How to Propagate Prayer Plants in 2 Easy Steps

Prayer crops (Maranta leuconeura) are a crowd-favorite, gaining reputation lately for his or her artistically painted leaves and fascinating patterns. The shapes of the leaves are additionally fairly fascinating, particularly after they transfer between day and evening in ‘prayer.’

There are two simple methods to propagate these great crops, permitting you to dot them round your own home or share them with fellow plant lovers. You don’t want any specialised instruments or information to get began. Merely comply with these simple steps, and double your inventory in a single afternoon!

About Prayer Vegetation

This title comes from the motion of the leaves – they lie flat within the day, closing at evening as if in prayer.

As with many frequent names, ‘prayer plant’ can imply various things, relying on who you ask. To get any confusion out of the way in which, we’re referring to Maranta leuconeura right here and never any Calatheas with the identical frequent title.

This fascinating frequent title comes from the motion of the leaves all through the day. They lie comparatively flat when the solar is up, however transfer fairly noticeably and shut up at evening, virtually as if in prayer – therefore the title.

The motion is called nyctinasty and makes for a beautiful indoor show, particularly for visitors who might not have seen leaves transfer with a lifetime of their very own earlier than.

The leaves of Maranta leuconeura are extremely distinctive. They give the impression of being virtually synthetic, with colourful stripes and patches of sunshine inexperienced within the heart that look too good to be actual. Completely different varieties additionally function barely totally different colours and patterns, such because the purple prayer plant with memorable pink pinstripes.

This, mixed with their fascinating motion, has made these crops important additions to fashionable houseplant collections.

In the best situations, these members of the Marantaceae household also can produce small white flowers. They don’t typically flower when grown as houseplants, however the primary attraction is the leaves.

Why Propagate Prayer Vegetation?

Close-up of Maranta Leuconeura 'Lemon Lime' in a white decorative pot. The leaves of the Lemon Lime variety have an elongated oval shape with a pointed tip, and their appearance resembles an artist's color palette. The main color of the leaves is lime green. Thin veins of dark green color run along the surface of the leaves.
Given their magnificence and ease of care, prayer crops are well-liked, and also you would possibly need to propagate them.

Contemplating their spectacular aesthetic worth and relative ease of care, it’s simple to see why prayer crops are so well-liked. After getting one, you’ll possible need to develop much more to unfold round your own home or share with family and friends.

However they are often powerful to seek out, relying on which selection you’re on the lookout for. They typically promote out, and the specialised cultivars are normally expensive, or a minimum of expensive sufficient to cease you from shopping for a number of without delay. Fortunately, you don’t must spend any extra cash if you’ll find only one.

As they develop comparatively shortly, propagating throughout the rising season every year is sort of all the time doable, permitting you to develop extra of those sought-after crops constantly. I wish to pop cuttings in vases whereas they develop roots to double as ornamental options earlier than potting them up.

When To Propagate Prayer Vegetation

Close-up of a Maranta leuconeura 'Tricolor' in front of a white background. The plant is lush, produces long stems with large oval leaves of dark green color, with intricate patterns. The surface of the leaves has fine pinkish veins and creamy green strokes along the central vertical vein.
For optimum propagation, goal spring to the top of summer time for fast root progress resulting from heat temperatures.

Like most houseplants, the perfect time to propagate is from spring by means of to the top of summer time. Heat temperatures encourage the quickest root progress, providing you with time to transplant earlier than any potential temperature drops that will sluggish progress over fall and winter.

Nevertheless, this common window isn’t a strict rule. Probably the greatest issues about rising houseplants is which you can management the setting to get the crops to do what you need. To propagate over fall and winter, maintain the pot or glass within the warmest room in the home, and also you shouldn’t have any bother propagating.

Wait to divide new seedlings till you’re able to repot the plant. This allows you to full two duties without delay, providing you with two full and plush sections to replant.

What Propagation Methodology Is Greatest?

Close-up of Maranta leuconeura 'Tricolor' in a white flowerpot. The plant forms thin stems with large oval dark green leaves. The leaves have pink thin veins and pale green strokes near the midrib.
For prayer plant propagation, select between cuttings and division primarily based on plant measurement and energy desire.

You may have two fundamental choices when propagating prayer crops – cuttings and division. Each are simple to finish and ship dependable outcomes. Base the strategy you select on the dimensions of your plant and the way a lot effort you’re keen to place into the propagation course of.

Division is the perfect route in case you have a big plant and are proud of one or two further crops. The crops will instantly look extra mature than rising from cuttings, which is good for impatient gardeners that favor to not wait round for cuttings to fill out in a container.

The established root system additionally means you may care in your new crops as regular after repotting with none specialised care or transplanting wanted.

