How to Propagate Prayer Plant in Water, Soil and by Root Division

The article gives details on how to propagating a prayer plant using water propagation, soil propagation and by root division. Prayer plants, scientifically known as Maranta leuconeura, have striking foliage and unique habit of folding their leaves upwards at night, looking like hands clasped in Prayer, hence their name.

Prayer Plant Propagation Methods

Prayer Plant Maranta
Prayer Plant

You can propagate your prayer plant quite easily by root division similar ot some other houseplants (top houseplants for air purification), but its propagation in water or soil is also not difficult, if you follow the correct procedure.

Please note that some other plants such as Calatheas, Stromanthes and Ctenanthes, which are not related to maranta genus are also called prayer plants. The propagation methods are more or less similar for all these plants. Nasa top 10 air purifying plants, health benefits of indoor plants

Prayer Plant Propagation By Root Division Method

Spring to summer is the ideal season for propagate prayer plant by root division. It is a simple method of propagation when repotting a prayer plant as given below:

  1. Gently remove the prayer plant from its pot and carefully remove soil from the roots so you can examine the roots. White roots are healthy ones while black roots are rotten, remove them.
  2. Identify root sections which have root systems, stems and leaves. Carefully separate the plant at these sections, ensuring each section has both roots and stems.
  3. Fill pots with free draining potting soil and plant each division into individual containers.
  4. Water the newly potted divisions thoroughly and place them in a location with bright, indirect light, away from direct sun light.

Prayer Plant Propagation From Stem Cuttings

You can easily propagate prayer plant by cuttings in water or soil. You can grow a new prayer plant even if a piece of your prayer plant has broken off. Propagate your prayer plant from cutting from Spring to Summer.

Note that the prayer plant propagation from a leaf is not possible, a single leaf of prayer plant will not propagate, although it can root in water or soil, but will never grow a new stem and leaf, unless it is attached to a small portion of stem.

Preparation of Cuttings

  1. Locate a healthy stem on the prayer plant, preferably one or more nodes. The important point to consider is exactly where to cut the stem for propagation. Using sterilized pruning shears or a knife, make a clean cut just below a node closest to the bottom of the stem.
  2. Prayer Plant Nodes: The nodes contain the tissue needed to generate new growth. Nodes are points where leaves attach to the stem, or these are some bumpy looking points from where new growth will appear. A node is also a point on the stem where there was a leaf that has now fallen.
  3. Remove any leaves from the lower portion of the cutting, leaving a few at the top intact or cut them in half.
  4. Dip the cut end of the stem in rooting hormone to promote root growth. You can either use a chemical rooting hormone or use a natural hormone like aloe vera gel from a fresh aloe vera leaf.

Propagate Prayer Plant in Water

Once you have prepared the cuttings as mentioned above, yu can propagate them in water (houseplants that can be propagated in water) as given below:

  1. Dip the cutting into rooting hormone (optional) and place it in a glass containing water with the lower end of the cutting is submerged in water.
  2. Distilled water or rainwater is ideal for water propagation. If you want to use tap water, let it sit for some Place the bottle in shade at a waerm place.
  3. Change the water in 3-4 days to ensure enough oxygen to the roots. Roots will grow in 2-3 weeks.
  4. Plant the rooted cutting in free-draining soil as mentioned below when it grows strong roots, about an inch long.
  5. Can you keep your Prayer Plant in Water for ever? Yes, you can continue your prayer plant to grow in water as long as you wish, but the growth will be slow and you will eventually need to transplant it to soil.

Propagate Prayer Plant in Soil

  1. Potting soil: The plant needs a free-draining nutrition rich soil to thrive. You can use a mixture of peat moss, compost, and perlite or coarse river sand.
  2. Plant the cutting in soil ensuring that at least one node is in soil. Water the soil.
  3. To create a  mini-greenhouse environment, enclose the pot in a clear plastic bag that will retain moisture.
  4. Place the pot in a warm location in shade, away from direct sunlight.
  5. Open the bag after 4-5 days and mist with water to keep the soil evenly moist.
  6. The cuttings will take roots in 2 to 4 weeks.

Care of Propagated Prayer Plant

Whether you have propagated your prayer plant through division or stem cuttings, proper care is essential for success.

Light and Temperature: A prayer plant thrives in bright indirect light but not direct sunshine. It grows best at temperatures between 18–29 °C (65–85°F) during the day and above 59°F (15°C) at night.

Water: Keep the soil consistently moist but not waterlogged, so a free-draining potting soil mixture is important. In standing water, the roots will rot and the plant may die. Reduce watering in winter when the plant is dormant. Do not water on leaves.

Fertilizer: Feed with a  liquid fertilizer every 2 weeks during the growing season.