Maranta leuconeura, or prayer plants, are lovely indoor houseplants with long green leaves that are fascinating. Pink streaks or veins, dark green splotches, and red or white patterns may be seen on the leaves. Maranta plants, sometimes known as prayer plants, are simple to maintain indoors and have minimal upkeep.
How to care for prayer plant:Provide proper drainage and humidity, as well as bright indirect light, to your maranta plant. In typical household temperatures of 65 to 75°F (18 to 23°C), prayer plants flourish. To help your maranta leuconeura plant grow well indoors, feed it every two weeks in the spring and summer.
This method mimics the natural environment of tropical rainforests by caring for your prayer plant this way. The greatest care tricks for cultivating a prayer plant at home or at work are described in this article. You’ll also discover the differences between the various types of marantas available.
What is a Prayer Plant (Maranta leuconeura)?
Prayer plants are flowering perennial plants that produce little, white blooms in the wild and bloom in the spring. Prayer plants do not generally bloom as houseplants. This has become a household favorite because of the plant’s stunning beauty. Prayer plants continue to flourish and grow well even in dim light.
Why are Maranta leuconeura plants known as prayer plants? The leaves rise and fold in together in the evening or at night, which gives the plant its common name. The lovely display makes you think of clasped hands in a prayer posture.
Rhizomes, which are little potatoes or tubers, are the roots of these simple-to-grow houseplants. Prayer plants have evergreen oval leaves with strange patterns and may grow up to 12 inches (30 cm) tall. Natural greenery on a shelf, desk, corner of a room, or in a hanging basket adds beauty to prayer plants.
Prayer Plants: Calathea or Maranta?
Leafy houseplants in the genus Maranta are often referred to as prayer plants. Because it is related to plants in the genus Calathea, which are also known as prayer plants, identifying species in the genus Maranta can be difficult. These are two different species, but they belong to the same genus in the family Marantaceae.
In a process known as nyctinasty, the leaves of Maranta and Calathea plants fold up into a prayer position at dusk. Both genera’ plants have richly patterned leaves with colorful striped streaks, and they all have a rich pattern. Differently colored undersides may be seen on the leaves of certain species and cultivars.
The care of cultivars in the Maranta leuconeura species is the subject of this article. The care instructions apply to both marantas and calatheas because they are related.
Types of Prayer Plant (Marantas)
There are around 50 prayer plant cultivars to choose from. Five of the most popular ones will be discussed below.
Rabbit’s Foot Prayer Plant (Maranta leuconeura ‘kerchoveana’)
The Rabbit’s Foot payer plant is a traditional houseplant that thrives indoors and is also known as the green prayer plant. The maranta plant’s foliage are green-grey with brownish green lines on both sides of the central vein. The leaves have a silvery green bottom surface. The markings that resemble rabbit tracks are given the common names of Rabbit’s Foot and Rabbit’s Tracks.
Red Prayer Plant (Maranta leuconeura ‘erythroneura’)
The glossy dark-green leaves of the red prayer plant have prominent crimson veins. Light green lines run up the centre of the leaf’s middle section. The underside of the maranta plant is reddish-purple.
Black Prayer Plant (Maranta leuconeura ‘leuconeura’)
The large striking dark green oval leaves of the black prayer plant have thin pink veins that run up the center and lighter green thin patterns. The reddish-purple underside leaves.
Kim Prayer Plant (Maranta leuconeura ‘Kim’)
Common green prayer plants have the “rabbit’s foot” designs of the Kim prayer plant. Dark purple splotches cover light green leaves in this cultivar. The veins of the plant are white, creamy-white.
Marisela Prayer Plant (Maranta leuconeura ‘Marisela’)
Herringbone-like patterns on the Marisela cultivar are striking. The foliage is a mix of light and dark green that changes color throughout the summer. The Marisela prayer plant is best for hanging baskets because of its trailing nature.
