Major Reasons For Prayer Plant Leaves Turning Yellow

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Last Updated on May 1, 2022

Having prayer plants around the house is an excellent idea as they are very beautiful. However, some issues such as the leaves turning yellow may arise with this plant. Prayer plant leaves turning yellow can be discouraging to anyone.

Growing this plant is very easy as they grow very quickly and can be propagated easily. During the day, you will see them moving up and down; the reason why they are called “the prayer plant.”

Most notable member plants under the Maranta genus are referred to as prayer plants. And these interesting plants are called prayer plants because of the way the leaves always stay flat during the day and then at night, then they begin to fold up. The folding up is like that of hands being folded while praying.

However, the unpleasant thing here is prayer plant leaves turn yellow. The leaf turning yellow is not usually attractive to the eyes. It can be a result of a problem the plant might be facing. So, you really need to check to find out what might be the problem.

The Prayer Plant

Most of the known member plants under Maranta genus are regarded as prayer plants. Sometimes, some plants under the Marantaceae family, also known as arrowroot, are referred to as prayer plants. Under this category, we have varieties of Ctenanthe, Calathea genus (Geoppertia), and stromanthe.

There are varieties, like the fishbone prayer plant, that form windows that are attractive in their leaves. The coloration of the neon prayer plant makes it well sought after. All prayer plants usually have the same issues and the same solution.

Be it Ctenanthe Burle-Marxii, Calathea ornata, or Maranta leuconeura, they usually have similar issues. However, the bone of contention in this article is the issue of yellow leaves.

Read more about Peace Lily Yellow Leaves: Reasons And How To Fix It

Prayer Plants Turning Yellow: The Major Causes And Solutions

Prayer plants turning yellow are caused by various reasons so let’s take a look at the reasons that are more common;

1.    Too Much Watering

Sometimes, gardeners with no harm intended would over-water their house plants. This is despite using the best potting medium and pots with the right drainage holes. So, overwatering tends to make the soil become water-logged. Hence, this will cause the roots to start rotting thereby making the prayer plant leaves become sickly yellow.

Getting the watering schedule for prayer plants can be kind of tricky. Unlike the other houseplants, they require to be watered more but not be waterlogged in the process.

You can adopt the idea of checking your plants for moisture at least twice a week. However, if you check and the upper part of the potting medium is still so moist and these pots are still quite heavy, then you should stop watering.

2.    Poor Draining Of The Soil – Prayer Plant Leaves Turning Yellow

Marantaceae houseplants are regarded as moisture-lovers because their origination is from tropical regions that are wet. Even as much as they are moisture-lovers, good drainage is very important to them also.

Keeping your prayer plant in soil that is waterlogged is very bad for the plant. This will lead to your prayer plant leaves turning yellow and then dying. It is because the waterlogged condition of the soil will lead to a lack of oxygen around the root of the prayer plant.

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Another cause of waterlogged soil is leaving your pot sitting in a saucer while watering. Even if the planting medium is well-draining, water will drain out into the saucer and stay while the remaining water from the pot that needs to come out completely won’t be able to.

The water sitting in the saucer will instead get sucked up back into the soil. This then leads to water-logging of the soil and root rot which is very bad for your houseplant. You can prevent water-logging your houseplant soil by removing your house plant from its saucer when you want to water it.

When watering, allow the liquid to drain out totally from the pot through the holes in the bottom before returning the plant back to its saucer.

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3.    Being Exposed To Cold Temperatures – Prayer Plant Leaves Turning Yellow

If temperatures drop below freezing, prayer plants won’t survive. This is because they are not cold-hardy. Prayer plants cannot also stand cool temperatures. This is why they might not even survive the cold weather let alone when temperatures drop to freezing cold. The best temperature to keep these tropical natives is 55 degrees Fahrenheit.

Maintain a temperature around this range because any temperature lesser than this will make the leaves begin to turn yellow. Even at 60 degrees Fahrenheit, some species may begin to turn yellow.

Another thing is that, during winter, when you go out to buy your prayer plant from a garden center in person, make sure you’re going back home immediately. You shouldn’t run errands while leaving them in your cold car. To help your prayer plant maintain healthy green foliage and also thrive well, the best temperature to maintain once you get home with your new prayer plants is 65-80 degrees.

The Prayer Plant

4.    The Problem Of Pests And Diseases

Well, apart from the other aforementioned causes of prayer plant leaves turning yellow, pests and diseases can also be the cause. For example, the cucumber mosaic virus is the cause of the yellow mosaic pattern on the leaves while yellow stippling on the foliage is caused by spider mites. Tan spots with yellow halos are caused by helminthosporium leaf spots.

Conclusion – Prayer Plant Leaves Turning Yellow

With the explanation of the causes of why prayer plant leaves always end up turning yellow, you will be kind of certain that these plants might be crying for help sometimes.

However, you will be able to keep your prayer plants healthy if you can always remember to always check the growing conditions of your pants. Do this by checking for the signs that have been talked about in this article.


Should I remove yellow leaves from prayer plant?

Unfortunately, because the leaves of prayer plant can’t turn back to green, you can just remove the yellow leaves using a sharp tool.

Does a prayer plant close its leaves at night?

Yes, prayer plant tends to fold or close their leaves at night. Matter of fact, if they are put in any dark spot, their leaves will close in about 15 minutes.

Why are the leaves on my prayer plant curling?

The reason why you may notice curling of prayer plant leaves is usually because of cold or when the plant is excessively dry.

Do prayer plants need to be staked?

It may be okay to stake prayer plants when they begin to grow sideways but you should know that it may not help your plant that is growing sideways. The best thing to do is to find out the cause of sideways growth and fix the issue.

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