If you wish to develop a number of prayer crops concurrently, stem cuttings are higher. You may take away a number of cuttings without delay to extend your probabilities of success and develop way more crops yr after yr than for those who waited to divide. As talked about, additionally they look nice in vases whereas they develop roots, permitting you to watch their progress and benefit from the foliage concurrently.

How To Propagate Prayer Vegetation From Cuttings

In case you select the cuttings route, you’ll want a pointy pair of shears. Clear them earlier than you begin to keep away from transferring dangerous micro organism, particularly for those who’ve just lately pruned diseased crops. The opposite supplies will rely upon whether or not you’re propagating in water or soil, however you must have all the things you want already for those who’re an everyday propagator and indoor gardener.

Select A Stem

Close-up of a Prayer Plant leaf in a pot. The leaf is large, oval in shape, with an intricate pattern. The base color of the leaf is dark green, the veins are thin pale green, with pale green strokes along the central vein.
Select a wholesome stem with leaves, find nodes, and make cautious cuts for prayer plant propagation.

The best slicing begins with the best stem. It ought to have a few leaves and no indicators of illness or harm. The more healthy the stem, the upper your probabilities of fast rooting.

Then, you’ll must establish the nodes alongside the stem earlier than slicing. The nodes are the little bumps within the stem that comprise tissues that enable the slicing to develop roots. In case you reduce within the mistaken place and not using a node, your slicing will possible die off as a substitute of rooting.

The nodes alongside a prayer plant might be recognized by working your finger alongside the stem to really feel for the bumps. You can even search for factors the place a single stem splits into a number of leaves. Together with three or 4 leaves will assist roots develop faster, however even a stem with a single leaf can root underneath the best situations.

Trim The Stem

Close-up of a Prayer Plant cutting on a wooden table. The cutting has a long stem with a large oval leaf. The leaf is dark green in color, with cream and dark strokes along the central vein. The veins are thin, pinkish-red.
Trim the stem just under the recognized node utilizing shears, making a clear reduce to guard each the mother or father plant and the slicing.

Utilizing your shears, reduce the stem off just under the node you recognized. I like to chop round half an inch to an inch beneath the node to forestall any potential node harm. Your reduce ought to be clear to keep away from harm to the mother or father plant and the bottom of your slicing.

In case your plant is massive sufficient, search for a few areas to chop. It’s useful to decide on stems on reverse sides of the plant to keep up the form or reduce off any overgrown areas to maintain the unique plant trying its finest.


To encourage the slicing to supply roots, you may both pop it in a glass of water or plant it straight into the soil. I favor water propagation to observe the progress of root progress. However planting straight within the soil does result in stronger preliminary root progress and fewer probability of wrestle when transplanting later.

Root In Water

Close-up of a Prayer Plant cutting in a glass of water for rooting. The cutting has a small stem with oval green leaves with black strokes along the central vein.
Use an acceptable glass with faucet water, filtered water, or rainwater for water rooting.

All it’s essential root in water is an appropriate glass and a few faucet, filtered, or rainwater. Tall glasses are normally required to cease the leaves from toppling the slicing out of the glass however experiment with what you might have at dwelling. I’ve a number of small glass vases with slim openings that work wonders – they maintain the slicing contained in the glass with out the leaves dipping in.

Transfer the glass to a brilliant space with loads of heat however simply out of the trail of direct solar. If the leaves are uncovered to intense direct solar for even a number of hours, they could burn, impacting progress and your probabilities of profitable rooting.

Proceed to prime up the water so the node is constantly submerged. If the water dries out, the slicing can not develop roots. Change the water utterly a minimum of as soon as weekly and clear the container to restrict bacterial build-up.

Root In Soil

Close-up of planted cuttings of Prayer Plant in a white pot for rooting. The cuttings consist of long stems with large oval leaves. The leaves are dark green, with contrasting pale green strokes along the veins. The veins are thin, pinkish-red in color, radiating from the central vertical vein.
Collect a container, an applicable potting combine, and water for soil rooting.

Rooting in soil requires a number of extra provides. Begin with a big container to bury the slicing and maintain it anchored. You’ll additionally must fill it with a gentle propagating combine that encourages root progress. I exploit a mixture of equal elements coconut coir and perlite, however you may strive a number of recipes on-line to work with what you might have across the backyard.

Fill the container along with your propagating combination and add water to moisten the soil. The surplus ought to be capable of drain freely from the underside of the container to forestall rotting. Then, make a gap within the heart of the pot along with your finger and bury the slicing, leaving the leaves uncovered. Press across the slicing gently to anchor it in place.

If in case you have a number of cuttings, you may plant them collectively across the edges of the identical container. When transplanting, maintain them collectively for a full plant or transfer them into particular person containers to proceed rising.

