Maranta leuconeura ‘Fascinator’

Prayer Plant

Admired by many for their unique, intricately patterned and colourful foliage, Prayer Plants make for stunning statement plants to add a tropical flair to your home. Marantas are part of the Marantaceae family alongside Calatheas, Ctenanthe and Stromanthe.

Maranta leuconeura ‘Fascinator’ has striking red midribs and leaf veination, with bold shades of green on the tops of the oval leaves. The undersides of the leaves are an enchanting reddish purple.

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Origin: Brazil
Genus: Maranta
Species / Cultivar: leuconeura 'Fascinator'
Common Name: Prayer Plant

Plant Biography

The genus Maranta consists of around 50 species, which live in the relatively lowlight and humid conditions of the understories of tropical forests. Whilst many plants in this environment, such as climbers, have evolved to get closer to the light above, these have adapted to the conditions provided by the forest floor.

In their natural habitat, many Maranta produce beautiful and boldly coloured flowers, but its their striking foliage which has led them to become a popular houseplant. So much so, that there are now countless cultivars each with their own unique foliage, ensuring that there’s a Prayer Plant for everybody, and every home.

Maranta leuconeura ‘Fascinator’ is sometimes also known as Maranta tricolour due to the three contrasting colours on the leaf – light green, dark green and red.

Maranta leuconeura ‘Fascinator’
Light: Bright Indirect
This plant likes sun, but keep out of direct sunlight. Best placed in an area near a window.
Soil: Indoor Potting Mix
Enjoys moist well drained soil with composted organics and some drainage material.
Temperature: 15-25°C
Temperature range at which this plant is healthiest and grows best.
Growth Rate: Slow
Expect to see quite small amounts of growth over the years.
Final Size: Small
Will stay small enough for a desk or shelf.
Water Requirement: Regular Watering
Water when soil surface is dry to the touch. Water must draining easily away.
Humidity: High
Provide moist air via daily misting or trays of wet grit. Keep away from drafts and heaters.
Maintenance: Moderate
This plant has specific requirements. Incorrect care can quickly lead to signs of distress.

Expert Tip

Wiping the leaves regularly helps to prevent a build up of dust and can help your Calathea thrive.

Why Prayer Plants 'Pray'

As a member of the Prayer Plant family, the leaves of this Maranta will characteristically ‘pray’, folding up at night before re-opening again as the morning sun rises.

At the base of each leaf is a joint-like thickening called the pulvinus, which swells and shrinks in response to pressure developed in the leaves. This is what enables the ‘praying’ to take place.

This movement of the leaves is a process known as nyctinasty, which serves a number of purposes. It allows the plant to absorb as much light as possible in its low light rainforest environment, helps to absorb and retain water, and reduces the risk of fungi and bacteria forming on their leaves.

Care & Size Guidance

Prayer Plants can be fussy when placed in the wrong location, so choosing a good spot is essential. 

A place with bright but indirect light is ideal. Avoid south facing spots with too much intense direct sunlight, unless you diffuse the light with a sheer curtain. 

Like other Prayer Plants this plant enjoys high humidity, but overly wet soil can quickly lead to root rot. 

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