How to Take Care of Indoor Palm Trees in Winter

How to Grow and Care Neomarica (Walking Iris)
How to Grow and Care Neomarica (Walking Iris)

Among the plants that have been passed down from the Latin American rainforests, the magnificent Neomarica Steptoe is by no means their most inconspicuous representative. Thanks to its heat-loving and erratic nature, it remains the houseplant of harsh winter countries. Without losing its considerable size at all, indoor Neomarica looks elegant, graceful, and very exotic. Flowers that can compete with orchids are a worthy reward for the special conditions that must be created for this plant. You will learn how to grow Neomarica plants in the ThumbGarden article.


The elusive flowering period, the typical Neomarica foliage, the status of a plant with rare and almost exclusive value – everything about Neomarica is attractive. They are one of those outliers that do not lose their unbridled character even when moved to the potted form.
In nature, Neomarica is the quintessential plant of the Brazilian flora. Their unique beauty is associated with the Amazon jungle, although they are also found in other Latin American countries and on other continents.
Neomarica is best known by the nickname “Walking Iris”, although many florists refer to it as “Walking Iris”. The origin of this nickname is the “behavior” of the plant. Neomarica possesses a very unusual reproductive behavior in the wild.

As it grows in the soil after flowering, shoots gradually develop instead of flowers, and the heavier they become, the more the flower stems slope. Once in contact with the soil, the new plant takes root and sprouts – one step away from the parent shrub.
This is why this amazing variety of Neomarica is called Neomarica. another beautiful nickname for the plant is Apostle Neomarica. legend has it that Neomarica needs 12 leaves to produce a flowering stem, which many regards as a minor miracle.

Walking Iris, or Neomarica, is an evergreen, perennial herb. The family is typically characterized by a superficial root system with strong roots, thickened creeping roots, and rosette-like root leaves.
Even in indoor form, Neomarica can produce foliage up to 23 inches (60 cm) long. The dense tussocks look magnificent, and the ideal banded, sword-like leaf shape is rarely disrupted by bending or tilting.
Leathery, fairly stiff, and low gloss, Neomarica leaves are limited to a maximum width of 1 inch (2.5 cm) and a length of 20 inches (50 cm) or more. Their color is muted to medium, with a semi-glossy surface.


Traditionally, Neomarica blooms in early summer, with enough light in areas with harsh winters to be able to bloom as early as May. the natural cycle of Neomarica suggests blooming in early spring, but the characteristics of houseplants vary and adapt to the possibilities of their owners.
Most Neomarica blooms only at a solid age. Full flowering can be observed when the rosette has grown about 10-12 leaves. However, Neomarica sometimes blooms much earlier.
It is a great blessing to watch Neomarica flower and bear fruit. And that’s not to say that it doesn’t flower well at all in indoor culture. It’s just that the whole process happens so quickly that the only way to catch a flower at its peak viewing power is to expect a miracle by dedicating a special day to it.
Graceful and graceful, with beautiful lines and details and unique patterns, Neomarica’s flowers are mesmerizing. The fleshy flower stems and the development of their almost flattened buds can be overlooked as the stems practically blend in with the foliage, with only the bright yellow color and the mottled ripples on the buds visible in close proximity.

The height of the flower stems, even in pots, must not be limited to 30-40 inches (80-100 cm). The buds transform before your eyes, developing from flat to globular and becoming pale within a day. As the sun rises, the flowers gently and slowly open their petals, allowing you to admire their beauty at the peak of the day, and a few hours later, there is no trace of them by dusk.
But on the same stem, the next flower will open the next day. In general, the flowering period of this unique plant does not exceed 15 hours and usually fades within a day. Each flower stem has from 3 to 15 flower buds. In the room form, the number of flowers is most often limited to 4-5.
Neomarica is very similar in shape to Iris. The three outer and three inner perianth lobes differ in size and shape. The large, elliptical, slightly wavy edges, speckled bast, and “triangular” lower petals emphasize the delicacy of 2-3 small petals with a slender “stalk”, heart-shaped, and speckled throughout the upper petals. The classic, overlapping triangles create a rustic decoration.

The color range of the walking Neomarica is very striking. The three petals below have only two color variations-creamy white and light blue-but the crown is much more varied. The spots, flecks, strokes, and patterns on the bright blue-violet background, which seem to flow down the throat of the flower, can be white, blue, dark purple, brown, yellow. They blend into almost “animal” color variants and provide an admirable display of variegated brilliance.
All Neomarica has a surprisingly light and delicate fragrance. Brightly colored Neomarica tend to have a stronger scent than those with delicate petals.


