How to Care for A Prayer Plant (Maranta Leuconeura)

How to care for a prayer plant? Prayer plants (Maranta Leuconeura) are a few of the most elegant, profound plants you will discover. Native to the tropics, these plants are simple to look after and provide good green foliage and distinctive adaptive behaviors.

how to care for a prayer plant

How to Care for A Prayer Plant

Prayer plants want well-draining, however consistently moist potting combine, bright oblique light, excessive humidity, and temperatures of 65-75 °F. Fertilize every two weeks throughout the rising season and prune as much as thrice per year as desired.

Getting these elements proper is the vital thing to producing healthy, long-lasting plants. In lots of instances, prayer-plants can stay effectively over thirty years. Whereas learning how to look after a prayer plant requires some consideration to elements, it’s an activity that may be achieved by newbie or professional gardeners alike.

Caring for a prayer plant isn’t difficult if in case you have the precise data or expertise. This information will let you know everything essential to learn to care for your prayer plant efficiently.

Who Should Grow A Prayer Plant?

Prayer plants are stunning houseplants and comparatively low-maintenance. They are often grown in hanging baskets or bigger containers. They spread low and extensive, permitting their luscious green foliage to decorate your own home and clear the air as they grow.

Prayer plants want humid circumstances and well-drained soil. Regardless of their fondness for a tropical atmosphere, prayer-plants are rewarding to grow and don’t want a lot of consideration to domesticate.

Prayer plants have enticing foliage. They’re hardy indoor plants that don’t are likely to grow too massive for the areas by which they’re planted, not like comparable houseplants that always should be repotted or moved. Prayer plants have variegated foliage however don’t produce showy flowers, making them good choices as modest decorative assertion items.

Indoor vs. Outdoor Cultivation

Within the wild, prayer-plants are discovered within the tropical rainforests of Brazil. These rhizomatous perennials grow tall and broad (as much as twelve inches in peak). Leaves grow in clumps, every extending about 5 inches lengthy. The second part of this plant identifies leucoderma, which means white-veined. This place is in particular recognition of the plant’s leaves, which sport that sample.

Prayer plants’ leaves lie flat throughout the day and fold upward at night, as if in prayer. That is achieved in rhythm with the sunlight. The leaves level downward or straight throughout the day and shut vertically at night time. This pure course is known as nyctinasty and is triggered by adjustments in sunlight.

This habit is believed to have adapted to benefit the plant’s longevity. When the leaves are closed at night, raindrops can fall by way of the leaves and attain the roots. This prevents rain from gathering on the leaves, lowering the chance of bacterial progress. It additionally helps the plant retain moisture.

It’s difficult to plant outdoor because the prayer plant is fragile when uncovered in cold or very moist conditions. Whereas prayer vegetation isn’t usually planted outdoor in most areas of the nation, they’re typically set in containers at gravesites, as they symbolize prayers and eternal life for the deceased.

When grown outdoor, prayer-plants are low-to-the-ground and produce six-inch lengthy leaves. Additionally, they make small white flowers that stand out sharply in opposition to the plant’s green, shiny leaves. This plant has a putting look that allows it to stand out on the rainforest ground.

Because prayer-plants require minimal temperatures of at least 55 °F, they’re extra suited to be grown indoors as an alternative to out of doors. They like bright, oblique daylight and excessive humidity, circumstances that may be tough to imitate in most doors environments.

Types Of Prayer Plants

There are forty different species of prayer plant, with the commonest being Maranta leuconeura. This plant often has a variegated green coloration with darkish, irregular spots on the leaves. While you hear folks speak about prayer-plants, that is often the variability to which they’re referring. It additionally grows by the identity of “Green Prayer Plant.” That is, in all probability, the kind of prayer plant your grandmother used to grow because it’s essentially the most traditional number of this species.

There are quite a few sub-cultivars of Maranta Leuconeura, together with the variability Kerchoveana(often known as rabbit’s foot) and Erythroneura (often known as herringbone plant or red prayer plant).

The “Kim” cultivar is a purple-spotted prayer plant, with the leaves possessing a fascinating white streaking sample. It may even have purple spots, giving it a various look. “Marisela” is one other well-liked cultivar. This plant has lighter green leaves, marking a dull shade of sunshine green as an alternative to white. Marisela is a hardy number of the prayer plant.

The Black Prayer Plant is one other widespread variety. Also called the Fascinator, this plant produces leaves that can be silver or blue (or a mixture of the 2), with darkish green edges and deep purple spots.

