While Maranta are considered to be low light plants, don’t put them in a low lit spot! In this post I will go through the general care for the Maranta plant and share how to grow it 4 times faster!
It’s impossible to skip on the beauty of the Marantaceae family plants, commonly known as Prayer plants. The most popular members of this family are Maranta, Calathea and Stromanthe plants.
Although all of them have very similar requirements, they still vary species to species.
But why are they called prayer plants? That’s due to a very interesting movement the plant does.
Throughout the day, prayer plants open up their leaves towards the sunlight, following the light source, and they fold them (upwards) during the night – simulating a hand movement similar to praying. Cool, right?
My Maranta story
My first plant of the Marantaceae family was the Maranta Leuconeura know as the Herringbone Plant because of it’s deep pink lines on dark green leaves.
Since the moment I’ve seen this plant for the first time in a Youtube video, I needed to have it. You all get the feeling, right? 😉 …anyway, after just a few weeks I entered in a local supermarket and there they were!! It was love at first sight. I couldn’t believe it! I grabbed one without hesitation and went home beyond happy.
After a few days I returned to pick one up for my mom, too. They were available in the supermarket only during that month and since then I haven’t seen them anywhere else. Lucky, right?
How do you care for a Maranta plant?
Maranta are considered to be low light plants, but is this really true? | Lighting requirements
On one hand, yes, it’s true. I’ve found that my Maranta can tolerate low light areas because she (yes, this one’s a she) got only a couple of hours of sunlight during the day.
Remember how I told you my mom has the same one bought in the same place just a few days apart? Well, she kept her in front of a south facing window (there’s a curtain, so the plant did not get direct sunlight!) all summer long, it had 6-8 hours of bright indirect light throughout the day.
You want to know the difference between hers and mine?
Her Maranta flowered 3-4 times and mine has not flowered once this season. Hers got many more leaves than mine. Although mine doubled the size, hers got even more growth and looks fuller than mine.
It’s true that the Maranta does not need bright indirect light, but it will thrive more if you place it in a spot that gets 4-6 hours of indirect light.
If you have a south facing window without a curtain, I would avoid placing your Maranta there because it’s leaves can easily burn.
Be careful especially during summer when the sun is way stronger. If you have only a south facing window without curtains, place it at least a couple feet away from the window, avoiding direct sunlight.
See the post – 2 things you need to know before buying your first plant! – where I explain direct sunlight and how it can damage your plant.
When should you water your Maranta? | Watering
My Maranta and I have been really good friends from the start and I think that the water did the trick.
I water my Maranta only with distilled water since prayer plants are sensitive to some of the minerals in your regular tap water. You can also use filtered water or rainwater.
Maranta like high humidity, so I left mine in a plastic nursery pot that holds the humidity much longer than terracotta pots, for example. In this way I don’t have to constantly think to water it. Sometimes you gotta make your life easier. 😉
Regardless of the pot type, don’t let the soil to dry out. Water your Maranta when the first couple of cm (1-2cm) feel dry.
One important thing to remember is to have holes on the bottom of the pot so the excess water can drain out. Always throw out the excess water.
If you don’t have drainage holes, over watering can be fatal for your plant.
In case you don’t have drainage holes, either give it less water (in this case you’ll have to water it more often) or drain the excess water yourself.
Trust me, it’s easier to have drainage holes. Your plant will be happier and you’ll be more relaxed.
Do Prayer plants like to be misted? | Humidity
Maranta like it humid but at the same time they are not so sensitive like some types of Calatheas.
Placing it in a more shadowy place (mine is 2m from a west facing window) that gets a few hours of indirect sunlight a day, keeping the soil moist without over watering the plant and misting the leaves in the morning (with distilled water) every couple of days (everyday during summer) keeps my Maranta really happy!
You see how all this things are related, the light requirements, watering requirements and humidity requirements. Depending on where you place your plant and in which type of pot (watering frequency) will affect the humidity levels also.
How do you propagate a Maranta plant? | Propagation
There are 2 ways of propagating a Maranta plant. You can do it simply by division or by cuttings.
If you want to go with the division method, it’s pretty self explanatory. What you need to do here is to take out your plant from the pot and divide it into 2 (or more depending on the size) portions. While you do that be careful not to damage the roots and try to cut them as less as possible.
When you divided your plant, take 2 (or more if you made more divisions) plastic pots and simply pot your plants. It’s that easy!
You can propagate the Maranta plant from cuttings watching it root in water, which is awesome! And this method is easy as well!
As for the majority of other plants that can be propagated by cuttings, you need to cut below the node.
When you got your cuttings, place it in a jar filled with water in a way that the node sits in the water and wait for the magic to happen!
Is the Maranta plant toxic for your pets? | Toxicity
The Maranta plant is considered to be non toxic to cats and dogs.