Prayer Plant is a great houseplant since it is easy to grow, has interesting leaves, and is a hardy indoor plant. The adorable prayer plant is ideal as a hanging or shelf plant.
The common name for this hardy indoor plant comes from the way the leaves fold together at night, like a pair of praying hands. Most prayer plants have variegated leaves, which add to the plant’s overall appeal.
Prayer plants come in a variety of colors and leaf designs, making them popular houseplants all around the world. They are, however, not the simplest plants to care for because they have certain high demands.
Prayer plants (Maranta leuconeura) are perennials endemic to Brazil’s tropical forests. The prayer plant was called by its “behavior.” During the day, its leaves are flat, but at night, they lift and fold inward, like praying hands.
A mature prayer plant will grow to a height of 6 to 12 inches and have 5-inch leaves. The look of the leaves varies as per the cultivar, but they often feature strong patterns in colors of green, red, and maroon.
Small, white flowers develop during the growth season, this is rare in houseplants, and the blooms are minor in contrast to the lovely foliage. The plant’s large leaves are round, two-colored, greenish, and rather glossy.
Prayer plants originate on the forest floor in tropical rainforests, which provides lots of clues as to their care; they thrive in low light levels but require enough humidity to grow.
The prayer plant is a slow-growing plant that can ultimately reach a height of one foot indoors. They are popular as houseplants and cared for inside at any time of year, although they are not easy to keep growing over time.
- Common Name: Prayer plant
- Botanical Name: Maranta leuconeura
- Family: Marantaceae
- Plant Type: Herbaceous perennial
- Mature Size: 6–12 in. tall, 6–12 in. wide
- Sun Exposure: Partial shade, full shade
- Soil Type: Moist but well-drained
- Soil pH: Neutral to acidic
- Bloom Time: Spring
- Flower Color: White
- Hardiness Zones: 11, 12 (USDA)
- Native Area: South America
Types of Prayer Plants
Many prayer plants feature vibrant color, unique leaf patterns, and leaves that fold and unfold as per the time of day. There are various types of prayer plants, but the popular is the tricolor kind, which is found at most gardens. The following are the most typical species of prayer plants:
- Maranta leuconeura erythrophylla: This tri-colored prayer plant, also known as the herringbone plant, is the most common and has prominent red veins.
- leuconeura kerchoveana: The leaves on this cultivar, commonly known as Rabbit’s Tracks, are plain green with two rows of darker splotches. This cultivar has fewer veins and is known for its big green dots that resemble animal tracks.
- leuconeura Erythroneura: This variety has dark green leaves with a white or light green spine. The arching veins are various shades of red. It grows six to eight inches tall and has tiny lavender flowers.
- leuconeura massangeana: This variety has a darker leaf background with silvery spots and white leaf veins. This plant has silver-blue leaves with purple and olive green patches, but with a dark purple, nearly black background to its leaves.
How To Grow Prayer Plant
Plant the Prayer Plant in low, medium, or high light. In high light, use a sheer curtain or other filter to shield the leaves from direct sunlight. Although this houseplant can tolerate low light levels, it thrives in bright, indirect sunlight.
The prayer plant prefers well-drained soil and requires high humidity to thrive. Prayer plant should be kept moist, but not soggy. Water the prayer plant soon as the soil surface begins to dry. They must be watered with filtered or distilled water.
These hardy indoor plants like to be kept wet. If it dries out too much or too often, its leaves will turn brown. The prayer plant likes higher humidity levels, yet it grows well in most houses.
Prayer plant propagation is a surprisingly simple way to increase collection and make use of larger mother plants. The most frequent way of propagating prayer plants is to divide them when repotting them. Here’s how it’s done:
- Plants should be spaced between 60 and 90 cm apart. Division and cuttings are used for propagation.
- Divide the prayer plant into several smaller plants by gently shaking the dirt from the roots and working them apart while repotting.
- Ensure each plant has a healthy tap root and several stems.
- These tiny plants should be planted in shallow pots separately.
- In the spring, 10 cm long cuttings with 3-4 leaves should be picked. To promote roots, provide bottom heat to the cuttings.
- During the first several weeks, keep fresh divisions warm and moist until new growth emerges.
Prayer Plant Care
Prayer Plant, a rainforest plant, likes bright indirect sunshine, high humidity, and well-drained soil with high humus content. Direct sunlight, such as standing water, should be avoided.
Prayer plants are low-growing, spreading plants that thrive under greenhouse-like conditions such as warm, moist airflow and plenty of fertilizer.
Plants are kept too chilly or dry are prone to lose their leaves or get fungal infections, which can lead to root rot or collapse. Similarly, plants that are overly exposed to sunlight might get washed out and brown spots on their leaves.
Soil and Fertilizer
Prayer plants may grow in various soils as long as they are well-drained. The soil should have an acidic pH of 5.5 to 6.0. Add pebbles or gravel to the bottom of the pot to improve drainage, and make sure there are plenty of drainage holes.
From early spring until late fall, fertilize the prayer plant every two weeks using a water-soluble houseplant fertilizer diluted to half strength. If apply less fertilizer, plant will grow slowly or hardly. More fertilizer, might burn the plant’s roots, causing the leaves to become brown and the plant to die.
Light and Water
Hang or place prayer plant near a window that gets indirect sunlight. Set the plant in direct sunlight to avoid scorching the leaves, which will form blotches or spots and diminish in color intensity. Prayer plants can tolerate low light levels in general.
During the growing season, water prayer plant often and never let the soil entirely dry up. These plants are tolerant to drought and will die if left un-watered for a longer time. Both little water and overwatering can cause the plant’s leaves to turn yellow and drop.
Temperature and Humidity
Prayer plants grow in temperatures between 60 to 80 degree F. Lower temperatures for a longer time might harm the leaves and cause them to fall off the plant. Moreover, prayer plants flourish best in a humid climate.
Set a small humidifier nearby or place the plant atop a tray packed with tiny stones and water to boost the humidity accessible to your plant. You may also sprinkle the leaves with room temperature or slightly warm water on a daily base.
Pests and Diseases
Prayer plants normally have little insect pest pressure; however spider mites, aphids and mealy bugs can be a problem. To avoid problems, use well-draining soil, avoid overwatering, and keep the leaves away from standing water.
Diseases such as leaf spot and cucumber mosaic virus can arise. In poorly drained soils, root rot can occur. If observe symptoms of infestation, such as a white powdery on the leaves, use a natural pesticide, such as neem oil, to treat plant.
Hope you enjoyed reading the Planting guide of Prayer Plant. If you think we missed something or have a suggestion, please leave it in the comments section below.
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