A Guide to Growing Ctenanthe Indoors

Plant enthusiasts looking for an interesting addition to their home decor and outdoor landscape should consider growing the unique Ctenanthe (Ctenanthe Burle-Marxii). This attractive tropical plant is native to Brazil and features stunning, glossy foliage with a beautiful variegated pattern.

It’s easy to care for, requiring minimal maintenance and making it suitable for both novice and experienced gardeners. With its bold colouration, it can be used as an indoor houseplant or in shady areas outside.

Additionally, Ctenanthe is known for its air-purifying qualities, making it an ideal choice for any environment! This versatile plant grows quickly and can reach heights of up to 60 cm if given enough space and the right conditions.

Ctenanthe at a glance

Common Name Ctenanthe
Scientific Name Ctenanthe Burle-Marxii
Growth Rate Average
Full maturity 2-3 years
Height (max) 60–90 cm
Width (max) 30–60 cm
Pet safe? Maybe
Sunlight Medium, indirect
Soil Ph 5.5–6.5 (slightly acidic)
Native to Brazil


How to grow Ctenanthe

Growing Ctenanthe indoors in Australia

Growing indoors in Australia is an exciting way to bring the outdoors inside. Ctenanthe Burle-Marxii, commonly known as the Fishbone Prayer Plant, is a great houseplant for indoor gardeners of all levels of experience.

This tropical foliage plant is easy to care for and will reward you with lovely leaves and striking colouration. The Fishbone Prayer Plant prefers bright, indirect sunlight, but can survive in low light areas too.

It’s important to keep the soil lightly moist – not soggy – and misting it regularly will help keep the air humid around it. It needs regular doses of fertiliser in spring and summer for optimal growth and health. When repotting this plant, use a pot that has drainage holes at its base so excess water can escape freely.

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Plant care

Quick care tips

Growing Ctenanthe (Ctenanthe Burle-Marxii) can be a rewarding experience for gardeners who are looking to add a unique, evergreen foliage to their outdoor space. This tropical plant has striking variegated leaves and is an ideal choice for those who want a low maintenance houseplant that will look great without requiring too much effort.

For those looking for some quick care tips on growing this attractive plant, here are some helpful suggestions. Water your Ctenanthe regularly but avoid overwatering as this could lead to root rot or other diseases.

Inspect the soil periodically to ensure it’s not too dry or wet, and water accordingly; once per week should do the trick in most cases.

Ctenanthe (Ctenanthe Burle-Marxii) Ctenanthe (Ctenanthe Burle-Marxii) (Source)

Caring for your Ctenanthe

Plant care is an important part of the plant-keeping experience. One of the most rewarding houseplants to care for is Ctenanthe (Ctenanthe Burle-Marxii).

This striking tropical plant has beautiful foliage that comes in a variety of colours, from deep green to dark purple. With proper attention and maintenance, this unique houseplant can bring life and colour into any home.

Caring for Ctenanthe requires good watering practices, bright indirect sunlight, and occasional fertilisation. When it comes to watering, it’s best to water when the top 2–3 cm or so of soil is dry. Too much moisture can cause root rot which could kill the plant. To get adequate light exposure, keep your Ctenanthe near a south or east window where sunlight streams in but isn’t too direct.

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Australian indoor plants guide


Light is essential for growing Ctenanthe (Ctenanthe Burle-Marxii) in an indoor environment. This beautiful, ornamental foliage plant is native to tropical and subtropical regions of South America and thrives in warm temperatures and bright light.

To ensure best results when growing this particular species, it is important to understand the basic light requirements needed for healthy growth. When kept indoors, Ctenanthe Burle-Marxii should be placed in a bright spot with indirect sunlight or near a window that receives several hours of direct sunlight throughout the day.

If this isn’t possible, then you can use artificial lighting such as fluorescent bulbs or LED lights to provide the necessary illumination for your plant.

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Watering your Ctenanthe


Water is essential for all life, including house plants. This article will discuss the importance of watering your Ctenanthe Burle-Marxii, also known as the never-never plant.

