Are you looking for a new and fun activity for your home? Why not try growing your arrowroot plant (Maranta arundinacea)? Not only is it an excellent activity for gardeners and plant enthusiasts, but it also has many culinary and medicinal uses. In this article, we’ll explore the different types of Maranta arundinacea and give you step-by-step instructions on propagating, caring for, and harvesting your arrowroot plant. So grab your gardening gloves, and let’s get growing!
The arrowroot plant, known by its scientific name Maranta Arundinacea, is an herbaceous, evergreen perennial native to South and Central America. It is a popular ornamental plant due to its attractive, glossy foliage with prominent veins. The arrowroot plant is an edible, starchy root vegetable and a great addition to any garden.
The arrowroot plant is a low-maintenance, slow-growing plant with a clumping habit, reaching heights of up to 3 feet. Its arrow-shaped leaves can compare to 8 inches in length and are bluish-green. While foliage is its most striking feature, the arrowroot plant also produces clusters of small, white, cup-shaped flowers that bloom in the summer.
Arrowroot is a versatile vegetable that can be boiled, roasted, fried, or even used as a thickener in sauces and gravies. Regardless of how it’s prepared, it is a great addition to any garden and an excellent source of nutrition. With a bit of care and attention, you can enjoy the delicious root vegetable of the arrowroot plant in no time.
Types of Maranta Arundinacea
Maranta Arundinacea, commonly known as arrowroot, is a member of the Marantaceae family and is an evergreen perennial herbaceous plant native to tropical regions of the Americas. With its attractive foliage and showy flowers, this plant is an excellent addition to a home garden or indoor environment.
Several varieties of Maranta Arundinacea can be grown in the home, each with unique characteristics.
The most common type of arrowroot plant is the Maranta Leuconeura, which is often referred to as the Prayer Plant because of its deep green, velvety foliage that folds upward in the evening as if in prayer. This variety can be grown outdoors in warm, humid climates and does well as a houseplant in a bright window or near a grow light.
The Maranta Discolor is a type of arrowroot plant with distinctive yellow-and-green marbled leaves, and the Maranta Arundinacea Variegata has green and white variegated leaves. These varieties are well-suited to growing indoors and require similar care to the Maranta leuconeura.
The Maranta Erythroneura is an eye-catching species of arrowroot with bright red veins running through its foliage and is often referred to as the Herringbone Plant or Pleat Leaf. This species does best in a warm, humid environment and needs to be protected from cold winter temperatures, so it is best grown indoors.
Finally, the Maranta Arundinacea Beloperone is a more tropical-looking arrowroot plant with deep green leaves with red markings along their edges. This variety needs lots of indirect sunlight and humidity and can be grown as a houseplant as long as it is kept out of the direct sun.
Propagating your arrowroot plant (Maranta arundinacea) is a simple process. The plants can be divided, repotted, or reproduced from cuttings and rooted in water. To propagate from cuttings, use a sharp knife to cut the plant just below a node, dip it in the rooting hormone, and place it in water. Change the water every few days and keep it in a bright, warm, and humid environment. Roots should begin to form in about a week and can then be planted in soil. When dividing, select healthy sections with plenty of roots and replant them into a pot with well-draining soil. Keep the soil moist and provide plenty of bright, indirect sunlight. With proper care, your arrowroot plant will grow and propagate quickly.
Division propagation is a simple process that requires minimal effort. It’s the perfect way for anyone to grow arrowroot plants. Here’s what you need to know about the division propagation of arrowroot plants.
First, you’ll need to locate a healthy, mature arrowroot plant. It should have at least four or five stems, one inch in diameter. Older plants tend to be easier to divide. Once you’ve found your arrowroot plant, you’ll need to divide it into several pieces carefully. Try to divide the plant into two or three sections, each with several stems.
Once you’ve divided the plant, you’ll need to prepare the planting area. You’ll want to choose a sunny, well-drained spot in your garden. Once you’ve selected a site, you’ll need to dig several small holes, about four to six inches deep. Plant each divided section in the hole, and pack the area around the plant with soil. Water the plants well, and then give them a bit of fertilizer.
After you’ve planted your arrowroot plants, it’s just a matter of waiting. Keep the soil moist but not soggy. You can expect to see some growth in a few weeks. Once your arrowroot plants have grown and become established, they’ll be ready to harvest!
Caring for Your Plant
Caring for your arrowroot plant (Maranta arundinacea) is very easy. The most important thing to remember is that it needs lots of bright, indirect sunlight. Place it in an area of your home or yard that receives about 4-6 hours of indirect sunlight each day. Water your arrowroot plant thoroughly when the soil begins to feel dry. Let the excess water drain away, and be sure not to overwater. Fertilizing your plant every two weeks during the spring and summer months with a balanced fertilizer will help keep it healthy and promote overall growth. Finally, prune any dead or damaged leaves to encourage healthy new growth.
While this plant can be grown in soil, it’s best to use lightweight potting soil in a planter with good drainage and a few inches of water to keep it moist. The arrowroot plant prefers bright, indirect sunlight and temperatures of 70-85 degrees Fahrenheit. It’s important to avoid overwatering, as this can lead to root rot and other diseases.
