Prayer Plant

Plants, found in homes, add beauty and interest to the location where they are placed. Today many beautiful plants are traditionally located outdoors in gardens or on patios are found indoors where they can continue to be enjoyed for a longer period of time. Some of these plants that are now being carried indoors have characteristics that make them different from other plants. The plants that are generally considered outdoor plants are often referred to as exotic houseplants. The Prayer Plant is a houseplant that falls into this category.

The Prayer Plant, also known as Maranta leuconeura, gets its common name from a trait that makes it different from most houseplants and categorizes it as an exotic houseplant. This small tropical plant, native to Brazil will fold its broad, oval leaves upward at night, giving the impression that it could be praying.

Caring for the Prayer Plant is not any more difficult than caring for most houseplants. This exotic houseplant has the same needs as most plants. These needs are light, water, soil and fertilizer. The difference between these needs is usually the amount of each of that the plant requires.

Light requirements needed to keep this plant happy and healthy are fairly easy. Light for this plant can range from full shade to bright filtered light. But, the Prayer Plants does best in morning light. Watering requirements for this exotic houseplant may be a little more difficult than the light requirements. The soil of the Prayer Plant should not be allowed to dry out, but it should not be over watered either. During the winter months, the soil should be allowed to dry out more than during the other seasons. Misting daily also helps keep the humidity correct for this plant.

The Prayer Plant, when used as an exotic houseplant also has requirements that it needs concerning the pot it is planted in as well as the soil mixture. Prayer Plants have shallow root systems so they should be planted in shallow pots. The soil mixture to use is two parts peat moss, one part loam and one part sand or perlite. Repot when needed.

Prayer Plants not only have beautiful and interesting foliage, they also have beautiful blooms. These blooms are small white flowers with purple spots. These blooms may also be blue and violet or violet and lavender. Humidity is required for these exotic houseplants to bloom, so make certain that the temperature is warm and be sure to mist the plant daily.

Division is the propagation technique that works best for this exotic houseplant. After dividing the plant, place the new plants in shallow pots with the same soil mixture that is used for the parent plant and soon the new plant will be as beautiful as the parent plant is.

With the Prayer Plant, meeting its needs is an important part of keeping it a beautiful part of your home, whether it is inside on a window ledge or outside on the patio. For more information on this exotic houseplant, visit www.plantoftheweek.org or www.davesgarden.com.

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