- 1 What Is A Prayer Plant?
- 2 How Did The Prayer Plant Get Its Name?
- 3 Top 6 Prayer Plants That You Can Buy Today
- 3.1 1. Hirt’s Red Prayer Plant – Best Prayer Plant Overall
- 3.2 2. American Plant Exchange Calathea Medallion – Easiest Prayer Plant To Grow
- 3.3 3. Lemon Lime Prayer Plant- Maranta – Prayer Plant with Best Value
- 3.4 4. Pin Stripe Prayer Plant- Calathea ornata – Most Low Maintenance Prayer Plant
- 3.5 5. Rooted Red Prayer Plant: Maranta Leuconeura – Most Pet-Friendly Prayer Plant
- 3.6 6. Tricolor Prayer Plant: Stromanthe triostar – Most Vibrant Looking Prayer Plant
- 4 Different Types Of Prayer Plants
- 5 How To Look After Your Prayer Plant
- 6 Conclusion
- 7 FAQ
The prayer plant is a very common household plant known for its brightly colored leaves. It is gorgeous with a unique appearance, making it an essential home decor piece.
You may have this plant in your home without even knowing all about it or even knowing its botanical name. This plant belongs to the Marantaceae family and has around 40-50 types. So if you want to learn about their types and what a prayer plant is, keep on reading!
What Is A Prayer Plant?
The prayer plant is also known as the maranta leuconeura in botanical terms, and it was named after an Italian botanist and physician, Bartolomeo Maranta.
Due to its striking look, this plant is well-loved and common in many households. It is a slow grower, so owners do not have to worry about it getting out of control.
A mature prayer plant has 6-inch leaves that rise from the short center stem and fall down, which is why it is mostly used in hanging baskets. This plant grows horizontally as well and can be used as a ground cover in humid climates.
This plant is demanding, but it does not need any special care or maintenance. While many people may not like its low-maintenance nature, the prayer plant is a household statement piece that adds bright and beautiful colors to your home.
There are different types of prayer plants, and before you buy the plant you like for your home, you must know all about them. Read on below to learn about them and make an informed decision.
How Did The Prayer Plant Get Its Name?
Prayer Plant got its name because of the way it looks at night when the leaves close.
This plant holds its leaves in an open downward position or looks straight during the day, whereas at night, it tends to close the leaves vertically, which makes it resemble praying hands. Hence, the name “Praying Plant” was allotted to it.
Due to the leaves’ unique appearance, you can find this plant in graveyards since it symbolizes the prayers for the recently deceased.
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Top 6 Prayer Plants That You Can Buy Today
Now that you know some of the different species of prayer plants present today, you must know which one to buy. There are many options present in the market, and it can get confusing for you to pick the best one. To make this decision easy for you, we have reviewed the top six options you should check out.
1. Hirt’s Red Prayer Plant – Best Prayer Plant Overall
The folding and unfolding of the leaves have a very regular pattern, which is hardly ever interrupted.
The best part about this plant is the gorgeous red and green colors, which make your home look better and bright. All you need to provide this plant to help it grow to its full capacity is indirect light and water.
Requirements: Bright indirect light and moisture
Number Of Pieces: 2
This prayer plant is a must-have because it is low-maintenance and easy to grow. It has bright and big oval leaves that stand out wherever you put it, which makes it a great household plant to buy.
- Very easy to look after
- A gorgeous mix of green and red
- It has a regular pattern of folding and unfolding
- Comes in a pack of 2
2. American Plant Exchange Calathea Medallion – Easiest Prayer Plant To Grow
So when the leaves fold at night, they look gorgeous and are great for countertops, tables, and even in the bedrooms.
The best part about this plant is that it is very easy to grow, and it can grow as tall as 12-14 inches, making it out of reach for pets.
Since the plant likes indirect sunlight and humidity, taking care of it is not a hassle. Moreover, this pot is great for beautifying your home, cleansing your air, and improving your mood. It also gets rid of dryness by increasing the humidity in your house.
Requirements: Humidity and indirect sunlight
Number Of Pieces: 1
This pot plant is incredibly gorgeous and easy to keep. It doesn’t require any maintenance and makes your home beautiful and humid. It takes away dryness, making it a must-buy for winters.
- Very easy to grow; low maintenance
- Gorgeous looking with vibrant colors
- Relieves dryness by increasing the humidity in winters
- Can grow up to 12-14 inches
3. Lemon Lime Prayer Plant- Maranta – Prayer Plant with Best Value
This plant is fully rooted in a four-inch pot and is the perfect gift for your loved ones for any occasion. It is also available at a reasonable price, making it a must-buy.
