The prayer plant (Maranta) was named for its response to light and dark. During the day, the broad, oblong leaves spread out flat in the full ornamental display.
With darkness, the leaves fold upwards into the sleeping, or prayer, position. Shining a light on the plant will induce it to lower the leaves again.
For its fascinating motion trick and beautiful foliage, the prayer plant is an exciting addition to a house plant collection, especially in families with small children.
The primary species, Maranta leuconeura, is a familiar, old-fashioned house plant with bright green leaves bearing aubergine-colored spots arranged between the side veins, five in a line on each half of the leaf.
The 10 blotches inspired the Dutch common name “ten commandments plant.” A subspecies, Maranta kechoveana, is similar. For its dark chocolate brown markings, perceived by somebody to look like rabbit tracks, this plant bears the common name “rabbit’s foot.”
Prayer plants thrive in tropical conditions of moderate warmth, high humidity, and bright indirect light.
Like most plants, water generously in summer and less in winter without letting the soil dry completely. Browned leaf edges indicate dryness in the ground or air.
Prayer Plant Care
Prayer plants are low-flourishing, expanding plants that grow best when presented with greenhouse-like conditions, comprising warm, humid, soft airflow and a good deal of fertilizer.
Plants that are held too cool or parched are prone to drop their leaves or hurt from fungal infections that can lead the plant to die from root rot or wither and die.
Likewise, plants that are opened to the too high sun can turn washed out and produce brown blemishes on their petals.
Like many alternative houseplants, prayer plants can be susceptible to spider mites and mealybugs.
If you recognize symptoms of contagion, such as a white powdery material on the leaves or browning of the vegetation, you can manage your plant with a common pesticide such as neem oil.
Propagating Prayer Plants
Proliferating prayer plants is a simple process to build up your selection and benefit from larger mother plants. The trendy (and easiest) way to multiply prayer plants is to separate the plant while repotting. Here’s how:
- When repotting your prayer plant, split it into several smaller plants by lightly shaking the soil off the roots and taking them apart.
- Assure each fresh plant has a solid mass of roots and several stems.
- Pot these new younger plants independently into shallow pots.
- Store new branches warm and moist during the early few weeks until fresh growth appears.
- Are prayer plants simple to care for?Prayer plants are relatively simple to tend for, yet they go for greenhouse-related conditions, which can be troublesome to manage indoors in some regions.
- How quickly do prayer plants flourish?We recognize prayer plants as slow growers and usually amount to about 12 inches at their greatest.
- Can prayer plants thrive indoors?Sure — actually, prayer plants will regularly grow very successfully indoors. They demand highly tropical conditions, which can be tough to accomplish outdoors in many parts of the land.
Plant Profile: Prayer Plant
- Scientific name: Maranta leuconeura.
- Growth habit: An evergreen spreading perennial with shoots produced near the soil surface; grows to1 foot tall. The leaves, which fold up at night, grow to 6 inches long and 3 inches wide and have dark blotches and colorful veins.
- Light: Indoors display in low to medium light; outdoors, grow in the shade or filtered sun.
- Water needs: Keep soil moist; water when the surface dries.
- Feedings: Apply a houseplant fertilizer every other month from March through November indoors. Feed in-ground plants lightly with a general garden fertilizer in March, June, and September.
- Propagation: From cuttings and by dividing older clumps.
- Ease of culture: Easy.
- Hardiness: Tender.
- Major problems: Plants are susceptible to mites. Control with a soapy solution applied as a wash or a spray.
- Nematodes that cause root decline can damage in-ground plantings. Root rots can affect all, often encouraged by poor drainage.
- Prunings: Remove excessive shoot growth from pots and beds; remove declining portions as needed.
- Uses: Use indoors or on the patio on a table or in a hanging basket. Several selections are available with unusually marked leaves.
We can grow plants in containers or as a ground cover during the warmer months. They produce stalks of tiny white and purple flowers overshadowed by the colorful foliage.