🤕 Miserable Marantas
I feel like such a bad plant parent! My excuse is that well, they are a kind of Calathea spp. so what do you expect? They’re notoriously indifferent to survival… I chose a Maranta leuconeura (tricolor) (I ordered one, got sent two!) as a kind of soft introduction to Calatheas. I figure if I could keep one of these alive then I might have a chance with a more flashy variety.
Both of them had perfectly erect leaves when they arrived in the post, despite having been packaged in cardboard boxes for a few days. However, the ungrateful buggers have developed a leaves-pointing-down disposition that makes them look like they’re about to expire. I’ve potted them in a 50:50 mix of coir and Perlite so the compost is fine for drainage. Also, I’ve not over-watered them - I haven’t had time! I made sure the roots were soaked before re-potting into the coir mix, and then only bottom-watered a little bit. They’re not in direct sunlight. The new one (Mary) is on a shelf that receieves lots of indirect daylight, and the previous one (Martha) is on a shelf under the LED grow lights.
I’ve read that they suffer if the humidity isn’t high enough. I’ve fashioned a Heath-Robinson but neat solution that involves sitting the plant pot on top of an upside-down smaller saucer inside the the existing outer one. This allows me to pour in some water that acts like a little moat around the pot without the pot actually sitting in the water. This should increase the humidity quite a bit and I’ve started to mist them occasionally.
Watch this space for updates. I’ll be sure to let you know if the humidity hack works and makes Mary and Martha look a bit happier about life.