How do I care my Prayer Plant? Guide and Facts

Prayer plant, scientifically known as Maranta leuconeura, is a beloved houseplant cherished for its striking foliage and unique behavior. It is named for its habit of folding its leaves upward at night, resembling hands in prayer. This plant adds a touch of natural elegance to any indoor space. With striking red, green, black, and purple hues, the praying plant is a true visual delight.

Native to South America and tropical forests of Brazil, the praying plant thrives in environments that mimic its natural habitat. It flourishes under indirect light, making it an ideal choice for indoor gardening. This plant can grow vigorously when cared for properly, showcasing its intricate patterns and colors (variegated plants).

Maranta - Praying at night

Facts about Prayer Plant | Table

Common Name of the PlantPraying Plant ? Prayer Plant
Biological NameMaranta leuconeura
Plant FamilyMarantaceae
Size8-12 inches in spread and height
FlowerSeldom (White)
Hardiness ZoneUSDA 11-12
NativeSouth America, Brazil

How to care for Praying Plant?

As a gardening enthusiast, I’ve learned that caring for a prayer plant is all about creating a balance that mimics its natural tropical environment. The Maranta leuconeura has become one of my favorite houseplants with its stunning red, green, and purple leaves. Over time, I’ve discovered that regular care is key to keeping this beauty thriving.

How often Watering?

Watering plant correctly has been essential for its growth and vitality. I’ve found that these plants prefer consistently moist soil but dislike sitting in water. Using room temperature water and ensuring good drainage has helped prevent root rot. During the dry seasons, I regularly mistreat my Maranta to maintain humidity, which it loves. By providing just the right amount of water, I’ve kept my prayer plant healthy and its leaves lush and vibrant.

Plant’s Light Requirements

My praying plant thrives in bright, indirect light, which makes it perfect for indoor growing. I’ve placed mine in a spot where it gets plenty of filtered light but is protected from direct sunlight by placing it near the southward window. During the winter months, when natural light is limited, I use a grow light to supplement its needs. This has kept the growth of leaves steady.

Temperature Requirements

Maintaining the right temperature has been vital for its health. These tropical plants love warmth, so I keep the indoor temperature between 65°F to 80°F (18°C to 27°I’veI’ve learned to avoid exposing them to cold drafts or sudden temperature changes, which can stress the plant and cause leaf damage. Keeping my Maranta in a stable, warm environment, similar to its native habitat, has ensured robust growth and prevented common issues like leaf curling and yellowing.

Best Soil

The best soil is a well-draining, peat-based mix that retains moisture without becoming waterlogged. I blend potting soil, perlite, and peat moss to create the ideal environment for its roots. I also ensure the soil has a slightly acidic to neutral pH, between 5.5 and 6.0. Good aeration and drainage are crucial to prevent root rot, a common issue.

Fertilizer for Praying Plant

Feeding has been an essential part of its care routine. A balanced, water-soluble fertilizer works best. I feed my Maranta monthly during the growing season, from spring to fall, diluting the fertilizer to half the recommended strength to avoid over-fertilization. However, I reduce the feeding frequency during winter as the plant’s growth slows.

Types of Prayer Plant

Following are some of the common types of Maranta Plants;

  1. The Red Maranta: -Striking red veins is a favorite of mine.
  2. Green Maranta: – Boasts beautiful green leaves with dark green spots.
  3. Purple Prayer Plant: – It adds a touch of deep color to my collection.
  4. Black Prayer Plant: Its almost black leaves provide contraRabbit’s Tracks Maranta, known for its distinct leaf patterns.

Each variety brings something special to my indoor garden, making my collection diverse and visually captivating.

Praying Plant Problems

Over the years, I’ve encountered a few common problems with my Manata plant. The most frequent issues are leaf curling and yellowing. Pests like spider mites and mealybugs can also be troublesome, causing damage to the beautiful leaves.

Leaf curling in my praying plant has been challenging, but understanding the causes has helped me address it effectively. Curling leaves are often a sign of stress, which can be due to various factors. Insufficient humidity is a common factor, especially since prayer plants thrive in humid environments. To remedy this, I’ve increased humidity around the plant by misting it regularly and placing a humidity tray nearby.

Another cause can be inconsistent watering—either too much or too little. Ensuring the soil remains consistently moist but not waterlogged has helped. Knowing the moisture level using the feeling and touch method has helped me a lot in managing this leaf curling.

How to Propagate?

Propagating my prayer plant has been a rewarding experience, allowing me to expand my collection and share plants with friends. There are two main methods I use:

  1. Stem cuttings: I select a healthy stem with a few leaves and cut it just below a node. I place the cutting in water or directly into a pot with well-draining soil. If using water, I wait for roots to develop before transferring them to the soil.
  2. Division Method: – I carefully remove the plant from its pot and gently separate the roots, ensuring each division has a few stems and healthy roots. I then plant each division in its pot with a suitable soil mix.
Stem cuttings: I select a healthy stem with a few leaves and cut it just below a node. I place the cutting in water or directly into a pot with well-draining soil. If using water, I wait for roots to develop before transferring them to the soil.
Praying Plant Propagation


The prayer plant (Maranta leuconeura) gets its name from its unique habit of folding its leaves upward at night, resembling hands in prayer. This daily movement is a fascinating natural phenomenon called nyctinasty, influenced by plant’snt’s circadian rhythms.

While the prayer plant can technically be grown indoors and outdoors, it thrives best indoors in a controlled environment. This is because it is native to the tropical rainforests of Brazil, where it enjoys high humidity, indirect light, and warm temperatures. Growing it indoors allows you to manage these conditions better.

Typically, it reaches about 12 to 18 inches (30 to 45 cm) and can spread out to about 12 inches (30 cm) in width. The size can vary depending on the specific variety and the growing conditions.

One of the great things about prayer plants is that they are non-toxic to cats and dogs. This makes them an excellent choice for pet owners who want to keep their indoor gardens beautiful and safe.

At night, the prayer plant showcases its unique behavior of folding its leaves upward, resembling hands in prayer. This nyctinastic movement is a response to changes in light and is part of the plant’s natural rhythm.

Reviving a struggling prayer plant involves addressing its specific needs and identifying any problems. Here are some I’ve found effective:
Check the Soil Moisture: Ensure the soil is moist but not soggy.
Increase Humidity: Prayer plants love humidity. Use a humidity tray, mist the plant regularly, or place it in the bathroom.
Inspect for Pests: Look for signs of pests like spider mites or mealybugs. Treat any infestations promptly with neem oil or insecticidal soap.
Prune Damaged Leaves: Remove dead or yellowing leaves to encourage new growth.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *