Maranta, the prayer plant: characteristics and care

The maranta or prayer plant is one of the most beautiful you could have inside your home.. With large and incredible leaves, it is the envy of many. And it is that this mobile plant (because it moves) can give you many joys.

Do you want to know more about her? Then keep reading because we have made a summary of the characteristics of the maranta and the most important care it needs.

How is the maranta or prayer plant

Plant-of-Prayer-care Source_ Eco Magic Garden

Source: Eco Magic Garden

Many times, the maranta is confused with the Calathea. And they are actually two different plants from each other. This is native to America, specifically Brazil. In its natural habitat it lives in very humid forests, and since it does not grow much, the sun hardly reaches it because the trees themselves filter it.

The most characteristic of the maranta or prayer plant is, without a doubt, its leaves. These can have a mixture of colors, which will go from dark green to yellow, pink, red, white… But, from behind, you will have a purple color on all those leaves.

Regarding its size, it does not grow too much (approximately 30-50 centimeters). They are highly branched and often grow new shoots from the ground. In addition, the branches are weak (often due to the weight of the leaves themselves) which means that, when it comes to having them, it is almost always in a hanging (or creeping) shape and They grow in width, where they can easily reach a meter in length.

One of the peculiarities of the maranta or prayer plant is that it moves. Yes, as you read. The maranta has the peculiarity that, at night, it folds its leaves, in such a way that they are seen as closed and, in the morning, it opens them and follows the sunlight. Therefore, although this is not easy to see with the naked eye, if you placed a camera that recorded 24 hours, you would see how your plant moves.

Care of the maranta or prayer plant

plant care Source_YouTube Infojardineria

Source: YouTube Infogardening

Now that you know a little better about the maranta or prayer plant, What if we give you the keys so that you do not die at the first change? You should keep in mind that we do not recommend having a maranta if you live in an area where you have very little humidity and a lot of heat. Although it can be adapted, it is difficult and it is possible that several will die if you are not very on top of them. If you want to try it, go ahead, it is not an excessively expensive plant and its beauty is well worth the try.

location and temperature

The maranta or prayer plant is one of those that you can have inside the house without worrying at all because it receives little light. In fact, it adapts perfectly to the shade. But if you want it to be good, it is best to put it in a corner where it receives indirect light for several hours.

If you notice that your plant begins to have whiter leaves, contrary to what you might think, it is not telling you that it needs more light, but the other way around, it is that it is receiving too much.

Regarding the temperature here you can have a problem. Its ideal is between 18 and 22ºC. But everything that goes beyond that temperature, for more or less, harms it.

For example, if it’s hot, the plant stops growing and stagnates. If it is cold, the plant also slows down its growth and can deteriorate. It is one of the most important conditions that can make you lose the plant in a few months.


The best substrate for the maranta or prayer plant is a mixture of universal substrate with peat and plenty of drainage. In this way you get a light soil, which does not cake and where the roots can breathe.


This is one of the fundamental care of the maranta or prayer plant. And the problem is that, sometimes, it is not done well. We start from the fact that this plant needs to have moist soil. But too much water can kill it. So when it comes to watering you must control the type of soil it has and whether it is necessary or not.

If you touch the earth and feel it moist (not cold), you won’t have to water. If it’s dry, then yes, and don’t do it again until the first few layers of soil look dry.

In addition to irrigation, and we would even say that it is more important than this, is humidity. This plant requires 60% or more humidity to stay beautiful. (You will notice it over time, that it is taking fewer leaves, smaller and that they die immediately). This happens when you don’t get the right one. And that humidity can nourish the plant with water (with which less is watered).

To cover this need you can put it next to a humidifier or create a dish with water and pebbles so that it evaporates over time and gives it moisture.


propagation Source_Eco Magic Garden

Source: Eco Magic Garden

In general, the maranta or prayer plant is not to be pruned. But you will have to do it if you find stems that have dried up, died, damaged, etc. Burnt, brown, dead leaves… you should also remove them so they don’t spoil the appearance of it.

Plagues and diseases

We are not going to tell you that it is not delicate, because it is, and a lot. Problems with the leaves (they turn brown, lose color, curl, have spots…) and the fact that it is easily attacked by the cottony mealy bug will keep you entertained for a while to control it.

In the case of mealybugs, it can kill the plant and leave it practically nothing. If you manage to remove the plague, it may sprout again, but it won’t be as pretty as before.


Finally, we have the reproduction of the maranta or prayer plant. And the best way to do it is through cuttings. You have to make sure you cut below the knots as these are going to be where it will root.

Once cut, put them in water in a bright area and wait for them to take root. In fact, it doesn’t take long, and it is also possible that it will start taking leaves as well. When it does, plant it in a pot and keep it moist.

The maranta or prayer plant is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful indoor plants you can have. Although, as you have seen, it is somewhat delicate and not suitable for all homes. Do you have one at home? How do you take care of it?

Maranta, the prayer plant: characteristics and care

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