From Fast Brazil, ctenanthe is also known as the never-never plant. Grown for its rosettes of beautifully marked foliage, rather than its inconspicuous white flowers, it is robust and bushy with leathery, lanceshaped leaves up to 18 in. (45 cm) long and dark green with silvery gray feathering above and wine-red to purple below.
Closely related to maranta and calathea, which are also grown for their leaves, it is more compact in habit. C.o. ‘Tricolor’ has leaves blotched with cream.
Size: Height to 3 ft. (90 cm).
Light: Indirect sunlight.
Temperature: Normal room.
Moisture: Keep moist from spring to fall. In winter, apply water only to prevent soil from drying out.
Feeding: Apply standard liquid fertilizer every two weeks from spring through to fall.
Propagation: Remove basal offsets from the rhizomatous roots (detach them as close to the parent plant as possible) or take tip cuttings of 3—4 leaves. With tip cuttings, use hormone rooting preparation and bot tom heat if possible.
Special needs: To increase humidity place pot on a tray of moist pebbles.