Ctenanthe | Never Never Plant

Meet the Ctenanthe! Ctenanthe plants are often confused with Calatheas, and they are both part of the Marantaceae family, but they hold their own in the plant kingdom. But they do have a lot in common - Ctenanthes also close their leaves at night, are pet friendly, and of course, they look very similar! The main difference is that Ctenanthes develop above-ground branching stalks, meaning they can be propagated from stem cuttings, whereas Calatheas need to be divided by the root to be multiplied, or grown from seed.

  • Safe for pets and children
  • Repot once every 2 years
  • Fertilize once a month
  • Partial light or shade
  • Average water

About the Ctenanthe


Ctenanthe plants originate from the tropical regions of Central and South America, where they are native to dense rainforests. These plants are well-adapted to warm, humid climates.

Air Purification

The Ctenanthe is a strong air purifier.


The Ctenanthe is not toxic. However, pets who try to eat it might get a little sick. Aside from the occasional ruined carpet, not to worry.

Caring for a Ctenanthe


These plants enjoy consistently moist soil, but they're not fans of soggy feet, so let the top inch of soil dry out between waterings.

Lighting and Placement

Partial shade is best for the Ctenanthe. Since these plants are used to living in the shadows of tall trees in the rainforest, they aren't a fan of direct sunlight.


Feed your Ctenanthe with a balanced, diluted fertilizer monthly during spring and summer, but skip it in winter. Keep it light and easy - they don't need much to stay happy and healthy!


Give your Ctenanthe a new pot every 2 years, or when you notice its roots peeking out to say hello.

Pruning and Flowering

Prune your Ctenanthe to control the size and remove leaves that wither or look scorched. Prune it in the spring, with cuts 4 to 5 inches long.

Ctenanthe SOS


There aren't many serious diseases other than the usual suspects to watch for here: mealybugs, spider mites and aphids. Water them away or use insecticidal soap in the case of the spider mites. Browning leaves can signal too much light or not enough humidity.

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