Originally from the rain forests of Central and South America, prayer plants thrive in the home as houseplants when provided proper lighting and adequate humidity. Variegated leaves fold up or close at night, giving the appearance of praying hands. As a traditional houseplant, this plant can be grown in offices or waiting rooms to enhance the atmosphere with its attractive foliage. Original plants sported rich green foliage spotted with dark patches, but plant breeders have developed many cultivars that differ in color and markings.
Select a shallow plant pot for prayer plants, as they develop a shallow root system.
Mix equal parts peat moss, potting soil and perlite to make your own potting mixture that promotes good drainage and provides adequate aeration for roots.
Fill the pot 1/2 to 3/4 full with the potting mixture and place the prayer plant to the original planting depth. Fill in around the roots with soil and firm down to secure the plant.
Water thoroughly until water runs free of the bottom of the pot.
Place the prayer plant in an area that receives indirect light. These plants thrive in low light and can be placed several feet from a window. Too much light damages foliage and stresses the plant.
Water to keep soil evenly moist during the summer months and slightly dry through the winter.
Fertilize with water-soluble fertilizer designed for houseplants every 14 to 21 days from May to September when the plant is actively growing. Cease fertilizing in the fall to allow the plant to rest.
Maintain temperatures between 60 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit and keep away from cold drafts.
Place on pebble trays filled with water or mist foliage daily to increase humidity during dry winter months.