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Prayer plant   

Calathea zebrina

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Prayer plant is a member of the Calathea (Prayer plant) family. Its botanical name is Calathea zebrina. The scientific name epithet zebrina means 'zebra-striped'.

Pretty striped foliage dark green on bright green, with paler midrib, purple veins on underside of leaf with pinkish stems. Grows in clumps, new leaves uncurl from tightly rolled leaf bud

Leaves usually appear in   Deep jungle green and   Kelly green

Prayer plant grows as an evergreen and is a flowering non-edible houseplant / ornamental. Being an evergreen plant, it will keep its leaves throughout the year.

Prayer plant normally grows to a clump-forming habit with a max height of 1.95 feet (that's 60.0 cm metric).

Brazil is believed to be where Prayer plant originates from.

Prayer plant tends to need a moderate amount of maintenance, so ensuring that you are aware of the soil, sun, ph and water requirements for this plant is quite important to ensure you have a happy and healthy plant.

This plant info is provided by the myfolia gardener's wiki. All details about Prayer plant have been kindly provided by our members.

How to grow Prayer plant

  • Dappled Sun

  • Full Shade

  • Medium

Lower light requirement than most house plants. They are very fussy and quite difficult to keep. Humidity is important and frequent spraying helps, and a higher temperature than most other houseplants, although not made warm by direct sunshine!

A dappled sun / full shade position will ensure your plant thrives and remember to water moderately. Prayer plant is generally regarded as a tender plant, so remember to wait until your soil is warm and the night time temperature is well above freezing before moving outside.

See our list of companion Plants for Prayer plant to see which plants you should plant in close proximity to encourage growth.

Growing Prayer plant from seed

Calathea is best divided to make new plants, it rarely flowers as a house plant

Transplanting Prayer plant

Use a peat based mixture, do not be tempted to divide the plant too early, the foliage seems to provide a microclimate to help protect the plants growing leaves in the centre of the pot.
Best grown as a group pr placed in a container with other plants to increase humidity

Prayer plant is tender, so ensure you wait until all danger of frost has passed in your area before considering planting outside - as a guideline, the minimum temperature outside should be approximately 18°C / 64°F.

How long does Prayer plant take to grow?

These estimates for how long Prayer plant takes to sprout, grow and harvest are from real observations from real gardeners, right around the world.

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Other names for Prayer plant


Calathea zebrina (Sims) Lindl.

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