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Stromanthe Triostar Care

Learn all about stromanthe triostar care and how to keep it looking its best! This tropical houseplant is known for its striking, pink-variegated leaves and is relatively easy to care for when provided with bright, indirect light, high humidity, and well-draining soil.

How do you care for triostar stromanthe?

Today we’re talking about another pink houseplant! I have talked about my thing for silver houseplants…and I know a lot of you have a thing for pink plants. A few I’ve written about in the past are tradescantia nanouk, pink princess philodendron, and hoya krimson princess.

And today it’s the stromanthe triostar! Also known as the stromanthe sanguinea, stromanthe triostar is a tropical plant that is known for its colorful foliage. It is a member of the Marantaceae family, stromanthe genus. 

Triostar is native to Central and South America, where you will find it growing in the understory of tropical rainforests. It is a popular plant in the horticultural trade and is often grown as a houseplant around the world. 

Many plant hobbyists want to add this plant to their collection because of its striking variegated leaves. They are green with purple undersides and are marked with a pink, cream, and white pattern on the top. The plant has a compact, upright growth habit.

stromanthe triostar on a slatted shelf
pink undersides of a stromanthe triostar

Table of contents

This is a somewhat long post, so I’ve included a table of contents below if you’re here for a specific topic. Otherwise, I’m always happy to have you browse the whole post and all the pics 🙂

stromanthe triostar on modern shelving with other plants

Is stromanthe triostar rare?

It is not uncommon to find stromanthe triostar plants for sale at garden centers and online retailers (affiliate link), so I would say that it is not a particularly rare plant. However, it is not as widely available as some other houseplants, particularly in certain areas of the country.

If you are having difficulty finding a triostar plant in your area, you may want to try searching online or popping into specialty plant stores. I found mine at a local plant shop that generally doesn’t carry too many hard-to-find plants, and they had quite a few triostars.

Is stromanthe triostar a prayer plant?

No, stromanthe triostar is not a prayer plant. However, it is a member of the Marantaceae family. And this family also includes a number of popular house plant genuses such as prayer plants—or maranta plants. So they are closely related.

While the leaves on a triostar can look similar to some prayer plant varieties, prayer plants are known for their distinctive, folded leaves that open and close in response to light levels.

Is stromanthe triostar a calathea?

No, stromanthe triostar is also not a calathea. But calathea plants are part of the calathea genus, which is also part of the Marantaceae family. And I find there is a lot of crossover between stromanthe triostar and calathea care needs.

closeup shot of a highly variegated stromanthe triostar leaf

How much light does a stromanthe triostar need?

As a tropical plant, stromanthe triostar enjoys bright, indirect light in order to thrive. It is not tolerant of direct sun, which can cause the leaves to fade or become scorched. It is best to keep the plant in an east- or west-facing window.

You can also put the plant outdoors for the spring and summer. I love doing this for many of my tropicals. If you do so, make sure to keep it in the shade. At most, you can give it some minor direct or dappled morning sun since that light isn’t as strong.

In general, triostar prefers a consistent light level and does not tolerate major changes in lighting conditions very well. If the plant is not getting enough light, its leaves may become pale or yellow or the variegation may fade. 

And it may not grow as vigorously. So keep that in mind when you see this plant referred to as a “low light” plant. On the other hand, if the plant is getting too much light, the leaves may become scorched or faded.

plants on tiered shelving in a sunroom

Does stromanthe like to dry out?

Stromanthe triostar does not like to dry out completely, but it also does not tolerate being constantly wet or waterlogged. If you let a stromanthe triostar dry out completely, this can cause the leaves to wilt and may lead to problems with the plant’s overall health. 

At the same time, it is important to avoid over-watering the plant, as this can lead to root rot and other issues. I recommend trying to strike a balance when watering this plant—a balance that allows the soil to dry out slightly between watering sessions.

The best way to determine when to water a stromanthe triostar is to check the moisture level of the soil. You can do this by putting your finger about an inch or two into the soil. If the soil feels dry at this depth, it’s time to water the plant. If the soil is moist, wait a few days before watering again.

watering a stromanthe triostar
closeup shot of a highly variegated stromanthe triostar leaf

What kind of soil is best?

