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How to Revive a Prayer Plant from 6 Common Problems

How to Revive a Prayer Plant from 6 Common Problems

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The prayer plant, also known as Maranta leuconeura, is a gorgeous, unique houseplant. This plant gets its special name from folding its leaves like praying hands at night.

Sadly, the prayer plant is prone to some issues that can leave it in poor condition. This delicate plant can be affected by underwatering, overwatering, and any small environmental change.

Do you want to find out more? In this article, we have a detailed guide that can teach you how to revive a prayer plant so that it can bounce back to its beautiful foliage.

Let’s dive into the details right away.

Why Is My Prayer Plant Dying?

Before we tell you how to revive your prayer plant, we need to identify the cause of the problem first.

Here are the reasons that can leave your Maranta dying.

1 – Overwatering

Overwatering your prayer plant can put it in a tough situation. More importantly, it can lead to root rot and other fungal diseases, which can be the end of your lovely plant.

On top of that, too much water in the soil means less aeration for the roots, which can be pretty harmful.

The first thing you might notice in your overwatered plant is the yellowing of the leaves.

Additionally, the stems will probably wilt, and the leaves will start dropping.

2 – Underwatering

Marantas like their soil moist, so they’re sensitive to drought and dry soil. Moreover, overexposure to sunlight can also lead to dehydration, as the water will evaporate quickly.

To add, some low-quality potting soil brands can be bad at holding water. So, water can seep out or evaporate before your Maranta absorbs it.

That said, underwatering your plant can cause it to dry out and lose its leaves.

3 – Unsuitable Lighting

Naturally, Marantas grow in the shade of large trees and shrubs. So, it prefers indirect sunlight.

That’s because direct sunlight can harm your delicate plant and scorch its leaves. The sun can be too harsh for the Maranta to tolerate.

Additionally, not receiving enough sunlight can be just as harmful. Your Marantas can’t survive without sunlight, as it needs it for photosynthesis.

4 – Lack of Nutrients

Typically, the Amazonian plant is resilient, and it requires low maintenance. However, adding some nutrients to its soil every once in a while is crucial to its health.

That’s because the prayer plant requires adequate nutrients to thrive and stay healthy.

Ideally, it needs to grow in rich, fertile soil with plenty of fertilizer all year round.

5 – Low Humidity

As you might know, the prayer plant is tropical. So, it thrives in highly humid conditions.

When the humidity levels go below 50-60%, the plant might show signs like droopiness, limpness, and crispy leaves.

6 – Pests

Many types of pests can attack your folding plant. That includes spider mites and mealybugs. Unfortunately, some pest infestations can be fatal to the plant.

Spider Mites

Spider mites are pests that aren’t visible to the naked eye. So, spotting them can be a little hard.

However, it’s easy to notice the small white dots they leave behind. You can also recognize their webbing between stems and on the underside of the leaves.

In more severe cases, they might cause brown or yellow spots on the leaves.


Mealybugs look powdery and white. They leave behind a sticky substance that can easily spread to nearby surfaces and plants.

The problem with mealybugs is that they cause curling and browning of the leaves.

How to Revive a Prayer Plant

After identifying the reason for the problem, you can start reviving your Maranta. Keep in mind that the process can take some time and effort.

Your plant won’t magically bounce back overnight. So, you’ll need to be patient and provide your plant with all it needs to get well.

To revive your plant, you’ll need to eliminate the reason that caused it to be unhealthy. Additionally, you should provide it with the optimum conditions it needs to thrive once again.

The most crucial part is to act as soon as possible whenever you spot any of the symptoms we’ve mentioned. The sooner you act, the higher chances your plant will survive.

1 – Reviving an Overwatered Prayer Plant

The first thing you need to do when your prayer plant is overwatered is to stop giving it more water.

Then, place your plant in a location where it gets adequate amounts of indirect sunlight. That can help dry the excess water in the soil.

