Prayer plants are a family of plants consisting of 31 genera and around 530 species. The scientific name of the family is Marantaceae, hence it is popularly known as Marantas. They can be found naturally in the tropical forests of various continents such as African, Asian and American. Its characteristics and beautiful foliage make this plant an excellent houseplant. Depending on the species, its leaves can have different shades such as green, white, red or pink. In this article we will take care of seeing everything about repotting prayer plants or maranta.
We will delve into how and when you should repot your prayer plant, what you should take into account to select the best pot and what I usually use. I hope you find the article interesting and get rid of all your doubts on this topic. 😉
Table of Contents
- 1. Repotting prayer plant
- 2. When to repot maranta?
- 3. How to repot prayer plant?
- 4. Best pot for prayer plant
1. Repotting prayer plant
The repot of a prayer plant is something that must be done with a certain frequency, being a task that does not have great complications. That is, there is no special secret. You just have to repot it in the same way as you do with any of your pot plants.
Anyway, and even if it is something super simple, do not worry. If there is something in this blog that we like, it is to write about simple things. That is why we tell you step by step how to carry out this task. Not without first telling you what you need to have on hand to perform the repot.
1.1 What do you need for the transplant?
When we talk about how to repot a calathea we detail the elements necessary for the task, and in the case of the maranta they are exactly the same elements. But since I’m not sure you’ve read our previous post, we’ll list them again. 😉
- Pot: generally the transplant is carried out when the pot is getting small, that is to say that what we will need is a pot somewhat larger than the previous one. About two inches larger will be enough that you don’t need to repot for several months. Your prayer plant will have enough space to continue growing.
- Soil: in terms of soil, repotting is a good time to replace the existing soil with a new one. This will give more nutrients to the plant helping it to better recover from the stress produced by the transplant. In the next section we will see in more detail what I usually use for your prayer plant.
- Garden spoon: this tool is not mandatory that you have it, but it will make the task much easier. In case you don’t have one at home, your hands should make up for its absence.
- Water: you will see that in the section where we will see how to repot the prayer plant we will recommend that once the task is finished we should water the plant. This makes water an important element to keep in mind.
1.2 Soil for repotting prayer plant
As with many tropical plants, prayer plants love to have permanently moist soil. But this does not mean that they like to have puddles on the ground, quite the opposite. The soil for these plants must have an excellent ability to drain water.
If you want to buy a prepared soil mix that will work on a maranta, you can purchase succulent soil. This type of mixture has a chunky structure, but at the same time it contains certain elements with the ability to retain water. In other words, it is a spongy soil, which drains well, but is also capable of retaining a percentage of moisture.
1.2.1 How to make potting soil for maranta
If you are one of those who prefer to choose to do things on your own, here is a recipe to prepare your own land for marantas. As we have already said, the most important thing is to obtain a soil mixture with good drainage capacity, but which at the same time retains some moisture.
With that in mind, we will create a mix using the following ingredients:
- Coconut fiber or peat.
- Soil for pots or compost.
- Perlite, sand or pumice stone.
With these ingredients a very homogeneous mixture is made following the following proportions. 50% coconut fiber or peat, 25% compost or potting soil, and 25% perlite, pumice or sand. And voila, you already have a soil mixture to use in your prayer plant.
Among the ingredients we recommend, coconut fiber or truba will retain some moisture. If you are a gardener who overwaters your plants, it may be better to reduce the percentage of this ingredient (20% or 15%).
The compost or potting soil will provide the nutrients. This is essential for the normal development of any plant. Optionally it can also be substituted for vermicompost.
Finally, the perlite, the pumice stone or the sand will be the ones that give the mixture the degree of aeration that we need for a good drainage capacity. Again, in case you are one of the gardeners who overwaters, you can increase the percentage of this ingredient, thus providing better drainage.
1.3 How do you know if you should repot your prayer plant?
Many times we tend to do everything almost automatically with our plants, without first paying attention to observation. We water them once or twice a week, fertilize them in early spring, repot them once a year. But this shouldn’t be, at least not with the transplant. This is a task that should be carried out only if our plant asks us to do so.
And of course you and I both know that plants don’t talk, so you need to know how to observe your prayer plant to see if you should repot it. There are many signs that you can observe to know it. Let’s quickly look at some of them:
1- Slow growth: marantas have a fairly good growth rate. But if the pot starts to get small, you may notice that its growth will start to slow down.
2- Greater need for irrigation: these plants like to have the soil always moist. So if you start to notice that moisture is lost more easily it is because the roots are taking up more space than the soil. You will see how the water can quickly come out of the holes in the pot.
