Maranta Leuconeura: Lemon Lime Prayer Plant Care Guide

Looking like they come out of a 3D printer, lemon lime prayer plants are gorgeous and unique indoor houseplants. They are one of the most popular houseplants these days because they look absolutely beautiful in any room décor. You can grow them in hanging baskets or grow them as a floor planter, and their beauty remains charming always. In case you want this beautiful foliage at home, you are at the right place. I will tell you everything you need to know about this plant so that you are ready for one.

1. What Is Lemon Lime Prayer Plant?

A lemon lime prayer plant is an elegant indoor plant with lime green or white lines running down the leaf spine. Along with that, their leaves are variegated in shades of dark, light green and yellow colors. They are extremely breathtaking because both sides of the leaves have beautiful patterns that create an extraordinary look. So if you want to bring the aesthetics to the room, this is definitely the houseplant to get. This plant’s unique name comes from its habit of opening and closing its leaves in the morning and at sundown. Their daily habits make their leaves almost resemble praying hands, hence the name of the lemon lime prayer plant.

With proper care and good lighting, these plants will develop tiny purple flowers on their thin stems. The blooming season for lemon lime prayer plants is summer, and that is when you should expect to see the flowers. When mature, it grows to a height of 12 inches with a spread of 14 inches. The leaves are broad and medium-sized, and they can grow up to 6 inches when the plants reach maturity. Another special thing about this houseplant is that it is not toxic to children and pets. So they make a beautiful decoration without harming anyone in the house, which is a total plus.

2. How To Care For A Lemon Lime Prayer Plant

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I want to stress that lemon lime prayer plants are slightly difficult to grow compared to other houseplants like pothos. It is true that they will thrive if you give them what they need, but it is more than that. You are going to find all the basic needs that these gorgeous plants need below. With all of these, you will surely be able to grow them healthily without a single concern.

2.1. Fertilizer

The important thing about fertilizer is that it helps the plants to have steady growth, especially during their growing season. Therefore, you should feed your lemon lime prayer plants every two weeks from spring to autumn for the best growth results. Many houseplant owners use water-soluble fertilizer that is dissolved at half strength for their maranta lemon lime. However, you can use any high-quality fertilizer that you prefer because these plants are not picky. What you want to make sure of is to avoid cheap fertilizers because they will damage your lemon lime prayer plants. And just like other plants, they don’t need fertilization in winter, so you can skip feeding them at that time.

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2.2. Humidity

Maranta Leuconeura loves high humidity, and you can regularly mist it to ensure proper humidity for your pretty plant. However, avoid misting it every day because that can increase the risk of bacterial or fungal infections. There is also another method that you can do to maintain the humidity in their pot. Simply set up a container or tray of water under its pot; the air humidity level rises as the water evaporates. Just prevent the plant from resting in the water, and you are good to go. In case the indoor humidity level at your place is lower than 65%, I recommend using a humidifier. This will help maintain the required air moisture in the area so that the plants are happy.

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2.3. Light

You want to place your maranta in an area with bright indirect light to achieve the best growing results. However, it is also nice to place them in filtered bright sunlight as long as there is no direct sunlight. This is because the direct sun can scorch their leaves, damaging the stunning appearance and colors of their leaves or killing them. Simply keeping them near the shaded windows will do, easy as that. And if you want the plants to pray more, give them sufficient sunlight. Even better, choose a location where they can receive a few hours of morning sun for the best growth.

2.4. Pruning

Pruning is necessary when you notice that there is diseased or yellowing foliage on your lemon lime prayer plants. Doing so does not only promote the growth of new leaves but also improves the plant’s appearance. You can do your pruning at any time of the year as long as there are leaves to remove. Pruning lemon lime plants are recommended in spring because the plants can recover from pruning stress fast. Since spring is their growing season, the plants are also strong, so there won’t be too much stress for them.

2.5. Repotting

Always check your plants if they begin to be root-bound and have slow growth yet because that is repotting time. When repotting, always choose a pot that is 1 or 2 inches larger and wider than the previous one. Along with that, you should refresh the potting soil every year in early spring. If it is time to repot your lemon lime, follow the steps below:

  • First, gently remove the plant from the soil to prevent shock or stress.
  • Inspect the root system and trim the mushy or unhealthy roots if there are any. When trimming the roots, make sure to use clean and sharp tools to prevent diseases and infections.
  • Fill half of the new pot with the high-quality and well-draining potting mix. Lemon limes have shallow roots, so choose a shallow pot for them instead of deep ones.
  • Carefully place the root ball in the potting mix, then pour soil around the roots.
  • Gently press to firm the soil without compacting it.
  • Water the soil well until it is fully saturated, then wait until a week or so for the next watering session.

