If your Prayer Plant’s leaves are drooping down then it may be due to one of two things: either it is simply natural praying or it’s being underwatered and the dry soil is causing your Prayer Plant to droop. If you have caught the problem early and there are no other major problems (including brown dry crispy leaves) then you should be able to fix the issue fairly easily. But if the problem has progressed quite far then it may take a little bit more to revive your plant. But either way, don’t worry as below you’ll find all the answers you need.
Natural praying can be confused for drooping leaves
Prayer Plants get their name from the way their leaves curl up at night time and uncurl during the day. It sort of looks like they are praying. Aside from the curling, Prayer Plants also generally just move their leaves around a lot. If you were to take a timelapse of your plant over 24 hours you would be shocked at how much they move!
If your Prayer Plant’s leaves look a little droopy then we always recommend monitoring their position a little for a few days before making any changes to their care or environment. You don’t want to disrupt anything without knowing for sure there is a problem.
If you notice your Prayer Plant’s leaves are moving around a lot over the days you are monitoring them then that is completely normal and the drooping was simply part of that natural praying and moving. However, if the leaves do not move much and are continuing to droop down and look quite limp then this is probably a sign your plant is unhappy. We cover this next part below…
Underwatering causes Prayer Plants’ leaves to droop
The most common reason Prayer Plants’ leaves droop down is consistent underwatering. Whilst your Prayer Plant can tolerate the occasional missed watering, over time if it doesn’t receive enough water then the plant will droop, turn brown/yellow and lose leaves. Drooping leaves are the first sign of trouble and mean you can very easily reverse it if you notice the problem relatively quickly.
There are a few simple and quick ways to find out if your Prayer Plant’s soil is dry and your plant needs watering:
Firstly, the finger trick where you stick a finger into the soil to see if there is any moisture in the soil. If yes, you’ll notice soil sticking to your finger when you take it out. If the soil is bone dry then it will just be like dust which will fall off your finger. If you don’t want to get your hands dirty then you can also use a chopstick where the same rule applies. If the chopstick comes out clean then it’s time for a water.
But won’t I damage the root system if I stick my finger in the soil?
As long as you are careful and don’t prod around too much, then you shouldn’t cause too many issues. If you notice a large root in your way, try and pick a different spot rather than forcing the chopstick in as this will break the root.
Picking up your Prayer Plant
Another way you can check the moisture levels in the soil is by regularly picking up your plant. This is a great method to get to know your plants and soon you’ll have a really clear gauge as to when they need more water and you can stop your plant’s leaves from drooping down. The lighter the plant is, the less water is in the soil – pretty simple! Luckily, Prayer Plants are quite light houseplants as they don’t have thick stems which means picking them up shouldn’t be too difficult but don’t try this with bigger plants as you don’t want to hurt your back.
Use a moisture meter
If you want to take the guess work out of knowing when to water your Prayer Plant (and prevent more drooping leaves) you can use a moisture meter. You simply pop it in the soil as you would say a thermometer and it will give you a reading of the moisture in the soil. They are super affordable little gadgets which are a great investment for every budding plant parent! We love this one from Amazon.
How do I fix my Prayer Plant’s drooping leaves?
Now that you have established what is causing your Prayer Plant’s leaves to droop, you want to make sure what you do next actually solves the problem and doesn’t make anything worse.
If the drooping is just part of the natural praying, movement of your Prayer Plant then you don’t need to do anything at all as this is totally normal and actually a sign of a healthy Prayer Plant.
Reintroduce watering slowly
But if your Prayer Plant’s leaves are drooping due to consistent underwatering then you need to make sure to reintroduce watering in the right way. Your first instinct might be to give your drooping Prayer Plant lots of water straight away but this can actually be harmful to your Plant if the soil goes from one extreme to the other. Instead, you want to reintroduce watering little but often for a week or two and this should solve the problem. The last thing you want to do is go the other way and overwater your plant so be careful when reintroducing watering as this will cause a whole range of more serious issues than drooping leaves. Using a moisture meter is a great way to regulate your watering.
Use the right potting mix
Prayer Plants aren’t super fussy about their potting mix and should grow well in a variety of mixes. One thing to make sure of is that it is a high-quality mix as this will ensure it has all the right nutrients and pH level for your plant. Whilst you do want the mix to be well-draining (as this will help to avoid the dreaded overwatering), if you find that your Prayer Plant is often drooping due to underwatering, you may want to add some peat moss to the mix. This helps to retain a little bit of that moisture and slowly releases it to the plant. We recommend this potting mix from Miracle Gro which is available on Amazon.
Use a self-watering pot
If you find yourself often forgetting to water your Prayer Plant, or you travel a lot and can’t always be home and stick to a regular routine, there are ways to water your plants without you needing to remember or even be there to do it.
The best thing to do is invest in a self-watering pot. They are relatively affordable and make sure that your plants get the right amount of water at exactly the right time! They help to avoid both under and overwatering and are definitely worth it to stop your drooping Prayer Plant leaves turn into something more serious.
Whilst there are a few DIY tips and tricks that you can use to create a self-watering system yourself (plastic bottle or damp string techniques), we don’t often recommend them as they are not as reliable as self-watering pots. And we don’t like to take any chances when it comes to caring for our houseplants!
Propagate your plant
If you can’t seem to save your Prayer Plant and all efforts at reviving it aren’t working then you may want to think about propagating it to save some of the healthy stems. The best way to do this is by taking a stem cutting or dividing the plant and growing some of the healthiest bits in water until you see roots forming. Then pot into fresh mix and enjoy your new plants!
If you notice your Prayer Plant’s drooping leaves quickly and there are no other signs of serious problems then you should be able to bring your Prayer Plant back to top health pretty quickly by following our tips above!
Check out our full Prayer Plant Care Guide for more information on care, common problems and propagation.
Written by Joanna Turner