Prayer plants are sometimes confused with the Pinstripe Calathea. Though these plants are distinct, calathea plants are also perennial plants that are part of the Maranta household. Each originates from South America, and these shut family members have differing necessities for their cultivation, so you need to concentrate on the precise plant you introduced residence.

Temperature Requirements For Prayer Plants

Because of their tropical origins, prayer-plants don’t wish to be stored in extraordinarily cold or extraordinarily hot temperatures. They thrive when temperatures are around 65-75 °F. Colder temperatures (significantly dipping beneath 50 °F) can stunt the plant and cause the leaves to shrivel up and switch brown.

Typically, a room’s ambient temperature is ideal for a prayer plant. You don’t need your prayer plant to be too hot or too cold. When your room is simply too hot (above 80 °F), your prayer plant will produce few leaves; however, as an alternative, shoot out lengthy, spindly stems. This progress responds to a scarcity of moisture within the air, which is widespread when temperatures rise too excessively.

Because of this, you must keep away from inserting your prayer plant close to a heating or cooling vent. Whereas these can provide obligatory airflow to your prayer plant, they will additionally dry it out. Drafts and temperature fluctuations can kill your plant, inflicting its leaves to show yellow and die again.

Best Place For Prayer Plant

Prayer plants might be grown in hanging baskets or planters. They aren’t picky about their position; however, they understand that they shouldn’t uncover direct sunlight. Whereas prayer plants prefer to be heated, an excessive amount of sun can scorch and dry out the plant’s leaves. Bright – however, oblique light is most excellent, and when unsure, keep in mind that prayer-plants can survive simply high quality in areas of decrease mild.

Suppose you should grow your prayer plant in bright light, attempt to shield its leaves by hanging a sheer curtain or another sort of display screen in opposition to the sunlight. They need to ideally be situated in a room that faces the south or west. This can enable light to get to the plant without exposing it to direct sunlight. Your plants will develop wealthy and green, without changing into spindly or lengthy as they attain more light.

If your prayer plant’s leaves are light in coloration, that’s a positive signal that they’re receiving an excessive amount of sunlight. If there is insufficient light, the leaves will shut at night and fail to open throughout the day. This can be a protecting response that can stunt your plant’s real progress and might finally kill it.

Balance right here is essential. Place your prayer plant in a nook of the room that receives loads of indirect sunlight (not on the windowsill) and control it to ensure it’s adjusting effectively to its location.

prayer plant light requirements

Soil For Prayer Plants

Prayer plants should be grown in a planting medium comprised of peat moss, one-half sand, and one-half loam. This mixture is good, ensuring optimum drainage, though you’ll be able to get by with a combined potting soil as effectively. Prayer plants can tolerate acidic, loam, or clay soils, though a well-draining combination is greatest.

If you have soil that doesn’t drain significantly effectively, you’ll be able to add perlite or coarse sand to the combination. Potting soil is probably not available, so if you want to create your unique well-draining combination, you’ll be able to mix equal components peat, backyard soil, and coarse sand. A pinch of lime dust will help stability the pH of this combination. Including rocks or gravel to the underside of the pot may also help enhance drainage.

If you make your potting combine, be sure you only use precise supplies free from bugs and weed seeds. You don’t essentially have to buy soil or potting combine. However, it’s essential to ensure that your potting combine doesn’t have something undesirable in it that would lead to more stress to your plant in a while down the street.

Watering Prayer Plant

What’s extra essential than soil to your prayer plant is making sure that it has optimum drainage. Prayer plants have exceptionally high-quality roots that grow in a shallow (but dense) unfold. They’re prone to root rot, so it’s essential to ensure that the planting medium and container are each well-draining. If your plant’s container doesn’t have a well-draining backside, contemplate drilling further holes or using an excellent lighter planting medium.

You need to be sure your water is effectively sufficient so that your soil doesn’t turn dried out. However, it is not so typically that it turns soggy. While you contact the ground of your prayer plant, it needs to be barely damp to the contact. Use room temperature water to hydrate your plant, permitting the plant time to regulate the water. Water that’s too cold will chill your plant’s roots and cause stress, which may shock its system and end in leaf-dropping habits.

Attempt to water the plant within the morning. Many people are already conscious of this watering tip if they’ve outdoor plants or a garden that must be often watered. However, the identical rule applies to houseplants. Watering within the morning will give your plant a whole day to absorb the moisture and enable excess water on the leaves to evaporate.

If you discover that your plant has begun to develop darkish spots on its leaves, reduce the broken leaves on the base and throw them away. This can be a symptom of leaf spot, brought on by fungal progress because of nighttime watering.

