters are on in your home.
One trick is to place the pot that contains the plant on a saucer (or other container) in which you will have placed some expanded clay or gravel in which you will always keep a trickle of water. In this way the roots of the Marantanon will come into contact with the water which, evaporating, will guarantee a humid environment.
TYPE OF SOIL - REPOT
There Maranta it must be repotted often being a fast growing plant. The young seedlings should be repotted every two years until reaching the size of the pot of 20 cm in diameter. After that, the first centimeters of soil (2-3 cm) are removed and replaced with new soil in spring.
Use a topsoil very soft and porous consisting of peat and beech leaves with the addition of a little coarse sand to facilitate the drainage of irrigation water. There Maranta in fact it does not tolerate water stagnation. To do this, place small pieces of earthenware on the bottom of the vase that favor the drainage of excess water.
I always recommend using clay pots that promote the breathing of the earth.
Throughout the spring and summer it is advisable to fertilize the Maranta every 2 weeks using a good liquid fertilizer that will be administered with the irrigation water. At other times of the year, once a month is sufficient.
The fertilizer to use must have a supply more than double of nitrogen compared to potassium and to a lesser extent phosphorus.Do not forget that all fertilizers must also have the so-called microelements, i.e. those compounds that the plant needs in minimal quantities (but still needs them ) such as magnesium (Mg), iron (Fe), manganese (Mn), copper (Cu), zinc (Zn), boron (B), molybdenum (Mo), all important for a correct and balanced plant growth.
A tip: slightly reduce the doses compared to those reported in the package; if you insert a good soil and repot every 2 years, you will give your plant a good basic supply of nutrients. More Maranta died from excess fertilizer than from poor cultural care.
Flowering of the Maranta it's not very flashy. The flowers are small and white - purplish in color. Plants grown indoors typically flower very rarely.
There is no talk of real pruning for the Maranta. You just have to be careful to remove old or dead leaves to make room for new shoots and prevent them from becoming a vector of parasitic diseases.
It multiplies simply by dividing the plant or by stem cutting.
MULTIPLICATION BY DIVISION OF THE PLANT
In February - March, the plant is removed from the pot and the fleshy roots are gently separated, taking care not to damage them. Once this is done, take two pots and transplant the new seedlings into a soil as indicated for adult plants.
Be very careful not to damage the roots during this operation because they are very delicate, better if you work with a stick and not with your hands.Place the pots in a warm and bright place but not in direct sun and keep the soil just moist. When the new shoots begin to appear, it means that the seedlings have taken root: start treating them as adult plants.
MULTIPLICATION FOR TALEA
Between May and August cuttings can be taken from the apex of the stems about 10 cm long each with 2-3 leaves that must be cut immediately under the knot.It is recommended to cut with a razor blade or a sharp knife to avoid fraying of the fabrics having make sure that the tool used for cutting is clean and disinfected (preferably with a flame) to avoid infecting tissues.
After removing the lower leaves, the cut part is immersed in a rhizogenic powder to facilitate rooting.
Generally 3 cuttings are planted per jar which must be small, no more than 8cm in a compound made up of a part of peat and a coarse sand. Holes are made with a pencil, as many as there are cuttings and they are arranged as shown in the photo. Then take care to gently compact the soil.
The box or pot is covered with a transparent plastic sheet (or a bag with a hood) and is placed in the shade and at a temperature of around 24 ° C, taking care to keep the soil always slightly moist (always water without wetting the rooting plants with water at room temperature). Every day the plastic is removed to control the humidity of the soil and to eliminate condensation from the plastic.
Once the first shoots start to appear, it means that the cutting has taken root. At that point he removes the plastic and places the pot in a brighter area, at the same temperature and expects the tales to strengthen. When they have become large enough and have produced new vigorous shoots, they will transplant into the vasoo in the final soil. Do not disturb the cuttings until the new shoots have been released.
PARASITES AND DISEASES
Withered leaves turning brown
Wilted leaves are a symptom of excessively low temperatures.
Remedies: place the plant in a warmer place.
Faded leaves that lose color
Faded leaves are the classic symptom of too much light.
Remedies: place the plant in a more shady place.
Leaves with a rolled leaf margin, are slightly turgid and have darkened tips
This symptom in the Maranta indicates that there is little humidity in the air and little watering is practiced.
Remedies: remove the damaged parts, increase the humidity of the air and irrigation.
Spots on the underside of the leaves
Spots on the underside of the leaves could mean that you are in the presence of cochineal and in particular mealy cochineal. To be sure, it is recommended that you make use of a magnifying glass and observe yourself. Compare it with the photo on the side. They are features, you can't go wrong. Also if you try to remove them with a fingernail, they come off easily.
Remedies: remove them with a cotton swab soaked in alcohol or if the plant is large and potted, you can wash it with water and neutral soap, rubbing very gently with a sponge to remove the parasites, after which the plant is varisced very well to eliminate all the soap. For larger plants planted outdoors, you can use specific pesticides available from
Leaves that begin to turn yellow, appear mottled with yellow and brown
If the leaves begin to turn yellow and after these manifestations crumple, they take on an almost powdery appearance and fall off. Observing carefully you can also notice some thin cobwebs especially on the underside of the leaves. With this symptomatology we are very likely in the presence of an attack of red spider, a very annoying and harmful mite.
Remedies: increase the frequency of nebulizations to the foliage (the lack of humidity favors their proliferation) and possibly, only in the case of particularly serious infestations, use a specific insecticide. If the plant is not particularly large, you can also try cleaning the leaves to mechanically eliminate the parasite using a wet and soapy cotton ball. After that the plant must be rinsed very well to remove all the soap.
Presence of small whitish animals on the plant
If you notice small white-yellowish-greenish mobile insects you are almost certainly in the presence of aphids or as they are commonly called lice.Observe them with a magnifying glass and compare them with the photo on the side, they are unmistakable, you can't go wrong.
Remedies: treat the plant with specific pesticides readily available from a good nurseryman.
From the stolons of the Maranta arundinaceae a starch used as food is extracted.