Houseplant Care Tips

Various Houseplant Care Tips Including Watering and Lighting Requirements.


Houseplant Care Tips

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Prayer Plants Care Tips

Common Name: Prayer Plant, Ten Commandments
Scientific Name: Maranta leuconeura
Lighting: Moderate to Low
Watering: Moderate to Heavy


The Prayer plant is really a quite amazing plant. Its foliage is mainly a dark green with red variations of veins running through them. The amazing part of the Prayer plant is that at night, the leaves fold up. Just like it's praying! This plant is available in many varieties including Herringbone and Rabbits Tracks. The main foliage colors vary depending on the variety. This plant is a nice small, compact houseplant, perfect for windowsills! It adapts very well to indoor temperatures, making it a great addition to your room.


Prayer plants prefer moderate to low indirect light levels. If the leaves on your plant begin to curl and turn brown, your plant is receiving too much light. Providing this plant with too much direct sunlight can burn the foliage.


Prayer plants require moist but not soggy soil. This houseplant also is one of the few houseplants that does not like its soil to dry out between watering, so try to keep the soil consistently moist at all times.


The biggest need for this houseplant is humidity. It requires high humidity levels to flourish, so a daily misting will go far. If the tips of the foliage begin to brown your plant may not be getting the humidity it needs. By providing high humidity levels, you help in ensuring beautiful flowers bloom. This plant is also very temperamental when it comes to temperature changes. It prefers a range of 65 to 80 degrees, however it does not like fluctuations in temperature. Do keep it away from drafts.


Please share your care tips and questions!!



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65 Comments:

Blogger cherie24 said...

I have an amazing prayer plant, that has tripled in size over 3 months.Unlike the pictures of others, mine is growing in a splayed out position, almost like a vine. 'She' seems healthy and happy enough but is there anything I can do to centralize 'her' growth, as we are rapidly losing table space!!
Many Thanks
Cherie24

4:35 AM  
Blogger drayas said...

Cherie24,

How far is your plant from its light source? Usually when a plant that is typically compact begins to vine, it is reaching towards light. Could that be a reason?

Thanks,
drayas

9:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hello at night when i just cant sleep my prayer plant twitch's almost as if its moving my grandma thinks it has little fairy's looking over us is this true or is his just a thing the prayer plant does please help im eager to know.thank you

7:32 PM  
Blogger drayas said...

Prayer Plants are active at night, so the twitching is just it's movement. However, I like your Grandmother's explanation much better.

Good luck sleeping!!
drayas

9:06 AM  
Blogger Ada said...

can you separat the plant at the root or cut a piece of vine to start another plant?

Thanks,
Adah

12:38 PM  
Blogger drayas said...

Ada,

I've read you can do it either way. Mostly I've read about splitting at the root. Try and give one good clean swipe in order to limit the amount of damage to the roots.

Thanks,
drayas

12:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i just adopted a prayer plant, "she was on her last leaf" my friend at the store knew i would talk care of her and gave me a deal, i don't want to let her down, "she sounds alot like cherie24's plant, mine has blooms,pretty,but not always good,should i leave them or cut them off? az,mod light

4:15 PM  
Blogger drayas said...

Hello,

If the plant is spindly, it probably not getting enough light, just like cherie24. Move it closer to the light source.

Is the plant root bound? That may also cause weak new growth.

Move it closer to the light, give it some houseplant food and it should spring back up.

If the plant seems healthy otherwise, I would leave the blooms. If it seems struggling, you may want to cut them off, forcing the plant to give all of its resources to health instead of beauty.

Please let me know how things turn out.

Thanks,
drayas

9:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have a prayer plant that sounds lke cherie24's, but mine is in a planter and hasgrown to the floor and more.I don't cut the flowers until they are dead. I had my plant about 4 years before it grew at all. I don't know what happened, butit is beautiful.I don't know how to train them.I also learned that my prayer plant is the "ten commandments" type.

9:53 AM  
Blogger drayas said...

Hello,

You can simply trim the plant to whatever size you'd like. Just use a good pruner and cut back the vines to the size you prefer.

It's strange how a plant can seem to just stay the same for so long and all of a sudden grow like crazy.

Thanks,
drayas

12:00 PM  
Blogger sxy said...

