Prayer Plant

Maranta leuconeura

Maranta leuconeura, also known as a Prayer Plant, is native to the rainforests of Brazil. Prayer plants are known for their uncanny ability to follow the sun throughout the day by opening and moving their leaves to maximize their sun exposure. At night, they fold their leaves up to rest. This up and down movement is where the Prayer Plant’s nickname is derived from and sets an interesting spectacle during the day. Prayer Plants make for a fun and colorful indoor plant because of its natural movement and vibrant foliage patterns.


Prayer Plants grow best where they get medium to bright, indirect light. Being the tropical plants that they are, Maranta should be watered regularly so that the soil is always at least lightly moist but never dry. Both too frequent and infrequent watering will result in burnt leaves and an unhappy plant.

Care Tips

Maranta leuconeura

Although plant parents tend to have their own parenting style and each plant’s needs are different, our plant experts have a few suggestions they’ve found to be helpful overall:


The Maranta prefers medium to bright, indirect light and is sensitive to direct sunlight.


The Maranta prefer to be moist but not wet or saturated. From our experience, it is easy to over water plants so make sure to feel the dirt by pressing your finger 2 inches in the soil. Yellow leaves are a sign of over watering so if you see them, scale down the amount of water.


Marantas prefer temperatures of 65⁰ to 85⁰.


A very light feeder, apply a balanced houseplant fertilizer at half strength once every 1 - 3 months.

Fun Facts

  1. Circadian Rhythm: The Maranta’s famous movements are a product of it’s circadian rhythm, or internal clock. Circadian rhythms are biological habits and patterns that attune to a 24 hour cycle (like people’s sleep/wake cycle).
  2. Prayer Hands: One theory that explains why the Maranta’s leaves return to an upright position at night is to retain moisture and prevent water collection on leaves to reduce the potential of leaf rot.
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