If you’re on a quest to add a houseplant with placing foliage for your collection, appearance no further – you may take your choose from an array of terrified leaf patterns many of the prayer flora.
These astounding plants – marantas, calatheas, stromanthes, and ctenanthes – have colorful, patterned leaves that carry upward in the nighttime, giving them their not unusual call.
While those species are not ones you’d place into the low upkeep houseplant class, as a plant determine, you can find their stunning foliage and fascinating each day rhythms well worth the marginally improved efforts required to hold them thriving.
What Are Prayer Plants?
Prayer plant is a call given to many special species of herbaceous evergreen perennials in the arrowroot circle of relatives, Marantaceae.
Also often defined as the prayer plant circle of relatives, this taxonomic grouping is made of 31 unique genera, and more or less 550 exclusive species.
In this newsletter, I’ll cognizance on those members of the arrowroot own family which can be generally grown as decorative houseplants, along with species from the Ctetanthe, Goeppertia, Maranta, and Stromanthe genera.
If you’re looking for care instructions for Calathea species and are dissatisfied no longer to see them included right here, don’t worry – they will be! These have been reclassified as participants of a different genus, and I’ll explain this rapidly.
Many of the species in these distinctive however carefully associated genera have very comparable traits and developing necessities.
So, whether you got here right here looking for information on a way to develop Calathea orbifolia or Maranta leuconeura, the fundamental care steering supplied will work to your specific houseplant.
The Great Calathea Reclassification
If you have a calathea of some sort, you may – or might not – be aware that these species have more modern legit aliases.
It all passed off in the course of the Great Calathea Reclassification of 2012. Okay, that name is my very own invention, but the reclassification did indeed appear.
In 2012, Finn Borchsenius, Vice Dean for Education, Science, and Technology at Aarhus University in Denmark, at the side of colleagues Luz Suarez and Linda MacKechnie, published a paper entitled “Molecular Phylogeny and Redefined Generic Limits of Calathea (Marantaceae)” in the magazine Systematic Botany.
The authors of this paper explained that once their DNA evaluation of the species in this genus, they truly located wonderful “clades,” or businesses, most of the calatheas – and they concluded that this genus had to be redefined.
Prayer Plant Care
These green companions want a piece greater interest than different houseplants, specially regarding watering, humidity, and temperature.
Choosing a Plant
Let’s start before you even bring your maranta, calathea, stromanthe, or ctenanthe home, with the aid of choosing a healthful specimen.
Here are a few hints on what to look for:
•Examine the plant for signs and symptoms of pests, making sure to have a look at the stems and base of stems, as well as the undersides of the leaves.
•Check the mature size of your selected range and ensure you’ll have enough room for it before bringing it home.
•Look for foliage without browning or yellowing leaves, or leaves that look dry or wilted.
And while buying these houseplants from an online supplier, make sure a warmness percent is covered for the duration of iciness in case you live in a chilly climate, so your purchase arrives with none chilling injury.
As I mentioned earlier, those species grow on the rainforest ground in dappled light. In our homes, that translates nice to medium to brilliant oblique mild.
They also can handle low mild situations, however their leaves will lack the ambitious variegation that certain cultivars are recognized for in the event that they don’t get sufficient mild.
On the other hand, an excessive amount of direct daylight can reason diminished coloring, as well as scorched leaves.
In preferred, placing prayer flowers on windowsills will provide both too much mild, an excessive amount of heat, or too much of a relax as night falls.
So it’s excellent to situate them at the least a few feet faraway from a bright window. If the window is south going through, you could want a translucent curtain to assist make the mild more subtle.
My maranta and calatheas are all several feet from south-dealing with home windows – they get lots of oblique light, and are only touched by using direct sun rays for brief durations while the solar is low inside the sky in winter, at a time while this doesn’t pose a threat of overheating them.
Coming from tropical regions as they do, Marantaceae species like it on the nice and cozy facet. Their favored temperatures lie in the 65-eighty°F range. Temperatures under 55°F are too cold and can injure these tropical houseplants.