Although there are more than two dozen species, indoor Neomarica people are usually represented by one plant – Neomarica graceful or slender (Neomarica gracilis).
An attractive perennial herb with sword-shaped leaves in dense clusters and large flowers up to 4.7 inches (12 cm) in diameter. Up to 15 flowers on a single stem. Single, very pretty, with a creamy base and purple stripes on the top three sepals, they open very slowly.
The blue-flowered Neomarica northiana is less common. Its 40 inches (1 meter) long potted leaves look more bloated, but the barnacle-colored, almost rounded lower lobes of the beautiful petals accentuate the golden-brown pattern even more vividly.
Lush Neomarica Variegata This plant grows in broad, very dense thickets. The leaves are quite flexible and curved in an arc, and are known for their dominant gray-black color with very wide longitudinal stripes of cream and yellow.
But Speckled New Green also deserves a closer look because of its short flowering period, its rich, sky-blue color, and its delicate flowers.
Hybrid varieties with richer or more unusual colors, including bright lemon-yellow flowers, are occasionally available. There are two factors to consider when choosing a new variety – the length of the leaves and the color of the inflorescence.


Growing Conditions of Indoor Neomarica Plants
Growing Conditions of Indoor Neomarica Plants

Although it is a rare and exotic plant, Neomarica will surprise you with its unpretentiousness. It needs certain conditions and a cooler than cool overwintering environment. But it doesn’t require anything impossible for the living room. Find a comfortable position and Neomarica will become one of the most expressive outliers in the collection.
The flowering of Neomarica depends on too many factors and may never happen, even if the plant is gestating buds. Changing conditions and light, moving to a new location, pots that are too loose, winters that are not cool enough or not enough light, and temperatures that are too high during the germination stage are just a few of the factors that prevent Neomarica from flowering fully.
When growing Neomarica, it is worth remembering that it is also on the list of the most dangerous houseplants. All parts of it are toxic – both above and below ground. Therefore, if there are pets in the house, and even more so, families with children should be conscious of the risks before purchasing this rare plant.

Lighting and placement

Diffused bright light is ideal for Neomarica during its active growth period. It does not need to be placed on a windowsill, but it should not be too far away from it, even near a south-facing window.
During spring flowering, insufficient light can cause buds to fall off. Neomarica will not reject morning or evening sunlight, but in summer, Apostle Neomarica will suffer from sunlight. Shade is necessary and it is important to keep the leaves ornamental.
During the dormant period, Neomarica is very sensitive to lack of light. Even at the correct cool temperature, they will not bloom without maximum light. They should be placed on the brightest windowsill in the house or additionally illuminated.
When choosing a location for Neomarica, it is worth remembering that it does not tolerate crowding. The plants should be placed so that the turf can stretch freely and the leaves can develop unobstructed, without leaning against walls or glass. Even on a windowsill, Neomarica is somewhat isolated from other plants.
Neomarica performs best on western and northern windows; on eastern and southern windows, they must be shaded or moved out of the way.
Plants should be rotated periodically in relation to light sources to allow for more uniform development of new shoots.

Temperature control and ventilation

Neomarica is one of the plants that need to be selected for temperature conditions in a non-standard way. In principle, it prefers cooler temperatures to heat. However, at the beginning of its active vegetation, it needs a cool temperature in order to flower.
The optimum overwintering temperature for Neomarica is considered to be quite cold, between 41-50°F (5-10°C). When growth resumes, move the plants to a slightly warmer location and raise the temperature to between 50-59 °F (10-15 °C). After a few weeks, Neomarica is moved to warmer temperatures above 68 °F (20 °C).
During the active growing period, Neomarica grows very well in normal room conditions. Neomarica is not afraid of heat, but it is still good to keep the temperature stable and average 68-73 °F (20-23 °C).
A simplified overwintering scheme with temperatures between 41 °F (5 °C) and at least 53 °F (12 °C) can also be used, with normal room temperatures during active growth. However, in this case, you should not bring the plants into a warm place immediately after the leaves start to grow, but rather wait until they develop more vigorously.
For Neomarix, lower the temperature as slowly as possible in the fall. A sudden jump in temperature will not maintain the shrub’s ornamental qualities, and it is best to gently switch to this new stage of temperature as the plants begin to grow and flower.
For summer, Neomarica can be grown outdoors, buried in the ground, or moved completely into the ground for a richer flowering season. It does well outdoors, in the garden, or on the balcony.
When in a room, Neomarica is less tolerant of draughts. But the most dangerous thing for it is the substrate’s supercooling. Exposure to cold surfaces and temperatures dropping below 41 °F (5 °C) is unacceptable for indoor Neomarica people.
Stabilizing soil temperatures is fairly easy by using double containers, submerging pots in outer containers with inert material between the walls, and using decorative wraps.


How to Take Care of Neomarica Plants at Home
How to Take Care of Neomarica Plants at Home

Neomarica is not a difficult plant to care for. It develops well with careful watering, does not require any complicated fertilizers, and is fairly predictable.

Watering and air humidity

Neomarica is extremely sensitive to excessive humidity. It is better to not water too much and to let the substrate dry completely than to water too much. It is common to water Neomarica like this so that the substrate is almost completely dry.
However, during the active growth period, when the rate of water consumption of actively growing shrubs is very high, it is best to maintain a steady light moisture level to eliminate the risk of moisture. The approximate watering frequency is about every 3-4 days in summer and once a week in winter and fall.
During the dormant period, water new varieties within 1-2 days after the soil has completely dried out. Watering once a month is usually sufficient when kept cool.
Only soft water is suitable for Neomarica. this plant prefers to be watered with boiled water, melted water, or rain.
Humidity is not as critical for this plant as it is for other exotic species. However, it cannot tolerate dry air because the tips of the leaves will dry out quickly and the color will deteriorate.

