Prayer plants (Maranta leuconeura) are a beautiful houseplant and are really easy to grow, keep alive, and propagate!
Calatheas and maranta are often referred to as Prayer Plants.
I love the variegated leaves of my prayer plant. The pink and red is really beautiful and unique. There are more than 50 types of prayer plants, so if you love them – collect a few!
Prayer plants are so called because the leaves often fold in half at night, like praying hands.
Prayer plants can grow up to 12 inches tall with leaves as long as 5 inches each!
I actually have six prayer plants – all grown from cuttings from my mom’s one plant!
The best thing about these plants is how easy they are to propagate! Take a few prayer plant cuttings and give it a try yourself.
How to propagate prayer plants
It is super easy to grow prayer plants from stem cuttings.
Where do you cut a prayer plant to propagate?
Cut just below the first node of a stem. The leaf node is a little bump where the plant will grow roots in water.
Roots will grow from the nodes, so cutting just below them means the roots will grow at the base of your cutting.
Remove any lower leaves that will fall in the water. In general, I prefer to leave only 1-2 leaves per stem – you want the plant’s energy to focus on growing roots, not keeping leaves alive.
Wet the stem about 1 inch and dip in rooting hormone for best results.
Place the stem in water to propagate. I use this test tube wall propagation station!
You can also place a plastic bag or container (like a 2 liter plastic bottle with the top cut off) over it to create a “greenhouse,” increase humidity, and potentially speed up the rooting process.
Once the roots have developed, you can plant it in potting mix. Place the plant carefully – it prefers bright, indirect light. Water thoroughly but don’t let water sit in the soil and get soggy.
Prayer Plant Care
Prayer plants do best in bright, indirect sunlight. They do OK in low light, but flourish with indirect light.
It is important that your pot have good drainage so they do not get soggy roots after watering. Either add lots of pebbles to the bottom of your pot or select a pot with a drainage hole.
Prayer plants prefer humidity so you can use a spray bottle to mimic that if your home is not naturally humid.
Other ways to encourage humidity include placing your prayer plant near other plants and placing a small bowl of water nearby.
Frequently Asked Questions about prayer plants
Should I mist my prayer plant?
Yes! Misting your prayer plant gives it the humidity it craves.
Why does my prayer plant have brown tips?
Brown spots on prayer plant leaves are caused by either not enough water (humidity or otherwise) OR too much sun.
If your plant turns brown, look to see if the brown looks crispy. If so, it’s probably sun burn! If it’s more limp, it’s low on water!
What insects get into prayer plants?
Prayer plants can house spider mites, mealybugs and aphids, so be sure to check any plants that have been outdoors before bringing them into the house.
Can I divide prayer plants?
Yes! Root division is another great way to turn a large prayer plant into multiple plants.
Simply remove your plant from its pot and gently separate the roots. Once you have broken the plant up into your desired pieces, repot in new pots!
Time to start propagating your prayer plants!