Prayer Plant Problems


A prayer plant is a little more difficult to maintain than the common spider plant or ivy. In spite of its high maintenance, problems that arise in a prayer plant can show up in any house plant and have similar causes.

Burned/Brown Leaves

Burned-looking or brown leaves are an indication of overfertilization, dryness or low room temperature. A prayer plant requires an evening temperature of 65 degrees Fahrenheit and uniformly moist soil. They should be fertilized just once a month during times of new growth and not at all in the winter.

Yellowing/Dropping Leaves

Too much water, compact soil, lack of drainage or exposure to gas fumes can cause leaves to turn yellow or drop. Plants need to be watered before the soil cracks from excessive drying. Do not water if the soil is slimy or sticky; there is already an excess of water and possible root damage occurring.

Odd Leaf Growth

New leaves can sometimes develop with lengthy internodes or appear small. This can occur because of water type, high room temperatures or a lack of light. Softened water should not be used to water houseplants; rain water, tap water or melted snow work best.


  • University of Missouri Extension: Caring for Houseplants
Keywords: prayer plant problems, yellowing house plants, browning prayer plant

About this Author

Based in Defiance, Ohio, Becky Martinez has seven years of reporting experience, having written numerous articles for two newspapers, "The Crescent News" and "The Bryan Times." She has a Master of Arts in English from Ohio University, Athens, Ohio, and has taken three creative writing courses since obtaining that degree.

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