How to Care for a Prayer Plant
Read on to learn about the prayer plant’s ideal soil, fertilizer, and watering needs. Where is the finest spot for your prayer plant, and find out here! Are prayer plants dangerous to pets? How to grow a prayer plant in a pot?
Best Soil for Prayer Plants (Maranta)
To develop loamy soil, prayer plants need well-draining soil that comprises peat moss and sand. Excess water is aided to drain by adding coarse sand or perlite to the potting mixture. In slightly acidic soil with a pH of 5.5 to 6, prayer plants grow well. Mix 1 part garden soil, 1 part perlite, and 1 part peat moss to make the perfect potting medium for prayer plants.
Next, to help the soil’s pH levels balance, add a pinch of lime dust. A layer of pebbles should be added to the bottom of the pot when caring for your prayer plant. This technique helps to increase air flow while allowing water to drain more easily. Always remember to use containers with drainage holes on the bottom.
Best Location for Prayer Plants
A bright, warm environment is the optimum location for your prayer plant. It’s preferable to sit in a spot that is well-illuminated, free of drafts, and not near a radiator. The most crucial piece of advice is to keep prayer plants out of the direct light. A south- or west-facing room is usually a great location to grow your prayer plant. Make sure your praying plant is behind a sheer curtain to protect it from the sun’s rays if you want to put it on a windowsill. The tips of the leaves might turn brown as a result of getting too much direct light.
Prayer plants develop well in dark, low-light environments, which is one of the greatest aspects about caring for them. Because of the minimal amount of sunlight on the rainforest floor, the low light is comparable to their natural habitat. One indication that your prayer plant requires additional light is if its stems grow long and slender. Move the prayer plant to a brighter location and trim off the leggy stems if you notice that the stems are becoming leggy.
How to Water Prayer Plants
Give your maranta plant enough water to keep the soil moist at all times. Touch the top layer of soil to determine when to water your prayer plant. It should be watered thoroughly if it is dry. Don’t water it until the soil dries out a bit if it seems too wet or soggy. Maintaining the soil moist is an important part of prayer plant care. Watering a prayer plant with purified water at room temperature in the morning is the best watering tip.
This technique helps prevent root rot and allows the plant to take in enough moisture throughout the day. Chemicals like chlorine that may harm plant development are also filtered out. Many variables influence the frequency with which you must water maranta plants.
The amount of moisture that plants take in can be affected by room temperature, season, or household heating. In the spring and summer, when prayer plants grow faster, they need more frequent watering. Checking the dampness of the soil is the best way to determine when to water your maranta houseplant.
Prayer Plant Care: Humidity Levels
Prayer plants thrive in humid environments similar to their natural rainforest habitat. To help improve humidity, mist prayer plants on a regular basis and use a humidifier or sit them on a pebble tray. Remember to water and humidify your prayer plant while caring for it.
Spraying a fine mist on a prayer plant every day in normal room conditions is usually enough to hydrate them. During the winter, when household heating dries out the air, it is particularly important to hydrate the leaves. Water your plant less frequently and mist it once or twice a day in the winter to care for it properly.
Placing your prayer plant near other plants or putting a tiny bowl of water near it are two more ways to increase humidity for your prayer plant. You’ll have to dust the leaves of prayer plants from time to time, as they may live for 30 or 40 years or longer. You won’t just clean the leaves, but you’ll hydrate them at the same time if you use a damp cloth to wipe them.
One of the indications that humidity levels need to be increased is dry, brown leaf tips on your prayer plant leaves. Also, keep the leaves watered to prevent leaf rot. To help your plant flourish, however, you’ll need to expose it to a little daily misting.
Temperature for Prayer Plant
In most rooms, the optimum temperature for prayer plant cultivation is ambient. As a result, maintain temperatures of 65 to 75°F (18 to 23°C) throughout the day. The leaves and growth may be affected by extreme temperature fluctuations. You may observe that the prayer plant’s leaves begin to wither and turn brown if the temperature drops below 55°F (12°C). Green leaves may show signs of leaf burn if the room temperature rises above 80°F (26°C).
