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A Simple Care Guide For The Stromanthe Sanguinea ‘Triostar’

A Simple Care Guide For The Stromanthe Sanguinea ‘Triostar’

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The Stromanthe sanguinea ‘Triostar’ is a magnificent plant whose variegated foliage can completely transform your living room.

We’ll discuss the most important facts about this tricolor plant, as well as its basic requirements and issues in this article.

Before we get to all that, let’s learn some general information about this houseplant:

Scientific name:Stromanthe sanguinea ‘Triostar’
Native habitat: The Brazilian rainforests
Growth rate: Slow-to-moderate grower
Size: Approximately 2-3 feet tall
USDA hardiness zone: 10-12

Facts About The Stromanthe Sanguinea ‘Triostar’

There are a couple of things you should know about this plant before attempting to grow it, such as its origin, growth habit, and the appearance of its leaves.

Some of this information may surprise you!


Garden foliage plant - Triostar Stromanthe sanguinea

The Tricolor stromanthe originates from the deep rainforests of Brazil, and it belongs to the prayer plant family known as Marantaceae.

Therefore, calatheas, marantas, geoppertias, and even Ctenanthe oppenheimiana are its close relatives.

And just like all its relatives, S. sanguinea’s leaves fold at night, at which time they resemble praying hands (hence the name).

Furthermore, Stromanthe sanguinea is also known as S. thalia in the botanic world. It slightly resembles calatheas, so it’s not surprising that it’s frequently referred to as the calathea triostar. Other common names of this plant include stromanthe triostar and simply, trio star.

Growth Habit

This Brazilian native has an upright and bushy growth habit, so it’ll look perfect in decorative planters.

It has a short stem that extends underground, from which the plant’s root system spreads (this underground stem is called a rhizome).

Therefore, the best way to propagate this plant is by rhizome division, but we’ll discuss that later on.

Foliage And Flowers

The most striking thing about this plant is its foliage. The upper side of the green leaves is splashed with creamy or baby-pink variegations, while the pink undersides clad the stromanthe triostar in royal colors.

The leaves are thick, glossy, and lance-like. They arise from the crown of the plant held on pink stems.

Furthermore, the stromanthe ‘Triostar’ can also blossom, and if you’re lucky, you can admire pink or white panicles wrapped in orange-red bracts that resemble short tubes. The bracts turn deep pink as they mature, but it’s highly unlikely you’ll see them in your indoor plants.

Sometimes the stromanthe triostar plant can produce blossoms if you grow it in a special greenhouse that perfectly mimics its native conditions.

Stromanthe ‘Tricolor’ Plant Care

Exotic 'Stromanthe Sanguinea Magicstar' plant leaves with white variegation spot

Stromanthe sanguinea care is a bit more time-consuming than caring for a plain-old cactus, but once you lay your eyes upon its beautiful variegations, you’ll forget about your troubles.

However, inadequate care can lead to a drooping prayer plant, so ensure you expose it to indirect light, water it once the top inch of soil dries out, and plant it in a well-draining potting mix.

Of course, there are some other things you need to pay attention to, and we’ll discuss them all in the sections below.

Light Requirements

Stromanthe sanguinea light requirements are straightforward; expose it to bright light, but keep it away from the direct sun. Too much light can lead to sunburns, and you don’t want to deal with that!

Of course, a little direct morning sun won’t hurt it, but make sure to protect it from the scorching afternoon sunlight.

Furthermore, if your apartment faces north, you can always use artificial lights to keep your prayer plant healthy.

Water And Humidity

The water requirements for this plant are higher than for some other plants, but that shouldn’t scare you.

First, you must find the best water type for your houseplants. Hard water is generally not recommended because it contains too much chlorine, which can harm your plants. You can use distilled water, although rainwater is good for plants as well.

After that, irrigate your S. sanguinea thoroughly, let the excess water drain through the drainage holes, and you’re done.

This is a tropical plant, so you will have to hydrate it more frequently, but always let the topsoil dry a bit before irrigating it to prevent root rot.


Tropical plants like the stromanthe triostar love humid environments, so you should do everything you can to increase the air moisture around them.

This particular plant needs the relative humidity to be at least 50%, so you will likely have to resort to misting.

If you don’t have enough time to spray this plant every couple of days, or you’re simply forgetful like we are, you can always invest in a humidifier, which will quickly make your home a high-humidity environment.


Like all tropical plants, it thrives in moderate temperatures. Room temperature is perfect, but this plant can flourish at temperatures between 65 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit.

This variety is more tolerant of lower temperatures than some other prayer plants; it can survive temperatures as low as 40 degrees Fahrenheit. Anything lower than that could be fatal.

Avoid keeping your tricolor plant near AC vents, heaters, and drafty windows because these locations experience temperature fluctuations that can stress the plant.

They also cause lower humidity, which will make caring for this plant twice as hard!

