Ctenanthe Amagris is a tropical plant that can be quite a challenge to grow. It has stunning, colorful leaves with dark green veins and a purple underside. It displays each of these vibrantly when grown in an environment closest to its native surroundings.
In this detailed guide, we are going to show you up close and personal how to care for and grow this attractive plant.
Our experts list tips and tricks to not only care for, grow, and propagate this plant; but also give you solutions to tackle the most common challenges you may face with it, so read on to know it all.
- What is Ctenanthe Amagris?
- Ctenanthe Amagris Care
What is Ctenanthe Amagris?
Ctenanthe Amagris is an attractive tropical plant with colorful foliage. Native to Brazil and the nearby rain forests, this plant may not be an easy one to grow as it requires a perfect environment to thrive. It is also known as the Never Never Plant and easily charms anyone.
Ctenanthe Amagris Care
As a variant of calathea amagris, it is also considered the “fishbone prayer plant” because the leaves close upwards at night resembling hands folded in prayer. Ctenanthe Amagris care may turn out to be quite a challenge as you have to mimic its native environment.
It requires the right kind of soil, the perfect levels of heat and light, and high humidity levels to ensure it is able to maintain its foliage and vibrance. In the section below, we’re going to delve into the exact details of each of these aspects so that you can successfully grow it in your garden, so read on to know more about it.
– Water Requirements
Water requirements of this variant are similar to other succulents of the calathe family such as the ctenanthe burle-marxii, ctenanthe setosa, ctenanthe lubbersiana, and ctenanthe amabilis. The plant needs a regular watering schedule to sustain its health, so water in such a way that the soil is just slightly moist and is never allowed to become soggy or by the same token go completely dry .
You can do a simple finger test to find out if the soil requires more water. The simplest way is to stick your finger into the soil by up to one inch (2.5 centimeter) and check for the level of moisture.
If it comes out feeling dry, you can be sure more water needs to be added. Abstain from overwatering the plant as it can damage the roots. With excess moisture in the soil, the roots will seldom be able to take in much oxygen; thus the result is either root rot, brown leaf tips, or limp stem.
– Light Requirements
The plant requires bright yet indirect sunlight to grow and thrive. As a tropical plant from the rainforest of Brazil, the plant is used to receiving long hours of sunlight while being protected by taller plants around.
Thus, you have to mimic this scenario by giving the plant at least four to six hours of bright yet diffused light. Under low light conditions, the plant can enter into stress conditions, and the beautiful foliage may lose its aesthetically pleasing look.
The leaf patterns can be altered drastically, and the colors on the foliage may also be reduced. Inadequate light conditions can also turn the leaf blade into a darker green, and the glossiness may fade away.
If you’re growing your plant indoors, move it near an east or north-facing window and place it behind sheer curtains so that it receives diffused sunlight for a minimum of six hours a day.
– Soil Requirements
The most important criterion for soil in plant care is that it has to be well-draining. Ctenanthe amagris soil just cannot permit waterlogging at the roots as this will lead to low levels of oxygen penetration, thus killing the plant.
To keep the soil aerated and light, mix in some perlite, peat, moss, or worm castings. Avoid heavy and loamy soils as water drains out slowly from these, which could lead to root rot or the spread of fungal diseases.
– Temperature Requirements
The ideal temperature for the plant to survive is between 55 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit (13 to 29 degrees Celsius). It can survive in slightly lower temperatures, but the foliage may lose its vibrancy.
Never leave your plant under frost or chilly wind conditions as this can freeze the plant, and the damage can be devastating to its health. At the same time, exposure to extreme heat above 90 degrees Fahrenheit (32 degrees Celsius) may make the leaves brittle and make the edges curl inwards.
– Humidity Requirements
This variety is similar to goeppertia warszewiczii and prefers a minimum humidity between 70 percent to 80 percent to display its different hues. The plant does not react well to dry air around it, and such a condition will put it under stress. Thus, if you are living in a dry zone, you can increase the humidity around your plant by misting the plant regularly.
