The Maranta, or Prayer Plant, is a flowering member of the Marantaceae or arrowroot family of plants. Marantas hail from the tropical regions of the New World, as well as Asia and Africa.
The plants’ nyctinastic leaves spread open during daylight hours and close overnight like praying hands.
In a tropical or semi-tropical setting, the Maranta genus is a low-growing, rhizomatous perennial evergreen plant that can be planted in the landscape as:
- A bedding plant
- Border plant
- Hanging baskets
- Naturalized plant in a woodland setting
In cooler regions, Prayer Plants like Calatheas make nice outdoor container plants during warmer months. They are excellent houseplants year-round.
These plants thrive in bright indirect light and well-draining soil. Remember to avoid direct sunlight, as it can scorch your plant leaves and cause blotches or patches.
When planting, you can also try a traditional potting mix by combining two parts sphagnum peat moss, one part loamy soil, and one part perlite or coarse sand. Don’t forget to have adequate drainage holes to prevent root rot.
Prayer plants are also susceptible to common pests, including spider mites and mealybugs. You can treat your plant and control infestation with a natural insecticide such as neem oil.
There are approximately 550 species of Prayer Plants. In this article, we share and describe 8 popular favorites. Read on to learn more.
- List Of Prayer Plant Varieties With Brief Descriptions
- More On Maranta Care
List Of Prayer Plant Varieties With Brief Descriptions
Maranta leuconeura var. leuconeura
Maranta Leuconeura is commonly called Black Prayer Plant.
This compact plant has a height and spread of approximately eleven inches.
Black Prayer Plant may produce small white flowers atop tall, slim spikes in the springtime.
The leaves of this plant are silvery blue with purple markings at the spine and pale green edges.
This prayer plant thrives in above-average humidity levels but grows well in most homes.
Maranta leuconeura var. ‘Kerchoveana’
‘Kerchoveana’ is also known as:
- Green Prayer Plant
- Rabbit’s Foot Plant
- Rabbit Track Plant
This compact plant originated in the tropical rainforests of Brazil. The Rabbit Track Plant attains a height and spread of about one foot.
Under ideal conditions, Green Prayer Plant will produce small, insignificant flowers in the springtime. When kept as a houseplant, Kerchoveana is unlikely to bloom at all.
Rabbit Track Plant has grey-green leaves with deep purple markings which look like the paw prints of a rabbit or other small animal. The light green leaves are also deeply veined.
Maranta leuconeura ‘Kim’
Known as the Kim Prayer Plant or Beauty Kim. This plant is winter hardy in USDA hardiness zones 11-12.
Kim Prayer Plant attains a height of up to 18″ inches and can have a 2-foot spread.
This plant is a hybrid and does not typically set flowers. If it does, collecting seeds is not recommended because offspring will not grow true from seed.
The large, oval leaves of Beauty Kim are mostly deep green with deeper green spots and some yellow variegation.
Younger leaves may have brownish or burgundy spots, but these fade to deep green as the leaf grows.
Maranta leuconeura ‘Marisela’
Commonly called Marisela Prayer Plant.
This pretty plant has a trailing growth habit and typically attains a height and spread of between 12″ – 18″ inches.
Mature plants may produce very small, lavender-colored flowers atop slim stalks in the summertime.
Marisela Prayer Plant has large, dark green, oval leaves displaying a herringbone pattern of yellow veins.
Maranta leuconeura var. erythroneura
is also called the Red Prayer Plant. This plant originates in Brazil and is winter hardy in USDA hardiness zones 11-12.
This pretty, tri-colored plant attains a height and spread of about one-and-a-half feet.
From May to June, outdoor plants may produce two-lipped, white flowers which display purple spots atop tall, slender spikes. When kept as a houseplant, Red Prayer Plant seldom, if ever, blooms.
Red Prayer plants’ foliage is especially beautiful, with broad, oval, dark green leaves with pale green markings and deep red veins.
Maranta leuconeura var. erythroneura ‘Lemon Lime’
is also commonly referred to as Maranta Lemon Lime.
Other common names include:
- Herringbone Plant Lemon Lime
- Prayer Plant Lemon Lime
- Prayer Plant
Prayer Plant Lemon Lime is a slow-growing plant that may take up to five years to fully mature. The plant has a maximum height and spread of about 20″ inches.
This hybrid plant may produce tiny, short-lived white or purple flowers in the springtime. Most gardeners simply remove them as they are nondescript. Saving seed from the flowers is not advised because the plant will not grow true from seed.
The large, oval leaves of Prayer Plant Lemon Lime are intricately patterned in shades of yellow-green, lime green, and deep green.
Native to the woodlands of Brazil, where it is a natural groundcover and a source of food. It is also known as Prayer Plant or Arrowroot.
This interesting ground cover attains a height of about 6″ inches. Individual plants may have a spread of up to 15″ inches.
This tropical perennial woodland understory plant will produce insignificant white flowers year-round when kept outdoors in a tropical or semi-tropical setting.
This Prayer Plant’s relatively small, oval-shaped leaves are dark green with pale green coloration surrounding the veins. The leaves’ undersides are an attractive shade of lavender.
Maranta Arundinacea – ArrowRoot
Maranta arundinacea is a tropical, evergreen perennial plant native to woodland settings in both North and South America.
The plant is prized as a source of food and is known by the common term, Arrowroot.
You may also hear it referred to as:
- Bermuda Arrowroot
- St. Vincent Arrowroot
- West Indian Arrowroot
It also has a number of medicinal uses in folk medicine and can be grown as a groundcover in a woodland setting.
Maranta arundinacea attains a height and spread of about 3′ feet.
Bermuda Arrowroot produces pairs of tiny white flowers atop long, slim stems throughout the spring and summer. The small blooms look rather like those of a gloxinia and are very attractive to pollinators.
The leaves of West Indian Arrowroot are unusual in the Marantaceae family of plants in that they are lance-shaped and solid green with silver band.