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Prayer Plant Problems – Yellow Leaves, Brown Tips(How to Fix)

If you search for prayer plant problems then before that let me tell you these plants have oval-shaped leaves having a very unique pattern with lines making small shapes. Maranta is famous for its beautiful foliage and that is why all the trouble happened if not cared proper and signs like yellow leaves, brown tips, leaves pointing down and at night and day they move up and down I will explain this phenomena that some people who have this plant and they don’t even know this.

Maranta or Prayer plant problems includes leaves turning yellow, browning or curl up all because of overwatering, bad soil drainage, climatic change or stress over repotting. While Yellow leaf is common problem in prayer plant that can be solved with proper care and brown tips are another issues occur with low humidity enviorment, underwatering or might be due to too much light.

I will explain it below one by one and troubleshoot issues related to the foliage & roots section of the marantas plant. Some People brought these plant in ceramic pots which has no drainage & The mistake they do is giving it regular water & it leads to root rot problem, I myself face some problem but I fixed it by myself 

And now I have experienced this thing so writing in lotusmagus.com to help you all.

Recommended :

Buy Now – Prayer plant (from Amazon)

maranta leuconeura problems
Photo by David J. Stang, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Prayer Plant Problems

List of problems occur in Maranta prayer plant & with that defined solution for each.

Prayer plant Fungal Infections

One Such like leaf spot appeared on the prayer plants(maranta) caused by fungi, particularly Dreschslera and some others like exserohilum spp. You may find pinhead size water spots that can be brown, yellow and purple dapple patches. This happens when over irrigated and all the droplets of water stay on the leaves for a longer period of time. This boozy water-soaked bathed foliage creates problems for leaves & results in reduction of leaves. You can solve this by not overwatering on the leaf but only on the root section.

For conventional methods try using fungicide Chlorothalonil that is used by many to deal with the fungal problem but in the end you have to be careful while giving it water and not to overdo it.


It is a prayer plant problems which means the potting soil is technically low in iron that results in plant leaves wilting, low foliage color, poor growth and many other reasons. It also affects fresh leaves to turn yellow. If this happens with your plant it means the soil has improper pH levels and it can be solved by checking the soil with the pH testing kit and examining whether it’s higher than the 5.9 value it means you have low iron in your soil.

You can contact your nearest plant care expert for help. Generally this is not a big issue if you have brought a good potting mix.

Prayer Plant Problems
Krzysztof Ziarnek, Kenraiz, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Prayer Plant Low Moistness

This happens when you have low humidity inside the house that creates problems for prayer plants as this plant thrives in a high to medium dampness environment. To fix this issue either change the location or use a small container and water it and place it near the plant because this will create humidity and moistness around the plant and your plant will survive the heat indoors.

Insane Light Conditions

Prayer plant(maranta) generally grow in indirect sunlight and if you put them in a partial location where heat or sun is too much then it results in the prayer plant being burned or getting yellow tips on the foliage. Excessive sunlight can cause harm to leaves and eventually make things difficult for plants to survive.

Mosaic Viruses

This virus alone infects many plants and vegetables in today’s era and this can make your prayer plant turn leaves in yellow, dark green spots, white traces. It can make issues in fresh growing foliage also and old one will already develop yellowing or dark spots. For this virus it can be solved if it was in one stem of leaves but if it reached overall plants then it was unable to solve so the last option would be to dispose of your plant.

Root rotted

If your prayer plant(maranta) is consistently in damp wet soil then it will spoil the roots and it is a very common reason for any plant to get damaged and foliage loss. The good news is you can rectify it by reducing the water you gave to this plant and only give it once its soil is completely dry or about to dry soon. If it water in 2-3 inches on its top layer of soil then check  again next day don’t water it.  

Also Read :  Prayer Plant Toxic to Cats – Is this Houseplant Safe?

Prayer Plant Yellow Leaves

Most common reason for prayer plant leaf to turn yellow is due to excess watering, Bad Potting mix, Cold climate, High Humidity, low Nutrients and Much more. Some other reasons may lead to prayer plant leaves turning yellow due to Pests infestation, Fungal infection and Iron deficiency. Yellowing leaves can be solved with utmost care and Adjust on the watering schedule.

1. Excess Watering

This is a very common problem in prayer plant leaves turning yellow because of too much water. Yes sometimes a good soil and perfect pot hole that drains water would not be a help if your prayer plant is given a high amount of water.

