Arrowroot tricolor or prayer flower is a plant widespread among amateur flower growers. What is its popularity?
General information about arrowroot tricolor
Arrowroot tricolor (Maranta trikolor) is a perennial evergreen plant of the arrowroot family, originating from the humid South American rainforests. It grows up to 40 cm in height and slightly less in width.
Particularly interesting are its small oval velvety leaves growing on short petioles. They are dark green in the center, and lighter at the edges. They are characterized by well-visible, red-crimson veins.
For this plant, it received another name - arrowroot fascinator or red-streaked.
Along the central vein there is a pattern characteristic of this plant, consisting of a jagged, light strip framed with dark stains.
On the reverse side, the leaves are monochromatic - lilac-purple.
Another name for the arrowroot tricolor is associated with the special mobility of its leaves. In comfortable conditions, they are located horizontally, almost creeping above the ground.
With a lack or (under natural conditions) an excess of light, they become in an upright position, resembling palms during prayer. For this, the Tropicana is often called a prayer plant.
In summer, the arrowroot is of mature age, blooms with small white or purple flowers. Their spike-shaped inflorescences are lost against the background of the luxurious, picturesque, colorful beauty of the rosettes of its velvet leaves.
Arrowroot tricolor: home care
Florists love the tricolor arrowroot because of its unpretentiousness and fairly simple care for it. Yet this decorative tropical flower needs specific (close to natural) growing conditions.
Arrowroot tricolor prayer plant refers to shade-tolerant, because grows naturally in dense forests under a dense crown of trees.
At home, it should be placed in rooms in the east and north directions.
At the same time, in summer it is better to put a flower pot in the back of the room, and in winter - next to the windowsill.
In sunlight, the decorativeness of the fascinator decreases: the leaves become smaller, their color fades. And the direct sun is generally detrimental to the flower. Poor lighting is preferable for him to bright. The best choice for growing Tropicana is fluorescent lighting.
The arrowroot flower prefers high humidity, so water the plant regularly and abundantly. For this, settled water at room temperature is used. In the summer, watering is carried out every other day, letting the earth dry out a little. In winter conditions, watering is reduced by 2-3 times.
However, in a well-heated room, it is necessary to ensure that the soil does not dry out, and adjust the frequency of watering depending on the specific conditions: stagnant water in the soil coma is also harmful to the flower, as is its drying out.
It is also important that constant humidity is maintained in the room.
To do this, in the summer heat and during the heating season, you need to regularly spray with filtered water near the indoor plant. You can also put a container with a tricolor in a pallet with expanded clay or other similar filler.
Prayer plant loves leaf shower... At the same time, the water should not be cold, and the pot itself should be covered with a film during the procedure.
Washing the leaves with a soft cloth also contributes to maintaining humidity and better respiration of the leaves. This also improves the color of the leaves. The ideal environment for growing tropical plants are florariums or greenhouses.
A shallow but wide pot is suitable for growing arrowroot (it can be plastic). This is important because the roots of the fascinator do not tend deeper into the soil, but they love space.
A large number of underground tubers are formed on them, occupying a large area.Drainage should not be neglected; for this, a five-centimeter layer of expanded clay, crushed stone or small stones is poured onto the bottom of the pot.
The soil substrate should be slightly acidic and allow air to pass through well. Its composition meets these conditions:
- 2 parts deciduous humus,
- 1 part peat (as a soil acidifier),
- 1 part pine bark (as soil baking powder). It can be mixed with sphagnum or crushed charcoal.
If this is not possible, then instead of the last component, river sand is added. Also used is a multipurpose ground mix sold in stores.
In the summer, to improve the fertility of the land and preserve the decorativeness of the plant mineral and organic fertilizing is necessary... They are held twice a month.
The transplant of the red-tipped tropican is carried out in the spring. Before that, it is freed from old, dry and damaged leaves and roots that interfere with its growth. For this flower, a plastic pot is preferable, where moisture is better retained. So that it does not stagnate, a large layer of drainage is laid in it.
The potting mix is no different from the one in which the plant was planted. It should be loose and well fertilized. The environment is preferable acidic, because otherwise, the growth of the flower slows down, the leaves lose their characteristic color.
This video shows in detail how to transplant the arrowroot tricolor:
To reduce the stress of the plants during transplanting, it is better to do it using the transhipment method. At the same time, the earth ball is preserved as much as possible. For the first time, it is better to arrange a greenhouse for the transplanted plant.
For home use: a Tropicana up to three years old is transplanted annually, and older - half as often.
Long branches should be pruned as needed, but at least every two years. This brings tangible benefits to the plant, because removal of overgrown side shoots stimulates the emergence of new branches in the center of the plant. And the appearance of the flower benefits from this, it becomes more lush and brightly colored.
The annual spring pruning of the Tropicana with almost complete removal of all shoots is also justified. With this method, after a month and a half, the plant is completely restored, but at the same time it rejuvenates.
Arrowroot tricolor is propagated by vegetative methods:
- By dividing the bush. At the same time, the mother plant is divided into several parts, each of which has developed roots and several leaves. "Delenki" are placed in separate pots with a loose nutritious soil mixture, covered with mini-greenhouses made of film or plastic bottles. The best medium for rooting is a warm room and adequate moisture.
- Cut off ten-centimeter shoots, which have at least 3 leaves, stand for half an hour in a solution of "Stimulin". Then they are dipped into a glass with settled warm water.
After a month and a half, when the roots sprout on them, the cuttings are planted in a sand-peat mixture and watered abundantly.
