Violet undersides of leaves and a light green to blue upper side of leaves make the Maranta leuconeura varieties so decorative, because the flowers they develop are rather inconspicuous. The plant originally comes from the rain forests and therefore has similar care requirements to those found in its homeland. But with a little time, it thrives in the room and in summer in a sheltered spot outdoors. The Marante does not grow very high, but likes to spread out. The foliage plant can also be cultivated hydroponically, making watering and general care easier.
Table of Contents
- originally native to the rainforests
- ornamental leaf plant
- Flowers are inconspicuous
- Leaves upper surface light green to bluish with veins
- Underside purple or bluish-green, depending on the variety
- with a velvety sheen
- grows between 10 cm and 30 cm high
- grows in width
- can also be cultivated in hydroponics
Since the Marante is not hardy and evergreen, it is mainly cultivated as a houseplant in tubs in the local latitudes. In the summer, however, she can also move outside to a sheltered balcony or a covered terrace, the fresh air promotes growth. Otherwise, it has the following claims on its location:
- bright to semi-shady
- avoid direct sunlight at noon
- the large leaves could otherwise fade
- Winter, morning and evening sun are tolerated
- high humidity
- no draft
- warm environment, not below 18° Celsius even in winter
Substrat & Boden
The Maranta leuconeura needs a soil that has good water retention. Therefore, a fibrous potting soil is optimal, which also contains a lot of humus. Commercial soil for potted plants, palm trees or potting soil, mixed with a little peat, is suitable. As an alternative to this, the plant can also be cultivated in hydroponics, since there is optimal water storage.
watering & fertilizing
The Marante always needs enough water, the soil and the root ball should never dry out. However, waterlogging must be avoided. So there should be sufficient watering, the excess water that has run off is collected in a bowl and poured off after about thirty minutes.
When cultivating with hydroponics, the gauge that shows the water level should always be in the middle. However, the plant shows when it is too dry during the day by curling its leaves to the side. If the leaves are curled up in the evening and during the night, this is no cause for concern as this is an anti-evaporation characteristic of this species. For the required humidity from the air, bowls that are set up around the plant, electric humidifiers and spraying help. For this purpose, low-lime water should be chosen, otherwise unsightly white spots will appear on the leaves or brown spots will form, which indicate damage to the leaf. The Marante should be fertilized as follows:
- choose the special fertilizer granules for hydroponics
- is added directly to the new planting
- this is a long-term fertilizer
- usually only has to be administered every six months
- if the plant has been newly planted in soil or repotted, no fertilizer is necessary
- only use liquid fertilizer every four to eight weeks from the second year
- alternatively use long-term fertilizer in the form of sticks
Before planting, you need to prepare the bucket. So that no waterlogging can occur when cultivating in soil, drainage must be created over the planting hole. Here potsherds or stones can be used. Plant fleece is placed over this so that no wet soil can clog the drainage. A part of the prepared soil is placed on the fleece, then proceed as follows:
- Dig a hole in the middle the size of the root ball
- place the root ball in a bucket of low-lime water before inserting
- this way the roots can supply themselves with enough water in advance
- Place the Marante in the pot and fill in the remaining soil
- press lightly and pour well
Repotting should be done every two to three years so that the plant also receives new substrate. Repotting is not necessary for hydroponic plants if they have already been planted in large enough containers. In this case, there is no need to replace the granules used, because the required nutrients are only administered via the special long-term fertilizer. Otherwise, repotting should be done as explained below:
- prepare one or more pots as for planting
- Lay drainage and fill in prepared soil
- Carefully remove the plants from the old container
- remove old soil from the roots
- share if necessary
- proceed as with the planting
The Maranta leuconeura does not need a cut, only yellow, brown or constantly curled leaves should be removed. This allows the decorative plant to sprout new leaves again. A disinfected and sharp knife is used to cut the leaves, with which the leaf is removed directly at its origin.
The ornamental plant has rhizomes that can be divided. This is how the Marante can be propagated. However, if you do not want to divide the plant so that it becomes large and sprawling, you can also propagate it from cuttings.
propagation by division
- Carefully remove the plant from the soil or hydrogranulate
- Ideally divide during repotting
- Divide the root ball with a sharp knife
- in two, three or four parts
- it depends on how many new plants you want
- put all the individual parts in new soil and new, prepared buckets
- there is no need to change the granules for plants cultivated in hydroponics
Propagation with cuttings
- Cut shoots with stalk and leaves
- this can be done throughout the year
- remove the lower leaves
- put in a glass or vase with lime-free water
- if cultivated in hydroponics, the cuttings can be placed directly in the granulate
- ensure there is sufficient humidity
- place in a warm, bright place
- if the first roots and new leaves appear at the top, it can be planted
The decorative green plant can remain in its place in the room all year round if the temperature does not drop below 13° Celsius in winter. If the plant is in a warm place, for example in a heated living room, care must be taken to ensure there is sufficient humidity due to the dry heating air that prevails here. Therefore, especially in winter, an electric humidifier is a good idea, which offers the ornamental plant the right environment. The Marante does not need hibernation. It will continue to be watered and fertilized as before.
Care mistakes, diseases or pests
If it is too cold or too dry for the Marante, then it rolls up its leaves from the edge and brown spots appear. Then you should remedy the situation immediately, choose a different location or water the root ball well. In such a case, the damaged leaves should be removed with a sharp and disinfected knife directly at the leaf origin so that the plant can sprout again. A place with too much sun, on the other hand, can bleach the leaves, so here too you should immediately provide a remedy and shade.
If the plant is watered sufficiently, the location is warm enough and spots appear on the leaves, then the water is too calcareous. It is better if filtered tap water or collected rainwater is used for watering and spraying. The Maranten can be attacked by spider mites if the air is too dry. Only when the ideal humidity has been restored is it worth fighting the pests.
The Maranta Leuconeura is a relatively easy-care, evergreen ornamental plant that is particularly suitable for cultivation in the home. But in summer she prefers a wind and draught-protected place outdoors. If it is offered the desired humidity in its environment, it will develop splendidly without having to do any further maintenance.