Prayer Plant Care + Tips

INSIDE : Learn the best practices for Prayer Plant Care + Tips! Helpful ideas for Calathea Plant Care like their watering needs and light requirements so you can grow big healthy indoor plants. 

Rattlesnake Prayer Plant Care

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I have had a Calathea Rattlesnake, or Prayer Plant, for about two years and was drawn to it’s striking leaf patterns.  Each leaf is long, slender and wavy with dark green spots on top, similar to a snake skin and then a gorgeous deep purple on the underneath.

Rattlesnake Prayer Plant leaves

Although there are numerous different types of Prayer Plants (somewhere around 300 types!) that fall into the Calathea family, today I am discussing mainly the Calathea Lancifolia, Rattlesnake Prayer Plant.

How to care for Rattlesnake Prayer Plant :

Why do Prayer Plants move their leaves?

The Rattlesnake Calatheas are often called Prayer plants because of their interesting leaf movements.  Each day and night, they raise and lower their leaves as if they are “praying”… which I think is the coolest thing ever!

Prayer Plant in white pot

Prayer Plant Movement

The prayer plant moving leaves are controlled by water pressure in the nodes at the base of the leaves.  It is thought that these movements follow the sun’s movement in the sky in order to maximize light absorption out in nature.

Prayer Plant at Night

I love watching each evening as my plant slowly raises his leaves up and says his “evenings prayers”. And after the night is over, the leaves slowly rise back up to their upright position.

Loving all these Prayer Plant tips?  Then you will definitely enjoy my indoor houseplant care ebook, Happy Houseplants!  

My Happy Houseplants ebook talks about how to not kill all the plants and includes:
– A helpful checklist for the 6 steps to keep your plants alive + thriving.  
– A deep dive on 7 trending “it” plants (like your finicky Fiddle Leaf Fig!)
-5 plant printables to hang in your home.  

Get the ebook here.

How often should I water a Prayer Plant?

Prayer plants like higher humidity if possible.  I live in the high desert of New Mexico, so we never are very humid here.  So, although it’s not ideal, my plant has done fine with just a little more care.

Green and Purple Prayer Plant

Rattlesnake plants like to have their soil kept evenly moist, so I check in on my plant once a week and typically give them a nice long drink.  Be sure to let your Prayer Plant dry out, because they like to be moist but not saturated wet.  Too much watering causes the plant to wilt—and wilted plants recover slowly.

What type of sunlight do Prayer Plants like?

Prayer plants do well in medium to bright indirect light, but can tolerate low indirect light.  I have actually noticed my plant is much healthier looking when I have it in lower light.  Our New Mexico sun is very intense and if he gets too much direct light, then it’s leaves start to get scorched.  Morning sunlight is fine, but it’s best to avoid that more intense afternoon sunlight. 

Rattlesnake plant leaves underneath

What supplies are needed to grow Prayer Plants?

Digital Moisture Meter | Pruning Shears | Small Rattlesnake Prayer Plant | Pot

What are other names for Prayer Plant?

A few other names for Prayer Plants are Calathea and Praying Hands.

Love plants like I do?  You might like some of my other Plant Care + Tip posts.

Prayer Plant

Why are the tips of my Prayer Plant leaves turning brown?

There may be a few reasons your Prayer plant has brown tips : humidity and tap water are the most likely.

1. Rattlesnake Prayer Plants are tropical plants and they thrive the most easily in humid locations.  If your home doesn’t naturally get lots of humidity, then brown tips on the leaf edge are more common.  

Adding a humidifier, misting your plant on a regular basis or using a pebble tray may help.

2. Watering your plant with tap water might be another reason for their leaves to turn yellow or brown.  You can have your tap water sit out overnight, so the chlorine and fluoride can evaporate from the water. 

Calathea Prayer Plant

Miscellaneous Prayer Plant Diagnostic Tips:

  • Remove brown, old or damaged leaves on rattlesnake plants to keep the plant neat and healthy.
  • If you have wilting and curling leaves.  Check the soil with your finger.  If it is dry, then the plant might be underwatered and thirsty.  Fill a container with water and allow the pot to sit and soak up water for a nice long drink.
  • If you plant has lots of leaf spots, this could be a mineral build up from using tap water. Switch to distilled water to try and remedy.

Prayer Plant Care and Tips

You might be interested in some of my other Plant Care posts:

Pilea Care and Best Tips

Pilea Care and Best Tips

Marimo Moss Ball Care Tips

Marimo Moss Balls, Care Tips, Light Needs

Air Plant Care

Air Plant tips

How to Grow a Pineapple 

Pineapple plant

Fiddle Fig Care Tips

Fiddle Leaf Fig plant

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