Maranta Plant Info: Growing and Caring Prayer-Plant Varieties

Maranta comes with its unique and pretty leaves is a kind of perennial plant. It has a superior feature, an opening, as well as closing foliage, that offers a natural dancing show all the time.

Therefore, this species is synonymous with the prayer plant. It is due to the folded leaves that resemble praying hands during the nights.

This tropical cultivar is suitable for houseplants because of its decorative leaves. Besides, most of the varieties need low light exposure.

Furthermore, if you are curious about what causes the foliage to move alternately during days and nights, read this article to find out the answer.

Also, a top guide to growing Maranta will lead you to start propagating, potting and caring for this charming indoor houseplant.


Identification of Maranta Plant

Maranta is a pet-friendly prayer plant known for its dramatic foliage that is native to the tropical forests of Brazil.
Maranta plant

Maranta is native to the West Indies and America. This plant belongs to the family Marantaceae that is familiar as the arrowroot. Also, it becomes mature about a height of 30 cm.

Interestingly, the plant produces the arrowroot to make the extraction of wax as well as weaved baskets. Thus, many growers cultivate it in the big starchiness of rhizomes.

Moreover, Maranta leuconeura is a rhizoma that dwells in the tropical forests’ understory. Therefore, the plant grows well in a moist area without too much light.

Its stunning leaves bring tricolor combinations of dark green foliage, the yellow blotches that ornate the surface, and also red veins of the edges. Besides, they have wide oval shapes.

Moreover, every leaf has a different pattern that resembles ink spots. Thus, there will not be two leaves that appear the same as each other. In addition, the foliage can spread over 61 centimeters wide.

Lots of draping leaves develop from a center stem. Likewise, the foliage reaches about 15 centimeters long. Also, this plant contains rosmarinic acid that offers a romantic fragrance like rosemary.

Additionally, when it comes to prayer-plants, Maranta and Calathea have a close relationship. Because they both share the same feature of the drooping leaves.

Their foliage movement also functions to protect the plant from sun radiation. Indeed, further study is necessary to reveal the real purpose of this leaf-moving mechanism.

Thus, in the spring season, this perennial starts blooming small white flowers. However, the blossoms rarely appear when you grow it indoors.

Popular Types of Maranta

Maranta cultivars have two stand out as being the most commonly grown: “Erythroneura” and “Kerchoviana.” Erythroneura, also called red nerve plant, has greenish black foliage marked with brilliant red midrib and lateral veins and feathered with a light greenish-yellow center.
Popular variety of Maranta

Many Maranta Varieties come with different colorations and patterns. Each type has unique splotches. Among numerous cultivars, several variants become favorite houseplants.

Red Prayer Maranta

Maranta Red Prayer Plant has soft dark green leaves with feathered, painterly-like centers of light green and red veins.
Red Maranta

Maranta tricolor becomes the most popular variety among other species. Its striking feature is the red veins alongside the margins.

This red stripe variety comes with dark green foliage. Besides, the purple markings become a dominant pattern on the leaf surface.

Therefore, the red prayer is mostly available in all home gardens. Then, another name of M. leuconeura erithrophylla is the Herringbone plant.

Maranta leuconeura massangeana

Maranta leuconeura massangeana has the pattern of the tricolour variety but has a dark green/black velvety leaf with no red.
Leuconeura massangeana

Compared to the Calathea cultivars, M. leuconeura massangeana shares the same characteristics as the species. Both plants are confusing.

This type of Maranta has dark green foliage. The white veins embellish the surface as well as the silver splotches. Then, these blotches spread over the central part of the leaves.

Rabbit’s Tracks

The silvery-green leaves have deep-burgundy spots. The leaves grow to eight inches long and are half as wide.
Maranta Rabbit Tracks

M. leuconeura kerchoveana is synonymous with the rabbit’s tracks. This variety does not have red veins as what the Herringbone plant has.

The pretty pattern of this cultivar is a pair of rows from dark-colored blotches. The markings embellish the plain greenish foliage.

