in ,

How to Grow Ctenanthe

Sharing is caring!

Ctenanthe is grown mostly for its unusual foliage. Young plants commonly produce several short stalks, each then produces a long stem with stems and leaves branching from the stalks. Leaves are various shades of green with yellow markings and reddish undersides.

Get to know Ctenanthe

  • Plant type: Tropical perennial
  • Growing Zones and range:
  • Hardiness: Prefers 70° to 75°F (21°-24°C) during the day, slightly cooler at night.
  • Height and width: Up to 36 inches (91cm) tall
  • Foliage: Oblong leaves on slender stalks; leaves are green with regular silver-white markings between the veins and burgundy-red undersides.
  • Flowers: Inconspicuous white flowers from in spikes
  • Bloom time:  Summer
  • Uses: Houseplant
  • Botanical name: Ctenanthe  oppenheimiana
  • Common name: Ctenanthe
Ctenanthe 'Burle-marxii'
Ctenanthe ‘Burle-marxii’

Where to plant Ctenanthe

  • Ctenanthe grows best in bright light, no direct sun.
  • Grow Ctenanthe in an all-purpose potting mix.

How to water and feed Ctenanthe

  • Keep the soil evenly moist. Mist frequently; Ctenanthe grows best with 50 percent humidity.
  • Fertilize Ctenanthe every 2 weeks during the growing season with an all-purpose fertilizer for houseplants.

Ctenanthe care

  • Ctenanthe prefers to be slightly potbound; repot every 3 or 4 years.
  • Let Ctenanthe rest during the winter; reduce water, never allowing the soil to dry out completely; withhold fertilizer.
  • Mealybugs and spider mites may attack Ctenanthe.

Ctenanthe propagation

  • Propagate Ctenanthe by division in spring.

Ctenanthe varieties to grow

  • Ctenanthe ‘Burle Marx’ grow to 15 inches; tops of leaves are gray-green feathered with dark green.
  • C. compressa grow 2 to 3 feet high; leathery leaves are oblong and asymmetrical.
  • C. oppenheimiana grow 3 to 5 feet tall with narrow, leathery leaves that are dark green and banded with sliver above.

Written by Stephen Albert

Stephen Albert is a horticulturist, master gardener, and certified nurseryman who has taught at the University of California for more than 25 years. He holds graduate degrees from the University of California and the University of Iowa. His books include Vegetable Garden Grower’s Guide, Vegetable Garden Almanac & Planner, Tomato Grower’s Answer Book, and Kitchen Garden Grower’s Guide. His Vegetable Garden Grower’s Masterclass is available online. has more than 10 million visitors each year.

How To Grow Tips

How To Grow Tomatoes

How To Grow Peppers

How To Grow Broccoli

How To Grow Carrots

How To Grow Beans

How To Grow Corn

How To Grow Peas

How To Grow Lettuce

How To Grow Cucumbers

How To Grow Zucchini and Summer Squash

How To Grow Onions

How To Grow Potatoes

How to Grow Firecracker Plant — Crossandra

How to Grow False Aralia — Dizygotheca