HOW TO GROW CTENANTHE

16 deg C/61 deg F

Ctenanthes are beautiful plants, similar to calatheas, and their culture is also much the same. They originate from Brazil and must be given congenial warmth – if possible, a little higher than the recommended minimum – and good humidity. Although there are several species, only one is frequently seen as a houseplant. and this is C. oppenheimiana tricolor. Why the strange common name never never plant has been given to this species is in some doubt. However, it has the curious habit of curling its foliage if exposed to too much light. The leaves are boldly banded in contrasting light and dark green and often cream or tinted with other colours. The undersides of the leaves are purple. Like all plants in this family, it likes shade. It also seems to thrive in groups of plants. It is an excellent plant for case-gardens and where there is artificial lighting for plants.

Ctenanthes are not much troubled by pests and diseases when grown under good conditions. Chills and wide temperature changes will soon cause leaf deterioration.

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