Maranta leuconeura or Prayer Plant, a native of Brazil, is a small tropical plant with broad oval leaves, up to 8 inches long by half as wide. The leaves fold upwards at night, hence the common name.
Blooming Time: Spring and Summer. The small white flowers have purple spots. Flowers are not particularly showy.
Culture: Maranta leuconeura need full shade and warm temperatures. We use a soil mix consisting of 2 parts peat moss to 1 part loam to 1 part sand or perlite. The soil should never be allowed to dry out. Fertilize weekly with a balanced fertilizer diluted to ½ the strength recommended on the label. Since the plant has a shallow root system it should be planted in shallow pots. The plant responds to being trimmed at least twice a year. Trimming helps to keep the plant growing vigorously. Re potting should only be done if the plant out-grows its container.
Propagation: Maranta leuconeura are easily propagated by division.
Maranta leuconeura was featured as Plant of the Week April 27-May 3, 2001.
Guide to Past Plants-of-the-Week:
Cal's Plant of the Week was provided as a service by the University of Oklahoma Department of Microbiology & Plant Biology and specifically the late Cal Lemke, who used to be OU's botany greenhouse grower and an avid gardener at home as well. If the above links don't work, then try the overview site. You may also like to look at the thumbnail index. ©1998-2012 All rights reserved.