Plant Guide

How To Care For a Prayer Plant

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Maranta Leuconeura

Nickname : Prayer Plant

This unique plant is named after Bartolomeo Maranta, an Italian physician and botanist of the 16th century. 

The plant gets its name (Prayer Plant) from the fact that its leaves stay flat during the day and then fold up like praying hands at night.

A big appeal to these plants is the beautiful patterns on the leaves. The most well known tricolor variety has deep green, velvety leaves with yellow splotches down the middle and arching red stripes protruding out to the side margins.

 They are common as houseplants, but are not easy to keep growing over the long-term.

How to take care of Prayer Plants


Marantas don't reach over 8 inches tall and will remain low-growing for its entirety. They spread out and thus are perfect to placing on a window sill. The perfect condition for a Maranta is when provided with greenhouse-like conditions: warm, moist, gentle airflow, and plenty of fertilizer. 

Because of the greenhouse requirement, most indoor homes can't replicate an environment like this and that's why it's a little complicated when trying to have this plant thrive.

Plants that are kept too cool or too dry are likely to lose their leaves or suffer from fungal infections that will cause the plant to die from root rot or collapse. Plants that are exposed to too much sun are likely to become washed out and develop brown blotches on their leaves.

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Humidity

60-80%

To increase humidity, you can leave a tray under your pot with pebbles to hold moisture from the water that escapes from the hole on the bottom of the pot so the plant remains moist. You can also use a humidifier for this task or spray your plant with warm water a few times a day.

Light

Bright Without Direct Sun

Water

In spring through fall, water regularly with tepid water so the soil stays moist. Don’t use hard water as these plants are sensitive to fluoride in tap water, which can cause brown leaf tips.
Water plentifully as much as necessary to keep the soil thoroughly moist in active growing period. Empty the plant saucers after watering, to avoid that stagnant water could damage the roots.
During the winter water sparingly, allowing the top half of the soil to dry out between waterings.

Temperature

60-70Β°F

Plant Food

Fertilize your prayer plant every two weeks from early spring through fall. Dilute a balanced, water-soluble houseplant fertilizer (10-10-10) to half strength. If you use too little fertilizer, your plant will grow slowly or hardly at all.

Pests

Watch for spider mites and mealy bugs. Prevent the spider mites to appear through appropriate humidity. The plant can be treated with an insecticide. Too-dry conditions also can cause leaf loss.

Pet Toxicity

Non-Toxic

Repotting

Use a soil-based potting mix. Move the Maranta Leuconeura into containers one size larger in spring. Maranta Leuconeuras do not have a deep root system and grow well in shallow pans or half-pots.

Frequently Asked Questions

Bright Without Direct Sun

Unlike a lot of houseplants, Montersa actually prefer growing indoors and not in heavy direct sun. They like the room to be lit bright but not under direct sunlight.

No

Prayer Plants are not toxic to both dogs and cats.

The best thing to do when you've overwatered a Prayer Plant is to stop watering and relocate it to a place with a lot of sun so that you can dry out the soil. After that, you probably will want to inspect the roots for root rot and repot the plant.

Yes

Peace lilies like to be misted, especially throughout the summer to keep the leaves nice and moist.

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