My Prayer plant has been doing very well for about 2 years and lately has developed powdery white spots on the leaves. It also is splayed everywhere and doesn't seem to lift the leaves at nightfall as before. The white spots wipe off the leaves easily enough. Should I clean them? With what?
sxy

4:36 PM  
Blogger drayas said...

sxy,

It sounds like it may have some kind of pest. Spray the plant twice a day with a soapy dishwater mixture. See if within a week the spots begin to diminsh.

Are the white spots sticky? If so, wipe the spots off with rubbing alcohol.

Keep me posted.

Thanks,
drayas

10:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why is my plants leaves starting to dry up. It sits in a South window (my only choice as I live in an apt bldg) It was doing fine until just recently.

8:23 PM  
Blogger drayas said...

Hello,

If the leaves on your Prayer plant are curling and turning brown it's probably receiving too much light.

Thanks,
drayas

1:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love my prayer plant, but it has looked sad since I brought it home 5 months ago, and it has not grown a bit. I keep it in my bathroom because it is the only room of the house that doesn't have light streaming in. I also thought it would be a good place since the plant likes humidity. But he is just so sad. I think I water him enough. What am I doing wrong?

12:59 PM  
Anonymous adah said...

Hi, I have had my prayer plant for about 7 years and for 6 of them, it sat in the pot and did NOTHING!! It really did. Then, about a year ago, it started to grow and grow and grow and now it is trailing in the floor. I have it in a planter that is about 3 feet off the floor. I water mine when I remember, sometimes a lot and sometimes a little and it is doing GREAT!! I love the plant and it is beautiful. It represents what I believe in. I guess my advice would be to love it, feed it, and have lots of patience. They are a very easy plant to care for once they start growing. Good luck and let us know how the plant does. Ada

8:13 PM  
Blogger drayas said...

Hello,

Sad plants are sometimes the hardest to figure out. Try moving your Prayer plant to somewhere with more light. You never know. If within two weeks or so, things haven't changed, then try something different, like giving it some houseplant food or watering it a little more or less.

Trial and error is the best approach. Just be sure to only do one thing at a time and give it time to see results.

Please let us know what you test and find out.

Thanks for reading,
drayas

3:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I need prayer plant help. Aside from being viney like the other posts say (I'll move it closer to some light, but the room, may not be bright enough?). My biggest concern are these flat little bugs that I have never seen before. Thought they were amphids but someone said these were bigger. Is there something natural I can spray on it. The plant seems healthly though. Thanks

JF

4:38 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i have read that you should hold off on fertalizing your house plants during the winter months, is this true with prayer plants also?

4:21 PM  
Anonymous Sameera said...

Hello, I have a question.

I just recently bought a prayer plant, at first some of the leaves were dead, brown and dry (not all tho, only very few of them) Now most of them are dead!

Looks all sad and dry, I haven't forgotten to water it or anything. Don't know what's wrong?

Thanks in advance,

12:08 AM  
Blogger Ada said...

Hi, I have had a prayer plant for about 8 years, mine is the ten commandment variety. My plant did not grow for about 5 years. It would have brown leaves and look bad, but I just left it alone, watered it and about 3 years ago, it started going crazy. It is in a planter on a stand and it was all over the floor around the stand. I cut off the brown leaves in a v shape. They do not need a whole lot of light and water them about every 5 or 6 days. That is how I do mine. I cut all the long stems and flowers off because they were getting really in the way. Good luck. Ada

3:53 PM  
Blogger Ada said...

My plant is like cherie24's. I trimmed all the long stems and flowers off to make it shorter and out of the way. It is doing great and growing a lot. Good luck, Cherie24
Ada

3:54 PM  
Blogger Ada said...

Hi, I have never fertilized my prayer plant and it is doing great. If I had fertilized it, I am afraid it would take over the entire house.
Ada

4:02 PM  
Blogger Ada said...

I am not certain this will work, but you can mix vinegar & water, a mixture of about 1 part vinegar and 3 part water. It won't hurt your plant, but I am not certain it will kill your bugs. Good Luck!
Ada

4:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My prayer plant has small light green clusters sprouting from the bottom of the leaf stems. They never grow and look like "brussel sprouts".Does anyone have any idea what this could be?

3:59 PM  
Blogger Ada said...