After Care

Close-up of a female hand with a stylish sprayer spraying a Maranta leuconeura 'Tricolor' plant. The sprayer has a green glass jar with a copper-gold colored spray mechanism attached. The plant produces large, oval, dark green leaves with thin, pinkish-red veins.
Place prayer crops in a suitably brilliant and heat spot for ongoing care.

In case you’ve gone the water propagation route, you will have to transplant into the soil finally. You may depart them in water long-term, however this requires loads of additional care and added vitamins within the water to maintain the slicing alive.

Goal to transplant when the roots are round an inch or two lengthy. This will likely take a number of weeks or a few months relying on situations. When prepared, transplant it right into a container with a light-weight and ethereal houseplant potting combine. Keep away from commonplace potting or backyard soil, as these are normally too dense for wholesome houseplant progress.

You’ll additionally must transplant when propagating in soil, transferring the cuttings from a soilless combine to at least one with all of the vitamins and textures required for long-term progress. You may normally wait a number of months earlier than transplanting, gently pulling on the slicing to check whether or not the roots have developed sufficiently.

After transplanting in both case, you’ll find the proper brilliant and heat spot in your new plant and proceed care as you do for the opposite members of your assortment.

How To Propagate Prayer Vegetation By Division

Division is simple to finish when repotting, very best for overgrown crops on the lookout for additional house. In case your prayer plant appears to be like sparse with few leaves, the division will solely make it look sparser. Select this technique for those who’re comfortable to have two (or three) barely smaller crops than your present one.

Take away The Plant From The Pot

Close-up of a Prayer Plant on a wooden table next to a broken clay pot. The plant produces large, oval, pale green leaves with dark green strokes. A lot of black soil is scattered on the floor.
Gently tip the container to ease the plant out, avoiding pulling from the stems.

Squeeze the perimeters of the container to loosen the roots, or run a knife across the edges of the pot. If the plant is kind of overgrown otherwise you haven’t watered shortly, it ought to simply slip out with out bother.

Flip the container on its aspect to softly pull the plant out. Keep away from pulling from the stems to maintain the leaves wholesome and intact. Go sluggish, particularly if any roots are hooked across the backside of the pot. There isn’t any rush in relation to dividing, even when the crops can deal with a little bit of tough dealing with.

Tease The Roots

Subsequent, gently tease the roots from the underside, loosening any which have wrapped round one another and brought on the form of the container. Take away a number of the previous soil concurrently, making the roots extra seen.

The extra you tease the roots at this level, the better the sections can be to establish and separate. Relying in your plant measurement, the method can take some time, however persistence is essential and results in a far much less demanding cut up throughout the subsequent step.

Break up The Plant

Close-up of a female hand holding several Prayer Plants with bare roots on a white background. The stems are thin, pinkish, with long uneven, slightly twisted roots with soil residues.
Establish sections with sufficient roots to separate.

Establish sections the place you may separate the plant whereas preserving a wholesome variety of roots with every part. I wish to divide it in half to maintain as many leaves with every part as doable, however you might be able to cut up the plant into three whether it is massive sufficient.

Proceed to tease, shake and pull the roots aside till every part stands independently. Some smaller sections might fall off independently when you’re shaking the plant. Both pot these up into smaller containers or group them with the division they had been part of to maintain the plant trying full.


Top view, close-up of planting Maranta leuconeura 'Tricolor' plant in a white pot. The plant produces large oval leaves with slightly tapered tips. The leaves are dark green with creamy green strokes along the center of the leaves. The veins are thin, pinkish in color.
Plant divisions on the identical degree, press them into place and water them.

Put together as many containers as there are sections by filling them with a light-weight houseplant potting combine. Attempt to maintain the feel of the brand new combine as shut as doable to what the crops had been in initially. This may maintain the roots comfortable and limits potential points with transplant shock.

Make a gap within the heart of the pots and replant your divisions on the identical degree. Don’t bury an excessive amount of of the stems, as they’ll rot if uncovered to an excessive amount of moisture. Press down across the base of the plant and water immediately to settle the roots.

After Care

Close-up of a Maranta leuconeura 'Tricolor' plant in a white pot on an orange table. The plant has elongated thin stems with large oval leaves. The leaves are dark green with intricate patterns of pale green and pinkish fine veins.
After repotting, return one pot to its unique place and relocate the opposite crops to new spots.

If you’re ending repotting, you may transfer one of many pots again to the place it beforehand was and discover new brilliant properties for the opposite crops. They might take a few weeks to grow to be established, however you may take care of them as you probably did the unique plant, and you must finally see new inexperienced progress to get pleasure from.

Remaining Ideas

If in case you have a free afternoon and a lush plant you’d wish to propagate, strive each simple strategies. You’ll have a house stuffed with prayer crops very quickly.

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