Rescued Prayer Plant~

jojosplants(9/ Tucson, Az.)July 2, 2010

I got this plant from the grocery store, therefore consider it rescued! LOL!

It's a full plant, this pic was taken with it sitting on a tv tray and it covers the tray!

The poor things soil was brick hard, and it has a few bad leaves, but I think it will turn out to be a great plant!

No telling when the poor thing was fed last.

I'm going to move it into better soil this weekend. Gave it a good soak, now just letting it be for a few days.

Any advice on it's care would be greatly appriciated.


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marquest(z5 PA)

It likes moist soil and mine is in morning sun afternoon shade. I killed a couple until I found the right light conditions.

    Bookmark   July 2, 2010 at 3:30PM
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Wow, that's big! Mine is tiny in comparison. I only water mine twice a month. It sits in a very warm room with light from a NW facing window and has been blooming for the past 2 weeks.


    Bookmark   July 2, 2010 at 7:22PM
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Jojo, did you ever build that addition, you know the glass house you were dreaming of..? lol

I am beginning to think you are going to outpace me in your collections!!!

That is one mighty, soon to be much better looking plant now that you have it..It is people like you that know how to care for something so abused..I love you for that! Thank you for the pictures and saving that plant..


    Bookmark   July 2, 2010 at 9:12PM
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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

It looks like it's been over-watered for a while before you got it, JJ.

Here's what I would do:

* Remove all the leaves - every one
* Cut all the stems back even with the inside edge of the pot
* Repot into a good soil - water well
* Site in shade & let it recover


    Bookmark   July 2, 2010 at 10:19PM
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jojosplants(9/ Tucson, Az.)

O.K. Al~
I know you've been expecting for me to show back up, and with a heart attack, so here I am!(who woldnt after reading that post ;).) ROFL!!

If I was to do as you suggest, I would really need to get out and get some liquid encouragement first. lol...

It is starting to get new leaves. And folds up everynight like it should. (says it's prayers..:) )

Why strip it and trim it all back??
Why wouldn't taking off the bad be enough?
I didn't get a chance to get it repotted, hope to tonight, so I don't really know what the roots look like yet.

Total newbie here to house plants, and growing in containers the right way..So,
Not trying to be difficult, just want to understand what's best for my plants, and why.:)

What pretty little blooms!
This had a few, but more white to them than yours.

I have a spot next to a east facing window, and also will get some good bright indirect from south. Think that would be a good place for it?

Thank you. :) I want this in the house, so hope to find a good spot for it.

Hi Mike~
I know someone who could build me that glass house, but I havent been able to talk hubby into it yet..LOL! So the area in the craft room for plants just got bigger..LOL! ;)

So you love me for being weak and bringing home stray plants..LOL!


    Bookmark   July 3, 2010 at 12:35PM
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Yes, some here actually do love you!

Personally I would do what Al said also Jojo...It has weak roots and had been abused quite a bit..I have done this, and I found it to come back full after it has focused on repairing the poor root system.. It also allows no room for any diseased leaves..It will also grow leggy while the new ones come in and the old rot or die off if you do not..

That is just my opinion..Before giving mine to my sick, very sick Aunt, it was a full and healthy as could be within 6 months..
I have also done this to my potho's..



    Bookmark   July 3, 2010 at 3:19PM
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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

Why strip it and trim it all back?? Well, since you're my dear friend, I can simply say that the plant is ugly as sin (right now) and spread out all over the place, and needs rejuvenation. ;o)
Why wouldn't taking off the bad be enough? It's all bad. ;o) Plant tissues have 2 different ages, unlike our tissues. You can say, "That plant is 3 years old", which tells us something about the chronological age, but the growing tips of the branches are only a week or two old. A plant's ontogenetic age is measured by the number of cell divisions that occurred in the particular tissue. I'll cut this short and just say that tissues closer to the roots are ontogenetically younger, which makes them more juvenile and vigorous. This is why 'rejuvenation pruning' reinvigorates plants. You 'pare' it back to ontogenetically young tissue and it exhibits the same type of growth associated with juvenile plants. Your plant will do the same thing if you're bold enough to take a chance.

