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Ctenanthe Burle Marxii Amabilis Care | Unlocking the Secrets

You must have noticed a plant with a unique pattern on the leaves in any modish place. They are among the most favored species within the Ctenanthe genus, the Ctenanthe Burle Marxii Amabilis. The plant is also known as a never-never plant.

Moreover, the beautiful plant has pale green leaves with dark green strokes. Also, the plant has maroon undersides. Growers and collectors sought after this plant. But before growing, you need to have a crystal clear idea of taking Ctenanthe Burle Marxii Amabilis care.

I have been growing the Ctenanthe Burle Marxii Amabilis plant for five years. In this caring guide, I will share my experience and let you know every piece of information you need before growing Ctenanthe Burle Marxii Amabilis.

An image of a thriving Ctenanthe Burle Marxii Amabilis plant in a black pot.

Is Ctenanthe Burle Marxii Amabilis a Prayer Plant?

The Ctenanthe Burle Marxii Amabilis is called a prayer plant. Its leaves boast striking dark green striping. Again, the plant folds its leaves at night like a prayer hand. When you see the plant in that position, you may think the plant is praying.

Furthermore, the plant has stunning leaves. Since the plant is closely related to Calathea, some call it a Calalthea prayer plant. But it is biologically indirect.

Why is It Called a Never-Never Plant?

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The common name “Never-Never Plant” is derived from the unique behavior of its leaves. During the night, the leaves of this plant fold up, creating a striking display. This folding movement gives the impression that time never passes, hence the name “Never-Never Plant.”

Moreover, the plant is a prayer plant as well. The leaves stay straight during the day and fold like a prayer hand at night. For all this, The plant is mainly known as the Never-Never Plant.

Common NameNever Never Plant
Scientific NameCtenanthe Burle Marxii Amabilis
Growth HabitSlow-growing, evergreen perennial
Mature SizeUp to 2 feet in height
LifespanCan live up to 20 years, commonly thrives for up to 5 years
Light RequirementsBright, indirect light
Water RequirementsKeep soil moist but not waterlogged
Soil RequirementsWell-draining, rich potting mix
TemperaturePrefers warm conditions (65-75°F or 18-24°C)
HumidityHigh humidity preferred
FertilizationLight feeding during growing season
PropagationDivision or stem cuttings
Pot SizeMedium-sized pot to avoid root crowding
ToxicityNon-toxic to pets and humans
Pest ResistanceSusceptible to spider mites and mealybugs
Disease ResistanceProne to root rot if overwatered
Winter CareReduce watering, maintain humidity, avoid cold drafts
Essential Care and Characteristics of the Ctenanthe Burle Marxii Amabilis Plant

What are the Popular Species of Ctenanthe?

Ctenanthe is a widespread genus of houseplants. Indeed, you might spot a variety of Ctenanthe plants in many home gardens. Moreover, 15 species are the most popular and can be seen anywhere. Some of them are:

  • Ctenanthe Setosa ‘Grey Star’: The most popular species of Ctenanthe is Ctenanthe setosa’ Grey Star’. Moreover, the plant is renowned for its shimmering silvery foliage.
  • Ctenanthe Lubbersiana: The Ctenanthe Lubbersiana plant is mainly known as the Golden Mosaic plant. It has got this name for the stunning golden splashed leaves.
  • Ctenanthe Oppenheimiana: Since it is one of the most popular species, you will find Ctenanthe Oppenheimiana in almost every home garden or elegant place. And this species is defined by the tricolor leaves.

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How do you take care of a Ctenanthe Burle Marxii Amabilis?

Ctenanthe Burle Marxii Amabilis is the best to make your simple space modish. Cultivating and maintaining the plant is straightforward and undemanding. Moreover, the plant has magic to make your place soothing and refreshing.

An image of a thriving Ctenanthe Burle Marxii Amabilis plant in a black pot.

Initial Care

You must take care of your plant when you bring it into your home. The initial care has a significant effect on the further growth of a plant. However, since I brought my Ctenanthe Burle Marxii Amabilis plant first, I have been taking good care of it. I made a strategy and diligently executed it.

  • Firstly, I chose a healthy and pest-free plant.
  • Then, when I brought the plant home, I quarantined it from the plants for about two weeks. It helped to spread any unexpected pests or diseases.
  • After that, I checked the soil and the pot. Though my plant soil was fresh, the pot was small. For this reason, I repotted my plant after six months.
  • Finally, I picked a decent place for my plant and placed it to grow.

