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Ctenanthe Oppenheimiana Care Guide | All That You Need To Know

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Plant Care Pro Team

If you want a suitable plant for your vast space, you must buy Ctenanthe Oppenheimiana. Moreover, the plant spreads a unique tropical aura and makes any place refreshing.

No wonder why the plant is so popular. It is mainly distinguished from tricolor leaves. Together, the green stripes and purplish underside make the plant more tasteful. But for the plant to flourish, it must be given dedicated attention and care.

I will share my experience while growing this plant in this caring guide. Additionally, I will offer some guidance to ensure your Ctenanthe Oppenheimiana receives the best care possible.

What Is the Common Name for Ctenanthe Oppenheimiana?

The most common name of the Ctenanthe Oppenheimiana plant is Giant Bamburanta. It reflects the plant’s significant growth potential. The plant grows up to 5-6 feet when it is matured. Also, the size makes it look perfect for lavish hotels or huge apartments.

Additionally, being a species of Ctenanthe, the Ctenanthe Oppenheimiana plant is also known as a Never Never plant. As the plant grows slowly and matures for a long time, it is called the Never Never plant.

Common NameGiant Bamburanta, Never Never Plant
Scientific NameCtenanthe Oppenheimiana
Growth HabitClump-forming, evergreen perennial
Mature SizeUp to 3-4 feet in height and spread
LifespanCan live many years with proper care, often decades
Light RequirementsPrefers bright, indirect light; tolerates low light
Water RequirementsKeep soil consistently moist but not soggy
Soil RequirementsWell-draining, peat-based potting mix
TemperatureThrives at 65-75°F (18-24°C); avoid temperatures below 60°F (15°C)
HumidityHigh humidity is beneficial, above 60% if possible
FertilizationFertilize every four weeks during the growing season with a balanced fertilizer
PropagationBy division during repotting
Pot SizeShould be repotted every 2-3 years or when rootbound
ToxicityNon-toxic to pets and humans
Pest ResistanceMay attract pests like spider mites, scale, and mealybugs if not kept in optimal conditions
Disease ResistanceSensitive to overwatering, which can lead to root rot
Winter CareReduce watering but do not let the soil completely dry out; keep away from cold drafts
Essential Care and Characteristics of the Ctenanthe Oppenheimiana Plant

Why Is It Mistaken as Setosa Compact Star or Calathea ‘Compact Star’?

Images featuring Setosa Compact Star and Calathea ‘Compact Star’ and below text "".

Most people mistake the Ctenanthe Oppenheimiana plant for a Ctenanthe Setosa Compact star or Calathea Compact star. Since all the plants are from the Marantaceae family, they look familiar.

Furthermore, all of the plants have tricolor leaves. They are featured with light green leaves with dark green stripes and a red-purplish underside. So, many people mix up the plants with each other. Yet, they come in all different sizes.

Cthenanthe oppenheimiana | Cthenanthe Setosa | Difference & Division

What Are the Allied Species of Ctenanthe Oppenheimiana?

The Ctenanthe Oppenheimiana is a popular plant from the Ctenanthe genus. As a popular houseplant, Ctenanthe has almost 15 species that can be seen in any house garden. Some of the popular species are:

Ctenanthe Setosa Compact Star: One of the popular species of Ctenanthe and most mixed up allied of Ctenanthe Oppenheimiana is Ctenanthe Setosa Compact Star. Both of the plants have tricolor leaves and a fantastic presence.

Ctenanthe Lubbersiana: This plant is known as a golden mosaic plant for its beautiful golden leaf splashes. It’s also well-known for its impressive appearance.

Ctenanthe Burle-Marxii: Another popular species and ally of Ctenanthe Oppenheimiana is Ctenanthe Burle-Marxii. Moreover, the plant is known as a fishbone plant for the striking pattern of the variegated foliage.

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How Do You Take Care of a Ctenanthe Oppenheimiana?

An image featuring the stunning plant Ctenanthe Oppenheimiana on the left with text on the right 'Ctenanthe Oppenheimiana Care' and below ''.

Whether you are an expert or a new grower, you may know how challenging it is to grow a jewel plant. But if you can provide the perfect condition, the plant will grow happily and make your place modish. The Ctenanthe Oppenheimiana is a popular indoor jewel plant. Proper care for this plant can add an elegant touch to your home.

