How to Grow Prayer Plant


Prayer plant or Maranta leuconeura is usually a house plant with spotted foliage and a white flower. We grow prayer plant in containers on the patio, and put it in the greenhouse in winter. It never sees the indoors.

Prayer plants do well in Texas, even outside, if they are watered with some frequency.

Things You'll Need

  • Prayer Plant
  • potting soil
  • water
  • trowel
  • Start with a healthy plant.

    Purchase a starter Prayer Plant that looks healthy and full. Try to find a container that has more than one plant in the pot. The Prayer Plant is named for the leaves that tend to fold at night.

  • Plant the individual plants separately.

    Remove the Prayer Plant from the pot and see if there is more than one plant in the container. If so, pull the plants apart and plant one in a pot to start these individually. So, if you made a good selection, you will have two or three little containers with the individual prayer plants.

  • Add the potting soil.

    Use a good quality potting soil and pour it around the roots, covering the roots just to the top edge, and not covering the leaves.

  • Check the point between roots and stems.

    Make sure your prayer plant is nearly level with the top of the container. This seems important for the growth and health of this container plant, since they can easily get disease or mold if they do not get air to the leaves right at the base.

  • Feed and water in the summer.

    Water and fertilize the Prayer Plant with some frequency all summer. Soon you will notice a new curled leaf coming from the center of the plant. There will eventually be a white flower, if your prayer plant is kept watered and given occasional fertilizer. The maranta will multiply on its own, and if you take care of these fragile container plants, they will fill the pot within the year.

  • Move to a greenhouse or protected area in freezing weather.

    Protect the Prayer Plant in winter, since it does not like freezing temperatures. You may move it to shelter at night and to the sunlight during warm days. Let it rest in the winter, with no fertilizer and occasional water.

    If your Prayer Plant looks dead in the spring, just remove any dead growth and leave it in the container until JUNE or JULY. It will probably come back to life with beautiful green leaves with darker brown spots than the year before. This new young growth makes the prettiest plants, and it would be easy to pitch out what looks like a dead plant.

  • Share the multiples.

    Share your Prayer Plants as gifts once you grow Prayer Plant in some quantity. They are great for nearly any occasion, and a bow around the container is all that is needed for gifting. The name has special meaning to many, and they make attractive house plants as well as container garden plants.

Tips & Warnings

  • We often write about gardening and landscaping. See more articles like this in Resources below.
  • copyright 2009 Linda Richard
  • Feel free to link to this article or send it to a friend.

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  • Photo Credit images from the author
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