Unconditional Love of a Maranta – Prayer Plant

by Sheila Finkelstein on September 2, 2008

“Unconditional Love” – Can plants love us? We could get into a philosophical dialog here. We could say anything is a reflection of ourselves, so if we are putting love out to someone, or something, it reflects it back to us. This may not always work with people.

They do say that animals often love their owners unconditionally. And for this post, I am standing in – Plants CAN grace us with unconditional love.

View of inside maranta plant in 2005

Prayer Plant in 2005

It is my experience with my “maranta” plant that has generated this query/discussion. My prayer plant has been with my husband and me, now me alone, in some form, for close to 40 years, or more! It would seem, based on this one plant, that they can love us unconditionally, beyond all measures of neglect.

Three years ago in Picture to Ponder, I wrote about the “abuse” this plant had taken over the years and how it always bounced back, no matter how much I neglected it. See Maranta Photos for the other photos linked to in that article.

A few months ago, I was sure the plant had finally given up on me. I was on my way out for a 5-day trip when I remembered to water it before I left. When I went to it, I discovered that most of the leaves had dried up from lack of water AND the plant was infested with, seemingly, hundreds of minute insects.

No longer could I simply pull off brown leaves. There was no way I could debug it. I took it outside to dump. Before leaving it, I did detect a very tiny, stem with 2 leaves and a very faint root. I found a smaller, clean pot and fresh soil and planted this tiny seedling, before leaving for my trip, then forgot about it. I was so sure that it was “gone” I never even thought to photograph it.

Fast forward three months – Miraculously that plant is growing and bringing on new shoots. Unfortunately, so sure was I of its demise, I never thought to photograph it. Six weeks later it was blooming healthily, already having unfolded several new leaves.

maranta 6 weeks after having been transplanted

maranta inside - 8-27-08

In the meantime, the bug infested plant that I had discarded as completely lost, I had thrown in a corner close to the house against a fence. Then about two and half months after the upset of discovering what I had considered the “hopelessly infested” plant, I glanced over at where I had tossed it and saw that a portion of the plant had survived, although the plastic pot had broken down.

maranta outside - plastic pot deteriorated

After several weeks of seeing a couple of leaves, still somewhat alive in the deteriorating plastic pot, I decided to put it in the ground.

unfolding leaves in center of maranta planted outside

Maranta in Ground

Now it has become an almost daily practice for me to photograph both the indoor and the outdoor plants, as I spend a moment or two, with each, in gratitude.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Julie Jordan Scott March 10, 2010 at 10:45 am

Beautiful story of presence and gratitude. Thank you.


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