Is Calathea a Prayer Plant

Is Calathea a Prayer Plant? 4 Things You Need To Know

Calatheas are famous not only for their striking appearance and occasionally dramatic personality, but also for the unique way their leaves sway.

Calathea, like the maranta plant, closes its leaves at night, but is it also a prayer plant? Continue reading to find out why this question can be answered both yes and no.

If you’ve ever kept a calathea plant alive, you’ll know that its leaves change with the sun and moon. They shed their leaves during the day and close up shop at night.

Calatheas’ leaves all move, though some more than others.

What is a Prayer Plant?

Maranta leuconeura, also known as the “Prayer Plant,” is native to the warm, humid tropical forests of South and Central America.

Because marantas grow so low to the ground under the canopy of trees, they thrive in indirect light.

Despite the fact that there are approximately forty to fifty different species of Maranta, only a small subset of those are regularly stocked in garden centers and nurseries.

Maranta leuconeura varieties include ‘Erythroneura’ (Red Prayer Plant), ‘Kerchoveana’ (Green Prayer Plant), and ‘var. I’m selling my leuconeura, also known as black prayer plant.

These all have unusual oval leaves with interesting variation. Their leaf colors and patterns distinguish them from one another.

Is Calathea a Prayer Plant

With proper care, Marantas can flower indoors, but their tiny white flowers are nothing to write home about.

The stunning foliage, as well as their unique ability to shift position throughout the day, are the main draws for these plants.

Is Calathea a Prayer Plant?

The prayer plant got its name from the way its leaves move throughout the day and night.

Some people believe that the upward and downward motion of the leaves at night resembles the shape of praying hands.

When discussing this motion, it is commonly referred to as the plant’s “praying.” Falling leaves are a common occurrence during the day.

Typically, movement is soft and unnoticeable. However, there are times when you can see the plant wave and hear the leaves rustle as they rub against one another.

The ten dark spots found on the majority of the leaves of the maranta leuconeura kerchoveana have earned it another name: the Ten Commandments plant. That’s a clever play on the name of the prayer plant.

The Prayer Plant Nickname

The term “prayer plant,” though widely used, does not refer to a plant genus or species.

Plants in the Marantaceae family are frequently known by this name, or more precisely, by this nickname. This flora includes plants of the genus Calathea.

This family of plants includes the maranta, calathea, goeppertia, stromanthe, and ctenanthe. Depending on the time of day, each plant’s leaves shift slightly or significantly.

Is Calathea a Prayer Plant

Members of any of these categories may be referred to as “prayer plants” due to their common “prayer” behavior.

Are prayers said for Calathea? Because “prayer plant” is not a scientific term, laypeople will use “calathea” interchangeably. They are even sold in some stores under this name.

However, the maranta group of plants (maranta leuconeura Kerchoveana, maranta tricolor, and so on) are genuine “prayer-plants,” and the maranta group is typically the plant name referred to when reading about “prayer-plants.”

The maranta group’s leaves have the most noticeable kinetic effect.

Keep in mind that calatheas are frequently mislabeled as “maranta.”

It’s worth noting that calathea leaves can become immobile when neglected or grown in poor conditions.

If you’ve noticed that your calathea is no longer closing at night, it’s critical to figure out why and take corrective action so that your plant can thrive.

Are Calatheas and Prayer Plants the Same?

Is it really going to make a difference? Actually, both. Because, as previously stated, the name prayer plant is not a scientific name, it is used interchangeably for all members of the Marantaceae family.

Care for any member of the prayer plant family is similar, with calathea care being slightly more involved than maranta care.

Calatheas has a harder time thriving in unfavorable environments than maranta.

The calathea is a type of prayer plant, but it is not related to the maranta family.

Plants in the Stromanthe and Ctenanthe families differ as well. However, in terms of tenderness, these two families are most similar to calathea.

Many Calathea plants were reclassified as goeppertia and are now sold as such, though not as frequently. The reclassified plants are still known by the genus name Calathea.

The Similarities Between Marantas and Calatheas

After seeing a few Marantas and Calatheas, it’s easy to tell the difference. They are related because they share some characteristics.

To begin with, their growth patterns and large, intricately patterned leaves are very similar. Because their natural habitat is the forest floor, these plants spread slowly and stay low to the ground.

