Geogenanthus Ciliatus Care Infographic
Geogenanthus Ciliatus Care Infographic

Geogenanthus ciliatus is far easier to grow and propagate than you can imagine. This plant has very basic light, water, and soil requirements. Read our guide to find out what they are and also how to propagate this plant.

What Is Geogenanthus Ciliatus?

Geogenanthus ciliatus is a very rare plant from the South American rainforests. It is considered a decorative indoor plant owing mainly to the unique-looking Geogenanthus ciliatus leaves. It is also pretty simple as far as its care requirements are considered.

Geogenanthus Ciliatus Care

Care for Geogenanthus ciliatus by putting it under partial light, watering whenever the top two inches of the soil become dry and using a quick-draining soil.

Read more details below.

– Water Requirements 

Give this plant plenty of water but make sure that the excess of it properly drains off.

– When To Water?

You should water the Geogenanthus ciliatus plant as soon as the top two inches of its soil begin to dry. As long as it isn’t soggy or runny, this plant will do well in slightly damp soil most of them time.

In areas with a moderate climate, you will need to water this plant only once or twice each week. In very dry regions, especially during summer, you might need to water more often.

– How To Water?

Use copious amounts of water each time and always direct it towards the soil at the base of the plant. Dousing the stem and leaves each time will only lead to development of fungal molds on them.

Pour water on the soil very slowly and with time. Keep pouring until this water starts flowing out of the drainage hole at the bottom of the pot.

Collect this excess water in a pan or saucer at the bottom of the pot. But do remember to drain this water off.

Root rot might develop if the pot is allowed to sit atop this water filled pan for too long.

– Light Requirements 

This plant needs partial or indirect light in order for its leaves to mature and grow.

Growing Ciliatus Plant Outdoor

Use artificial lights if natural light is scarce.

– Growing Ciliatus Plant Outdoor

Place the Geogenanthus ciliatus plant under a shade in the yard or lawn. It cannot be placed in the path of direct sunlight but does tolerate partial or dappled light.

For creating the ideal dappled and indirect light like this plant experience in the forest, keep under the shade of a larger tree or plant.

– Growing Ciliatus Plant Indoor

Place the Geogenanthus plant in a bright room of the house. This plant will survive in low light but it does need more light than that so that its foliage can develop the deep green color that it is renowned for.

You can safely place this plant near the east or the west side windows. These windows receive very moderate direct light for only a few hours each day, since this light is easily tolerable for the plant.

Keep at some distance from the northern-facing window. Very intense sunlight from this window has the potential to cause severe sunburn to the plant.

– Growing Under Artificial Lights

Artificial grow lights are a great alternative to natural sunlight if your house doesn’t have sufficiently bright rooms in it. Artificial grow lights should ideally be placed directly on top of the plant at a distance of about 20 inches

Incandescent grow lights are the most powerful and effective ones; however, they use a lot of electricity. LED grow lights, comparatively, are much cheaper but not as potent. How about using a combination of both these light types?

– Soil Requirements 

Geogenanthus ciliatus soil needs to be able to retain moisture and yet not contribute to water-logging and be well-draining instead. For moisture retention, your soil should have organic substances like peat moss or sphagnum moss.

For increasing the drainage capacity of the soil, you can use ingredients like vermiculite, perlite or sand. These loosen up the particles of the soil and allow water to drain out of it rapidly. The pH range 6.1 to 7.3 is ideal for this plant. 

– Temperatures Needs

The Geogenanthus ciliatus plant can tolerate a range of temperatures from cold to hot. But it is preferable to place them in warmer temperatures as they thrive under such conditions. Maintain temperature within a range of 60 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit.

Don’t allow the temperature to drop below 50 degrees Fahrenheit for extended periods of time. While it will survive the cold, its growth might be adversely affected.

– How To Save the Plant From Cold?

It is better to move them indoors during the winter time. When left outdoors, try covering them with a wrap to protect them from the cold. Even during summer nights, keep them away from the cold air due to air conditioning, vents and open windows.