Neomarica must be moistened when the air humidity is below 50% and the temperature is above 23 degrees. The best option is to spray lightly on the leaves only during emergence and flowering. However, any option of installing a humidifier will also work fine.
Emerging plants are not afraid of moisture. A shower can be arranged to keep the foliage clean by gently protecting the base of the leaves. However, dusting the leaves once a week is a must.

Fertilizer and fertilizer composition

Neomarica prefers poor rather than fertile soil and does not like to be over-fertilized. Standard fertilizers are not a problem for Neomarica. Liquid fertilizers should not be applied more frequently than every 2 weeks, and the manufacturer’s recommended dose should be halved.
Fertilization of Neomarica begins in early spring with the first treatment at a dilute standard concentration one week after growth starts or one week after planting. Feeding usually continues until the end of flowering.
Complex mineral fertilizers with higher potassium content are more suitable for Neomarica. nitrogen is as important as other micronutrients. To promote flowering, nitrogen can be avoided during germination and early flowering, but it is best to add it to the mix, although in smaller amounts than potassium. Orchid fertilizers have an ideal composition.

Pruning and trimming Neomarica

On this plant, pruning is limited to hygienic cleaning – removal of wilted flowers, dry and damaged leaves. If propagation is not the goal, it is best to cut back the cotyledons, as their maturation process can affect the decorative appearance of the leaves.

Transplants, containers, and substrates

Do not change the pot of Neomarica every year, only when the plant has completely absorbed the previous pot. A frequency of once every 3 years is considered normal. However, it is best to use the width of the root system and turf that emerges from the drainage holes to fill the entire pot as a guide.

The timing of transplanting Neomarica should be carefully chosen. Neomarica prefers to be transplanted at the beginning of the active growth phase, always before the flower stems start to emerge.
Neomarica does not like containers that are too spacious. Pots for this plant should be selected based on the size of the root ball, adding a few inches to the perimeter for root development.
On the other hand, the shape and characteristics of the container deserve special attention: Neomarica grows well only in wide, shallow containers with large drainage holes. Its shallow and creeping root system is worth considering when looking for pots, as is its preference for natural materials.

Simple soil mixes that are versatile, friable, light enough, and not easily compacted overtime work well for Neomarica the walker. The simplest substrate can consist of equal parts sand, leaf soil, and peat (sand can be replaced with pine bark), or you can use a universal substrate for tuberous plants.
Wild Neomarica, unlike garden Neomarica, prefers only a mildly acidic or neutral pH. The plant does not respond well to slightly alkaline soils. Adding loose material to create especially permeable soil is not only desirable but necessary. At least one-third of the substrate should include coarse sand, perlite, vermiculite, or fine pine bark.

When transplanting plants, a very high drainage layer should be placed at the bottom of the container. This should be at least 1/3 of the height of the container. the standard depth for thickened Neomarica roots is considered to be 2 inches (5 cm).

Diseases, pests, and problems of growing Neomarica

This plant is more often affected by overwatering than by pests. Neomarica loses its ornamental qualities quickly when the soil is over-watered, a phenomenon that manifests itself both in the initial drying of the leaf tips and in the disappearance of the yellowing lower leaves in the rosette at the beginning.
When neglected, especially when the leaves are soiled and warmly overwintered, Neomarica can become infested with aphids, whiteflies, thrips, and weevils. Most common, however, are spider mites, which spread at an alarming rate in dry air on the plant’s beautiful, large leaves.

Like all bulb and tuberous houseplants, Neomarica suffers from nematodes and other soil pests. The latter should be treated by emergency transplanting and the roots should be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected. All other pests are treated by a combination of correcting conditions and using insecticides.

Neomarica breeding propagation

Neomarica’s unique natural mechanism can also be used at home. The plants will not be able to find new rooting soil on their own, but fixing the mature young shoots at the end of the flower stems in a small, individual pot is not difficult at all.

Do not separate the plants until they have produced a root system and are growing vigorously. If there is no space or time for the propagules to root, small daughter plants can be cut down and rooted in the same way as ordinary cuttings – in a peat-sand substrate with a steady light soil moisture level and no mulch.
As it ages, Neomarica grows very well and forms offspring plants. Lateral rosettes can be grown as separate plants, separating them from the mother plant after transplanting. However, it is best to divide the shrub into larger sections.

At least 3 to 4 growths should be kept in each section. Any separation should be done with a sharp, sterilized blade. Cuttings should be treated with crushed charcoal. It is not advisable to immediately plant sections of old shrubs in separate containers to allow them to dry out.
Seeds of Neomarica are extremely rare on the market. They can germinate for more than 1 year and are sown in a freshly harvested condition. The patience required of the owner of a moisture-sensitive crop is no more than that of even the most capricious.

More Related Information About Growing Indoor Plants

Title: How to Take Care of Indoor Palm Trees in Winter
Source: ThumbGarden
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