Is Calathea a Prayer Plant

Marantas and Calatheas, like many other houseplants, thrive in indirect light and can survive in much lower levels of illumination.

In direct sunlight, their leaves can bleach or even burn. These plants thrive in windows that face north or east.

Marantas and caletheas are both slow-growing plants that prefer humid conditions and moist (but not soaked) soil.

Because they are so delicate, plants with this level of uniqueness are notoriously difficult to care for.

Typically, these plants’ leaf edges become crispy and dry as a result of insufficient watering. Although they can be difficult to maintain, many people do it because of the beautiful foliage they produce.

Apart from their shared fondness for constant motion, Marantas and Calatheas are eerily similar. Even if you can’t keep up with their movements in real time, there will be a noticeable shift from morning to evening as these plants move.

A variety of time-lapse videos demonstrate the incredible magnitude of this shift.

It is unknown why this happens, but it is thought to be related to organisms’ attempts to control the amount of light they receive or the amount of moisture they absorb.

The Differences Between Marantas and Calatheas

When comparing these two plants for the first time, you may be unable to distinguish between them.

Only a few Maranta species are currently grown as houseplants, and apart from minor differences in leaf color and pattern, they are all essentially identical.

After seeing a few Marantas and Calatheas, it’s easy to tell the difference. They are related because they share some characteristics.

To begin with, their growth patterns and large, intricately patterned leaves are very similar. Because their natural habitat is the forest floor, these plants spread slowly and stay low to the ground.

Marantas and Calatheas, like many other houseplants, thrive in indirect light and can survive in much lower levels of illumination.

In direct sunlight, their leaves can bleach or even burn. These plants thrive in windows that face north or east.

Marantas and caletheas are both slow-growing plants that prefer humid conditions and moist (but not soaked) soil.

Because they are so delicate, plants with this level of uniqueness are notoriously difficult to care for.

Is Calathea a Prayer Plant

Typically, these plants’ leaf edges become crispy and dry as a result of insufficient watering. Although they can be difficult to maintain, many people do it because of the beautiful foliage they produce.

Apart from their shared fondness for constant motion, Marantas and Calatheas are eerily similar.

Even if you can’t keep up with their movements in real time, there will be a noticeable shift from morning to evening as these plants move.

A variety of time-lapse videos demonstrate the incredible magnitude of this shift.

It is unknown why this happens, but it is thought to be related to organisms’ attempts to control the amount of light they receive or the amount of moisture they absorb.

Which Plant Do You Have?

The easiest way to tell if your plant is a true Prayer Plant (Maranta leuconeura) or a Calathea is to look at its leaves.

Marantas generally have oval leaves, while Calathea leaves run the gamut – round, oblong, and lance-shaped.

Maranta leaves have strong symmetrical patterns, and some types have brightly colored veins and ribs.

On the other hand, Calathea leaves come in a wide variety of colors, often featuring bright colors.

Calathea designs can sometimes look as though they have been painted on the leaf, such as the pink pinstripes on Calathea ornata.

Both Marantas and Calatheas can have dark burgundy or purple coloration on the underside of their leaves.

Since there are only a few types of Marantas commonly available, you may be able to rule out the Prayer Plant easily by comparing your plant to photos online.

Identifying a Calathea may be a bit more difficult, but if you aren’t able to find a photo of a Calathea that looks like yours, it could actually be another Marantaceae species, such as a Ctenanthe.

Regardless of which member of the Marantaceae family you have, these distinctive plants will stand out with their unusual colors and leaf designs.

Is Calathea a Prayer Plant

Although they are not the easiest houseplants to keep happy, they are also resilient enough to grow back if you make a mistake and lose some leaves.

Given the right conditions and attention, both Calatheas and Marantas can be stunning additions to your collection.

Conclusion

Prayer Plants get their common name from their habit of folding their leaves up at night, making them look like praying hands.

These plants move significantly over the course of a day, which makes them one of the most interesting houseplants around.

Because common names can be confusing, many plant enthusiasts tend to use scientific names to make absolutely clear which plant they’re referring to.

In this case, Maranta leuconeura varieties are considered Prayer Plants, but even this can be confusing since Calatheas also fall into the broader Marantaceae category.

Although they are similar words, not all Marantaceae are Marantas (all Marantas and Calatheas are Marantaceae, though!).

Even garden centers tend to mislabel these plants unintentionally, which can mislead consumers about what they have actually purchased.

 

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