Lemon lime Maranta of the Marantaceae family is a type of prayer plant that opens and closes its leaves daily. It also has psychedelic patterned leaves that are unlike any other plant out there.
We have compiled the most up-to-date expert care guide about this plant. Go through it carefully to learn how to care for and propagate this Maranta genus plant.
JUMP TO TOPIC
- What Is Lemon Lime Maranta?
- Lemon Lime Maranta Care
- Water Requirements
- Light Requirements
- Soil Requirements
- Temperature Requirements
- Humidity Requirements
- Fertilizing Requirements
What Is Lemon Lime Maranta?
Lemon lime maranta is a relatively small and short type of prayer plant. It barely grows beyond one foot tall, and as is typical of its species, it opens its leaves at dawn and closes them shut at dusk according to a set schedule. Its patterned leaves and tiny lilac flowers are simply beautiful.
Lemon Lime Maranta Care
The plant care for this Maranta includes filtered intense light and constantly slightly moist soil most of the time. The soil must have an equal proportion of potting soil, coir, and perlite.
Its temperature should be around 60 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit and humidity levels should be above 65 percent. A regular fertilizing habit must be implemented during the growth period every second week.
Here is all the valuable insight you need to have.
Your lemon lime plant needs its soil to be moist all the time without fail. Even at the slightest dryness in the soil, its leaves will start to curl around the edges. You will need to water the plant once or twice a week during the summer season. The plant needs a slightly decreased frequency of watering in the winter.
This is what makes this plant a bit difficult to water. There is a very fine line between constantly moist and wet soil that you don’t want to cross.
Proper Watering Technique
The proper watering technique for this plant will ensure that you don’t end up over or underwatering it. It is straightforward to do in a small number of steps.
- Keep a close eye on the surface of the soil. Whenever its surface feels dry, it is time to water the plant.
- You will have to use a very moderate volume of water each time to water this prayer plant.
- Water slowly and keep on watering until it starts flowing out of the potting hole.
- Allow some time for the draining water to collect in the drip tray, then get rid of this collected water as well.
- Never water the stems and leaves of your plant. Water should always be given to the soil, not the plant.
Distilled Water Over Tap Water
Salts and minerals in tap water are not helpful for your plant’s health. Distilled water is the safest because it is 100 percent free from all such constituents.
If you cannot procure distilled water, filtered or boiled water is the next best option. The water temperature must be at room temperature. Never water your plant with very cold or very hot water.
Your Maranta lemon lime house plant needs a filtered form of bright light. It can tolerate neither direct bright nor low light conditions. Filtered bright light is what suits it the best.
The Best Indoor Light
The best spot for this plant inside your home would be a naturally-illuminated room. The southern, eastern, or western-side facing windows provide enough light to fulfill its light requirements.
Most of the light through eastern or western windows is indirect. You will have to put up a curtain during early morning or late evening time only, respectively. As for the southern window, a thick cotton curtain must protect this plant from sunburn. You can also keep the plant away from this window and near a shaded corner.
The Best Outdoor Light
Unless you live in a primarily cloudy area, your outdoor plant will need a constant shade. This shade can be in the form of a larger plant or tree under which it is placed.
You can also put up an umbrella over the plant. A northern-facing wall in your yard will also protect this plant from direct light. Keep its pot aligned next to such a wall.
The Best Artificial Light
If the conditions of natural light in your house are poor, this plant will not grow well. You need to order some artificial grow lights right away.
The most cost-effective options available are LED lights for plants. They also have a low running cost, so you won’t have to pay a hefty monthly electricity bill. Keep these lights on continuously for at least 13 to 14 hours every day. Overhead placement of these lights is the best for growing this prayer plant.
This maranta plant needs a type of soil that is well-draining and packed with nutrition. That is why not just any soil will do. It is best to make such soil on your own.
Take one part of a potting mix; any regular one will do, then add an equal amount of nutritious ingredients like coconut coir, sphagnum, or peat moss. Your soil must also have one part of perlite added to it to add more drainage.
The pH of the lemon lime maranta soil is acidic within the range of 5.5 to 6.0. Soil drainage and aeration are essential to prevent water from collecting long-term. You can also add some sand to it to improve the aeration.
Your lemon lime prayer plant always needs 60 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit around it. It would be good if you took care to maintain this temperature even during winters. Winter is the time when you need to take really good care of this plant.
Temperatures lower than 60 and higher than 80 degrees Fahrenheit will affect your plant negatively. Its leaves will begin to droop and fall off almost immediately when exposed to out-of-range temperatures.
We have compiled a list of how you can maintain your plant’s ideal temperature here.
