What makes Prayer plants move at night & how to care for them

Indoor Plants | Plant Care

The Plant That Sways Its Hips in Your Hipster Home

The Ctenanthe burle-marxii is a stunning designer plant from an aesthetic point of view. Its full layman’s name is Fish Bone Prayer Plant because of the striking pattern on its leaves.  The top colour of its leaves is a classic pale grey-green that will never go out of fashion and will work with any interior.  The bottom part of its leave is a rich, Bordeaux red ­– like the dark red lipstick of a burlesque dancer.  Let’s talk about the bottom of its leaves…

Sundowners Means Leaf Uppers

As the sun moves across the sky, the Prayer Plant, while out of the direct sun but in a brightly lit area, will track the sun. The infrared light of the sun causes molecules in the plant to activate positive phototropism.

Basically, the cells in the plant work like a masterful machine, moving liquid, softening cell walls, lengthening cells…there are hormones and acid involved, and it sounds like something from ‘Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds’. For the science boffins out there click here for the nitty-gritty of it all.

Now the Prayer Plant doesn’t just give us hip-swaying of exquisitely beautiful leaves during the day. No, she is a dedicated performer.  When the sun goes down, her leaves go up. Literally. She goes all burlesque on us, lifting her leaves and exposing that lavish red underside.

This deep, rich Bordeaux red is such stunning a contrast to the demure daytime outfit. With her leaves curled up for the night, observers have said it looks like the plant is praying. It is a magnificent display, giving you two different plants in one pot.


How To Care For This Busy Show Girl

Like all Prayer Plants, burle-marxii doesn’t like direct sunlight and doesn’t like being dry; leaves nor roots.  Daily misting in the hot months with regular light watering is preferred.  The soil must drain well, and if you have a drip tray, it must be emptied after a short while as those dancing feet do not like being soggy.

This tropical lady can cope with temperatures dropping to 13 degrees Celsius but not lower and definitely won’t cope with frost. She is glamper not a camper.

In the summer months, liquid fertiliser can be given to this hard-working beauty. Nothing like a spa treatment to motivate a diva!

If you would like to get your hands onto a few of these magnificent plants, you can order one from Door2Door Plants today and your new flashy burle marxii Prayer Plant will be sent right to your door.

Our shipments come in eco-friendly packaging, and we use shipping carriers that offer 100% carbon neutral shipping or offer an option to offset carbon. We’re helping to save the planet one plant at a time.

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