How to Grow Martynia Plants

Guide to Growing Cat's claw, Unicorn Plant, and Tiger Claw Plant

Martynia plants grows to a height of 60 cm to 1.8 m (2 to 6 feet). Plants are half hardy annuals.

They have large leaves, and carry pretty flowers that resemble orchids.

Their spiky fruits can be used in dried flowering arrangements.

Common names for Martynia include Unicorn plant.

Martynia annua
Martynia annua plant by Lalithamba; creative commons.

Devil's claw
Martynia annua - Devil's claw by Jayesh912.

Martynia Plant Growing and Care Guide

Common Names: Unicorn Plant, Tiger Claw Plant, Devils claw, Cat's claw.
Family: Martyniaceae.
Life Cycle: Half hardy annual.
Height: 24 to 60 inches (60 to 150 cm).
Native: Americas.
Growing Region: Zones 7 to 10.

Flowers: Summer.
Flower Details: White, pink, yellow, purple; speckled with other colours. Orchid-like. Tubular. Smelly.
Foliage: Heart-shaped/Cordate.

Sow Outside: 1/4 inch (6 mm). Following the last frost. Spacing 12 inches (30 cm).
Sow Inside: Soak seeds overnight. Germination time: three to four weeks. Temperature 70°F (21°C). Seven or eight weeks before expected last frost. Transplant outdoors following the last frost.
Requirements: Full sunlight or light shade. Good drainage. Rich soil. Can survive in dry soils.

How to Grow Unicorn Plant and other Martynia Plants in the Garden

Unless you live in an area that has long summers, it is best to start growing unicorn plants indoors first.

If growing the plant outdoors, then sow unicorn plant seeds at a depth of 6 mm (1/4 inch) following the last frost of spring.

They can grow in either a sunny or partially shaded area of the garden, but require good drainage. Ideally grow unicorn plants in rich soils.

When growing Martynia plants indoors first, then start about 7 or 8 weeks in advance, they typically take about three weeks to germinate at 21 to 24 degrees centigrade (70 to 75°F).

They should be transplanted into the garden in spring, about a week after the last possible chance of frost. Use a spacing of 30 cm (1 foot).

Caring for Unicorn Plants

Unicorn plants and other Martynia members look after themselves. They are able to tolerate dry conditions, so regular watering is not required.

I hope that you enjoyed this guide on how to grow Martynia plants. You may also enjoy the following Gardener's HQ growing guides: How to grow Parnassia grass, Globularia plant, and Humulus plants.