You can also raise the humidity levels by placing a tray filled with pebbles and water below the pot. As the water evaporates in the tray, it will boost humidity around. Using a humidifier around the plant will help if you’re growing it indoors. Alternatively, you could group the plant with a few other green plants to benefit from collective humidity.
– Fertilizing Requirements
This plant requires regular fertilizer use, otherwise, the soil will not be able to sustain its nutrient content. Use a liquid formula especially during the growing months of spring and summer, with a frequency of at least twice during seasons.
At the same time, do not over-fertilize the plant as this can result in a salt build-up at the roots and lead to wilting of foliage. Also, refrain from adding fertilizer in winter when the plant is in a state of dormancy.
You wouldn’t be required to do much pruning as ctenanthe amagris height is just about 12 inches (30 centimeters). But regularly remove dead leaves, stems, and decayed branches. Pruning is also recommended to ensure the plant can produce fresh growth. The foliage gets a good boost to get a neat, bushy look.
Always sterilize your tools with a diluted solution of alcohol before you snip away any section of the stem. Begin by cutting stems just below the node to reduce any damage to the main stem and limit your pruning to 1/3 of the plant.
The plant can be propagated easily by using offsets from a healthy mother plant. These offsets are bushy clumps that you will find around the base near the soil.
The process is hassle-free and with just a few basic tools and some beginner-level gardening skills, you can create your little plant. In this below section we give you the complete set of instructions on how you can go about it and achieve success.
– Propagation Methods
Let’s check the propagation methods for this plant:
- Identify a healthy mother plant that will become your source for the offsets. Look out for tiny and soft growths at the base of the plant. Snip them away gently with the help of a sterile garden pruner.
- When you detach the offset from the mother plant, take care not to cause any harm or damage to the main stem. You may have to clear the extra leaves growing around the base to locate the offset and the main stem. It will be beneficial if the offset already has roots developed as this would make the propagation process faster.
- Dip the cut end of the offset into rooting hormone powder which will boost growth. Place this cut offset section in a well-draining and light potting mix. Ensure the pot you use has proper drainage holes and permits the free flow out of water.
- Once the cut section has been firmly placed deep in the soil, move it to a spot where it can receive adequate yet partial light. Provide it with warmth and humidity, and ensure you always keep the soil lightly moist. Additionally, place a plastic sheet with tiny holes over it to kick in some moisture, especially if you are living in a dry area.
In a couple of weeks, this planted section will begin to establish more robust and healthier roots. You can give it a gentle tug to confirm this. Monitor the plant; over time, you will find it sprouting fresh growth like a mature adult plant.
Growing this ctenanthe plant can be quite challenging especially because it requires an environment similar to its native one. There are a few common problems that you may encounter while caring for it; however, they are easy to tackle. In this section, we address these very same challenges and give you some quick-fix solutions. So wait no longer and read on.
– Pest Infestations
The most common pests that attack the plant foliage are spider mites, aphids, and mealybugs. These pests attack in clusters laying several eggs on the underside of leaves.
They drain the plant of its fluid making them weak and eventually wilt. The first thing to do as soon as you spot any pest infestation is to isolate the plant and keep them away from other nearby plant foliage.
Make sure you spray the stems with an organic solution of neem oil as its smell repels the insects. Additionally, blast a jet of water over the affected areas, especially on the undersides. Alternatively, you can use a pesticidal spray once a week to protect the plant from further pest infestations.
– Botrytis Blight
Botrytis Blight is a severe fungal disease that attacks many house plants. Commonly known as gray mold disease, it appears in the form of brown spots and lesions all over the plant – on leaves as well as on stems.
The diseases can have a drastic impact on the plant as the infected stems often look wilted and weak. You may also notice the leaves dropping prematurely.
Over a few days, if left unattended, the disease can spread to the entire plant and can kill it in its entirety. To prevent the spread of these fungal diseases, promptly remove any affected parts of the foliage.