- In summer, if the plant is inside an air-conditioned room, keep it away from exposure to cold air. Keep the lower limit of your thermostat at 60 degrees Fahrenheit.
- In summer, if the plant is kept outdoors, provide shade to keep it from frying.
- Winter is the time when this plant needs to move indoors.
- If the plant is kept near a window, permanently close it off when night falls because the air becomes pretty chilly at night.
- We often see people keeping their plants covered outdoors in winters. This method might work sometimes but not always.
All Maranta prayer plants grow properly when the humidity levels are above 65 percent. Below this, they are pretty prone to drying out and folding over. The first signs of leaves drying due to low humidity are brown edges appearing.
In order to check how humid the air inside your house is, it is better to keep a hygrometer at hand. Want to know how to make your indoor environment more humid?
We have a complete list here.
- If only a little increase in humidity is needed, then simply moving all the humidity-loving plants together would help.
- Make a drip tray using household items to improve air moisture levels. A pebble tray is filled with water and pebbles and placed under the plant pot. The evaporating water contributes to the humidity quite effectively over time.
- Misting the plant will also help with humidity. However, people often bathe the whole plant instead of lightly spraying it. This leads to the development of all sorts of infections.
- If the humidity in your house is too low, then a humidifier is your best option. It will always maintain the correct humidity levels without any effort on your part.
This plant must be fertilized almost every two weeks in the summer and spring. You can drop this frequency to barely once a week during fall and winter. Fertilizing is very important for the growth of this plant.
You can use a liquid water-soluble fertilizer quite easily. Take the volume specified in the bottle and dilute it to half of its strength. You can do this by mixing it with an equal amount of water and pouring this diluted mixture into the soil two inches from where the stem is emerging.
Fertilizer also comes in the form of powder or pellet forms. They are usually slow-release ones to be buried in the top half of your soil. You can put them in the soil once every six months, which will continue to produce nutrients.
Pruning your plant should be done every month. This includes keeping an eye out for old or dry leaves and removing them. It also includes cutting stem branches that have grown in weird positions to maintain the overall shape of your plant.
On the one hand, leaves can be removed by hand by simply twisting them off. On the other hand, stems need to be pruned using gardening shears and scissors.
It cannot be emphasized enough how important cleaning your pruning tools is. Most infections and infestations that attack the plant occur via infected tools. A 70 percent isopropyl alcohol rub is a must before using any gardening tool on your plants.
There are three ways to propagate the lemon lime prayer plant. You can use stem cuttings, divisions of roots, or even seeds as they are helpful methods.
– Stem Cutting
There is no better method to propagate this plant than using cuttings taken from a healthy stem.
- Cut off five to six inches from the ends of a healthy, young stem. Your cutting should have at least one to two nodes in it. Nodes are where leaves arise from within a stem.
- Cut the stem obliquely using your sharpest shears and scissors.
- Wrap this cutting in a newspaper where it can dry for one to two days, then apply rooting hormone to the cut end of the stem to promote new root growth.
- Take a pot and put the soil you made for Maranta in it. Insert half of your cutting right in the middle of the pot. The end of the cutting where the rooting hormone was applied needs to go into the soil.
- Moisten the soil and place your pots near a bright, filtered place.
- Wrap your pot with transparent plastic to increase its humidity and create a greenhouse effect.
- Your Maranta will grow new shoots and roots in five to six weeks.
– Root Division
You must take your plant out of its current pot and soil for this method. While you are at it, take care not to damage the plant.
- Wash the dirt off the plant roots and see if any old and diseased roots need to be chopped off.
- Then divide the roots in such a way that you have several plant sections. Each section should have its root and stem.
- Plant each divided plant segment into its separate pot. Use small pots in the beginning.
- Provided that adequate care tips are followed, all of the separate plant pieces will grow into separate healthy plants independently.
– Seed Propagation
Propagating any plant from seeds takes a long time and plenty of patience. Read the steps below to determine if you are up for this challenge.
- Take a seedling tray and cover it evenly using any store-bought nutrition media.
- Sprinkle some water over the medium as it should always be kept moist.
- Insert the prayer plant seeds in this medium within the tray. The seeds should not be more than 1 inch close to each other.
- You will have to put some effort into procuring the freshest and healthiest seeds if you want to have successful seed propagation.
- Keep the seedling tray in a bright, warm, humid locale like your kitchen.
- Keep the growth medium moist, and your seeds will germinate in a maximum of three to four weeks.
Common problems with your lime Maranta include bacterial and fungal infections. Pest attacks are also quite common among household prayer-plants. You can learn more about these issues here.
– Bacterial Leaf Spot
This is the most common bacterial disease to affect prayer-plants. The most common reason this happens is when the plant gets infected through another plant or had infected tools used on it.