Precisely how much water your plant will want will likely be depending on so many circumstances, so a daily timeline is one thing solely you’ll be able to decide when you get your plant residence. Simply because your plant is thirsty one week doesn’t imply it will require the precise quantity of water subsequent week. Whereas your plant will want a lot of water within the spring and summertime months (intervals of rapid progress and warmth), you’ll be able to reduce your watering within the winter months.

Each time potential, use filtered water to water your plants. This can assist forestall contamination by chemicals akin to chlorine or fluoride, which may negatively impression your plant and affect its natural progress. If you don’t have entry to a water filter, letting the water sit for a day or two earlier than using it might probably additionally help a few of the chemicals dissipate.

Exhausting water can be damaging to a prayer plant. It comprises chemicals that, in severely unbalanced water, can hurt your plant or, at the very least, stunt its progress. It’s essential that you simply additionally empty your watering containers or saucers often. Stagnant water can include dangerous microbes that may affect your plant’s progress.

Check your plant daily, touching the highest of the potting soil to find out its wetness. Your plant must be watered when the highest of the potting soil is simply starting to dry out. You must by no means enable the ground to dry out thoroughly, as this will cause your plant to die. Your Prayer leaves will turn yellow and fall off the plant.

If you are away or for no matter purpose, forget to water your plant, don’t attempt to compensate for the combined watering by offering more water. Instead, return to your typical watering schedule and try to preserve observe of your watering in the future.

Humidity for A Prayer Plant

As a tropical plant, the prayer plant requires a humid atmosphere. If its leaves are too dry, they’ll turn brown and start to drop off. Remember that your plant might be disadvantaged by humidity even if you’re watering it often. If you stay in a location that will get frigid winters, the cold will sap even the air inside your home of a lot of its moisture. The same goes for people who’ve their plants in drafty or stuffy areas.

Offering the proper humidity to your prayer plant significantly within the winter might be difficult since you don’t essentially want to provide more water to your plant throughout the colder months. In reality, prayer-plants are liable to over-watering throughout the colder months of the year. So what’s a gardener to do?

Putting in a humidifier may also help improve the humidity when the winter air dries out the indoor atmosphere or when temperatures rise above 65 degrees in the summertime. If a humidifier just isn’t a possibility, it’s also possible to place your prayer plant within the bathroom. The steam from the bathe and tub will help add humidity to the air. However, it is probably not the only option if your bathroom is devoid of home windows or different bright, natural oblique light.

You, too, can spritz your plant’s leaves with a twig bottle. Keep away from watering instantly on the leaves, as an excessive amount of water could cause fungal issues. However, a lightweight mist a few times a day won’t dampen your leaves for rot. However, it will hydrate them to allow them to proceed to absorb vitamins from the soil.

In some instances, inserting your prayer plant close to different teams of plants may also help, as plants naturally produce water as they grow. You can place a bowl of water close to the plant or place it on a tray crammed with water and small stones. By inserting your plant close to sources of moisture as an alternative of instantly on or in them, you’ll help provide your plant with adequate water without soaking your plants and inflicting fungal issues.

One other main problem with houseplants is the shortage of publicity for the outside parts. Whereas this may be helpful in some regards (you don’t have to fret about damaging winds or doors pests getting after your plants), it also signifies that your plants don’t have access to natural parts like cool breezes or soil microbes.

The absence of a breeze can lead to a scarcity of airflow to your plants. That is significantly detrimental when it entails your plants’ roots. Plants that should not have sufficient air will likely be stunted, with many growing pest or illness points consequently.

One of the simplest ways to offer good airflow to your plant is to keep away from inserting it on a heating or cooling vent, whereas at the same time, including a supplementary source of air, like a slowly rotating fan. This can help preserve the air shifting and forestall it from changing into stagnant while also enhancing your plant’s general health.

Fertilizing Prayer Plant

Within the early spring, you must start a daily fertilizing schedule for your prayer plant. The most effective frequency is as soon as every two weeks. You can fertilize all through the summertime months and shift into the autumn. However, it should stop throughout the winter months, when your plant will enter a pure dormancy interval.

While you fertilize, use a water-soluble houseplant fertilizer and dilute it to half-strength. That is often about half a teaspoon of fertilizer per gallon of water. Still, it surely could be larger or decrease relying on the precise producer of your fertilizer whatever the directions listing as a beneficial dilution fee, reduce that quantity by one other half.

