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Ctenanthe Burle Marxii Plant Care

Ctenanthe Burle Marxii Plant Care

Ctenanthe Burle Marxii comes from an area in Southern Central America that is South to Southeastern Brazil

When it’s daytime, the Ctenanthe Burle Marxii plant has stunning oval green leaves with dark green markings on them. Once night comes, the plant folds and shows its stunning purple undersides.

The Ctenanthe Burle Marxii can be found in the USD hardiness zone 10-13. 

The Ctenanthe Burle Marxii also moves its leaves where light is present, just like the other plant from its family known as Marantaceae.


Ctenanthe Burle Marxii Plant Care

To provide your Ctenanthe Burle Marxii with the best plant care, choose a soil mixture that is well-draining. A peat moss-based soil with some sand is a good option and keeps the soil moist at all times. You should also keep temperatures above 55°F (13°C) and humidity percentage between 60 to 80 percent. They grow best at a temperature around 80°F (27°C).



Ctenanthe Burle Marxii requires good draining soil that is also able to hold moisture in it. This is why the best mixture is needed to be used. 

Generally speaking, you can use a potting mix with peat moss in it, with the addition of sand to increase drainage.

Tropical soil mixes present in the market are also a great choice for this plant. You must also make sure that the pot has proper drainage holes so that excess water can seep out of the bottom area.



Ctenanthe Burle Marxii needs a proper water schedule. You must water the plant once the top part of the soil becomes dry, as this plant thrives in moist soil.

Over-watering is a common issue with this plant. Thus, keep an eye on your plant to make sure it has not started to limp, or the leaves have not started to turn yellow.

Ctenanthe Burle Marxii has very fragile roots, and they are also thin. This makes the roots more prone to root rot. Thus, getting a good pot with proper drainage holes can help you tremendously.

When watering your plant, try to use rainwater, distilled water, or filtered water. Tap water can be highly chlorinated, and this can burn the leaves of your Ctenanthe Burle Marxii.



If Ctenanthe Burle Marxii does not get enough sunlight, then the beauty of its foliage will begin to fade. The Ctenanthe Burle Marxii thrives in indirect sunlight.

You can keep your Ctenanthe Burle Marxii close to a window that has the shade of some tree. Avoid keeping it near the south or west windows. North and east windows are the best options.

If you end up providing direct sunlight, then the leaves on your plant will end up burning. The soil might also end up drying up too fast, and this can cause your Ctenanthe Burle Marxii to curl up.



Ctenanthe Burle Marxii survives best in warmer temperatures. It can be sensitive to cold winds, and in a colder region, it can die if kept outdoors. 

Ctenanthe Burle Marxii’s capable of surviving in temperatures as low as 55°F (12°C). Room temperature is the best option for this plant; thus, try to keep the room temperature at 80°F (27°C).



Ctenanthe Burle Marxii thrives in high humidity levels. Humidity levels between 60 to 80 percent are considered the best option for this plant.

Never let the humidity levels drop below 50 percent, as the plant’s leaves will start to turn brittle and brown. 

You can recover your plant if it has started to dry up, but the damage might have occurred to it, which lowers its lifespan.

To increase the humidity levels around your plant, keep it away from cold draft areas, and spray some water on it. 

You can also wrap plastic bags around the plant to help keep the moisture in and increase humidity levels.



Ctenanthe Burle Marxii does not need to be fertilized often and does not even require heavy fertilization. 

Always keep a light hand when using fertilizers on your Ctenanthe Burle Marxii because, in the case of this plant, less is more.

You can try using a water-soluble fertilizer and dilute its strength by half. You can also use a well-balanced liquid fertilizer. Use the fertilizers only during the growing season.

Never use fertilizers during winters. You will only need to fertilize your plant once a month or after every few months.



Ctenanthe Burle Marxii does not need to be repotted often. The only reason you may have to repot your plant is to provide it with more nutrient supply and to give it more room to grow.

Generally speaking, you will only have to repot your Ctenanthe Burle Marxii every two to three years. By two to three years, your Ctenanthe Burle Marxii might outgrow its current pot.

When repotting your plant, make sure you:

  • Choose a wide and shallow pot.
  • Do not pick a tall pot. A tall pot is unnecessary since Ctenanthe Burle Marxii can only grow as tall as thirty centimeters.
  • Choose a plastic pot if you want more moisture retained for longer periods. Or you can choose a cotta pot if you want to let the soil release moisture.

Avoid repotting your plant during winters since the plant is more likely to get damaged or die during this season.



Ctenanthe Burle Marxii is capable of producing a lot of new leaves. Thus, pruning old, dead leaves will encourage bushier growth.

However, it is not necessary to prune your Ctenanthe Burle Marxii as it does not need to be pruned often. Trimming your plant is fine, as this plant can become big as time passes. 

You should prune your Ctenanthe Burle Marxii when:

  • The plant has grown above your desired width.
  • There is a dead or dying leaf on the plant.
  • You wish to cut of over-grown leaves.

When doing any of these things, make sure you use sterilized tools. Continuously trying to snap off the same area with a dull cutter is not good for your plant. 

This is why you should use sharp tools to prune your plant. 



