Marantas, or prayer plants, are famous for their color and beautiful foliage. Native to the tropical forests of Brazil, they can be challenging to maintain in cooler or drier climates. So, when your prayer plant blossoms, is it a good thing?
Prayer plants flower when they are thriving. Flowers on your plant indicate that it is getting adequate water and light, and the temperature range in its environment is ideal. However, flowers absorb most of the nutrients available to the plant, leaving little for new foliage to grow.
Even though their flowers look beautiful, if you are keeping a prayer plant for its foliage, you may want to prune the plant to keep its leaves looking healthy and fresh. If you want to know more about the flower-foliage relationship, read on.
Before deciding whether to keep or remove the flowers on your prayer plant, let’s discuss why your prayer plant is blooming.
Like any other plant, prayer plants also pollinate to reproduce, and they do it through flowers. Prayer plants usually blossom during the summer or spring, which is their usual growing season. The conditions during these seasons are excellent for new plants.
It is not common for an indoor prayer plant to have flowers. When it does, you should be happy. A flowering prayer plant means you are taking good care of your plant. It is getting sufficient nutrients, sunlight, and water and is placed in an optimal temperature environment.
A flowering prayer plant is a happy prayer plant.
Flowers look beautiful on a plant and are a significant reason many people grow them at home. However avid gardeners will sometimes keep a prayer plant for its foliage alone. This is because the plant is known for its beautiful leaves that look bright and colorful in intense light.
The decision to keep or remove the flowers on your prayer plant depends on why you bought them. If you like the plant for its foliage, you may have to cut the flowers and prune the plant. However, if you want both flowers and foliage, you can do several things to keep your plant healthy.
Flowers do not harm your Maranta plant, but they do cause problems for new leaves by limiting their growth. So, while your plant will stay healthy, its growth will be stunted.
Maranta flowers require a lot of energy for growth. In a blooming plant, the flowers will take most of the energy and nutrients available to the plant, leaving not enough for new leaves to grow. Flowers will reduce the size of the foliage, and your plant will look more like a flower pot.
Even the existing leaves may struggle due to insufficient nutrients and energy if conditions are not ideal.
If you would like to prevent this from happening, you can pinch the emerging stalks on your plant to keep its flowers from blooming. If you keep doing this regularly, new buds will stop emerging after some time.
If you want to keep both foliage and flowers, you can! It just requires a bit of hard work and extra grooming and pruning.
It is possible to have the best of both worlds with your prayer plant: flowers and foliage. However, you may have to live with less foliage if you want to keep your plant’s flowers than you would have otherwise.
To enjoy both flowers and foliage, you must take a few additional measures to encourage flower growth and keep your plant in the best health.
Prayer plants like warmer temperatures and grow well during Spring and summer. They go into dormancy as the weather gets cold. Even during their dormancy period, you should keep the plant away from cold and windy conditions.
Maintaining optimal temperatures during colder months can prevent damage to your prayer plant and allow it to bloom when the time comes.
A prayer plant likes higher humidity levels. Its leaves may get a brown pigmentation at the tips if you do not maintain the correct humidity level.
The best place to keep one is in your bathroom, where the humidity level remains higher than the rest of the house. I’d recommend getting an affordable humidifier if you want to keep your plant in the living room.
The prayer plant may lose vitality if you keep it in direct sunlight for too long – just a bit of sun is enough for its growth. Otherwise, its leaves will look singed, and the plant may not have any blossoms.
The best place to keep them is where they can get bright but indirect light. So, if the corner of the window where you keep the plant receives plenty of indirect light, your plant will be ok.
A Maranta may even survive conditions with lower light levels, but its foliage may not look as bright as you want.
You should regularly trim and prune the plant to maintain its colors and beauty. It may look ungroomed if you allow all the flowers to stay on.
Here are a few tips to keep a prayer plant in good shape:
- Only cut the edges of the leaves if they are brown, not the entire leaf.
- Cut the leaf at its base if you want to remove it altogether.
- Use clean and sterilized pruners or scissors for pruning and cutting.
- As your plant produces flowers, remove older flowers so that the new ones might thrive.
The leaves of a Maranta lose their color if the plant becomes dehydrated. Foliage may turn brown and curl up. So, you must know how much water the plants need. Also, be careful about the frequency of watering.
For proper hydration, keep the soil wet but not soggy to maintain the appropriate moisture level. Also, ensure the pot and the soil drain properly because excessive water can damage the plant.
Here is how you can tell your plant may need watering:
- If the topsoil looks dry, it is time to water the plant.
- When the leaves start to curl or look droopy, it is time to water them.
- Crispy or crunchy-looking leaves mean the soil is dry to the root.
- Brown leaves can be due to overwatering too. So, read the signs right.
The prayer plant grows well in fertilizers rich in nitrogen and phosphorus. Using organic fertilizer is even better for it.
You can fertilize your Maranta every two weeks to replenish the necessary nutrients. However, if the foliage starts to turn yellow or brown, it may mean you are overfertilizing the plant.
For a novice gardener, it may be difficult to detect minor signs of neglect. To counter this issue, you can learn about the characters that confirm your plant is growing well.
- A healthy plant has a lot of foliage. When the leaves of the Maranta are colorful with minimum brown or yellow pigmentation, you know the plant is healthy.
- The plant is doing well when you see new leaves growing during the blooming season.
- Plants with stiff and bright stems indicate health.
- A plant that blossoms is a healthy one.
- If the leaves frequently change their position during the day, you have nothing to worry about.
There is an interesting reason behind the prayer plant’s name. The plant’s leaves are flat throughout the day. However, as night falls, they fold inward and look like our hands when we bring them together in prayer.
Here are a few other fun facts about prayer plants:
- Their full name is Maranta Leuconeura.
- They are native to South America and are especially plentiful in the tropical forests of Brazil.
- They grow horizontally on the forest floor.
- The prayer plant’s leaves change positions while the sun is out to get the best light. Their position can sometimes make them look droopy or dehydrated, but that’s just them trying to sunbathe.
- They can withstand a bit of shade, but it is better not to leave a prayer plant in the dark for long periods of time.
- The prayer plant grows 11.8 inches (30 cm) vertically before its growth becomes horizontal.
- In the US, Hawaii and Florida have excellent humidity levels for prayer plants.
The prayer plant looks beautiful when it blossoms. Despite this, you may want to remove your prayer plant’s flowers if you want them to grow more foliage. Keeping both foliage and flowers will require greater care, but it is not impossible.
First, decide on how you want your prayer plant to look, and then take the appropriate steps to get there. This way, your prayer plant will be healthy and look just like you want it to.
You may also like:
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- Why Is My Prayer Plant Not Growing?
- Why Is My Prayer Plant Leaves Turning Brown?
- How To Cut Dead Leaves Off Prayer Plant
- How Often To Water Prayer Plant?
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.