Propagating Prayer Plants: How To Start A New Prayer Plant

Prayer Plant (Maranta) is an evergreen, perennial tropical plant usually kept as a houseplant. This plant is also known as Praying Hands because its leaves fold in the evening. 

prayer plant ready for propagationPin

This enthusiastic, easy to grow plant may be propagated by:

  • Water propagation
  • Seed propagation
  • Soil propagation
  • Root division

In this article, we explain a little about Prayer Plant care and prayer plant propagation

Grow Prayer Plant Cutting in Water

The easiest thing to do is place cuttings of Maranta plants in water to grow. You may want to add some rooting hormone to help the plant create new roots, but this is unnecessary. These plants are very enthusiastic growers.

Take cuttings that include nodes, and leave about an inch of stem below the nodes. The leaf nodes are little bumps on the stem where new leaves grow. When you use these cuttings to grow new plants in water, roots will grow from the nodes.

Immediately after taking cuttings, place them into room temperature water that is either rainwater or bottled water or has been sitting out for twenty-four hours to allow chemicals to dissipate.

Be sure the nodes are under the water and that the cuttings’ leaves are not in the water. Your cutting should not have too many leaves. A couple of leaves is plenty for photosynthesis.

Whenever you root Prayer Plants or any plant in water, it’s a good idea to change the water daily to avoid problems with fungus.

Prayer Plant cuttings placed in water will begin to grow new roots in a week or so. When the roots are about 1″-inch long, you can transplant the cuttings into the soil and treat them as mature plants.

Don’t leave your Prayer Plant cuttings in water for too long because the roots will become too used to growing in water and less likely to succeed in soil.

Grow Prayer Plant in Soil

You can also propagate the same cuttings in damp well-draining potting soil. However, you may have a little more luck with these cuttings if you dip them into rooting hormone powder before placing them in the potting soil.

Cut the stem from the mother plant very close to the soil, maintaining a pair of nodes for good root growth. Place the cuttings in a mixture of moist perlite and peat. 

Cover the container with plastic to help keep humidity levels high. It’s a good idea to poke several air holes into the plastic to prevent excess moisture buildup and fungus growth. 

Place your cuttings in a location that provides bright, indirect light and contests consistently warm temperatures. Keep the soil moist.

New growth should appear within a couple of weeks. Repot when your new little plants outgrow their starter containers.

Grow Prayer Plant by Division

Division is the best way to propagate Prayer Plants. Early in the springtime, you’ll probably want to repot your mature Prayer Plant, and this is the time when you can easily propagate new plants. 

When you remove your mature plant from its old pot, shake loose soil away from the roots and examine them carefully.

Divide the roots using your fingers to create two or more new plants. Repot these into individual pots with a drainage hole, and treat them as the mature plants that they are.

Should You Grow Prayer Plant from Seed?

Unless you do not have access to a mature Prayer Plant, avoid growing these plants from seed. Seeds are hard to come by since these plants rarely flower when kept indoors, and growing from seed is time-consuming and tedious. 

That’s not to say that it’s more difficult than growing any other plant from seed. On the contrary, it’s about the same.

You would prepare a tray of sterile potting medium; sprinkle the seeds over the damp soil; cover lightly with plastic, and place the tray in a consistently warm area (55°-65° degrees Fahrenheit), and receive bright, indirect sunlight. 

If all goes well, you’ll see new growth within a couple of weeks, but really, why bother? It’s so easy to grow these plants from cuttings or through division!

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