How to Propagate a Prayer Plant

Overview

The prayer plant is a stunning house plant, with its big, deep green green foliage marked with colorful red veins. It's appropriately named because the leaves fold up at night like praying hands. Prayer plants are fairly easy to maintain, as long as they have sunlight and adequate humidity. If you have access to a healthy prayer plant, it's easy to start a new plant by taking a cutting.

Step 1

Fill a small planting container with good quality houseplant potting soil. Any container with a drainage hole in the bottom will work.

Step 2

Choose a young, sturdy leaf that shows no signs of wilting or drooping, and use a sharp knife to remove a four to six inch stem. Make the cut just below a leaf. Pinch the leaves off the lower half of the stem cutting, and leave the upper leaves intact.

Step 3

Dip about half an inch of the cut end of the stem cutting in rooting hormone. Make a hole in the potting soil, and plant the cutting in the hole. Tamp the soil down carefully, and try not to scrape off too much of the rooting hormone. You can plant several cuttings in a pot, but the leaves shouldn't touch, because they can rot.

Step 4

Mist the soil well, and place a plastic bag upside down over the pot. Attach the bag to the pot with a rubber band. If the plastic is touching the leaves, put a few stakes in the soil to hold the bag up and away.

Step 5

Make sure the environment in the plastic bag is humid at all times. The plastic bag will keep moisture in like a greenhouse, but if you notice the soil is getting dry, remove the bag and spray the soil.

Step 6

Put the container in a warm place where it will get indirect sunlight. Never put the cuttings in direct sunlight, especially a windowsill, because as long as the cutting is under plastic, it will be too hot.

Step 7

Check after two to three weeks to see if the cuttings have taken root. You can check for tiny roots coming through the drainage hole, or you can carefully pull out a cutting and replace it. When the roots are at least an inch long, remove the container from the plastic bag and transplant it to a larger pot.

Step 8

Feed the prayer plant a water soluble houseplant fertilizer after it's established in its new pot, and once a month thereafter. In spring and summer the feedings can be increased to every other week.

Step 9

Put the prayer plant in indirect light. Keep the soil consistently moist, and don't allow it to dry out between watering.

Things You'll Need

  • Potting soil for houseplants
  • Planting container
  • Sharp knife
  • Rooting hormone
  • Zip-lock bag
  • Rubber band
  • Larger planting container
  • Water soluble houseplant fertilizer

References

  • Asexual Plant Propagation
  • How To Grow Prayer Plants ( Maranta leucoreura ) & Prayer Plant Propagation
  • Home Propagation of Houseplants
Keywords: stem cutting, prayer plant, potting soil

About this Author

M.H. Dyer is a long-time writer, editor and proofreader. She has been a contributor to the East-Oregonian Newspaper and See Jane Run magazine, and is author of a memoir, “The Tumbleweed Chronicles, a Sideways Look at Life." She holds an Master of Fine Arts from National University, San Diego.