Learn how to care for Stromanthe Triostar (Stromanthe sanguinea ‘Triostar’, one of the most colorful and gorgeous members of the prayer plant family. You can also see it sold under the name of Calathea Triostar; this naming being incorrect – however, it is the same plant.
Triostar is sometimes mistaken with its relative from the Ctenanthe genus, Ctenanthe oppenheimiana ‘Tricolor,’ which lacks the prominent cream color in Triostars and is mostly green has a slightly different leaf shape.
It is known for its striking, scarlet to the burgundy-colored underside and varying stripes of cream, pink, and green colors on the upper face of its pointed and slender, oblong leaf. Its whole petiole is also burgundy in color. If you are after a statement plant, then this one will do the trick. Its colors make it almost impossible to miss.
How To Care For Stromanthe sanguinea ‘Triostar’
- Bringing the plant home
- Light conditions
- Toxicity Information
- Pests and other common issues
Stromanthe Triostar care
Whether you are new to the plant community or have been involved for a while now, the appeal of prayer plants is there. Prayer plants are a group of diverse genera of plants under the Marantaceae family.
The prayer plant family are known as such for their movements throughout the day; that is, their leaves pointing downwards during the day and upwards at night, stromanthe triostar also making this movement – although not necessarily as dramatically as a maranta tricolor, for example.
The care for these plants is mostly dependant on the conditions you have in your home – if you live in a bright home with high humidity, you might find caring for these plants to be really easy. However, if your conditions aren’t ideal, you might soon find out why many members of the prayer plant group are described as being dramatic.
Plant name: Stromanthe sanguinea ‘Triostar’, Stromanthe Triostar, stores can mistakenly label them as Calathea Triostar
Native to: Amazon rainforests, South Americas, tropical countries
Lighting: Bright, indirect light. Avoid direct sunlight.
Care: Keep soil moist at all times without being soggy, maintain high humidity, keep away from drafts, do not place directly under the sun, avoid using water with high mineral content.
Temperature: prefers warmer rooms
Common problems: Scorching leaves, crispy tips, root rot.
Toxicity: Considered non-toxic to both humans and pets.
Bringing your first Triostar indoors
Check your plant if it looks healthy or shows any signs of pests. If you have other plants in your home, separate the new ones from others for a week or two to prevent any possible pest or disease spread. Even if you didn’t notice any signs of problems, there still could be some sneakily hiding, or there could be eggs hiding in the soil.
Although a bit more tolerant than many other plants from the prayer plants family, Tricolor still loves humidity as their natural habitat is the rain forests.
It’s normal if you see some crispy tips on leaves or even a crisp leaf on your newly bought plant as the conditions from where you might have bought it were not optimal. You can choose to clip off these leaves or leave them be if most of the leaf looks OK. Triostars are not sensitive to having their leaves cut.
Most Stromanthes are not very problematic in terms of pests, but aphids, spider mites, and whiteflies can sometimes be seen. This is because of their high requirement for humidity.
How much light does Stromanthe Triostar need?
The Triostar’s reaction to light is an indication of how much it needs it. Bright, indirect light will keep your plant happy throughout its lifetime.
Stromanthe varieties do not tolerate direct and, most importantly, afternoon sun. Prepare to see some crispy leaves if they get much of it.
Placing your plant in an east facing window where it can receive faint morning sun is best.
One indication of getting too little light can also be when the leaves of your Triostar start turning yellow.
Stromanthe Triostar watering needs
Prayer plants are known to be thirsty plants and the Triostar is not an exception.
The watering needs of a Triostar vary depending on the light conditions, soil, size of the plant, and air humidity of the room the plant is in.
If you choose to plant your Triostar in a potting mix with a high amount of soil, allow the top inch of soil to dry out before watering. Never let the soil dry out completely, or you are in for some crispy leaves, yet again.
Stromanthes like their medium consistently moist but never water-logged. Their roots are very susceptible to root rot, so you should not let them sit in water. If your Triostar is potted in a soilless potting mix that drains very well, watering your plant every day or every other day can make it the happiest.
Members of the prayer plant family are notorious for leaves that suddenly turn yellow and crisp up at the tips. This is usually the case for watering with high mineral and salt content.
Triostars react as described when you water them with mineral or hard water or highly chlorinated water. We recommend that you use distilled water for your plants. Rainwater works miracles as well!
If you are using tap water, let it sit for 24 hours minimum, preferably more before watering.
What kind of Humidity does Triostar need?
As much as Triostars love being consistently moist, it needs high humidity to keep great-looking foliage as well. Too little humidity will – you guessed it right – turn the leaves crispy.
Maintain at least 50-60% humidity around the plant and you are good to go.
It might be hard for some plant parents to maintain relatively high air humidity around the house except for the bathroom and kitchen. You might need to invest in a good humidifier to keep your plant looking good.
Cleaning and Maintaining the Plant
You can clean the leaves with a soft damp cloth. Rinsing the plant with lukewarm water is OK too occasionally.
Do not be afraid to trim your Triostar. A good thing about these plants is they can make new leaves like crazy. One day you’ll see them dying on you. The next, they will be sprouting multiple fresh leaves.
Sometimes, Triostares can grow a bit taller than usual. If you want your plant to keep its level closer to the ground, trim the tall leaves gently. If you are one of those who are too soft to cut a whole leaf with a few crispy portions, there’s no harm in just clipping the crispy edge and let the leaf live on.
Feeding time for Triostar.
When your Stromanthe Triostar gets too many minerals and salts, this can harm the plant. This can happen either because of the water you use, or you are overfeeding your plant.
Regular watering will most likely prevent this from happening. If you are still too cautious, opt to use slow-release fertilizers to feed your plants.
Provide your Triostar with half the strength of the recommended fertilizer once per month during the growing season.
When do you need to repot this beauty?
Triostar plants, like any other prayer plants, tend to become rootbound over time. Repot your Triostar once you see roots poking out of the holes of your old pot. This is roughly every 2 years but can vary from plant to plant.
You can choose a slightly larger pot (1 or two sizes) to encourage your plant to get bigger. Or you can propagate the plant as you are repotting. Repotting also replenishes the available nutrients to your plant.
What soil is best for Stromanthe Triostar
As this plant requires moist soil and doesn’t like to sit in the water, you will need well-draining soil that retains moisture well.
You can get great soil mixes for this type of plant in stores. You can also use regular potting soil and add some perlite.
Propagating the Stromanthe
With proper care, Stromatnhe Triostars are fast growing plants.
As the plant grows, it can produce new sets of plants farther from the main stem. These can be separated and repotted into new pots.
In addition to that, when repotting, you can opt to propagate your plant by carefully dividing the stems and separating the roots.
Unlike some plants, Stromanthe varieties cannot be propagated through leaf and stem cuttings. Your best bet is in dividing the plants and repotting them. When propagating through division, be careful not to disturb the root system that much.
Is Triostar toxic to pets?
Plants from the prayer plant family are considered non-toxic to pets and humans.
* There have been no negative health issues reported with prayer plants. Keep in mind toxicity information on plants can change. This is something that is best talked about with your veterinarian. Even with non-toxic plants, nibbling plants should be avoided, and keeping plants away from pets, especially if they like to eat them, is best.
Common Pests and Issues
Because of the high relative humidity requirement of Triostars, these plants are magnets to fungal diseases. Despite this, they are generally known to be tolerant against these diseases.
Although, on occasions where your plant does not get enough humidity, this condition can attract aphids, spider mites, and scales. Treat your plant immediately before the infestation spreads by using your choice of insecticide.
To prevent this from happening, Triostars works very well with Neem Oil. Regularly check the underside of your plant’s leaves to not miss any hiding insects.
Stromanthe triostar leaves curling?
If you let your plants’ soil dry too much, the leaves will start to curl. Water the plant and the leaves should uncurl. If the soil gets too dry, the leaves might die off.
Stromanthe Triostar Leaves Pointing Down
If the leaves on your plant are point down all the time, you have an issue. It’s normal for the leaves to point down at some point of the day, but as this is a prayer plant, the leaves should move throughout the day. One of its needs isn’t being met.
Sometimes too much light will cause the leaves to stop rising. Another cause to consider is the plant not being watered enough. Check if the soil is moist through and through when you water it. Sometimes, when watering from the top, the water might not reach all the way to the bottom of the pot.
If you are using tap water also try switching to filtered water for a while.
Leaves turning yellow
If you are noticing the leaves becoming yellow on your plant, the most common causes for this are either overwatering or too little sunlight.
Leaves losing variegation or color?
If you notice the leaves starting to lose the variegation, this has to do with the amount of light it gets. It can either receive too much or too little.