How to Propagate Prayer Plant

Prayer Plant

Welcome to the fascinating world of propagating the Prayer Plant (Maranta leuconeura), a beloved houseplant known for its vibrant foliage and unique leaf movement.

Whether you’re a seasoned plant enthusiast or a novice gardener, propagating the Prayer Plant can be a rewarding and enjoyable experience. In this article, I’ll share my extensive knowledge and expertise on how to propagate this beautiful plant effectively. Also, here is a detailed article on how to care for Prayer Plant

Prayer Plant Propagation Basics

Before we delve into the nitty-gritty details of propagating the Prayer Plant, let’s take a quick look at the key propagation methods, their timelines, difficulty levels, and materials required. This overview will help you decide which method aligns best with your gardening skills and preferences.

Propagation MethodTime for PropagationWorking TimeTotal TimeDifficulty LevelMaterials Required
DivisionSpring or early15 minutes2-3 monthsEasyPrayer Plant, Pruning shears, Pots, Potting mix
Stem CuttingsSpring or summer20 minutes2-3 monthsModeratePrayer Plant, Pruning shears, Rooting hormone, Pots, Potting mix
Rhizome CuttingsSpring or summer15 minutes2-3 monthsModeratePrayer Plant, Pruning shears, Pots, Potting mix
Leaf CuttingsSpring or summer20 minutes2-3 monthsModerateHealthy Prayer Plant leaf, Pruning shears, Pots, Potting mix

Propagation Methods

Now that we’ve covered the basics, let’s dive deeper into each propagation method for the Prayer Plant. I’ll provide you with comprehensive instructions, materials required, and the pros and cons of each technique to help you make an informed choice.

1. Division:

Prayer Plant


  • Select a mature Prayer Plant with multiple stems.
  • Remove the plant from its pot and gently shake off excess soil.
  • Using clean pruning shears, carefully divide the plant into smaller sections, ensuring that each section has roots and healthy foliage.
  • Plant the divided sections into individual pots filled with potting mix.
  • Water the newly potted divisions and place them in a warm, indirect light location.

Materials Required:

  • Mature Prayer Plant
  • Pruning shears
  • Pots
  • Potting mix


  • Simple and beginner-friendly method.
  • Results in established plants with a higher chance of survival.
  • Allows you to rejuvenate an older, overcrowded plant.


  • Can only be performed when the plant is mature enough to have multiple stems.
  • May require more space and pots for the new divisions.

2. Stem Cuttings:

Prayer Plant


  • Select a healthy stem with at least one leaf and a node (the point where leaves and stems meet).
  • Using clean pruning shears, make a clean cut just below a node.
  • Dip the cut end in rooting hormone to encourage root development.
  • Plant the cutting in a pot filled with potting mix, burying the node and leaving the leaf above the soil.
  • Mist the cutting regularly and keep it in a warm, humid environment with indirect light.

Materials Required:

  • Healthy Prayer Plant stem
  • Pruning shears
  • Rooting hormone
  • Pots
  • Potting mix


  • Allows you to propagate the plant from healthy, disease-free stems.
  • Creates new plants relatively quickly.
  • Ideal for those who want to expand their Prayer Plant collection.


  • Requires more care and attention than division.
  • Success rates can vary, and not all cuttings may root successfully.

3. Rhizome Cuttings:

Prayer Plant


  • Identify a healthy rhizome section with roots and a bud.
  • Use clean pruning shears to cut the rhizome into sections, ensuring that each section has at least one bud.
  • Plant the rhizome sections in pots filled with potting mix, burying them just below the surface.
  • Water the cuttings thoroughly and place them in a warm, indirect light location.

Materials Required:

  • Healthy Prayer Plant rhizome
  • Pruning shears
  • Pots
  • Potting mix


  • Effective way to propagate Prayer Plants with well-established rhizomes.
  • Rhizomes are resilient, increasing the chances of successful propagation.
  • Allows for the creation of multiple plants from a single mother plant.


  • Requires a bit more care and patience compared to division.
  • May take a longer time to establish compared to stem cuttings.

4. Leaf Cuttings:

Prayer Plant


  • Select a healthy Prayer Plant leaf and cut it into sections, ensuring that each section has a vein running through it.
  • Plant the leaf sections in pots filled with potting mix, burying them slightly.
  • Mist the soil and cover the pots with a plastic bag or plastic wrap to create a humid environment.
  • Place the pots in indirect light and monitor for root development.

Materials Required:

  • Healthy Prayer Plant leaf
  • Pruning shears
  • Pots
  • Potting mix
  • Plastic bag or wrap


  • A creative way to propagate Prayer Plants from individual leaves.
  • Can yield several new plants from a single leaf.
  • Ideal for those who want to experiment with different propagation methods.


  • Success rates can vary, and not all leaf sections may develop roots.
  • Requires careful attention to humidity levels.

Problems in Propagating the Prayer Plant

When propagating the Prayer Plant, you may encounter several challenges that can hinder the process. It’s essential to be aware of these potential issues to address them effectively and ensure successful propagation. Let’s take a closer look at the problems you might face:

**1. Inadequate Root Development:

  • Attention: Root development is crucial for the survival of propagated plants.
  • Interest: Are your cuttings or divisions not developing roots as expected?
  • Desire: Achieve robust root growth by ensuring proper moisture levels and using rooting hormone when necessary.

