Maranta leuconeura, or the prayer plant, is a beautiful, distinguished plant that is very easy to recognize. It is a favorite among many plant lovers as it is pretty easy to take care of though it may be a little challenging along the way. So, let’s talk about caring for your prayer plant.
You should repot your prayer plant about every two to three years, depending on the plant’s needs. Prayer plants require space to extend their roots to thrive in any environment. So, repotting every two to three years should allow the plant to grow without caging its roots.
Let’s talk more about repotting and caring for your prayer plant and how to ensure it thrives.
We know that you should report these plants every two to three years, but that can be difficult to keep track of in our busy lives. If you were given this plant by someone else, or you can’t remember how long it’s been since someone repotted it—you may need more help. So, let’s review some signs that it is time to repot your prayer plant.
One of the fastest ways to determine if you need to repot your prayer plant is to check the roots. This process will require a lot of care to ensure that you don’t damage the plant, but it is the best way to determine if it is outgrowing its pot.
You need to remove the prayer plant from the pot to check the roots; the best way to do this is by the following steps:
- Ensure you water your plant copiously and wait for the soil to absorb the moisture.
- Turn the pot on its side and slide the plant out.
- Look at the dirt and roots when you slide the plant out of the pot.
- If you notice that the roots are overtaking the soil and there is little room for growth, it is time for a new pot.
If your prayer plant is in serious need of repotting—you may also notice the roots begin to overtake the pot. If you have holes in your pot, roots may start spreading outward.
This spreading action is a significant sign that there is no room left for them to grow inside the pot, and they need more space. So, if you notice any roots on the outside, repot the prayer plant quickly.
Another significant sign that it is time to repot your prayer plant is noticing stunted growth. If you see that your prayer plant’s growth has slowed considerably—It may be time to repot.
Roots can’t continue to spread in a pot that is too small, and this lack of growth will significantly slow the plant’s growth. Knowing how your prayer plant grows can help you better understand stunted growth. So, if you notice that your prayer plant is not increasing as steadily, it may be time for repotting.
It is essential to mention that prayer plants do not grow consistently all year long. Your prayer plant will take a break in growth during specific periods. As the years pass with your prayer plant, you will become more familiar with the growth habits and better determine when the plant is experiencing seasonal changes compared to stunted growth.
If you live somewhere with a warmer climate year-round, you may not notice a significant delay in growth as this tends to happen during the colder months.
Somewhere, like Florida or Louisiana, will stay relatively warm all year round. So, living in these states may mean that your prayer plant continues to grow all year.
Alternatively, as you get further north and toward the Midwest, you will experience colder months. Places like Illinois, Massachusetts, and Pennsylvania will experience the warmth of summer and frigid winter temperatures. If you live in a state like this, you will notice a change in how your prayer plant grows during winter.
Sometimes it can become undeniable that your plant is outgrowing its container. If your pot looks like it may be struggling to hold the prayer plant upright, it may be time to repot.
Your pot may keep falling over or seem like it can barely contain your plant. If this is the case, you must repot it into something that can accommodate the plant.
Outgrowing the pot is easier to notice when your plant grows outward, but you can also notice this for plants as they grow taller. A good rule for height is that the total height of your plant and pot should be 3/3.
Your plant should take up ⅔ of that height, while the pot should be the remaining ⅓—which is an appropriate pot-to-plant ratio for measuring size.
While it is normal for your prayer plant to lose leaves, there is a difference between standard and extreme shedding. Your plant should lose leaves now and then as it grows larger. However, significant leaf loss can signify that it is time to repot your plant.
Losing leaves is a normal part of plant growth, but if it is often happening, it can signify that your plant cannot grow further. This issue is common for plants stuck in a too-small pot.
With the roots unable to spread any further, your plant is unable to keep growing. The plant then lacks adequate nutrients to sustain leaf growth, and the leaves will start to die.
Now that you know when to repot your prayer plant, let’s talk about how to do it. While prayer plants aren’t too challenging to take care of, you can hurt them and stunt their growth by not repotting them properly. So, let’s discuss how to do it safely.
One simple part of the process that can significantly impact the overall health of your prayer plant is the pot you choose. Knowing that you need to repot it about every two to three years may make you consider using a huge pot, so it has plenty of room to grow. But this is not very effective.
Repotting your prayer plant into a pot that is too large can also harm your plant because it causes you to overwater it to compensate for all the extra soil. Instead, we recommend you match the container with your prayer plant—one size at a time. These incremental steps will still give it room to grow without leaving too much space.
Alternatively, some people may want to grow their prayer plant and not increase the size of the new pot. If you repot your prayer plant in the same size pot without any alterations, it will continue to try to grow—which can damage and eventually kill your plant.
Trimming the plant’s roots first is best—before moving it to another container of the same size. This method will ensure that the prayer plant doesn’t grow more extensively but provides additional room for the plant to grow. To help your plant stay healthy and not grow any larger, ensure you get rid of as much old soil as possible when replanting.
While you can repot your prayer plant anytime you need to—it is best to do it during spring. This time is the beginning of your prayer plant’s growing season, and repotting will allow it to recover quickly from the process.
While this is not mandatory, it is a good idea to follow this rule for repotting. If you need to repot your plant out of this season, you may run into some issues with recovery. In this case, be attentive to the plant and allow it more time to recover than you usually would.
- When you are ready to repot your prayer plant, start by watering the plant reasonably, so it is fully hydrated and prepared for the upcoming move.
- Then, get the pot and add soil and water to it.
- Once the new pot is ready, it is time to remove the plant from its current pot. Do this carefully by turning the pot on its side and sliding out the plant’s roots. Before you repot it, remove as much of the old soil from the roots as possible.
- Ensure that you inspect the roots for any that look weak or unhealthy.
- If you find any, trim those unhealthy roots. This process will allow the prayer plant to thrive in its new container.
- Then, place the plant into the new soil, packing in the soil around it. This process will allow the roots to develop more quickly.
- When you repot your prayer plant, make sure you give it plenty of water when you finish. This watering will allow the plant to remain hydrated while it recovers from the move.
Remember, your plant will recover much faster if you report it during spring or summer.
Knowing when to report your prayer plant can save you time and hassle when deciding if it’s time. Look for the signs we listed above if you aren’t sure how long it has been since it was last repotted.
Also, remember that you should report it every two to three years even if the signs we discussed aren’t happening yet. If you keep up with the repotting process, your prayer plant will be happy and healthy for a long time.
You may also like:
Hi! I’m Sophia, and I love plants – especially an expert in growing house plants. I stay in Chicago, United States of America, and through my blog and social media platforms, provide tips and tricks on how to grow healthy, vibrant plants indoors. Check out more here.