Maranta leuconeura (Prayer Plant)

Known as the Prayer Plant because it folds its leaves in the evening (in a fashion similar to one praying), M. leuconeura is a slow-growing, rhizomatous perennial that grows well in homes. Like African Violets, they prefer high humidity, partial shade, and well-drained soils.

Maranta leuconeura (Prayer Plant)
Deciduous: no
Hardiness Zones: 11-12
Height: 15-30 centimeters (6-12 inches) tall
Diameter: 15-30 centimeters (6-12 inches) across
Growth Rate: slow
Age: perennial
Root System: rhizomatous
Family: Marantaceae
Subspecies: ‘Erythroneura’, ‘Fascinator’, ‘Kerchoveana’, ‘Massangeana’

Tolerates: shade
Problems (major): nematodes, spider mites, slugs
Problems (minor): mealybugs, root rot (poorly drained soils), leaf spot, leaf scald (too much sun)
Poisonous: nontoxic

Soil requirements: requires moist, fairly nutrient-rich, well-drained soils, tolerates medium/loamy, heavy/clay, acidic soils
Air requirements: prefers high humidity
Watering requirement: moderate
Sun requirement: part-shade

Leaf shape: ovular, green with red veins/stripes, alternate
Leaf size: up to 13 centimeters (5 inches) long
Stem: thick, green
Flowering structure: flower spikes with two-lipped, white flowers
Flowering frequency: infrequent indoors
Fruits: inconspicuous, hard, brown
Bulb/Corm: rhizome

Notable characteristics:
The leaves close or fold up in the evening, which somewhat resembles praying.

These are sometimes used as house plants, as they need partial shade and grow slowly.

Sources used:



oliage and flowers

Another variety with different foliage

Another variety with red stripes on its foliage and flowers

All of the images provided were taken by me. They may be used for educational/informational purposes only, provided that this article/online journal is
appropriately cited first.


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