Keep in mind that no matter how overwatered the plant is, you shouldn’t place it in direct sunlight. It can make the situation worse, and your plant might get sunburned.

After that, you should observe the condition of the plant and assess the level of moisture in the soil. In case the soil is too soggy, you might want to consider repotting the plant in new soil.

Moreover, it’s essential to check for any signs of root rot. That includes foul-smelling soil and reddish roots.

Spotting any of these signs means your plant might be suffering from root rot. In that case, you’ll need to repot the plant and sanitize the diseased roots.

Make sure to cut all the infected parts, as root rot can recur.

2 – Reviving an Underwatered Prayer Plant

Dehydration can be too harsh for any plant. Luckily, providing your Maranta with enough water can fix this issue.

However, adding too much water to the prayer plant can be just as bad. So, the best way to revive your dehydrated plant is by submerging the bottom of the pot in a large water container.

The soil will absorb the right amount of water that your plant needs. Alternatively, you can water the plant until the first two inches of the soil become slightly moist.

On top of that, you can mist the plant for a few days to give it some extra moisture. Additionally, it might be a good idea to prune any damaged leaves and stems.

3 – Reviving a Maranta Damaged by Too Much or Too Little Light

Generally, Marantas thrive in bright, indirect sunlight. So, if you’ve been placing the plant in a spot where it receives too much or too little light, you’ll need to relocate it.

Additionally, a burned plant is usually a dehydrated one. Therefore, make sure to provide it with enough water.

On the other hand, Marantas can suffer from low light damage too. In that case, you’ll need to prune the leaves and make sure the plant isn’t overwatered.

4 – Reviving a Maranta Suffering from Malnutrition

Your Maranta needs nutrients to thrive and be healthy. If your plant hasn’t been receiving the nutrients it needs, it might start becoming weak and unhealthy.

However, it should bounce back in no time once you provide it with the nutrients it requires.

So, you should look for a fertilizer that contains a good balance of the following substances:

  • Macronutrients: Nitrogen, Phosphorus, Calcium, Potassium, and Magnesium.
  • Micronutrients: Manganese, Zinc, Iron, Boron, Copper, and Molybdenum.

5 – Reviving a Maranta Suffering from Low Humidity Damage

Low humidity is one of the most common causes for Marantas not surviving in homes. So, if your plant is damaged from low humidity, the first thing you need to do is provide moisture.

You can mist the stem and leaves, as well as add water to the soil.

Ideally, you want to keep the humidity levels above 80% all year round. For that reason, you might need to get a humidifier, especially if you have more than one Maranta.

Additionally, a moisture meter is also a good idea to make sure the soil has the right amount of water your plant needs.

6 – Reviving a Maranta with Pest Infection

You might notice the effects of pests on your Maranta before seeing the culprits themselves. Spider mites and mealybugs are the most common pests you might find on your prayer plant.

Luckily, you can easily treat your tree in a few steps:

  • Separate the Maranta from your other plants to prevent the spread of the infestation.
  • Wipe away the leaves of the prayer plant to remove any insects leeching onto them.
  • Alternatively, you can gently spray the leaves if the mites are too much to handle.
  • Spray the entire plant with a pesticide.
  • Neem oil is a perfect treatment that works on a variety of pests while still being safe for the Maranta.
  • Repeat the treatment weekly until the plant revives.

Final Thoughts

A prayer plant can brighten up any room. Sadly, this plant is pretty sensitive and requires plenty of attention.

While Marantas love moist soil, their delicate leaves are also prone to root rot in cases of overwatering. Additionally, unsuitable humidity or sunlight might kill your prayer plant.

Fortunately, you can revive your Maranta by adjusting the watering schedule. If the gorgeous plant has a pest infestation, you can treat the foliage by spraying it with water and doing a neem oil treatment.

So, while prayer plants are delicate, there are a lot of emergency measures you can take to save your dying plant. Now you know how to revive a prayer plant!

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