Video: Arrowroot "black", Types And Cultivation
Thanks to their attractive and varied leaf color, representatives of
the arrowroot family (Marantaceae) have long won popularity among indoor florists.
Indeed, the rich color gamut of these plants attracts not only flower growers, but is also of interest to breeders, thanks to whose work numerous varietal forms have been bred, as a rule, differing from their wild relatives by even brighter and more saturated patterns on the leaves.
All arrowroots are perennial herbaceous plants native to South America. Their leaves, as a rule, have a variegated pattern on top, purple below, reaching in some species 1.5 m in length and 60 cm in width. All members of the family have an interesting feature of the leaf structure, which ensures its orientation to light due to the presence of a thickening located at the junction of the petiole with the leaf blade.
The family is represented by genera Calathea (Calathea), there are about 130 species ctenanthe (Ctenanthe), stromanta (Stromanthae) and actually arrowroot (Maranta), which are and will continue it.
Arrowroot has been known to our lovers for several decades, or rather, one representative of this rare genus is the arrowroot bicolor (Maranta bicolor). Then, among a rather meager assortment of exotic plants, against the background of tradescantia, begonias and chlorophytums, she attracted attention.
Since the beginning of the export in the 90s of plants from the world's largest growers and suppliers of indoor plants in the Netherlands and Denmark, the species diversity of these plants has increased dramatically, and interest in them and the demand for indoor plants in general has increased significantly in recent years.
Thus, one of the most famous highly decorative and widespread today arrowroot species, which is very popular, appeared in the culture - the three-colored arrowroot, varietal form of the white-necked arrowroot, the correct name of which is the white - necked arrowroot "fascinator" (Maranta leuconeura Fascinator). This spectacular and unpretentious look can be found now in almost any flower shop or kiosk.
Despite the high decorativeness of the arrowroot tricolor, against the background of its abundance, it has become somewhat boring recently for insatiable flower growers who are always waiting for something new and unusual. But there are other types of arrowroot, or rather, the forms of the same white-tailed arrowroot, which we will discuss below. They have, from our point of view, even greater decorativeness and a more sophisticated combination of shades, but so far, unfortunately, are extremely rare. As a result, for many years they have been attracting increased interest from amateur flower growers.
These are two types of the so-called "black" arrowroot among the people, the botanical name of which is the white-necked arrowroot "Kerhoveana" and the white-necked arrowroot "Massange", or simply the arrowroot massange and the arrowroot Kerhoveana (Maranta leuconeura var. Kerchoveana, M. leuconeura var. Massangeana). Many people confuse Kerhoveana arrowroot with the usual two-color arrowroot, which has a simpler leaf pattern, but these are completely different types.
This confusion arises primarily from the popular book "All About Houseplants" by Dr. DG Hession, which depicts a bicolor arrowroot under the name arrowroot kerhoveana. Apparently, this slight inaccuracy was made by the artist who painted the illustrations for this book. Since the arrowroot massage shown in the following figure has a too dark background of the leaf blade, the name "black arrowroot" is firmly attached to it.
We are often approached by amateurs with a request to clarify the systematic position of these arrowroots, often combining both forms of the species into one.
There is also a misconception that there are only three types of arrowroot (common bicolor, tricolor and "black"), which is a deep misconception. The genus arrowroot has up to 25 species, but few of them are interesting for keeping in rooms. For example, in the little-known reed arrowroot (Maranta arundinacea), reaching a height of 1.2 m, the stems completely dry up for the winter, and, moreover, its leaves have a rather simple color.
The prevalence of plant species, of course, directly depends on the firms and floricultures that are engaged in their cultivation or supply from other countries. The absence, for some unknown reason, for many years of these magnificent arrowroots - Kerhovean and Massange - in the assortment of the Dutch plant market, as well as in our floriculture farms, has made them a rarity. Plants are distributed only among amateurs and are found in the collections of botanical gardens.
We have been cultivating "black arrowroots" with great success for several years now and have noticed a number of peculiarities and subtleties in their cultivation. These species are slightly larger than the tricolor arrowroot. Under favorable conditions, the size of their leaves reaches 15 cm in length and 10 cm in width. Older plants develop tubers on the roots. The leaf pattern of arrowroot kerhovean and massange is similar, but there are a number of differences. In particular, the arrowroot massange has a darker background with brightly distinguished silvery veins running from the center to the edges of the leaf blade and a wide light stripe in the middle. Kerhoveana is dominated by green tones.
These arrowroots are very thermophilic, the optimum temperature of the content is not lower than 22 ° C. At low temperatures, arrowroot sharply slows down growth, and its leaves shrink and fade. For example, from a slight hypothermia and waterlogging, the arrowroot massange died, which we got a few years ago with great difficulty.
After such a failure with a seemingly undemanding plant, we were quite surprised and decided to achieve a positive result by varying the conditions of detention. For this purpose, a rack in the corridor was used (previously used for aroid crops). Natural light did not get there, but we made good artificial lighting (two LB 40 fluorescent lamps were installed above a 25 cm wide shelf).
Starters (PRU) from fluorescent lamps were mounted under the shelves with plants - this way the root system was heated. We planted arrowroots in flat cuvettes with a good drainage system, since, despite the demand for humidity, they do not tolerate excessive waterlogging and especially stagnation of water at the roots. And the result was not long in coming: the next leaf was one and a half times larger than the previous one, and the color became more saturated.
The intensive plant growth that began, logically prompted us to use fertilizers to prevent their rapid depletion. But after transplanting into good fertile soil and feeding, the wonderful color of arrowroot began to fade, as it were, and some specimens became inconspicuous and resembled an ordinary two-color arrowroot.
Continuing to experiment with plants, we revealed a direct relationship between the effect of nitrogen-containing fertilizers on the color intensity of arrowroot. Using poor air-permeable soil with the addition of crushed sphagnum moss and fertilizers that do not contain nitrogen (or contain it in small doses), we get very strong large showy plants, thereby refuting the myth that is widespread among some flower growers that, they say, arrowroot " black "- a nondescript small plant, while also capricious.
In conclusion, I would like to note that when the arrowroot is kept in normal room conditions, without heating and additional lighting, watering must be reduced in winter, otherwise the plants, rotting, die. Starting in mid-February, after a dormant period, arrowroots begin to water and fertilize more actively.
You can propagate arrowroots by dividing or cuttings (like the arrowroot tricolor). The latter method is somewhat worse for arrowroot massage, which, as practice has shown, is more whimsical. It is best to root cuttings in small greenhouses or in a florarium, where high humidity and air temperature are maintained.
We wish all readers creative success and we very much hope that our article will be useful and interesting for you, and that these beautiful plants will find new fans …