Prayer Plant varieties can be distinguished from one another by theirmarkings. These vary from irregularly-shaped dark patches to light colouring along the veins. Many have red on their undersides.
The rain forests of tropical Central and South America are the natural habitats of these plants. For this reason they need a good deal of warmth andto survive in cultivation. Because they are forest plants they cannot tolerate direct sunlight, although they do need bright light. Many of them do best in humid conditions.
At sunset, thefold up, closing leaf to leaf, like hands in prayer. Some varieties, however, do not close completely.
Colours and varieties Of the many varieties available, some are more popular than others. Moranta leuconeura ‘Kerchoveana’ is one of the best-known cultivated varieties. It has light green leaves with a pale central stripe and dark brown patches, a characteristic that has resulted in the common name Rabbit Tracks.
‘Erythroneura’ has velvety-green leaves with darker green patches and clearly defined red veins extending from a light green centre. The undersides are marked with reddish-purple. This attractive plant is commonly known as the Red.
M. leuconeura var. leuconeura is also a popular cultivated variety. It has dark green leaves with silvery-green centres and veins. The undersides of the leaves are reddish-purple.
The easiest way toyour Prayer Plant is by division.
1. Divide in spring when you areon the plants for the new season. Carefully pull the plant apart by hand. Cutting may wound the plant.
2. Once the plant is divided, shake each section to remove the old.
3. Use a compost that is airy and well-draining with plenty of organic matter. Mix ¾-parts soil-based compost with ¼ part peat moss. Provide goodby placing gravel or charcoal at the bottom of the pot.
Pests And Diseases
The plant looks generally unhealthy and the leaves begin to turn yellow if suffering from a red spider mite attack.
Treatment: Isolate the plant immediately and spray with an.
The leaves turn brown along the edges if the plant is too cold, stands in a draught or theis too low.
Treatment: If it is too cold, move to a warmer. If low humidity is causing the problem, mist spray more frequently.
Leaves droop and turn yellow or brown if the plant is too dry.
Prevention: The Prayer Plant needs to be watered generously during the summer; don’t let the compost try out.
Some varieties are fairly easy, so long as you give them a little attention, particularly warmth and humidity during the growing season.
- : Repot in spring, using a light, well-draining mixture of soil-based compost mixed with peat moss.
- Water generously in summer and mist often. Water sparingly in winter.
- Feeding: Feed every other week in summer using half the recommended strength of a standard liquid fertilizer. Do not in winter.
BEST GROWTH ENVIRONMENT
- Light: The plant thrives in a bright but will not tolerate direct sun, so place in a partially shaded position.
- Temperature: Normal room temperatures are suitable in summer. In winter, keep at about 15°C (60 °F).
- Prayer Plant is available from garden centres and nurseries throughout the year.
- Choose a plant with healthy leaves and good clear colour. Avoid any plants with pale or withered leaves.
- In ideal conditions the plant will last for many years, but it is best to divide it every three years to maintain its vigour.
Prayer Plants are grown for their attractive foliage, which has unusual and often spectacular markings. It takes its name from the fact that the leaves fold up at night, like hands in prayer.