A number of plants from the genus Maranta are commonly referred to as prayer plants.
This common name comes from the fact that the leaf surfaces of the plants are horizontal during the light of day, but then tend to fold inward as darkness approaches--much like hands being folded inward in a prayerful pose.
The different varieties have variegated leaves with differing shades of color patterns from dark green spots on lighter green leaves to purplish spots on pale yellow-green leaves.
These plants are native to Central and South America, and thus grow comfortably in conditions that simulate those of their native origin.
So, if we can picture the understory layer of a tropical setting, we might imagine an area of filtered sunlight with warm moist air and soil from the humidity of such surroundings.
And these indeed are just the type of conditions in which your prayer plant will thrive.
So, pot it into a fertile, loose, and organically rich growing medium, while giving your houseplant even (but not soggy) moisture and locate it in an area of filtered or bright (but not direct) sunlight.
Direct sunlight falling onto your prayer plant will scorch the delicate leaves, so if you choose to move your potted plant outdoors onto the porch or patio during the warm summer months, just remember to exercise care in the location you select for your plant.
Prayer plant grows rather slowly, so don’t be concerned if you feel that you’re nurturing your houseplant under the ideal conditions, but it still is making rather slow gains in the production of new leaves.
Give the plant at least a couple of feedings yearly of a good balanced plant food, maintain the above mentioned lighting and soil moisture conditions, and relax and enjoy your beautiful prayer plant.
Unless the leaves are turning brown or dropping off, you’re probably doing just fine with providing a good home for your plant.
And, if you are blessed with great success in plant care and you’re grateful for the beauty of these and so many other horticultural wonders that surround us on this incredible planet, you might want to imitate your plant toward the end of the day, and fold your hands in a moment of silent prayerful thankfulness!