Do you have an overwatered Prayer Plant? Maranta leuconeura is a popular houseplant originating in the Central and South American rainforests. It is an understory plant needing protection from the harsh sun. It prefers very humid settings and needs consistently moist soil.
If you overwater prayer plants, root rot will occur, so correctly watering can be challenging.
This article discusses proper watering in Prayer Plant care and offers suggestions to help you save your overwatered Maranta. Read on to learn more.
How To Provide The Right Water & Humidity Levels For Prayer Plant
Maranta’s growing season runs from March to September. During this time, keep the soil thoroughly moist. Water with room temperature filtered water or rainwater. Avoid using hard water.
Use a humidifier, or keep the plant on a pebble tray with a bit of water in the bottom of the tray. As the water evaporates, it will humidify the air around your Maranta.
Some gardeners like to keep Maranta in a terrarium, and this can be a good way to keep the soil consistently moist and the humidity level high, but it’s easy to overdo.
Even though the soil must stay consistently moist, it should never be soggy. For example, your plant may not have good enough drainage in a terrarium.
Even though the humidity level should be quite high, your plant should not have water standing on the leaves for long periods.
It may be difficult to keep a terrarium correctly ventilated.
Use The Right Soil For Healthy Marantas
Your soil consistency is crucial in providing the right water retention and drainage balance.
Use a high-quality soil-based potting mix. Add both peat moss for water retention and sharp sand for enhanced drainage.
Don’t firm the soil into the pot when you pot your Maranta. You want light, airy soil that both retains and sheds moisture.
How To Save Your Prayer Plant From Overwatering?
The main reason for problems with most houseplants is overwatering, so if you are having problems with your Maranta, check for overwatering first.
As moisture-loving as these plants are, they do not like to be left sitting in a puddle and don’t like wet leaves for an extended period.
If you’ve overwatered your plant, you will notice some or all of these symptoms:
- Rapidly yellowing leaves
- Leaf spot disease
- Stem collapse
- Plant death
It’s important to note that there is some overlap in these symptoms. For example, underwatering and lack of heat and light may cause these woes.
To pinpoint overwatering as your problem, feel the soil. It must be replaced immediately with new, fresh, light soil if it is soggy and compacted.
If you catch it soon enough, you may be able to avoid the development of root rot.
On the other hand, if your plant is just waterlogged and fungal infection hasn’t set in, repotting may be all that’s needed.
Be sure to choose a pot that has ample drainage holes.
Root Rot 101: Preventing & Treating Root Rot
Unfortunately, more often than not, overwatering causes root rot. If your plant has been sitting in soggy soil for a long time, in addition to the symptoms listed above, you’ll also see stunted growth and mushy brown stems.
In any case, when you remove the plant from its old soil, be sure to inspect the roots carefully. If they are yellow, they are still healthy. Rinse them off and repot your Maranta.
If they are mushy and brown, you must prune away the dead and damaged parts with a very sharp, sterile implement. Then, treat the roots with an antifungal treatment before repotting.
You should also prune away any dead or damaged stems and foliage. If there are a few healthy stems with leaves to spare, keep them and use them to propagate new plants.
This gives you a bit of insurance, just in case your plant doesn’t recover from root rot.
Withhold water until the soil is dryish. You don’t want to let it completely dry out, but the soil should not be moist while your plant is recovering.
When the soil is fairly dry, provide a thorough watering with a fungicide included.
Adjust your watering schedule to avoid overwatering in the future. Whereas most plants do well with a soak-and-dry plan, Prayer Plant will do well with a soak-and-sort-of-dry schedule. Don’t let the soil dry out completely, but don’t let your plant stand in water.
Watering Prayer Plants Is A Balancing Act!
Developing just the right touch and instincts to keep your particular Prayer Plant in your specific setting correctly watered can be a real challenge.
But don’t give up hope. Follow the tips presented here, and apply a bit of patience. You will surely meet with success, and the overwatered prayer plant will be a thing of the past!