Triostar prefers a well-draining soil mix that contains a combination of potting soil, perlite, and compost. This type of mix will provide the plant with the nutrients it needs to grow and thrive, while also allowing excess water to drain away from the roots to prevent waterlogging.

To create a well-draining soil mix for a triostar, you can combine equal parts potting soil, perlite, and compost. If you don’t have compost, that’s fine—most store-bought potting mixes are nutrient rich or have a slow-release fertilizer in them.

It is important to avoid using a soil mix that is too heavy or dense. This will suffocate the roots by preventing the flow of oxygen through the soil—as well as prevent water from draining effectively. I also recommend using a pot with drainage holes.

pink stromanthe triostar leaves

Temperature needs

Stromanthe triostar is a tropical plant that prefers warm, consistent temperatures. It’s best to keep the plant in a location with temperatures in the 70s or 80s Fahrenheit. It can tolerate lows down into the 50s at night, and it can also tolerate temperatures up into the 90s with some extra care.

Avoid placing the plant in a location with sudden temperature changes or extremes. This can cause the leaves to become stressed and may lead to wilting or leaf drop. This means heat registers, drafty windows, doors, etc.

This is also not a frost or cold hardy plant. So if you have it outdoors for the spring or summer, make sure to monitor temperatures as you head into fall.

stromanthe triostar

How to increase humidity

Triostar also prefers high humidity levels. In order to thrive, you should shoot for a humidity level of around 50 to 70%. This is generally much higher than normal household humidity levels, so here are a few different ways to increase the humidity around a triostar.

  • Place the plant on a humidity tray. A humidity tray is a shallow tray filled with pebbles and water. The water in the tray will evaporate and increase the humidity around the plant.
  • Mist the leaves regularly. Misting the leaves of a triostar can help to temporarily increase the humidity around the plant. Be sure to mist the leaves evenly and avoid getting the foliage too wet. This can lead to problems with fungal growth.
  • Use a glass growing cabinet. Using an enclosed glass cabinet, even if you don’t add a humidifier, can help to keep ambient humidity levels higher than elsewhere in the home.
  • Use a humidifier. If the humidity level in your home is consistently low, you may want to consider using a humidifier. In my opinion, this is the best way to increase the moisture levels around your plant.

If you notice that your plant’s leaves are turning crispy and brown, this can be a sign of low humidity. The leaves won’t turn back, but you can encourage healthier new growth by putting that bad boy in a better environment.

browning tip on a stromanthe triostar
watering a stromanthe triostar

Are stromanthe triostar fast growers?

Stromanthe triostar is a relatively slow-growing plant, particularly when grown indoors. This is definitely not uncommon for houseplants. Our homes just aren’t the most ideal environment for them, no matter what we do to try and mimic their natural habitat.

Triostar has a compact, upright growth habit and can reach a height of about 2 feet tall as a houseplant. It is not uncommon for a stromanthe triostar to take several years to reach its full size indoors. In its natural habitat, triostar can grow to a height of up to 10 feet tall.

Is a stromanthe toxic?

I couldn’t find anything definitive on stromanthe’s toxicity. I usually use the ASPCA’s website, but they don’t include it. However, what I did find indicates that stromanthe plants are generally not considered to be toxic to humans or animals. 

However, as with any plant, I always recommend keeping stromanthe plants out of reach of children and pets, just to be safe. It’s meant to be an ornamental plant.

beautiful stromanthe triostar on a table in a sunroom

How do I get more pink on a stromanthe triostar?

One of the most common things I see people asking about when it comes to this plant is how to get more pink on the leaves. And how to increase variegation. There are a few factors that can affect the intensity of the pink coloration on a stromanthe plant—let’s chat about them.

First, light. Stromanthe plants prefer bright, indirect light and will often display more intense pink coloration when grown in a location with good light. But remember that direct light can fade the leaves.

