Video: Species And Cultivation Of Calathea
The sign of Aquarius (January 21 - February 19) is accompanied by such indoor plants known to many flower growers as pleasant stromanthus, dracaena Gosfera, Rowley's cross, poinsettia the most beautiful (euphorbia most beautiful), silver-veined fittonia, striped abutilon (indoor maple), gouty jatropha, arrowroot tricolor (tree "), coleus and calathea.
Increasingly, potted plants with beautiful foliage or profusely blooming are used as gift flowers. The first plants include Calathea GFMey - from the Marantaceae family. Here she stands in front of me on the cabinet by the window in all her "deciduous" beauty - so spectacular with her unusually painted almost erect leaves!
In her homeland - in the tropical jungles of South and Central America - there are about 150 species of calathea, where it grows under the canopy of a tropical forest, along the banks of rivers. Thanks to creeping rhizomes with erect and creeping shoots, its plants sometimes form real thickets.
According to experts, these plants with a spectacular pattern on the leaves require careful care and cannot be recommended for novice growers, but in the hands of experienced amateurs they become magnificent examples of tropical flora.
Calathea is considered a capricious plant when kept in rooms. She is shade-tolerant, does not tolerate bright light (especially direct sunlight), since such lighting causes pallor of the leaves, while the plant looks extremely depressed.
Calathea is more suitable for rooms facing north or north-west, warm enough (optimum 20 ° C … 22 ° C), cold wintering is contraindicated for it; the plant is protected from drafts and does not allow a sharp change in temperature.
In addition, in the summer, calathea is moisture-loving, therefore watering it abundantly (with warm soft water), and the surrounding air should not be dry. To increase its moisture content, the plant is regularly sprayed. It is better to place the pot with the plant on a wide pallet with wet pebbles or constantly wet moss, sand or peat (ideally in a room greenhouse).
In winter, it is kept in a well-lit place (but not in direct sunlight) at a temperature of at least 18 ° C; watering is extremely rare. It must be borne in mind that at very low air humidity, the leaves react to this by drying out and darkening the tips, and then they can generally fall off; the growth of the whole plant slows down.
With a moisture deficit in the soil, the upper leaves curl up and become stained, the lower leaves turn yellow, but with an excess of moisture, the root system begins to rot and the stems wither. Rapid wilting of the stems is also noted when the indoor air is too cold.
Like many arrowroots, one interesting feature is noted in the calathea. At night, its leaves rise and roll, while spraying, turn closer to the soul.
Calathea blooms in April-June with unattractive flowers, located in small spike-shaped inflorescences. During the period of active growth, the plant is fed every ten days with organic or mineral nitrogen fertilizer.
Calathea is transplanted in the spring every 2-3 years. Since its root system is small, wide and low containers are used for this purpose. For adult plants, the soil mixture is prepared from leafy, humus, peat and turf soil (2: 2: 2: 1) with the addition of bone meal, and drainage from cuttings or pieces of broken brick is arranged at the bottom of the pot.
Calathea is propagated by cuttings (in spring and summer), which are rooted in any substrate (in a warm room with moderate watering), or by dividing during transplantation (a pot with a divider is covered with plastic wrap until final rooting).
Recently, calathea has become a favorite object of breeders, who have obtained many of its new, original varieties. Several types of calathea are popular in room culture. The most beautiful, according to many flower growers, Kalathea Makoy (C. makoyana) has egg-shaped (up to 30 cm long) leaves located on straight long petioles and painted with a beautiful pattern: darker oval or elongated spots are placed on the main velvety green background.
But the decorated calathea (C.ornate), in my opinion, is also surprisingly beautiful and not inferior to the previous one (its homeland is the Amazon River basin in Brazil). Its petiole leaves (somewhat smaller) are elliptical in shape, their upper side is yellowish-greenish with silvery and pinkish lines - stripes (over time they fade), diverging from the central vein (it itself has a white stripe on both sides), and the lower side is dark violet-red color.
At the base, the leaves have a special articulation with the shoot, which allows them to easily turn towards the light source. Its pink-striped variety (C. ornate var.roseo-lineata Regel) is more common on sale, characterized by elongated dark green glossy leaves with obliquely directed pink or white stripes, located in pairs.
The very beautiful pink- colored calathea (C. roseopicta), unfortunately, is quite rare. Its leaves are with pink veins and stripes, fading with age. The oblong leaves of Calathea Lubbers (C.lubbersii) have a rather impressive appearance: large yellow and bright green spots alternate on the leaf blade (its lower side is green).
Painted calathea (C. picturata) and the Maui queen calathea (C. maui Queen) are interesting by the play of light and dark green leaves. Calathea remarkable (C.insignis) is characterized by very long (up to 50 cm) leaves, directed vertically upwards. Their light green leaf blade is decorated on top with an amazing pattern of alternating large and small spots, and its inner side is purple.
Calathea striped (C.zebrine) is sometimes called "zebra-like". Many flower growers prefer to have it in their collection - with its amazingly beautiful bright green velvety leaves, decorated with wide, brown, obliquely directed stripes.
These amazingly beautiful decorative deciduous low herbaceous plants can be suitable for rooms, compositional arrangements, landscaping. Observing all the conditions listed above for their maintenance, you can grow sufficiently voluminous bushes of this exotic flower.
On calatheas, especially on variegated forms, it turns out to be problematic to timely detect a spider mite. Often it is noticed even when it reproduces so actively that the thin delicate cobweb formed by it will be quite clearly visible, with which it envelops the lower part of the foliage. For this reason, experts recommend periodically checking the underside of the leaves using a 3-10x magnifier.
The spider mite is a very small, relatively mobile insect (0.2-0.4 mm in size), greenish-yellow in color. On the leaves, this pest, as a rule, also leaves traces of its activity (excrement in the form of a whitish powder and dried skins after its molt). A positive result is obtained by spraying two to three times with a solution of neorone (0.2% concentration), which is carried out at intervals of 5-7 days.
If the overmoistening of the earthy coma is noted for a long time, the plant may weaken, as a result of which the causative agents of fungal (fusarium) rot are activated on its root system.
It is urgently required to stop watering, transplant the diseased plant, cleaning its root system from the decayed part, spill a new substrate with an aqueous solution of a fungicide (for example, a 0.2% suspension of foundationol). In some cases, mycotic rot attack the leaves, which cause the appearance of small, and later increasingly growing pale spots.