**2. Leaf Cuttings Fail to Root:

  • Attention: Leaf cuttings are a creative but somewhat unpredictable propagation method.
  • Interest: Have your Prayer Plant leaf cuttings failed to produce roots?
  • Desire: Improve success rates by maintaining high humidity and providing consistent care.

**3. Disease and Pest Infestations:

  • Attention: Plants are susceptible to diseases and pests during propagation.
  • Interest: Have you noticed unusual spots, wilting, or insect damage on your propagating plants?
  • Desire: Prevent and treat issues promptly with proper hygiene, well-draining soil, and safe pest control methods.

**4. Overwatering or Underwatering:

  • Attention: Proper watering is essential, but it’s easy to overwater or underwater when propagating.
  • Interest: Are your propagating pots too wet or too dry?
  • Desire: Maintain balanced moisture levels by allowing the top inch of soil to dry before watering.

**5. Lack of Humidity:

  • Attention: Many propagation methods benefit from high humidity.
  • Interest: Are your cuttings or leaf sections drying out too quickly?
  • Desire: Use a plastic bag or misting to create a humid microclimate for your propagating plants.
Prayer Plant

**6. Low Light Conditions:

  • Attention: Prayer Plants thrive in indirect light, even during propagation.
  • Interest: Are your propagating plants not getting enough light?
  • Desire: Ensure they receive adequate but not direct sunlight to promote healthy growth.

**7. Choosing the Wrong Propagation Method:

  • Attention: Different methods suit different situations and skill levels.
  • Interest: Are you struggling with a propagation technique that doesn’t align with your resources or expertise?
  • Desire: Select the method that matches your circumstances and goals for successful propagation.

Tips to Propagate the Prayer Plant the Right Way

Propagation can be an exciting journey, but it’s essential to equip yourself with the right knowledge and techniques to ensure success. To help you along the way, I’ll provide you with both basic and advanced tips for various propagation methods, taking into consideration the problems we discussed earlier.

Basic Tips:

1. Water Propagation:

  • Method Overview: In water propagation, you root Prayer Plant cuttings in water before transferring them to soil.
  • Step-by-Step:
    • Select a healthy stem cutting with a node.
    • Place the cutting in a jar or vase with enough water to submerge the node.
    • Change the water regularly to prevent stagnation.
    • Once roots are about 2-3 inches long, transfer the cutting to a pot with well-draining soil.
  • Tip: Use a transparent container to monitor root growth easily.

2. Soil Propagation:

  • Method Overview: Soil propagation involves planting Prayer Plant cuttings directly into a suitable potting mix.
  • Step-by-Step:
    • Choose a stem cutting with a node and healthy leaves.
    • Plant the cutting in a pot filled with a well-draining potting mix.
    • Water the cutting gently and keep the soil consistently moist but not waterlogged.
    • Place the pot in indirect light and maintain high humidity by covering it with a plastic bag or using a humidity dome.
  • Tip: Use a mix with good aeration to prevent root rot.

Advanced Tips:

3. Propagation by Division:

  • Method Overview: Division involves separating an established Prayer Plant into smaller sections, each with roots.
  • Step-by-Step:
    • Remove the plant from its pot and gently separate the root-bound sections.
    • Ensure that each section has roots and healthy foliage.
    • Plant the divisions in individual pots with fresh potting mix.
    • Water thoroughly and provide appropriate care.
  • Tip: Dividing during the growing season, such as spring or early summer, enhances success.

4. Rhizome Propagation:

  • Method Overview: Rhizome propagation is suitable for Prayer Plants with well-developed rhizomes.
  • Step-by-Step:
    • Cut the rhizome into sections with at least one bud and some roots.
    • Plant the rhizome sections in pots with potting mix.
    • Maintain consistent moisture and humidity.
    • Place in indirect light and monitor growth.
  • Tip: Ensure that each rhizome section has viable roots for better results.
Prayer Plant

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I propagate my Prayer Plant in winter?

Yes, you can propagate Prayer Plants in winter, but it may require extra care due to lower light levels and humidity. Consider using grow lights and a humidity tray to support propagation during the colder months.

How often should I water my propagating Prayer Plant cuttings?

Water when the top inch of soil becomes slightly dry. Overwatering can lead to root rot, so it’s crucial to maintain balanced moisture levels.

Do I need to use rooting hormone for all propagation methods?

No, rooting hormone is optional, but it can enhance the chances of successful propagation, especially for stem cuttings.

What’s the best potting mix for propagating Prayer Plants?

A well-draining potting mix with good aeration, such as a blend of peat, perlite, and sphagnum moss, is ideal for Prayer Plant propagation.

How long does it take for Prayer Plant cuttings to root successfully?

It typically takes 2-3 months for Prayer Plant cuttings to establish roots, but this can vary depending on environmental factors and the propagation method used.

Can I propagate a Prayer Plant with variegated leaves the same way as a non-variegated one?

Yes, you can use the same propagation methods for variegated and non-variegated Prayer Plants. However, variegated plants may require a bit more care to maintain their unique leaf patterns.

About Christopher Evans

Hello, I'm Chris, the green-thumbed Founder of I'm passionate about bringing the beauty of nature indoors through houseplants and indoor gardening. Let's create healthier and more beautiful living spaces, one plant at a time!

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