Stromanthe Triostar is a beautiful plant that belongs to the prayer plant family. Its leaves are variegated with shades of pink that contrast beautifully with their green background.
This plant is native to the Amazon rainforest in South America, which means that if you plan to grow it in the United States, you will have to try to simulate the living conditions of its natural habitat. It is not the most cold-hardy of plants, and might have to be grown exclusively indoors if you live in a place with four seasons.
Because of the plant’s delicate beauty, it has become a popular gift. The good news is that, if you already have your own, fully-grown Stromanthe Triostar, you can propagate it and give the new plants to friends and family – or you could just keep them for your own home!
In this article, we will discuss the correct way to propagate your Stromanthe Triostar, as well as the plant’s proper cultural care. So, if you want to learn more about propagation before giving it a try, just keep reading.
What are the reasons to propagate my Stromanthe Triostar?
There are various reasons you might want – or need – to propagate your Stromanthe Triostar.
The primary reason is simply to increase the number of plants without having to purchase new ones. Young Stromanthe Triostar plants make wonderful gifts for friends and family.
Another reason to propagate is if the plant has become too large for its container and you have to prune it. You can then save the prunings you have cut from the parent plant and use them for propagation.
Alternatively, if your Stromanthe Triostar is showing signs of distress or illness, you may find yourself with no choice but to propagate it before the plant dies. Check to make sure that the part of the plant you have chosen to propagate is in good health, because any problems will be passed on to the new, young plant.
When is the best time to propagate my Stromanthe Triostar?
Propagate your Stromanthe Triostar during the spring and summer months. This will ensure that your mother plant recovers quickly from the trauma of propagation.
It is not out of the question to propagate the plant in the winter, but the new plants will have a harder time growing new leaves because they are supposed to be dormant at that time of year.
How to propagate Stromanthe Triostar
Before starting the process, gather the tools and materials you will need. Make sure you have a healthy, fully-grown Stromanthe Triostar plant, a pair of sterile scissors, new pots, fresh potting mix, and water.
Unlike most other houseplants, you can only propagate your Stromanthe Triostar by dividing the mother plant. It would be problematic to remove such a large chunk from a young plant, which is why it is important that the parent plant is fully mature.
The advantage of the division method of propagation is that it has a high success rate and takes less time to complete. Your new plant will already have a well-developed root system, which makes it more resistant to disease and pests.
You will need to identify the various natural sections of your Stromanthe Triostar before dividing it. Carefully remove your plant from its pot, shaking off any excess potting mix that has accumulated around the root system.
Next, identify the various offshoots that have grown from the mother plant. They will each have a distinct root system, and growth will begin from the middle of each section.
Separate the various sections carefully with a divider. It is fine if you have to slice around the sections a little to separate them; just make sure that each section has a significant portion of the root system to aid in its successful propagation. During this stage, you have the option of selecting how many new plants you want to create.
The parent plant should be replanted in its original pot, or in a smaller pot if its original size has been significantly reduced by the division. Plant it in fresh soil, as this will help to stabilize it and reduce the risk of root rot.
The next step is to choose whether to start your new plants in water first, or plant them directly in potting mix. The latter is a good option if their root systems are already quite strong. However, if you have damaged the roots during the division process or believe they are underdeveloped, you may want to start them off in fresh water for a few weeks before transplanting them into soil.
When potting into soil, use a high-quality potting mix to provide the right balance of nutrients and ensure that the plant survives. It is important to use new soil, rather than reusing soil from previous plants, because bacteria and pests can survive for a long time in old potting mix and can be passed on to your new Stromanthe Triostar.
As soon as you have potted your new Stromanthe Triostar plants, you can treat them as you would your other Stromanthe plants.
Stromanthe Triostar plant care
Tropical plants require lighting conditions similar to those that would be found in a tropical rainforest environment. Thus, placing your Stromanthe Triostar in a spot that gets dappled light will give it the best chance of flourishing.
Make sure it only gets indirect light, because its leaves can burn when exposed to excessive direct sunlight.
Dust the leaves of your plant from time to time, so that they are not obstructed from receiving adequate natural light.
A well-draining, light and airy soil is essential for your Triostar. Although the soil should retain a degree of moisture, it should never be overly heavy. If your potting mix retains too much water, you might need to add ingredients to make it more loose and airy, such as perlite or vermiculite.
Make sure that the pot you are using for your plant has sufficient drainage holes at the bottom so that excess water can drain out easily. This will significantly reduce the chances of overwatering and root rot.
It is critical to ensure that your Triostar receives an adequate and consistent amount of water. If you do not do this correctly, the plant will quickly lose vitality. Keep it a little drier during the cooler months; try to allow only the top inch of soil to dry out before watering it again.
This plant can be picky about the quality and temperature of the water it receives. Because it is sensitive to the chemicals found in ordinary tap water, it is better to use distilled water or, if that is not available, spring water will also suffice. Make sure the water is not too cold, as this can shock the plant.
If you are watering your plant incorrectly, you will notice its leaves turning brown or yellow. Try to keep the soil constantly moist, but never soggy or waterlogged. Yellow leaves indicate that the soil has been overwatered and you will need to allow it to dry out before watering the plant again. Be patient, as this could take several weeks. If the soil around the plant refuses to dry out, it may be time to repot it in fresh soil.
Temperature and humidity requirements
As you might expect from a tropical plant, the Triostar thrives in a humid environment with warm temperatures. It grows best in temperatures between 65 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit.
Many people hang their triostar from their bathroom window to ensure adequate humidity. You can also place your plant in the kitchen, where the steam from cooking raises the humidity in the room.
Other ways of increasing humidity for your plant include misting the leaves with water, or placing the plant’s pot on a tray filled with pebbles and water. As the water evaporates from the tray, it will moisten the air around the plant.
If you have other plants that enjoy humidity, you can group them together with your Stromanthe Triostar so that they can all create a microclimate around each other.
Finally if you have the means, you can buy a humidifier that will automatically regulate the humidity in the room where the plant is kept.
Feeding your Triostar with a diluted, balanced fertilizer once or twice a week can help it thrive and produce more flowers. Make certain that the solution is not too strong, and that it is not applied too frequently, as this can cause root burn. If you choose organic fertilizer, it is less likely to be too strong, and you will not have to dilute it as much.
During the winter months when your plant is dormant, you do not need to fertilize it.
If the Stromanthe Triostar is kept in a place with low humidity, it will start to attract pests such as spider mites and aphids. These pests suck the sap from the plant’s leaves, leaving dark spots that can spread and damage the entire leaf as the infestation becomes bigger.
To get rid of pests, you can use a strong stream of water from a garden hose to knock them off the foliage of the plant. You can also use neem oil or rubbing alcohol: just apply a little of either on a cotton pad and wipe down the affected areas of the plant. Repeat this process every three to four days until you are sure that all of the pests have been eradicated.
The Stromanthe Triostar is a popular houseplant with beautiful pink and green variegated leaves. It is native to the Amazon rainforest and it thrives in humid, moist environments.
Because it is so attractive and compact, this plant is a great choice as a gift for the plant lover in your life. If you already have a mature Stromanthe Triostar at home, you can actually grow more by simple propagation.
This plant cannot be propagated using cuttings; it is only propagated by dividing the parent plant into sections and planting each of these in its own pot. You can either plant the separated sections directly into the soil or, if the roots are fragile or damaged, let the plants root some more in a glass of water before planting them in a pot.
Hopefully this article has taught you some of the basics of Stromanthe Triostar propagation, and you can now grow new Stromanthe plants whenever you need to.
Image: istockphoto.com / PeterEtchells