This post may contain affiliate links
Why do Prayer Plants pray at night? As you can imagine, it is not out of religious reasons, but because of certain biological functions, they pray. Marantaceae is a family of plants that have been called the praying plant.
These plants are known as prayer plants because they move in a pattern that appears to be praying. The long, drooping foliage appears to be praying before the dark.
They spread the leaves open and then lay them down during the day. This is likely done to capture sunlight.
They are then either curled inward or moved up when it gets dark. This inward or upward movement is a sign that they are praying.
However, all prayer plants have different levels of movement. Some plants move up aggressively and clearly, while others make very little or no movement. It is important to observe and record the movements of your praying plants.
Why do Prayer Plants Pray at Night?
There are many theories about why light changes trigger movement. They all revolve around how the plant evolved to survive and thrive within its environment.
These are some theories that the botanist has put forward to explain the nyctinasty movement of prayer plants.
Protection from insects
One explanation is that prayer plants’ leaves are folded in order to keep pests from eating the leaves and increase the plant‘s survival.
Higher water retention or moisture retention
They can absorb more moisture and trap rainwater by having the leaves open or closed during the day.
The leaves of the plant grow higher because there is less light at night and evaporation slows down.
Improved temperature regulation
Another theory states that nictinastic movement could help the plant regulate its nighttime temperature.
Protection against fungal infections
The leaves are more likely to become fungal problems if they remain open at night. The water can drop more quickly if they rise. This keeps the leaves dry.
Botanists have a variety of theories, but the one that prayer plants are grown to prevent fungal diseases and water loss is the strongest.
These theories are all possible and can increase the likelihood of the plant living in its environment.
Share the image below to your Pinterest board if you find this article on Prayer Plants useful!
How do prayer plants pray?
Plants do not have the ability to contract their muscles when they feel the change from dark to light, but prayer plants have something called Pulvinus. This is a thickening of the leaves at the base.
These pulvinus cells shrink or expand depending on whether the plant has a circadian clock that is activated by day or night. This leads to the prayer movement, which is why the prayer plants were named.
This is a characteristic of the Marantaceae plant family. However, some prayer plants can stop praying if their circadian clocks are disturbed.
Reasons Prayer Plants May Not Pray
Indoor environments are far removed from the rainforests prayer plants consider their natural habitat.
Many things could interfere with the nictinastic movement in rainforests where prayer plant trees grow.
Lack of light is one of the main reasons prayer plants fail to pray. Prayer plants thrive in indirect, medium-to-bright light.
Prayer plants won’t close their leaves if there isn’t enough light to make a visible contrast between daytime and night.
If your prayer plant isn’t getting enough light, you can move it to a spot with more indirect, brighter light.
Too much light
Prayer plants are able to receive only spotted light in the rainforest. They rarely receive any direct sunlight. The plant might stop praying if it is exposed to direct sunlight. You can also burn the leaves and bleach them.
Insufficient moisture and water
Prayer plants are used to rainforest moisture so it is not a problem for them to close their leaves to stop fungal diseases or excess humidity.
Indoor prayer plants are a significant departure from the evolutionary view of what they were used to.
It is not logical to continue with the same behavior if the plant isn’t being exposed to the same environment anymore or to completely different conditions.
This could explain why prayer plants may stop praying or resume their prayers if they are affected by changes in the environment.
Your Prayer Plant should be placed where you are comfortable.
To thrive, prayer plants require a bright, indirect light that is between medium and bright to grow in your home.
They will not be hurt by a little sunlight in the morning, but they will be more sensitive to strong direct light.
Ideal light conditions should be found within a few metres of an east-facing window.
You may prefer high humidity because of the room you are choosing, such as a bathroom or kitchen.
You can also increase the humidity of your prayer plant with a humidifier, a pebble tray, and water.
Nebulization can also work, but it is better to limit its use, since it can lead to more fungal diseases.
How do you care for your Prayer Plant?
When growing a prayer tree, you need to ensure that the conditions are ideal.
Watering your Prayer Plant
Prayer plants do not like dry or drowning wet soil, your Prayer Plants need constant moisture. To prevent chlorine from escaping, oxygenase tap water and use warm water at room temp.
Packaging – Methods
You should choose a medium that retains moisture but allows water to drain. This will help your test medium remain moist. The bill can be modified to include perlite, bark, and coconut.
I hope we’ve answered your question on why do Prayer Plants pray atnight? Prayer plants evolved to adapt to certain environments in their natural habitat. This ability to adapt is evident in its nyctinasty movements. These plants are best grown indoors. However, understanding the basic needs of your prayer plant will allow you to provide for it and make adjustments if it stops growing or praying.
If you’re still having some questions or concerns about Prayer Plants leave your comment down in the comments section and I’ll be happy to help! Happy Gardening from garden24h!