Attempt to discover a balanced houseplant fertilizer. Remember that natural fertilizers can be used, like a worm or compost tea. However, you need to watch out to ensure that all nutrient ranges are balanced and never tipped too far in favor of 1 nutrient (such as nitrogen, which tends to be current in more extensive contents in issues like aged compost or manure).

It doesn’t matter what type of fertilizer you select. Keep in mind that too little fertilizer will cause your plant to expertise stunted progress – or lack of progress altogether. However, a lot of fertilizer will cause your leaves to turn brown and even burn your roots. You should find a happy medium by way of fertilizing, permitting your plant loads of time to enter vitamins and to thrive growing bright-green stems and leaves.

Pruning Prayer Plant

Pruning a prayer plant may also help guarantee more vigorous progress. That is simple to do. All it’s essential to do is clip your stems properly above the leaf nodes using a sterilized pair of backyard scissors. Your plant will send out new shoots under the reduced space, permitting your plant to develop an extra bushy look as an alternative to sending growing sources to useless or dying components of the plant.

You can prune several instances a year (two or thrice is greatest). Through the use of sharp, precise scissors, you’ll cut back the chance of damaging your plant in addition to spreading disease. If your plant produces flowers, you might both depart them to get pleasure from or prune them off. These flowers are likely to blossom for just a few days at a time earlier than falling off, at which level the plant will start to make new ones. The flowers don’t stunt the plant’s progress by any means and might add a pleasant decorative touch to your room.

You might find that your prayer plant’s leaves turn dusty on occasion. That is nothing to be involved in. You can clear the leaves every so often with a dry fabric to help take away mud or every other built-up particle.

Propagation

Prayer plants are best to propagate within the spring if you end up within the technique of repotting your plant. You can take stem cuttings or just divide your plant.

Cuttings need to be taken simply beneath the nodes, which can be closest to the underside of the stem, after which positioned in a combination of peat and perlite. Ensure the cuttings are stored adequately moist after transplanting. Put them in a sunny location, and canopy them with plastic to help retain moisture. As soon as they’re set in place, you must poke a couple of holes within the plastic cover. This can help enable air in whereas additionally selling recent progress.

If a piece of your prayer plant breaks off, you’ll be able to dip it into rooting hormone and place it in distilled water. Change the water each different day, awaiting indicators of progress. As soon as your roots have grown to about an inch in size, you’ll be able to take the plant out to put it in soil. Watch out to ensure there may be at the least some piece of stem on the leaves, or the plant won’t take root. You, too, can place the items in soil instantly, though the success fee is probably not as excessive.

prayer plant care

Repotting Prayer Plant

Prayer plants won’t need to be repotted typically; however, they’ll grow way more slowly after they turn into root-bound. This can point out that it’s time to change containers. If you decide to repot your prayer plant, you must only achieve this within the spring or summertime months. This can assist in preventing cold climate shock throughout the plant’s fixed interval. When your container is stuffed with roots, you’ll notice that your potting combine dries out shortly, and your prayer plant grows slowly.

To repot, select a container that’s at least an inch or two more comprehensive than the present pot. Take away your plant from its current residence and place it within the new pot (be sure you add a bit of additional soil combine, too). Water effectively for the primary few days after transplanting.

If you are excited about propagating your plant, you’ll be able to divide it into smaller plants. To do that, merely shake the soil off the roots and work them aside. Every new plant could have a healthy, massive mass of sources, in addition to several stems. You can replant these smaller plants in shallow pots.

While you repot, be sure you are potting in extensive, shallow pots. Prayer plants’ roots don’t want a ton of room. However, they want loads of air. To make sure they’ve sufficient oxygen, contemplate repotting each different year.

Medicinal Properties Of Prayer Plants

The chemical rosmarinic acid is present in prayer-plants. This chemical can also be present in certain ferns and hornworts, in addition to some herbs like basil. It is usually the lively ingredient in rosemary.

This chemical produces several antioxidant and anti-inflammatory results. It may be inhaled or absorbed by way of the pores and skin. Rosmarinic acid might be efficient in lowering your body’s histamine response to pollen allergic reactions, in addition to reducing signs like nasal congestion and atopic dermatitis.

Common Prayer Plant Issues

Leaf spot, often known as Helminthosporium leaf spot, is undoubtedly one of the most typical ailments to afflict prayer-plants. This illness might be lethal if not handled shortly. It’s brought on by overwatering and might be slowed by adjusting your fee of watering.

You’ll know your plant has a leaf spot if you happen to discover that water-soaked areas are showing throughout your plant’s leaves. These yellow spots unfold shortly, finally wanting a tan look. They could even have small yellow halos.

