Ctenanthes are closely related to calatheas and marantas, and this attractive plant is prized for the unusual coloring of its leaves Silvery markings along the veins are overlaid with creamy green, and the undersides of the leaves are wine red.
The red tinges the paler areas on the upper sides, making this truly a three-colored plant. The long, almost vertical, leafstalks produce large pointed elliptical leaves up to 12in/30cm in length.
Ctenanthes native habitat is beneath the tree canopy.of hot, humid rain forests, but it has adapted well as a houseplant. It enjoys average room temperatures, and as long as it is not overwatered and has high humidity, it should do well.
The plant has a dormant period in winter when it needs simply to be kept warm and the soil prevented from drying out.
Red spider mites, scale insects, and mealybugs all attack this plant; check regularly for signs of these pests.
Leaves will curl in hot, dry conditions or in very bright light or full sun. Increase humidity by spraying, and ensure adequate watering.
If the plant shows signs of root rot in winter, If the plant shows signs of root rot in winter,conditions are too cold. Move the plant to a warmer spot and allow it to dry out.
FACT FILE DETAILS
HEIGHT To 3ft/90cm with a similar spread.
POTTING MIX Soil-based, with added peat moss or leaf mold.
REPOTTING Move into larger pots in spring as necessary.
PROPAGATION In spring, take stem cuttings with several leaves, or separate basal offsets and grow them on as mature plants.
KEEPING PLANTS The plant should last for 5-6 years or more.
Ctenanthe Oppenheimiana Tricolor Marantaceae NEVER-NEVER PLANT CARE
- Semishade in summer, bright filtered light in winter Minimum winter temperature of 62°F/17°C; otherwise, normal or high room temperature.
- Keep soil moist in spring and summer; in winter water just enough to prevent it from drying out completely.
- Stand the pot on a tray of damp pebbles to maintain humidity.
- Feed every 2 weeks in spring and summer with weak liquid fertilizer.