Keep in the warmest and the  brightest room of your house. This is most conducive for the health of your plant.

– Humidity Needs

Humidity during the day should be 60 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit and at night 70 to 90 degrees. Find out how to create such high levels of humidity at home.

– Mist the Plant in the Morning 

Mist the plant in the morning. Early morning misting allows ample time and high temperatures for the water drops to evaporate. Humidity increases around the plant in this manner.

– Keep a Humidifier

A humidifier is a fantastic tool when it comes to maintaining the right temperatures around the clock for your Geogenanthus plant. It is simply plugged into an electric plug and the required humidity levels inserted. 

– Pebble Tray

Create your own pebble tray by placing medium-sized pebbles in a shallow household tray with raised edges. Pour water in this tray and place the pot on top of the pebbles so that it doesn’t touch the water. The evaporating water from the tray will raise the surrounding moisture level of the plant.

– Fertilizer Needs

The Geogenanthus ciliatus plant goes through a period of rapid growth and activity during spring and summer each year. It needs to be fertilized regularly during this time as well.

We suggest using a liquid fertilizer with an equal NPK ratio. An equal ratio would ensure adequate distribution of all the nutrients to the plant.

Dilute the fertilizer to at least half its original strength just to be on the safe side. Fertilizers have often been known to cause severe chemical burns to the plant. Another trick is to water the plant before fertilizing to keep it protected.



You can propagate Geogenanthus ciliatus using either stem cuttings or their tuberous rhizomes. 

Details of both the methods are mentioned in the upcoming sections.

– Propagate Through Tuberous Rhizomes

Due to the Geogenanthus ciliatus plant growing and reproducing through underground rhizomes, it is most successfully propagated via these as well. Of course, you will need to uproot the plant from its soil in order to propagate it this way this is why we always schedule our repotting and propagation together.

Learn all the steps of the process below.

  • Water the soil copiously 24 hours earlier. This will soften the soil. After one day, take a sterilized gardening knife and move it across the edges of the pot to shake loose the soil.
  • Carefully lift the plant up from the soil. Remove the soil attached to the roots using a water hose.
  • Now remove the individual rhizomes along with their respective stems and foliage. 
  • Repot each of the rhizomes in their own respective pots and fresh soil. Place this pot in a warm, bright place in your house and keep the soil moist but not wet for the first couple of days.

– Through Stem Cuttings

You can also propagate Geogenanthus ciliatus using stem cuttings. This method has the additional benefit that it does not require the plant to be taken out of its soil.

Find out how to propagate using stem cuttings here.

Choose a healthy stem or stem branch for propagation. Sterilize and disinfect the gardening shears thoroughly before using them. Your stem cuttings should be 3 to 4 inches long and have at least two leaves in order to be successful.

Allow the cutting to dry for a couple of days in a dry place. Then apply rooting hormone at both ends of the cutting. Fill a new pot with freshly mixed soil and moisten it a bit, after this, insert the stem cutting vertically into the soil such that one leaf node remains outside and one remains inside the soil.

If your cutting is having a hard time standing upright, you can try supporting it with a stick or a ruler for a short time until it takes roots. Again, place the pot in a warm place and wait for a couple of weeks till new roots start to grow.

Problems & Diseases

Overwatering might cause the Geogenanthus plant to develop root rot. You might also have to deal with occasional pest attacks. Learn more by carrying on ahead.

– Root Rot

Root rot produces brown or brown colored rot spots on the glorious leaves of the Geogenanthus ciliatus plant. These spots are moist, wet and teeming with fungal spores.

Root rot is a serious fungal infection that is very easily contracted by the Geogenanthus ciliatus plant. Its principal cause is undue water retention in the soil.

This water retention occurs mostly when you overwater the plant. It also happens when the soil is not well-draining enough. Also check the drainage hole of your pot. A hole that is too small will also lead to water retention.

