Maranta is a marvelous tropical greenie that strikes plant lovers with its colorful foliage. The leaves fold up at night before opening again with the first beams of sunlight – hence the nickname “Prayer Plant.” Marantas are sometimes confused with Calatheas, their relatives. Though both are called Prayer Plants, Marantas look different and have distinct needs.
Brazilian natives, Marantas are easy to recognize. Their oval, variegated leaves with yellow splotches along the midrib and arching red veins resemble a complex painting. The undersides of the leaves are often dark red.
In their native habitat, Marantas grow under the canopy of tropical rainforest. Humidity, warmth, and scattered light make these queens shine. When kept indoors, Marantas grow slowly but can eventually reach 1ft (30 cm) in height.