What Is A Prayer Plant (Maranta leuconeura)?
A prayer plant is a beautiful houseplant with eye-catching leaves. It is native to Brazil’s tropical forests where it blooms in the spring. As a houseplant, it does not often bloom. However, its striking leaves are attractive enough for many people to keep them in their homes and proudly display them.
A prayer plant will thrive even in low light. However, when its requirements are not fully met, it will start to die and hence it will need reviving.
Prayer plants are called prayer plants because of the way their leaves fold together at night, which resembles the way many Christians put their hands together to pray.
Prayer plants typically grow about 30 cm tall and have oval leaves with fascinating markings. Their leaves/foliage makes them perfect for potting and putting in hanging baskets or on tables, office desks, or display shelves.
Causes Of Prayer Plant Death And How To Address Them (How To Revive A Prayer Plant)
When you notice wilting leaves in your prayer plant, just know that it needs prayers because it is dying. Wilting leaves are a sign that there is something wrong with your plant. Something that you need to address. Below are the most common causes of wilting leaves and death in prayer plants plus how to address them
Prayer plants prefer soil that is evenly moist in summer and slightly moist during winter. When you underwater them, they start wilting and drying and then eventually die. Under-watering is simply not giving plants enough water. Overwatering is also a problem. When you give prayer plants too much water, their roots will start rotting and they won’t absorb enough water. This will also lead to wilting and dying.
If you believe poor watering is the reason why your prayer plant is dying, you can revive it by adopting good watering practices. For example, you should only add water to your prayer plant after doing the finger soil test for moisture. This will ensure you do not overwater your prayer plant. Adding water until water starts draining out through drainage holes is also a good watering practice because it ensures the soil is evenly moist and, therefore, dries out slowly.
Many people unwittingly position their prayer plants close to a heat source thinking that they are giving their plants the warmth they need to survive. While this is done with good intentions, it is often the reason behind low humidity around prayer plants.
Prayer plants are tropical plants that thrive in high humidity. They usually start wilting in low humidity. To tell if the air around your prayer plant has low humidity, buy a cheap (or expensive) humidity meter from Amazon or any other place and use it. If the air around your prayer plant has low moisture, get a humidifier, and place it near your plant to automatically humidify the air around your plant. This will revive your wilting plant if low humidity is its only problem.
3.Too Much Sunlight
Being tropical plants, there is no doubt that prayer plants love the sun. However, they do not want too much sunlight. Because excessive sunlight will dry them up and make them start wilting and dying. This is why most people plant or position their potted prayer plants somewhere where they can only get indirect sunlight.
If your plant is exposed to hours of direct sunlight daily, this could be the reason behind the fact that it needs reviving right now. To know for sure, look at the edges of its leaves. Are they curling? Are they browning? If yes, then relocate your prayer plant or put a shade over it to make sure it is not exposed to excessive sunlight. This is the only way you can revive a prayer plant struggling because of excessive sunlight.
Pests are among the most common causes of wilting and death in prayer plants. So if your prayer plant is wilting, drying, and dying, just know that it could be under the attack of a pest or pests. The most common prayer plant pests are aphids, spider mites, and mealybugs. They attack leaves and suck out their sap making them unhealthy and hence the wilting. Some pests leave honeydew on leaves, which causes sooty mold.
If you suspect the reason why your prayer plant is wilting or dying is a pest, you can revive your plant by applying neem oil to the affected parts of your plant or applying insecticidal soap. These natural pests repel and kill various types of pests.
Prayer plant care tips
You now know the common causes of prayer plant death and how to deal with them to revive a prayer plant. In this section, you will learn all the important prayer plant care tips.
1.Add Pebbles To Your Prayer Plant Pot.
The next time you repot your prayer plant, make sure you add pebbles as the bottom layer of your prayer plant pot. This will enhance aeration and improve drainage. In other words, it will minimize the likelihood of root rot occurring.
2.Water Your Prayer Plant Only In The Morning.
Watering your plant only in the morning allows your plant the whole day to absorb moisture and ensures excess moisture is evaporated by the sun and the wind. In contrast, watering any other time increases the risk of waterlogging and root rot because of low evaporation.
3.Remove Dust From Your Prayer Plant Leaves.
Every two weeks, you should remove dust from your prayer plant leaves. You should do this by wiping the leaves using a damp cloth. Doing this, will make your prayer plant look healthy and at the same time hydrate them.
4.Locate Your Prayer Plant Away From Windows During Winter.
Cold drafts from windows during winter can result in prayer plants withering and browning. So protect your prayer plant by moving your prayer plant away from windows to somewhere a bit warmer during winter.
5.Feed Your Prayer Plant Biweekly.
Get a good houseplant fertilizer to feed your prayer plant biweekly if you want it to grow strong and have healthy and shiny foliage. If you do not feed your houseplant, it will not have the nutrients it needs to thrive.
6.Prune Your Prayer Plant.
To encourage bushy and more attractive growth, you should prune your plant twice or thrice a year. Follow YouTube videos on pruning to make sure you do the right thing.
Prayer plants are popular houseplants because of their unique and stunning foliage. However, they need good care. Without good care, they can start wilting or withering and dying. Causes of wilting and dying include poor irrigation practices, pests, and so on. You now know them and you now know how to deal with them and revive your prayer plant.