Maranta ‘Prayer’ Plant Care Guide
Maranta Leuconeura from the family Marantaceae, are hardy indoor plants with stunning variegated foliage which make them statement pieces. The leaves lie flat during the day and fold upward at night, as if in prayer giving them the name prayer plant. Prayer plants are relatively low maintenance they spread low and wide, they can be grown in hanging baskets or larger containers.
These beautiful houseplants are one of the most distinguishable tropical plants as its oval, variegated foliage is patterned in a range of stunning colours with the undersides of the leaves often being red, a real gem for any houseplant collectors! You may often see Calatheas linked to the Maranta or vice-versa as the share similar characteristics. Calathea leaves slightly close up at night giving them a prayer-like posture, very cool. We have a Calathea care guide on our website for those wanting to be experts in growing this great plant.
The prayer plant hail from the tropical forest floors in rainforests, giving us a pretty good indication of how we should look after these beautiful plants and replicate conditions to keep them looking their best.
Where to Grow a Prayer Plant?
After purchasing your stunning Maranta plant, it is extremely important to find a place that both you and your new houseplant loves! As we have discussed, Marantas hail from tropical rainforest floors which means they will enjoy medium light levels so, it is best to find a spot in your home that offers plenty of bright, indirect sunlight. Avoid direct sunlight as the rays will burn the beautiful leaves, and also, keep away from draughts, air conditioning units and heat sources such as radiators. The best temperatures for prayer plants range from 16-24°C or 61-75°F. It is best to avoid any room that has fluctuations in temperature, as it makes it difficult for the Calathea to settle into its environment.
Caring for a Maranta Plant
Caring for your prayer plant is extremely easy once you understand its needs and signs. These houseplants like their soil to be evenly moist with little dry periods between waterings. On average, watering tends to be around every 6 days. Maranta leuconeura are sensitive to lime water and do not like sitting in water as it can lead to problems such as root rot. To avoid this, put your finger in the soil to identify if the top couple inches of soil have dried out. When watering your plant, avoid using tap water as it may contain chemicals such as chlorine that can affect your houseplant. Instead, use filtered water or more preferably rainwater. Of course, as with majority of houseplants, water less during the winter months.
Prayer plants also love humidity! Rooms such as shower rooms or steamy kitchens will make these plants very happy. If you opt to place these plants in other rooms, there are methods of creating a humid environment. Misting the Maranta leaves daily, having multiple houseplants around each other as lost water from one plant during the process of transpiration can be picked up by another plant, and lastly using a humidifier. These can be a preferred option as they can be small, quiet, and turned on and off to create the perfect humidity levels for your houseplants.
Why are my Maranta leaves turning yellow?
Maranta leaves are delicate, and our houseplants give us signs that we are giving them improper care before it’s too late, and yellow Maranta leaves are no exception. Yellow leaves can be caused due to a number of reasons, one of the most probable reasons is the type of water you are using. Tap water is commonly used but not recommended as it contains many chemicals such as chlorine, salts and fluoride that build up and contaminate the soil, causing your Maranta edges to yellow or brown. This is because a lot of salt can be built up overtime in the soil from the chemicals in tap water, creating a disruption to your Maranta roots. The best way to avoid this is to ensure you use filtered water or rainwater, and do not place your prayer plant in direct sunlight as there will be a band of yellow tissue in between dead, brown tissue, and healthy tissue.
Are Prayer Plants Toxic?
What makes this houseplant even more special is that according to different sources, prayer plants are non-toxic so your fury friends can share your love and passion for plants as much as you do! Although, if your pet accidentally eats a leaf and starts seeing symptoms such as drooling or vomiting, you should seek medical advice from your vet as soon as possible.
Soil for Maranta Plant
The Maranta plant shares many characteristics with Calathea houseplants. How they like their soil is also very similar. When potting a prayer plant, we recommend using a blend of coconut coir, fine pumice, perlite and activated charcoal. The activated charcoal is a really good addition as it helps combat harmful chemicals in the water that can lead to problems such as brown or yellow leaf edges. Other ingredients such as perlite will help with drainage, so your prayer plant isn’t sitting in water and is a happy houseplant! If you want to take things to the next level, we recommend putting some worm castings in the soil blend as they act as a natural fertiliser that will allow the Maranta roots to slowly eat away.
Our Favourite Maranta!
The Variegated Maranta Leuconeura Kercho is our new favourite plant, it's stunning with a wide variety of colours and variegation. A beautiful variety of Prayer Plant that is hard to find and will grow happily as a potted or hanging plant. Incredibly easy care and a real 'wow' plant.
Maranta Leuconeura Kercho care level
These plants are not tricky to manage so are recommended if you have just a little experience of houseplants, but you must be confident that you won't overwater and you have access to good light.