Note: After repotting, make sure to provide extra attention to the plants for a few weeks. This is to ensure that you are able to spot if the plant suffers from transplant shock. That way, you will be able to detect the problems and find solutions fast if there are any.

2.6. Soil

Maranta lemon lime plant likes peat-based potting soil, and any general houseplant potting mix will also do. The one thing that you want to focus on is making sure that the potting mixture you choose is well-draining. Coarse sand and perlite help to improve the drainage of the potting mixture, so consider that as well. You can also make your mix by using peat moss, perlite, and potting soil, one part each. Things go the same with outdoor planting because they need rich and well-draining soil to thrive. You want the pH of the soil to range from 5.5 to 6.0; these plants love it like that.

2.7. Temperature

The best temperatures for this type of plant should be between 60 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit. This range helps your plants stay healthy, and it is actually a normal room temperature. If you keep them at a temperature that is lower than 60 degrees Fahrenheit, the cold will damage their leaves. You can keep it outside in an indirect sunlight spot during warmer months, where the temperature is adequate. But don’t leave the plant outside for so long because there could be the risks of pests.

2.8. Watering

You want to keep the soil evenly moist, so weekly watering is necessary for lemon lime prayer plants. Since this type of plant enjoys humidity, they don’t like their soil to be completely dry at all. Therefore, it is best to maintain a steady watering schedule once a week or when the soil starts to dry. A rule of thumb is to water them when the leaves start curling towards the center. You should regularly water these plants from spring to summer because those months are their growing season. Make sure to water them well so that the soil remains moist at all times. However, avoid watering it to the point that it is soggy. Avoid letting the soil remain saturated with roots staying in the water.

As for cold months in autumn or winter, your lemon lime prayer plants will go dormant. This is when you have to reduce watering them because they need less water during that time. One more important thing is the type of water that you use to water your maranta plants. Water them with distilled, filtered, or rainwater because these plants cannot tolerate tap water. The chlorine and other chemical substances in tap water may affect their health and growth. Also, use water at room temperature or warm water because prayer plants love it.

3. Lemon Lime Prayer Plant Propagation

It is only normal to want to propagate plants that are this magnificent, and the process is quite easy. There are 2 main ways that you can to do to propagate your lemon lime prayer plants. Depending on your preferences, either way is convenient and simple in its way. Let’s see which propagation method is the most suitable option for your maranta lemon lime.

3.1. Root Division

This method is fast, but it comes with the risk of damaging the roots during the progress. In case you are good at what you are doing, then root division is a quick way to propagate the plants. Let’s see if you prefer to follow the steps below or another propagation method instead.

  • Gently remove the root ball from the soil, then divide the plant into several sections. Before anything, inspect and cut the damaged brown roots from the root ball first. Use a pair of clean scissors or pruning shears for this part.
  • Once you remove all the bad roots, divide the section with at least 1 stem and leaf. There should be a good number of roots to increase the chance of growing when you propagate them.
  • Then pot the sections that you divided in small separate pots according to the sections that you have. Keep the plants moist and warm for the first few weeks to enhance their growth.

3.2. Stem Cuttings

This is the best way to propagate a maranta lemon lime, and it is also very easy and quick. With just a few simple steps, you will be able to expand your collection right away.

  • Select a healthy stem on the plant and look for the node to cut. A node is a place where the leaf connects with the stem, and that is where you should cut.
  • Use sharp and sterilized scissors or shears to cut the stem below the leaf node. Make sure that the cutting has at least one node intact because that is where new roots will form.
  • Dip the end of the cutting in the water, then dip it into the rooting hormone. The second dip allows the cutting to root fast, so it is optional depending on you.
  • After that, plant the cutting in the mixture that you choose and prepare for it. It could be a mixture of peat moss and perlite, but other types will also do. Water the mixture well to keep it moist at all times.
  • Cover the container with plastic to ensure high humidity for the cutting so that it can grow healthily and well. Don’t forget to poke a few small holes in the plastic to allow for air to flow in and out. These small holes also allow the cutting to soak some sunlight, and they are essential to have.
  • Place the cutting in a sunny location but avoid direct light because it can scorch the cutting. Once the roots are around 1 inch long, then you can transplant them to a new pot. With proper care, the cutting will grow into another beautiful lemon lime prayer plant in no time.

