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  • “Prayer Plant (Rabbits Tracks)” - Maranta Leuconeura var. kerchoveana

    This is a neat plant to have, it has very limited needs and with the right, simple and achievable conditions it will thrive. The species name, Prayer plant comes from the oval leaves moving to face up at night like praying hands. These plants are super easy to propagate and fun to share with fellow plant friends. Simply remove a small stem and at least one leaf beneath the node; the node is where new roots will grow out of. You want to have a leaf so the baby plant can get sunlight to help the plant to mature and form roots. Orval Orval, my first Prayer Plant came to me last year while on a trip to California, while visiting my Aunt Nicky, she gave me a small clipping from a plant she got from my great grandmother. The mother plant was thriving outside in a half shaded and half sunny location. The plant travelled in a zip loc bag with wet paper towels through TSA and under my seat stored in my backpack. After living in a small shot glass by a window for a few months while the roots developed the Prayer Plant was ready to go into a small ceramic pot. To quicken things up I added a little bit of root growth powered to the water. Since then, Orval has moved up 2 pot sizes and is doing great on a dresser near an east facing window that only gets early morning sun and filtered light. Orval is thriving on my bed side table about 5 feet away from an east facing window. I keep the curtains open all day so the plant receives plenty of sunlight. The leaves move up into a standing position at night. Sometimes if I'm near the plant in the evening I can hear the leaves move into the standing position. Its an occasional rustling sounds that I blamed my dog for months before I realized what it was. The plant enjoys a light misting daily, I try to mist it at least 2x a week to provide a moist environment similar to where is naturally found. Natural environment Maranta plants are native to the Tropical forests in Central and South America where they spread and grow all over the forest floor, looking for warm, moist, and humid conditions. The plants like to spread over the forest floor instead of climb. The variety ‘Rabbit Tracks’ are natively grown in the Tropical Brazilian forests. A hanging pot or open space is best for these plants since they have the tendency to travel/ spread. This plant does not climb, I would not recommend a moss pole or propping the plant up to climb. These plants can handle some extreme heat as long as it has the humidity levels to match. The hottest it gets in Brazil is 95 to 99 Fahrenheit (35/37 Celsius) and the lowest temperature is around 75 to 79 Fahrenheit (25/26 Celsius). The Average temperature that these plants tend to live in is around 68 to 77 Fahrenheit (20/25 Celsius) in the jungle’s biome. Living at the bottom floor of the tropical forests doesn’t give these plants constant sunlight like other plants. On average the tropical forest floors of Brazil receive around 2% to 3% sunlight. These plants have adapted to the canopy floor, so they enjoy the humidity of misting them every so often. Another great way to mimic a forests floor is by placing plants near each other to create a humid environment. Care for plant Light Indirect light Prayer plants prefer to receive indirect sunlight that is filtered by a window or a large plant if outdoors. These plants thrive in shady and warm locations that get the occasional light and won’t survive if they are not covered by something protecting them from direct sunlight or if too close to a grow light. The sun is far away from the canopy floor so it’s best to mimic that light. Watering Moist but not water logged This plant likes their soil moist but not sopping wet. It’s best to water when the top of the soil becomes dry. Underwatering and letting the plant dry out completely will cause the plant to wilt, leaves with dry out and curl. If the leaves tips are turning yellow and fall off the plant is being overwatered which can lead to root rot. This plant is recommended to water every 1 to 2 weeks, that way the soil can dry out halfway between waterings. Filtered water is best for these plants, or even leaving water out for a minimum of 6 to 8 hours before watering. Soil and Fertilization. Potting soil and perilite The right soil is one of the most important things you can give a plant. These plants can thrive in regular potting soil if it has a well-draining and airy property like peat moss or perlite. The pot needs to have drainage holes to keep water from collecting at the bottom causing root rot. If the pot doesn’t have drainage pots. A layer of rocks can be placed at the bottom of the pot to keep the soil from holding water. Watering a plant in a hole-less pot is tricky. Water in smaller amounts and check the soils moisture by sticking a finger as far down as it can in the side of the pot to feel how wet the soil is. A good trick is to see what sticks to your finger to see where the soil starts to dry. A moisture meter is also a great way to check soil moisture level. Environment Tropical Forest floor Because these plants prefer to spread across the forest floor, they work well in hanging pots or pots placed in a spot where these plants can spread out. The forest floor is humid with low levels of light, so being by a window that doesn’t receive direct light or minimal hours of direct light is best. Being placed by other plants or by a humidifier can help create a humid environment for this plant. A trick I have heard of and use on other plants is a pebble tray filled with just enough water that it doesn’t go above the rocks. Different Variety I currently have another variety of Prayer plant that I'm just getting starting in a tiny pot. It used to be in a small jar with water but moved to a pot since the roots got big enough to support the plant. This one is called Herringbone plant, var. erythroneura. This variety is very similar to its sister and has dark green oval shaped leaves with red veins coming from the main vein called the midrib. The plant above on the left is a small clipping of a Herringbone plant that started out in a little jar of water. The roots had grown strong enough to put the plant in a small pot. The photo on the right is a great example of the difference between the two varieties. The Herringbone has a light colored streak in the middle with red veins traveling from the middle to outside of the leaves. The Rabbit Tracks has dark green dots that line either side of the midrib vein of the leaves.

