House Plant Care - Prayer Plant

House Plant Care - Prayer Plant

By Vijay Krishna

House Plant Care - Prayer Plant

Maranta leuconeura’s leaves fold up every night to resemble hands in prayer, hence its common name has become Prayer Plant. The leaves grow at the ends of bent stems that drape over the edge of the pot, which is why prayer plants are often sold in hanging baskets. Some people tie the toes to vertically positioned stakes. Younger vines will occasionally send out small flowers from a spike, the leaves are more attractive than the flowers in this case.


Sustaining the plant

Prayer plants can live in low light, but they cannot survive the dark corners of a room. It means they can tolerate less than 50 foot-candles as the daytime high. The roots get damaged from dry pockets if you're just barely keeping the soil evenly moist, as you would in a low-light situation, and then there will come a point when the entire plant goes limp. Gentle aeration and a thorough soaking help in the situation.


To Do: For Growth 

New leaves will steadily emerge when the daily light levels reach 200 foot-candles. Above 300 up to about 800 foot-candles, variegation will be more pronounced. An hour or two of direct sun is tolerable, but the plaid should not be in direct sun for an entire day.


Soil Conditions 

Keeping the soil evenly moist and proving good light are the steps for a strong growth. If the soil becomes mostly dry, the entire plant will go limp. This should be immediately bring the soil to saturation by remedied by some soil aeration to loosen up the dry pockets. Leaves should become perky again in a day or two. You may use a liquid fertiliser as directed when you notice new leaves.


More about Prayer Plant 

Pests are one weakness for prayer plants. Perhaps it is a combination of the stem and leaf structures having nooks and crannies where pests can hide and the plant sap which may go unnoticed by its pattern and mechanism.