My renewed interest in prayer plants began a few weeks ago when I embarked on the series of "Getting to know my house plants".
I had prayer plants years ago, before my gardening venture, when I hardly knew any plant's name. I came across pictures of prayer plants while trying to learn more about my house plants and hoping I could grow one again.
Yesterday I happened to find one at a supermarket in a 4-inch pot for $4.99
Prayer plant, a rhizomatous perennial from rainforest in tropical Central and South America, is in the family Marantaceae, with about 20 species in the genus Maranta.
It is also known as herringbone maranta, because of the red veins on the leaves, rabbit track and rabbit's foot plant because of the appearance of the unusual markings.
I could hardly wait until dark to see the leaves close up like hands in a prayer position and re-open with the morning light, after reading that "This plant will amuse you with its behaviour: close to the evening the leaves start slowly folding up, until completely closed in the dark. Then it will open the leaves back again in the morning."
I placed the plant in a spot with total darkness but the vertical closing of the leaves did not occur for me. I'll keep checking the plant/leaves every night for a while.
In the meantime, I will enjoy looking at the broad, oval, colorful leaves in different shades of green with red fish-bone veins and reddish-purple undersides.