Maranta leuconeura ‘Fascinator’
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.
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.
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.