Scientific name: Stromanthe sanguinea
Synonyms: Triostar, Calathea Triostar, Ctenanthe Triostar
The Triostar is a striking plant. Its variegated leaves of dark green and streaks of pink and cream make an eye-catching combination. If that is not enough glamour, the undersides of the plant are a stunning shade of pinkish-purple.
The young plant starts out fairly small and is suited for tabletops, but as it reaches full height it is better suited for use as a floor plant. However, you will have many months of tabletop beauty, given that it grows very slowly.
Triostars are a part of the Prayer Plant family so you may notice that its leaves fold up at night.
Learning how to care for your Stromanthe is not complicated, but you must commit to providing it with an environment that is as close as possible to its native tropical rainforests.
Please note: These Plants are not considered toxic.
- Brown leaf tips/ crispy leaves: are a result of insufficient humidity. Mist the plant more regularly to provide it with more moisture, or place it among other plants, or place it on a pebble and water filled tray, taking care not to let the pot sit in the water.
- ‘Freckles’ or burn marks: these occur if the plant has been exposed to too strong light or too much direct sunlight. If you see these burn marks, reduce sun exposure by moving the plant to a new area in the room or filtering the light that falls on it.
- Root rot: If the plant is over-watered for too long, root rot may occur. To check how moist the soil is before you water the plant, stick your finger about 2cm into the soil – if it is dry, water it.
Pests can be a challenge if the humidity is very low (spider mites) or too high (mealy bugs). Spray with good organic pesticide, like neem oil. Repeat weekly and keep plant in isolation until completely pest-free
- Origin: Brazil
- Height: up to 90cm –120cm
- Light: Place your plant in bright, indirect light. The more light it gets, the better the variegation will show, but keep it out of direct sun to prevent sunburn.
- Water: Triostar like to be kept barely moist at all times. Allow the top inch of the soil to dry out before watering again – but don’t let the soil get too dry. During the colder months, water carefully to avoid over-watering and eventual root rot.
- Humidity: Triostar is a tropical plant and likes above-average humidity. Mist the plant regularly or place it on a pebble and water filled dish, taking care that the pot does not touch the water. Placing in a humid-prone room, such as the bathroom or kitchen, can also help with its humidity needs.
- Temperature: Average to warm temperatures of 13-26°C is ideal. Be sure to keep the plant out of cold or hot drafts.
- Soil: Use quick draining soil that retains moisture but still drains well. A peat based potting soil is a good choice.
- Fertilizer: Feed the plant every two weeks during the growing season, which is usually from early spring to end of autumn, with a balanced fertilizer diluted by half.
- Repotting: Triostar houseplants do well in shallow containers. Only repot when you are sure the plant has outgrown its current pot and then in late spring or summer.
- Pruning: Remove damaged leaves from the plant at the point where they are attached to the main stem, using pruning shears. Grooming can be done at any time of the year, although it is best done in spring before the plant enters its active growth stage.
- Propagation: Division – in spring before the plant begins its growth spurt. Carefully separate the Stromanthe rhizome with 2 – 3 leaves attached from the main root ball. Plant the removed rhizome in a pot of moist potting soil. Enclose the entire plant in a plastic bag and keep it warm in medium light until new roots develop.
If in stock, shop for Triostar here.