Spathiphyllum + Maranta / Calathea

gravyboots(7B)April 20, 2012

Hello Houseplantniks,

Do you grow one, or more of Spathiphyllum (Peace Lily), Maranta (Prayer Plant) or Calathea? Do the same conditions make them all grow well?

What do you think about planting them together? I think it would be a very striking pot... would you add anything else to the mix, or take it in a different direction?

I'd love to know what you think,


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dellis326 (Danny)

I have Spathiphyllum and Maranta arundinacea. Although I grow them right next to each other, I don't grow them together. I keep the Spath wetter than the Maranta. The Maranta has rhizomes which are more likely to rot in damper soil. Spaths are bog and marginal plants and Maranta are forest floor plants.

I guess if the spath is kept drier it could work but they do like to be damp.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2012 at 11:19AM
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Dellis, I have small, actively trailing M. leuconeura kerchoveana (Rabbit Tracks)... it seems more of a low-growing wandering spreader than a tuber-producer, but maybe it is too small yet?

However, your comment about the rhizomes makes sense for the C. concinna, since it has what I can only refer to as "Dingle-Ball Roots" - but they like to be so damp, how can that be?!

Thanks for your input!

PS - If I may ask, what kind of potting mix do you have your Spath in? My Maranta is in fast mix amended with coir & seems pretty happy...

    Bookmark   April 22, 2012 at 12:02PM
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Gravy, what's the height and width of your Spath?

Maranta's can grow fairly tall, however I 'had' one that crept. Does your leuconeura creep?
I can't envision the two plants, side by side. Especially at maturity.

Is it possible your Maranta is still young? When did you get it?

I agree w/Danny. Spaths need moister soil than Maranta/Calathea, etc. Especially during winter months. Toni

    Bookmark   April 22, 2012 at 12:22PM
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dellis326 (Danny)

The spath is grown in my usual mix of whatever I have around at the time when I mix up my tub which last time I think, but I might be leaving something out, about 50% shredded wood and bark with the balance in no particular order, Oilsorb for Autozone, smallish chunks of Hardwood charcoal, mushroom compost, pumice and maybe a little bit of topsoil but I'm not sure if I used it or not.

The soil mix is sitting on top of a mesh that allows for an airspace under the soil so I can also over water it and the roots can grow through the mesh and hang down in the water without the soil soaking in it. The pot is 11 inches deep and 16 inch wide but soil is only 3 inched deep with a large hollow space beneath.

Calathea may have evolved in a wet environment. i don't know for sure. Most are from tropical South America so they would have evolved the need to be able to keep growing during the rainy season and possibly occasional flooding.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2012 at 1:23PM
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All three plants can be grown together as their cultural requirements are the same. Calathea and Maranta are closely related and along with Spathiphyllum which is an Aroid are all native to northern south america or the hybrids we grow their ancestors are native to this region. Soil should always remain moist but drain well.


    Bookmark   April 22, 2012 at 6:19PM
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Toni, I recently picked up a Spath about 12" - 14" tall, with lighter green leaves I could describe as "tender". (Buy 2, get 1 free! And, there was this Dieffenbachia that was compact and branching, which I justified with an F. elastica burgundy that had 5 stems, two of which are involved in the story below.) The others (3x) are 6" - 8" tall with "tougher" leaves that are darker green. It started out taller, but not not that much taller. One of them is blooming, and all are putting on leaves.

The Maranta is the runt of a rescue that I divided into 5, about 6 months ago. It didn't really establish itself, just started sending out runners - maybe it was the original plant? The whole thing was runty & leggy by the time I got it. The happily established runner offspring are being offered free to all comers tomorrow, by the Students for Environmental Action club on the campus where I work. I've divided/propagated/rescued 6 trays of plants in 4" pots since I work in the greenhouse. The club will be giving them away tomorrow with information about indoor air quality as part of the Earth Week events.

Sorry you asked yet?! Those house plants need to be adopted, because now I need room for flowers & veggie starts for the garden the nutrition class uses. So, I'm adopting the ugly duckling... Pretty much the same deal for the Calathea: Someone left it outside back in November, I divided it but it is not adoptable, PLUS, the more I read about them, the more I think that giving them away is not a Public Service if we're trying to encourage people to enjoy plants as a healthful hobby. Now are you sorry you asked?

Dellis, I have all of those things at hand, except topsoil; how do you treat the water layer - ever dump it? And, do you have any epiphytic cacti growing in that mix? Aroids?

Scott, I have to admit: I'm thinking that with a relatively fast mix, these plants could maybe be in the same pot. I'm imagining the tall Spath in the center, with the Calathea mixed in, then the shorter Spath & Maranta in an outer ring... maybe it will look too fussy, but that's probably OK with me.

Which makes me wonder, how do these plants tolerate crowded conditions?


    Bookmark   April 25, 2012 at 12:15AM
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dellis326 (Danny)

I have most of my plants that are not grown in passive hydro growing in a mix similar to this one. I mix up about 15 gallons of potting mix at a time and sometimes it varies a little bit but it's always that sort of mix.

I have a couple of dozen different aroids growing in it, a maranta, some dracaenea and the few other odds and ends I have. The few succulents I have are grown in it with more inorganics like pumice or more oilsorb added to it. I do have some type of X-mas cactus growing in sphagnum moss only and some other kind of epi cactus but it is just in the nursery soil it came in, When I get around to repotting it I will probably use this mix with sphagnum added.

If I think about I siphon the water out of the spath's lower compartment once very month or two. Since I use a hydroponic nutrient solution to water it with it would be a waste to just drain it away right after watering.

On a side note, Spathiphyllum are bog plants, Calathea are rain forest plants and Maranta are forest marginals. Maybe they are from the same parts of the world but they are not from the same environment. However, I'm sure they could be potted up together and live reasonable comfortable.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2012 at 9:33AM
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Gravy. Never sorry asking and getting the correct answer.

What type of pot are you considering?

Ever see clay or plastic, 12" diameter, shallow pots?

How about placing those plastic ring/dividers in the pot you want to combine Maranta and Spath in?

Of course it depends on pot size. A 12" container can hold two rings, which means they'll be enough room for 3 different plants. PL in the center, X plant in the middle ring, and creeping Maranta nearest the edge or bottom ring.
Since Spaths needs moister soil, add water in the top ring. Unfortunately, some water will flow in the center ring.

OR you can use one ring, place Spath on top and Maranta on the bottom.
You probably have NO idea what I'm talking about. lolol.

No, Maranta/Calatheas aren't the best plant choices to give to people just starting out.
Instead of encouraging, these plants will discourage. lol.

I imagine people who adopt these plants are given care instructions????

GRavy, btw, is your new Spath going to grow taller than 12-14"? If you know the cultivar it's easy enough to find.

I once mixed different Calathea/Maranta/Stromanth/ mistake was potting in a clay dish. Clay dried soil too fast.

Succulents are much easier combining. I've several bowls w/various succulents, most started from cuttings.

Here's one started late 90's early 2000.

This bowl contains Kalanchoe, Crassulas, Optunia, and smaller odds and ends.

Wish I had a pic of the Cal, etc, dish gardens, but can't find it.

As long as plants are compatable, and correct pot material is used, mixing shouldn't be a problem.

    Bookmark   April 26, 2012 at 2:53PM
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