It is also true that how often your water prayer plant may affect your plants for the long term if you don’t have a schedule and put in too much water every other day. Always check your prayer plant soil from top if it becomes dry or point your finger 2 inch inside the soil and check if it’s wet then try next day otherwise if it is completely dry you need to immediately give water.

You even heard one thing that prayer plant needs water everyday for its healthy right? Guess what, it doesn’t need daily watering. If you live in a hot place then definitely give water but those living below 50 degree F can keep this plant safe from overwatering. Watering often leads to nutrients leaking out of soil even if your plant roots will suffer from overwatering so avoid it by checking soil whenever you want to give it water.

Experienced people can just see the pot and tell if it needs water or not. Whenever too much water problem occurs, the plant loses pigmentation or color that it naturally has and its an indication that your plant has been overwatered and shows signs like yellow leaves.

2. Cold Climate Conditions

Prayer plants can get yellow leaves because of the cold temperature environment because they don’t generally like freezing cold temperatures as it increases the moisture content which can lead to root rot. Tropical plants like our prayer plant are comfortably grown in 65-80 degree F but below 40 degree F they tend to drop leaves or the first sign is yellowing leaves. 

These plants are not cold hardy so make sure when you purchase this plant it should be in the month of spring to summer when there is more warm temperature. Prayer plant leaves turning yellow due to freezing cold climate so providing them with a warm temperature would be ideal for its overall health.

I recommend anyone who is purchasing a prayer plant please do check the season and climate condition before buying otherwise yellowing leaves are common in prayer plants due to freezing temperatures. If you are impressed with the plant and want to buy it in winters then go to a garden center or nursery, there you need to shop for a prayer plant that looks healthy from its leaves and doesn’t have any leaf burns, or other problems. Buying from Offline store gives you choice how healthy your plant can is if you brought it otherwise in online yes you get healthy plant but not the time of winters as these months are very sensitive to plants growth.

There are many tropical house plants. No one is immune to cold stress, so even if you bring it, it just needs care for starting days, it will surely flourish. 

3. High Alkalinity

Prayer plants like houseplants that love neutral ph loving plants if put in high alkaline soil then its leaves change color to yellow and may impact other growth further. Sometimes with overwatering you may end up leaking nutrients from the soil. That’s why there is fertilizer because half of the plant is used and other drains out. High alkalinity means your soil has less nutrients like manganese, copper and zinc and particularly Iron deficiency(chlorosis) that if not present could result in yellowing of leaves. Prayer plants may see some other signs like pale leaves, yellowing, browning and losing green color.

This problem of high alkaline in soil can be resolved with FeSo4(Ferrous sulfate) that does have iron in it and can balance the deficiency in your poor soil. Can be applied by spraying and most importantly reading instructions as per the package. it would normalise the ph and your prayer plant can again grow properly.

Sulfur Acidic Fertilizer – Buy from Amazon.

4. Nutrient Deficient Soil

Sometimes High pH may give nutrient deficiency that can lead to prayer plants becoming yellowing as these potting mixes can have bad drainage that would cause fungal infections on roots. These soils don’t drain water properly and too much water blocks the air flow as well as water flow to other parts of the prayer plant. 

These plants love moist soil but not which gets too wet, prayer plant is a tropical plant so it needs good draining as well as moisture. Yellowing can be because of water stuck on the soil for hours and days and doesn’t find a way out, then air circulation blocks which makes roots overwater that leads to yellow leaves.

One solution is to use a soil that has all nutrients and is packed with draining ingredients like perlite. Yes it enhances the drainage which boosts the plant growth and avoids any water damage to the prayer plant.

Using a pot that has a saucer could lead to water logging conditions as when the saucer has water you don’t need to water again until it completely dries otherwise root rot can be a big problem for our houseplants. It’s easy to prevent root rot if you have a pot with a saucer. Just remove excess water from the saucer and put this back or if you are not someone like me who puts the pot in front of my laptop table then you need the saucer.

I recommend purchasing perlite or coco coir both works best for drainage in prayer plants. Or you may directly shop potting mix that works for me.

