Home Plants Maranta Leuconeura Kerchoveana – Rabbit’s Foot Prayer Plant

Maranta Leuconeura Kerchoveana – Rabbit’s Foot Prayer Plant

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Maranta Leuconeura Kerchoveana

Have you ever heard of a plant that folds up its leaves at night in a way that seems like the plant is praying to God? If not, let us introduce you to the lush-green beauty of Brazilian rainforests, Maranta Leuconeura Kerchoveana. It is a small-sized, low-growing, evergreen plant with attractive fresh green foliage with beautifully patterned leaves. The light-green leaves have dark-green markings on them in the center. These leaves follow circadian rhythms and fold themselves at night.

This eye-catching plant is truly a remarkable plant species to grow indoors as a houseplant. And luckily, it is not even high-maintenance. Maranta Leuconeura Kerchoveana is an easy-to-grow prayer plant that blends in every corner inside a home.

Let’s learn some amazing features of this plant.

Classification

  • Order: Zingiberales
  • Family: Marantaceae
  • Genus: Maranta

Origin and Distribution

This plant is native to the rainforests of Brazil, where it grows under the thick canopy of trees. It is found mainly in temperate regions.

Appearance

Foliage

This lovely plant has broad, oval-shaped, grassy-green leaves. These patterned leaves fold upward, resembling a pair of praying hands, hence the name Prayer Plant. The six to seven inches long leaves of Maranta Kerchoveana variegata are the most tempting parts of this plant.

Flowers

This lovely plant blooms in summer and produces white flowers that have purple spots on them. These flowers are inconspicuous.

Size

The average size of this plant is 12 to 18 inches tall and 12 to 36 inches wide. Maranta Leuconeura Kerchoveana is a low-growing plant that occupies more horizontal space than growing upwards.

Maranta Leuconeura Kerchoveana Care

Quick Guide 

  • Watering: 2 to 3 times every week.
  • Soil type and pH: Peat-based, slightly acidic soil (pH 5.5-6.)
  • Sunlight: Bright, indirect light.
  • Temperature: 18-27°C
  • Humidity: High
  • Fertilizer: Every two weeks in spring to autumn and once every month in winters.

If you want the details, here they are:

Watering Requirements

Maranta Kerchoveana care involves two to three times watering and 3-4 misting every week. It will keep the soil moist all the time, which is necessary for the healthy growth of this plant. However, soggy soil is not preferable for this plant. If it is overwatered, its roots will not get enough oxygen. No oxygen will lead to root rot. If all the roots get root rot, the plant will die in no time. This is why overwatering is more dangerous to the plant than underwatering. In winter, you should reduce its watering frequency to one time per week.

Soil Requirements

A good quality, organic-rich soil ensures healthy plant growth. It is why you should buy the best potting mix for your Maranta Leuconeura Kerchoveana. You can also prepare the ideal potting mix at home. It must be peat-based so that it is well-draining and well-aerated.

To prepare its potting mix, add 1 part peat moss to 1 part potting soil. Then add 1 part perlite and 1 part coconut coir to this mixture. This potting mix will drain all the extra water, and it will also retain the necessary amount of moisture for the roots.

Sunlight

This plant loves being in a well-lit spot. It should be placed and grown under bright, indirect sunlight. If you have a north or east-facing window in your home, place this plant near the window because that spot receives optimum light for this plant.

If you have a south-facing window in your home, it receives direct sunlight way too much than this plant needs. It is why your plant will not survive near that window, but it will stay happy several feet away from it. Kerchoviana Prayer Plant can also tolerate low light, but its growth rate will slow down in such a surrounding.

Temperature Requirements

Average room temperature works just fine for this beautiful plant. It thrives from 18°C to 27°C; this warm temperature keeps the plant healthy and fresh. If the temperature in your region falls lower than 15°C, you should relocate it to a warmer spot. This plant is not cold-hardy. It would be best if you place it in a terrarium in extreme winters.

Humidity

Maranta Kerchoveana loves being in a room where the humidity is higher than average. You should place it in a spot where the humidity stays above 75%. This humidity level is way above the average household humidity. It is why the moisture level in a room should be increased for this plant.

If you install a humidifier in your room, it will regulate the humidity on its own. It will also let you control the humidity level. But if you want to do it the economical way, try placing the plant on a pebble tray. The water-filled pebble tray will provide the plant with the necessary moisture and keeps its foliage fresh and lush.

Maranta Leuconeura Kerchoveana Fertilizer

Maranta Leuconeura Kerchoveana needs proper fertilization to grow. It should be fertilized every two weeks in the seasons of active growth, which are spring, summer, and autumn. In winters, you should reduce fertilization to only once every month. This is because this plant slows down its growth rate in winters and does not need much feeding during those days.