3- Roots that come out of the pot: when the soil begins to be scarce, the plant will begin to look for nutrients outside the pot. Therefore, it is possible that some of its roots are sticking out of the holes in the pot. If it is resting in the ground, the roots will dig into it.
If you notice any of the three symptoms just mentioned, there is no doubt that you need to transplant your prayer plant.
2. When to repot maranta?
Depending on the type of plant in question, one season may be better than another to repot. Regardless, most plants in your garden prefer to be transplanted in early spring.
The prayer plant is no exception, repotting it in early spring will make it easier to recover from the stress that changing the pot can cause. This is because the growth period has started and the plant has enough energy to recover quickly.
That is why you should avoid transplanting it in the fall and winter. At that time the plant is rested and does not have the energy to survive a transplant.
3. How to repot prayer plant?
We have already analyzed what elements you need to transplant your prayer plant, what is the best soil, what signals you should analyze to know if the transplant is necessary and what is the right time to carry out this task. I think it is time to analyze step by step how the repot should be performed.
First of all, I will recommend you water the maranta a day before. This will soften the soil in the pot and make it easier for us to remove the plant from its interior. It is best to water the day before, and not just before removing the plant, as this will give you several hours to drain the water. In this way, the soil will be wet, but it will not be mud, something that can complicate the task.
If you find it difficult to get the root ball out of the pot, you can find a knife and run it around the edges of the pot. With this we will seek to detach the adherence between the soil and the pot on the edges. Once this is done, you can turn the pot over and gradually remove the root ball from inside.
Always try to remove the root ball as whole as possible, without damaging the roots. The more twisted the roots are, the easier it will be. Since it will allow the root ball to come out whole.
Take advantage of this moment to analyze the health of the roots. If you notice that some are dark brown or black and their texture is too soft, you should remove them. These roots may be rotten due to the presence of some fungus. If there are many roots with these symptoms, it will be better to remove all the soil. Spray with some fungicide and completely change the soil.
With your roots already analyzed, it is time to place the plant in its new pot. Fill with the soil that we recommend in section 1.2.1 and voila, the task is almost finished. It only remains to apply abundant watering.
You will see that in a couple of days your prayer plant will have fully recovered from the transplant. It began to develop new shoots and to grow much more vigorously than before. 🙂
4. Best pot for prayer plant
As we always like to make clear in each article in which we talk about transplantation, that choosing the right pot is important. And it is a detail that gardeners often do not take into account. Both the type of material that we will select and the size are the keys to finding the best pot for your prayer plant.
If you have come this far, you may be interested in reading this article where we analyze which is the best pot for a monstera plant. 😉
4.1 The best potting material for maranta.
Regarding the material there are many options, plastic, terracotta, concrete, glass, wood, etc. To know how to select the best material, three aspects must be taken into account: decoration, watering and weight.
Depending on the type of decoration that the room where you will have your maranta has, one pot material or another may be better. For example, not in all rooms it will be good to place a concrete pot. Choose the material depending on the decoration, and of course your tastes. For example, I don’t like glass pots.
Regarding irrigation, you should know that each material has a different capacity to retain water. For example, terracotta and wood pots drain water the best. While plastic and concrete glass pots are great for holding liquids. If you are a gardener who waters too much, look for a pot of material that drains better, and vice versa if you do not water much.
Finally, if you place your prayer plant in a place that you will hardly ever move it from, you can use a heavy pot (for example, concrete). While if you are always moving the plant from one side to another it is better to opt for a light pot (for example, plastic)
4.2 Prayer plant pot size
Regarding the size of the pot, at the time of repotting we have said that you should look for a pot about five centimeters larger than the previous one. This is because if you are looking for a pot that is too large, the large amount of soil can hold a lot of fluid, which can cause root rot problems.
On the other hand, there is a chance that you don’t want your prayer plant to keep growing. If so, you shouldn’t increase the size of the pot. But for this, at the time of repot, a root pruning must be carried out. This will give the roots room back into the pot and you can put in a good amount of new soil.
So now you know, you shouldn’t go overboard with the size of the pot. There is nothing to be gained by placing a pot that is too large. Two inches larger is enough. And if you are not going to change the pot, do a good root pruning. 😉
More information of prayer plant:
- How to Care for and Maintain Your Unique Prayer Plants – apartmenttherapy.com
- Prayer Plant Care: Mastering This Ornamental Beauty – .bobvila.com