Prayer plants, also known as Maranta leuconeura, are recognized for their beautiful, tropical foliage and unique habit of folding their leaves at night, resembling hands in prayer. But do prayer plants go dormant?
During the winter months, prayer plants may go dormant, which is a natural, temporary period of reduced growth and activity.
During dormancy, prayer plants require a different care routine to ensure they emerge healthy. Read on for more information below!
Dormancy in plants refers to a period where there is reduced growth and metabolic activity. It’s a survival mechanism that enables plants to thrive in harsh conditions, such as cold temperatures and dry seasons.
During dormancy, plants may lose their leaves or become less active to conserve energy. Once the environmental conditions improve, plants that enter dormancy resume their growth.
In the case of indoor plants, dormancy can occur due to different environmental factors, such as changing seasons, reduced light, and changing temperatures.
Some indoor plant species naturally experience dormancy periods, while some are more sensitive to environmental changes.
Prayer plants are known to go dormant during the winter. This is a natural part of their growth cycle. As long as their basic care requirements are met, prayer plants will continue to grow and maintain their leaf movements.
In the tropical forests of South America, where prayer plants are native, environmental conditions are relatively consistent with high temperatures and high humidity levels. These conditions allow prayer plants to grow without entering a period of dormancy.
Moreover, prayer plants are known for their unique leaf movements, which respond to changes in light. This behavior is believed to be an adaptation to optimize the plant’s exposure to sunlight in its natural habitat.
With proper lighting, consistent temperatures, and appropriate watering, prayer plants can thrive, even during winter and fall. Their leaves may become limp and droop, but they will recover once temperatures return to a suitable level.
If you’re not familiar with how prayer plants look when they’re dormant, you might believe they’re dying. The symptoms of prayer plant dormancy include:
- Reduced growth: During dormancy, prayer plants experience reduced growth and may not produce new leaves as quickly as they normally do.
- Fewer leaves or leaf loss: Prayer plants may shed some of their leaves or have fewer leaves than usual.
- Stagnant or slowed growth: The growth of prayer plants may slow down or even stop temporarily.
- Decreased water requirements: Prayer plants require less water during dormancy, so it’s crucial to allow the soil to dry out more between waterings.
By providing proper care and letting your prayer plant rest and conserve energy, you can guarantee its health after it emerges from its dormancy period.
Here are some steps you could take to ensure proper care for your prayer plant:
During dormancy, prayer plants don’t require as much fertilizer, and it’s best to avoid fertilizing altogether.
Fertilizers can stimulate growth, which isn’t necessary during this time.
While in the dormant period, it’s important to provide the prayer plant with sufficient light.
Place the plant near a bright window or under grow lights, but avoid direct sunlight.
Prayer plants thrive best at temperatures between 60-75°F (15-24°C).
It is important to maintain a stable temperature and to keep the plant away from drafty areas.
It is essential to avoid repotting or moving the prayer plant during its dormancy period.
Doing so may cause unnecessary stress and may disrupt its dormancy processes.
Lastly, reduce the frequency of watering to avoid over-watering. Otherwise, it may cause root rot and may harm the plant.
To reduce the frequency, allow the soil to dry out more between waterings.
In conclusion, prayer plants are tropical plants that can enter dormancy in response to changes in light and temperature. This is a normal part of their growth cycle, and they will recover and thrive with proper care.
To help your prayer plant through its dormancy, provide adequate light, maintain stable temperatures, and adjust watering frequency to avoid over-watering.
Growing up with a mom who filled her home (inside and out) with all sorts of plants, Lisa got her start in gardening at a young age. Living now on her own with a home and yard full of plants (including an indoor greenhouse), she shares all the gardening tips she’s gained over the years.