How to Propagate Prayer Plants – Maranta (with pictures)

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Learning how to propagate prayer plants is easy as it’s actually propagating them as they can grow like crazy. You can propagate your maranta plant in a few ways, water propagation being most popular and rewarding.

We’ve got photos showing the steps too for some methods to make things even easier.

How to Propagate Prayer Plants - Maranta Propagating Tutorial with Pictures

How to Propagate Prayer Plants

When we talk about propagating prayer plants – we have these specific plants and their variations in mind.

Maranta Tricolor (Herringbone Plant), Maranta leuconeura, and Maranta leuceneura kerchoveana. Variegated varieties or other special kinds of these types (like Maranta Lemon Lime) are propagated the same way.

Other plants in the maranta group are also commonly called prayer plants – the many varieties of calathea, ctenanthe, and stromanthe. However, these do not propagate in all the ways a “regular” prayer plant would. The most common way to propagate these is by root division.

Maranta Prayer Plant Different Ways to Propagate

  • water propagation
  • propagating in soil
  • propagation from seed
  • by root division

How to Water Propagate Maranta Prayer Plant (with pictures)

This is by far the easiest way of propagating prayer plants.

Our maranta leuconeura kerchoveana variegata got damaged, the stem got broken. This can be a sad occasion with many plant species; with prayer plants, it’s usually a great opportunity to propagate! You do not need rooting hormones or any other additives to succeed.

What you need?

  • plant
  • scissors or a sharp tool
  • glass jar
  • water
  • clear bag

1. Cut bellow the node

Locate the nodes on your plant and cut the stem below the node. You need only one node to propagate your maranta in water. We have 3 nodes (all circled on the image below) in the stem we will propagate as the plant was damaged at the soil level – not visible here.

Nodes are easy to spot on prayer plants; they are small bumps from where new leaves and growth develops.

You need to leave about half an inch (1 cm – 2 cm) of stem bellow the node.

Make sure the tools you use for cutting are clean and sharp. Make a clean cut.

2. Place the plant in water (make a propagation station)

Pop the plant cutting in water. The water needs to be plant friendly – room temperature, and if using tap water, you should leave it to sit for at least 24 hours before using.

The nodes should be submerged in water; the leaves shouldn’t be. You can trim a couple of leaves if there are too many, so the plant focuses on producing roots. This step isn’t essential, though, especially if you have good conditions for a prayer plant, as it will grow roots really quick and won’t have an issue with pushing out a leaf or two in the meantime, either.

You can get a fancy propagation station; many eye-catching ones are being sold in stores and online – however, a glass jar of any sort will do the job equally fine.

How to propagate prayer plants in water

3. Bag it

If the conditions aren’t ideal – improve your chances, place a clear bag over the plant. This will keep your plant happier.

You can blow in some air with a straw – this will make it’s environment even friendlier.

Place your propagation station to a bright spot without direct sunlight.

Maranta prayer plant water propagation

4. Waiting and Changing Water

Let the waiting begin! We should note that it is completely normal to check your plant for signs of new roots every 5 minutes. Everybody does that.

Your prayer plant will be ready to plant in soil in as little as 2 weeks. There is no rule about how long it takes for the roots to grow enough for you to plant them, though, so do not get discouraged if it takes a month or even more. As long as you see new growth and the plant is looking fine, you shouldn’t worry about it.

As for changing water, this does depend on the size of the jar a bit. Some swear it is best to change the water every 2 days, some never change the water. In a period of 1 month that it took for our plant to develop the roots ready for planting, the water was changed 1 time.

If the water is clear, there is no sign of algae or any other impurities, and the roots grow (you see changes in size every few days), the water is fine.

One week

After roughly one week, this was the state of our water propagated prayer plant. See the little white roots coming out?

Roots starting to grow

Two Weeks

After two weeks, the roots are nice and long already. The growth slowed down, so here is where the water was changed. Same as the first time, room temperature water was used.

3rd Week

In the 3rd week, the prayer plant went all crazy, making new leaves. We started water propagating this maranta plant with 2 leaves and a third one on the way. In the third week, it had 5 leaves, with another one on the way.

4th Week

Remember, it can take less or more time for the roots to be strong enough for the cutting to be planted in soil. When you see good roots (inch and a half / two-inch – 5 cm), you can move your plant from the water jar to the soil.

5.Planting your water propagated prayer plant in soil

Grab a pot that isn’t too big but also has enough room for the prayer plant’s roots to grow freely. Also, prepare the fresh potting soil.

Add a bottom layer of soil into the pot. Pop the rooted plant into the pot.

Fill up with soil, carefully.

Water Propagation Maratna Prayer Plant

You can water it and place a bag over it for a few days as it might struggle a bit for a while once planted in soil. The bag is handy if you have dry air in your home.

This maranta was propagated during winter – which is not ideal as the air is drier because of heating – so a clear bag will help it keep optimal humidity levels.

Now that you know How to Propagate Prayer Plants in water, we really hope you will give it a go.

How to Propagate Prayer Plant Maranta in soil (pictures to follow)

This method isn’t as satisfactory as the water propagation as you won’t see the roots grow, but it’s a simple one.

Propagating in the soil is best when you want to make your already established plant look fuller by planting cuttings in the same pot.

As with maranta water propagation, cut bellow the node, leaving enough stem below the node.

Dip the end of the cutting in water (about an inch or so) and then in rooting hormone. “Plant” the cutting into soil, either into a new pot or in the same pot with the mother plant. Water.

Make sure the soil is on the moist side until roots develop. Propagating in the soil is a bit more demanding for the plant, so we recommend pruning leaves if there are too many. As with water propagation, you can add a bag over the plant to maintain high humidity.

Propagating from seed

If you are lucky enough to have your prayer plant bloom, you can also try propagating it from seed. Seeing something grow from a seed is really satisfactory. However, compared to other methods of propagating prayer plants, this one isn’t as easy.

These flowers are tiny and pretty – there will probably be many of them, but each only blooms for a short while, so you need to be mindful of that when you plan to collect them.

Sow them in a moist medium and keep them in a warm place (bag it). If you are lucky, you should see the plant sprout in a couple of weeks.

How to Propagate Prayer Plants by root division?

Propagating by division is more common for calatheas, stromanthes, and ctenanthe plants (which are also prayer plants) however if your mother maranta plants are big enough, has many stems coming out of the soil, and you feel comfortable splitting them into two, you might give this a go once it is time to repot and if everything looks right.

This is also called slip division.

Once you have the plant out of the pot and roots cleaned, gently “untangle” and tease apart roots with your fingers. You should be able to separate different stems fairly easily.

Once separated plant in fresh potting soil.

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3 thoughts on “How to Propagate Prayer Plants – Maranta (with pictures)”

    • Most grocery stores have them – I mostly have zip lock bags as they can be reused, or just use any bag that comes with produce I buy. Clear containers can be great as well.


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