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Simple Tips for Pruning Your Prayer Plant

Simple Tips for Pruning Your Prayer Plant

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Pruning is an essential task for every plant lover. Whether you grow for decor or food, give your greenery a boost with a bit of TLC.

A Prayer plant is no different. Two things to keep in mind here: use a sharp sterile cutter and prune above the node.

When to Prune Prayer Plants

Two seasons are prime when it comes to pruning. These are spring and fall.

Spring pruning will spur new life in the coming season. In the fall, you should clean up your overgrown prayer plant.

What You’ll Need

First off, grab your pruners and something for sterilizing. You can use anything sharp. The important part is you prepare it.

Use alcohol for cleaning your tool. Douse your pruner and wipe it clean. It’d be best to use cotton balls, but cloth will work fine.

If you use cotton balls, keep extras soaked in alcohol around. You’ll need these if you have to make multiple cuts.

What Else Can I Clean With?

Aside from alcohol, you can use bleach to sterilize your pruner. Make sure you mix water at a 1:10 ratio to get a 10% solution.

Vinegar is another effective cleanser. Use directly and wipe dry.

You can also apply heat to disinfect your equipment.

Then again, you can always go with soapy water. Wash as you would with your dishes.

What to Do in Spring

In order to grow a bushy prayer plant, spring pruning is essential. Follow these steps to encourage your plant’s natural instincts to produce.

  1. Ready your clean pruner and extra supplies for rounds
  2. Weed out the long stems and unhealthy leaves
  3. Search for the node at your desired length
  4. Snip in one swift go because bruising can lead to infection
  5. Disinfect with your preferred method
  6. Repeat steps three to six

Now, you’re mostly done. You should have a well-groomed plant that’s ready for the season.

How to Prune Minus Infections

Plant lovers beware. I can’t stress enough the importance of angles for fat stems.

What’s the Big Idea?

The idea is that when your plant gets a shower, water may pool on a bruise. If you angle your cut right, you can promote dry wounds.

A bigger tear is more inviting to bacteria; which leads to more chances of infection.

Prayer plants normally have skinny stems. However, these are also uniquely sensitive plants.

The key here is to cut almost in the ground’s direction.

Wouldn’t That Leave a Large Wound?

That’s a good point! A larger opening gives infections a better shot at the plant.

Still, just like us, plants have the natural ability to heal. The key is in keeping outside moisture off the green opening.

How Do I Keep My Prayer Plant’s Wounds Dry?

With a bit of TLC, your prayer plant’s tear will swiftly scab over. Thus, preventing bacteria from entering.

What TLC Should I Do?

The number one rule is to repel water off the gash. There are a few ways to further dry the slit.

First and foremost, make a slanted cut to help the water slide right off. It doesn’t have to be straight down, but close to a 45° angle.

You may also keep your plant under some type of cover until the wound scabs.

Don’t forget to water from the bottom so you quash any danger of splashing. Use a dish or basin and let your prayer plant sit for 30 minutes.

This way, you can safely moisten your plant’s media. The leaves won’t get wet or dirty, either.

What to Do in the Fall

Fall is when most plants go dormant. The days are shorter and the nights are cooler.

In the following season, plants are inactive. Before then, it’s best to prepare your prayer plant for a restful winter.

You can follow the same steps for springtime. The exception is what you need to spot. Look for browning or dead leaves and stems.

Why Do I Need to Prune in the Fall?

There are two good reasons to prune back in the fall. One is for looks, another for health.

Obviously, you bought your prayer plant to adorn your home or office. Browning or yellowing on the plant can defer that.

Besides, you want lush decor for a plant. Pruning back in the fall will reduce its water loss.

Why Would It Lose Water?

As with anything that can retain water, plants also lose precious H2O from heat. Add that to the lack of ability to take in water, your prayer plant will dry out.

In dormancy, roots are inactive as well. Therefore, your prayer plant won’t replenish the water it loses.

The more leaves a plant has, the faster it loses water. This natural circumstance is the reason you need to cut off excess leaves.

Do I Tend to My Prayer Plant the Same as Normal?

Prayer plants are rather hardy. With that said, they’re also quick to respond negatively to bad practices.

You can actually neglect your prayer plant, and it’ll happily sit and be attractive. Moreover, give it a drink every now and again.

How Often Should I Hydrate My Prayer Plant?

As a classic houseplant, prayer plants dislike wet feet. It could suffer root rot if overwatered.

It’s best to follow a tried-and-true method for watering. This perfect system means checking the actual soil for moisture. You can pour ample amounts of water if it’s too dry.

What’s the Right Moisture Level?

In both soil and air, 50% moisture is standard. Depending on the weather, as well as plant and pot sizes, you’ll have to make minor adjustments.

In cooler weather, water less. Always make sure the media is half dry before ensuing.

During warmer months, you’ll have to check for moisture more frequently.

Does Size Matter?

It can be a little confusing but bear with me. You might just stave off the death of your prayer plant.

Sizing isn’t strictly for the plant, but the ratio to its container. If your prayer plant is the right size for its pot, then water it as you would.

Though, if your plant is rootbound, you’ll need to give it a drink every two days or so. The container can’t hold enough water for the plant; you’d best repot.

On the other hand, if the pot is bigger, do the opposite. The soil will tend to hold sufficient water for days, even weeks. Beware of root rot!

Where Do Prayer Plants Even Come From?

Maranta Leuconeura is commonly called the prayer plant. These cover the ground of South American woodlands. You’ll discover them under the trees where moisture is high and the sunlight is parse.

You should mimic this natural habitat as best as you can. If you do, your prayer plant will perform its best.

What Types of Prayer Plants are There?

Around 40 to 50 are known. Some of the most-sought out prayer plants are:

  1. Erythroneura: With the moniker herringbone, a fish bone pattern drapes its leaves in red and shades of green.
  2. Kerochoviana: Commonly named rabbit’s foot, this specimen has unique paw-like markings across its light and dark green leaves.
  3. Goepertia ornata: Also known as the pinstripe calathea. It flaunts long and pink imprints on its green and pointy leaves.

Final Thoughts

Cutting any plant is frightening. Just follow these three golden rules on how to prune a prayer plant.

First is to cut back in spring and fall. Doing so in these seasons will support a healthy upbringing.

The second thing to keep in mind is to cut above a node at a 45° to 60° angle. Snip with the goal of keeping water off the wound.

Finally, use a sterile pruner to remove yellow and brown parts. If chopping off a long vine, you may get to propagate the cutting.

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