4. Lemon Lime Prayer Plant Common Problems

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Beauty comes with risks, and lemon lime prayer plants have a few common problems that you should know about. It is always good to know what can damage or harm your plants, especially when the plants are new. You will find common diseases and pests that lemon lime prayer plants are susceptible to, along with the solutions below.

4.1. Brown Leaf Tips

This is one of the most important things that you should know about your maranta lemon lime plants. When there are brown or curly leaf tips, that means the plant is getting too much sunlight. If the entire leaves are brown, it can also indicate that the humidity or water is insufficient for the plant. Solving these 3 causes are rather easy once you know which one you are doing wrong. Reposition your plant to a spot with indirect sunlight and remove the dead leaves to make room for new leaves. Mist their leaves more often if the humidity of your room is too low for the plant to live in. And if you don’t water it enough, make sure to keep the soil moist by watering it more often.

4.2. Leaf Spot

Leaf spot disease can severely damage the foliage of the plant or kill it without immediate treatment. If you find any water-soaked spots on the surface of the leaves, that is the symptom of the disease. The cause of leaf spot disease is due to overwatering, and you know how to deal with this problem. Avoid watering the plant too often, and avoid leaving the leaves wet for too long. Always let the soil dry between each watering to ensure that there is not too much water. If there are any other infections, clean the leaves with neem oil to treat those problems.

4.3. Mealybugs

When your lemon lime plant is under attack from mealybugs, it will have curly leaves with a sticky substance. It is important to detect and eradicate mealybugs at the earliest stage possible because these pests spread very fast. Even worse, they can also spread to the nearby plants if you have any in the collections. The good news is that you can easily get rid of these bugs by dabbing them with cotton balls soaked in alcohol. Always check the leaves every week to make sure that they won’t come back again.

4.4. Root Rot

Lemon lime prayer plants have fine shallow roots that make them susceptible to root rot disease. So it is very important for you to plant it in well-draining soil and pots with drainage holes. A plant with root rot tends to have distorted yellow leaves, mushy stems, slow growth, and wilting leaves. If you spot any of those problems, check the root ball immediately. Trim the decaying and unhealthy roots if you find any or repot the plant if necessary.

4.5. Spider Mites

When it comes to indoor plant pests, spider mites are always one of them. They are extremely tiny, and they leave webbings on the leaves that make the plant look dusty. The problem with these pests is that they multiply very fast because an adult female can lay up to 100 eggs. Once the eggs hatch and the larvae start feeding the leaves, things will be difficult for you to control. Spider mites multiply fast in summer, usually within 2 or 3 weeks. Once you notice the presence of webbing between the leaves and stems, take action immediately. The additional symptoms to the webbings are brown spots or yellow leaves as the insects feed on the plant tissues and sap.

The first thing you have to do is wash the plant with a strong stream of water. Then use plant-based oils to suffocate the mites and their eggs; neem oil will do the trick very well. The good thing is that they cannot tolerate high humidity while the plants love to grow in high humidity areas. Therefore, you can ensure proper humidity for your maranta lemon to eliminate or prevent these pests from attacking the plants. Another thing to do to prevent future infection is to regularly wash the undersides of the leaves. As long as you keep the plants clean and dry at all times, the chances of pests attacking are also low.

5. Lemon Lime Prayer Plant – FAQs:

5.1. Is lemon lime maranta rare?

Yes, it is. In some countries or states, it is quite difficult to find a lemon lime maranta. Even if you come across one, the price can be quite expensive. But if you live in Brazil, getting one is rather easy since it is native to Brazil.

5.2. Is lemon lime an indoor plant?

With the size of between 4 to 6 feet tall, most lemon lime plants are indoor plants. However, some varieties can grow as tall as 20 feet tall, making them more ideal as outdoor plants. As for our maranta lemon lime prayer plants, they are definitely indoor plants that you can easily grow. They are compact and pretty, and they look amazing on the table in the living room and other rooms.

5.3. Why is my lemon lime prayer plant drooping?

This is the sign of consistent underwatering because the leaves will droop when the plant does not receive enough water. You can fix that by watering it more often and avoiding keeping the soil completely dry for too long. Sometimes the plant becomes droopy when there is a combination of low humidity and too dry or too wet soil. Too much sunlight can also cause the plant to droop. To solve this drooping problem, you have to detect which one is the cause and make changes as fast as possible.

Final Thoughts

Plant enthusiasts can never resist lemon lime prayer plants; they are a love-at-first-sight type of plant that looks incredible. Caring for them is also convenient since they will flourish once you provide them with important things they need to survive. The adorable size and elegant look make maranta lemon limes stand out among other houseplants out there. If you want one, don’t hesitate because it is going to be the best plant decision that you will make.