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Stromanthe making new plants. Stromanthe (Maronto family) making new plants

Stromanthe making new plants. Stromanthe (Maronto family) making new plants

Stromanthe (Maronto family) making new plants
Stromanthe (Maronto family) making new plants
 The plant Stromanthe (Maronto family) in the beautiful pot and home interior
The plant Stromanthe (Maronto family) in the beautiful pot and home interior

Stromanthe is one of the Maronto family and is prized for its clumps of striking green leaves, which have a herringbone pattern on top and contrasting undersides.

Stromanthes grow from rhizomes and are evergreen. Along with the Marantas, Stromanthe comes from the tropical parts of America. However, direct sun causes the leaf colour to fade. Stromanthe enjoys a high humidity and a warm room temperature. Spray daily on hot days.

Size and growth - The cultivated varieties are low-growing unless they are planted in a large container. They should be watered moderately and fed with liquid fertilizer every 14 days during the growing period.

The leaves are oblong with a small pointed tail at the square end, forming fan-like sprays.

Colour and varieties - The compact Stromanthe amobilis has leaves 30cm (12in) long with a green and grey herringbone pattern on the upper side and grey or red beneath. The glossy leaves of S. songuineo grow up to 50cm (20in) long with a : deep central vein. The I' upper sides are pale and i dark green with purple I beneath.

Shown here in a pot, Stromanthe is also suitable for a bottle garden.

Making new plants

Overcrowded plants should be divided and repotted in spring just as the plant is beginning to make new growth. Use a slightly moist peat-based compost with a little sand mixed in.

1 Put drainage crocks and a little compost in some 8cm (3in) pots.

2 Remove the old plant from its pot and carefully scrape compost away from roots. Gently tease apart the roots to separate the rhizomes, taking care to leave two or three good stems on each clump.

3 Repot each small clump, filling the pot with compost to cover all the roots but not pressing in too firmly.

4 Enclose in a ventilated polythene bag and keep it in a warm shady place for a few days to encourage roots to grow.

5 Take off the bag and water from top of pot as usual. Plants need water when compost is light and crumbly

Scrape away compost

Plant Doctor

□ Leaves are scorched or discoloured. This indicates too much direct sunlight.

Treatment: Move plant into the shade.

□ If leaves shrivel the air is too dry. Treatment: Damp compost slightly and spray leaves.

□ If lower leaves turn yellow and others are curled and spotted the plant is prohably being underwatered. Treatment: Do not let the compost dry out between waterings.

□ If the growth becomes stunted and the leaf tips are brown and dry then the air is too dry and there is the risk of an attack of red spider mite. Treatment: Mist the leaves regularly and remove dead leaves.