Ctenanthe Burle Marxii grows as a cluster of beautiful fan-like arrangements. This arrangement allows the plant to grow horizontally in its pot. 

So, although the growth height-wise stops at 30 centimeters, the plant can still grow considerably in width.

You can propagate your Ctenanthe Burle Marxii before or after that repotting it, but propagating it during repotting is the best option. To propagate your plant, follow these steps:

  • First, carefully untangle the roots of your Ctenanthe Burle Marxii to separate some of it from the rest of the plant.
  • Choose a cluster of plants that has three to four leaves.
  • If your Ctenanthe Burle Marxii does not have new clusters, then try cutting a part of it from the mother plant.
  • Use clean and sharp shears or scissors to cut through your Ctenanthe Burle Marxii.
  • Once you have divided the plant, it will need some time to stabilize again. Thus, if somehow your plant looks dull to you, it’s normal and shouldn’t be something you need to worry about.
  • Place the division in new soil with the same mixture as the mother plant and water it well.
  • Adding a plastic cover to the plant will help regulate humidity levels and make your plant grow well.

Try not to propagate your Ctenanthe Burle Marxii during the winter season since you could kill your plant.

This is because, during winters, many things get affected, such as temperature and humidity; thus, you aren’t able to provide optimum care for your plant.

When putting your new plant in the soil, make sure the soil is peat-based soil or potting soil with peat moss in it. Adding some sand to the mixture will also help with drainage.



Throughout the year, the plant gets white flowers that come out of these spikes that are present on the plant. Ctenanthe Burle Marxii are mostly grown not for the blooms but for its foliage.

It is also not the easiest to grow flowers on these plants when they are not present in their natural habitat. 

If you are able to provide your Ctenanthe Burle Marxii with the perfect indoor care, then it is possible to make this plant bloom.



An evergreen perennial, Ctenanthe Burle Marxii has purple-green stems that have soft hairs on them. These stems can be fifteen centimeters long (5.5 inches).

The oblong-ovate to striking ovate leaves are strong dark green leaves with silvery-white upward strokes. They also do not have any hair on them, and the bottom side of the leaves have a burgundy color.

Ctenanthe Burle Marxii has dark green markings on it, and it is sickle-shaped. The dark green markings are veins of different sizes. Leaves present on the stems are bigger than the basal leaves.

Since Ctenanthe Burle Marxii is a low-growing plant, it does not grow any more than 30 centimeters (12 inches) in height. However, the plant is capable of growing wider and wider as time passes.


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Common Problems for Ctenanthe Burle Marxii



Botrytis is a gray mold fungus that is common in houseplants such as Ctenanthe Burle Marxii. This fungus has a brown and gray appearance when it first appears on leaves. 

The gray spot then becomes a gray spore that has a fuzzy appearance.

You can prevent this fungus from infecting your plant by removing dead leaves from your Ctenanthe Burle Marxii. This is because the dead leaves are where the fungus loves to breed.

Remove water that may be present on your leaf, especially when humidity levels are high. You can keep the humidity levels balanced by providing the plant with good air circulation.

Remove all the gray mold around the plant, even if it has landed in the soil. You should also spray your Ctenanthe Burle Marxii with a commercial fungicide to get rid of all the fungus.



Ctenanthe Burle Marxii is just as susceptible to mealybugs as most other indoor plants. These pests are hard to spot since they can easily hide under the large leaves of Ctenanthe Burle Marxii.

Mealybugs attack plants by taking out their sap from them. Once they are done feeding, they leave a sticky residue behind, which can cause fungal infections on Ctenanthe Burle Marxii. 

These fungal infections can cause your Ctenanthe Burle Marxii leaves to curl up and turn yellow.

If mealybugs are caught early, then you can easily get rid of them within days. To get their spread under control, use rubbing alcohol on a cotton swab and wipe your Ctenanthe Burle Marxii leaves with it.

If the mealybugs do not decrease, then you will have to use pesticide sprays.


Tips for Growing Ctenanthe Burle Marxii

Ctenanthe Burle Marxii plant has basic requirements for growth. By following a few tips, you too can grow your plant to its limit and also keep it healthy:

  • Keep your plant under high humidity levels ranging from 60 to 80 percent.
  • Make sure that the surrounding humidity does not drop below 50 percent.
  • Do not place your Ctenanthe Burle Marxii in temperatures below 55°F (12°C).
  • Do not prune your plant too often. Only prune it when you want to remove or trim dead leaves.


Frequently Asked Questions about Ctenanthe Burle Marxii


Is Ctenanthe Burle Marxii toxic?

Ctenanthe Burle Marxii is not considered toxic for animals or humans. However, ingesting this plant in large quantities can be dangerous.


How long will my Ctenanthe Burle Marxii live?

Ctenanthe Burle Marxii can live for up to three to four years. But this is only true if proper care is provided.



Ctenanthe Burle Marxii is one of the best indoor plants that can be used for decorative purposes and also add clean air to the room. It looks stunning with group plants as it adds a tropical look to them.

Ctenanthe Burle Marxii can be used in offices, homes, green walls, or even terrariums. Since this plant is not that tall, it can be placed on the floor in a corner for esthetic purposes.

Placing them on a large table can also make them look beautiful.