Hi, I have had my prayer plant for about 8 or 9 years. It did have the kind of thing you spoke of ,but they turned into tiny flowers. Some of them did not become flowers. There are many different varieties of prayer plants. They are all beautiful.
Ada

7:13 PM  
Blogger Laura A said...

I have 2 prayer plants, one is 5-6 years old and has survived a move, one is 3 years old. They are in 10 or 12 (I don't remember) inch plastic pots and I've repotted them in their same pot, loosening roots and adding new soil, twice now.

I do not give them enough humidity, so I get some brown tipped leaves, but I cut those leaves off when I water. From March to October, I feed my prayer plants like I do my African Violets. I put one tsp Miracle Grow in 1 gallon of water and use that solution at every watering. From November to February, I only water. They grow and grow, even through the winter, and profusely flower now and then. I try to cut off the blooms when I have time simply because the foliage is where I want my plant's energy to focus, and the dried flowers that fall off are messy, but sometimes I can't keep up.

The most interesting thing I've discovered is that when the "vines" get longer than I want them, I cut them off to the length I like at watering time, take a butter knife, stab a hole in the top of the dirt and stick the end of the cut runner in. If it's a healthy vine, it always grows. The only time they die on me is if I've neglected to water and the soil has gone completely dry before growing sufficient roots. (I'm not always good at watering, but have found prayer plants to be quite forgiving in that they perk up and replenish any die off quick).

Another funny thing is they're so predictable. For as long as I've had them, it still startles me when I walk by in the afternoon and see their leaves completely down, like a plant that hasn't been watered in months. But now, while it still startles me, I just look at the clock and say, "yup! It's 2 o'clock", or 3 o'clock, depending on daylight savings time.

I love the daily movement. It makes it so obvious that my plant is a living thing in my home.

12:30 AM  
Blogger Laura A said...

Oops, sorry. Make that 1/4 tsp Miracle Gro to 1 gallon of water, not 1 tsp!

12:53 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi - my prayer plant has lost it's leaf pattern. The new leaves are only a dark forest green. Anyone know what's wrong

8:02 AM  
Anonymous Debferg said...

I have a new prayer plant with only 4-5 leaves and have lost a couple new leaves that never opened. I can't figure out why the remaining leaves don't like to open up during the day. Like right now it's almost noon and they are curled up. But they look healthy otherwise - no brown tips or anything. Soil is moist.

10:01 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would like to know what the ten commandments prayer plant looks like? I have never heard of it. curious to know.

10:20 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

mine is healthy i have no probs at all just take care

10:04 AM  
Anonymous aol said...

When my mother-in-law moved in to our apartment 53 years ago she brought with her a prayer plant.I still have it. I repotted it about 10 years ago and it had tubers growing on the roots. Is this normal. It grows about 3 stems but when they get to where they would be considered a vine they die off. It is always in a state of something dying off. I am going to take it out of the pot - look it over good - and give it some nice fresh soil. I use a fertilizer i got from QVC. 8 drops to 2 quarts of water. I guess I dont have a question except about the tubers on the roots.

5:19 PM  
Anonymous darqueangel said...

Yesterday I got an inspiration of putting up a plants inside the house and went to my friends garden to ask for some siblings. i totally fell in love with the prayer plants its vibrant colors appeals me. i planted the prayer plants in a pot. i hope my new baby will be happy to be part of this house. please post more tips on how to take care of the prayer plant. im very new in planting, i want to know more to make my prayer plants be happy.

8:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Could you advise me the best way to cleqn a prayer plant's leaves, mine keep getting dust on tis leaves which i find hard to remove.

Thank you

6:25 AM  
Anonymous sue said...

I have a healthy prayer plant-it came back just fine, after spending the summer outside with hopes that natural predators would deal with it's scale infestation, and then forgetting to take it in after the first frost. 'Twas slime, now it's beautiful again. However, roots are coming out the bottom of it's 10 inch pot.Can i just trim them off, or do i have to transplant into an even deeper pot?

1:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is there a way to pinch back prayer plants so they will bush out, instead of vining? If so, where/how do you pinch? My plant grows vertically for a while, but even with staking, the "vine" eventually breaks off.

12:20 PM  
Blogger Dodgy said...

I call mine "Sydney", he is a cutting from a plant I bought my mother 26 years ago. When he reached the ceiling she cut the top off and gave it to me (about 8 years ago). Now my Sydney is 35 inches (90cm) tall. I live in Manchester in the UK (where it rains a lot), I put Sydney outside during warm gentle rain which we get all summer, he seems to like it.