Requirements: Water and indirect sunlight
Number Of Pieces: 1
This Maranta is great for beginners learning how to take care of the plant, especially because it is quite low-maintenance. All you need to provide is indirect light and water for it to survive.
- Very affordable
- Looks incredibly gorgeous
- Great gift for your loved ones
- Helps in enhancing the indoor environment
4. Pin Stripe Prayer Plant- Calathea ornata – Most Low Maintenance Prayer Plant
This is the most low-maintenance plant you can get your hands on because you just need to keep it indoors where it gets indirect light and moisture; do not keep it too wet or too dry.
You get this prayer plant in a 4-inch pot, so you can easily keep it on countertops, kitchen corners, and even tabletops.
Requirements: Evenly moist and indirect light
Number Of Pieces: 1
This plant gets its name from the design on the leaves that resembles pinstripes. These pink stripes on green-colored leaves make the plant look gorgeous. You can place this medium-sized plant pot on countertops, tables, and even on your side table in the bedroom.
- Very easy to look after
- Gorgeous pink and green leaf contrast
- Prefers indirect light and is ideal for indoor decor
5. Rooted Red Prayer Plant: Maranta Leuconeura – Most Pet-Friendly Prayer Plant
You can easily look after this plant since it has only two requirements: filtered water for faltering and indirect sunlight. Remember that direct sunlight can burn its leaves, so make sure you place it somewhere without direct sunlight.
If you’re just starting off with gardening, this plant is what you need. Plus, you only need to water it once a week so that the soil remains moist throughout. Excess watering can be dangerous for this plant.
You get this plant in a 4-inch pot, and it can grow from 8-14 inches tall. This makes it ideal to have around kids and pets since it will be out of their reach.
Requirements: Indirect light and filtered water
Number Of Pieces: 1
This Red Prayer Plant is stunning and easy to maintain with green leaves and red markings on them. This low-maintenance plant is great for beginners, and since it can grow up to 14 inches tall, you can get this with pets in the house.
- Ideal for beginners
- Has only two requirements
- Doesn’t require you to look after it every day
- Can grow quite tall and is great for home decor
6. Tricolor Prayer Plant: Stromanthe triostar – Most Vibrant Looking Prayer Plant
You can grow this plant easily, and all it needs is indirect sunlight and water once a week, so you can easily keep it indoors, too. Over time, all you need to do is trim it as needed, and it will be perfectly fine.
Type: Stromanthe Triostar
Requirements: Evenly moist and indirect light
Number Of Pieces: 1
This prayer plant is tricolored, which makes it a great decor item. You can grow it easily on your own since it only requires two basic things: light and water. It also comes in a 4-inch pot, and you can keep it on tabletops, countertops, or wherever you want because of its moderate size.
- Great for adding color to your home
- Easy to grow and good for beginners
- Doesn’t require any maintenance
Different Types Of Prayer Plants
There are around 40-50 types of prayer plants present today, but not all of them are gorgeous. To help you pick the best prayer plant, we have narrowed our picks to some of the best prayer plant species. These plants fall into 4 different categories: Maranta, Ctenanthe, Stromanthe, and Geoppertia.
Read on to learn about these plants and how they stand out from one another.
Ctenanthe is a genus from the prayer plant family known as Marantaceae. This plant is native to Brazil, but it also grows in Colombia, Costa Rica, Panama, Venezuela, Peru, and Bolivia.
Ctenanthe species tend to raise their leaves at night, and when the sun comes out, they tend to lower it down. Some gorgeous Ctenanthe species you can get for yourself include:
Ctenanthe Lubbersiana has a marbled yellow and cream-colored pattern on medium green-colored leaves. These patterns are not symmetrical like on other prayer plants, making them stand out.
The leaves of the plant are rounded and oblong, and this plant is sometimes known as the “never never plant” by Brazilian gardeners.
Lubbersiana is one of the largest prayer plants, and it can grow up to 4 feet tall and 3 feet wide. In the summertime, small and bright flowers also grow, giving the plant a gorgeous look.
Setosa is also known as the “Grey Star,” and it is another prayer plant that you will enjoy keeping at home. This plant has long elliptical leaves with a hint of silver hue, reddish-purple undersides, and dark leaf veins. The reddish-purple color shines when the leaves close at night and gives the plant a very pretty look when you keep it on the countertop or dinner table.
When it comes to growth, this prayer plant species can reach up to 5 feet tall and 3 feet wide, which makes it pet-friendly and a great home decor plant to place in the corner.
