Native to the Brazilian tropical forest, the Prayer plant is one of the best houseplants and is commonly found around the house and at the office. There may be other beautiful houseplants, but a prayer plant is easy to keep.
If you want to get a prayer plant for your home, this guide is the only one you need to know all about it.
Here we have discussed everything about the Prayer plant to make it easier to grow one in your house. Let’s start with the basics, as not many people are even aware of a prayer plant.
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What Is A Prayer Plant?
The prayer plant, also known as Maranta leuconeura or Maranta prayer plant, is named after Bartolomeo Maranta, an Italian Physician and Botanist of the 16th century. These are the perfect indoor plant with a beautiful appearance. The leaves are bright, dark green color with a small stem.
The name of the prayer plant is given due to the shape of the leaves. The leaves are long, folding slightly towards each other. Thus, creating a shape resembling hands rose for prayers.
There is a lot more to know about the prayer plant in detail. It is vital to understand each character to make it easier for you to identify the prayer plant.
How to Grow and Care for a Prayer Plant?
Most plants need basic care, and the prayer plant requires the common caring regiment of the proper light, soil, moisture, and care. So, if you want to grow a prayer plant, you’ve come to the right place.
As mentioned below, we have discussed each factor that plays a vital role in the growth and health of your prayer plant.
Choosing The Right Light For Your Prayer Plant
Sunlight is one of the essential factors in the growth of your prayer plant. However, this doesn’t mean that the prayer plant requires constant sunlight to grow and thrive. Instead, it’s important to give it just the right amount of sunlight to meet its needs without drying or burning it.
The prayer plant is one of the plants that can be grown with indirect sunlight indoors. Indirect sunlight is ideal for prayer plants, meaning that it can receive by located near a window or a glass door. Make sure not to keep your prayer plant under direct sunlight as it can affect the color and integrity of your prayer plant.
Prayers plants can also be grown in the shade and don’t worry about them not receiving enough sunlight. However, in winter, prayer plants mostly go into their dormancy, which might require bright light to help them grow back in the sunnier months.
The best way you can grow Prayer Plant indoors is with the help of a full spectrum LED grow light. Check out this 150W LED Grow Light now.
Selecting The Best Soil For Your Prayer Plant
Soil may not be in contact with the leaves, but the roots of a plant are the most important part that needs a healthy environment. Countless soil types are available for your plant, but not all are suitable for your prayer plant.
The prayer plant is a moist-soil loving plant, but the soil should be well-draining. The plant can grow in various soils, and a potting mix is also perfect for it.
Be it any soil you choose, make sure it is well-draining. You can use rocks and gravel in the pot to improve the draining of your prayer plant.
However, keep in mind that the potting soil for your prayer plant should be acidic and have a pH value of 5 to 6. In addition, make sure the pot of your prayer plant has a good hole to improve draining.
Creating A Watering Schedule For A Prayer Plant
Water is the vital element that affects the growth and health of your prayer plant. Choosing the right amount of water and the time to water is the most important challenge you will face. Some people may be confused between tap water and filtered water, which one is the best for prayer plants. Actually, it depends on where do you live. If you are in USA then both water type is good.
Native to South American tropical forests, the prayer plant is a moisture-loving plant that you will get to see. The best time to water your plant is when the top layer of the soil gets dry. Keep in mind not the let the entire soil sit dry as the leaves start turning brown.
To not leave the top layer dry, don’t overwater the plant as it can boost fungal growth and be a bigger problem.
Choosing The Best Temperature For Your Prayer Plant
Not talking about the sunlight here but the temperature of the room in which you will place the prayer plant in. Prayer plants can stay in mild temperatures and placed considering the temperature they can match.
A prayer plant needs a temperature of 600 to 700 Fahrenheit. However, a prolonged lower temperature can affect the health of your prayer plant and stop its growth. You may be thinking about how the temperature can do that?
That is what we have discussed, as many people don’t check the temperature of the spot they are placing their prayer plant at.
Monitoring The Humidity Around Your Prayer Plant
Humidity plays a vital role in balancing the moisture provided to the prayer plant. As you know, the prayer plant is a moisture-loving plant and needs high humidity to thrive.
The better the humidity, the better your prayer plant’s growth. However, indoors, we don’t have control over the humidity of any room; that is why it can be challenging to maintain the humidity level. If there is low humidity, the best way to maintain the level is by getting a small humidifier.
It will be a small investment that you would need to make and place it beside your plant. That will ensure a humid environment for your plant to thrive.
However, suppose you are not looking to get a humidifier. In that case, you can always mist the leaves of your prayer plant frequently using warm or room temperature water.
Choosing The Right Fertilizer For Your Prayer Plant
To boost the growth and provide the plant with all the nutrients somehow missing in the soil is how the fertilizer helps your plant. First, however, there is a right time for you to use the fertilizer, and you need to understand it.
