calathea triostar

Calathea Triostar Maintenance Guide

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The Calathea Triostar is one of those plants you fall in love with at first sight. This colorful Amazonian native aesthetically displays tricolor foliage of green and white with glowing pink undersides that demand everyone’s attention in the room.

Let’s get this out of the way first: this plant has a reputation for being difficult to care for. But if you are looking to add this beautiful Calathea variety to your collection, or if you already have one, this easy guide to Calathea Triostar care can ensure that your plant will thrive and flourish in your home.

Calathea Triostar Overview

Found primarily in the Amazonian rainforest regions of South America, the Calathea Triostar is a proud cultivar of the Calathea Genus belonging to the Marantaceae Family or Arrowroot Family. The Triostar is picked for outdoor and indoor cultivation for its eye-catching variegated leaves in a spectrum of shades of green, white, and pink.

All members of the Calathea Genus are commonly called ‘Prayer Plant.’ As of this writing, the Calathea Triostar is rare and hard to come by and, of course, a little pricy in the marketplace. The packing and handicrafts industry also grows and uses the thick leaves of the Triostar plants for handicraft products.

The Calathea Triostar plants show a unique characteristic of ‘curling up’ at night. They wake up when the sun rises in the morning. The plant has developed an inner ‘joint’ that connects to the leaf and the stem, making the curling and unfurling possible.

The Calathea Triostar comes with various other common names such as Calathea Stromanthe Triostar, Calathea Sanguinea, C. Triostar Pink, Stromanthe Sanguinea, Stromanthe Thalia, Tricolor Stromanthe, and the most common one, Prayer Plant.

Botanical NameCalathea Triostar
FamilyMarantaceae
GenusCalathea
OriginSouth America
SunlightBright indirect light
WateringThrice a week
SoilWell-drained porous soils
Temperature18°C to 27°C (65°F to 80 °F)
PropagationBy the division of rhizome
Re-PottingDon’t like repotting too often
Pests and DiseasesSusceptible to aphids and fungal disease
ToxicitySafe to children and pets

Calathea Triostar Features

The Calathea Triostar is a tropical rhizomatous perennial, which can best be grown in shady spots outdoors in USDA zones 9-11. Houseplant enthusiasts worldwide prized the Triostar’s stunning foliage, which would make a great addition to add more colors and excitement to your houseplant collection.

Height, size, spread

This Prayer Plant variety grows in the form of small shrubs. The average height of a mature Calathea Triostar plant is around 2 to 3 feet. The plant may spread at about 2 feet.

Leaves

A mature leaf of the Triostar plant reaches around 5 to 8 inches in length and 4 inches in width.

Flower

Flowering for the Calathea Triostar plants is rare. So don’t feel too bad if you don’t see them bloom indoors. However, if you are lucky, you may see Triostars produce orange-red flowers in March and April. The rare blossoms grow above the foliage and add a delightful highlight to the spectacular foliage.

Toxicity

With the Calathea Triostar plant, you do not have to worry about toxicity. This is a non-toxic plant and harmless to both kids and pets.

Deer and rabbit resistance

Common grazers in the wild are the common enemies of the Calathea Triostar. Be sure to protect them from deers and rabbits when growing the plant outdoors.

Calathea Triostar Care Guide

Caring for Calathea Triostar may not be as easy as Philodendrons or succulents. These tropical plants are not easy to please and require more attention and patience. But I’m willing to share my secrets, so your Triostar plants will flourish in your home.

Ideal Growing Place

You can grow the Calathea Sanguinea plant outdoors or indoors. If you are cultivating this plant outdoors, make sure to provide a protective shade for the plant to thrive in USDA zones 9-11. Avoid exposure to direct light as this will burn the plant’s leaves

When growing indoors, be sure to put the plant in a spot that is not directly exposed to sunlight but is not too dark. This plant requires moderate to bright, indirect light for it to grow well. Many houseplant parents grow their Triostars indoors, placing them in bathrooms, kitchens, living rooms, and studies.

The Calathea Stromanthe Triostar will go into a period of dormancy in the winter. Growth will be slow or even stunted. But when the spring comes, it will flourish once again!

Water 

The Calathea Triostar plant is a bit high maintenance when it comes to watering. This plant loves slightly moist soil but is never soggy. Consistency is key. Find the right balance of not allowing the soil to dry and not be waterlogged.

If you live in a warm environment, watering thrice a week would be sufficient. Otherwise, reduce your watering routine to once a week, especially during the winter months.

Sunlight 

Put the Calathea Triostar in a place where it can receive bright indirect sunlight. This will allow the plant to flourish and grow healthy tri-color leaves. The plant can tolerate a lower light environment, but its stunning colorful variegation will not be as pronounced.

You can place the plant at an east- or north-facing window. Be sure to turn the plant once a week to give it consistent growth. Growing under the canopy of trees in their natural habitat, the plant’s leaves are inclined to grow towards the sunlight. The underside of the plant’s leaf is a pinkish-purple color that functions as a protective mechanism from the direct sun.

