Prayer plants originate from part of the Marantaceae plant family and they’re known for their unusual appearance. Their leaves move upwards at night and then spread out during the day to catch the light. If you already own one of these beautiful house plants, you might wish to propagate it. But how can you propagate prayer plants?
You can propagate prayer plants by removing cuttings from the plant, which you can then grow in water or soil. You can also propagate prayer plants from seeds, although this is less effective.
In this article, we’ll explore how you can propagate prayer plants easily and look at the most successful propagation method, which also happens to be the easiest one.
How to Propagate Prayer Plants
There are various ways in which you can propagate your prayer plant. Here’s a rundown of all of them in detail.
You can propagate a prayer plant in water. To do this, you will have to take a cutting from the original plant. Use a sharp pair of scissors to cut off a stem from below the node.
Put the cutting in a jar of lukewarm water. You want the node on the stem to be beneath the water’s surface.
Then, place the cutting in an area that gets bright, indirect light. Refill the water when the node is no longer covered.
The cutting should start to grow roots within about a month. Once you can see this happening, the cutting is ready to be planted in soil.
- Easy because you don’t need soil
- Self-sustainable and doesn’t require any effort once you’ve set it up
- You can’t use tap water as prayer plants are sensitive to its chemicals
- You need to use a transparent vase or jar so that sunlight will reach the cutting
You can propagate a prayer plant in soil, but you will need a few additional elements.
You’ll start by removing a cutting from the plant but instead of planting it in water, you’ll put it in soil so that it can take root. A small container with moist soil is ideal. The node on the cutting should be covered by the soil.
Your plant needs to be put in an area that gets bright, indirect light. To encourage extra warmth and humidity in the cutting, cover it with a transparent bag. Every day or so, leave the plastic off for an hour or two so that air circulation is encouraged.
It can be difficult to know when your prayer plant has taken root in soil, so gently pull it after a month. If you can feel a bit of resistance, this is a good sign that the plant’s roots have started to grow. You can then proceed with transplanting the cutting into soil.
- You can use rooting hormone to encourage propagation success, to do this, dip the end of the cutting in rooting hormone—this will encourage growth
- You may already have soil in which you can grow your cuttings
- Soil can contain bacteria and pathogens
- It’s difficult to know when the plant’s roots have grown, you have to carefully tug the plants to be sure
Growing your prayer plant from seeds can work, provided you give it a bit more care. For starters, you need to ensure that the seeds are planted in soil that has a temperature of between 5.5–65 °F (-14.7–18.3 °C) to encourage germination. You can cover the seeds with a transparent plastic bag to encourage humidity.
Whether you’re growing your prayer plant from seeds or other methods, you have to harden them off before planting them in a new pot or in the garden. This entails exposing the plants to outdoor temperatures gradually over a period of about a week. This prevents inflicting shock on your plants.
- You can follow many of the same steps as with other propagation methods
- A prayer plant’s seeds are tiny, this can make germination difficult
Root division is when you separate the roots of your established prayer plant and then place the cut parts into new pots with potting mix so that they can take root and grow.
This is an easy way to propagate your plants, but not all plants are strong enough to tolerate their roots being handled and cut. Luckily, prayer plants can tolerate this type of propagation.
When propagating your prayer plant via root division, you must try to cut the roots so that both parts of the root system have their own roots, stems, and leaves, almost like they’re complete plants.
Once you’ve cut the roots and are ready to plant them in new containers, plant them in a soil blend that contains ingredients to encourage water drainage, such as perlite or peat moss.
- Prayer plants have shallow root systems, which prevents you from having to dig deep into the soil to reach their roots
- The plants already have established roots, so you won’t have to give your prayer plant as much assistance as you would when propagating it via other methods
- You can only propagate a prayer plant via root division at certain times of the year—during spring or summer—it’s harmful to the plant if you do root division during the colder months of the year
- You’ll need to repot the original plant from which you’ve cut roots
Another way in which to propagate your prayer plant is to take a stem cutting from it. With the use of pruning shears, make the cut below the node. Make sure you have a healthy cutting that is sprouting leaves.
Once you have your cuttings, put them in a container that contains perlite and peat to encourage drainage. Cover the container or pot with transparent plastic to keep the cuttings warm and encourage growth. The plastic needs a few holes in it to encourage air circulation. Put the container in a sunny spot in your home or garden.
- Easy to do as all propagation methods require stem cuttings
- Stem cuttings can be grown in soil or water, depending on your preferences
- The plant shouldn’t be blooming when you take a stem cutting, make sure you take plant cuttings early in the morning when the plant is hydrated
How to Prepare Soil for Prayer Plant Propagation
If you’re planting your prayer plant in soil, you will have to prepare the soil beforehand to ensure that your plant will get everything it needs to be healthy.
Here is how you should prepare your soil, depending on the method you’ve chosen to use (unless you’re using water propagation, in which case, you won’t need soil or any other medium!).
How to Prepare Soil for Cuttings
If you’re going to be planting prayer plant cuttings in soil, make sure the soil has the following elements
- The right potting mix—ideally, the mix should be soilless and encourage drainage, such as with ingredients like perlite or vermiculite. Then, you can move the cuttings into soil once they have grown roots.
- Holes in the potting mix—this will help you to place the plant cuttings deep into the potting mix to encourage them to take root and be secured in the medium.
- Water the medium when it feels dry—the medium should be moist but not soggy as this can damage the roots that are trying to grow. Read our guide on how often to water your garden to ensure you don’t over-water it.
- Maintain a temperature of approximately 70 °F (21.1 °C)—this will ensure that the plants get enough warmth. But, keep the cuttings in an area that gets bright, indirect light as direct light can damage them.
When choosing a potting soil, make sure it’s healthy for your plants. Don’t know what healthy soil means? Go through our guide to find out.
How to Prepare Soil for Seed Propagation
If you’re growing prayer plants from seeds, you should ensure you follow these tips
- Plant seeds in a medium that maintains a temperature of approximately 60 °F (15.5 °C) so that they have enough warmth to germinate
- The soil should be made up of one part peat moss, one part perlite, and one part compost to give the seeds enough drainage and nutrients—if you have house plants, you should read our guide, Is It Possible to Use Compost For Indoor House Plants and Containers?
- Keep the soil moist so that the seeds can germinate
How to Prepare Soil for Root Division
If you’re propagating a prayer plant via root division, here are the tips to follow
- Use a regular potting mix, this is suitable for prayer plants, but you can also make your own soil by following the previous tips we’ve outlined
- Consider applying mulch, if your original prayer plant was taken out of the ground, make sure you apply mulch to it when you replant it in the same spot—this will encourage moisture preservation
- If you’re doing root division during summer, make sure you water the soil well to prevent the plants from drying out
Your prayer plant requires regular fertilizing. This should be done from spring up to early in the fall, as this is when the plant will be experiencing a burst of growth. You can give your prayer plant fertilizer every two weeks, but dilute it so that it’s half-strength to prevent damaging the plant.
The Most Successful Prayer Plant Propagation Technique
Although you can propagate your prayer plant in various ways, the most successful way is via water propagation. It’s also the easiest propagation method.
Since prayer plants are tropical plants and they can grow in water easily, this makes them excellent candidates for being propagated in water.
That said, you don’t want to keep them in water indefinitely as they require soil in order to thrive.
If you want to grow more prayer plants from your original plant, you’re in luck, because this plant can be successfully propagated in a variety of ways. These ways include taking stem cuttings, growing them from seeds, growing them in water, and growing them from root division.