How to Care for Lemon Lime Maranta (Your Final Guide!)
The lemon lime maranta, also known as the prayer plant, is one of the few gorgeous and entertaining houseplants known to actively move their leaves throughout the day. But how do you take care of lemon lime marantas?
Lemon lime marantas grow best with 55-60% humidity, bright and diffused sun, wide 5-inch pots with drainage, and evenly moist well-drained soil. It is ideal to supply nitrogen-high fertilizer every 1 to 2 weeks in spring and summer. Prune it 2–3 times a year or when dead leaves are present.
If you’ve ever seen these attractive plants open and close their charming leaves, you know just how lovely lemon lime marantas are. So how do we best take care of them? Keep on reading to learn exactly that!
Lemon lime marantas hardly grow past 1.5 feet and will thrive in 5-inch pots that are wider than they are taller. In general, it can grow in planters of different materials. However, it is ideal that the planter contains drainage holes to prevent the fine maranta roots from standing in excess water and rotting.
Lemon lime marantas can be grown in various pots indoors so long as they are properly cared for. You can grow them in terracotta, clay, ceramic, or plastic containers.
What can’t be ignored, however, are drainage holes. You can use whatever material planter you enjoy but be certain that the pot has drainage holes to ensure the plant doesn’t drown!
Lemon lime marantas very rarely grow more than 1.5 feet (45.72 cm) and tend to spread more than they grow tall. Because of this, you can also grow them in dishes that are wider than they are deep.
When it comes to pot sizes, marantas grow well and produce a prolific amount of leaves in just 5-inch (13 cm) pots. You don’t need to repot this plant often but when you do, the new pot should only be 1-2 inches larger in diameter.
For optimum growth, lemon lime marantas must be planted in fresh and well-drained soils. Soils that are too wet and compact can lead to leaves wilting and dying. Grow in potting mixes containing 50% peat moss, 30% perlite, and 20% rich organic loam soil. This plant can also be grown in leca.
Healthy lemon lime marantas grow best in soils that are moist yet well-drained. This is important to help prevent their roots from rotting in soggy soils, which could lead to leaf drops.
Some wonderful ingredients to use in your potting medium would be: perlite, peat moss, and sand. These added materials will help further increase soil aeration and drainage.
An ideal soil mix for maranta can contain 50% peat moss or coco coir, 30% perlite, and 20% high organic loamy soil with a pH level between 5.5 to 6.0.
Lemon lime marantas can also be grown in lightweight expanded clay aggregate, or LECA, but their thin roots may be difficult to help transition over from soil to semi-hydroponic.
Lemon lime marantas grow best in moist soils. This plant must not be left to stand in water, however, as this may lead to root rot. Water must only be given once the top 2 inches of soil has dried and lessened in fall and winter when marantas are no longer as active.
Now, due to lemon lime marantas’ fine and shallow roots, this plant benefits from having evenly moist soils. Remember, this maranta likes to stay moist but not wet.
Because of this, it’s best to avoid letting the soil dry out completely before their next watering. Check with your finger or a moisture meter if only the top 2 inches (5.08 cm) are dry and water them then.
What I found especially helpful when caring for plants is to water them in the morning, when it is easier for the water to be absorbed by the soil. This one minor adjustment can help prevent plants from sitting in puddles of water!
Some folks may recommend placing some gravel at the bottom to ensure drainage but this is not effective.
Learn more about this here in our article on placing gravel at the bottom of pots.
Avoid watering your lemon lime maranta frequently during autumn and winter and water them only once every 1-2 weeks.
Despite its high tolerance for low light, it is ideal for lemon lime maranta to be exposed to bright yet diffused sun for their leaves to open and fold. More specifically, it grows best near south-facing windows. Direct unfiltered light should be avoided as this will bleach the plant’s leaves and potentially kill it after long exposure.
Lemon lime marantas are great indoor plants due to their higher tolerance for low light and deep shade. Ideally, though, your lemon lime maranta would grow best where it can receive bright yet indirect light to avoid it from becoming too leggy.
