Prayer Plants, also known as Maranta leuconeura, are quick-growing tropical plants native to Brazil. Because of their ability to quickly grow new leaves, they can become overwhelming if not properly taken care of. So, how do you cut back an overgrown Prayer Plant?
Prayer Plants can be trimmed using sharp, sterilized shears. Decide where the plant needs to be pruned and simply cut underneath the plant’s nodes. After that, the plant should be returned to its original location, and any cuttings can be propagated to grow new Marantas!
If you’ve never pruned a plant before, the first time is always a bit intimidating. But don’t worry, it’s simpler than you think. This article will talk a little bit about why you should trim a Prayer Plant. It will also cover how to prune one correctly. Keep reading to learn about sterilization, propagation, and more.
Can a Prayer Plant Be Cut Back?
The quick answer to this question is yes! Prayer Plants can and should be trimmed back. Pruning is important to keep the plant manageable. Marantas are known to grow quickly under the right conditions, which can make them overwhelming.
When done at the right time of year, regular pruning can also encourage growth! This is something to consider if you want a fuller or larger Prayer Plant, as trimming allows the plant to focus its efforts on specific parts of the plant.
The pieces trimmed off can also be propagated to grow new Marantas. If your Maranta is wild and overgrown, you may not be interested in this. But it is a good option for anyone interested in expanding their plant collection.
Should You Trim Your Prayer Plant?
The decision to prune your Maranta is ultimately up to you. While there are plenty of benefits, there’s also no harm in letting your Prayer Plant grow without intervention. There are plenty of examples of unaltered houseplants growing successfully online.
However, pruning is actually a natural process. In the wild, it takes many different forms. Plants can be subjected to extreme weather events that cause them to lose leaves and stems. They can also be stepped on, eaten, or moved by wild animals. These aren’t the same as being pruned but are good examples of how it happens in nature.
Additionally, pruning helps your plant decide how it spends its energy. Keeping dying or old leaves prevents your Prayer Plant from focusing on growing. Rather than using its energy to keep these parts, your Maranta can be using that energy to create new growth.
What Tools Are Best for Trimming Prayer Plants?
Trimming your Prayer Plant doesn’t require many supplies. You probably have everything you need already lying around your home!
At the very least, you’ll need shears and a sterilizer. Shears, an alternative name for scissors, can be purchased at almost any store. While there are plenty of types specifically for plants, you don’t need anything special for a Prayer Plant. If you are interested in purchasing shears just for your plants, I like this pair from Amazon.
Besides shears, a sterilizing agent is vital to pruning any houseplant. A sterilizing agent will kill bacteria, fungi, and other pathogens that might be present on your shears. The best options for sterilizing your shears are bleach or isopropyl alcohol. Either of these will effectively kill anything that might harm your plants. Just be sure to dilute them properly!
A drop cloth isn’t necessary for trimming a Prayer Plant but can make cleaning up easier. You can purchase a specialty one online or use something you already have, like a towel or old sheet.
How to Cut Back Your Maranta
Pruning a Maranta is simple. Besides the preparation, the entire process shouldn’t take more than thirty minutes!
To prune your Maranta leuconeura, decide where you’d like to cut. If your goal is to encourage more growth, pick parts of the plant that are bare or leggy. If you simply want to make the plant more manageable, trim off the areas that are especially wild or overgrown.
After you’ve decided where to cut, set up your workstation. You’ll need shears, a sterilizer, and a drop cloth. Sanitize your shears using a diluted mixture of bleach or rubbing alcohol (do not mix the two). Allow your shears to dry completely before making any cuts.
If your goal is to encourage new growth, make the cuts just above the leaf nodes. These are the parts of the plant capable of growing fresh leaves, roots, and stems. They tend to be a little bit thicker than the rest of the stem.
If you are trimming your Prayer Plant back because it is overgrown, it won’t matter too much where you decide to cut. However, pruning is an excellent opportunity to take cuttings from your Maranta. You can use these cuttings to grow new plants.
After you’ve finished pruning, return your plant to its original location and thoroughly water it. Avoid moving it to somewhere new. This can shock the plant and increase the likelihood of it reacting poorly to being trimmed.
It’s recommended that plants get pruned in the early spring before the plant enters its growing season. This makes it easier for the plant to heal and increases the amount of new growth that the Maranta will produce when the weather warms up. However, pruning can be done at any point in the year as long as the plant is healthy.
Propagate What You Clip (Or Give It To A Friend)
If your Maranta’s cuttings have nodes, they can be propagated and used to grow new plants. To propagate a Maranta leuconeura, the cutting must have a node attached to it. Cuttings without nodes won’t be able to develop new roots. This is a simple process and can result in tons of new Prayer Plants for your home.
Cuttings with nodes can be propagated in two different ways: in water or in soil. Water propagation involves putting the cutting in a container with fresh distilled water. This is one of the easiest ways to propagate a plant. You’ll be able to see the roots as they develop, so you’ll know precisely when the cutting is ready to be planted.
Soil propagation involves putting the cutting in moist soil and caring for it as it develops roots. Placing a plastic bag over Maranta cuttings is recommended to keep them humid enough. This type of propagation is easy. You won’t be able to check on the condition of the roots as they come in, though.
If you aren’t interested in growing any new Prayer Plants, there are plenty of people who might want your cuttings. You can start by asking your friends and family if they’re interested. Water propagation can also be a fun project for kids because they can see how a plant grows.
Alternatively, there are probably houseplant groups on Facebook in your area. People post their plants and cuttings on these. They are often willing to trade or buy if you have a plant they’re looking for! If you decide to go this route, be sure to quarantine any plants or cuttings you bring home.
Pruning a Prayer Plant is easy and doesn’t take much time or effort! It is a great way to tame a Maranta leuconeura that has grown out of control. Plus, you can use the cuttings to grow new Prayer Plants.
If you aren’t interested in propagation or sharing your cuttings, it’s totally fine to toss or compost the trimmings from your plant. If your Maranta is large enough, you may end up with more cuttings than you can handle anyway.
Remember, it’s a good indication that your Prayer Plant is happy if it has grown crazy enough to need trimming! These can be difficult plants to care for, despite their quick-growing nature, and an overgrown Maranta is a healthy, well-loved plant. Continue doing what you were doing before pruning, and you’ll end up with even more cuttings in the future.