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Ctenanthe Burle Marxii

Ctenanthe Burle Marxii

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It is part of the Maranta family (Maranta leuconeura prayer plant) and native to Brazil and also an easy-care plant.

Ctenanthe Burle-Marxii is named after the famous Brazilian artist and landscape designer – Roberto Burle Marx, who I had the pleasure of once meeting.

The Burle-Marxii Calathea plant goes by several other identities:

  • Stromanthe amabilis
  • Calathea amabilis
  • Calathea Burle-Marxii
  • Calathea fishbone
  • Fishbone prayer plant

Calathea plants need two things – shade and humidity.

Ctenanthe Burle-Marxii Care

Size and Growth

Due to the region where this plant comes from in South America, it grows best in humid conditions. Burle Marx Calathea is recommended for USDA hardiness zones 10 to 12, for outdoor growth.

Outside of these zones, grow the plant indoors or in a greenhouse.

It is a slow-growing plant and may take two seasons to reach its full height.

The leaves grow in fan-like clusters and may reach up to 12″ inches in length.

The leaves are the most interesting feature of this plant. The striped, fishbone pattern is dark green on top of the light, gray-green leaves. The underside of the Ctenanthe Burle-Marxii leaves is often red or grayish.

Fishbone Prayer Plant Flowering and Fragrance

While Ctenanthe Burle-Marxii plants are not known for their flowers, they do produce clusters appearing at the ends of long stalks that reach through the thick foliage.

The flowers do not produce a fragrance and typically bloom in the winter or early spring. The tiny white flowers rarely grow longer than half an inch and produce cherry-red bracts.

Ctenanthe Burle Marxii plant prefers shade. Do not place this plant in direct sunlight, as the bright rays can scorch the leaves.

If growing the plant outdoors, find a spot with some morning or late day sun. When grown indoors, consider placing it in a room with an eastern-facing window with bright indirect light.

The plant can tolerate a wide temperature range, but it still needs to avoid freezing temperatures.

The biggest environmental concern is humidity. Ctenanthe Burle-Marxii needs moisture throughout the year. If your home doesn’t get very humid, mist the plant daily.