Q:

What are some key differences between a prayer plant and other common house plants?

A:

Quick Answer

The prayer plant, also known as a peacock plant or botanically as "Maranta leuconeura," is different from other common house plants in terms of preferred climate, chemical make up and plant movement. Caring for a prayer plant is not wholly different from caring for common house plants and you can group them together to encourage good growth and atmosphere.

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Full Answer

One striking difference between the prayer plant and other common house plants is the way it moves depending on the time of day. It gets its name from the way the leaves close at night, like hands coming together in prayer, unfurling again in the morning light. This movement makes the prayer plant a unique addition to the home, given that the plant's blooms are fairly underwhelming in comparison.

Another differentiating factor is the make up of the plant; the prayer plant is one of a few plants found in the home that contains rosmarinic acid, a chemical compound which has antioxidant properties. While found in several culinary herbs, such as basil, lemon balm and rosemary, it is not commonly found in standard house plants.

The prayer plant is a tropical plant and grows best in a warm, humid environment. To ensure best growth and atmosphere for the plant, room temperature should not fall below 60 degrees Fahrenheit and you should mist the plant leaves each day with warm water. Surrounding the plant with other house plants, either tropical or common, helps maintain a good atmosphere for the prayer plant.

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