Maranta (Prayer plant) - Care tips
Maranta (Prayer plant)
Maranta is a genus of flowering plants in the Marantaceae family and native to tropical Central and South America and the West Indies. About 40 species are currently recognised. Maranta is named after Bartolomeo Maranta, an Italian physician and botanist from the 16th century, who organised his knowledge of botanical pharmacology through species identification and medicinal properties, among other things.
The term ‘Prayer/Praying plant’ popularly refers to members of the genus Maranta, to which the genus Calathea is closely related. The name comes from the tendency of plants in this family to hang around at night, or ‘pray’. The praying plant is one of the most striking tropical plants, thanks to its beautiful decorative leaves.
Maranta Care Tips
Light and placement for Maranta
Hang or place the Maranta near a window that receives indirect sunlight. Never place the plant in direct sunlight because the sun will scorch the leaves of the plant or the leaves will develop spots and decrease in colour intensity. In general, this plant tolerates less light. In the winter, however, you should continue to provide it with bright light in order to maintain growth.
Water your Maranta regularly during the growing season and never let the pot soil dry out completely. These plants are very sensitive to drought and will not survive for long if they are not watered. To avoid mould problems, however, do not leave water directly on the leaves and do not let the plant get soggy. So always check the top layer of potting soil. Both too little and too much water can make the leaves turn yellow and fall off the plant. When you water your Maranta, use water that is at least room temperature, if not a little warm. If necessary, leave the water overnight.
From early spring to autumn, fertilise your Maranta every two weeks (in winter this is reduced to once a month) with a fertiliser for houseplants. If you use too little fertiliser, your plant will grow slowly or not at all. If you use too much fertiliser, however, the plant's roots may burn. You can recognise this by the leaves turning brown and the plant may even die.
Propagating a Maranta is a surprisingly easy way to expand your collection and make use of larger mother plants. The most common (and easiest) way to propagate praying plants is to divide the plant during repotting. When repotting, divide your prayer plant into several smaller plants by gently shaking the soil away from the roots and working them apart. Make sure that each new plant has a good mass of roots and several stems. Repot these new smaller plants separately in shallow pots. Keep the new divisions very warm and moist for the first few weeks until new growth appears.
Most common pest on Maranta
Like many houseplants, Maranta plants are susceptible to spider mite and mealy bugs. If you see signs of infestation, such as a white powdery substance on the leaves or brown discolouration, you can treat your plant with a natural insecticide such as neem oil. Keep a close eye on your Maranta and if in doubt, visit our PLNTS doctor page. This will help you to find out which pests are bothering your plant and how you can best combat them.
Is the Maranta toxic for pets or children?
Good news! This beautiful plant is also completely safe for your pets or children. This plant is not poisonous, of course, but we recommend that you always make sure that your pet does not eat the whole plant. You do not want that of course.
Buy your new Maranta at PLNTS.com
At PLNTS.com you can buy your new Maranta online. Whether you like your PLNTS big from the start or prefer to grow them from tiny BabyPLNTS into full-grown PLNTS - we’ve got you covered!