9 Beautiful Maranta Varieties for Your Home

maranta varieties with pictures

Marantas are perfect for beginners and experienced plant lovers to challenge their abilities. All varieties need heat, humidity, moist soil, and indirect light. But some will tolerate a typical household, while others will need advanced care. 

The genus comes from Central and South American rainforests, and most grow in the deep shade at the base of trees. The main species are Maranta leuconeura, Maranta cristata, and Maranta arundinacea

Marantas need temperatures between 65 to 85 °F (18 to 30 °C), over 40% humidity, and moist soil. The easier varieties like Red Maranta thrive in a wider range of light and moisture, while harder varieties like Arrowroot need specific space and light conditions.

This list will lead you through 11 Maranta varieties chosen for variation and accessibility. We’ve ranked them based on how to care for them, from 1 to 5. Five is the easy score and they are placed earlier in the list to help you choose.

1. Red Maranta (Maranta leuconeura var. Erythroneura)

red maranta
Red Maranta

Ease of Care: 5 (easy)

Red Maranta (Maranta leuconeura var. Erythroneura), sometimes called Maranta Tricolor, is the most colorful and one of the most common prayer plant.

The large oval leaves have pink veins that look like a fishbone pattern. Light green follows the midrib, and dark green may be the rest of the leaf or lightens as it nears the rim. 

This variety is more tolerant of light than many of the others. As long as the light is bright and indirect, it grows well. But if all you have is medium to low light, this plant will tolerate that. As far as difficulty goes, you need to keep the soil moist.

Scientific NameMaranta leuconeura var. Erythroneura
Commons NamesRed Maranta, Red Prayer Plant, Maranta Red Stripe, Maranta Tricolor, Prayer Plant Tricolor, Maranta Leuconeura ‘Fascinator’
Region of OriginBrazil
Full Size15 in (38 cm)

2. Maranta Lemon Lime (Maranta leuconeura var. Erythroneura ‘Lemon Lime’)

Maranta lemon lime
Maranta ‘Lemon Lime’

Ease of Care: 5 (easy)

Maranta Lemon Lime (Maranta leuconeura var. Erythroneura ‘Lemon Lime’) is a newer cultivar of the Red Maranta subspecies.

It maintains the light and dark green from its relative, but the pink veins have a light yellow-green.

‘Lemon Lime’ Marantas are also often considered the same as ‘Maranta Marisela’. They have the same leaves when sold. But some sources regard one as lacking the light green along the midrib and instead of having a consistent dark green other than the veins. Others will say the other has those traits. So for practical purposes, you may regard them as the same.

These are tolerant of low humidity and may continue to look healthy even with humidity below 40 percent.

Scientific NameMaranta leuconeura var. Erythroneura  ‘Lemon Lime’
Commons NamesMaranta Lemon Lime, Lemon Lime Prayer Plant, Maranta Marisela
Region of OriginBrazil
Full Size12 in (30 cm)

3. Green Maranta (Maranta leuconeura var. Kerchoveana)

Green Maranta

Ease of Care: 4 (mostly easy)

Green Maranta (Maranta leuconeura var. Kerchoveana) is one of the two main subspecies of Maranta leuconeura, and one of the two most popular for plant owners.

It lacks the pronounced vein colors of its relatives. Instead has a medium green throughout and dark “rabbit’s feet” spots on either side of the midrib. 

This subspecies and its cultivars can sometimes have stems that reach more outward. They are more likely to do this if you have less heat and humidity than they like.

On the one hand, this makes them suited as hanging plants. But they can’t keep moisture while spread out, and the stems can brown. The leaves also keep more color contrast in low light.

Scientific NameMaranta leuconeura var. Kerchoveana
Commons NamesGreen Maranta, Maranta Green Stripe, Maranta Kerchoveana, Rabbit’s Foot Prayer Plant, ‘Rabbit Tracks’ Maranta
Region of OriginNortheast, Southeast, West-Central Brazil
Full Size12 in (30 cm)

4. Beauty Kim (Maranta leuconeura var. Kerchoveana ‘Variegata’)

Maranta ‘Beauty Kim’

Ease of Care: 3 (middling)

Beauty Kim (Maranta leuconeura var. Kerchoveana ‘Variegata’) is a Green Maranta cultivar that resembles the base subspecies, but with variegation.

The extra color comes from creamy blotches. They can be small and let some green through or large and opaque. If the cream covers a rabbit’s foot patch on an immature leaf, the spot may look reddish-purple.

This variety loves humidity but not being wet, even on the leaves. So it tends to do better without misting or greenhouse conditions that create condensation. It’s also sensitive to light and will need to be kept away from direct sunlight to avoid crisping on the leaves.

Scientific NameMaranta leuconeura var. Kerchoveana ‘Variegata’
Commons NamesBeauty Kim, Kim Prayer Plant, Kerchoveana Variegata
Region of OriginUnited States (USPP1196P2 expired patent by Brian Gold)
Full Size12 in (30 cm)

5. Black Maranta (Maranta leuconeura var. Massangeana)

Black Maranta

Ease of Care: 3 (middling)

Black Maranta (Maranta leuconeura var. Massangeana) lacks the same level of commercial popularity as its red and green cousins. It is also rarer & harder to find.