Signs and Symptoms
The older leaves of the plant will become affected first. Water-filled yellow or brown spots will appear on them, and they will be barely one-quarter of an inch in size. Eventually, these spots will turn black. The leaves will also lose their beautiful pattern and color.
In a short amount of time, the plant will start dropping leaves. The plant will die if more than one-third of the leaves fall off.
How To Treat It
There is no better ingredient to treat bacterial infections than liquid copper bactericide. It works pretty effectively against this disease if applied consistently. The leaves that are the most commonly affected should be removed altogether. Sometimes, whole sections of stems should be snipped off using shears.
It would be great if you also worked towards providing your plant with the perfect care conditions. Overwatering should be strictly avoided.
– Root Rot
Root rot is one of the nastiest diseases in the plant world. It is caused by several fungi that are common to the soil. When the soil is overwatered or waterlogged, these pathogens multiply and attack your plant.
Signs and Symptoms
You can tell that your plant has developed rot from swollen leaves with brown leaf tips. Yellow and brown rot spots will be all over the plant, often with a moist necrotic center.
Leaves will be hanging down under the weight of too much water stored in them. The roots will appear brown and lanky with a fetid smell emanating from them.
How To Treat Root Rot
Root rot is best treated using aggressive methods. Immediately take your plant out of its pot and allow all the excess water to be absorbed in a newspaper. Cut off all the rotten parts that have turned completely black. Spray generously with an antifungal spray before repotting in clean new soil and a new pot.
Even after repotting, you must continue the antifungal spray for months until the very last fungal spore has been killed.
Pests are notorious for slowly eating up your plant for several months. This is because most of the bugs that affect household Maranta’s are sap-feeders like mealybugs and spider mites.
These insects mostly stay clustered under the leaves and go unnoticed. You might only notice this when the symptoms get a lot worse.
Signs and Symptoms
Initially, you will not be able to notice any proper symptoms when a pest attack is underway. Eventually, small yellow-colored round spots will develop over the leaves. Leaves also become slightly brown and curled at the edges. Sometimes, leaves might start dropping down and losing their luster.
With prolonged pest attacks, the plant’s growth comes to an almost standstill.
How To Treat Pests
It would be best if you went for physical removal first to get these pests off your Maranta lemon lime house plant. This includes washing these pests off. You can supplement this with scrubbing pests off using a brush or cotton roll.
As for insecticides, if you want natural options, then go for neem oil or baking soda solutions. Neem oil is our favorite method as it kills mature pests and larvae. Baking soda should be mixed with water first to make it more suitable for the plant.
Because natural insecticides take a bit longer to take effect, you can also go for chemical ones. These need to be sprayed on the plant on around a weekly basis.
This plant is not toxic at all. Even if your zealous pet or kid chews it out of curiosity, there will be no harmful consequences. You can take care of this plant and prune it without special precautions.
However, if you have ever been allergic to this plant or any other Marantas, we suggest you take precautions. It’s better to get yourself tested to ensure you are not allergic to this plant.
– Should I Mist My Lemon Lime Maranta?
No, we usually do not recommend misting this plant to improve humidity levels. This is because this often leads to the plant staying wet all day. Because of this, your plant might succumb to various types of fungal and bacterial infections.
If you mist your plant, do it no more than twice a week. Misting should be done only very lightly and from a distance. The timing of misting should be early morning so that the plant dries up by midafternoon.
– How Big Do Maranta Plants Get?
Lemon lime maranta plants can grow up to 8 to 12 inches tall at most. Like most other Maranta species, these plants are known for their tiny, compact shapes. It is also pretty slow-growing and will take a long time to reach even this size. This property makes it an ideal hanging plant.
A small lemon lime maranta size means that this tiny plant can be perched anywhere within the house, making it very portable and convenient.
– Why Is My Prayer Plant Not Praying?
The leaves will stop closing and the plant will stop “praying” when the lemon lime Maranta’s light requirements aren’t being met. This plant should not be kept in very low light conditions or its circadian rhythm gets disturbed.
Similarly, the plant will stop opening and closing its leaves if the soil is not watered properly. Check to see whether you are over or underwatering your plant.
Before you go, we have a quick recap about growing these marantas coming up ahead:
- Place this plant under indirect light or some kind of shade.
- Keep watering it regularly, but only if the soil has dried on the surface first.
- You want the quickest drainage from your pot and the soil. Perlite is a wonderful ingredient when it comes to improving soil drainage.
- Stem cuttings, seeds, and division of roots are three very easy methods by which this plant can be propagated.
We hope there isn’t any doubt left in your mind about maranta’s fresh lemon and lime species. This is undoubtedly the plant you have been missing in your collection.