“Maranta” refers to several groups of plants in the marantaceae genus. These plants are vibrantly colored and get their name from the movement of the leaves throughout the day like praying hands. This maranta is a low-growing vining species that will spread out more than it’s other non-vining family members, like the calathea and stromanthe.
LIGHT: Marantas will thrive in a medium to bright indirect or filtered light. Do not place in harsh, direct sunlight. If your maranta receives too much sunlight, the leaves may become blotchy, fade or burn. During the winter, give your plant as much bright light as possible to maintain growth.
HUMIDITY: Prefers a slightly higher level of humidity than is found in most homes. During the dry winter months, you can use a humidifier or place your plant over a tray filled with pebbles and water (making sure the water isn’t touching the pot) will help increase the level of humidity around your plant. If you decide to mist your plant, mist from the bottom up. Misting too frequently can encourage fungus growth.
WATERING: Watering a maranta can be tricky, as it demands that the soil stay consistently moist, without being soggy or wet. Water when the top soil is dry. Bottom soaking calatheas is a good way to ensure the plant is getting only the water it needs. Just be sure to not let the plant sit in water for extended periods of time. If you notice brittle dry spots on the leaves, your calathea likely needs more water. Alternatively, if you notice yellow or wilted leaves at the base of your plant, allow the plant to dry out longer in between waterings, and use less water.
PROPAGATION: Maranta can be propagated by division or stem cuttings. Spring is the best time to separate maranta. Gently remove the soil around the roots and divide at the natural separations and plant in a well-draining peat-based mix. If propagating with stem cuttings, make a cut below a leaf node and put in either water or moist sphagnum moss. Once roots grow about 1”-2” long replant in a peat-based potting mix.
- Feed monthly in the spring, summer and fall with a balanced plant food diluted to 1/4 the recommended strength. You can also use a gentle fertilizer like fish emulsion or Superthrive.
- Marantas are sensitive to salts, like fluoride, in tap water. Too many salts will cause the edges and tips of the leaves to turn brown. To avoid this, you can flush the soil periodically with distilled water to remove excess salts, or water your plant with purified or filtered water.
- Plant using a light, porous indoor potting soil that retains water but still drains quickly. African violet soil works well.
- Marantas are nontoxic to cats and dogs.