Mini-greenhouses are also used with this method.
Possible problems of growing arrowroot tricolor
Inexperienced growers who breed a prayer flower at home, who do not know how to properly care for it, often face difficulties and problems. Here are some of them and tips to fix them:
- Yellowing of leaves. It can be caused by factors completely unacceptable for plants: drafts, low temperature or humidity, burns from direct sun. The sooner these destructive conditions are eliminated, the easier it is to save the plant.
- Drying of the flower. At the same time, dark spots appear on the leaves. In addition to the reasons listed above, this may be due to lack of nutrition or due to soil leaching. The introduction of peat and organic matter helps here. Watering with acidified water is also useful.
- Rolling leaves. It occurs when there is a shortage of heat or moisture.
- Slow growth or drying of leaf tips - excess lighting or phosphorus fertilization.
- Spots on the leaves are fungal diseases due to moisture on the leaves. In this case, fungicides help.
- Whitish bloom on the leaves - the presence of a mealybug, cobwebs and yellowish dots on the plant - the presence of a spider mite. These pests appear when there is insufficient moisture in the plants. With them and the scabbards that form a sticky coating on the flowers, as well as thrips, they fight with the help of insecticides.
Arrowroot tricolor and amaranth tricolor: common and differences
Do not confuse arrowroot tricolor and amaranth tricolor (Amaranthus tricolor). They belong to the same family, but they are different plants. In Russia, 18 varieties of amaranth are grown, one of the most popular is the Brazilian carnival tricolor amaranth. And here is what amaranth illumination looks like:
Amaranth tricolor differs from the prayer flower in the following characteristics:
- Its leaves are yellow-red above and green below
- It is an annual newcomer to the tropical forests of Asia.
- The plant is very fond of bright sunlight. Drought tolerant.
- Grown in the open field, propagated by seeds.
The amaranth family also includes the widespread annual plant in our country. It is usually also planted in flower beds in the open field.
There are other differences, but these are enough to understand how different these plants are.
Arrowroot tricolor is one of the most picturesque decorative indoor plants. With proper care, it pleases flower growers for many years, bringing positive energy into the house.
Varieties have been bred with spectacular and larger, up to 5 cm, crimson, white flowers, which are often sold in mixtures with blue ones. Some of the varieties:
- Blue enchantment - up to 35 cm tall, with tricolor flowers and an indigo blue zone.
- Crimson monarch - with crimson flowers.
- Blue Ensign - up to 30-45 cm in height, with large, up to 5 cm in diameter, flowers of traditional blue-white-yellow color. The edges of the corolla are bright blue.
- Royal Ensign - up to 40 cm tall, with unusually beautiful flowers of deep blue color, with a white "star" and a yellow center,
- White Ensign - 30-45 cm tall, with white flowers up to 5 cm, with a golden yellow neck.
- Rose Ensign - four-color variety: the main color is pink, followed by crimson flashes that surround a white center with uneven contours and a yellow eye.
Bindweed tricolor grows well on cultivated loams, sandy loams and even chalk soils, i.e. tolerates soils from slightly acidic to slightly alkaline (pH 6.0-7.8). Loves sunny places, but can tolerate a little partial shade, especially in the middle of the day. The plant is quite drought-resistant and heat-resistant, although the optimal temperature for its development is +20 o C.
Little is affected by pests and diseases, occasionally by aphids or spider mites. With large differences in day and night temperatures, powdery mildew may appear.
The bindweed is easy to care for. It should be watered so that the soil, if possible, remains moderately moist. During periods of drought, the leaves wither and hang, but after timely watering they restore turgor. Every 2 weeks, a complex mineral fertilizer is added to the irrigation water. For abundant flowering, remove faded flowers. If there is a desire to get self-seeding, some of them are left for setting and pouring seeds.
Use in garden design
Bindweed tricolor is suitable for flower beds and flower beds. And the borders of this plant will make any flower garden truly royal. It should be borne in mind that the curbs, due to the slight lodging of the stems, are quite wide and thick.
The plant can be used in mixborders, filling the spaces between perennials with it. A spot of tricolor bindweed on the sunny slope of a rocky hill will also come in handy.
Drought tolerance makes tricolor bindweed a valuable and simple plant for vertical gardening. It can be planted in balcony boxes and pots, hanging planters. Beautiful hemispherical hats are obtained in wide garden pots. But due to the fact that the plant does not always open its flowers, in large containers it is better to use it in compositions with other flowering ampelous plants - lobelias, petunias, calibrachoa.
Despite the short life of flowers, bindweed can be used for cutting. This is a good component for a touching and delicate suburban bouquet.
Ⓘ Black-fronted Weaver
The black-fronted weaver reaches a length of 11 to 15 cm, has a short, conical beak and brownish-pink claws. The male in breeding plumage has a black face, neck and beak, light yellow chest and head, red eyes and a slightly greenish back. The female has a brown-pink beak, brown or red-brown eyes, slightly yellow-green plumage and a darker pattern on the back. The winter plumage of the male is similar to that of the female, only the eyes are red.
The area of distribution of the black-fronted weaver is southern Africa. There it is distributed in the west, south and center of Angola, in Zambia, Malawi, Mozambique, except for the northeast and south to South Africa. It is the most frequent weaver in the arid regions of western and inland South Africa. It can be found in shrubbery, savannah, meadows, humid interior areas, semi-deserts, and city parks and gardens.
The black-fronted weaver usually searches for food alone or in small groups. It can also be found in large groups along with other granivorous birds. It feeds on seeds, grains, fruits, nectar and insects.
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