Prayer Plants are becoming all the rage in recent years. Their beautiful colourful leaves and unique praying ability means they stand out in a crowded plant shop! But what does it mean if your Prayer Plant suddenly starts to lose its leaves? Well there are a few different possibilities, some more worrying than others.
Dry air can cause your Prayer Plant to lose leaves
Prayer Plants need a certain level of humidity to be happy. And that level tends to be a little higher than the average home. This will become a bigger problem over winter when we have the heating on throughout the day and air our homes less. If the leaves on your Prayer Plant have gone dry and crispy before falling off then this may be the cause.
To increase the humidity for your Prayer Plant we recommend misting the leaves, putting together a pebble tray or investing in a humidifier. You can find out more in our humidity guide.
Leaf drop can also indicate overwatering
Too much water can also lead to your Prayer Plant losing leaves. If you notice the stems and leaves becoming a little softer than usual this may be because the roots are beginning to rot. This means that the plant isn’t able to get all the nutrients it needs and becomes unstable and droopy.
To figure out if overwatering is the cause of the loss of leaves, check the moisture levels in the soil immediately. If the soil is quite waterlogged and clumpy then replace it with fresh dry mix which will allow the plant to start to recover. Trim away the rotten roots and hold off on watering as much as you did before.
Due to the damage to the root system, your Prayer Plant may take a little while to fully recover and grow new healthy leaves. But be patient and you should start to see improvements after a few weeks.
Top tip: waterlogged soil can give off a damp, musty smell so get up close to your plants every once in a while to check!
Pests can also cause your Prayer Plant to lose leaves
Another rarer cause of Prayer Plants dropping their leaves is a pest infestation. Insects such as mealybugs or spider mites can take hold of the plant and suck on their nutrients which will cause leaf damage. Over time these leaves will begin to fall off the plant.
Use a magnifying glass to try and spot the pests on the plant. They like to hang out on the undersides of leaves or near the leaf and stem joints.
You can find out more about how to identify, treat and prevent all the types of houseplant pests in our downloadable ebook.
Natural ageing can cause the odd leaf to fall off
If you have gone through all of the above but none of it really fits what is going on with your Prayer Plant then it may simply be natural ageing. Over time it’s totally normal for your Prayer Plant to drop some of its oldest leaves as it focuses on new bigger growth. These old leaves will often turn yellow before falling off the plant.
If your prayer plant isn’t dropping many leaves (1 or 2 every few months) then it probably is nothing to worry about and is simply part of the natural shedding process. But do keep an eye on how often they are falling off. If the rate speeds up then check your plant over again to spot any of the signs we listed above.
You can find out more about caring for your plant in our Prayer Plant care guide.