Houseplant of the Week: Prayer Plant

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In the evening, if you look at the beautiful Prayer Plant, you’ll get a clue as to how this hardy native of Central and South America came by its name. Each night the plant’s leaves close together, resembling hands folded in prayer.

Prayer plants are relatively easy to grow, but have a few specific items you want to look out for – including susceptibility to some common houseplant pests.

Caring for Your Prayer Plant

  • Prayer Plants will tolerate low light conditions, but if you really want to see it thrive, give it bright, indirect light.
  • This is a plant of the Central and South American tropics, which means it likes its humidity. Keep its soil moist but not soggy and give it a spritz with a mister a couple of times a week.
  • It’s also a bit of a foodie, so satisfy its hunger with an all-purpose fertilizer every couple of weeks during its main growing time from spring through fall.
  • In winter, you can stop fertilizing and let the soil dry out a bit as it will be dormant, but it still needs some misting to keep it happy. In fact, you might want to do it every day given how dry our heated homes can get.
  • Prayer plants are easy to propagate through division or stem clippings during the spring. If part of your plant breaks off, dip it in some rooting hormone and place in distilled water. Change the water daily and when the roots are about an inch long, you can replant it.
  • Unfortunately, Prayer Plants are prone to things like spider mites, mealybugs and aphids, so it’s a good idea to check on your houseplant for pests during watering and feeding intervals.