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Ctenanthe Care

Ctenanthe are stunning tropical plants featuring long oval leaves with unique patterns ranging from lemon yellow striping to dark green teardrops. A member of the Prayer Plant family, these Ctenanthe fold up their leaves throughout the night, a phenomenon called nyctinasty.

How to care for your Ctenanthe

Use these instructions to care for a Ctenanthe. This guide will tell you how to water a Ctenanthe; its light, temperature, humidity preferences and any additional care it might need to help it grow.

Ctenanthe Lubbersiana


Your Ctenanthe will do best in medium to bright indirect light, but will tolerate lower light situations. Do not place this plant in direct sunlight as the leaves will burn.


For best results, water your Ctenanthe when the top 25-50% of soil is dry. This is not a drought-tolerant indoor plant, but it is relatively forgiving if you forget to water it from time to time. Extended periods of dryness can result in brown leaf tips or edges.


Like many tropical indoor plants, your Ctenanthe prefers a spot with ample humidity. If leaf edges begin to curl or brown up, mist them with lukewarm water on a regular basis. Your bathroom or kitchen are perfect spots for your Ctenanthe because these areas tend to be more humid.


Ctenanthes enjoy the warmth and prefer temperatures between 65-85 degrees. Avoid cold drafts and sudden temperature changes.


For best results, use a general houseplant fertilizer with iron every four weeks during the spring and summer. No fertilizer is necessary during winter when plant growth naturally slows.


Ctenanthes are considered to be non-toxic.


If you notice a tip or edge burn often with a yellowish hue at the edge, especially on older leaves, it could be due to your tap water. To solve this, allow your tap water to stand overnight before watering so the chlorine and fluoride can evaporate. Remove any yellow leaves to keep your plant strong and growing. Do not use any shine products on the leaves, instead, clean leaves occasionally with a damp cloth.

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What's a Ctenanthe?

Botanical Classification: Ctenanthe Lubbersiana


This tropical, variegated beauty is native to southern Brazil and is a member of the prayer plant family. The long oval leaves are irregularly striped with bands of green and yellow, giving this plant a very unique look. Reaching up to 3’ tall, the never never plant makes a statement in any room!

Ctenanthe appreciates warm temperatures and bright to medium indirect light. The thin leaves are delicate, so regular watering and high humidity are required to keep this plant happy. Be sure to keep it out of direct sunlight, which will cause the leaves to scorch. Brown edges on older leaves and crispy tips on unfurling leaves are sure signs that your plant needs more humidity, so mist away or add a humidifier or pebble tray.

Fun Fact

Like many plants in the prayer plant family, Ctenanthe folds up its leaves at night, a phenomenon called nyctinasty.

Pictured Left: Ctenanthe Lubbersiana