Ctenanta: Home Care, Replanting And Propagation, Species

This perennial herbaceous plant, Ctenanthe3> or ctenanthe, is directly related to the maranth family. Under natural conditions, it can be found in the tropical rainforests of South America. The genus Ctenanthe contains 15 species of plants which are evergreens.

This plant can easily be confused with Calathea, also a member of the Maranta family. These flowers are very similar and even botanists cannot agree on a classification.

These plants differ in the structure of the flowers, but when kept in the room blooming in them is quite rare. Buying a ctenantha in a florist store, you can well buy a calatea, as they are almost impossible to distinguish. Interestingly, the care of all the representatives of the maranthas is very similar.

This plant is valued for its spectacular leaves. The dark green, solid leaves which are fairly long have on their surface a number of stripes which diverge asymmetrically from the central vein to the edge.

These stripes may be colored yellow, pale green, or silver.

It is noteworthy that the leaves of this plant are quite movable. Following the rays of the sun, they can dip and rise.

Flowers have no ornamental value. The inflorescences are similar to a spike or scallop.

Care for the ctenantha at home

Ctenanta: home care, replanting and propagation, species

The ctenantha is not at all easy to care for in the room, as it is quite capricious. Under natural conditions, it grows on the lower tier of the tropical rainforest. The plant located in the apartment, you need to provide similar conditions, namely high humidity, constant temperature and complete absence of draughts. In such a microclimate this plant looks its best, just like the other Maranthas.


Might as well grow in a well-lit place as in the penumbra.

Thus, it is recommended to place it on a window on the west side of the room. But it can also be placed near a northern window opening. And also the ctenanta can grow on a stand close to a southern window, with shading from direct sunlight.

It should be remembered that under no circumstances should this flower be placed near a window that is open to ventilate the room, as it is extremely negative to drafts.

Temperature regime

Ctenanta: home care, replanting and propagation, species

Ctenanta needs warmth.

It must be kept at a temperature of 20-25 degrees year-round, with no (or very little) difference between night and day temperature. This flower cannot be taken out onto a balcony or outside even in the warmest weather.


A very humid plant, frequent sprinkling is recommended. If the air is too dry, the leaves will start to curl. Specialists advise to give the flower a warm shower systematically, but you should take into consideration that no drops should remain on the leaves.

How to water

Ctenanta: home care, replanting and propagation, species

It needs regular moderate watering. Use soft standing water for this purpose. Make sure that water does not stagnate in the soil and that the soil does not dry out. Water with cool water.

When it is cooler in winter than in summer, watering should be reduced a bit.


Make sure there is not an over fertilization. Feed the ctenantha from April to August twice a month. Use a liquid complex fertilizer for domestic ornamental deciduous plants (use ½ of the recommended dose). During the winter time, feeding is done once every 4 weeks.

Transplanting the ctenantha

Ctenanta: home care, replanting and propagation, species

Transplanting is done every year in the spring time.

Wide flower pots are used for this purpose. A good drainage should not be forgotten. Experts advise covering the rhizome with moistened moss.

Transplanting and propagation of ctenantha


The soil should be slightly acidic and loose. A suitable earth mixture for the ctenantha consists of peat, coniferous, leaf and humus earth and a small amount of sand taken in a 1:1:2-3:1 ratio.

It is also possible to use a mixture consisting of equal parts of sod, leaf, humus and sand. You can buy a ready-made shampoo mixture for maranthos.

Propagation of the ctenantha

Ctenanta: home care, replanting and propagation, species

The propagation of this plant is very simple. You can divide its rhizome when transplanting in the spring. Until complete rooting, the dividers should be covered with a polyethylene bag and put them in heat, watering should be sparing in this case.

And all because until the ctenantha has roots, it takes very little water from the substrate. During rooting, all the leaves may fall off, but after it, the leaves begin to grow very quickly.

The apex rosettes are also rooted in miniature greenhouses. There should be 2 or 3 leaves on the cutting and it has to be cut a little bit lower than where the leaf is attached to the shoot. Also roots well in water.

Diseases and pests

May be infested by scabies. In this case, brownish tubercles appear on the shoots and foliage. Leaves turn pale, dry out and fall off.

