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Prayer Plant

Maranta Leuconeura

Showy leaves that are hard to ignore, wonderful small purple flowers, this south American beauty is enchanting. Related to Calathea, it goes to sleep every night folding its leaves like hands in a prayer.

Plant Care

Light

Light to medium shade best described by East or West facing window. Avoid direct sunlight.

Watering

Keep moist but not soggy in summer. Reduce water during winter month, allow the soil to dry between each watering.

Humidity and temperature

Mist leaves more frequently during hot days with lukewarm water. At room temperature mist once every two weeks. Mist in winter if the room gets particularly warm. Do not allow temperature to drop below 10°C (50°F).

Feeding and repotting

Feed from April – August with diluted liquid fertiliser every two weeks. Spring is also a good time for repotting. It won't be necessary to do so frequently, if the plant gets crowded divide it up and re-use the same pot.

SOS

Quick guide to common problems and how to deal with them.

Soft and limp leaves.

A sign of over watering. At this stage it is best to check if root rot is present and if it is, take as many healthy cuttings as you can find. If, however you can still see white roots then place the earth ball on a saucer to allow for good air circulation and a chance for the plant to dry out.

Dry foliage or leaves with dry edges.

A sign of low humidity and a result of under watering. To speed up recovery increase watering and misting. Ensure fine mister is used, since sitting water on the foliage causes fungal and bacterial growth.

Leaves turned dull bronze and dropping, noticeable webs appear.

The most likely culprits are red spider mites. They are most active between March - October and love dry environments. Take the infected plant out immediately. Make sure to check all your other plants for cross contamination. Remove the plant from the pot and wash out the soil until the roots clean. Clean your pot thoroughly. Repot the fern in fresh soil and keep quarantined until the plant is re-established and new growth appears. Ensure the soil is kept moist to avoid new infestation. Return the plant to its original place once you are confident the problem has been conquered.

Shrivelled leaves.

A sign of sun scorch and dehydration. Move the plant into filtered light and slowly increase humidity and water.

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