General houseplant fertilizer or liquid fertilizer should be used to feed this plant. Whichever fertilizer you use, make sure it has a balanced amount of nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorus. The fertilizer should also be diluted and weakened in strength before adding it to the plant.

Grooming and Pruning

Maranta Kerchoveana care involves pruning its dead leaves every year. In late winters, this plant’s old and yellow leaves should be trimmed to make room for new growth, which will take place in the coming season. Pruning also encourages a bushier appearance. You just have to cut the lower branches to attain a fuller look for your plant.

Tip: Always disinfect your gardening shears before using them on this plant.

How to Propagate Maranta Leuconeura Kerchoveana?

The best time to propagate your Maranta Leuconeura Kerchoveana is in mid-spring to mid-summer. The baby Prayer Plant will not take much time to grow into a mature plant during these months. You can propagate this plant through stem cuttings. If you have never propagated a plant before, let us teach you an easy way to do it.

  1. Take a sharp knife or scissors and sterilize their blades.
  2. Use them to cut a healthy stem cutting whose length is 10-14 cm.
  3. Put this cutting in the rooting hormone for some time.
  4. Prepare a new pot for the baby cutting by filling the pot with potting mix.
  5. Place the cutting into the center of the soil and water it.
  6. Place the pot in a brightly lit spot in your home.

New growth will appear in 4-6 weeks.

Maranta Leuconeura Kerchoveana Basic Features

Growth Rate

It is a fast-growing prayer plant that has the fastest growth rate in spring and summer. If your plant has a slower growth rate than usual, this means you are under-fertilizing your plant; it just needs more nutrients to grow.

The best-suited USDA plant hardiness growth zones for this plant are 10b to 11.

Toxicity

This plant is toxic-free for pets and humans. It is also not necessary to wear gloves while handling this plant. But we recommend that you do so to avoid any messy hands.

Maranta Leuconeura Kerchoveana Air Purification

This lush-green leafy plant is a natural air purifier. It removes most toxins from the air and keeps it fresh and clean. So by placing a Kerchoviana Prayer Plant in your home, you would be saying goodbye to polluted air.

Drought Tolerance

This plant makes a fuss if it is not watered at the right time. It is not a drought-tolerant species that will forgive you for not watering it. Its foliage needs regular watering to grow.

Maranta Leuconeura Kerchoveana Maintenance

Maranta Kerchoveana is no luxurious orchid that needs special treatment or care. It is a low-maintenance plant that can survive at minimal attention. As long as it is getting its basic needs, it stays happy.

Dormancy

This plant stays semi-dormant in winters. Its growth rate slows down but is never zero. During these dormancy days, this plant must be watered less and fertilized little.

Common Problems and Their Solutions

Diseases

Luckily this plant is not prone to any serious diseases. It can, however, easily get affected by root rot. This is why you should always take preventive measures to avoid this problem at all costs. Root rot can be avoided by allowing the soil to get dry between waterings.

Pests

Just like its closely related plant, Calathea Freddie and Never Never Plant, Kerchoviana Prayer Plant is susceptible to spider mites and mealybugs. These are deadly insects that suck sap from the plant and weaken it from the inside. If these pests are not removed immediately, they will kill the plant. If any such pests are seen on the foliage of your plant, treat them ASAP. You can get rid of these by using insecticidal soap or neem oil.

Frequently Asked Questions about Maranta Leuconeura Kerchoveana

Should I Mist My Maranta Leuconeura Kerchoveana?

This plant prefers a highly humid environment to grow. Misting the foliage will help increase moisture around the plant; however, it will also attract more insects. So if you think you can control pest growth easily, you should mist the foliage.

Why Do the Leaves of My Maranta Leuconeura Kerchoveana Not Close at Night?

It is due to too much light exposure at night. If your plant is placed near a light source, such as a fluorescent bulb, it will not close properly or close at all at night. It needs dark outside and inside to close its leaves.

Why Are the Leaves of My Maranta Leuconeura Kerchoveana Turning Yellow?

It means your plant is being under-watered, or the water is not suiting its preference. If you see any yellow pigmentation or markings on the leaves of your Maranta Kerchoveana variegata, you should increase the watering frequency. You should also change the water. Use distilled water instead of tap water for your prayer plant.

Conclusion

Maranta Leuconeura Kerchoveana is another great low-maintenance houseplant that also happens to be an air purifier. This lovely plant can be your first houseplant as it is a beginner-friendly Maranta. Even if you have never taken care of a plant before, it will not be difficult taking care of this stunning species. Maranta Leuconeura Kerchoveana does not ask for much attention; it is the same reason indoor gardeners love it!

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