How to Take Care of Prayer Plants

Overview

Gardeners with an indoor location that receives indirect lighting might select a prayer plant to add a distinctive touch of greenery. With its wide and variegated leaves, often showing highlights of white or red, the prayer plant's name is appropriate because at night this distinctive plant folds up its leaves as in in prayer. Provide a growing environment with average humidity levels and give water and fertilizer regularly, and a prayer plant will thrive in your home.

Step 1

Select a shallow planting container between 2 and 4 inches larger than the root system of the prayer plant to allow for adequate growth of the shallow root system. Fill the container approximately half full with potting soil, and then place the prayer plant into the container so the crown of the plant will sit just below the rim of the container. Fill additional potting soil in around the plant roots to finish planting it, and tamp the soil down firmly with your hands.

Step 2

Place the prayer plant into a location that receives at least four hours of indirect sunlight each day. Placing the plant between 4 and 8 feet away from a sunny window will provide adequate indirect sunlight. Keep the prayer plant in an environment with temperatures ranging between 60 F and 85 F.

Step 3

Provide water enough to keep the soil evenly moist, but do not water to the point of soggy soil. Water the prayer plant with room-temperature water. Allow the soil to dry slightly between waterings during the winter dormancy period.

Step 4

Fertilize the prayer plant two times per month by mixing the fertilizer with water according to package recommendations for the size of your planting container. Pour the fertilizer over the soil carefully, without splashing fertilizer onto the foliage as you apply it. Fertilize the plant between the months of April and October and suspend fertilization during the winter months to allow the plant to enter dormancy.

Step 5

Mist the plant every day or every other day during the winter months to help increase the humidity level around the prayer plant. An alternative to misting is to fill a shallow dish with gravel and water, and place the container under the prayer plant container. As the water evaporates, it will create a more humid environment for the prayer plant.

Step 6

Prune a prayer plant in the spring and in the autumn using the pruning shears. Remove any discolored leaves, and any other leaves that make the plant larger than you desire, by clipping the leaves and stems off where the stems connect with the plant.

Things You'll Need

  • Potting soil (well-draining)
  • Planting container (with drainage holes)
  • All-purpose fertilizer (water-soluble)
  • Spray bottle (filled with water)
  • Shallow dish
  • Gravel
  • Pruning shears

References

  • University of Florida: Houseplants
  • Purdue University: Indoor Plant Care
Keywords: prayer plant, growing environment, variegated leaves

About this Author

Kathryn Hatter is a 42-year-old veteran homeschool educator and regular contributor to Natural News. She is an accomplished gardener, seamstress, quilter, painter, cook, decorator, digital graphics creator and she enjoys technical and computer gadgets. She began writing for Internet publications in 2007. She is interested in natural health and hopes to continue her formal education in the health field (nursing) when family commitments will allow.