Marantas have a fascinating habit of folding their leaves together at night and reopening during the day to better absorb the sun.
This movement can resemble praying hands, hence their other nickname, the prayer plant!
The brighter the light is, the more you can really see these leaves open and close. This can be three feet or a meter from a south-facing window with curtains.
However, these precious leaves will fade and lose their charming white-veined pattern if they’re exposed to harsh sunlight. So be sure to keep your lemon lime maranta away from direct light.
Humidity levels between 55-60% are crucial in growing healthy lemon lime marantas. The use of humidifiers or frequent misting is an effective way to provide marantas with sufficient humidity. Additionally, marantas can be grown in bathrooms and kitchens, where humidity levels tend to be higher.
If you had to take away only one thing from this article, it should be this: Humidity is important!
Just like its other maranta family members, like Maranta leuconeura, your lemon lime maranta requires humidity levels that are at least 55-60% percent.
The average household humidity can be around 30-40% but they are usually no more than 50%. So if you have one, consider placing and using a humidifier in the same room as your maranta.
Humidity also tends to be much higher in kitchens and bathrooms and rooms with a high number of plants, so keep that in mind.
You may also frequently mist this plant if you wish. An added bonus to this humidity loving plant is you can also grow these young marantas inside a terrarium with very little problems.
Since lemon lime marantas are semi-heavy feeders, it is recommended to provide these plants with half-strength liquid fertilizer every 1–2 weeks. Fertilizers rich in nitrogen are ideal and will help encourage growth. Provisions of fertilizer must be halted entirely in the winter to avoid burning and killing the dormant plant.
Lemon lime marantas like to be given fertilizer quite often. The leaves of this plant are the prime reason it’s so popular, so be sure to use a fertilizer that’s high in nitrogen to encourage more foliage.
Your maranta will benefit from receiving liquid fertilizer once every one to two weeks. Consider also only using the fertilizer at half-strength to avoid burning their roots.
This liquid fertilizer on Amazon is what I typically recommend for houseplants like this.
Once this plant goes into dormancy in autumn and winter, avoid fertilizing this plant entirely. Your lemon lime maranta will not need any fertilizer in colder seasons, so don’t worry!
In general, lemon lime marantas are commonly cultivated for their prized foliage and are not often in need of pruning. Nevertheless, pruning dead or damaged leaves is recommended. Heavier pruning sessions must only be limited to mature marantas and done with sanitized scissors.
Pruning is hardly ever required for lemon lime marantas. If you’d like to shape your lemon lime maranta, however, you can certainly prune it to achieve whatever look you desire.
With a clean pair of scissors or shears, carefully remove any dead or damaged leaves that you see, to help maintain its appearance and keep the plant healthy.
However, it is best to thin out only well-established plants with full foliage, as younger plants may not handle severe cuttings very well.
Even then, lemon lime marantas should only be pruned a few times throughout the year and never in the middle of winter when growth is slow.
Is lemon lime maranta toxic to pets?
The lemon lime maranta has been confirmed to not contain any toxic compounds and is considered non-toxic to both animals and humans. Therefore, this houseplant is completely safe.
Is lemon lime maranta rare?
The lemon lime maranta variety, with light green, dark green and yellow patterns, is still relatively new and uncommon to some countries, like the US. Unlike other maranta plants, lemon lime marantas can be difficult to find and may not be readily available in all stores.
Summary of Caring for Lemon Lime Maranta
High humidity levels between 55-60% is key in caring for lemon lime marantas. Lemon lime marantas have fine root systems, so they must be grown in well-drained soil and watered only when the top 2 inches of soil is dry.
Bright, indirect light is ideal. Liquid fertilizer high in nitrogen can be given every 1 to 2 weeks but must be completely avoided in winter. Lemon lime marantas do not require pruning but can be pruned up to 3 times a year once they are fully established.
- “Maranta leuconeura” by n/a in University of North Carolina
- “Goeppertia micans” by n/a in University of North Carolina
- “Maranta Production Guide” by R.W. Henley, A.R. Chase, and L.S. Osborne in University of Florida