Light Requirements

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Almost all the Ctenanthe plants like bright indirect sunlight. Like the others, Ctenanthe Burle Marxii Amabilis also loves bright light. Whenever the plant has sufficient indirect sunlight, it grows more cheerfully. Remember to protect your plant from the harsh rays of direct sunlight, as they can cause the leaves to burn.

To meet the light requirements and have a healthy plant:

  • I placed my plant beside an east-facing window. You can also place it beside a west-facing window. In this way, you can give your plant the perfect light shade. When the light is too high or direct, I use curtains to keep the light low.
  • When I noticed the light was getting high, I replaced my plant. On the other hand, when the light gets too low, I use artificial lights.

Watering Schedule

Watering is essential to grow an indoor plant. Water keeps the soil moist and helps the roots get enough nutrients. As a tropical plant, Ctenanthe Burle Marxii Amabilis loves moist soil. It grows healthy if the soil is perfect. Furthermore, the plant is sensitive to over or under-water.

Besides, overwatering your plant can lead to root rot and result in yellow leaves. On the other hand, underwater, it will drag your plant to dehydration and show up brown leaves. I follow some tips to keep my plant from any water problems.

  • I don’t water my plant often or routinely. Moreover, I water them just when needed.
  • Again, I check the soil before watering. If the top 2 soil layers are dry, I water my plant. I mostly use my thumb to check the soil, but sometimes, I use measurement tape to check it deeply.

Humidity and Temperature Preferences

Monitoring and ensuring that temperature and humidity levels are optimal for the plant’s health is also crucial. Since Ctenanthe Burle Marxii Amabilis is a tropical aroid, it grows well when you create an equatorial environment. It grows lively in warm and moist conditions.

The plant thrives when meticulously kept in warm conditions, ideally within a temperature range of 55 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit. It is relatively easy.

And if the temperature is below 55 degrees Fahrenheit, your plant will lose leaves. Furthermore, the humidity should be above 50%. It would be best if the humidity is between 60%-70%.

Meeting the requirements of this plant is comparably effortless. But if you are from a country near the poles like me, you must work a little to grow this plant. As a native of a cold country, I used some tips to grow this plant.

  • To regulate the temperature, I positioned the plant in the warmest part of my house. Also, I kept it away from the air conditioners or cooling systems. Along with that, I use a heater to keep it warm.
  • For the perfect humidity, I set the plant in the kitchen area. Despite that, if the humidity was not enough, I placed a humidifier beside it. You can also use a pebble tray to increase humidity.


The Ctenanthe Burle Marxii Amabilis plant is not a heavy feeder. So, it almost doesn’t need fertilizers to grow well. Yet, indeed, fertilizers make the plant youthful and lively. That’s why you may fertilize your plant once every two months.

Furthermore, I use liquid fertilizer for my plant. I use 5-5-5 proportions. You can use 10-10-10 proportions as well. Spray the fertilizer on the roots and stems of your plant.

Best Soil Mix for Ctenanthe Burle Marxii Amabilis

Regarding soil, the Ctenanthe Burle Marxii Amabilis plant is a little picky. It needs moist soil to grow well. Additionally, the soil must be well-drained too. Furthermore, the plant is susceptible to soggy and damp soil. Therefore, it’s necessary to maintain fresh and moist soil, as this helps to keep the roots hydrated.

I have made my potting soil to grow my plant. Moreover, I’ve incorporated top-quality products and organic matter to enhance the soil’s condition. Mainly, I mixed.

Best Repotting Process

As an indoor and tropical plant, Ctenanthe Burle Marxii Amabilis doesn’t like the bushiness around it. It needs enough space to grow well. So, you need to repot the plant when needed.

When to Repot

As a slow-growing plant, it needs almost 20 years to grow up to its mature size. Consequently, there’s no need to repot the plant annually. I repot the plant when –

  • The soil gets dry easily.
  • The plant is looking denser.
  • Roots are emerging from the drainage hole.

How to Repot

Extreme caution is required when repotting the plant. For repotting, you may follow these steps:

  • Try to repot the plant in Summer or Spring. And move as much as you can.
  • Pick a better pot with enough space and a well-drained system. Moreover, the pot must be approximately 2-3 inches bigger than the previous one.
  • Put fresh soil and fertilizer in the new pot.

Propagation Methods

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Propagation of the Ctenanthe Burle Marxii Amabilis plant is very beneficial. You can gift the plant to another plant lover; indeed, it is the best gift for anyone. Again, as a popular houseplant, it has a great demand in the market.

In addition, the most popular and successful propagation process is the root division. I have propagated my plant in this way. From my perspective, it’s the simplest method with a notably high success rate.

