Why Is It Called A Prayer Plant?

The Prayer Plant, scientifically known as Maranta leuconeura, is one of the most popular houseplants around the world. With its bold foliage and behavior of “praying” at night, this plant is cherished by many gardeners. But what makes it so special and how did it get its name?

In this article, you will discover why this fascinating plant is called the Prayer Plant and learn about some of its remarkable characteristics. Over 20 million Prayer Plants have been sold in the last two decades and it is one of the most beloved plants of the century.

So let’s find out what makes it so beloved and why it is called the Prayer Plant!

Prayer Plant: An Overview

The prayer plant, scientifically known as Maranta leuconeura, is a beautiful and versatile houseplant. It is native to Central and South America, and it was first discovered by the Swedish botanist, Carl Thunberg, in 177

It is an evergreen perennial that can reach up to sixteen inches in height. The prayer plant gets its name from the behavior of its leaves that fold and look like they are praying in the evening.

Characteristics of the Prayer Plant

The prayer plant has beautiful foliage that can be various shades of green and even have red, purple, or white veins.

Its leaves are oval-shaped and grow in an alternate pattern. A wonderful feature of the prayer plant is that it is also known as a “living wall” because of how dense its foliage can be. The prayer plant also has a unique habit of folding up its leaves at night, or on cloudy days, which gives them their common name.

Each leaf on a prayer plant is connected to its stem by a thin, delicate stalk. What gives the leaf this movement is that each stalk contains a special tissue, known as pulvinus, that contracts and relaxes to cause the leaves to fold and unfold.

Care Requirements of the Praying Plant

Prayer plants are great low-maintenance houseplants, but they have a few specific requirements that, if met, will ensure they stay healthy and look great.

Light Level

Prayer plants thrive in bright, indirect light.

If their environment is too dark, their leaves will start to fade and become lanky. Too much direct sun, though, can cause the leaves to curl and wither.


Prayer plants require consistent water, but it is important not to overwater them.

Allow the top two inches of soil to dry out before each watering, then water the soil thoroughly until it begins to run out of the drainage hole.

Soil and Fertilizer

Prayer plants require a soil that is rich, well-draining, and slightly acidic. A good mix is two parts potting soil, one part peat moss, and one part perlite. The prayer plant should be fertilized every couple of weeks during its growing season, spring through summer.


Prayer plants are a beautiful and relatively low-maintenance houseplant, as long as they have bright, indirect light, consistent watering, and well-drained soil. Their unique habit of folding their leaves towards the end of the day is where their common name of the prayer plant comes from. With the proper care, the prayer plant can make a great addition to any home. Citation URL: https://www. thespruce. com/prayer-plant-care-5083445https://www. wikiwand. com/en/Prayer_plant

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