A few plants in the realm of house gardening are appreciated for their distinctive behaviors.
This flora is mostly composed of the sister genera Calathea, Goepperia, and Maranta, all of which are members of the Marantaceae family. At night, the leaves of this plant fold upwards in a prayer-like stance, giving it a hanging aspect. This has earned them the moniker “prayer vegetation.” But why and how do these plants behave in this way?
Why Do Prayer Plants Intercede?
There are several ideas as to why prayer plants move differently, beginning with the underlying mechanical rationale of nyctinasty. We listed the favorite ideas since the best reasoning might combine some or all of them.
Reactions to Nyctinastic
Before we go into the “why,” let’s first understand the “how” of the prayer plant action. The term “nyctinasty” refers to activities prompted by low levels. These acts allow a prayer plant’s leaves to constantly be positioned to receive the most mild light and hence have the most ecologically friendly photosynthesis. However, speculations about why a praying plant acquired this function go well beyond simple light-gathering.
This does not explain why they fold into a closed position in the evening when the sunlight is at its weakest. This movement occurs continuously throughout the day, often so gently that you are unaware of it. Because plant lacks muscular tissue, praying vegetation has evolved a new joint called a pulvinus on the base of their leaves. This joint is made of certain cells that expand or shrink depending on how much water is present. When certain cells inflate, they produce tension, which causes the attached leaf to move to a new location.
Principle: Fungal Infection Protection
This is one of the most logical theories on the market. The majority of vegetation has leaves that remain open in the evening. This allows rain and dew to choose the leaves. Because it is colder in the evening, this moisture evaporates more slowly, enabling fungal spores to infect the damp leaf. Furthermore, the movement of the leaves may enable water to drip off the leaf, further protecting it against fungal diseases. That is maybe the most commonly accepted of all contemporary hypotheses.
Principle of Temperature Control
That is another prevalent notion that arises as a proof in basic practice.
Consider what you do when you’re feeling cold. To keep warm, do you stretch out or curl up in a ball? Because the testes require a precise temperature to produce sperm, the scrotum in mammalian men grows and shrinks. As a result, temperature control is a popular notion. Supporters believe that folding the leaves in the evening when it’s colder helps the plant retain heat, and that opening out more when it’s warmer creates a larger surface area to vent excess heat and aid in transpiration (the plant’s equivalent of sweating).
Moisture Retention Principle
While this notion is related to the basic concept we discussed, it is considerably less prevalent. According to this theory, the leaves communicate in confidence to gather precipitation, then close in the evening to reduce evaporation. This idea is not as common since it appears to contradict transpiration. Transpiration is the mechanism by which a plant excretes more than 97 percent of the water it receives through visible holes in its leaves. The resulting moisture evaporates, and rising humidity spreads throughout the plant, similar to how perspiration cools humans down in hot weather. There is no requirement for each activity to coexist if the plant opens its leaves to absorb water while also aggressively sweating the water out.
Though this notion cannot be ruled out as a possible benefit for the prayer plant motion, it is not without its drawbacks. Prayer vegetation, according to this notion, shuts their leaves at night to make it more difficult for insect pests to feast on them. While it does diminish potential floor area, the majority of piercing bugs eat on the undersides of the leaves, which are the components of the leaves that are left exposed in the evening.
Nonetheless, it may be argued that this is on purpose, as aphids, mealybugs, spider mites, and other pests prefer the undersides of leaves to hide from predators. By folding up in the evening, these sensitive undersides are exposed to any passing ladybug, parasite wasp, or other predators. After all, this might make the prayer plant’s leaves more vulnerable to chewing pests like grasshoppers and caterpillars, as they now have immediate access to not one, but two leaves.
Theories vs. Causes They Didn’t Pray
A prayer plant, in general, refuses to wish, and the reasons for this have a lot to do with the ideas about why they pray in the first place. For example, because the mechanism requires mild to function, a lack of sunlight will prevent the plant from opening. In contrast, excessive exposure to direct sunlight can burn the leaves, trapping them in an open area. One of the numerous benefits of the fungal notion is that the leaves will not fold if there is insufficient water or humidity. If the plant folds to reduce the possibility of fungal infections, it stands to reason that the leaves will not fold if there is no threat.
After all, if the plant is sufficiently dehydrated, it may lose its capacity to desire since the mechanism is dependent on water entering the specialized cells. Finally, like you and me, your prayer plant has a habit of “forgetting” to wish when careworn. So, if your prayer plant isn’t acting normally, check to see if something in its environment has changed or if the plant is ill. Addressing the change or disease usually results in your prayer plant praying again in a couple of days.