Black Variety of Maranta

The black variety of maranta has a bluish-silver color on the leaves, with purple spots and a deep green leaf.
Black Maranta

The stunning pattern from this black cultivar is the bluish-silver spots at the base of the midrib. They combine with purple speckles on the dark green leaves.

Maranta leuconeura ‘Kim’

Maranta Leuconeura Beauty Kim is known for the unique variegation found on its foliage.
Leuconeura ‘Kim’

Kim cultivar offers lots of flairs. Its purple splotches give a pretty ornament. Meanwhile, the creamy-white markings also embellish the green foliage.


Maranta leuconeura 'Marisela' has striking oval leaves, dark green with a herringbone-like pattern of light yellow veining.
Maranta Marisela

With a lighter tone of green foliage, the Marisela cultivar has cream-green blotches along the base of its midrib. Thus, its coloration creates a stunning ornament on the oval leaves.

Rattlesnake Variety

Rattlesnake Plant is a great low light plant and will do best in medium to low light.
Calathea Rattlesnake

The rattlesnake cultivar belongs to the Calathea species. Indeed, this variety has similarities to maranta amagris.

Also, Calathea lancifolia has long and narrow leaves. The ruby backsides create a stunning ornament to the green foliage.

Pinstripe Plant

Pinstripe calathea is a striking member of the Maranta or prayer plant family. Their beautifully veined leaves make a striking statement in your home.
Pinstripe Calathea

Calathea Ornata or pinstripe plant comes with a dark green color. Then, soft greenish spots make a striking pattern to the leaf. However, this cultivar requires more diffused light than other similar species.

Calathea roseopicta

Calathea roseopicta ‘Dottie’ is a sultry deep purple, while the leaves of the roseopicta ‘Medallion’ have green patterned tops.
Roseopicta Calathea

Calathea roseopicta becomes one of the most eye-catching prayer-plants. It offers a few color variations like dark purple and medallion. Besides, the large and round foliage is very stunning.

Calathea leitzei

Calathea leitzei tolerates low light but grows best in very bright, indirect light. Keep way from direct sunlight, and keep away from cold drafts.
Calathea Leitzei

This cultivar features white speckles along with the foliage. Meanwhile, the backsides have a lilac purple hue. However, caring for Calathea leitzei seems to be tricky.

Therefore, this plant should get routine watering, control moisture, and sufficient diffused light. By considering these requirements, it can grow well indoors.

Stromanthe sanguinea

Stromanthe sanguine gives you a super attractive houseplant that can be used as a Christmas gift plant. Foliage of this plant is of red, white and green coloration.
Stromanthe Sanguinea

The Stromanthe variety comes with silver striped patterns along the center vein of the leaves. Also, this dark green foliage has purple undersides.

Furthermore, this plant can grow taller than other cultivars. Its diversity of colors that include a white or pink hue will be a great alternative.

Ctenanthe Burle marxii

Ctenanthe burle-marxii is a compact houseplant that makes a bold tropical statement. Its bright green leaves are striped with alternating lance-shaped bands, and have deep purple undersides and stems.
Fishbone Prayer Plant

Ctenanthe Burle marxii or the Fishbone prayer houseplant has a unique dark pattern that resembles a bone. Then, this circular-styled foliage can adapt to bright light rather than other species.

How to Grow Maranta

The easiest way to propagate calathea and maranta plants is by division. In fact, these houseplants tend to do better when they're divided and repotted each year in early spring before the plant's growth period begins.
Maranta propagation

Maranta plants offer two easy propagation methods. They include the rhizome division and stem cutting. Thus, you may choose your favorite technique before repotting this cultivar.

Propagation Techniques

Take a few prayer plant cuttings. Place the cuttings in a sunny location. If a piece of prayer plant has broken off, dip the broken end into rooting hormone and place it in distilled water.
Maranta propagation technique

The first method is by dividing the plants into smaller specimens. Each individual should contain some roots and stems. Move every piece of the rhizome division to a new pot.

Then, keep the soil humid and warm to make the plant grow well. After several weeks, you will notice new growth that establishes from the small division.

