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Now I know some of you read the title and were like “easy prayer plants!? What!? I have heard that these are such nightmares!”
Prayer plants commonly encompass 5 different varieties of plants. They are Geoperttia Stromanthe, Ctenanthe, Maranta, and Calathea. By far Calathea is the one that gets the most notoriety for its difficulty but there are easy specific plants in every one of these categories. Today we are going to be talking about 5 of these plants.
Prayer plants are actually called Prayer plants because their foliage moves up and down throughout the day in order to capture light and to facilitate water movement on their foliage. They are understory plants so they tend to capture all of the water that falls from above and move it to wherever they need. Because of this, they are high humidity-loving plants and they love to be watered.
If you have a humid home and if you are somebody who likes to water your plants quite frequently this will be one of those varieties for you. This is also why Prayer Plants get the notoriety for being such difficult plants. A lot of them do not like to dry out. As long as other plants tend to. For example, if you are very good with Cacti and Succulents you probably will not enjoy taking care of a Calathea or a Maranta simply because they need a lot more care and attention. They grow more quickly though. So with more work, there is more reward.
The first and easiest on this particular list is going to be Maranta in general. There are Red Vein Maranta, Lemon Lime Maranta with green venations, Variegated Maranta(Beauty Kim), and Rabbit Tracks Maranta(Green Maranta). There are quite a few varieties of these plants and they all are able to dry out for you.
You will notice their leaves tend to sit a little lower and don’t move up and down as often when they need water. Sometimes the foliage can feel a little bit thinner if you let them dry out a little too much. These plants love to be heavily watered but then you let them dry out.
They can also handle a little bit more light and will grow a little bit more quickly with more light. If you start to notice any crisping on the ends generally it is then being underwatered or just a little too much light. So you want to give them a little bit more water if their soil is dry and then just pull them back from the window a little bit.
They do get these big beautiful leaves. The longer you don’t chop them back the bigger the foliage will grow for you. This is one of the particular prayer plant varieties that you can chop. It has nodes and you can propagate in water as well. All of the other ones on this particular list you cannot do that with.
Next, we have the Pinstripe Calathea. They have these big spear-shaped leaves. They are darker foliage with a bright pink venation. When they come in they are actually a green color with this vibrant pink and then they fade to this darker-looking color and it has almost what looks like pinstripes on them. I think they look almost like the brush strokes of a paintbrush personally. It is a very interesting plant.
This plant does not like to dry out very often. So when it does become dry on the top you want to make sure that you’re giving it more water. This plant grows through corms these big rhizomes on the bottom and they can rot if they sit in water too long. So you want to have a well-draining mix maybe with a little bit of sphagnum moss in there to hold some of that moisture for a little longer. You definitely do not want them constantly sitting in water because they will rot and the foliage will fall off.
Overall it is a very fast-growing plant. It can double in size within 6 months if given the right care requirements. Another thing to note about Calathea in general and Geoperttia
is they like heat. They come from a tropical environment. So they prefer a hot, humid, home. This specific variety can handle a little bit more light as well.
Ctenanthe Burle Marx
These plants have kind of oddly shaped foliage. They are one of the only varieties of purple plants to have a little tail at the end of their foliage. It is in the center and it’s almost like a tiny manta ray tail is kind of sticking out of the end of the foliage. It is very interesting to see.
The foliage is all green with a paler green on the bottom and a darker green on the top. It is fascinating to see the contrasting shades of green. They also do not sit very tall and tend to be a little bit more compact and lower to the ground comparatively. Each individual plant tends to grow in more of a “v” like shape instead of a circular clumping shape like other Marantaceae.
This plant is fairly inexpensive and it grows very quickly. You can let it dry out and it does not get the crispy tips very often. It is not super sensitive to water. You just give It whatever kind of water you have whenever it’s dry and just want to grow it’ll grow very quickly especially if you are in a humid and warm climb I’m climbing
This particular plant actually has fuzzy leaves! So when you touch the foliage it will have fuzz on it. Covered in little tiny hairs that you can barely see with the naked eye. They also have a little bit on the top of the stem.
This plant gets very wide and very tall and it grows very quickly. Especially once it is established. You can also chop off little bits of the corms and you can grow baby plants of this particular Calathea. Very easy to propagate this way. You just place the cut in some spaghetti moss and keep it in a highly humid area and it will grow very quickly for you. It is an incredible thing to watch.
They are lower-light tolerant plants. You don’t have to give them a lot of light. If you give them more light they will grow better for you though. They just might lose some of that color on the backing if given too much. That is another thing to note.
The hairs on the foliage are actually to collect water and to protect them from the sunlight so they can handle a little bit more light. If you mist them while you are indoors though keep in mind those hairs will trap that water and you can get different bacterial and fungal infections. So this is not a plant that I would recommend missing and missing
Its bright green vibrant leaves are almost circular shapes they’re absolutely gorgeous and they have a very subtle silver green variegation to them. It’s really a gorgeous plant and these leaves can get huge! This plant grows quickly.
It is another one of those that you can allow to dry out and water when it looks sad essentially. Also, this is one of those plants that even if you divide it and chop it back. As long as you give it hot and humid conditions it will grow back quickly for you.
The one caveat is if you give it too much light. It will burn the tips of this particular plant. So just keep in mind it is a lower light plant and it needs to slowly acclimate to that higher light until it’s getting what it needs just to prevent that burning. If the leaves do burn though, it is a fast-growing plant. You can always chop them off and see more new growth very quickly from this plant perfectly.
Calathea gets a lot of hate out there. They are not portrayed as easy-care plants for the most part. A lot of new beginner plant parents become intimidated by this plant because they have heard so many horror stories from previous plant parents and especially from more experienced plant parents. Our intent is to show that there are a lot of easier care prayer plants out there. And that you don’t have to be intimidated by them.
There are prayer plants out there that are going to fit your aesthetic and your caregiving means. A lot of times the reason why prayer plants don’t survive is that there is a lot of information out there that is wrong as far as prayer plant care goes. There are a lot of articles out there that say that prayer plants need to be constantly kept wet and these ones don’t. So if you constantly keep them in a puddle instead of some type of soil with oxygen and airflow then it’s not going to work. They are going to not survive for you and I think that’s where a lot of the struggle and myths come from.