Prayer plant is one of the most popular plants and thrives in humid and tropical-like conditions.
This represents a challenge for homeowners and houseplant keepers, especially since prayer plants are sensitive to environmental changes.
Our prayer plant watering guide will tell you everything you need to know about this fantastic houseplant, how often you should water it, and how much water it needs.
So, keep reading to find the answers to your questions.
Prayer plant is native to the tropical forests of Brazil, where it grows as an understory plant.
In your home, this plant will thrive as long as you provide it with enough water, food, and filtered sunlight.
Like other members of the Maranta family, prayer plants shouldn’t be overwatered or underwatered. Changes in their watering schedule can lead to leaf rot, wilt, and the death of the plant.
You should water your prayer plant once every one or two weeks or whenever the soil feels dry.
This plant thrives in moist, organically rich soil, so you should never let the soil dry out completely because it’s not drought tolerant.
Watering your plant more often is crucial during the growing season, as this plant can die quickly if left unwatered.
At the same time, the rhizomes that grow under the soil store water and nutrients, so you shouldn’t overwater it.
If the plant is kept in a brightly lit area, you might have to water it more often. However, it can tolerate some shade, as the intense light can wash out the leaves.
The plant enters a dormant state in winter, so you might need to water it less often.
Ideally, you shouldn’t stick to a schedule. Instead, touch the soil and see if it feels dry.
If yes, then it’s time to water your prayer plant.
As a novice houseplant owner, you might wonder about the right amount of water to use with your plant.
As a matter of fact, there’s no clear answer to this question because the amount of water you use depends on several factors.
- The growing stage of the plant affects the amount of water it needs, as younger plants require more water until they are established.
- The place where you keep the pot plays a significant role, too. Prayer plants, will need more water in hotter climates and brighter light.
- The type of soil you use for your prayer plant.
This exotic tropical plant thrives in well-draining, moist soil. The soil should allow the excess water to pass through to protect the plant from root rot.
If the potting mix is relatively compact, you should water your prayer plant less often to protect it from root rot.
On the other hand, if you’re using a potting mix with sharp drainage, like a cactus mix, you’ll need to add peat moss to retain moisture and keep the rhizomes moist and nourished.
Once the top inch feels dry, it’s time to water your plant.
Watering the pot in two locations is recommended to guarantee that moisture reaches every part of the root structure. However, watering only one spot can leave parts of the root system dry and yearning for water.
If you’re unsure about how moist the soil is, use a moisture meter.
This small device can be inserted into the soil to measure its dryness.
For prayer plants, the pointer should point somewhere toward the middle or the wet end to keep the plants healthy. Once the pointer drops, it’s time to add more water to your plant.
Keeping an eye on your plant and how the leaves look will help you decide if you should water it more often.
Prayer plants are slow-growers, so people might not feel that their plants are suffering since they don’t grow much.
As a result, they might be underwatering their plants and get shocked when they dry out and wither. So here are some signs to watch out for.
As mentioned, this is a significant indicator that your plant needs extra water.
But don’t rely on appearance, as you need to touch the soil. If the first 1 or 1.5 inches feels dry, it’s time to water your plant.
If you notice that the water dries more often and you need to water your prayer plant every other day, then it’s time to move it into a larger pot.
The soil could also be drying because of bright sunlight, low levels of humidity, or drafts. In this case, you might want to reconsider the place where you’re keeping the prayer plant and its surroundings.
This might be a bit challenging for a novice prayer plant owner, but it can help you decide if there’s something wrong with your plant.
Wet soil weighs more than dry soil. So, get used to the weight of the pot when you’ve just watered your plant.
Whenever the pot feels lighter, then it’s probably time to water your prayer plant one more time.
This method can be tricky because prayer plants move their leaves up and down all the time as they move closer to the sun. However, if you notice that the leaves are droopy and look unhealthy, your plant might be dehydrated.
However, the leaves can also droop when you overwater your prayer plant, so you should also pay attention to the other signs.
Prayer plants will curl their leaves to decrease their surface area when they don’t receive enough water.
Plants do this to restrict the amount of moisture lost when you don’t water them often.
When you don’t pay attention, you’ll notice that the curling leaves are becoming more tube-shaped, sticking to the stem.
Once you water your plant, the leaves should flatten out.
Prayer plants’ leaves will become dry and brown when the roots are dry. However, when the tips are dry, crisp, and brown, this could indicate a lack of humidity.
In this case, you should avoid overwatering your plant.
Yet, if the dryness and crispiness extend to the whole leaf, it’s time to provide your plant with some extra water.
Distilled water is a good choice for prayer plants.
These plants are sensitive to minerals and salts that can be found in tap water. Salt and chlorine can also harm this plant, especially when using a water softener.
If you can’t use distilled water, fill a pitcher with tap water and leave it overnight. Then, the harmful minerals will evaporate, and you can use the water to water your prayer plants safely.
It’s also recommended to use slightly warm water with these tropical plants.
Most plants can go without water for two or three weeks. However, prayer plants need more water than most houseplants.
So, they will show signs of underwatering sooner than other indoor plants.
This plant will generally show signs of underwatering within two weeks and greatly suffer within three weeks. If you don’t water your plant, it will die.
The answer is: Yes.
Prayer plants are native to rainforests and will thrive in your home when the conditions mimic the conditions in their natural habitat.
They prefer average to warm temperatures, as they can’t tolerate cold weather, and they will grow best in high humidity levels.
You can increase the humidity levels for prayer plants by adding rocks and gravel to the tray under the pot. This will help retain moisture and increase the humidity levels around your plant.
Moreover, you can invest in a humidifier and use it close to your plant. It will keep the air moist, especially in the winter when there’s a lack of humidity.
In addition, misting the plants’ leaves is essential as it helps increase the humidity levels. However, you shouldn’t let the leaves stay wet for prolonged periods, as this can lead to the formation of fungal infections.
Finally, picking the right location for your prayer plant will keep it healthy. You can keep your prayer plant in the bathroom or kitchen because the weather is naturally warm and humid.
Prayer plants need to be watered once every week or two, requiring less water in the winter.
If the soil feels dry and the leaves are curling, you should water your prayer plant more often.
These plants also love humidity, so you need to mist them regularly.
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.