Burle Marxii was classified as a Maranta but was later added to the Ctenanthe species. This plant originated in Brazil and was also given its name as a tribute to a Brazilian landscape architect, Roberto Burle Marx.
Burle Marxii has paddle-shaped leaves and is bright green or silvery gray in color. It also has a dark fishbone pattern on it, which is why it is also known as the fishbone prayer plant.
Moreover, the underside of the leaves has a bright maroon color that shines when the leaves curl at night. Even though the flowers of this prayer plant are white and small, they are rarely produced when you keep them as houseplants.
Burle Marxii can be kept in the corners of your home and used as a decor item for the living room because it can reach up to 12 inches in height. It is also good for hanging baskets since it spreads up to 24 inches.
Geoppertia is another species of prayer plant that you can buy for your household. Plants that fall into this species were previously classified in the Calathea genus but were later given a genus of their own in 2012.
However, today, houseplants that belong to this genus are still known as calatheas by gardeners and buyers.
While many prayer plants have a symmetrical pattern present on their foliage, Lietzei is unique. This plant is also known as “Fusion White” because of its foliage. The clear strikes and striking look of the foliage make it look as a painter has painted it.
The leaves are oval and have a unique pattern of white present on different shades of green. But that’s not all! This plant also has lilac-hued undersides that make it stand out when the leaves get into a praying position at night.
Due to the gorgeous colors of this plant, it is great for household decor and can make for a great addition to your room no matter where you place it.
This species has a semi-upright growth with a maximum height of 6-8inches and a 12-inch spread.
Crocata is another prayer plant belonging to the Geoppertia genus, and it comes with large dark green leaves with purple undersides. The leaves have a wavy texture, which gives them a very elegant look.
Crocata actually means “saffron-colored,” which is in reference to the golden orange and extremely bright flowers of this species that you can find in Brazil. This prayer plant has upright growth and can grow up to 18 inches tall and 12 inches wide.
If you want this plant to thrive, opt for slightly alkaline or acidic soil for a better result.
Ornata is also known as the pinstripe plant due to its dark green leaves with pinkish-white stripes. The leaves look as if they are applied in an artistic manner by a fine brush, making it an elegant-looking plant pot for your home.
You can place this plant in any corner since it can grow up to 1-3 feet tall and2-3 feet wide. If you are repotting this plant, keep in mind that it can tolerate slightly alkaline or acidic solid for better growth.
A cultivated variety of G. ornata is the “Beauty Star,” which has elliptical and pointed leaves with a dark green center and light green margins. It also has pink stripes painted on it like the Ornata, with a patch of light green behind its pink stripes that makes it stand out.
Beauty Star also grows habit, and it can get as high as 18 inches with a 12-18-inch spread.
Concinna is also known as “Freddie” and has oval, pointed leaves that are silvery green and pale green in color. There is a dark green herringbone pattern on the leaves, and the plant has upright growth, making it great for keeping on the dinner table or kitchen countertop.
This plant can grow up to 20 inches tall and 20 inches wide, making it look very fluffy and full. Due to its simplistic look, this is a must-buy for your home and even for your nursery.
Louisae, also known as Maui Queen, is another plant belonging to the Geoppertial classification. These cultivars’ leaves have a pointed, oval shape, and they come with a creamy feathered pattern that extends alongside the midrib. This not only gives it a very angelic look, but the purple-colored underside makes it look gorgeous.
Like all others, it also has an upright growth. It grows up to 18 to 24 inches high and 12-18 inches wide. But make sure you keep this plant in slightly acidic soil for ideal growth.
Fasciata prayer plant is another gorgeous household plant. It comes with round, large leaves, with dark green and light green stripes.
But that’s not all.
The underside of the leaves is dark red or sometimes purple, so at night, when they close, this color shines and gives the plant an ethereal look. This prayer plant also has flowers on it that appear if you place it outdoors. These small and white flowers are gorgeous to look at and help complete the appearance of these plants.
The Fasciata prayer plant can grow up to three to four feet in height and spread from one to two feet. It doesn’t require direct sunlight, but it does love strong acidic soil for growth, so you should keep that in mind when repotting this plant.
This is another stunning species of prayer plant known as “Jungle Velvet” due to its large shaped and velvety-textured leaves. Even though it belongs to the Goeppertia group, this plant was previously classified as a Calathea and is still frequently known as Calathea warszewiczii or “jungle velvet calathea.”
It is a species native to Central America and has an ovoid shape of foliage. The leaves are very green and have an emerald blade running alongside the midrib. Similar to other prayer plants, it has bright maroon or burgundy undersides, so when it folds at night, the burgundy color, along with the green, gives this plant a very pretty look.
