Does your space need a leafy spruce-up?

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If your home needs some greenery, you'll be in the market for a houseplant or two. Contrary to popular belief, if you’re low on light, it doesn’t mean you have to forgo houseplants altogether. You can still enjoy them as long as you choose species that are suited to your space. How much light, water, and care, can you provide? If your home struggles with light, try out prayer plants (Maranta leuconeura), which are suited to dim environs and can even thrive in low-light circumstances.

These vibrant plants come in pretty colors and patterns. Prayer plants have showy foliage with deep green leaves that are striped and spotted with red, pink, and white. These perennials are, according to The New Southern Living Garden Book, “a genus of about 20 species from tropical Central and South America. Their densely spreading clumps of stems hold attractive leaves typically marked with colorful, interesting patterns.” Prayer plants get their common name from the movements of the leaves, which lie flat throughout the day. During the night, the foliage folds toward the center of the plant in a prayer-like movement.

Marantas can also thrive in filtered light and partial shade, and they need ample water. While they make good houseplants, they can also be used as ground cover in tropical gardens. To plant outdoors, they need rich, fast-draining soil and humid air. According to The New Southern Living Garden Book, to care for prayer plants "indoors, locate out of direct light. Keep soil moist during the growing season, and use a humidifier to keep moisture in the air; maintain night temperatures above 55F. Indoors or out, feed monthly during summer with a general-purpose liquid houseplant fertilizer.”

When choosing a houseplant, the most important thing is to choose species that are well suited to your space. Would you like to try growing eye-catching marantas? Learn more about prayer plants at southernliving.com.

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What’s your favorite low-light houseplant? Do you have any favorite houseplants growing in your home right now?