I don't think I've ever steered you wrong, so if it doesn't work, I'll buy the plant from you. Deal? ;o)


    Bookmark   July 3, 2010 at 6:38PM
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jojosplants(9/ Tucson, Az.)

Hi Guys!

Yes, It is a little on the ugly side..LOL! I figured a good bath and a trim at least! ;)

You are a dear friend.. and I appriciate your help and honesty!
Never doubted you, just like to know the whys.. espicially when so drastic. ;) Thanks for explaining that!
I'll have to see what's the strongest in my cupboard, to get some courage;)

So a good trim and leaf removal it is. :)
Yes Al~ it's a deal. ;)

One more question,
Can the stems that I cut off be rooted, or are they gonners..

Thanks for your help too!
It's good to have friends like you!

I'll keep you guys posted.


    Bookmark   July 3, 2010 at 9:32PM
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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

Pick the stems with the healthiest leaves. Remove the last 1-2 leaves (to have emerged) and the growing tip. Leave 2 leaves on the stem, but cut them in half across the veins. If the stems are long enough that you can cover/bury 4" or more you're good - if not, only leave 1 leaf on the cutting. It's so dry where you are you'll prolly need to arrange some sort of tenting to keep humidity up around the cuttings. Don't let the leaves touch the tenting. Site outdoors in shade. ;o)


    Bookmark   July 4, 2010 at 11:50AM
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jojosplants(9/ Tucson, Az.)

Thanks Al~ :)

I hope everyone has a great day and fun tonight!

We can see fire works from our yard, so it's a stay home night for us. :) No traffic..;)

The main mountian the set them off of for the whole city to see, is one mile from us. :)

Happy 4th of July~
Be safe!!!


    Bookmark   July 4, 2010 at 1:03PM
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I have a prayer plant that was my late Mother's. This plant has almost died several times when I managed to rescue one last leaf and get it to root. It was doing pretty well this last time and just in the last week the leaves rolled up and are drooped down. I repoted it yesterday, I misted it and there is no change. It is in a clay pot with a hole which I have sitting in a small pot with stones and water.

What should I try next?

    Bookmark   February 15, 2012 at 12:27AM
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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

First, be absolutely sure the pot isn't touching the water in the cache pot.

Did you bare-root the plant when you repotted? check for rotted roots and remove?

When you water, are/were you flushing the soil at every watering, or does your soil not allow you to do that (for fear of root rot)?

How were you fertilizing? when last? with what? how often?

What kind of light is the plant getting?


    Bookmark   February 15, 2012 at 7:49AM
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Chickie..First, I'm sorry about your mom.

Has the Prayer Plant always been in a clay pot?

Maranta soil needs to dry 'a little,' in-between waterings, especially during winter.

Leaf rolling, Marantas mean too much or too little water..To extremes. In other words, the soil was left dry too long, or kept wet for prolonged periods.

Did you remove one leaf to root, then toss the remaining plant?

Because we don't have the perfect climate, (rain forest) Marantas and relative leaves die back, but will often grow new leaves. They are a rhizome plant like Ginger or Cannas.
In fact, a healthy piece of rhizome can be rooted, made into another plant..
Do you have the original?

Outdoors, Maranta/Prayer Plant do best in shade, indoors, a semi-bright, no, direct sun spot.

As Al stated, be sure the drainage holes aren't sitting in water.

    Bookmark   February 15, 2012 at 12:36PM
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Al, I'm not sure what 'bare-root' means. I took it out of the old pot, added some new soil, made a hole big enough for the roots to sit it and gently firmed the soil. I think I need to buy some sterile soil and maybe root tone some cuttings. I did add some plant food when I repotted. I have it 5 feet away from a west window with a sheer curtain over it.