– Treating Root Rot

  • Firstly, observe your plant carefully to see if it can be saved. If a majority of the leaves are fully covered by rot, then such a plant is unsalvageable and should be gotten rid off.
  • You cannot treat root rot unless you take the plant out of it’s old soil and pot.
  • Once you take the plant out, wash with a water jet so that the roots can be examined more carefully.
  • Take shears and snap off all the rotten parts of the plant. Repot in a new pot and newly mixed soil. 
  • You will need to spray the plant with a fungicide for several weeks afterwards. Also make sure that this time your watering and drainage is fault less.

– Discard the Infectious Parts Properly

The old soil, pot and the chopped off parts of the diseased parts are all highly infectious. Anything that comes in contact with them will also become diseased. That is why you must always burn these things off. Don’t even think about recycling any of them.

Similarly, thoroughly clean and disinfect the shears that you use for this debridement. 

– Pests

Aphids, spider mites and mealybugs are the insects that are most common among household plants. These are sap sucking insects that feed on the nutritious matter of your plant. Overtime they cause the plant to weaken and start dying.

– Signs and Symptoms of an Insect Attack

  • The most common sign of an insect attack is that the leaves will start turning yellow. This happens when chlorophyll, the green pigment of the leaf, starts dying.
  • The leaf edges might start turning brown and crispy. 
  • Sometimes the leaves start falling off at an alarming rate.This happens when the number of insects attacking your plant becomes too large.
  • Some insects like spider mites and mealybugs are also visible to the naked eye. They can be found hiding in large clusters under the leaves and below thin sheets of stem sheaths.

– Treating Insect Infestation

Insects can be killed by using natural remedies like neem oil or alcohol or by spraying insecticides on the plant.

Treating Insect Infestation

Find out the details below.

– Separate the Plant

Isolate the infested plant away from the rest of your plant babies. These insects will take no time in migrating from one plant to the next. And soon you might have not one but multiple problematic plants at hand.

– Wash With Soap

Physically removing as many insects as possible from the plant is still the most effective remedy till date. Use soap and water to wash away the insects from under the leaves and the stem. Using an insecticidal soap is better as it will also kill off the larvae.

– Use Alcohol

Mixing common household disinfecting alcohol with 80 percent water and then spraying this mixture on the colonies of insects will also kill them off.

– Neem Oil

Did you know that neem oil is an herbal insecticide from south East Asia that will also kill insects if applied consistently for a couple of weeks? Use a Q-tip to apply this oil of thick consistency on the affected areas of the leaves.

– Insecticidal Spray

An insecticidal spray will kill these insects off in just a couple of days. However, uncontrolled use of these harsh chemicals might adversely affect the growth of your ciliatus plant.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Read ahead to learn answers to some important questions about this rare plant.

– What Is the Right Time to Repot the Geogenanthus Ciliatus Plant?

Spring is the right time to repot Geogenanthus ciliatus. This is the time when this plant is undergoing it’s most active period. Spring is also the most favorable time for propagating this plant. You can also repot and propagate during early summer but no later than that.

– What Do the Geogenanthus Leaves Look Like?

The young leaves of this plant are a very bright green with a purple stripe running down the middle. As they mature, their color changes. The upper surface of the leaf assumes a deep green color with a glossy texture. The lower surface becomes dark purple or maroon with a velvety texture.


Scroll down below to find out a conclusive summary of this care guide.

  • Geogenanthus ciliatus is a rare plant with very unique leaves that have widely different upper and lower sides. Provide this plant with bright light that is indirect, partial or dappled. 
  • Water the Geogenanthus plant when the top two inches of its soil become dry. Use ample water and keep watering till it starts coming out of the drainage hole.
  • Maintain temperatures above 60 degrees Fahrenheit and humidity above 70 percent for this plant.
  • There are two ways to propagate this plant. One is by using stem cuttings and the other is via underground rhizomes.
  • Your plant might suffer from infestations caused by aphids, mealybugs, spider mites etc. You can either opt for herbal treatment or go straight for insecticidal sprays.

Geogenanthus ciliatus plant needs only indirect light and a regular watering and fertilizing regime to grow into its magnificent foliage that it is renowned for. 

5/5 - (17 votes)
Evergreen Seeds