With the help of sterile pruners, snip away flowers and at least five inches of the stem below the infection. Spray an organic fungicidal formula all over the plant to suppress the growth of the disease.
Alternatively, you could also use two tablespoons of baking soda mixed with vegetable oil and one gallon of water for minor infestations. The best thing to do always is to prevent this condition from occurring and keep the plant healthy by reducing the watering, as excessive moisture in the soil can put the plant at risk of being infected.
– Browning of Leaves
Do you find the otherwise beautiful and vibrant leaves of your plant turning brown? It is time you gave the moisture levels a look again. This plant is tropical and loves a high amount of humidity in the air. If you are growing the plant in a dry zone, it puts the plant under stress.
To cope with this, it reacts by turning its leaves brown. Tackle the problem by ensuring the plant is placed in an environment with high humidity. Additionally, place the plant in a well-ventilated place. You can increase moisture levels by frequently misting the plant foliage or grouping it along with several other plants.
Alternatively, you could also place a pebble tray below the plant to tackle the issue. If you’re growing your plant indoors, never keep it near an air conditioner or heater vent as the sudden blast of air is not only dry but is also harmful to the health of the plant. Use a humidifier so that there is moisture around it inside homes.
– Yellowing Foliage
If you notice that your plant is turning yellow, it could be because of over or under-exposure to light. This ctenanthe requires a direct exposure of at least four to six hours a day that is bright yet diffused. Never place the plant directly under the sun’s harsh rays as this could scorch its leaves.
Though it is succulent, it requires its native light conditions, and thus, some amount of shade is mandatory. At the same time, move the plant away from dingy and dark corners. The ideal spot for this plant are patios, balconies, or under a tree canopy.
An improper watering schedule too can cause yellowing foliage. Too much or too little water both cause stress conditions to the plant. Thus work towards keeping the soil consistently moist.
– Excessive Leaf Dropping
Your plant may drop its leaves excessively if it is placed under any stress condition that it is not able to cope with. One such cause is inconsistent watering schedules. As mentioned in the earlier sections, the plant will seldom tolerate bone dry or overly soggy soil.
Both conditions lead to a situation where the foliage begins to thin out, and the vibrancy of the leaf is lost. The only way to tackle this condition is to have a proper watering schedule altering it as per the climatic conditions where hotter months require more frequent watering and cold winter days need less.
– Ctenanthe Amagris Toxicity
The family of Ctenanthe plants is considered to be just mildly poisonous. Most often, they are placed under the category of non-toxic plants. The plant only causes slight reactions if accidentally consumed, such as rashes around the mouth or mild digestive disorders. The plant is otherwise safe for pets and humans and can be grown indoors without any undue worrying.
– How Do You Pronounce Ctenanthe Amagris?
The proper way to pronounce Ctenanthe is ten-AN-thee or ten-ON-thee. The “c” is silent.
– Why Is It Called the “Never-never Plant”?
It stems from the fact that the leaves move according to the day/night cycle. This movement is called “nyctinasty.”
In this detailed guide, we have explained how easy it is to grow this ctenanthe variant.
Here is a quick recap of all that we have learned from this article.
- The Ctenanthe Amagris is a challenging plant and comes with a stunning and characteristic vibrant look. Its colorful leaves with veins are prominent, making it a delight for all gardeners.
- Ctenanthe Amagris size is not very big, and it prefers to grow in a native-like tropical environment. The plant requires warm sunny days with partial sunlight, light, well-draining soil, and high humidity in the air.
- The soil requires regular fertilizing, especially during the growing seasons, and it needs to be pruned to keep it in shape.
- You could propagate the plant successfully using offsets that grow at the base of the plant.
- The most common problems are related to incorrect watering schedules, bacterial growth, and pests. Take them on effectively and timeously to ensure the plant stays healthy and thriving.
You now know that growing this plant can be an enjoyable experience as long as you are providing it with the right environment. So wait no longer and let its charm and colorful foliage spread happiness in your home or garden.
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