The Different Types of Prayer Plants
Prayer plants are well-known as hardy indoor plants that are easy to grow and have vibrantly colorful leaves. But what many people don’t realize is that there are actually several different types of prayer plants out there – and each is unique in its own way.
The first thing that you should know is that most prayer plants belong to the Maranta leuconeura species. However there are other species under the Maranta genus that feature ‘praying’ leaves that close up at night – making them also known as prayer plants.
Some of the more common types of prayer plants out there are:
Maranta leuconeura ‘Erythroneura’
Also known as the ‘red prayer plant’ or ‘herringbone prayer plant’, this variant is one of the most common types of prayer plants nowadays. It has dark green leaves with a lighter shade of green running down the spine and prominent arching red veins.
Normally this type of prayer plant will only grow 6 to 8 inches tall, and will produce flowers that are light lavender.
Maranta leuconeura ‘Kerochoviana’
The kerochoviana variant of prayer plant is arguably the most popular type currently, and is also known as the ‘green prayer plant’ or ‘rabbit’s foot’. It is known for its green leaves that have purple marking between the veins.
Unlike many other types of prayer plants, the veins on the kerochoviana variant are not that prominent. However it does have darker green patches that look like animal tracks – which is where the name rabbit’s foot stems from.
Maranta leuconeura ‘Massangeana’
The massangeana variant of prayer plant is characterized by its silvery-blue leaves which have dark olive edges and splotches of purple. It is because of its dark tones that it is often referred to as the black prayer plant.
In contrast to its leaves, the massangeana variant has small white flowers. It will typically grow up to 11 inches in height at most.
Maranta leuconeura ‘Marisela’
Typically this type of prayer plant is known as the Marisela prayer plant, and it is one of the easiest types of prayer plant to care for. The Marisela variant is easy to spot due to the striking herringbone-like patterns of its light green veins that stand out against the darker toned leaves.
Because it has a scandent growth pattern (i.e. like a vine), it is perfect for hanging baskets.
While it may not be as common as other types of prayer plants, the Calathea Ornata is known for its pattern of light-green stripes on oval, dark green leaves. The pattern is the reason why it is often known as the ‘pinstripe Calathea’.
The Calathea Ornata can grow up to 2 feet tall due to the fact that its leaves grow out of relatively long stems.
Unlike other Calathea prayer-plants, the Calathea Orbifolia’s leaves do not have a maroon underside. It has large, glossy, green leaves that are striped in a way that makes them look like candy.
In recent years the demand for this type of prayer plant has been steadily increasing and it is now one of the more expensive variants out there.
Starting to see how each type of prayer plant is different? For the most part growing and caring for them is similar however, so it really boils down to a question of which aesthetic you prefer.
Make no mistake there are other variants of prayer plants out there as well – and about 40 different species under its genus. That being said the six that are listed above are the most popular variants – and are the easiest to find.