However, unlike many plants from the arrowroot family, this plant is very showy and has large leaves, so most people may not prefer it as a household plant. But if you are into showy plants and want to make a statement, this is a must-buy. It also grows small flowers that change color from cream to yellow and then to a bright pink, which adds more beauty to this already-gorgeous plant.
Jungle velvet falls on the larger side of the prayer plant, and it can grow upright up to 40 inches tall with a 40-inch-wide spread. It is also a great plant for beginners since it does not need much to reach maturity. All you need to do is provide Jungle velvet with indirect light and moist soil along with fertilizer every two weeks and trim its leaves.
The term roseopicta stands for “rose-painted,” but even its name doesn’t do justice to the pattern on the foliage. This prayer plant has oval leaves with a pink outline and wide dark-colored green stripes. It also has a bright pink-colored midrib and wide emerald green margins.
As it produces new leaves, the purple underside of the leaves is on display, which makes it look gorgeous and even more attractive than before.
Roseopicta is native to Peru, Colombia, Brazil, and Ecuador, and it is also known as Calathea roseopicta. It can grow up to 12-18 inches high and spread to at least one foot. One look at this prayer plant, and you are bound to fall in love with it.
Makoyana is another prayer plant native to eastern Brazil. It is also known as the peacock plant due to the design of its foliage on the leaves. It has oval-shaped glossy leaves that make it look as if it was designed by an artist, with dark green splotches on the midvein and medium green leaf margins.
Another name for this plant is “cathedral windows,” given to it for its semi-translucent appearance. When you see the underside of the leaves’ foliage, light shines through the leaves, which reveals the same pattern on the bottom of the leaf but in a shade of purple instead of green.
This plant grows upright up to 2 feet tall and can spread up to 1 foot wide.
Veitchiana is another types of prayer plants belonging to the Geoppercia family and is also known as “Flamestar.” The design on its foliage makes it look incredibly attractive, especially because the large oval-shaped leaves have different shades of green and yellow highlights.
The leaves of this Flamestar plant have wide green-colored margins and a feathery outline, while the underside has the same foliage pattern but in purple.
Even though this plant is incredibly gorgeous, it is unique and difficult to get your hands on. It has upright growth and can reach up to 24 inches.
There is another cultivated variety of this plant known as “Medallion,” and it has rounded and large leaves with a feathery pattern.
There’s a pale green blade present on the Medallion plant leaves alongside the midrib, and it is surrounded by a dark green shade. And similar to the Flamestar, the Medallion also has a maroon-colored underside and is gorgeous to look at.
In order to take care of this plant, simply place it in a corner of your home that receives light and water it once or twice a week.
Marantas are the most common prayer plants, and they originate in tropical South and Central America. They raise their leaves when the sun goes down and lower them when the sun rises.
Leuconeura is commonly known as Lemon Lime. This plant is related to the red-veined prayer plant and has various shades of green on the leaves. It also has a very bold pattern with a pale green blaze on the midrib surrounded by dark green coloring on its leaves and lime green veins.
These leaf veins are slightly raised, giving the plant a slight texture. The underside of the leaves is pale green, so at night, when it raises itself up, the pale green color becomes prominent.
The oval leaves of this prayer plant can extend to a maximum of 6 inches in length and grow very quickly. This plant can grow up to 12-15 inches tall, and in the summertime, it produces purple flowers.
When you choose Stromanthe, you get gorgeous houseplants that you can use as indoor decor. Even though the members of this species are not as generous as Maranta or Geoppertia, they are equally beautiful and stunning to look at.
Like others, Stromanthes raise their leaves at night in the form of praying hands and then lower them again when the sun rises.
Other types of prayer plants common among buyers is the Stromanthe thalia and is famously known as the bloody prayer plant. It has long, pointed, dark green leaves, reddish undersides, and pale-ish midribs. This species is also known as sanguinea because of its purplish underside.
This prayer plant is native to Brazil, but it has found its way to other areas as well. It can grow up to 5 feet tall and has a spread of 3 feet wide when placed outdoors.
However, as a houseplant, it can grow to a maximum height of 3 feet. This plant produces flowers with a white and red inflorescence that makes the plant further gorgeous.
How To Look After Your Prayer Plant
Prayer plants may be very easy to grow, but they do require some care once in a while. They are low-growing and spreading plants that tend to thrive best when they are provided with conditions such as moist soil, gentle airflow, and sunlight.
Plants kept in too dry or too cool places can suffer from shedding leaves and other fungal infections. This is why maintaining the ideal conditions is essential.