  • Mini Monstera - Rhaphidophora Tetrasperma

    Though its called a "Mini Monstera", this plants only relation to monsteras is that they both belong to the "Aroids" family. Its actually not a monstera at all. Similar to Monsteras the leaves fan and out and have gaps in them making fenestrate leaves. Fenestrate means to have small preferations like little windows. This is something the plant has done to aquire as much sunlight as possible while also cutting back on the mass of leaf cells the plant needs to support. Baby Mo I found Baby Mo at a Lowes last fall in Nampa. It was on sale and was drying up due to underwatering. Underwatered plants are my favorite to buy on clearnace because its typiucally easy to revive the plant. I soaked the little wilted guy in a bowl of room temperature water and waited as the leaves revived and the roots could move around and breath after being trapped in dry tough dirt. I removed the yellow leaves with a clean pair of scissors then swapped the dirt out for a mixture of peat moss, soil, bark and charcoal but kept it in the original plastic pot and placed the easily drainable plastic pot inside a decorative pot. This way the plant can be bottom watered by taking the plant out of the decorative pot and soaking it in a large container of water. After a few weeks new leaf growth was present and the plant began to thrive. I have since then moved the plant into a bigger ceramic pot with drainage and a moss pole for the plant to grow on. When a plant grows on a moss pole, the plant become taller and feel that they are growing closer to sunlight above the rainforest canopy. This makes the plant progress into maturity which allows plants to grow larger leaves, along with helping to develop more windows in the plants leaves. Baby Mo's placed on a plant stand next to my monstera deliciosa under grow lights. The moss pole is sprayed down every three days so that the arial roots will climb and provide the plant with a way to grow more mature . Baby Mo did a lot better when it was in a window sill, but with limited window space, the grow light will do. Origin This plant is grown native to Southern Thailand to Malaysia. The environment these plants are from is tropical. The average day is about 84.2 Fahrenheit ( 29 Celsius). The hottest it gets is 95.9 Fahrenheit (35.5 Celsius) and the coldest at night is 69.3 Fahrenheit (20.7 Celsius). These are the extreme temperature the plant can tolerate during the influx of seasons. They have sunlight for an average of 9 to 11 hours a day depending on the season. The climate is around 70% to 80% humidity and a average of 125 days of rain. The plants grow in the humid underneath of the jungle canopy that get filtered sunlight. The mini monstera grows up trees and other plants towards the sunlight. Care for plant Light Bright filtered light. This plant does best in an environment that mimics a jungle canopy. These plants grow up trees towards the light. They mainly live in shaded areas that are touched by light. These plants do well indoors placed in filtered light, especially in west-facing windows. Mini Monsteras do not do well outdoors in direct sunlight, due to leaves scorching from the suns rays. If placed outdoors keep it in a bright shaded area that gets brief light. Watering Damp but not soaked Water when the pot is mostly dry, around 75%. A good way to test is by sticking your ringer in the pots and if you can feel it's moist or the soil sticks to your finger. If the soil doesn’t stick around the bed of your nail and doesn’t appear moist, it’s time to water. A great way to do this is by splashing water on the top of the plant and spraying down the leaves. Then bottom watering it for 10-15 minutes. This plant lives in the jungle so it doesn’t hurt to give it rain showers. A moisture meter is another great way if you aren’t sure if the soil is dry or not. Soil and Fertilization Soil, Orchid Bark, Perlite and Peat Moss This type of plant does well in mixtures that contain a mix of potting soil, orchid bark, perlite, and peat moss. The recipe I use is 1 & 1/2 cups of soil, 1 cup of orchid bark, 1/2 cup of perlite, and 1 cup of peat moss. The measurements don’t need to be exact, this is just a rough estimate of what I use. I fertilize this plant with a tropical plant liquid fertilizer every 5-7 weeks. I should be every 4 weeks in the spring and summer seasons. Environment Jungle Canopy Moderate humidity. If you are not living in an area that has a humid environment, like Idaho, there are ways to mimic that atmosphere for the plant. Plants that are near each other produce their own humid environment. If the plant is not in a location that is surrounded by other plants then opt for a humidifier. The humidifier doesn’t need to run all of the time, just enough to allow the plant's atmosphere to have a cool humid environment. Tips and Tricks This is an aerial plant, meaning it has roots that form on the nodes of the plant. The roots will grow towards the moisture just like the roots would in their natural environment to water the plant. When an aerial root is placed in a container of water the root will continue to grow into the water source and tends to grow a new leaf. Other An often cause of death for this plant is moisture. Diagnosed by yellowing leaves sometimes a smell is present. If the plant has root rot, remove it from any contaminated soil that bacterial could be rowing in. Ring is a mixture of 1/4 cup water and 1/4 cup hydrogen peroxide for 10 -15 minutes then replant in clean soil with adequate drainage.

  • The Beginning of my Private Jungle

    Starting a collection of plants can start small and out of the blue. I've always had a fascination with all kinds of plants and the amazing variety of plants, all are individual and different in their own way. The way a plant looks as its leaves flitter in the breeze, flashing its vibrant green colors. The peace you feel breathing the clean air they have traded us in return for care. The variety of colors they can produce from bright green to dull, dark green, a touch of orange here and a splash of red streaks there adds vibrance where ever they are. Why wouldn't anyone want to surround themselves with the calming feel of vegetation around them? The crisp and refreshing feeling of the outdoors is then inside your home. I started with a small succulent years ago and have since then collected all kinds of plants. From collecting propagation starts while traveling, friends and family gifting me different plant treasures they have found for me or even just shopping at Lowe's. My small collection soon became an obsession and has completely take over my home. Every spot that recieves even the tiniest of sunlight, has clusters of plants stands and shelves to provide a space for each new green friend. I have started this page in the hopes of creating a place of discussion for plant enthusiasts of every kind, new or expericenced. A platform for friends to learn and add their own pointers in the hopes of creating a place of knowledge and growth for all plant lovers to enjoy. I'm excited for the journey ahead and hope you all enjoy!

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