It comes from tropical locations where humidity and rainfall are high, so understanding water needs can be challenging for inexperienced growers. Ctenanthe burle-marxii are easy to care for, but getting their water requirements right is key to keeping them healthy and attractive.

For areas with warm temperatures and good air circulation around the plant, water once or twice weekly; in cooler climates or those without adequate airflow, water every three days instead. Watering should be reduced in winter months when growth slows down significantly; an occasional misting is often enough to keep the leaves hydrated during this time.

ALSO SEE:  A Guide to Growing Silver Monstera Indoors

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Fertiliser for Ctenanthe


Fertiliser is a key element when it comes to growing Ctenanthe (Ctenanthe Burle-Marxii). This tropical plant requires regular fertilisation to ensure it stays healthy and blooms properly.

Fertilisers are essential for the growth of plants, as they provide essential nutrients that help keep the soil fertile and nourish the roots of the plant. When choosing a fertiliser for your Ctenanthe plant, look for one that includes phosphorus, nitrogen, and potassium.

These three nutrients are essential in promoting strong root growth in the soil. Additionally, use an organic fertiliser such as fish emulsion or seaweed extract which will provide additional micronutrients to support healthy leaf and flower development. When applying fertiliser, be sure to follow package instructions carefully; too much can be damaging to your plants.

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Ctenanthe Light


Temperature is an important factor to consider when growing Ctenanthe (Ctenanthe Burle-Marxii). This species of evergreen perennial can be found in tropical regions and prefers warm, humid climates.

Ensuring your Ctenanthe stays within the desired temperature range is essential for its growth and development. When it comes to temperatures, it’s best to keep your Ctenanthe around 18°C during cooler months and 25°C during warmer months.

Although this plant can withstand a range of temperatures, it’s important to avoid extreme temperatures as this will cause harm. For example, if the temperature gets below 10°C or above 30°C then you should take steps to reduce the temperature by providing shade or increased ventilation. During hot summer days make sure that your Ctenanthe doesn’t experience direct sunlight so the temperature doesn’t rise too quickly.

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Garden boot


Humidity is essential for healthy plant growth, and this is especially true when it comes to growing Ctenanthe (Ctenanthe Burle-Marxii). This hardy indoor plant thrives in humid environments, making it an ideal choice for people looking to add a splash of green to their home.

However, understanding the importance of proper humidity levels and how to maintain them can be key in keeping your Ctenanthe happy and healthy. Too little or too much humidity can cause damage to your plant’s leaves, stems, and roots; leading to discolouration and drooping.

For optimal growth, you’ll need to keep the relative humidity around your Ctenanthe at 60-70%. The best way of achieving this is by misting the leaves regularly with water or setting up a humidifier near the plant.

Learn more about how humidity can affect indoor plants.

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Flowering is a natural part of the lifecycle for many plants, and Ctenanthe is no exception. The evergreen perennial known as Ctenanthe Burle-Marxii, or Fishbone Prayer Plant, can be grown to produce beautiful blooms that bring vibrant colour to a garden or living space.

To ensure successful flowering of this species, it’s important to provide the right environment and establish routine care practices. In this guide we will give you all the information you need to grow healthy Fishbone Prayer Plants with stunning flowers year after year.

Fishbone Prayer Plants are native to tropical rainforests in South America and thrive when temperatures remain consistently warm with plenty of humidity. They require bright indirect sunlight for best results and should be planted in well-draining soil that is kept lightly moist but not saturated.

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Pests and Ctenanthe Burle-Marxii


Pests can be a problem for many houseplant growers, especially when growing Ctenanthe (Ctenanthe Burle-Marxii). These tropical plants are very susceptible to pests such as aphids, mites, and mealybugs.

It is important to monitor the plant regularly and take action if any pests are spotted. First, it is essential to identify the type of pest present so that the appropriate treatment can be used.

Insecticidal soaps or oils may be effective in treating some infestations. For more stubborn pests, systemic insecticides may need to be applied. In extreme cases, fumigation may also be an option. It is always best practice to use natural solutions before resorting to chemical treatments for pest control; these might include neem oil and natural predators like ladybugs or praying mantis .