Here’s what you need to remember to look after your prayer plant:
Prayer plants can grow in various soils, provided they are well-draining. They do not need a lot of wetness to grow, nor do they need dryness, so the soil must allow good draining for the plant to grow properly.
Usually, a traditional potting mix is a perfect solution, but you can also make your own well-draining soil. To do that, you need one part loamy soil, one part coarse sand, and two parts sphagnum peat moss and mix it together.
The soil must also be slightly acidic or alkaline, depending on the types of prayer plants you are growing. You can further facilitate drainage and, in turn, healthy plant growth by adding gravel and rocks to the base of your pot.
Prayer plants do not need a lot of sunlight. You can hang or place your prayer plant near any window or in any corner where indirect sunlight can reach it properly. When taking care of your plant, avoid placing it under direct sunlight because it will scorch the plant’s leaves, and it will develop patches or blotches all over it. Direct light also damages the color of the leaves and causes them to fade.
You should keep in mind that prayer plants prefer low light, so they must be kept accordingly.
In the winter months, these plants go into a state of dormancy and even die, so to ensure good growth, you must provide these plants with indirect bright light.
During the growing season, you must water prayer plants frequently by keeping an eye on the top layer. If the layer becomes too dry, water it right away, but avoid watering if the layer is moist.
You also need to make sure that the potting soil does not completely dry out because these plants are susceptible to drought. They do not survive if you leave them unwatered for long.
Also, do not allow the water to sit on the leaves because this will cause the plant to have fungal issues and make the plant soggy.
Remember, when it comes to watering prayer plants, both overwatering and insufficient watering can be dangerous, so you need to be careful.
Prayer plants prefer a household temperature between 60 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit in order to grow properly. If the temperature remains low for quite some time, this can damage the leaves. In some cases, the plant might even end up shedding the leaves.
Similarly, these plants grow best in a humid environment, so if you want to increase the humidity, you can opt for a humidifier nearby. You can also place the plant on a tray filled with water and small stones or mist the leaves frequently to keep them humid.
It is a good idea to fertilize your plant every two weeks, especially from early spring to fall, via a diluted water-soluble houseplant fertilizer. You must reduce the strength of the fertilizer to half by taking half fertilizer and half water.
This is essential because if you use a lot of fertilizer, your plants will start to turn brown and die. A strong fertilizer can even burn the plant roots. Similarly, if you use too little fertilizer, the plant won’t grow properly, grow slowly, or not grow at all.
In the winter months, you must fertilize the plants once a month instead of every two weeks because, during this time, they are in the dormant stage and do not require excess fertilizer.
Just like with any other plant, prayer plants are also susceptible to pests, with the most common pest being spider mites. To keep your plants safe, make sure you clean the leaves every other day with a dry cloth.
However, if you notice tiny black dots on the leaves, this means spider mites have attacked your plant. Leaves infected with these mites are covered in dry yellow spots or white webbing. But thankfully, spider mites do not like high humidity, so if you take proper care of your plant and keep it alongside a humidifier, these mites won’t be an issue.
Even though there are many different types of prayer plants in the market, not all of them are great for household use. With the help of the information above, you can not only learn about the best prayer plant types but also which one to buy.
Prayer plants are ideal for beginners, and if you learn how to care for them and know their requirements, you can easily keep this plant and enjoy its remarkable and unique foliage. So what are you waiting for?
How many types of prayer plants are there?
There are around 40-50 types of prayer plants, but not all of them are suitable for indoor use.
Are Calathea and prayer plants the same?
Calatheas are often confused as prayer plants, but that is not the case. Calathea belongs to the Arrowood family just like Maranta does, but unlike Maranta, Calathea is not a prayer plant. Since these two are closely related, they are often confused as the same.
Where should I put my prayer plant?
The prayer plant is very easy to place, especially indoors. These plants require indirect light, so you can easily place them in a sunny spot, and they will grow perfectly fine.
Outdoors, you can place the plant under the shed where it gets indirect light.
Are prayer plants toxic?
No, prayer plants are not poisonous and are safe for both pets and humans. There is no record of toxicity related to these prayer plants.
How often should I water a prayer plant?
The best part about most prayer plants is that they do not require a lot of maintenance, making them a great option for beginners. You only have to water it once every one to two weeks because prayer plants grow best in a moist environment. They do not require a lot of wetness or dryness to grow.
How long do Prayer plants live?
If you are unable to look after your prayer plant and provide it with the basic conditions it requires to grow properly, your plant will last for a few months or a year, at most. However, if you nurture it and provide it with the right environment, your plant can last for 40 to even 70 years easily.