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 OverviewThe 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 PlantThe 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 PlantPrayer 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 LevelPrayer 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.
WateringPrayer 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.