A low-growing evergreen perennial, the prayer plant spreads via rhizomes. Young leaves have brown spots on either side of the midrib, but these spots turn emerald green and then moss green as they age, providing a striking contrast to the leaf’s more subdued medium green color. The underside of the leaf is gray-green or purple-green, and ornamental cultivars have been created with stunning red venation. New leaves develop from the youngest of the purple-green leaf sheaths, which are arranged in two vertical rows. As the new leaf emerges from its sheath, it rolls its larger half over its smaller half. The pulvinus, a thickened region between the petiole and the leaf base, is what allows the leaf to move. Greetings from the last of my praying plants. Because I reside in a particularly dry part of California, I am extremely wary of any plant that has stringent humidity requirements. Furthermore, did you know that… Prayer plants require a lot of moisture to thrive. I would be dishonest if I didn’t admit that I’ve killed a few prayer plants in my time as a plant parent, despite my undying love for their unique and beautiful leaf patterns.
The Maranta shrub
This maranta, however, was a rash purchase made a few months ago at Livermore’s Grocery Outlet. A whole, six-inch plant cost only $7. My recommendation for those who are new to caring for prayer plants is to start with a healthy root system. Costs associated with larger plants can vary, but the stability of smaller ones is sometimes uncertain. Good news: large plants can often be found for about $15 at places like Walmart, Lowe’s, Grocery Outlet, and Trader Joe’s if you know where to look.
A Guide to Recognizing Maranta Plants
The family Marantic takes its name from the Italian physician and botanist Bartolomeo Maranta, for whom the type-genus Maranta is named. Close relatives, maranta, and calatheas are both revered as sacred plants. Also, both tend to dry out quickly when exposed to direct sunshine and have a low tolerance for heat. So what’s the deal? In general, maranta has a velvety feel, whereas calatheas have a more shiny appearance. In my opinion, mantas can better withstand severe weather.
A maranta leaf opens up
This particular plant is a maranta leucon Eura “tricolor,” which is what I have. In such a case, let’s discuss the maranta plant. Originating in the warm regions of the Americas, this plant thrives in humid conditions. During the day, the plant’s leaves lie flat, but at night, they fold inward, resembling folded hands in prayer. The elliptical leaves of the prayer plant are a dark green color, and its midribs and borders are ribbed with a silvery red fishbone pattern. Look at them from the ground up and you’ll see that they’re a burgundy color right where they meet the ground. The way the new leaves emerge from the plant is my favorite part; they seem like little rolled-up tubes, like babies, and they take their time unfurling. Throughout the year, they also produce a little, purple flower. Small and fleeting, the blossoms are nonetheless a beautiful addition to the shrub.
Proper Maranta Plant Maintenance
The maranta plant requires wet soil and high humidity to thrive, but it’s not nearly as threatening as a fern. It does well in moderately indirect sunshine and temperatures between 65 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit. Maranta benefits from a twice-monthly application of diluted liquid fertilizer beginning in early spring. Go easy on the fertilizer, though, since too much might cause leaf burn!
Browning at the leaf tips and wilting at the edges are the most prevalent maranta problems I run against. There’s a wide variety of causes for browning leaves, but the big three are waterlogging dry air and too much sun. The salts in water are a common cause of crispy tips; the browning of the tips may not be appealing, but it won’t hurt your plant. Even though this problem can be solved by using filtered water, I usually just skip that step out of laziness. If the leaves on your plant have faded, direct sunlight should be avoided at all costs.
Crispy borders on maranta
Maranta’s appear to have a deep affinity for liquids. Even though these plants thrive with plenty of moisture, it is possible to drown them. Overwatering causes yellowing of the leaves and rotting of the roots. Reduce the frequency of your watering throughout the colder months. Root rot is an indication that your plant needs to be repotted into the new soil. As long as it drains adequately, any all-purpose potting soil will suffice.
Praying Plants: Everything You Need to Know
Maranta leucon Eura, sometimes known as the prayer plant, is a slow-growing perennial evergreen in the arrowroot (Marantic) family. These prayer plants are all endemic to the Amazonian rainforests of Brazil. Their common name comes from the fact that they tend to “fly” (rise) toward the setting sun and “fall” (fall) toward the setting earth.
