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Prayer plant

Connie Asked

I have a prayer plant and while I was transplanting it, I found what looked like an earthworm in the roots. There are balls attached to roots, what is this?

Connie Kelley

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The Gardener’s Answer

Hi, Connie: Prayer plant (Maranta leuconeura) was given its common name for the way the foliage folds up at night, resembling praying hands. What you have described is all perfectly normal. Earth worms are actually beneficial in terms of aerating the soil. The balls that you discovered are nodules that are attached to the roots which the plant uses to store energy. This is all perfectly normal. Prayer Plants are native to South America and are considered tropicals for those of us gardening in Kentucky. They have interesting foliage and make great low-maintenance  houseplants.  Ideal growing conditions include provide bright, filtered light and above average humidity. I hope this is helpful.

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