2021 Updated Maranta Care Guide
This updated maranta care guide will help you increase your skill with these houseplants! They are slow growers and frequently finicky, but they are worth the work for their gorgeous coloring. If they look familiar to you, it is because they are closely related to calathea!
Marantas, commonly known as ‘Prayer Plants,’ are popular, tropical houseplants named after 16th century botanist Bartolomeo Maranta (save that little factoid for your next trivia night!). They have increased significantly in popularity over the last few years, making them easily recognized in the wild.
Water when the top layers of soil are dry. This can sometimes mean that they need more frequent than once a week during their growing season, so check them every few days. Moisture meters are a huge help.
These dramatic plants will also start to turn brown on the edges when they are under-watered. If they receive too much water, their leaves easily turn yellow and root rot can follow.
Marantas can also be sensitive to tap water, which means you need to use filtered water or at least leave tap water out overnight with the lid off your container.
Light and humidity
These vibrant tropical plants enjoy additional humidity, so keep them near a humidifier or spritz them every other day to keep the humidity levels up. They also need indirect light, so keep them a couple feet from your window so their delicate leaves do not get sunburned. During the winter, they hibernate so you can up their light to ensure continued healthy growth.
Additionaly, marantas require warmer environments in addition to extra humidity. Do not place near a draft from an air vent! Bump up the humidity with a pebble tray of water under the plant or a humidifier nearby.
Soil and fertilizer
Keep your maranta in clean, well-draining soil. Since they need to be watered frequently, it is imperative that the soil drains well, otherwise it can lead to root rot. Make sure to empty the drainage tray as well, so it is not left sitting in water.
Cleaning and pruning
Clean the leaves of your prayer plant by gently wiping them with water and a soft cloth. Simply use clean, sharp scissors to cut the stems to the appropriate length should leaves turn yellow or brown from improper watering.
Propagation of marantas is fairly simple. Take a small cutting off the main plant and place into water for a few days until small roots begin to sprout. Transfer the newly rooted plant into fresh soil – adding a root hormone if you feel inclined – and there you go!
Another way is to simply divide existing plants – gently shake the dirt off the roots, then pull them apart. Be gentle when doing this!
Marantas are slow growers, and thuse don’t need to be repotted frequently, so look to increase their space only every 18 months or so. Try to repot during the spring or summer, during the growing season. You can tell it needs to be repotted when water start running straight through it when you water – this means that it is rootbound and there is very little dirt left!
Gently extract the plant from its current container and then put it in one 1-3” larger in diameter. Add more dirt, and you are set!
It is good to remember that these plants require extra care when transplanting, as they can react negatively when their environment changes. Don’t despair!
Marantas are a gorgeous genus of plant and though a tad difficult to care for are more than worth it when you watch it grow. Because they tend to vine and get quite leggy, they make a great focal point when displayed hanging in macrame.
More humid spaces will yield best results for getting blooms. Keep this in mind when placing in your home! There is no shame when leaves die off or if a maranta gives you some trouble. These are picky plants and take some time to adjust to new homes.
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