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Stromanthe 'Triostar' Care and Growing Guide

Rachel is a passionate plantsperson, YouTuber and author living in Ireland. She grows a wide range of hardy subtropical and tropical plants.

Stromanthe sanguinea 'Triostar' has gorgeous tricolored leaves that fold up at night.

Stromanthe sanguinea 'Triostar' has gorgeous tricolored leaves that fold up at night.

How to Grow Stromanthe Triostar

Stromanthe is native to tropical parts of the Americas, but it makes a wonderful houseplant, especially for a bathroom space. Stromanthe sanguinea 'Triostar' has beautiful variegated leaves in reddish-pink, cream and green.

Like all members of the prayer plant family—it folds its leaves up at night. But unlike its close relative the calathea, there aren't a whole lot of different types of stromanthe out there, and even fewer of those are commercially available.

Other Names for Stromanthe Triostar

Commonly called the tricolor prayer plant, Stromanthe Triostar can also be found under the names of Stromanthe thalia, Stromanthe 'Tricolor', or even Calathea 'Triostar'.

You may come across other varieties as well, such as Stromanthe sanguinea 'Magic Star', which is similar to Triostar but not as variegated. There is also a plain species, Stromanthe sanguinea, which has completely green leaves with no variegation at all.

Can You Grow Stromanthe Outdoors?

Yes. Stromanthe stromanthoides and the cultivar 'Charlie' are outdoor plants suitable for hardiness zones 10 to 12.

With proper care, stromanthe will thrive in tricolor splendor all year long.

With proper care, stromanthe will thrive in tricolor splendor all year long.

4 Tips for Growing Stromanthe Triostar

This is not a plant for beginners, but if you get the four basics of care right, it will reward you with 365 days of beautiful leaves every year. Stromanthe is a moderately fast-growing plant, but will become temperamental and slow down when it feels disturbed, root-bound or doesn't get enough light. If you want it to grow faster, ensure it's subject to optimal conditions.

1. Get the Light Right

Position your Triostar in an area with dappled light. If it receives too much direct sun, it can burn the leaves. An east-facing window often works wonders for providing the right amount of sunlight.

However, if leaves start to burn, move your plant back several feet from the window or just put it in the middle of the room so the light is dappled.

More Lighting Tips for Triostar

  • If your plant's color has become less pronounced, it probably isn't getting enough light. Give it more sunlight and watch the pinks pop.
  • Turn your plant around once a week to help ensure that the distribution of light is to all of the leaves.
  • Dust its leaves regularly so the dust doesn't block light from reaching your plants.
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A humidity tray is a great way to provide ideal conditions for your stromanthe.

A humidity tray is a great way to provide ideal conditions for your stromanthe.

2. Get the Humidity Right

Triostar grows best in humid conditions, so keep it away from radiators and air conditioners. Many people keep this plant on a bathroom window, as this may provide the 60% humidity that these plants adore.

If humidity is too low, leaves will wilt or curl. (Do be aware, however, that too much sun can also cause leaves to curl.) Alternatively, provide your plant with a humidity tray. This is a waterproof tray of pebbles that holds some water at the base and will increase the ambient humidity.

Brown, curling leaves in stromanthe are a sign of underwatering.

Brown, curling leaves in stromanthe are a sign of underwatering.

3. Water With Care

Perhaps the most important element to success with this plant is watering. You must provide moist but never soggy conditions. This isn't a plant you should let dry out between watering, either. It should be kept always moist, but never wet.

You'll know if you're having watering issues with this plant because its leaves will turn brown or yellow. If the leaves turn brown, you're not giving it enough water or the quality of your water is not pure enough. Yellow leaves mean the soil is waterlogged, and you need to dry your plant out.

More Watering Tips for Triostar

This plant can even be fussy about the quality and temperature of the water.

  • Distilled water works better than tap water.
  • Make sure the water is lukewarm, never cold.
  • Feed your Triostar with a diluted, balanced fertilizer every couple of weeks to encourage it to thrive. (Don't fertilize in winter.)

4. Maintain Warm Temperatures

Finally, perhaps the easiest condition to satisfy is temperature. Your plant needs ambient temperatures between 60 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit. Nighttime dips are normal and will be tolerated.

More Tips for Stromanthe Plants!

© 2022 Rachel Darlington

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