It has silver green veins and silver green along the midrib. Black is farther out, and medium green along with the outer third of the leaf blade. 

It is the most closely related to the wild variety of prayer plants that all domestic types come from. That species was Maranta massangeana

New leaves may lack black markings. If you keep the plant in too much light, the marks may not develop, so you’ll need to experiment to get the best coloring. There are fewer resources on caring for Black Maranta. But you can refer to general guidelines to help you make educated guesses.

Scientific NameMaranta leuconeura var. Massangeana
Commons NamesBlack Maranta, Silver Feather Maranta, Maranta Massangeana
Region of OriginBrazil
Full Size12 in (30 cm)

6. Silver Band (Maranta leuconeura var. Massangeana ‘Silver Band’)

Maranta ‘Silver Band’

Ease of Care: 3 (middling)

Silver Band (Maranta leuconeura var. Massangeana ‘Silver Band’) is a cultivar of the Black Maranta. The black portions on the Black Maranta are washed out with the silver band. The silver-green along the midrib reaches farther out, and a darker halo outlines it.

This variety is sensitive to fertilizer and salt build-up and will brown easily from this. Organic fertilizer or half-diluted synthetic fertilizer reduces that risk. Watering with distilled water also avoids these problems.

On the plus side, it’s a low-contrast plant. You can let it have lots of bright indirect light without feeling disappointed with the lack of color.

Scientific NameMaranta leuconeura var. Massangeana ‘Silver Band’
Commons NamesSilver Band
Region of OriginBrazil
Full Size12 in (30 cm)

7. Cat Mustache (Maranta leuconeura var. Massangeana ‘Cat Mustache’)

Maranta ‘Cat Mustache’

Ease of Care: 2 (harder)

Cat Mustache (Maranta leuconeura var. Massangeana ‘Cat Mustache’) is a rare and newly named cultivar. It resembles a cross between the Black Maranta and the Silver Band.

The black markings are there, but they are less prominent. The silver looks like miniature leaf blades growing from the midrib. Or you can imagine a cat mustache with drooping whiskers.

Like the Black Maranta, the Cat Mustache has black markings that are most pronounced when it grows in less intense light. The contrast can get so low that it looks like a silver band.

It’s also rare and new. If you want a rare plant to experiment with caring for, you will find that challenge with this plant.

Scientific NameMaranta leuconeura var. Massangeana ‘Cat Mustache’
Commons NamesCat Mustache, Maranta NoID, Black Maranta x Silver Band
Region of OriginBrazil
Full Size10 in (25 cm)

8. Maranta Cristata (Maranta cristata)

Maranta Cristata

Ease of Care: 2 (harder)

Maranta cristata (Maranta cristata) is a rare Maranta species that used to go by Maranta bicolor.

Its small oval leaves have silver-green along the midrib that radiates along the veins, and it looks like an oak leaf. Dark green markings fill in the dips between silver arms, and medium green makes up the rest of the leaf. 

Like ‘Cat Mustaches’, Maranta Cristata is rare. Few people will tell you how it’s different from caring for it compared to other Maranta plants. In general, it has the same issues but is fussier.

Maranta Cristatas have a similar, low contrast of color like the Silver Band, so you don’t have to worry about using less light to achieve better colors. It’s also closer to a wild variety of the same name. If you can provide enough of a jungle environment and avoid harsh minerals, it may grow well.  

Scientific NameMaranta cristata (formerly Maranta bicolor)
Commons NamesMaranta Cristata Bicolor, Cristata, Bicolor
Region of OriginNortheast and Southeast Brazil
Full Size12 in (30 cm)

9. Variegated Arrowroot (Maranta arundinacea ‘Variegata’)

Maranta arundinacea ‘Variegata’

Ease of Care: 2 (harder)

Variegated Arrowroot (Maranta arundinacea ‘Variegata’) is a newer, decorative cultivar of the Arrowroot species.

Variegated Arrowroot deviates from other marantas. It can grow 1-2m (3-6 ft) tall in a large pot. It is usually a tuber crop, has an upright stem & long, lance-shaped leaves.

The medium green leaves have thick, light green, and cream-colored blotches or strips depending on the individual leaf. Some leaves may be almost all cream colored.

As a variegated plant, you may find that this cultivar requires more specific lighting to look good compared to its plain green cousin. Otherwise, it has the same challenges. It needs the similar moisture and heat conditions as other Maranta varieties, but much more space.

Scientific NameMaranta arundinacea ‘Variegata”
Commons NamesVariegated Arrowroot
Region of OriginMexico, Central America
Full Size3-6 ft (100-200 cm)


Household Marantas came to us 150 years ago from Brazil, and plant breeders are always looking for the next colorful mutation. Whether you are fairly new to indoor plants or have had dozens for years, there’s a Maranta plant that will give you a new experience and add to your home’s beauty.

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