Arrowroot (lat.Maranta) is a genus of herbaceous plants of the Marantaceae family - Marantaceae. The homeland of arrowroot is Brazil, a close relative is Calathea.
The popular arrowroot plant is grown for its decorative foliage. It fits perfectly into the interior and is unpretentious in maintenance. It grows to a height of 20-25 cm. The most common species is Arrowroot or Maranta leuconeura.
The leaves of the plant are collected in a root rosette, the surface of the foliage is decorated with a pattern with a clear outline, the color of which is most often dark green, sometimes almost black.
Due to the difference in color of the upper and lower sides of the leaves, the flower surprises with its dissimilarity at different times of the day. In the evening, when the leaves are raised up, a single-colored lower part is visible, and in the morning the foliage drops and throughout the day the plant's outfit is brighter.
In appearance, Maranta very much resembles its relative Calathea.
Other names for arrowroot: Bogomolets, Princess-frog.
Popular types of arrowroot:
Arrowroot arrowroot or Arrowroot tricolor - (Maranta leuconeura erythrophylla / eritroneura, Maranta tricolor). Differs in lilac flowers and small oval-shaped leaves. The saturated color of the foliage around the edges is much paler than across the entire size. There are yellowish-green streaks in the center of the leaf, which create a beautiful feather-shaped pattern.
Arrowroot reed - (Maranta arundinacea L.). A lush bush with a thick tuberous root grows up to 1-1.2 meters in height. Leaves are oval, pointed at the edges, green in color with a bluish tinge. During the flowering period, small, white flowers flaunt among the foliage.
Arrowroot bicolor - (Maranta bicolor Ker-Gawl., Calathea bicolor Steud.) Tubers do not form, has oval leaves with wavy edges. The patterns on the foliage make the plant especially attractive, dark green spots are visible on the upper side, and the lower side is decorated with an original red ornament.
Arrowroot white-veined Massange - (Maranta leuconeuravar. Massangeana). The small, compact flower is very popular with florists due to its unique appearance and unpretentiousness. Colored patterns on the outside and inside of the neat leaves enchant with their beauty. Its stem grows only up to 30 cm, the length of oval leaves does not exceed 10-15 cm.
A variety of background flowers and incredibly beautiful patterns on arrowroot foliage won the hearts of many connoisseurs of beauty. It is quite simple to grow such a treasure at home and even a novice florist can do it.
In order for the plant to feel better and develop well, it is important to take into account some of the subtleties that arrowroot loves, leaving you will not seem difficult if you familiarize yourself with the preferences of this mysterious beauty.
First of all, create favorable conditions: limit direct sunlight on foliage, monitor air humidity and follow watering rules. Do not forget that the homeland of arrowroot is the humid tropics and your task is to bring the natural conditions closer for the successful development of the flower.
Lighting. Arrowroot, one of the few plants that prefer light shade. In order for your plant to have a bright leaf color, it should not be placed in bright light, but it is not recommended to put arrowroot in a too dark place. Reacts well to additional lighting with fluorescent lamps.
In summer, arrowroot can be taken out into the garden or on the balcony in a draft-protected place.
Temperature. Arrowroot loves warmth, therefore, the temperature in winter should not fall below 16 ° C. In summer, providing it with high humidity, it can be kept at temperatures up to 28 ° C. The optimum temperature is around 20-25 ° C.
Like most plants, arrowroot does not tolerate temperature changes.
Air humidity. Arrowroot is not only thermophilic, but also loves moisture. In the summer, regular daily spraying, going to the shower, has a beneficial effect on the health of the plant. In winter, if the air is too dry, you can increase its humidity by placing the flower pot on a pallet and the pallet in a flat container filled with damp expanded clay, moss or sand.
Watering. In summer, the arrowroot should be watered every other day to keep the soil constantly slightly moist, but do not let the plant flood. In winter, the period between waterings is longer, about 5-7 days. The soil should dry out a couple of centimeters. Arrowroot roots do not react well to hypothermia, so water is suitable for irrigation a couple of degrees above room temperature. Use clean, settled or filtered water.
Top dressing. Do not overfeed arrowroot. In the spring and summer, half of the usual dose once every 2 weeks will be enough for her. In winter, you can occasionally feed with a highly diluted fertilizer no more than 1 time per month. Alternate organic and mineral fertilizers.
Transfer. Loose and porous peat-based soil is suitable for arrowroot, for example, soil for decorative deciduous plants. The plant needs good drainage. Based on the fact that the root system of the arrowroot is shallow, use a wide, not deep pot for transplanting. Young plants are transplanted annually in spring, three-year and older - once every two years.
Trimming and shaping. Doesn't need much trimming. Remove dried leaves, flowers, and overly elongated shoots periodically.
Bloom. Arrowroot flowers are not the trump card of this decorative leafy plant. Small, inconspicuous flowers, collected in panicles, appear in early summer on adult plants.
Reproduction. The most popular way to breed arrowroot is by dividing the bush. In early spring, the arrowroot is carefully removed from the pot and divided into parts so that each new plant has 2-3 tubers and a few leaves. The separated plants are placed in shallow pots with a light peat-based substrate. It is advisable to cover the pots with plants with transparent bags to maintain the necessary humidity.
Another way is grafting. In summer, the top cuttings of arrowroot 8-10 cm long are placed in water. After a month and a half, the rooted cuttings are planted in small pots with loose soil.
Diseases and pests. Arrowroot is attacked by red mites, mealybugs or aphids. Pests attack a cute plant in a dry room. It is recommended to carry out the treatment with special insecticidal preparations and increase the air humidity.
When exposed to direct sunlight, the leaves lose their color and dry out. The stems wither and rot at excessive humidity and low air temperatures. The tips of the leaves can turn yellow when the soil contains too much or too little nutrient. With insufficient watering, the leaves roll up and become covered with dark spots.
Arrowroot in winter. In winter, the flower begins a dormant period, from about October to February. During this period, it is important not to overcool the plant and reduce watering to 1 time per week. Do not place the plant pot near window panes. Protect the flower from drafts and sudden changes in air temperature.
Interesting facts: arrowroot is called a praying plant, because when there is a lack of lighting (for example, at night), its leaves rise up and become like folded palms.
In addition to decorating the interior, the flower is used for culinary and medicinal purposes. Arrowroot is rich in nutrients such as folic and pantheic acid, vitamin B9, vitamin PP and calcium. Tuberous thickening of the root system contains starch, which is 95% carbohydrates. The charming flower cures insomnia, anorexia, intestinal anemia, and also increases the body's supporting function.