However, be sure not to overexpose the Calathea Triostar plant from direct sunlight. This can cause brown spots or even burn the leaves of the plant. Move the plant to a shaded spot.

Temperature 

As a tropical plant, the ideal temperature for the Calathea Triostar ranges from 18°C to 27°C (65°F to 80 °F). I recommend growing this player plant indoors where the temperature stays in the ideal range. Otherwise, if you live in a colder area, you may cultivate the Triostar in a terrarium or greenhouse. This house plant cannot handle freezing conditions.

Soil 

I recommend using a well-drained porous soil mix for the Calathea Triostar. Using a combination of peat and perlite in a 2:1 ratio also works very well.

Be sure the potting fresh soil has good aeration and contains more organic matter. If you’re a more particular type of house parent, the right soil pH for the plant is slightly acidic to slightly alkaline. Go for the pH range from 6.0-8.0 to ensure the soil retains more nutrients and minerals.

Humidity 

The Triostar plant loves the high humid environment, as expected. A humidity level of above 50% is ideal for maintaining the plant’s freshness. The Calathea Sanguinea variety cannot tolerate an environment that has a dry heat system or air-conditioning.

Many houseplant parents place their Calathea Triostar plants on a bathroom window to ensure they get high humidity.

Fertilizer

The Calathea Triostar plant is a moderate feeder. Fertilizing the plant twice a month would be enough during the growing season. You can use a balanced liquid fertilizer or an organic fertilizer. Both work well. If you are using a soluble fertilizer, diluting it to one-quarter strength is advised.

Be sure not to overfeed as this can cause burning the plant’s roots. Triostar plants do not need feeding during the dormancy period in the winter months.

Pinching/Pruning

The Calathea Triostar plants don’t usually need pruning. They maintain their marvelous overall appearance and shape all year long. But you may need to pinch or remove any decaying or dead leaves from time to time.

You may prune back the leaves from the bottom part of its stem at the start of the growing season. This will help encourage more healthy growth for your Calathea Triostar plant. Always disinfect your cutting tools or pruning shears before using them. This will reduce the risk of spreading infectious diseases to the plant. You can use 70% ethanol alcohol for this.

Potting and Re-potting

Avoid repotting the Calathea Triostar too often. Repot only when it is necessary, such as when the plant has outgrown its current pot. Repotting the Triostar can easily stress the plant, and it will take longer for it to recover. This Calathea variety prefers being rootbound.

I suggest repotting the plant every 2 or more years. Check first the plant’s roots if it is necessary to transplant it to a bigger size planter with drainage holes. It is best to do the repotting in the spring.

Growth Zone

The ideal USDA plant hardiness growth zones for the Calathea Triostar range from 10 to 12. If you live in a colder region, bring your potted Triostar outside during the summer. Make sure to bring it back indoors when the temperature drops below 60°F (15°C).

Common Pests, Toxins, Diseases & Other Problems

The two things you have to watch out for are aphid infestations and fungal diseases. Take immediate action when you notice early signs of aphids. Get rid of the pests using mild horticultural soap or natural neem oil spray.

Although the plant needs a higher humidity level, this can also lead to fungal diseases and yellow leaves, especially when sitting in soggy soil or excess water for a longer time. This will more likely result in mold and root rot. The best way to prevent this from happening is by adjusting your watering routine to ensure balanced moisture to the soil without being soggy. Go easy on watering until the soil is partially dried out.

Propagation

You can propagate the Calathea Triostar by the division of rhizome or root division. The best to propagate the Triostar is in the spring when their growth is most active. To do this, follow the following steps:

  • Choose a healthy mother plant and take it out gently from its pot
  • Get rid of the old soil and untangle the roots
  • Divide the plant into two parts using a disinfected cutter
  • Be sure each part has healthy rhizomes
  • Now plant each part in pre-prepared separate planters filled with nutrition-rich fresh soil
  • Place the newly separated plants in a good spot with bright indirect light.
  • Water the new plants according to their ideal requirements.

Calathea Triostar Mature Timeline

Week 1: The week when the propagation by root division happens. This first week is crucial to the plants’ recovery.

Week 2-3: Keep watering the plant according to its needs by keeping the soil properly moist.

Week 3-8: Be sure the new plants get a healthy dose of bright indirect light and humidity.

Week 8-16: Your new calathea stromanthe triostars will show substantial growth.

Week 16-26: The new plants will start to become more established. Treat them like the mother plant.

Is Calathea Triostar Rare?

Yes, this beautiful cultivar from the prayer plant family is considered rare right now. It explains why buying this plant may come at a little hefty price tag.

Is Calathea Triostar Pet Safe?

The Calathea Triostar plant is completely safe for your pets. You don’t have to worry about having this houseplant around cats and dogs.

The Bottom Line

Although the Calathea Triostar may not be a good option for a beginner, this colorful non-toxic charmer would make for a great addition to adorn your home or garden.

The Calathea Triostar care may be filled with some heartbreaks and joys, but everything will be worthwhile with proper care and a little investment of patience and effort.

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