The red spider mite can also settle, but only if the humidity in the room is excessively low. An insecticide is recommended to kill this pest.

Possible problems

Ctenanta: home care, replanting and propagation, species

  1. Brownish dried leaf tips - low humidity.
  2. Leaf fall - low humidity or excessive watering that caused the root system and shoots to rot.
  3. Leaves become pale- Very bright light (place in the shade) or too dark.
  4. Leaves become blotchy and curl up into tubes-Low humidity and not enough water. It is advisable to cover the plant with a plastic bag until the leaves have straightened.

    In some cases, practically all the leaves have to be removed (do not touch the rosettes), but they will grow back after a while.

  5. Spring leaves are quite small - lack of light. It is advisable to place the ctenanthus in a brighter location.

Ctenants Secrets of Growing/Grooming/Watering/Propagation/Troubles in Growing

The ctenantha species with photos and names

Ctenanthe oppenheimiana

Ctenanta: home care, replanting and propagation, species

The most popular species in home flower gardening. This plant can reach a height of 90 meters in natural conditions.

The patterned leaves are arranged on fairly long petioles and are lance-shaped. The velvety leaves, which are oblong in shape, are about 40 centimeters long. Their stripes are creamy-silver or pale green. The leaves are asymmetrically colored and the underside is purple.

Ctenanthe lubbersiana

Ctenanta: home care, replanting and propagation, species

A very striking coloring of the leaves are yellow, feather-shaped spots.

The underside of the leaflet is colored green. Reaches 80 centimeters in height, there are also more compact forms (up to 30 centimeters).

Ctenanthe setosa (Ctenanthe setosa)

Ctenanta: home care, replanting and propagation, species

The dark green elongated leaves have an egg-shaped shape. The stripes on them are colored bluish or light green. They diverge from the middle vein in the form of strokes, as if made with a brush.

The plant reaches 80 centimeters in height.

Ctenanthe Burle-Marxii Amagris (Ctenanthe Burle-Marxii Amagris)

Ctenanta: home care, replanting and propagation, species

It attracts attention by the unusual color of its elongated (15 to 25 cm in length) leaf plates. The unusual silver-green color of the leaves accentuates the dark green veins. Adding to the brightness is the maroon hue of the back of the leaf plates.

An interesting feature of the ctenantha is the way the young leaflets appear.

They are curled into tight tubes that unfold as they mature. The flower height does not exceed 0.3 m.

Ctenanthe burle marxii or burle maxii (Ctenanthe burle-marxii)

Ctenanta: home care, replanting and propagation, species

It is considered the brightest representative of the species. The bush rarely exceeds the half-meter height mark, but the graceful structure of the ctenanthe gives the impression that it is somewhat smaller than it actually is.

This is partly because the leaf blades are rather small compared to the other varieties; they are only 10 cm long and 5 cm wide.

The color of the leaves is very light, silvery-green, which beautifully sets off the pattern of dark green stripes along the veins. The inner side of the leaves is uniformly densely red.

Ctenanthe marantifolia

Ctenanta: home care, replanting and propagation, species

Compact plant with leaves not more than 0.2 m long.

Notable for its bright golden pattern on its light-colored leaves.

Ctenanthe amiable (Ctenanthe amabilis)

Ctenanta: home care, replanting and propagation, species

Her elongated, leaf plates narrowed to the base have a beautiful silvery-green color. From florists' observations, this flower is more demanding to water (quality and quantity of water) than other members of the species.

Ctenanthe compressa (Ctenanthe compressa)

Ctenanta: home care, replanting and propagation, species

The size of the flower is rarely less than a meter. The ctenantha attracts attention by the more uniform coloration of the shiny leaf plates, for they have no bright contrasting stripes.

Another feature of the flower is the characteristic rosette structure: the leaf plates form a rosette of 4 leaves growing upward.

Ctenanthe Tricolor

Ctenanta: home care, replanting and propagation, species

A variety of Oppenheim's ctenanthe with a more mottled coloration of the leaf plates is so called. Its palette combines shades of green, white, and pink.


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