Once the plant is established and growing, regular pruning is an excellent way to keep it looking healthy and attractive. Propagation is also relatively easy and can be done by rooting stem cuttings in a glass of water or moist potting soil. After a few weeks, the roots should be visible, and the cuttings can be transplanted into the final container.
For those interested in harvesting their arrowroot plant, the best time to do so is in early fall when the plant has stopped actively growing. Carefully dig up the plant and separate the tuber from the stem. The tuber should be washed, peeled, and then mashed or ground into a flour-like consistency. The starch from arrowroot plants can be used to make various dishes, including cookies and cakes, as well as soup thickeners and sauces.
Temperature is an essential factor to consider when growing arrowroot plants, as it can influence various factors, including growth rate, water needs, and even the color of the leaves. Arrowroot plants generally prefer warm temperatures of 70-85°F (21-29°C). This can be a challenge in areas with extreme temperatures, but with a bit of thought and water management, you should be able to give your arrowroot plant the perfect environment.
When temperatures rise too high, you must ensure that your arrowroot plants get adequate water. Arrowroot plants need moist, well-draining soil, and adding a mulch layer can help insulate the roots and keep the soil adequately moist during hotter months. You’ll want to pay attention to the amount of water you’re providing and adjust accordingly based on the temperatures.
On the other hand, if temperatures dip too low, you may need to supplement with a bit of heat. This can be in the form of a small space heater or even a grow light aimed over the plant during hours of darkness. Doing this can benefit the plant, as the low temperature can cause the leaves to lose their vibrant colors, and the added warmth can help the plant thrive.
To thrive, your arrowroot plant needs light, well-draining soil slightly acidic with a pH of 5.5 to 6.5. Ensure the soil contains plenty of organic matter to ensure good aeration and drainage. You can purchase soil specifically designed for tropical plants or make your own by mixing a combination of loam, compost, and sand.
Arrowroot plants prefer humid environments, so keep the soil moist but not soggy. To retain moisture, add mulch around the base of the plant. If growing your arrowroot indoors, you may need to mist the leaves with a spray bottle to keep the environment humid.
To ensure the best growth and healthy nutrition, add a slow-release fertilizer to the soil when planting every two to three months after that. Make sure to use a fertilizer specifically designed for tropical plants.
The best way to water an arrowroot plant is by using the bottom water method. That means placing the pot in a shallow basin or tray of water. Let the jar sit in the water for about 15 minutes, then remove it so any excess moisture can drain away. Leave the pot sitting in water for a short time, which can cause root rot.
When watering, avoid wetting the foliage, as this may cause fungal diseases. It’s important to water thoroughly and evenly, so the soil is saturated. If the soil is dry an inch below the surface, it’s time to water.
If you live in a dry and hot climate, consider misting the leaves of your arrowroot plant. This helps to keep the leaves hydrated.
There are a lot of different types of fertilizer that you can use, but the best one for arrowroot is a slow-release fertilizer. This kind of fertilizer will slowly release its nutrients into the soil over time, giving your plant a steady supply of nutrients for up to 6 months or longer.
Organic fertilizer is also excellent for arrowroot plants. A good source of organic fertilizer is compost or manure. Alternatively, you can use a liquid fertilizer that you mix with water and then sprinkle around the base of the arrowroot plant. Liquid fertilizers are great for fertilizing your arrowroot twice a month during the growing season.
Regardless of fertilizer, it is essential to remember that arrowroot should not be over-fertilized. Keeping the soil too rich in nutrients can harm the arrowroot plant. Always refer to the fertilizer’s directions before applying it to the soil to ensure that you give your arrowroot plant the right amount of fertilizer.
Harvesting and Storage
Once you have successfully grown your arrowroot plant and the corms are ready for harvest, you’ll be prepared to enjoy the sweet, starchy reward of your hard work. It’s important to know that the arrowroot plant is not a root crop like potatoes; therefore, it will not store well in the soil. As such, the best way to harvest the corms is to pull up the entire plant and gather the attached corms.
Once you have removed the corms from the plant, you’ll need to clean them off, and then you’ll want to prepare them for storage. You’ll want to ensure that you do this as soon as possible, as the corms can dry out quickly and become inedible. To store the corms, you’ll want to dry them out for a few days before placing them in a cool, dry area. This will help to prevent them from rotting or going bad.
You can also store the corms in the freezer, but wrap them in a plastic bag first. This will help to prevent freezer burn and keep the corms fresh for several months. Once ready to use them, you can boil, steam, or bake the corms. They are a great addition to soups, salads, and side dishes, so they can easily be incorporated into your favorite recipes.
In conclusion, growing your own Maranta Arundinacea, also known as arrowroot, can be a rewarding experience. There are several types of arrowroot to choose from, and you can propagate your plant through either seed or division. When caring for your plant, give it the correct position, temperature, soil, and water. Fertilizing it once a month can also help it to grow and flourish. Once harvested, it can be stored for long periods in a cool, dry place for future use. With the proper care and attention, you can have a thriving and productive arrowroot plant in the comfort of your own home.