Unfortunately, leaf spot might be troublesome to reverse as soon as set in. That being stated, sustaining a daily, even watering schedule may also help prevent this disease in the first place. It’s common in plants that can overwater or those whose leaves are perpetually covered in standing water.

Yellowing leaves are additionally typical in prayer-plants, usually brought on by environmental stress, fungal disease, or viruses. Usually, yellowing leaves are brought on by one thing that may be adjusted, like the placement of the plant or the type of fertilizer you’re using. In different instances, however, you might have to implement a more focused strategy.

Most of the time, yellow leaves are an indication that your plant is being exposed to an excessive amount of bright light. Move your plant to a new location, or set up a sunlight screen to help filter the light. Extreme quantities of phosphate or fluoride, generally present in faucet water, may also burn the guidelines of your leaves. Using filtered water or permitting your faucet water to sit down earlier than using may also help reduce this impact.

Chlorosis is one other reason for yellowing foliage and is more widespread in young leaves. This disease is an iron deficiency, and it might probably cause demise if not handled appropriately.

Chlorosis might be brought on by an extreme soil pH or a soil that’s too clay-like in construction. Soil that’s overly compact or moist, or comprises an excessive amount of phosphorus, may also have too little iron.

Whereas chlorosis is much less more likely to happen in a pot-bound plant, it might probably incessantly come up as the result of too-wet soil. In case your soil is compacted or if you have been watering it closely, again off. You might want to add an iron complement till the nutrient stability of the soil rights itself.

Cucumber mosaic virus is one other widespread perpetrator of yellowing leaves within the prayer plant. If you have some yellow spots with some healthy green tissue, this virus could be at work. You would possibly notice that newer leaves are emerging. However, they are small and misshapen, whereas older leaves are growing yellow line patterns.

Sadly, the cucumber mosaic virus just isn’t treatable, and you’ll have to do away with your prayer plant if you’re worried in regards to the disease spreading to your different houseplants.

Pests

Prayer plants are liable to the same pests as different family plants. The commonest ones are spider mites. These pests thrive within the plant’s bushy leaves; however, fortunately, they hate excess humidity. Because prayer-plants thrive when uncovered to further moisture within the air, retaining your humidity excessively is a simple way to help your plant succeed and keep pests at bay.

Spider mites are robust to see with the bare eye. However, they will cause your plant to cease growing altogether. You might find webbing in your plants, and upon nearer inspection, see the tiny mites in your plant’s leaves. You can use ladybugs or different predatory insects to do away with the mites and even use insecticidal oil like neem oil.

Mealybugs are one other source of stress for prayer plant homeowners. These pests produce a white residue on a plant’s leaves that appear not like cotton. It’s often discovered on the stems and leaves and might be both the egg sacs of those pests or the mealybugs themselves. These pests suck the life out of your prayer plant and might multiply shortly.

If you find this residue in your plants, be sure you isolate your plant from others instantly. Scrape away any spots you find, after which treat the plant with an answer of three components of water, one-half alcohol, and a splash of dish cleaning soap. Let the plant sit for just a few days and repeat the method. Neem oil or industrial pesticides are additionally efficient at eliminating mealybugs.

When you first get your prayer plant residence, be sure you examine it rigorously earlier than bringing it inside. Notably, suppose you’re buying your plant from a nursery or one other third-party plant retailer. In that case, it’s essential to be sure that your plants aren’t harboring any undesirable guests as you progress them inside your house.

As your plants are growing, preserve a watch out and inspect them often (maybe throughout feeding or watering intervals) for any indicators of disease or pests. These points often crop up by surprise, so being vigilant may also help you detect them early to attenuate additional harm.

Is A Prayer Plant Right For Me?

If you like to backyard and are focused on a vibrant, verdant new addition to your house, then sure! A prayer plant is a precise houseplant for you. These plants can stay for a few years, with some lasting a number of a long time or more.

So long as you water and feed your plant often, providing it with plenty of areas to grow and, in fact, a lot of tender loving care – your plant will give you enjoyment and wonder for years to return.

Is The Prayer Plant Poisonous?

Prayer plants usually are not poisonous to people, dogs, or cats.

Why Are My Prayer Plant’s Leaves Turning Brown?

Leaves that have turned brown or are curling up might point out that your plant is receiving an excessive amount of light. Attempt shifting your plant to a new location. However, browned leaves can be brought on by chlorine in tap water. Use filtered water or enable faucet water to sit down for 24 hours earlier than using.