The best time to fertilize your prayer plant is every two weeks, from spring to fall. Use the best water-soluble fertilizer, mostly diluted to around half-strength. This will ensure healthy growth and the environment for your prayer plant.
The biggest mistake many people make is thinking that fertilizer is very important and use excessive for their prayer plant. However, this is very dangerous and can burn the roots of your prayer plant. And once the roots are damaged, there is nothing that you can do to save your plant.
Prayer Plant Characteristics
The prayer plant doesn’t bloom any flowers and only has left. However, the leaves the long in size but shortly grown from the stem leaning downwards. Due to its decorative leaves, the prayer plant is one of the most popular plants across the US.
The leaves have a deep green color, with a velvety texture with little yellow spots along the midrib. In addition, you can notice red veins reaching the leaf margins.
However, to make it easier for you to understand the characteristics of the prayer plant, we have mentioned everything in the table below.
These characteristics will help you get a better idea of the prayer plant. But, don’t worry, there are many things to know more about the prayer plant that we have discussed below.
Even in prayer-plants, there are many different types that you should be aware of.
Types of Prayer Plants
There are types and varieties of mostly everything, not only in plants but in the world. First, however, we will talk about the types of prayer-plants you will get to see. This is because plants come in species, and it helps you differentiate each species when you have sufficient knowledge about it.
Talking about different species, there are around 40 types of prayer-plants that you will get to see here. Here are some common prayer plants-
- Maranta leuconeura “Erythroneura” (Red Prayer Plant)
- Maranta leuconeura var. “Massangeana” (Black Prayer Plant)
- Maranta leuconeura “Kerchoveana” (Green Prayer Plant)
- Calathea Ornata (Pinstripe Calathea)
However, the one Maranta leuconeur is the most common one discussed here. This prayer plant has a dark green color with slightly yellow spots in the middle with red veins starting from the midrib to the top of the leaf. It is known as the best type of prayer plant that everyone likes to keep.
What Is The Rarest Prayer Plant?
Types of prayer-plants are socially associated with the variety of Maranta plants. It may be difficult for you to identify each species due to the lack of information, but many people are confused that the Maranta prayer plant is the rarest one.
However, they may be wrong, as this plant is easy to get your hands on. In almost every house in the US, the maranta prayer plant is not the rarest one.
Instead, the rarest prayer plant is known as the Silver Feather or Black Leuconeura.
This prayer plant is one of the most difficult types to find and get your hands on. Be it any prayer plant, growing and taking care of a prayer plant is one of the biggest challenges one has to face.
How Do I Make My Prayer Plant Bushy?
People try many things to change the appearance of their prayer plant and try new things with it. So, if you want to make your prayer plant bushy, here are the most effective ways to make your prayer plant bushy.
The best way to make your prayer plant bushy is to prune it. However, pruning is a long process to make it look bushy, and you can cut above the leaf’s node. This will make new shoots appear from the stem, increasing the leaves and making them look fluffy and bushy.
It is recommended to use disinfected garden scissors to effectively cut the prayer plant without leaving it hostile to infections and diseases. However, keep reading if you want to prune a prayer plant.
How Do I Prune A Prayer Plant?
Pruning a prayer plant boosts growth and improves the look of a plant. However, it is also done to remove damaged or wilted leaves that affect your prayer plant look.
Pruning doesn’t depend on how you have to cut every plant; the location of those cuts matter. The best way to prune your prayer plant is by cutting right above the leaf node. Through this, new stalks and leaves will grow.
However, it is best to prune the affected area and cut it for slightly damaged leaves with yellow ends. If the entire leaf is damaged, you must cut it along the stem, eliminating the risk of further damage.
Don’t forget to use disinfected equipment for the safe pruning of your prayer plant.
Common Pests That Damage Prayer Plants
Pests are a common risk for many plants, and here we will discuss the common pests that attack a prayer plant. This will help you be ready to take measures to avoid pest attacks on your prayer plant.
The common pest that can attack your prayer plant is spider mites. They are present on the leaf and slowly break it down. However, one thing that many didn’t know is that spider mites hate humidity. So if you keep the humidity high, it will help you avoid such risks.
It would be best to spray it with natural pesticides at least once a month to provide a safer environment for your prayer plant. This will make sure no pests attack your prayer plant.
Common Diseases That Damage Prayer Plants
There are many differences between pest and disease attacks on a prayer plant. The disease is mainly grown in the soil and roots of your prayer plant, whereas pests attack the leaves and flowers of a plant.
The common disease on a prayer plant is water-soaked spots on the leaves due to over-watering. This disease may look like a purple spot, but it slowly starts eating your prayer plant and ends it.
On the other hand, over-watering can also boost fungal growth in a plant’s soil. Therefore, keep track of your water schedule and stick to it.
Sticking to the watering schedule will help you keep your prayer plant healthy and growing. However, under or over-watering both can harm your prayer plant.
