Ctenanthe Burle Marxii (Prayer Plant)
Prayer Plant earned its name because of the way its leaves fold together at night, like hands closed in prayer. Its leaves unfold in the morning light, sometimes making a rustling sound.
Prayer plants rarely bloom indoors, but sometimes grow tiny, white tubular flowers on long stems. The flowers are insignificant, anyway. It's the magnificent leaves that are really the attraction.
Height: Up to 12 inches (30 cm)
Light: Prayer plants grow best with bright, indirect light from an east- or north-facing window. It also grows well under fluorescent light. Keep plant out of direct sun; strong sunlight will cause the leaves to fade.
Water: Keep soil evenly moist spring through summer, slightly drier in winter.
Humidity: Requires moist air. Brown leaf tips are a sign that the air is too dry. Try to maintain at least 50% relative humidity year-round. It's a good idea to use a humidity tray or a cool-mist room humidifier.
Temperature: Average to warm (65-80°F/18-27°C) year-round
Soil: Peat-rich potting mix
Fertilizer: Feed with a water-soluble fertilizer diluted by half every 2 weeks spring through fall.
Propagation: In spring, take 4-inch (10 cm) stem cuttings with 3-4 leaves attached. Root them in moist potting mix. When your plant gets too big, you can easily divide it in half by pulling apart its shallow roots.