Prayer Plants: Care, Growing Guide, & Facts
Table of Contents
Prayer Plants Description
The scientific name of the prayer plant is kept on the name of a botanist, who is also a physician, called the Bartolomeo Maranta of the 16th century. They other species of this are found in Brazil, which are short in height.
Its common name is Maranta leuconeura, which is given, because it leaves fold up like joining hands, during the night-time and then come back to normal during the day time. Prayer plant being extremely beautiful, its used as a decorative item.
The leaves consist of three color, with more of green, given a velvet look, and on that yellow patches at the center and redlines at the edges of the leaves. It only can grow up to a height of one feet, and are thus, also known as house plants.
The family of this plant is Marantaceae, and it’s a perennial herbaceous plant. The flowers are usually white in color and are seen in South America. The blooming period for these plants is usually spring and the type of soil they require is damp, with an acidic to neutral pH.
They can grow up to 6-12 inches wide and tall. They require sun partially or either complete, depending on the species.
How To Care Prayer Plants?
Prayer plant is a green house plant, which requires particular conditions like huge number of fertilizers, damp soil and humid conditions and little water.
They are also prone to fungal infection, if kept in extremely cool or humid conditions, resulting in plant death. Plants which have overexposed themselves to heat can develop brown patches on the leaf.
How To Grow Prayer Plants?
Plant has to be kept at such a location that it gets sunlight indirectly, because to much of sunlight can result in dark brown patches on the leaves and the color will start to fade.
Thus, they are seen growing in areas with less sunlight. During the winter time is the period where the plant enters the dormancy period, and thus to continue its growth, it requires sunlight.
Although they can thrive in various types of soil, and the conventional mixing of soil works well but one can also use one part of loamy soil, two parts of sphagnum peat moss, one part perlite and coarse sand.
The most suitable pH for them is between 5.5-6.0. At the base of the pot, add rocks and makes holes to ensure better drainage.
When the prayer plants is increasing in length and width, keep watering it and never allow the sand to dry out completely, as they will wilt out.
However, do not add water in excess as it can lead to fungal infection and also change the color of leaves and result in falling out. The water should be room temperature or at least luke-warm.
iv. Temperature and Humidity
The house temperature required by the plant is between 60-80 degrees Fahrenheit. Temperatures below than this can damage the plant. The best condition for this is humid environment.
A humidifier can also be kept, to maintain the level or keep a plate with gravel and water. One can also spray water at mid intervals to keep the plant hydrated.
In every two weeks, fertilizers should be added and once a week in the winter. The fertilizer should be water soluble and directly should not be used. It should be diluted and then used.
If fertilizer is used in very small amount, the plant will grow quite slow and excess of it can damage the roots and change the color of leaves to brown, resulting in death of the plant.
Varieties of Prayer Plants
There are various types of prayer plant, but the most famous is the three-color plant. Many times, calathea plants and prayer plants are confused amongst each other, as they resemble quite a lot.
1. M. leuconeura massangeana: The leaves are darker, with silver lines at the mid-rib and the veins are white.
2. M. leuconeura kerchoveana: It is also known as Rabbits track, with green color leaves and dark patches at the edge.
3. M. leuconeura erythrophylla: It is known as herringbone plant, and is three colored and its veins are red in color.
Propagating Prayer Plants
• Make several sections of the plants and then move the soil from the roots and then separate them.
• Then make sure that each plants has got good number of roots and stems.
• Then place them into various pots.
• Keep the newly potted plants damp and warm, for few weeks, until it starts to grow.
Prayer Plants Pests
Prayer plants are also susceptible to bugs, spiders and other insects. Signs of plant getting damaged are browning of leaves and white powder formation on leaves. These can be treated with neem oil, which is a natural insecticide.