Maranta leuconeura var. ‘Fascinator’

Family: Marantaceae

Countries: Americas, Brazil, South America

Maranta leuconeura var. ‘Fascinator’ is an absolutely fabulous houseplant!  You’ll find close relations of Maranta leuconeura var. ‘Fascinator’ growing in the Brazilian rainforest, where these magnificent Maranta plants grow in a very humid, warm, almost steamy environment!

Maranta leuconeura var. ‘Fascinator’ produces strikingly beautifully, colourful leaves, which are quite mesmerising, especially when you study them closely – they really are gorgeous!  Each leaf is adorned with an attractive red leaf veining, which is enhanced by dark green leaf markings, with lime green highlights.  This plant certainly is beautiful, but what’s really quite magical about Maranta leuconeura var. ‘Fascinator’ is that as night falls, the change in light and temperature – the shift from day to night triggers this plant’s leaves to gently stretch upwards, the foliage of Maranta plants stand taller during the night, the leaves all fold up together in unison; when morning comes, the plant’s leaves return to their usual daytime position.  This fascinating trait is known as nyctinasty.  The Maranta plant’s nyctinastic movement, which looks as if the leaves are reaching skywards to give thanks in prayer, or that the leaves are pressing against each other, which reminds us of hands coming together as they say their evening prayers, has led to Maranta leuconeura var. ‘Fascinator’ and other Maranta plants becoming more widely known as Prayer Plants.

Maranta leuconeura var. ‘Fascinator’ grows to around 30cm (12 inches) tall.  This tender plant grows as an exceptional houseplant, but Maranta leuconeura var. ‘Fascinator’ requires a very humid environment to be really happy.  If your home is not as humid as this Maranta would like, you could grow your plant near an aquarium or indoor water garden, or you could mist your plant regularly through the day.  Alternatively, you could place a saucer of water, (you’re Maranta plant won’t be happy sitting immersed in a saucer of water, you’ll need to place your plant above, or at the side of the water) or a bowl of water near your plant.  Providing you have a sufficiently large enough enclosure, (this plant grows to a maximum of around 30cm (12 inches) tall) you could grow Maranta leuconeura var. ‘Fascinator’ inside a vivarium, terrarium, or bottle garden, where your plant will flourish!  Maranta leuconeura var. ‘Fascinator’ doesn’t require too much space for its roots, it’s not an especially deep rooted plant, but do remember that if you’re selecting an enclosure especially for this plant, that you’ll need to find a terrarium, which is tall enough for your plant and has a little extra height – some additional space for your plant’s compost and the drainage layer you’ll need to provide, at the base of the terrarium as well the space you need for your plant itself.

This Maranta flourishes in evenly moist, well drained soil or compost.  Do make sure that your compost inside your terrarium is a free draining compost blend, with a drainage layer underneath.  This Maranta prefers to grow in evenly moist compost, the plant’s roots can rot if the compost is kept too moist.  Take care when you’re watering not to overwater your terrarium – it’s so easy to do!  Add a little water at a time, it’s easy to add water, but not so easy to remove water.  This Maranta doesn’t like to be too wet, but this plant doesn’t want to dry out either, this plant thrives in constant conditions – high humidity, warm temperatures, and evenly moist compost.

To see more houseplant pages and information on growing a wide range of indoor plants, please click here.

To see my Planting List for Terrariums and Bottle Gardens, please click here.

To read articles I’ve written about my terrariums and bottle gardens, please click here.

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