Find out more about common indoor plant pests in Australia.

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Diseases are an unfortunate reality faced by gardeners of all levels. Growing Ctenanthe (Ctenanthe Burle-Marxii), a tropical houseplant native to Brazil, is no exception.

While this plant is generally low maintenance and easy to care for, it needs to be monitored for any signs of disease in order to keep it healthy and thriving. Common diseases that may affect Ctenanthe include root rot, leaf spot and powdery mildew.

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Knowing how to identify the symptoms and prevent these diseases can help keep your plant looking its best. Root rot is caused by excessive moisture, either from over watering or poor drainage in the soil. Symptoms include droopy leaves and yellowing foliage that eventually dry up and fall off the plant.


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Soil is an essential element when it comes to growing the beautiful Ctenanthe Burle-Marxii plant. The right soil will ensure your plant grows healthy and vibrant, with its signature bold foliage.

It’s important to get familiar with the optimal soil conditions needed for this houseplant so you can provide a thriving environment for years of enjoyment. When choosing a potting soil mixture for your Ctenanthe Burle-Marxii, look for one that drains well yet holds enough moisture to keep it from drying out quickly.

A mix of organic material such as peat moss or coconut coir combined with perlite or vermiculite will balance the drainage and water retention properties in your soil.

Learn how to lower your soil PH.

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Pot Size

Pot size

Growing Ctenanthe (Ctenanthe Burle-Marxii) is a great way to add a unique and colourful touch to any indoor space. A key factor in successfully growing this tropical plant is selecting the right pot size.

The right pot size can make all the difference in allowing your Ctenanthe to flourish and reach its full potential. When it comes to choosing the perfect pot for your Ctenanthe, it’s important to consider both width and adequate drainage.

The ideal width of your container should be 20 centimetres or larger; however, if you choose a deeper-than-average container, you may want to opt for one that’s at least 30 cm wide. Proper drainage is an absolute must; without it, water will build up beneath the soil leading to root rot and other issues with long term health of your plant.


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Pruning the Cast Iron Plant

Pruning your Ctenanthe

Pruning is a key part of caring for Ctenanthe (Ctenanthe Burle-Marxii), an evergreen perennial plant with unique foliage. Pruning helps to maintain the size and shape of this popular houseplant, while also promoting healthy growth.

It is important to prune at the right time and in the right way in order to get maximum benefit. When pruning Ctenanthe, it is best done during its active growing season, typically in spring or summer months.

During this period of active growth, new leaves will appear quickly and therefore there is less stress on the plant when trimming back old foliage. Make sure you use sharp scissors or garden shears when pruning and cut back no more than one third of each stem at a time for optimum results. This will help avoid damage to any developing buds.


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Propagating your Ctenanthe

Propagation is the method of reproducing plants and cultivating them for future use. Growing Ctenanthe, or Ctenanthe Burle-Marxii, is a great way to add beautiful greenery to your home and there are a few different propagation methods available.

Ctenanthe can be propagated by stem cuttings or rhizomes. When taking stem cuttings, it is important to ensure that the cutting has at least two nodes attached to it as these nodes will help with its root development.

Rhizomes produce an abundance of shoots quickly and may be a better option if starting with multiple plants. To propagate using rhizomes, carefully split apart any existing growths and replant the desired pieces into soil that drains well.


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Garden fence

Is Ctenanthe poisonous?

Ctenanthe Burle-Marxii, commonly known as Never Never Plant or Fishbone Prayer Plant, is an attractive and rewarding houseplant. This tropical plant is native to Brazil and features striped foliage with variegated white and purple leaves.

However, before you decide to bring this stunning plant into your home, there are a few important things you should know about it. First off, despite its beauty, the Ctenanthe Burle-Marxii is listed as a poisonous plant.

As such, this plant should be kept away from young children and pets who may try to ingest it. The sap of the Ctenanthe can irritate skin when touched; contact with eyes should also be avoided at all costs!.

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Featured Image: Source

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