There are anywhere from 40-50 species or types of prayer plant. Of the many varieties of Maranta, only two prayer plant varieties make up the bulk of nursery stock used as houseplants or for other ornamental uses.
Native to moist and swampy tropical forests in Central and South America, prayer plants have low-growing, spreading evergreen leaves. Despite having a reputation for being a mildly finicky houseplant with specific needs, prayer plants aren’t difficult .
In Maranta plants, the leaves are primarily oval, while Calathea plants come in a wide range of leaf forms – rounded, oval, and even lance shaped, depending upon species. Culturally, Maranta is more tolerant of cold than Calathea , which will suffer when temperatures fall below 60 degrees F.
Prayer plant houseplants should be kept moist, but not soggy. Use warm water and feed prayer plant houseplants every two weeks, from spring through fall, with an all-purpose fertilizer. During winter dormancy, the soil should be kept drier.
If you want to encourage more vigorous growth, you can prune your prayer plant . Use a sterilized pair of garden scissors and clip the stems right above a leaf node. The prayer plant will respond by sending out new shoots directly below the cut area, making for a bushier appearance!
You can hang or set your prayer plant near a window where it will get indirect sunlight. Never set your plant in direct sunlight as the sun will bleach the plant’s leaves. Hang your plant from the ceiling in a west or south facing room.
If your prayer plant stops praying , it may not be because it’s unhappy, so don’t panic. It is worth checking it over to make sure it’s not too wet or dry, that it’s getting enough light, but not too much, and that you have high enough humidity.
That’s a rainy season for your plant , and they generally will bloom during the rainy season. Kudos, though – it’s not often that Maranta and their like bloom up north.
Care of Prayer Plants Repot the plant if you see roots growing out of the drainage holes, if you need to water more frequently or if the plant stops growing. Don’t expect to have to do this often, as prayer plants don’t mind being slightly root bound.
Calathea lancifolia – Also know as Rattlesnake Plant , this long narrow-leafed calathea is also considered the easiest in the family.
You now know that the Calathea is also known as a Prayer Plant and you might have guessed this meaning comes from the nocturnal movements of the Calathea . The prayer plant at night is a true spectacle; the leaves of the plant fold upward, giving the appearance of praying hands.
Water every 1–2 weeks, allowing soil to dry out half way down between waterings. Expect to water more often in brighter light and less often in lower light. Marantas can be sensitive to hard tap water . Try using filtered water or leaving water out overnight before using.
Brown Leaves On Prayer Plants : Why Do Prayer Plant Leaves Turn Brown . Prayer plants with brown tips can be caused by low humidity, improper watering, excess fertilizer or even too much sun. Cultural conditions are easy to change and soon your beautiful houseplant will be back to its glossy glory.
In the rainforests where it originates, the maranta plant blooms in the spring with small, white flowers . While this rarely occurs indoors, the plant’s stunning leaves more than make up for the lack of flowers . When they receive the right care, the maranta plant is one of the prettiest indoor plants you can grow.
Indirect light is sunlight that either passes through a medium—a window shade or the leaves of a tree—or reflects off another surface before reaching a plant. Indirect sunlight ranges from the bright indirect light of east-facing windows to the fainter, indirect light of north-facing windows.