The calathea was given its common name, prayer plant, because its leaves fold together at night, like praying hands. If you’re up early enough you’ll see those leaves relax at sunrise, to collect all the day’s rays.
Native to Brazilian rainforests, the prayer plant grows in a variety of different colours in the wild. We think this version is the most spectacular, with beautiful green variegation on the upper side of the leaf and a deep, autumnal purple underneath. In its natural habitat it will grow little white flowers. Those are very unlikely to appear in plant living indoors, but it hardly needs them. This plant is already an absolute showstopper.
To keep your plant happy, give it a spot somewhere that gets a medium level of light and water it whenever the top two inches of soil feel dry. You should also give it a feed with liquid fertiliser once a month in spring and summer.
Did you know?
Too much sun can actually make this plant’s colours fade, so try to keep it away from very sunny windows.