For root division:

  • Gently remove the plant from the pot. Then, shake off the extra soil.
  • When you notice the roots, pick a sterilized shear and carefully divide the roots.
  • Ensure each cutting has more than two leaves and enough roots to grow.
  • Plant the cuttings in a new pot with fresh soil and fertilizer.
Complete Guide to Ctenanthe Care & Propagation (Stem and Division)

Pruning and Cleaning

Cleaning and pruning are a must to grow any plant. Whenever you prune the plant, it gets more lively. As a jewel plant, it will grow well if you often prune the Ctenanthe Burle Marxii Amabilis. Also, removing the dead and wilt leaves will make your plant more jolly. Remember that pruning the plant should always be done with sanitized shears or scissors.

Furthermore, you must clean the plant with a cotton fabric. Or you can use a gentle garden hose stream to keep your plant clean.

What Pests and diseases affect the Never-Never Plant?

The Ctenanthe Burle Marxii Amabilis plant is not prone to pests and diseases as an indoor plant. You will face almost no diseases and bugs in the entire lifespan of the plant.

  • Mealybugs: You will notice some mealybugs on your plant. They eat the sap from the plant.
  • Aphids: Another sap-sucking insect that can attack your plant is aphids. It will make your plant weak in a few days.
  • Fungal disease: Overwatering your plant can cause fungal infections and diseases.

Common Problems and Solutions

If you take good care, you won’t face any problems growing the plant. But making silly mistakes while taking Ctenanthe Burle Marxii Amabilis care can create some common problems.

  • Leaves turning yellow/ brown: When you over or underwater your plant, the leaves may turn yellow or brown. Again, insufficient light causes yellow leaves, and direct sunlight turns the leaves brown.
  • Loss of leaves: Overwatering also causes the plant to lose leaves. So, examining the soil before watering the plant is essential.

Quick tip: Feel that soil before you pour – it’s like checking the weather before you leave the house. And find a sunny nook, but not too sunny, okay? You don’t want to fry those lovely green gems. Oh, and if leaves are falling off? It’s a sign! Too much H2O alert! A little poke in the soil goes a long way.

An image of a thriving Ctenanthe Burle Marxii Amabilis plant in a black pot.

Is Ctenanthe Burle Marxii Amabilis Toxic?

Like the other Ctenanthe plant, the Never-Never Plant is also non-toxic. The plant is safe for pets as well. So, even if you have any pets or kids at your home, you can plant at the drop of a hat.

However, ensure that no one is trying to swallow the leaves or stems. It can show some toxic symptoms if it is considered non-toxic when you swallow.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Is Ctenanthe Burle Marxii Amabilis a Never Never Plant?

Of course! Every Ctenanthe species is called a Never Never plant. As Ctenanthe plants are slow growing, they are known as the Never Never plant. The plant Ctenanthe Burle Marxii Amabilis is also a slow grower. Furthermore, it takes almost 20 years to reach the mature size.

How do you care for a Never Never Plant in the winter?

The Never Never plants like warm and humid conditions. Also, the plant grows cheerfully in the Spring and Summer. Meanwhile, in the winter, it only needs a little care. Place the plant in a more humid and brighter area. Also, keep the plant beside a heater.

How tall does a Never-Never Plant grow?

The Never-Never plants can reach heights of up to 2 feet, but patience is key. Reaching full maturity is a slow process. With proper care, you can cultivate a beautiful Never-Never Plant. Furthermore, the plant may take close to 20 years to mature fully.

Do prayer plants like big pots?

No, the prayer doesn’t like too big or too little pots. Since the prayer plant needs a little fertilizer and likes little stuffy roots, you can’t grow it in a large pot. Conversely, a pot that’s too small can harm the root system.

How long do prayer plants last?

The plant can thrive for up to 20 years with ideal conditions. But mostly, the Prayer Plants grow well for up to 5 years. So, to give your plant a long life, you must take care of it precisely and more carefully.

Bottom Line

The Ctenanthe Burle Marxii Amabilis is one of the most popular Ctenanthe plants. The stunning leaves with unique patterns caught many eyes. Moreover, the plant is a slow-grower and makes your place sophisticated. However, Ctenanthe Burle Marxii Amabilis care is a relatively easy job if you are a plant lover.

Top 5 Key Measures for Cultivating Ctenanthe Burle Marxii ‘Amabilis’ Successfully:

  1. Keep the plant warm and moist.
  2. Utilize either distilled water or collected rainwater for the plant.
  3. Take less care in winter.
  4. Spray the fertilizer from a distance.
  5. Clean and prune the plant often.

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