Maranta leuconeura var. kerchoveana (prayer plant) from 3am to 9pm. It seems to move rhythmically throughout the day with some “sudden” changes - I wonder if these are in response to sudden changes in light. I’ll do another time lapse with my light meter to investigate

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Opal’s Enclosure

Opal lives in a 3 x 2 x 2 custom enclosure that I designed and built. Her substrate is bioactive. There’s about an inch and a half of Growstones at the bottom for drainage, on top of which sits 5-8 inches of top soil, peat and coir, with a little shredded sphagnum moss and charcoal thrown in the mix. Over that goes dried leaf litter and bits of bark and moss. My cleaner invertebrates are isopods and springtails. They’re still in the process of getting fully established, so I spot clean any waste and will continue to do so until I see evidence that they can deal with it quickly.

For heating I use an 80W radiant heat panel on a Hydrofarm thermostat. Surface temperatures range from 88-90F directly under the panel to 78-80F under the hide on the cool end. Lighting is a 6500K LED bar on a 12h timer. I also have some colour-variable LED strip lighting for night viewing, but I usually leave it off overnight so I don’t disrupt her day/night cycle too much.

Six vents, three up high and three lower down, provide ventilation and keep the air circulating a little bit.

Plants have been a trial-and-error experiment to see what adapts well to the conditions in the vivarium (and Opal’s exploring). A lot of common tropicals don’t actually do very well in constant heat, and others need a lot of air circulation. The plants that are thriving and putting out new growth right now are Dracaena compacta, Maranta leuconeura (prayer plant), Pilea cadieri, Pilea depressa and Gibasis geniculata (bridal veil plant). Plants that are not doing so hot include Wandering Jew (oddly? I might try it again in another location because this one surprised me) and a couple fern species. Species that died almost immediately include Peperomia puteolata, Hypoestes phyllostachya (polka-dot plant) and a patch of golden club moss. Fortunately I have a couple good sources for plants and they were all $2-$3.

Before adding a new plant I bareroot it and wash it well to avoid introducing any pesticides or other unpleasant chemicals.

The enclosure has been up and running now for almost three months and I’m really happy with it. The substrate smells as fresh as it did when I started and it’s been a lot of fun observing and cultivating a dynamic environment for Opal. She gets a lot of great sensory stimulation as well as the opportunity to do plenty of fun snake things like climb around and hide under leaves. I see evidence most mornings that she was out messing with stuff in the night.

She’s always been a flawless eater and continues to be. The bioactive set-up is terrific for humidity, too, so no trouble with sheds. It usually sits somewhere between 70%-85%.

If you have any questions about my set-up feel free to ask! I like talking about it! If you wanna see more about the particulars of construction I put together this build journal a while back.


#marantamonday - there are those of us who would like a day to show off their Marantas. Here’s my Maranta leuconeura doing her thing (13 hours in 8 seconds)
#timelapse #houseplants #houseplantjournal #observe #plants #boredpanda #video #cool #science #botany #horticulture #urbanjunglebloggers #houseplantclub #plantas #växter #gardentherapy #pflanzen #gardening #buzzfeed #buzzfeedvideo #植物 #식물 #botanical #greenthumb #nature #naturegram #scientific

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I bought this plant a couple of months ago (the first 2 pics are from when I just got it). Do you happen to know what kind of plant it is, and maybe how I can best take care of it?


That is a lovely prayer plant (maranta leuconeura)! I was just given one of these recently and I love it. :D They do best in bright but indirect light, and like to be kept lightly moist during the growing season in spring and summer. Reduce water in winter – wait until the top inch of soil is dry to the touch. Their edges tend to brown if kept in dry air, so providing some humidity is important. I keep mine on top of a dish of pebbles filled partially with water.

The best soil has a mix of peat, compost, and added perlite and/or pumice for good drainage. Fertilize during the growing season, about twice a month or so. That’s pretty much it? They really don’t seem too picky as long as you give them some humidity. Good luck!

Hello plant friends! Here is some growing information for one of my favorite indoor plants!

Common Name(s): Prayer plant
Scientific Name: Maranta leuconeura
Origin: Central and south america, and the west indies
Height: Up to 3 feet
Light: Bright, indirect sun
Temperature: 60-85°F
Humidity: High
Soil: Well drained
Fertilizer: Average
Propagation:Stems or cutting
Pests: Spider mites, mealy bugs, aphids


As an experiment, I exposed my Maranta leuconeura to a bright light (200 foot-candles) in the middle of the night. She responded in confusion by indecisive movements (leaves going back and forth) until finally settling into her daytime arrangement. Needless to say, she was grumpy the rest of the day.

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Maranta leuconeura var ‘kerchoveana’ and Calathea lancifolia going into prayer mode for the night 🙏🌿 #maranta #calathea

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My two favourite dancing plants: Maranta leuconeura v kerchoveana and Calathea lancifolia - taken 3pm to midnight #houseplants #plantlove #foliage #indoorplants #plantlife #urbanjunglebloggers #timelapse #hyperlapse #best_timelapse #calathea #calathealancifolia #maranta #marantaleuconeura #prayerplant

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Maranta leuconeura v kerchoveana - sorry to wake you from your sleep. Could you show everyone your daytime configuration? (taken midnight to 9am) #houseplants #plantlove #foliage #indoorplants #maranta #prayerplant #marantaleuconeura #timelapse #best_timelapse

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