Why Are The Edges Of My Prayer Plant Turning Brown?
Sometimes you will experience that the leaves of your prayer plant will start turning brown. This may be caused due to several reasons, but all the senses lead to you not taking proper care of your prayer plant.
Here are some reasons why the leaves of your prayer plant may be turning brown:
- Low humidity and lack of moisture, too much sun
- Excessive fertilizer causes burn
- Excessive minerals in the water; therefore, use distilled water
- Use properly diluted fertilizer for houseplants
These are the main reasons why the color of your prayer plant leaves is changing to brown. Ensure to avoid these problems; otherwise, all the leaves will turn brown, and the plant will soon die.
Why Are My Prayer Plant Leaves Turning Yellow?
Other than turning brown, yellow is the other color your prayer-plants leaves are changing into. There is a difference between the color changing to brown and yellow of your prayer plant leaves. You need to identify if it is brown or yellow.
If it is turning yellow, it may be due to the poor drainage of your prayer plant soil. Drainage is essential to keep the soil of a plant healthy.
Here overwatering and under drainage of the prayer-plants are the main factors that play a role in turning yellow. So keep track of all the water measurements and check the drainage of your prayer plant and take necessary steps to revive your prayer plants.
Sometimes the prayer plant may be curling other than changing color. Keep reading as this section is going to be very important.
Why Is My Prayer Plant Curling?
Air and temperature are the two factors that can affect the leaves and make them curl. Yes, the water doesn’t play any role here; this is all due to what you can’t see or touch.
Due to cold temperatures and low humidity levels, the plants of your prayer plant can start curling. However, if the air is too dry and there is a constant warm airflow, the leaves will rapidly curl and lose their healthiness.
Therefore, keeping a small humidifier next to the prayer plant would be best to ensure it doesn’t curl. When curling, the whole look of your prayer plant is ruined, and no one would want that.
Safety Considerations When Caring For Prayer Plants
A prayer plant is a sensitive plant, and many things one should keep in mind before getting a plant. Therefore, please read this section thoroughly, as it will greatly help you.
- Use organic pesticides
- Feed fertilizer once a month in the blooming season
- Don’t expect flowers if growing prayer-plants indoor
- Use warm water to feed it
- Use liquid fertilizer to boost growth
- Newly opened leaves are a sign of a healthy plant
- Keep a check of the humidity level
These are some of the most common safety considerations that a plant should be checked so other plants may not get affected; it isn’t carrying any risks.
FAQs About Prayer Plant Care
Even after such a long discussion, many people have some questions regarding the prayer plant. Here are some of the top frequently asked questions that we have answered. Keep reading to remove all confusion.
Does A Prayer Plant Need Sun?
The prayer plant is a houseplant that can be easily grown indoors. The prayer plant barely requires any sun and can be grown inside your house. Growing the prayer plant inside your house is also recommended as it thrives under direct sunlight.
So yes, a prayer plant doesn’t require sun all the time to grow. However, direct sunlight for a long time can burn the leaves of your prayer plant.
Where Should I Place A Prayer Plant?
The location of the prayer plant has a significant effect on the health of your prayer plant. Keeping the prayer plant in location is essential as air, temperature, and humidity are key elements affecting the health of a prayer plant.
Therefore, you should place the prayer plant where indirect sunlight, high humidity, and smooth airflow are. The bright colors appearing on the leaves of your prayer plant will be a sign that you’ve been doing things correctly.
Should I Mist A Prayer Plant?
Misting the prayer plant keeps the moisture level balanced. However, only mist the plan when you think there has been low humidity, and the plant can get affected.
Therefore, in this situation, it is best to mist the leaves of your prayer plant with water. However, ensure not to mist the plant excessively; excess moisture can lead to diseases in your prayer plant, and you wouldn’t want that.
How Often Should I Water A Prayer Plant?
Keeping a check on the watering schedule is essential. This is an important question as it is vital to know how often one should water a prayer plant.
You need to water the prayer plant to balance the moisture in the soil and ensure it is not dried out. You can check that by touching the soil; it is perfect if it is moist to touch.
In summer, the plant may require less water, and in winter, you need to water it more frequently. It is recommended to check the soil’s moisture level before feeding it water. If the soil’s top layer is dry, water your plant.
However, always use room-temperature distilled water to feed your prayer plant.
Are Prayer Plants Toxic To Pets?
While you are keeping maranta indoors, it is vital to know if they are toxic to pets or not. No one would want their pets to suffer due to the growth of a plant. Therefore, getting the answer to this question will clear all your worries regarding your pet.
The simple answer to this question is that prayer plants are not toxic to pets and are a pet-safe house plant that you can have. Therefore, it is perfectly fine to have maranta and pets. I hope this guide has given you some assistance and things to consider when growing and caring for a prayer plant. If you have questions or tips regarding prayer plants, be sure to add them in the comments.