10:12 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Have a new prayer plant...want to be sure to keep her alive. I would love any tips, things they like, I transplanted from the store container and because she was already tall, I gave her a rectangular shallow planter, got plant food but haven't used yet, has been given moisture control soil with previous soil being time releasing fertilized soil, and water bulbs for continuous watering.Any suggestions....?

11:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have been watching my neighbors prayer plant for just over a month. The other day I noticed that the 3 three stalks/bases was getting weak, the largest falling over and the base seemed to be getting brown. I've moved the plant from my family room which got no direct light to my kitchen with southern windows. Anyone know of any other ideas that might work or what might be causing this issue.

2:47 PM  
Anonymous Megan S said...

I just got 4 amazing prayer plants from a Hirts and i was wondering if it was ok to put more than one in an 8" pot, they were originally in 3" pots i only put three in the 8" pot and one in a 6" pot, i also took the bit of english ivy i had and put it in the 8" pot with the prayer plants. Plz let me know if its ok to have them together. Otherwise i will swhitch things up a bit. I have 3 6" ceramic pots, 1 8" ceramic pot, and 2 plastic 8" pots. I have wandering jew, Golden Pothos Ivy (separated in the two 6" pots) 4 prayer plants, and a small bit of English ivy.

4:19 PM  
Blogger angie said...

help,my prayer plant has small insect on it,what should i do .

5:02 AM  
Blogger Cecilia said...

I also have a question. My plant has brown tipped leaves as a lack of humidity. (I think) is there a way to increase the humidity easily?

Thank you!

7:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi. I purchased a prayer plant a couple of months ago. It was from a garden center, even though it had no care ticket with it. I was told it would be easy to look after. After a couple of days I noticed it seemed to perk up at night, in the day time all the leaves drooped as though it were dying, then come evening it was fine again. I was beginning to think it was my fault. I tried moving it aroud the house finding different places to put it, that might suit it better, but to no avail. I recently handed it over to my mom to see if she could tend to it better. low and behold it acts the same way, drooping in dalight hours and coming to life at night. It has been placed in areas that do not receive direct sunlight, but nothing changes. It is watered and cared for, and at night is thriving. We are beginning to think this plant is nocturnal.
Please could anyone throw some light onto this situation, (no pun intended).
Thank you.
Jodee.

11:47 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

does the prayer plant flower? mine seems to have aflower coming on it. it is green with spiky bits in a cone shape.

9:29 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

my daughter said I should trim back my plant I'm not sure how to do it can you give me a tip

12:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maybe I missed this suggestion regarding wilt and prayer plant leaf edges turning brown - it may be caused by excess salts in the water. The solution is to flush out the mineral salts and then water with distilled or filtered water. Also, prayer plants will produce flowers if grown in high light. Bright light shouldn't cause scorching of leaves if adequate moisture & humidity is provided.

2:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

lant lover If you water your plant with water from the tap, it may be saturated with sLT RESIDUE, the besr thing to do is put the plant in the sink AND RUN WTER TIL IT RUNS OUT THE BOTTON. LET THE WATER DRAIN OUT COMPLETLY, I DO THIS TO MY PLANTS ONCE A YEAR.sALT CAN KILL A PLANT, BUT THIS WILL SOLVE THE PROBLEM.

3:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just received my prayer plant as a gift. I am enjoying it a lot. It came in a 4in pot is it OK to transplant it to a larger pot or does it like to be crowded.

8:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ive had my prayer plant for years, its was tiny when i was given it and it fluorished into a large healthy plant. However, the winter has taken its toll on it, most of the leaves have died away there is literally only about 6 leaves left, they look healthy but are starting to roll in at the sides, please help i love my plants and would be sooooo sad if it doesnt recover. Ive watered it, sprayed it, feed it etc but no change so far.

7:22 AM  
Blogger Denise Catherine said...

Here's some old fashioned advice my grandmother gave to me. Get a cotton ball, Dip it in a small bit of milk. Use this to dust and polish the leaves of any plant really. Adding humidity to any plant is easy! Just fill a small squirt bottle up with some filtered water and "Mist" the plant until you see water droplets form. All done!

12:27 AM  
Blogger Fairways and Greens said...