Avoid locating your prayer plants in areas that get very hot. As referred to, a role too near a south-facing window may overheat your houseplants, and scorch their foliage.
Also avoid situating them next to fireplaces or radiators, where temperatures are in all likelihood to be too extreme.
Since my domestic has a single heat supply in the middle of the house and the temperature within the outer rooms is colder, I maintain a thermometer close to my calatheas, so I can preserve my eye on them and ensure they aren’t getting too much of a chill.
Watering is probably the location of care where you will should be the most vigilant. These houseplants aren’t ones you may stick in a corner, forget about, and count on to be excellent and dandy when you in the end bear in mind them a month later.
They develop in moist soil of their local variety, and they might greatly favor to keep doing so within the confines of our homes.
And they will can help you know once they aren’t glad along with your watering habitual. They are at risk of getting brown leaf tips whilst watering is either inadequate or inconsistent.
One of the reasons for brown leaf suggestions on Marantaceae species is insufficient humidity.
Being creatures of the rainforest as they’re, prayer plant life do satisfactory whilst the humidity in all fairness excessive, between 40 and 60 percentage.
Since maximum of us don’t have such humid situations in our houses all through iciness, there are a few one-of-a-kind methods you could help boom the quantity of moisture within the air for your toddlers.
While misting these houseplants with a twig bottle can help, it often isn’t sufficient to increase the moisture within the air round those humidity-loving tropical natives. Here are a few different methods to keep in mind:
If you’re searching out an excuse to buy now not simply one prayer plant however numerous of them, you’re in success. Grouping these houseplants collectively will help growth the relative humidity around each one.
Prayer flora do recognize a piece of fertilizer, but you’ll need to take a light-passed method on this domain.
Salts from fertilizer can building up in their soil, competing for moisture and even leaving unsightly tip burns on the foliage.
On the opposite hand, in case your prayer plant life are producing small, pale leaves, this will be a sign that they do certainly need fertilizing.
- Provide oblique medium or bright mild.
- Keep properly-draining soil moist however now not soggy.
- Provide more humidity.
Pruning and Maintenance
While marantas, calatheas, stromanthes, and ctenanthes admire more weekly interest than, say, snake flowers or Christmas cactus, they don’t require numerous renovation over the long term.
Even with the first-rate care, prayer vegetation often increase brown hints or leaf edges, and older leaves will fade and die. Any unsightly leaves can be trimmed or removed – they regain their verdant hue.
If you are running with a diseased plant, cross a step further and make certain to easy the scissors with rubbing alcohol or hydrogen peroxide among every reduce.
And even when plant life seem healthful, it’s a very good idea to sterilize your scissors or pruners between specific flowers to save you the unfold of capability pathogens.
When removing a whole leaf, cut all of the manner lower back to the base of the stem. If a leaf has only a tip this is brown, you could trim off the brown tip in preference to removing the complete leaf.
Master Gardener Kathy Warner, writing for the University of Florida Nassau County Extension, explains that pruning leaves can encourage the increase of latest rhizome clumps – an amazing technique to maintain in mind in case you’re inquisitive about propagation.
And if your plant’s foliage ever receives really miserable looking, prayer plant life may be reduce lower back near the soil.
They might also eventually produce a new set of foliage – however handiest, of route, if you determine what the trouble is and are able to and remedy it.
Another bit of lengthy-term care you will must provide is repotting your calathea, maranta, stromanthe, or ctenanthe over time.
Repotting goes hand in hand with suitable watering practices, so I’m going to enter quite a few element in this section so you don’t inadvertently make your prayer vegetation miserable.
When to Repot
The first-rate time to repot your prayer plant is generally in early spring.
However, in case you observe roots rising on the surface of the soil or roots coming out of drainage holes, that’s a signal that the plant is getting pot sure, and it’s a good concept to move in advance and proceed with repotting.
Also, in case your prayer plant is drying out too speedy between waterings – say, in case you constantly locate you need to water it or 3 times every week – it likely desires to be repotted.