Basic Never Never Plant Care
Part of the Prayer Plant family, Never Never Plants are known for the way they curl up their leaves in the evenings (it looks like they’re praying). With their intricate leaf patterns and delicate stems, it’s important to get the care routine right for these beauties or they will start to struggle pretty quickly. Below you’ll find everything you need to know to properly care for a Never Never Plant.
Bright Indirect Light
I love the sunshine but too much direct light will damage my leaves.
I don’t like my soil to be too dry or too soggy. Little and often is what I’m after.
I thrive in humid environments so please mist my leaves every so often.
I need soil specifically for indoor plants as it retains the right amount of water.
About the Never Never Plant
The entire Ctenanthe family are characterised by their colourful and partnered leaves and the Never Never Plant is particularly loved for its fishbone like pattern. This is where it gets its other common name from; the Fishbone Prayer Plant. Whilst they aren’t the tallest growers, they will grow sideways if given the chance so can become quite bushy. This is definitely a consideration to make when finding the best spot for your Never Never Plant and pruning might have to be something to pop into your yearly routine.
When it comes to flowering, the Never Never Plant can bloom but it’s not that common nor breathtaking when it happens. It’s their leaf patterns that make them special rather than the flowering. The incredible markings on new leaves are an indication that the care and environment are right for your plant as when your plant struggles, the new leaves can sometimes be without silver pattern. You’ll also notice the undersides of the leaves are an incredible dark red colour, which is characteristic of the Prayer Plant species and just another reason to fall in love with these incredible plants.
Never Never Plants can be grown outdoors but their rainforest origins means they are very sensitive to frost. This is why growers tend to grow them in pots outdoors so that they can move them inside in fall and out again in spring if they wish. This prevents the plant from dying due to cold temperatures.
The origin of the Never Never Plant
Native to the rainforests of Brazil, the Never Never Plant is an incredible houseplant to own as not only do they look incredible, but they can be pretty easy to keep happy too! You might be thinking that it’s impossible to keep a plant in your home that needs the environment of a rainforest to thrive but it’s totally doable.
Loved for their silver and green striped leaves, this tropical evergreen will bring a little bit of the tropics right into your home. When it comes to care, the best thing to do with houseplants is to think about mimicking their natural environment. Growing in the undergrowth of the rainforest canopy, the Never Never Plant loves high humidity, warmth and lower light levels.
Never Never Plants need bright but indirect light
You want to find a spot that has ample sunlight but no direct light. As Never Never Plants have very delicate leaves, if they are exposed to intense direct sunlight it can scorch the leaves or cause them to fade. This will show up as yellowy brown patches across the leaves. Direct light can also dry out the plant quite quickly which can cause a whole range of other issues.
On the other extreme, when it comes to lower light levels, your Never Never Plant can tolerate some spots with lower light levels but over time this will start to impact your plant. You’ll first notice the leaves starting to lose their variegation and growth tends to be quite leggy or stunted.
If your Never Never Plant is receiving too little light, it will start to grow towards the light source. This is a good early warning sign that your plant might need to be moved to a sunnier spot in your home.
Water your Never Never Plant little but often to keep even moisture in the soil
Never Never Plants like to have moist soil but not soggy. It can be a bit of a balancing act to achieve this but checking up on your plant regularly and checking the moisture levels in the soil will help you to get to know your plant’s needs.
This is why we recommend watering them often but only with a little bit of water each time. This keeps the potting mix moist but prevents any risk of overwatering and root rot.
We strongly recommend picking up a moisture meter if you don’t already own one. These affordable little devices will literally tell you how soggy the soil is and can be a real lifesaver if you’re unsure of how much to water. Other techniques like the finger or chopstick method are also a must-do with these plant.s
Never Never Plants love warmer temperatures
To keep your Never Never Plant happy they need room temperatures or above but be cautious about any kind of extreme temperature as yes, there is such thing as too hot a room for your plant.
It’s important to keep them away from drafty doors or windows as the cool air from outside can damage the plant. This is especially damaging in winter when temperatures can really drop. Never Never Plants are very sensitive to frost so it’s an important one to be aware of. You also want to keep your plant away from air conditioning units as whilst the cool air might be refreshing for you during summer, it can wreak havoc on your plant.
But it’s not just cold temperatures that can harm your plant. If they are being exposed to hotspots then this can dry out the plant and cause it to crisp up. Be aware of placing your Never Never Plant too close to radiators or cookers and monitor areas around windows during summer as the heat can get trapped there.
Using a digital thermometer can really help you keep track of any fluctuations.
Give the humidity a boost and your plant will love you for it!
Never Never Plants need a little humidity boost every now and again or they will start to dry out. The best way to do this is by misting the leaves several times a week. We also recommend buying a humidifier as your plants will love it!
Fertilise only during the growth months
As with the majority of houseplants, it’s important that you only feed your Never Never Plant during spring and summer. We recommend feeding once a month with a water-soluble fertiliser, Dilute more than stated on the bottle to avoid fertiliser burn.
Avoid using leaf shine
To clean the leaves of your Never Never Plant we recommend regularly wiping them down with a damp cloth to remove dust. Avoid using leaf shine as this can damage the variegation on the leaves.
Never Never Plants are generally non-toxic
Fortunately, Never Never Plants are considered largely safe for pets and humans.
There are two ways to propagate a Never Never Plant
You can propagate your Never Never Plant either through stem cuttings or division. If taking a stem cutting you’ll want to pop it in water for several weeks to allow roots to grow before potting into fresh soil.
Common Problems with your Never Never Plant
Here are some common issues that you might run into. It's important to diagnose any issues early to give your plant the best chance of bouncing back.
Why does my Never Never Plant have yellow leaves?
Yellow leaves on a Never Never Plant are caused by too much direct sunlight. In summer the light can be so intense that it scorches the leaves. Move your Never Never Plant to a slightly shadier spot and remove the worst affected leaves.
Why does my Never Never Plant have brown leaves?
Brown leaves on a Never Never Plant is an indication of overwatering. Check the soil to see if it is waterlogged and replace if necessary. You don’t want to wait for it to dry out as this can do further damage. Going forward reduce how much you are watering and monitor the soil to make sure it has dried out a little before watering.
Why does my Never Never Plant have brown leaf tips?
Brown leaf tips are a sign that your Never Never Plant is struggling with dry air. Boost the humidity by misting your plant, building a pebble tray or buying a humidifier.
Why are my Never Never Plant's leaves curling?
Curling leaves is a natural part of the daily ‘praying’ that Prayer Plants do. However, if your plant’s leaves do not uncurl during the day then it may be that you need to increase the humidity level or temperature around your Never Never Plant.
Why are the leaves on my Never Never Plant drooping?
Drooping leaves on a Never Never Plant can have quite a few causes which makes diagnosing the issue a little trickier. Factors such as a lack of water, heat stress, direct sunlight and dry air can cause the delicate leaves on your Never Never Plant to droop down.
The best way to figure out what is causing the drooping leaves is to monitor the various environmental factors such as light levels, temperature and humidity as well as check the moisture levels in the soil to find any issues. Luckily drooping leaves and stems are one of the first warning signs when it comes to an unhappy Never Never Plant so if there are no other issues alongside it then you should have no problems bringing your plant back to its normal self!