Prayer Plant (Maranta leuconeura) is a very popular houseplant that is easy to grow. It has beautifully patterned leaves. It is also a fun houseplant to have at home because when it gets dark the leaves of your Prayer plant will roll-up. When you turn on the lights, the leaves will unroll and resume their regular flat position. It’s a lot of fun to trick your prayer plant into rolling and unrolling its leaves by turning on and off the light. Kids love Prayer plants! It’s also a great houseplant in bathrooms because it is a humid-loving plant and can tolerate low light. Here are tips on how to care for your Prayer plant at home.
Prayer Plant Infographic
8 Tips on How to Take Care of Your Prayer Plant
1. Your Prayer Plant is Happiest in Filtered Light. Can Tolerate Low Light.
Prayer Plant is happiest in filtered light locations such as an east-facing window. It also tolerates low light locations. You can place it in a north-facing window or a location that receives artificial light.
Check out other houseplants that can tolerate low light: ZZ Plant and Snake Plant
2. Moderate Water is Best for Prayer Plant
Water your Prayer Plant when the soil feels dry. The best way to tell when it is time to water your Prayer Plant is to feel the soil. Stick your finger in the soil 1 inch deep. If the soil feels dry, it’s time to water your Prayer Plant.
3. Get the Soil Right for Your Prayer Plant
Your Prayer Plant needs a well-draining, organic well-draining potting mix.
4. Fertilize Your Prayer Plant
Your Prayer Plant should be fertilized at half strength once every 2 weeks during the growing season. Fertilize once a month in the winter months.
5. Don’t forget to Repot Your Prayer Plant
Repot your Prayer Plant every year in the Spring. Repot in a container with a diameter 2 inches larger than the current pot. Don’t pack the soil too tight since your Prayer Plant likes air around its roots.
6. Drainage is Essential for Your Prayer Plant
After watering your Prayer Plant and you see water draining out of the pot’s drainage holes, make sure you empty out the accumulated water in the saucer. Don’t let your Prayer Plant’s pot sit in this puddle of water. It will cause root rot!
7. Get the Temperature Right for Your Prayer Plant
Your Prayer Plant needs to have a daytime temperature of 70F to 80 Fahrenheit (21-26C). The nighttime temperature should be at 60-70 Fahrenheit (15-21 C).
8. Humidity is Vital for Your Prayer Plant
Your Prayer Plant thrives in humid conditions. Indoor air can be drying. Make sure you do your best to increase indoor humidity. You can do this by spraying your Prayer Plant with water twice a week. Turn on the humidifier. Keep Prayer Plant in a saucer filled with water. But make sure the pot is elevated with pot feet or pebbles so your Prayer Plant is not sitting directly on the water.
2 Common Prayer Plant Problems
The common problems for Prayer Plant are brown leaf tips and spider mites.
Prayer Plant Problem: Yellow and Brown Spots with Spider-Like Webs on Leaves and Stems
Problem: There are yellow and brown spots on the leaves of your Prayer Plant. You also see spider web-like webbing on the leaves and stem.
Cause: The spider webbing and yellow and brown spots are signs of spider mites attacking your Prayer Plant. Spider mites are tiny pests that are too small to see with your bare eyes.
Solution: To treat spider mites on your Prayer Plant, spray off the leaves with water from a garden hose. The force will cause the little spider mites to wash off the leaves. You can also wash mites off with soapy water or rubbing alcohol. There are also horticultural oils and insecticidal soaps that you can use to kill off spider mites.
Check out our article on how to make your own homemade pesticides using baby shampoo: How to Make Horticultural Oil and How to Make Insecticidal Soap
Prayer Plant Problem: Tip of Leaves of Your Prayer Plant Turning Brown
Problem: The tips of the leaves of your Prayer Plant plant are turning brown.
Cause: When the tips of the leaves of your Prayer Plant turn brown that is a result of not enough water or humidity. The tips of the leaves are turning brown because they are dying.
Solution: Water your Prayer Plant and increase humidity.
Facts About Prayer Plant Houseplant
|Scientific Name||Maranta leuconeura|
|Light||Filtered Light. Can Tolerate Low Light.|
|Daytime Temperature||70 to 80 F (21-26C)|
|Night Time Temperature||60 to 70 F (15-21C)|
|Potting||Well-draining, organic, all-purpose potting mix|
|Fertilizer||Once every 2 weeks at half strength (Growing Season). Once a month in the winter.|
Prayer Plant: Frequently Asked Questions
What are Other Names of Prayer Plant?
Prayer Plant is also called Maranta, Herringbone Plant and Rabbit’s Foot.
Prayer Plant: Varieties
Popular Prayer Plant varieties are Maranta leuconeura ‘Kerchoviana’ and Maranta leuconeura ‘Erythroneura’.
How Can You Tell When It’s Time to Water Your Prayer Plant?
Water your Prayer Plant when the soil feels dry. The best way to tell when it’s time to water is by sticking your finger into the soil. Stick your finger in the soil 1 inch deep. If the soil feels dry, then it’s time to water your Prayer Plant.
Can You Use Cold Water When Watering Your Prayer Plant?
Prayer Plant can be watered with tap water but be mindful of the water temperature that you are using to water your Prayer Plant. Don’t use straight cold water from the tap to water your Prayer Plant.
Prayer Plant prefers cool water that is not hot and not cold. When you turn on the cold water from the faucet add a little bit of warm water. You can also get to this ideal temperature by filling a watering can or pitcher with water and leaving it out overnight until the water is at room temperature.
What Fertilizer Should You Use for Your Prayer Plant?
Use liquid, organic fertilizer with a higher ratio of nitrogen on your Prayer Plant.
How Big Does Your Prayer Plant Get?
Your Prayer Plant can grow to 12 inches tall and 16 inches wide.
How Do You Propagate Your Prayer Plant?
Prayer Plant Plant is easy to propagate. You can propagate Prayer Plant plant by division.
Below are steps on how to propagate Prayer Plant Plant by division:
1. Take a Stem Cutting of Prayer Plant Plant (include a node)
Pick a stem with a node. Cut below the node.
2. Place Prayer Plant Stem in Jar of Water
Place the Prayer Plant stem into a jar of water and wait for it to grow roots. To help it focus its energy on growing roots, make sure your stem has a maximum of 2 leaves. Cut off extra leaves as needed.
Another way to stimulate root growth is to dip your stem cutting in root hormone and plant it in moist sand. I personally prefer the jar method so you can easily see the roots come out. Know that not all stem cuttings of Prayer Plant will grow roots, so to be safe, cut a few stem cuttings so you will at least get one with roots.
3. Plant Stem Cutting in New Pot
Once the roots grow, plant these stem cuttings into a new pot. Water the new plant immediately after planting. Then water every 2-3 days until the roots are established.
4. Place New Prayer Plant Plant in a Spot with Bright Indirect Sun
Place your new Prayer Plant plant in a spot with bright indirect sunlight. Don’t put it in direct sunlight.
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