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The homeland of representatives of this family common in room culture is the humid tropical and subtropical regions of Central and South America. In nature, 30 genera are widespread, including about 400 species of arrowroot. Of these, Calathea, Ctenanthe Ctenanthe, Maranta Maranta and Stromante Stromante are grown in the room.
Arrowroot - herbaceous or liana-like rhizome plants. The main features are in a two-row or spiral-two-row arrangement of leaves, usually collected in basal rosettes. Leaves with a wide, solid plate, with a thick midrib, from which lateral veins parallel to each other extend. The bases of the petioles have a well-developed vagina, open and provided with a tongue. The flowers are bisexual, asymmetrical, in the apical spicate inflorescences. Perianth of 3 sepals and 3 petals; both perianth circles are corolla-shaped, or the outer circle is green. Stamens from 3 to 5. Fruit - one-seeded capsule.
Small thickenings on the arrowroot rhizome store water and nutrients and allow it to survive a short period of moisture deficiency. A characteristic feature peculiar only to arrowroots is the thickening of the upper part of the petiole, directly near the leaf itself. Thanks to this device, arrowroots can lift and turn leaves towards the light source. Arrowroot are decorative deciduous plants. Therefore, their flowers are, as a rule, small and inconspicuous, collected in spike-shaped inflorescences. After flowering, in some species of arrowroot, the aerial part may die off. But at the same time, the plant does not go into a dormant stage and does not die, it is left in the same place and continues to be watered, since young shoots will soon appear.
Plants of the arrowroot family have another interesting adaptation that helps with reproduction. Insects that crawl into the tube of a flower for nectar touch a small outgrowth that sets the stamens in motion. They touch the body of the insect with an anther and leave pollen on it, which it then transfers to another flower and leaves on the stigma of the pistil, thereby carrying out fertilization.
Temperature: These plants are thermophilic. In summer, they will be satisfied with the usual room temperature, but preferably not higher than 28-30 ° C. In winter, the content is optimal at 16-18 ° С, the lower limit is + 14 ° С. Avoid sudden temperature changes and drafts. If it is not possible to lower the temperature in winter, protect the plants from the hot air of radiators, make sure there is enough light.
Lighting: Loyal to some shading, prefer bright diffused light or very light partial shade. Some direct sunlight is acceptable in the early morning or late afternoon. If the light is too intense, the plant can get burned or simply lose leaf color. Arrowroot is one of the few plants that can be grown entirely under artificial light.
Watering and air humidity: Sufficiently abundant during the period of intensive growth, approximately 2 days after the upper part of the soil dries out, i.e. the surface of the earth will be dry. During colder periods, watering is less frequent, let the soil dry well. Arrowroot is more difficult to tolerate dry hot air than drying the soil. They do not suffer from waterlogging only if the soil is very airy, contains not only peat, but also many large fractions - overheating leaves, pieces of bark or coconut substrate.
The ratio of arrowroot to spraying depends on the species - plants with pubescent leaves do not need to be sprayed. But almost all arrowroots do not like dry air - the humidity is below 50%, especially when the house temperature is above 25 ° C. Plants with smooth leaves can be sprayed 2-3 times a day, and the option of placing the pots on trays of damp sphagnum moss or using a humidifier works for everyone.
Transfer: Arrowroot at a young age are transplanted annually, standard soil mixtures consist of 2-3 parts of leaf, 1 part of humus earth, 1 part of sand or fine gravel. For better plant development, it is useful to add 1 part to the soil and coniferous soil. You can also add pieces of charcoal to the soil. Good drainage, 2-3 cm high, must be done in every pot.
You can use store-bought primer. Take a universal soil (for example, Terra Vita), coconut substrate and biohumus, add river sand sifted from dust and fines. After transplanting, do not feed the plants for a month.
Do not use too large pots, or the plants will grow slower. By the way, all arrowroots grow well in hydroponics.
- Arrowroot - how to choose a plant in a store
- Arrowroot - acclimatization after purchase