If a prayer plant is in direct sunlight on a south-facing window, this may frequently happen. You’ll want to make sure that air flows freely as well as maintaining the temperature. The circulating air encourages proper growth and lush foliage, while not placing in direct drafts.
How to Feed a Prayer Plant (Maranta leuconeura)
In the early spring, begin feeding your prayer plant. The leaves of houseplants are kept glossy and healthy with household fertilizer. Feeding every two weeks is usually sufficient. A balanced solution of fertilizer, diluted to half-strength, is the finest. Until early fall, continue feeding throughout the summer.
It is critical to support optimum development of your maranta plants by supplying them with the necessary nutrients. The red, white, pink, and green leaf colors stay vibrant because of the nutrients in balance.
It’s important to keep the diet right when it comes to proper feeding. Weak growth and a generally unappealing look may result from insufficient feeding. You might get brown leaves and damaged roots if you apply too much fertilizer. All you have to do during the winter is water and mist the prayer plant, because it becomes dormant.
Pruning a Prayer Plant
Using a pair of sterile garden scissors, trim your prayer plant just above the leaf nodes. Pruning twice a year (fall and spring are the best times) promotes bushy development by stimulating regrowth. Any leggy stems or dead leaves on the prayer plant can be trimmed away. pruned stems will sprout new healthy branches.
You may develop a lovely prayer plant with bushy proportions and lovely healthy leaves by regular pruning. If a prayer plant blooms indoors, you can clip off the flowers, though it is uncommon. These little blooms may steal necessary nutrients from the gorgeous foliage. The flowers, on the other hand, will not cause any long-term damage to the indoor plant if they are left to bloom.
Prayer Plant Propagation
In the spring, cut off healthy stems just below the final node at the root of your prayer plant to propagate it. Remove the bottom pair of leaves first. Add potting soil and perlite to a pot. Place in a sunny spot and cover with plastic with numerous holes in it.
By putting a stem cutting in a glass of water, you may propagate a prayer plant. Before transferring to a pot, wait until the roots are 1″ (2.5 cm) long. The perfect type of soil for growing a prayer plant is created by combining soil, peat, and perlite or coarse sand.
Dividing the rhizomes is another way to propagate prayer plants. Remove the plant from the pot and toss away any excess dirt. Repot the tuber roots into two or three pieces. You may also propagate a prayer plant by using any of the pieces that have broken off. To encourage new growth, simply rub the shattered end with a rooting hormone mixture.
Repotting Your Prayer Plant
Slow-growing plants that don’t need repotting often are referred to as prayer plants. Lack of growth is a sign that you should repot your prayer plant. All you have to do is move your plant to a 2″ (5 cm) larger pot than the one it’s currently in. Add some new potting soil.
When should you repot a prayer plant? In the spring or summer, repot your plant with the greatest care. Repotting at this time aids in the development of healthy roots by preventing cold temperatures from shocking them.
Maranta (Prayer Plant) Pests and Diseases
Aphids, spider mites, and mealybugs are some of the pests that may harm maranta plants. Fungal diseases and leafspot, for example, are more likely to be kept in check if proper care is used. Regular misting and not overwatering your plant help to keep spider mites at bay.
The soil is waterlogged or getting too much direct sunlight, which is usually indicated by brown leaves. You might have to repot the prayer plant if root rot is a issue; this will help it recover. Shake the soil off the roots of the plant after removing it from the pot. Remove any dead or diseased roots you find.
oroughly water and refresh the potting soil. Only water your plant when the soil is somewhat dry. Plants are stressed by mealybugs, aphids, and spider mites, which have an negative impact on growth. To get rid of bugs that are harming your plants, try using neem oil or an organic pesticide.
Are Prayer Plants Toxic?
aHumans, cats, and dogs are not poisoned by prayer plants.