Ten Commandments


1 entry found.
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Common Name: Prayer Plant, Ten Commandments
Botanical Name: Maranta leuconeura (ma-RAN-ta loo-co-NEUR-a)
Decorative Life: Months to years, depending on use.
Post Harvest Care:
  • Make sure that plants are not shipped with spider mites as they are very hard to control by consumers. The most common disorder is the appearance of tan colored dead tissue at the far margins of leaves. This disorder can be caused by high salts in general as well as by the specific salt fluoride.
  • This species uses about one-third the amount of water under postharvest interior environments compared to when they are being produced in greenhouses.
Harvest Instructions: Hold plants at 60F for a few days prior to shipping to reduce chances of chill damage during transit. Various watering and fertilization practices during production does not seem to influence plant quality once placed in less than ideal interior conditions.
Family Roots:
  • Member of the Marantaceae (arrowroot family).
  • Native to the Tropical Americas, especially in the Organ Mountains of southeastern Brazil.
  • Two fairly common relatives are Calathea (zebra plant) and arrowroot.
Personality:
  • Plant is classed as a monocotyledon, leaves mostly parallel veined.
  • Leaves are rounded, up to 6 inches long, 4 inches wide, often multicolored in bands.
  • Flowers are not fragrant.
Availability: Year-round.
Flower Color: White or violet but seldom present.
Storage Specifics: Chill sensitive, store above 55 degrees F. Preconditing plants at a cool 60F prior to exposing them to a chilling temperature of 50F for 4 days resulted in them being able to withstand up to 8 days at 41F with no chill damage.
Tidbits:
  • The specific epithet name "leuconeura" means white-nerved, possibly in reference to its leaf markings.
  • Named after B. Maranta, a Venetian doctor and botanist who died in 1754.
  • Good for hanging baskets.
  • It gets one common name from the fact that its leaves tend to fold together at night like praying hands.
  • Does well under low light levels and can even thrive under fluorescent lights.
Recent Findings: Poole and Conover (1993) stored 'Kerchoviana' at 36-46F from 1-4 days and subsequently noted no damage.