Incredible in design, prayer plants feature ovular, wide leaves with clearly defined veins of varied hues. The veins that branch out from the leaf’s center are typically a different hue than the core vein itself. Waxed on the upper surface, the undersides of these plants’ leaves are a matte grey-green. The prayer plant has alternating, elliptical leaves that grow on sturdy, rubbery stems.
The plant’s main structure is bushy, yet it can function as a ground cover in certain tropical regions. The prayer plant produces tiny, bisexual flowers that range in color from white to purple throughout the height of the growing season. The bloom of the prayer plant looks like a hybrid between a pansy and a half-flower, and it only ever produces one seed. Prayer plants have strong, ramified roots that spread out from the base of the plant.
Sometimes the plants discussed here are misidentified as Calathea orbifold, another species with a similar-sounding name. Since they are non-toxic, prayer plants are a safe addition to households with children and pets. They also do a great job of cleaning the air, absorbing a lot of carbon dioxide from a given space. In other words, multiplying prayer plants is a lot of fun. There is a wide selection available as well.
None of the discussed types are true mantras. Of the roughly forty or fifty species of prayer-plants currently in existence, these are the most widespread.
Red maranta, often known as the crimson prayer plant, has brilliant red veins running through its typical dark green foliage. Creamy blotches circle the central vein.
The ‘Black Prayer Plant,’ or Maranta leucon Eura var. leucon Eura, features grey or olive-green leaves with a silvery midvein and silver branching veins and a crimson core that surrounds the midvein. White flowers are in bloom.
In addition to its green foliage, the Maranta leucon Eura ‘Kim’ prayer plant also features purple dots and a cream-white stripe, making it a unique and decorative addition to any garden.
The leaves of the Maranta leucon Eura ‘Marisela’ prayer plant are a lighter green, and the markings are much paler, coming close to a cream green.
Maranta leucon Eura var. erythroderma, also known as the “Herringbone Plant,” “Lemon Lime Prayer Plant,” and “Lemon Lime Maranta,” has leaves and veins of varying shades of green.
Fishbone Prayer Plant, or Catenate Bulimarexia, gets its common name from the bright, nearly white veins that run the length of the oval leaves. Although it bears many similarities to the maranta, it is not one.
‘Tri-Colored Prayer Plant,’ or Stroman the sanguine, has a very different structure than maranta. The leaves are long and narrowly striped in white, pink, and various colors of greens. These plants have exceptionally waxy leaves.
Prayers for Plants
The bloom of the prayer plant is not nearly as eye-catching as the plant’s leaves. According to blumenbiene.com.
Now that we’ve covered the several varieties of prayer plants, we’ll go over the basics of taking care of the maranta species of prayer-plants. Then you can properly tend to your slow-growing plant in a pot or a hanging basket.
Heat and the Sun
The prayer plant is susceptible to death if its leaves are scorched by direct sunlight. They thrive in strong indirect light for 6-8 hours a day. They may survive in dimly lit locations with enough ventilation. Place your plant in an area of your garden that gets indirect sunlight or near a window that gets bright light but not in direct sunlight. These slow-growers can survive in low light, but they may flourish in areas with more light. They can withstand temperatures between 60 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit, therefore they thrive in USDA plant hardiness zones 10b and 11. They are quickly killed by temperatures below 60 degrees Fahrenheit, so keep them in a normal household setting. Don’t let them out of the house while it’s raining.
Read More: Best Money Tree Plant in Bangalore
Wetness and Muggy Air
To thrive, prayer plants need constant moisture. That implies you’ll need to incorporate more regular waterings during times of higher light levels into your regimen. Stop watering the plants every few days and let the soil dry up a little. Be sure to water the top inch of soil, but avoid soaking the roots. The prayer plant only needs to be watered with room temperature water. The prayer plant is dormant in the winter, so you can water it less frequently during this time. Some houseplants, you may have heard, are finicky and do better with filtered or distilled water. You can count on this being one of those plants. They require a humidity level of between 50 and 60 percent. Put a humidifier in the room or mist your plant lightly with distilled water every day to retain the humidity at that level. Don’t let water sit in the pot without draining it, and avoid using a pot without one to prevent the spread of disease.