I have a prayer plant that's at least 25 years old. It has long narrow leaves and is four feet by four feet. I really don't want it to get any bigger, but it seems to be languishing in the pot it's in. Can anyone suggest how I should proceed? Thanks!

6:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My prayer plant has just been split and re-potted as it was needing it. It is positioned out of direct sunlight but in a fairly light position. The plant has been feed with slow release plant feed. At the moment the leaves are constantly curled but healthy looking, not at all brown or crispy. Can anyone tell me what my plant needs i.e more light, less light. It seems to have enough water if not a little too much this could be the problem...help!

9:08 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

my prayer plant isnt quite like others ive seen its not very bushy! it originally had two really long stems one got damaged with moving so i cut it off from the bottom, now the longest stem is really tall and i had to prop it up as its bending! it has around 10 leaves on it....{no new ones for atleast a year} if i cut this off will that be it for the plant, there seems to be new ones at the bottom week by week, its lovely at the bottom shiney leaves.. what should i do about this long floppy stem?? please any help would be great!! thanks in advance, jen

8:38 AM  
Blogger Shazia Ahmad said...

HI...I just brought a prayer plant into my home and just love it. I love how it 'prays' at night. I keep it in a corner of the room with no direct sunlight. Is this OK? I noticed one leaf is getting yellow. What am I not doing?

10:20 AM  
Anonymous Martyn said...

I live in Manchester, in the North West of England, and I have a prayer plant which belonged to my granddad. I never met my granddad, he died before I was born. The plant has been handed down to my Mother, and now me. Although we don't know the exact year when my Granddad got the plant, we reckon it is around 60 years old and doing fine. It tends to die back in Autumn, but the best thing that I have found for it, is Miracle Grow's tomato feed. Just don't over water it, that's worse than under watering it!

8:06 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I HAVE AN PRAYER PLANT THAT I TRULY LOVE, I'VE HAD THIS PLANT FOR THREE YEARS, THIS YEAR IT HAS REALLY GROWN, SO I HAD TO PUT IT IN ANOTHER POT MUCH BIGGER IT LOOK TO BE DIEING ON ME,, A LOT OF BROWN LEAVES AT THE BOTTOM,, THE VINES ARE VERY LONG I TIED THEM UP TO STICK I NEED HELP I DONT KNOW WHAT TO DO I DONT KNOW WHERE TO CUT IT AT TO CLONE ANOTHER ONE PLZ HELP I LOVE THIS PLANT

5:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'v heard that sometimes it's good to give plants fresh, finely ground coffee as a type of plant food. Is that true? Or is it coffee grinds after they've been through the coffee maker? I'm not sure which. Anyway, I have a lovely prayer plant and some extra fine ground espresso coffee. Should I mix a tablespoon into the plant's soil? Thanks very much

8:15 AM  
Blogger Jeniffer Shelton said...

My Prayer plant is about 5 years old and after reading through these comments have realized I need to move it to somewhere not so bright. Does anyone else have problems with their prayer plant having air roots? Can I clip them? Thanks in advance.

7:23 PM  
Blogger milman/1 said...

i got a prayer plant had it of a frend he did not whant it,i feed it with cold tea out of the teapot,but i have not had a flower on it yet !!WHY!! but one or two leafs are going brown any help,it sits on my cabinet it stil have light can i spray the leafs with anything will that help the plant!! thank you ernie.

12:09 PM  
Blogger Arineith Imani said...

Thanks for the tips :) GREATLY APPRECIATED!! I just received a prayer plant as a gift and was unsure of how to care for such an amazing plant.

8:13 PM  
Blogger d malvito said...

My prayer plant was in a basket of live plants that were sent when my father passed away, five years ago. I replanted it and have since been able to start plants for all of my sisters and two of my nieces. It means a great deal to me.

8:52 PM  
Anonymous v smith said...

I love my prayer plant, its has gotten so big that i have to hold it up with a trellis, she seems to like my bathroom window : )

2:50 PM  
Anonymous hplumbman said...

had prayer plant good strong plant 6mth's how often do they flower?

3:53 AM  
Blogger Michael Burnell said...

I have got my grandads prayer plant it must be nearly 30 years old, It was looking a little sad so I have just re potted it (the first time it has ever been done) so hopefully it will flourish and keep growing for many more years to come

6:52 AM  

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