The amazingly colored leaves of prayer plants are one of the reasons why it’s pretty popular as a houseplant.
Yet, this plant is also famous for its mesmerizing feature, where the leaves move like praying hands at night. In the morning, the leaves are flat to absorb the sunlight and keep the plant healthy.
While watching this tropical beauty, you might notice that the leaves and stems don’t hold their weight well.
So, why is your prayer plant drooping? Is there anything you can do to fix this problem?
Let’s dive in.
Although prayer plants aren’t particularly demanding, they’re pretty sensitive to environmental changes.
So, any change in the watering schedule, temperature, sunlight, or humidity can significantly impact how your plant looks and behaves.
Droopiness affects the attractiveness of this tropical wonder, and understanding the reasons will help you fix this issue.
In some cases, the droopy look might be caused by a combination of different factors, so you must cross out all the possibilities before trying one remedy.
Prayer plants hold their leaves up at night in a phenomenon known as nyctinasty, adding beauty to the variegated leaves.
During the day, the plant manages to flatten out its leaves and might change their position during different times of the day to absorb more sunlight.
Yet, if you notice that your prayer plant looks sad and droopy, it might be caused by one of the following reasons.
Prayer plants are understory plants that live in the rainforests of Brazil.
So, they thrive in humid, warm, and moist conditions.
Most people pay attention to the water and sun requirements of prayer plants and forget about the importance of humidity for this unique plant.
Low humidity levels can make the plant look less attractive, with a floppy and droopy look.
During the day, it won’t be able to hold the leaves flat, and at night, it might not be able to hold them up in a praying position.
While humidity refers to the amount of water vapor in the air, moisture refers to the amount of water found in the soil.
Prayer plants like moist soil and will become droopy when the soil is too dry.
Providing this plant with evenly moist, well-draining soil will support its growth and keep it in excellent shape.
When the soil is left to dry, the plant will have droopy and unhealthy leaves. If you don’t do anything about it, it will start to curl its leaves in an attempt to retain more moisture and minimize evaporation.
Prayer plants can’t handle being underwatered for too long. So, your beautiful plant will wither and die unless you do something about the lack of moisture.
A lot of people make the mistake of overwatering their prayer plants because they know that these plants love moisture.
Receiving too much water is as bad as not receiving enough water for prayer plants. They’re pretty sensitive, and overwatering the plant will stress the plant and cause the leaves to droop.
Overwatering damages the plant’s root, leading to what is known as root rot. This means that parts of the root system won’t function properly, and the plant doesn’t receive enough nutrients.
As an understory plant that grows under the canopy of tropical trees, prayer plants can suffer tremendously when they receive too much light.
Prayer plants achieve their best color and growth when they receive about 6 hours of indirect sunlight.
Too much light will make the leaves floppy, wash them out, and affect their variegated pattern.
The leaves’ tips will turn brown and curl unless you do something about this issue. Eventually, the plant will die if you leave it in direct sunlight for too long.
Many houseplant owners think that as long as they’re watering their prayer plant regularly, it should be healthy.
However, the type of water you use can significantly affect this plant.
Tap water is usually the culprit when your prayer plant is drooping and looks unhealthy. Since it’s considered hard water, using a softener will lead to the buildup of minerals in the water.
These minerals are unhealthy and will damage the prayer plant in the long run. They resemble the effect of overfertilizing the plant and can burn the roots.
Eventually, they will kill the plant by depriving it of absorbing nutrients and water.
Well water is another wrong type of water that can potentially kill your plant.
First, you’ll notice a white rim forming on the pot’s rim from the minerals’ buildup, especially calcium. Next, you’ll notice that your plant is drooping and isn’t growing.
It’s essential to understand the cause of your prayer plants’ drooping, so you can fix the issue. In some cases, you might have to implement multiple solutions to restore the plant’s health.
This is probably the most challenging issue to identify. So, you need to use a hygrometer.
This is a small device with a display showing a room’s humidity level. If the device reads below 50%, then you should do something to increase the room’s humidity to 50% or 60%.
Try moving your plant away from radiators and vents that might dry it out completely. To minimize humidity loss, you should keep the plant on a stand if you have heated floors.
You can also lightly mist the prayer plant with rainwater that contains no harmful chemicals. But you should avoid leaving the leaves too wet to prevent fungal infections.
Filling a tray with gravel and water and putting it under your prayer plant will help increase the humidity level. Then, as the water evaporates from the tray, the humidity level will be appropriate for this tropical plant.
You can also buy a humidifier. This is a device that increases the humidity level in dry conditions.
Finally, you can keep the prayer plant in the bathroom, which is naturally more humid than other rooms in the house.
Sticking to a watering schedule sometimes doesn’t work for your prayer plant.
The plant needs more water in the growing season and less water in winter when it gets dormant and stops growing.
Adjusting the amount of water you offer your plant also depends on the temperature and light in your home. So, for example, if you live in a hotter climate, you should provide the prayer plant with more water.
You can use a moisture meter to see if you need to water your plant more often.
Test the soil’s dryness by inserting your finger into the pot and see if the first one or two inches are dry. This will help you determine when to water your prayer plant.
If the soil is bone dry, you’ve probably waited too long before watering your plant, and you might have to soak it to keep it healthy. So, give it plenty of water, allowing 25% of the water to pass through the drainage holes.
You might also be using the wrong type of soil. If the soil drains too fast, add some peat moss to the potting mix to retain some moisture.
Identifying an overwatered plant can be challenging.
By the time the leaves are drooping, the roots will already be suffering.
You should avoid keeping your prayer plant in too much water, as this will lead to the symptoms of overwatering your prayer plant, which include droopy leaves and rotten roots.
By inserting your finger into the soil, you’ll be able to tell if you’re overwatering your prayer plant. The water should be evenly moist but not too wet.
If you’re overwatering your prayer plant and the roots are rotten, you need to prune them.
First, you need to remove the plant from the container and wash the roots to remove any dirt.
Then, you should prune the infected brown parts and keep the plant on a baking sheet to allow the roots to dry well.
After that, you should place your plant in a new container and add fresh soil.
Soak your plant and allow the excess water to pass through the drainage holes.
If you’re keeping your prayer plant in bright sunlight, you can move it to a shady spot where it’s not exposed to direct sunlight.
Place the plant about 5 feet away from a south-facing window, covered with a sheer curtain, to provide some protection from the direct sunlight.
Prayer plants are more tolerant of shade than sunlight but won’t experience new growth.
Collecting rainwater for your plant is the best way to water it because this water is free from chemicals and minerals.
You can set up a bucket to collect the rainwater and drain it to remove all the debris and impurities.
If you can’t collect rainwater, you can use distilled water. You can buy it or prepare distilled water at home.
However, sometimes you only have access to tap water. In this case, you can keep it overnight and let the toxins evaporate before using them for your prayer plant.
Prayer plants can start drooping if they’re not receiving enough humidity or water. The droopy leaves can also be caused by too much water or too much sunlight.
Understanding the reason why your prayer plant is drooping will help you find the right solution to fix this problem.
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.