Maranta - Maranta leuconeura

Maranta - Maranta leuconeura

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Genus native to Brazil and tropical areas of Africa, which includes about twenty species.

Maranta is grown for its highly ornamental variegated foliage. They are evergreen plants that grow in the undergrowth of tropical places; their predominant feature is given by the particularly mottled and variegated foliage which makes them very decorative. There are numerous varieties that have differences in the color of the foliage.

It produces not very showy flowers, formed by three petals, which have large stamens inside them.

Cultivation techniques

They can be grown both indoors and in greenhouses. A curious peculiarity of these plants is that it closes the leaves when the brightness of the environment is high. They are in fact plants that resist well even in not very bright areas.

The temperature must never drop below 8-10 degrees.

The ideal temperature for growing these plants is around 25 ° C, with a very high degree of humidity. In the hot season it is good that the plant remains in a shady place, otherwise it could present serious problems.

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Watering and soil

This type of plants should be watered regularly in the hot period, taking care to keep the soil moist, but not soaked. In the winter season, watering must be reduced. M. Leuconeura loves humid places, so it is good to spray water on the leaves, in order to guarantee the correct degree of humidity.

The ideal soil for its cultivation is rich and fertile, with a good degree of drainage, consisting of loam, peat and sand.

This plant has a rapid growth, so it is good to plan to repot it at least every two years when you have young specimens. In the case of adult plants, the plant may no longer require repotting, but it is good to intervene to eliminate a layer of old soil, to be replaced with other rich and fertile soil.


The multiplication takes place by division of the plants or by cutting in the summer, leaving 3-4 leaves per branch. The cuttings should be placed in a mixture of peat and sand and in a constant temperature environment, around 25 ° C.

Some varieties of Maranta are used for food purposes: in particular, a type of edible starch is obtained from the roots.

The name Maranta derives from the scholar Bartolomeo Maranti, who first studied it in the 16th century.

Maranta arundinacea

Originally from tropical America, it has thin stems about 2 meters high and very large leaves that can reach up to 30 cm. When the plant reaches a certain size it produces small white flowers.

Maranta bicolor

Native to the areas of Guyana in Brazil, it has a collected habit. The leaves, dark green, elliptical, rarely exceed 14 cm in length. The flower, not very showy, is white with a purple rib inside.

Maranta Leuconeura

Originally from Brazil, M. Leuconeura has quite short stems with a declining posture. It does not reach large dimensions, maximum 50 cm, and is composed of elliptical leaves with a rounded tip that reach 15 cm. This plant is also known as the "Prayer Plant".

Maranta - Maranta leuconeura: Parasites and diseases

These plants can present problems caused by parasites which, if not countered in time, can cause serious problems. The most common parasites are aphids, spider mites and lice and mealybugs.

In the case of red spider mites it is possible to fight them effectively, only by raising the degree of humidity, proceeding with frequent water vaporization on the leaves. For the scale insects, however, if their presence is limited, it is possible to intervene manually for their elimination, using a cloth or a cotton swab with alcohol.

For lice there are specific specific products, or, it is possible to prepare macerates based on nettle or garlic to be sprayed on the affected plants.

Video: Maranta leuconeura - Maranta pena de pavão dicas de cultivo!