Furthermore, the other simple way to propagate Maranta is by cuttings. Cut off a point on a stem with inserted leaves. This part locates under the node.

Apply a rooting hormone to the cuttings and place them in some glasses of water. Change the liquid every 48 hours. After the new roots appear, you can move the specimens into the pots.

Use potting soil with proper humidity. Generally, a fine spray is useful for maintaining the misty medium.

While repotting the plants, you can use soil or mix turf and perlitic matter. Then, apply a plastic cover to protect the top and improve humidity.

Moreover, start propagating by rhizome division in spring, whereas the summer season is the best time for stem cuttings.

Growing Tips of the Prayer Plants

Maranta are totally happy to be in a small pot and look great when they start to spill over the sides.
Maranta on pots

Consider the types of Maranta before you start cultivating this plant. It is because some variants dwell in low light environments, while other species resist bright sunlight.

Besides, it is necessary to prepare the soil with good drainage and rich in moisture. Avoid the planting area from a soggy condition. Thus, potted cultivar can thrive indoors.

Additionally, combine the potted Maranta with some houseplants to improve the moist conditions. It is better to do a daily smooth spray with warm water to create more humidity.

If necessary, put a bowl of water near the plants to establish a moist environment. Remember! Do not directly place them in liquid.

Maranta Plant Care Requirements

General care for Maranta includes sun exposure, watering, moisture, and temperature. This plant can thrive in a planting area that has the same environment as the greenhouse.


In front of a north, or near an east facing window is great. If keeping these plants in rooms with west or south facing windows find a bright protected area away from the direct shine of the sun.
Place maranta near window

The low-growing varieties are perfect for hanging plants near the windows since they prefer indirect light than direct sun exposure.

Besides, displaying some groups of prayer-plants on the windowsill will be great too. This location allows them to get bright but indirect light.

However, the Maranta plant that exposes to direct sun will fade its intensity of colorations, but indirect light can prevent foliage from many patches.


Water every 1–2 weeks, allowing soil to dry out half way down between waterings. Expect to water more often in brighter light and less often in lower light.
Maranta watering tips

Keep watering your potted Maranta during the planting season. Add more water if the topsoil gets dry.

However, do not pour water directly on the leaves to prevent the plant from fungal infestations. Make sure it receives enough liquid.

Over-watering and lack of liquid will cause the leaves to become yellow and fall. Then, using warm water is preferable.

Moisture and Temperature

Normal room humidity is fine, but it prefers more humidity if possible.
Increase humidity level for maranta

Since the humidity level in the home is low, you need to increase the moisture conditions. Apply some techniques to keep the soil humid.

First, you can place a humidifier next to the pot. Another method is misting the foliage. You might use either warm or room temperature water.

The other way is preparing a tray with water and small stones. Then, put your potted plants on it.

Meanwhile, maintaining a temperature of about 16 to 27 degrees Celsius is a must. The lower level will harm the foliage.


This plant prefers acidic soil. Use a peat-based potting mix with a pH of 5.5 to 6.0 or mix two parts sphagnum peat moss, one part loamy soil, and one part perlite or coarse sand together.
Best soil for maranta

The acidic ground is the right planting area for Maranta. Mix it with loamy soil, sphagnum peat moss, coarse sand, and perlite. Ensure that the materials are free from weeds and insects.

Likewise, a well-drained all-purpose potting soil works great, although sometimes this material needs gravels or rocks to increase drainage.


Fertilize your prayer plant every two weeks from early spring through fall. Dilute a balanced, water-soluble houseplant fertilizer (10-10-10) to half strength. If you use too little fertilizer, your plant will grow slowly or hardly at all.
Fertilizer for maranta

In early spring, start fertilizing the plants by applying a 10-10-10 formula. Do it every two weeks. However, if you give less fertilizer, your Maranta will have slow growth.

On the other hand, over-fertilizing can turn the foliage brown. After that, the plant will die. In winter, apply fertilizer once a month is enough.

Eventually, Maranta becomes a popular houseplant due to its attractive leaf movement. Try to add some at home and enjoy the dancing show of the stunning foliage.

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