Guide to Growing and Caring for Prayer Plants (Maranta Leuconeura)


When it comes to houseplants, the Maranta Leuconeura, also known as the Prayer Plant, is one of the finest choices you can make. With its oval-shaped, showy leaves that sometimes have striking patterns, they’re a true delight to have in your home. The name “Prayer Plant” comes from their fascinating habit of folding their leaves upwards, as if in prayer, in the evening.

One of the reasons why the Prayer Plant is so popular is because it’s relatively easy to care for. They prefer bright, indirect light, so placing them near a window where they get filtered sunlight is ideal. They also thrive in high humidity areas, so misting their leaves with water or placing a tray of water near them can provide the humidity they need. Watering should be done regularly, keeping the soil moist but not soaked. It’s important to note that over-watering can lead to root rot, so it’s best to let the top inch of soil dry out before watering again.

When it comes to fertilizing, using a water-soluble, balanced fertilizer once a month during the growing season (spring and summer) is sufficient. Pruning may be necessary to keep the plant looking its best and to prevent it from getting too tall. Simply trim off any yellow or brown leaves and cut back any long, leggy stems. Propagation is also possible by dividing the plant at the roots and planting the divisions in separate pots.

Like many plants, the Prayer Plant is not immune to problems. The most common pests that may infect them are thrips, which can cause damage to the leaves. To prevent thrips, it’s important to keep the plant in a clean environment and regularly inspect the leaves for any signs of these pests. If an infection occurs, an insecticidal soap can be used to treat the plant.

To sum it up, the Prayer Plant, or Maranta Leuconeura, is a beautiful houseplant that will grant you not only its stunning leaves but also fun to watch as they move throughout the day. With proper care and the right conditions, your Prayer Plant will thrive and provide a stunning addition to your indoor decor.

Prayer Plant Maranta spp

The Prayer Plant, also known as Maranta spp, is a popular indoor plant that is cherished for its beautiful foliage. Maranta spp is a member of the Marantaceae family and includes several varieties such as Maranta leuconeura and Maranta kerchoveana. These plants typically have broad, oval-shaped leaves with striking patterns of different shades of green, often accented with pink or red veins. Some varieties, like Maranta massangeana, have lighter-colored leaves with yellow or white markings.

Prayer Plants are known for their unique habit of folding their leaves together at night, as if in prayer. This characteristic, along with the striking foliage, makes them a fun and popular choice for homes and offices.

When caring for a Prayer Plant, it is important to provide it with the right conditions to thrive. They prefer bright but indirect light, so placing them near a window with filtered sunlight is ideal. Direct sunlight can cause their leaves to turn yellow and burn. Prayer Plants should be watered regularly to keep the soil evenly moist, but be careful not to overwater, as this can cause root rot. They also prefer temperatures in the range of 60-80°F (15-27°C). Lower temperatures can affect their growth and cause leaf curling.

Fertilize the Prayer Plants once a month during the growing season with a balanced, water-soluble fertilizer. This will ensure that they receive the necessary nutrients for healthy growth. Prayer Plants are generally resistant to pests and diseases, but they can sometimes be affected by thrips or infections if the conditions are not ideal. Keeping the plant’s leaves clean and free from dust will help prevent these problems.

Prayer Plants can spread and fill a space quickly, so they may need occasional pruning to keep them in check. This can also help maintain their compact and bushy appearance. To propagate a Prayer Plant, simply separate the young plants that form at the base of the main plant and repot them in separate containers.

Having a Prayer Plant in your home not only adds a touch of beauty, but it also has some beneficial qualities. Prayer Plants are known to improve air quality by absorbing toxins and releasing oxygen. This makes them a great choice for homes with children or pets.

Overall, the Prayer Plant is a relatively low-maintenance plant that can bring a touch of nature and beauty to any indoor space. Its showy foliage and unique habits make it a beloved choice for plant enthusiasts.

Plant type Height and spread Sun exposure Watering needs Temperature Indoor or outdoor Pests and diseases
Prayer Plant Up to 12 inches tall, spreading Bright but indirect light Regular watering to keep soil moist 60-80°F (15-27°C) Indoor Thrips, infections

Prayer Plant Care: Growing Maranta Leuconeura

The prayer plant, scientifically known as Maranta Leuconeura, is a popular houseplant due to its unique foliage and easy care requirements. This variety of plants is commonly found in homes and offices, adding a touch of beauty and natural elements to any space.

The prayer plant gets its name from its interesting leaf movement. During the day, the leaves extend outward and show their striking green color with red veins. However, as evening approaches, the leaves fold up, resembling hands folded in prayer, hence the name.

When it comes to caring for prayer plants, there are a few key factors to keep in mind. These include watering, light, and soil needs, as well as the type of pot and frequency of pruning. Let’s dive into the details of how to properly care for your prayer plants.


Prayer plants prefer consistently moist soil. It’s important to water them when the top inch of the soil feels dry to the touch. Avoid overwatering as it can lead to root rot and other diseases. Make sure to use water-soluble fertilizers to provide the necessary nutrients for healthy growth.


Prayer plants thrive in medium to bright indirect light. They should be placed near a window to receive filtered light. Direct sunlight can scorch the leaves, so it’s best to avoid placing them in direct sunlight.

Soil and Pot:

Prayer plants need well-draining soil to prevent waterlogging and root rot. A mixture of peat moss and perlite is recommended. Choose a pot with drainage holes to allow excess water to escape and avoid water accumulation.


Prayer plants do not require frequent pruning. However, you can trim off any discolored or yellowing leaves to promote new growth. Pruning also helps in maintaining the desired shape and size of the plant.

Common Troubleshooting:

  • If the leaves of your prayer plant are turning yellow, it could be a sign of overwatering or insufficient light.
  • If the leaf edges are curling, it could indicate underwatering or low humidity levels. Increase the frequency of watering and consider using a humidifier.

In conclusion, prayer plants are a delightful addition to any home or office due to their unique leaf movement and showy foliage. By providing the right care in terms of water, light, and soil, you can ensure the well-being of your prayer plant. So follow the tips outlined above to keep your prayer plant healthy and thriving!

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Quick Care Guide

Here are some quick tips for caring for your Prayer Plant:

  • Water: Water your plants when the top inch of the soil feels dry to the touch. Avoid overwatering, as it can cause root rot.
  • Light: Prayer Plants prefer bright, indirect light. They can tolerate low light conditions, but direct sunlight can scorch their leaves.
  • Temperature: Prayer Plants thrive in average room temperatures between 60°F and 80°F (15°C and 27°C). Avoid placing them near drafts or cold windows.
  • Humidity: These plants prefer high humidity levels. You can increase humidity by misting the leaves, placing a tray of water near the plant, or using a humidifier.
  • Fertilizer: Feed your Prayer Plant every 2-4 weeks during the growing season with a balanced houseplant fertilizer.
  • Pruning: Remove any brown or yellow leaves to keep the plant looking its best. You can also pinch back the tips of the stems to encourage bushier growth.
  • Propagation: Prayer Plants can be propagated through division or stem cuttings. Ensure that each division or cutting has at least one healthy root.
  • Pests and Diseases: Watch out for common houseplant pests like spider mites and mealybugs. Treat them with insecticidal soap or neem oil. Avoid overwatering to prevent root rot.

By following these care tips, you’ll be able to enjoy the striking foliage and herringbone pattern of your Prayer Plant for years to come. If you have any questions or problems, don’t hesitate to ask for help from a local plant professional.

✿ Read More About Foliage Plants.

Dr Heidi Parkes

By Dr Heidi Parkes

Senior Information Extension Officer QLD Dept of Agriculture & Fisheries.