In terms of soil, any well-draining, all-purpose houseplant potting soil is suitable for prayer plants. Soil that doesn’t drain well can be improved by adding either perlite or coarse sand. For prayer plants, you can make your soil by combining 1 part perlite or coarse sand, 1 part garden soil, 1 to 2 parts sphagnum peat moss or coconut coir, and 1 pinch of lime dust. The combination of peat moss, coir, and other cold ingredients will keep your well-draining soil moist without causing your plant’s feet to rot. Make sure your container has enough openings for water to escape and fill any low spots with rocks or gravel. A prayer garden should not be planted on poor soil. 5.5–6.0 is the sweet spot for pH.
Bringing Maranta leucon Eura to fruition
Prayer plants need to be watered and fertilized every two weeks from spring through fall. If you want your plants to thrive, use a water-soluble fertilizer with a nutrient content ratio of 10-15-10. Because of the lack of favorable growing circumstances throughout the winter, fertilization should be reduced or suspended altogether. Applying fertilizer now will just encourage the spread of illness.
Religious Plant Maintenance:
If you want your prayer plant to seem full and healthy, give it a good trimming. To prune, cut the stems just above a leaf node using a clean pair of garden shears. In response to pruning, the prayer plant will produce new growth from the base of the plant. Perform this task twice or thrice a year, in the fall and early spring, just before the plant growth season begins. As soon as signs of disease appear, get rid of them.
A prayer plant in a small container won’t require frequent repotting. But when it gets root-bound, its growth rate slows dramatically. Select a new pot that is 1 to 2 inches broader than the one you intend to use for repotting. Take your prayer plant out of its old pot and transfer it to the new one. A prayer plant will flourish with proper care and watering.
Rooting and Growing Prayer Plants
The prayer plant is very easy to propagate. In early spring, you can use cuttings or slips to start a new plant. Seeds can be used to grow new prayer plants, but this method is not as successful. Make use of rooting hormone by dipping cuttings of stems taken just below a leaf node. Put the stem cuttings in the water and change the water every couple of days in a dark location. When new roots have formed, replant the cuttings in shallow pots containing soil. A successful propagation can be determined by the appearance of new growth after adequate watering has been provided. Remove a healthy prayer plant from its container and shake the soil from its roots to prepare it for slip propagation. A distinct set of roots attached to each stem is required. Next, replant them in fresh soil and keep them moist. New tropical plants, suitable for maintenance in hanging baskets or containers, will be ready in a few weeks.
Now we’ll talk about the prayer plants’ most prevalent enemies: pests and illnesses. Even though instances like these are relatively uncommon, being prepared for them is essential.
Issues Expanding in Scope
If you notice browning at the leaf tips or elsewhere on your prayer-plants, they may be getting too much direct sunlight. If your plant’s leaves are becoming yellow or wilting, it may not be getting enough fertilizer. Most issues with prayer-plants can be traced back to insufficient soil or air humidity. Or, the dark, damp tips of your plant’s leaves may be due to a lack of drainage in the container. If that’s the case, repot the plant into a container that drains more freely.
Aphids, thrips, and spider mites feed on the sap of prayer plants, creating sores and reducing the plant’s ability to use nutrients. If you find spider webs or bending leaves on your prayer plant, spray it with neem oil to get rid of the pests.
Indoors, fungus gnats are much more frequent than outdoors. The adults of these pests won’t cause any problems, but their eggs can hatch into root-eating larvae that will wreak havoc on your prayer plant. As a preventative measure, you can dilute neem in water and use it to water your plants once a week or so to eliminate pest eggs and larvae.
The small cotton ball bugs known as mealybugs feed on plant sap. Use a q-tip dipped in rubbing alcohol to gently pry them off your plant. Then, spray your plant with insecticidal soap to kill any remaining pests.
In humid conditions, prayer plants are susceptible to a fungal disease known as a leaf spot. The presence of water-soaked lesions indicates the onset of this disease. To stop the spread of the disease, you should relocate your prayer plant if this happens. Infected skin can be eliminated using neem. Lessen the frequency with which you wet and mist to stop the spread of disease.
Fungi thrive in mild, damp climates, and they cause root rot as well. You may tell your plant has rot when the stems and leaves become soft. To stop the rot from permeating the plant, reduce watering and misting. Take off any wilted leaves and broken stems. If the issue still exists after that, you might need to start afresh with a brand-new plant.