Hopeful, I think it dried out too much before I watered it and it drooped. I rooted several leaves and only one rooted. I have never thrown away any of it as I was sitting on nails praying something would root. I do have the original from a single leaf, twice! I'm going to try the rooting hormone on a small cutting and in new sterile soil and see how that goes.
Any other suggestions would be great. This plant has given me so many obstacles!

    Bookmark   February 16, 2012 at 3:32PM
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Dee, you never know.
Remove dead foliage and stems..if stems are green, (inside) cut the leaves, keep the stems. (Scrape a little bark off stems to see if there's green inside. If green, the stem is alive. If brittle, snaps instead of flexible, the stem should be removed)

Place plant in brightly lit, no direct sun area. An east window 'directly' is perfect.

Keep away from heating device. Place in a cool room, not cold or too warm. Preferably 65-68F.

Water soil until entire rootball is saturated. Do not water again until soil is barely dry. Soil will look crumbly. Pot, light weight.

I wouldn't ferilize until new growth sprouts..when it's time 1/4 strength will do.

My next suggestion is debatable..I use a product called Superthrive. Some people consider it snake oil, others love it. I use ST once a month, and feel is helps my plants.

Marantas requite humidity...a humidifer is best. Humidity treys and misting helps, too.
Another option: Place your plant inside an open, clear plastic bag, an hour or two each day.
Either early morning or late afternoon. Sun hitting plastic will heat too much, so this should be done when sun is set.

That's all there is to it. :)

When you repot, remember, Maranta/Calathea roots are shallow. Therefore shallow pots are better than long.

Whichever direction you take, I hope your plant sprouts new foliage.
Remember, PP's are temperamental. But, I understand the importance keeping your PP going. Good luck, Toni

    Bookmark   February 16, 2012 at 4:40PM
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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

CD - 'bare-rooting' is removing all the old decomposing and compacted soil from your plant's root structure. Depending on the plant, root pruning often accompanies bare-rooting, and has an additional rejuvenating effect on plants for physiological reasons that I won't go into unless you're curious. I'll link you to a thread that covers the advantages of full repots (as opposed to potting up) and root-pruning at the end of this post.

What you need most now is a good measure of patience and vigilance over your watering habits. The odds are, if you used a commercially prepared soil, that you'll need to be ultra-careful to avoid over-watering. You want your soil to remain barely damp, about as damp as a well wrung out sponge. I would suggest you start checking just how damp your soil is by inserting a chopstick or skewer deep into the pot. If it comes out cool, damp, or dirty, don't water until it comes out clean. Keep the plant warm and in good light, and just wait for the plant to do what Mother Nature has already programmed it to do - grow well & look good. Hopefully, I'll be able to offer some insight into how you can help that process along.

In most cases, the obstacles you have to overcome are directly related to the combination of your soil choice and watering habits. Even things like insect infestations and fungal afflictions can usually be blamed on the weakened condition that results from the stress of a root system that is compromised by the effects of a poor soil that doesn't allow you to water properly.

Most of the new members that come to the forum for help have soil-related obstacles to overcome they never knew they had. Most of the seasoned forum contributors that don't have the same obstacles either make their own soils or significantly alter the physical properties (drainage and aeration) of commercially prepared soils to make them better suited for houseplants.

When you mention obstacles, it's a perfect lead-in for me to say that what defines us in our abilities as growers is our degree of proficiency at recognizing and eliminating limiting factors, 'obstacles' if you will. The plant is genetically programmed to grow well and look good; all we need to do is to reduce the effects of whatever limits the plant. It sounds easier than it is, yet it's not beyond the grasp of even a beginner. I think if you, and all the less experienced growers, keep an open mind and embrace the idea that your soil choice is likely the one decision that most significantly reduces the primary obstacles you face, you'll be poised to make the largest leap forward you can take at one time.

I'd be interested in knowing if you found the link I'm leaving helpful, and if anything I've said moves you to questions.


Here is a link that might be useful: If you're up for homework ...... click me

    Bookmark   February 16, 2012 at 9:34PM
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