With green stripes on top and a rich purple underneath, this prayer plant is the perfect addition to your calathea collection. This particular plant is native to Brazil, where you’ll find it growing in the shade of big trees in tropical rainforests. Like almost all other calathea, its leaves curl up at night, then unfurl in the morning to catch all the rays they can. One of its nicknames is prayer plant, because the curled leaves look like praying hands.
When looking after your prayer plant, think ‘jungle’. It’s used to dappled light, so it doesn’t like direct sun. If it gets too much sun, its patterned leaves will fade and become dull. Rainforest-like humidity will keep your prayer plant perky. Recreate its tropical home by putting it in the bathroom or kitchen, or give it the full spa experience and mist it regularly. Although it’s a slow grower, this plant will also benefit from a feed with liquid fertiliser once a month in spring and summer. Show it some love and it will pop out gorgeous new leaves in no time.
Did you know?
Prayer plants close their leaves at night and open them again during the day. If yours isn’t opening fully, it might need more light.