Prayer plant or Maranta Leuconeura (scientific name) is a very slow growing plant essentially found in South America, Tropical Central and West Indies. They are evergreen houseplants which need optimum care and maintenance to grow correctly.
- Red prayer plants: Have red veins
- Lemon limes/lemon: White/light green veins
- Black prayer plants: Silver veins and markings with a base olive-green having spots in purple
- Kim/green prayer plants: Have less number of veins, green or purple colored large spots
Growing A Prayer Plant
They are houseplants which grow in rooms or spaces having a low/dim light. They need extra humidity and adequate moisture content in the soil. However, they tend to grow better and sustain longer when exposed to bright lightening.
These plants require feedings within two weeks with warm water. During the winter season, the soil must remain dry to prevent any problem and should be taken care of through a fertilizer used for different purposes. To extend its sustainability and growth, they must be kept with other houseplants which can provide them with enough moisture and humid environments.
The perfect temperature for growing a prayer plant ranges from 16-27 C (60-80 degrees F). Make sure to put it in the pot which is not too thick because the roots are very shallow and can grow even when the soil content is low.
Watering The Prayer Plant
Watering depends on the temperature which if high needs water at least three times a week or else it can track down the soil’s condition. Over-watering, on the other hand, will increase the moisture content in the ground resulting in the death of the prayer plant.
Maintain room temperatures before watering it to balance the wet and dry ratio. Extreme cold water which unmatches the temperature of the room will take more time to dry and evaporate. Moreover, if it remains in the pot for a night, it might make the leaves fall and change their color to dark brown.
It doesn’t need re-potting. However, if deciding to re-pot again, choose a larger pot than the earlier one with an extra amount of soli-mix and water.
Use a soil mix which drains out the water quickly. If the potting mix is not sufficient or does not allow drainage, use perlite or:
- Garden soil
- Humus or peat
- Lime Dust
- Coarse sand or perlite
Mealybugs, Spider mites, and Aphids can deteriorate the growth. Therefore, one should check the prayer plant properly before planting them. Also, see its condition and investigate the pests while watering or feeding them.
Mealybugs can curl the leaves and also spread to the other surfaces. You can use an alcohol dibbed cotton swab or a reliable source of diluted water to wash away the spider mites.
Helminthosporium is the disease where the leaves show the spots which soak the water and can risk the plant’s life. The only method to save it from this disease is avoiding over-watering which may make the leaves wet. Also, you can apply the Neem oil to prevent such situations.
They do not require any fertilization during winters. However, fertilize them in every two weeks during the summer season and the spring with a water-soluble fertilizer.
Properly prune them using a shear and trim off the old leaves. The distribution is possible through the cuttings which if covered with plastic can help to retain the moisture content. Also, they require coatings of the rooting powder after the roots grow one inch in length.
Trimming or cutting the infected part of the prayer plant is essential for ensuring proper growth while keeping it healthier and beautiful. When re-potting, trim the excess roots so that it can grow up quickly.
Are They Poisonous?
They are non-virulent to cats and dogs according to the ASPCA.