Potting mix for Prayer – Shop from Amazon

5. Compacted roots

Compacted roots are roots that do not find space that it needs so it ends up losing leaves. The first sign could be yellowing, turning brown and dropping. a prayer plant can have root damage easily if the pot has no space or it is struggling inside the soil. Plant needs can be compromised that time and it can’t deliver nutrients and other important supply that can produce more leaves. Plant pot is limited in space and it keeps growing, spreading if it has space but one the roots are compacted it will starting to show yellow leaves that may harm your plant in long run. 

To prevent this change the pot immediately and choose a 2-4 inch larger size pot that fits your existing prayer plant needs. You can use fresh soil in that new pot and repot the prayer plant accordingly. 

Final tips are : Add pruning as this way your plant would be healthy and thrives in more powerful growth.

Prayer plant brown tips

The big reasons for prayer plant having brown tips are if your room doesn’t have enough humidity or its soil doesn’t provide moisture means you are not pouring water whenever it cries for the water when soil is dry.

Another reason could be water is not reaching to the roots and basically all getting drained out if you have a large pot. And If you are using municipal water which has fluoride and other chemicals that is bad for plants but it shows that prayer plants can handle this type of issue.

Brown tips in prayer plant can be harming and it could lead to more foliage loss. To fix brown tips you should provide enough water to prayer plant and check the pot size if its too large then the roots might be not getting clear water so pouring water in every corner of the pot surface will provide the water loss on every side of roots.

Prayer plant leaves pointing down

This is unique phenomena of prayer plant leaves pointing down in day time and slowing going upward in evening or and close at night vertically and its kind of magic but this plant does some natural process which happens based on how much light it will receive in day or at night. The whole process that manranta follows is nyctinasty.

Prayer plant not closing

Prayer plant not closing at night is because it’s getting some kind of light source that continues giving it light and the plant only closes once it’s in a dark location. To solve this you can place this in a dark place and find a place that is not getting light at evening or night time.

Prayer plant won’t pray

This answer is for those who are forcing their plant to go in dark so that they start to pray. Prayer plant won’t pray if it was given a good amount of 7-8 hours of indirect sunlight for months so it’s getting everything to fulfill its needs but a good thing that it will grow healthy leaves and even flowers so stop worrying and it’s fine.

Some people brought this plant to get the magic of leaves going from flat to upward. If your plant is not standing that doesn’t make it too. It has everything so it won’t pray. Think of it as humans who have everything and don’t pray but those who don’t have anything daily.

It’s healthy, keeps on producing flowers and don’t be shocked, plants do things like that they will pray on their own when needed. 

How to revive a prayer plant

Prayer plants can be revived if you allow it to dry its soil and only give water when needed. Also Some people who brought humidifiers to provide moisture to this plant works for them. If you pour less water but sufficient it will work and it will able to survive. Also if its root rotted then change the soil and pot and use new soil and must define proper watering schedule.

Here are the steps on reviving prayer plant:

Check the Soil on Prayer plant Pot and see if its not soggy or overwatered.

If its being regularly watered and soil is soaked deeply then I suggest to take a break and let it dry on its own.

If Prayer plant is underwatered then pouring some water will help.

You can also use humidifier in such a situation where you don’t need regularly watering.

Prayer plants are able to absorb water from humidity to survive.

Revive A Rotted Prayer Plant

  1. Firstly Take Out the Prayer plant from the soil.
  2. Remove all the damp soil from the roots of prayer plant.
  3. Check if the roots if they look brown or black it could be root rotting.
  4. Depends on the roots if only some roots are like this you can save the plant.
  5. Just Use New Pot and Place new potting mix which has good drainage.
  6. Put your plant inside the pot and fill the soil.
  7. Water the plant so all the fresh soil can sit and root able to manage itself.
  8. Hurry you have successfully revive your plant, Make sure about watering pattern that don’t give too much water and always check water before pouring.

Prayer plant leaves curling

Prayer plant leaves curling occur when the plant is not getting enough water and to protect itself from loss of moisture it will curl up or bend the leaves. Also another reason could be too much sunlight which will reduce the water from the plants eventually make it curl up. To solve this in Maranta leuconeura, use a humidifier or increase moisture in the room or just decrease the light by placing it in a more shaded area.

Wrap up

I hope you like the answer on “Prayer Plant Problems“ and if you want to read more such articles check below.

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Amelia Clark

I am Amelia Clark, An experienced gardener with 6 years expertise and this is my blog talk about plants and flowers. See more about me.

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