Stromanthe plants also benefit from regular fertilization, particularly during the growing season (spring and summer). A balanced, all-purpose plant fertilizer can help promote healthy growth and may also help to maintain the intensity of the pink coloration on the leaves.

Triostar also prefers high humidity levels, and providing the plant with sufficient humidity may help to maintain the intensity of the pink. Same with temperature—temperatures that mimic those of its home environment in the warm, humid rainforest are best.

Ultimately, highly variegated leaves with plenty of pink are a sign that your triostar is happy, healthy, and in ideal care conditions. Try adjusting one thing at once to see what leads to the most success.

Also keep in mind that ALL of the photos in this post are of the same plant. Some look way more pink than others. Why is that? Photo editing? No! It’s the location of the light source.

Because the undersides of the leaves are purple-pink, if the light is coming from behind the plant, the lighter parts of the tops of the leaves will look much more pink. Here is an example. The first picture below does not have the window behind the plant; the second photo does. See the difference?!

stromanthe triostar
Plant with the light source coming from in front of the plant
very pink stromanthe triostar plant
Plant with the light source coming from behind the plant

What is the best way to propagate a stromanthe triostar?

There are a few different ways to propagate a stromanthe triostar, including through stem cuttings and division. Keep in mind that this isn’t the easiest plant to propagate through stem cuttings as it is a slow grower and takes a long time to root. 

Here is a quick guide to propagating a stromanthe triostar using stem cuttings if you want to give it a go, though. It’s definitely possible!

  1. Select a healthy stem that has at least two or three sets of leaves.
  2. Cut the stem about an inch below a leaf node (where the leaves sprout from the stems).
  3. Remove the lower leaves from the stem cutting, leaving two or three sets of leaves at the top.
  4. Dip the cut end of the cutting into rooting hormone and fill a small pot with a well-draining soil.
  5. Place the cutting into the hole and gently press the soil around it to secure it in place.
  6. Water the soil and place the pot in a location with bright, indirect light. Keep the soil moist, but not waterlogged, and mist the leaves regularly to increase humidity. I also recommend covering it with a plastic baggie or using a clear plastic propagation box with a lid.

After about six weeks, the stem cutting should have developed a good root system, and you can transplant it into a larger pot. Also of note…it is possible to root a triostar in water, but this method is not always successful and can take longer than rooting in soil.

closeup shot of a highly variegated stromanthe triostar leaf

What are some other types of stromanthe plants?

While stromanthe triostar is probably the most popular type of stromanthe for houseplant hobbyists to collect, there are a number of different species of plants in the Stromanthe genus. Here are a few other common types I’ve read about but have yet to encounter.

  • Stromanthe thalia: Similar to Stromanthe sanguinea in terms of its colorful, variegated leaves and compact growth habit.
  • Stromanthe lancifolia: Has long, narrow leaves that are green on the top surface and purple on the underside. It has a more upright growth habit compared to some other species in the genus.
  • Stromanthe magdalenae: Has oval-shaped leaves that are green on the top surface and purple on the underside. It has a more sprawling growth habit compared to some other species.
stromanthe triostar on modern shelving with other plants

Stromanthe triostar care recap

Many consider stromanthe triostar to be a relatively easy plant to care for, particularly when compared to some other tropical houseplants. However, it does have some specific requirements in order to thrive, and I recommend paying particular attention to humidity levels 🙂

  • Light: Bright, indirect light; too little can dull variegation, too much can fade or scorch the leaves.
  • Water: Let the soil dry out slightly; don’t let it dry out completely.
  • Soil: Well-draining indoor plant mix.
  • Temperature: Warm, 70s and 80s Fahrenheit are best; not cold or frost hardy.
  • Humidity: Needs higher humidity levels; 50-60% humidity is ideal.
  • Propagation: Division or stem cuttings; asa slow-growing plant, rooting stem cuttings can take a while.
  • Toxicity: Udetermined but suspected to be non-toxic; always keep plants away from pets and kids.

Pin my stromanthe triostar care guide!

collage of stromanthe triostar plants with text overlay that says stromanthe triostar care
gorgeous pink stromanthe triostar with text overlay that says stromanthe triostar care

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