The Encyclopedia of House Plants

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Family: Marantaceae.

Maranta leuconeura Common name(s): Prayer Plant Maranta tricolor (Maranta leukoneura erytrophylla)
Maranta Genus of about 20 species of evergreen, rhizomatous perennials from rainforest in tropical Central and South America. The Maranta's (Prayer Plant) leaves fold up at night hence the common name. When dusk falls, their handsomely marked leaves fold up to 'pray'. Ideal temperatures are between 60 and 85 degrees. Dry air will be a problem in winter. Repot in February or March if needed - water sparingly until new growth appears. Two varieties enjoy huge popularity as houseplants. Place in a shaded bed or a window with bright indirect light. Protect from hot sun, dry air and drafts, which cause curling and scorch spots. Need rich, loamy soil, kept constantly moist while growing. In winter, water more lightly and let dry a bit in between. Mist or place pots on wet gravel trays for higher humidity. For strongest leaf markings, feed regularly with diluted liquid fertilizer. Maranta
Growing conditions Watering and misting Propagation
Average warmth.Good indirect light is the proper location - an east- or north-facing windowsill is ideal. Grow in soil-based potting mix. Compost must be kept moist at all times and never allowd to dry out. Misting is necessary. Grow new plants from basal shoots with 2 or 3 leaves, or divide clumps in early spring. Sow seed at 55-64 F (13-18 C) as soon as ripe.
Maranta leuconeura "Erythroneura" (tricolor)
Tiny flowers of maranta. Maranta leuconeura "Erythroneura" (tricolor)
Maranta leuconeura "Marisela"
Syn. var. marisela

Variety with dark green leaves with light-green feathering along the midribs and veins. The undersides are green.

Maranta leuconeura "Marisela"
Maranta leuconeura "Massangeana"
Syn. var. massangeana.

Produces blackish green leaves with silver-gray feathering along the midribs and veins. The undersides are purple.

Maranta leuconeura "Massangeana"

User-submitted additions and corrections:

BC, Canada
24th Jan 2006
Marantas are beautiful, colorful plants that always put on a great display and grow quickly. The only thing to keep in mind is that they like high humidity, which could be a problem in some areas.
United States of America
29th May 2007
I just received mine last wednesday (about 6 days ago) and it is already flowering which I didn't notice when I ordered. What a pleasant surprise!! I have already ordered more plants.
28th Mar 2008
We keep our maranta plants alongside moth orchids on gravel bed & feed with 25% strength plant feed once weekly, results are more than pleasing.Misting of leaves with aired water seems to be benificial also, again weekly in winter but more often in warm weather. All the plants are on table tops in fairly good but not bright light.
27th Apr 2009
The leaves roll up very tightly when the plant is dehydrated. My boss had one that was dying and I watered it twice a week and it is thriving and trying to take over my desk! It also moves on its own: Every once in a while a leaf will twitch, with no outside impetus. I have spoken to several other Maranta owners who say theirs does that too!
15th Jul 2009
Two of three marantas that I have - flovered in past few days. That surprised me and made me happy because I love my marantas. In winter sometimes become a problem dry air in the room where I put them. But in spring when they are out in part shadow they again become wonderful
25th Mar 2010
You need to mist the leaves of your maranta very frequently if the weather is hot or too dry. If the leaves look dull, probably the light is too bright. Put your pot of maranta amongst other plants to give it some protection & you will see they are happy with shiny leaves.
Rockhampton, Australia
19th Oct 2010
Marantas are also quite easy to divide and re-grow! I always make sure to leave the newly divided and potted maranta in about an inch (2.5cm) of water for a week to ensure that all roots are soaked, which ensures that as long as there is at least two roots which are both about three cms long, I will have active growth within the month with no loss of plants. If I have a plant that has broken off unevenly, with little or no roots, I find that hormone powder (or, I assume, gel) works perfectly well. Just dip the clean broken end into the powder, make a hole with your finger and place the plant end in-- do NOT spear the plant end into the wet potting mix, or the powder/gel will slide off. As long as it sits in very waterlogged soil for a fortnight until delicate roots have grown, you should be able to save any rootless pieces. Then re-pot as normal.
cathy c
nsw australia
4th Aug 2011
have a maranta with thick leaves and light and dark green stripes living under skylight in bathroom, loves it, gets watered aprox 2 x week and steam from bathroom, growing really well in that spot in same pot for aprox 5 years.
saudi arabia
24th Nov 2011
This one of my indoor plants which is doing exceptionally well under flourescent light. I have this plant placed under 3 feet of 4o watt flourescent bulb and it is rewarding me with good growth for last 1 year.
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