Soil And Fertilizer

The Stromanthe Triostar or Stromanthe sanguinea

This foliage plant doesn’t require much from its growing medium; loose and well-draining soil is more than enough.

You can get a proper substrate from your local nursery, or you can mix some peat-based potting soil with pumice or perlite to improve its drainage.

The soil needs to be moisture retentive so that you don’t have to water it several times a day, but still draining and aerating enough to allow your plant to breathe and not drown in water.


Proper stromanthe triostar care includes feeding this plant every once in a while, and the good news is that you can use any houseplant fertilizer; you just have to dilute it in water!

Fertilize your S. sanguinea once a month during its growing season, and stop feeding it once it enters dormancy.

Always water your plant immediately before or after fertilizing it to prevent fertilizer burn.


This prayer plant is not an avid grower, so you won’t have to repot it that often. However, you should move it to a larger container once you notice that its roots are starting to come out of the drainage holes.

The best time for repotting is during its growing season so it can have enough time to acclimate to its new home before winter.

Find a planter one or two sizes bigger than the previous one, partially fill it with aerated and well-draining medium, place your stromanthe in it, and backfill it with more substrate.

After repotting, water your plant thoroughly and place it in bright light.


You can multiply this plant via stem cuttings or by separating the rhizomes, and we’ll explain both methods below.

However, propagating the stromanthe triostar by division is better because you’ll have a higher chance of success.

Propagation By Division

When separating the rhizomes, you must first take the plant out of its container and clean the roots to expose them.

Try to pull the roots apart as gently as you can. If it isn’t possible to divide the rhizomes by hand, use a sharp and sterilized knife.

When separating the plant’s roots, try to cause as little damage as possible.

Once you’ve successfully divided the rhizomes, you can pot both plants into fresh soil and water them thoroughly.

Keep the plant in indirect light, water it whenever the top inch of soil dries out, and maintain high humidity levels.

Once you notice new growth, you can be 100% sure the propagation was a success!

Here are some more tips for dividing the Stromanthe sanguinea:

Propagation By Stem Cuttings

You can also propagate your stromanthe from cuttings, but this method isn’t very common.

Take a healthy cutting with at least one leaf node, place it in a glass vessel filled with water, and add some liquid rooting hormone.

Change the water every once in a while to keep it fresh, and place the cutting in a bright spot.

After some time, you’ll notice tiny roots appearing, but don’t transplant your stromanthe until the roots are at least 1-2 inches long.

Once the root system expands enough, you can put your new stromanthe into fresh, loose, and well-draining soil.

Pruning And Cleaning

The Stromanthe has big, gorgeous leaves, but there is one downside: they collect a lot of dust.

You should clean them frequently because dusty leaves cannot photosynthesize well and don’t look appealing.

You can try out many techniques, such as cleaning your plant leaves with olive oil, but this might leave the foliage a bit greasy and make the dust on them look even worse if you don’t remove the oil properly.

The easiest way is to take a damp cloth and gently wipe the dust off!

There is some good news about this plant; it doesn’t require regular pruning! Simply remove the damaged foliage to make more room for new growth, and that’s it!

Common Issues With The Stromanthe Sanguinea ‘Tricolor’

long-tailed mealybug on green leaf

Unfortunately, the triostar plant may get infected with certain diseases and attacked by pesky bugs. There are ways to deal with these issues and even avoid them!

You can learn all about it in the sections below!


First, we need to get one thing straight; not all insects are harmful to your plants. For instance, there are certain varieties of soil mites that help with decomposition, make the soil more fertile, and improve the absorption of nutrients, etc.

Insects such as spider mites and aphids feed on your plants and can even kill if you ignore them.

Therefore, you should separate an infested stromanthe as soon as you catch a glimpse of these nuisances so that they don’t spread onto your other plants.

Then, either introduce their natural predators, such as ladybugs, to get rid of the pests for you, use horticultural oils to remove them, or resort to pesticides if the infestation gets out of control.


The most common disease that affects this gorgeous tricolor is root rot, which is mainly caused by inadequate care and overwatering.

This means you can easily prevent it! But if you still notice certain symptoms, such as leaf discoloration, droopiness, and little-to-no growth, you should immediately inspect the roots.

Take the plant out of its pot, remove the dirt, and carefully wash away the remnants of the growing medium to completely expose the roots.

If they are dark, soft, and overall unhealthy, you should remove them and then spray the rest of the roots with a fungicide to prevent fungi from appearing again.

Place the plant in new soil afterwards.

Make sure to water your stromanthe only when the topsoil begins to dry!

Final Thoughts

This article discussed the main specifics of the Stromanthe sanguinea, including its origin and appearance.

The central part was its care guide, and we included the main requirements for having a healthy stromanthe tricolor.

If you neglect it or give it too much water, sun, etc., you can attract pests and diseases that might even kill your plant if left untreated.

We presented certain things you can do, but prevention is always the best cure!

Good luck, and until next time!

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