We’ve done an in-depth piece on prayer plant in the past, sharing all kinds of growing tips. But we’ve heard that people still have questions on prayer plant propagation. So today, we’re going to go over some propagation techniques for prayer plants and demystify the process for you!
Handy Products For Maranta Propagation:
Propagation By Prayer Plant Cuttings
By and large, propagating prayer plant from stem cuttings from a mother plant is the most popular. This is largely due to the fact that it’s the easiest method for increasing your plant supply. So let’s talk technique!
Begin by examining your plant, particularly the stem. Locate the points at which leaves will form from the stem. These are the leaf nodes, and are usually quite visible along the stem’s surface.
Select a healthy and vigorous cutting, and remove it just below one of these leaf nodes. Be sure to leave the entire node intact, as that’s where new roots will develop. Use a pair of sterilized pruning snips to make a clean cut.
Dip about an inch of your cutting into water, then into a powdered rooting hormone. You can then place your cutting into your preferred potting medium.
Be sure the potting mix remains moist. It helps to keep the humidity up around the prayer plant’s leaves as well. Until your cutting forms roots, it will be absorbing moisture through the leaves as well as the soil. A cover or plastic bag helps keep the ambient moisture high.
Try not to leave too many leaves on the stem. Usually a couple leaves will suffice. Keep your cutting in a low-light location initially. The reduced light will encourage rapid root development.
As the cutting roots, you may see the leaves seeking out brighter light. Once this begins, you can start increasing the amount of time it’s exposed to less-humid air. As it adapts, remove its cover and move it to a brighter location. Voila! You have a propagated prayer plant.
Another common way to propagate prayer plants is via slips. You can do this while you repotting prayer plants. But what is a slip, and how does this process work?
To prepare slips for propagating prayer plants, you’ll want to look over your healthy plant. If there’s many different stems, and they all appear to be vigorous, you can divide these into slips similar to the process of root division.
Prepare fresh potting medium and clean pots. Then, remove your plant from its existing pot. Gently brush off excess soil to expose the root system.
You should be able to tease different clumps of stems and roots apart with your fingertips. These are called slips. You can then replant the slips in new pots at the depth they were planted before. Each slip will form a new plant in time.
Place your propagation plants in bright, indirect light. Keep the soil moist with room temperature water, but not overly wet to prevent conditions where root rot thrives. Soon you’ll have new prayer plant babies.
Propagation From Seed
It’s possible to grow prayer plants from seed. The problem? It’s devilishly hard to locate prayer plant seeds.
While not impossible, the biggest drawback is that prayer plants rarely flower indoors. Without flowering, they don’t produce the seed you’d need to propagate prayer plant.
If you have the luck to live in their natural environment, you can collect seed from the flowers once they fade. Sow your seed in moist growing medium that’s between 55-65 degrees in temperature.
Keep the ambient moisture around your prayer plants as they germinate by placing a cover over them. If you’re sowing directly into their pots, you can use a clear plastic bag as a cover. Starting in seedling trays? Use the seedling tray cover to keep the humidity up.
Much as you would with prayer plant cuttings, you will need to harden off your prayer plants to less-humid conditions. As they develop, you can increase the exposure to your normal air over time. This allows the prayer plants to adapt at their own pace.
The ways to propagate prayer plants are surprisingly easy. I prefer to work from stem cuttings, but separating slips works very well too. And if you’ve got access to maranta seeds, starting them that way is also an option! There’s plenty of choices out there.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Can you propagate a prayer plant in water?
A: You can propagate a prayer plant in water! Follow the instructions for soil propagation of a cutting, and instead of planting in soil, place the cutting in water and wait for roots to develop. Then you can plant it in soil.
Q: Can a prayer plant grow in just water?
A: Yes. However, prayer plants grow best in soil, and growing them in water should be a short-term endeavor. While there are other plants that can subsist in water indefinitely, prayer plants are better suited to earthen homes.
Q: How do I make my prayer plant Fuller?
A: Prune your prayer plant and it should take on a bushier growth pattern.
Q: How do you split a prayer plant?
A: Gently remove the plant from its pot, and carefully separate the root mass where two growth nodes diverge. Then plant each into your preferred medium.
Q: What are the balls on prayer plant roots?
A: These nodules contain nutrients and water the prayer plant stores for later use.
Q: Do prayer plants like shallow pots?
A: They do! Most of a time a pot that is slightly shallow, and wide is better than one that’s deep and narrow. If you’re propagating via slip or root division, use a somewhat shallow pot that’s wide.
Q: Do prayer plants need direct sunlight?
A: No. Instead, keep them in bright, indirect sunlight.
Q: Why is my prayer plant so leggy?
A: It may be that your prayer plant needs more sunlight. While it doesn’t want direct sunlight, an area offset from a brightly-lit window is perfect.