Initial Care of Ctenanthe Oppenheimiana

If you want to grow any indoor plant, you need to take care of that plant from the beginning. Your plant will have a long and healthy lifespan through a good start. Likewise, you must be careful when growing Ctenanthe Oppenheimiana in your home. To make a good start:

  • While buying the plant, choose a healthy and pest-free plant. Make sure it has no dead or yellow leaves.
  • Once you bring the plant home, isolate it from your other plants for at least two weeks. It will help to avoid the spreading of any pests or diseases.
  • Set your plant in an area that’s both warm and moist.

Light Requirements

An image of an indoor plant thriving in proper lighting with text below 'Light Requirements' and on the left ''.

As I mentioned, Ctenanthe Oppenheimiana is a tropical plant. So, it loves to grow under the tree canopy. As a result, it gets a low but bright sunshade. The plant thrives under indirect sunlight. Furthermore, direct sunlight is hazardous for this Never Never plant. It scorches the leaves and turns down the plant.

To provide the perfect light shade, I follow some tips:

  • If the light is too low, I replace the plant with a lighter area. And try to keep the plant beside an east or west-facing window. On the other hand, if the light is too high, I cover the window with a curtain. It helps the plant to get sufficient light.
  • Although I didn’t use it, you can use artificial lights if the light is insufficient.


The Ctenanthe Oppenheimiana plant loves to grow under a tree canopy. For this reason, it loves moisture and moist soil, too. To maintain moist soil, watering the correct amount is crucial. Yet, the plant is sensitive to waterlogging. So, avoid overwatering your plant.

While growing the plant for five years, I initially had an overwatering problem. Then I followed some tips, and surprisingly, the water problem never returned.

  • Firstly, I water my plant just when it is needed. Also, scheduled watering can harm your plant.
  • Again, I check my plant before watering. If the soil’s top layer is dry, I water my plant.

Humidity and Temperature Requirements

Since Ctenanthe Oppenheimiana is a tropical aroid, it needs much more humidity and a hot area than other plants. The plant grows well between 55-85 degrees Fahrenheit. And the humidity should be above 50%.

Furthermore, Always try to maintain the ideal temperature and humidity. Your plant is in danger if the temperature and humidity fall below the model range. It will start to lose leaves, and the tricolor will fade away.

Additionally, keeping the temperature and humidity perfect is crucial to growing the Ctenanthe Oppenheimiana plant. However, achieving that perfect balance can be quite a challenge. Therefore, you can follow my steps and produce a beautiful plant.

  • To keep the temperature perfect, place your plant in a warm area. You can set the plant beside a heater as well.
  • For the ideal humidity, place a pebble tray or a humidifier beside the plant. Also, you can set the plant in the kitchen or bathroom for more humidity.


The Ctenanthe Oppenheimiana plant doesn’t require fertilizers to grow well. But you can boost the growth by fertilizing it. However, you should use liquid fertilizers for your plant. That will aid in the plant’s growth. Never use solid fertilizer, as it is harmful to your plant.

You mainly need to fertilize the plant in spring or summer. But you can also fertilize your plant once every two months. Yet, stop fertilizing the plant in winter.

Soil Requirements

For decent growth, you need to use moist and well-drained soil. Additionally, the Ctenanthe Oppenheimiana plant is very picky. If the soil is not okay, you will never be able to grow a decent plant. Together with this, the plant is sensitive to waterlogged and soggy soil. Therefore, ensure the soil remains moist and well-drained to foster a beautiful plant.

I made a mixture of ready potting mix and some organic elements for my plant. The potting soil helped me to grow some beautiful Never Never plants. In that mix, I added

  • Three parts of ready-potting soil
  • Two parts of perlite
  • 1 part of pumice
  • 1 part of horticulture charcoal
  • And 1 part of sphagnum moss


The Ctenanthe Oppenheimiana plant likes a smaller space. Remarkably, the plant needs a fitting area to grow well. That’s why you need to repot the plant after a particular time.

When to Repot

Since it is a slow-growing plant, you may repot it once in two years. Also, when you notice

  • Roots coming out from the drainage hole
  • The soil is getting dry easily
  • The plant looks pale. You need to repot the plant then.

How to Repot

I will share the best repotting tips I follow to repot my plants.

  • I ensure the new pot is not 2-3 inches larger than the previous one.
  • Fill the pot with fresh soil. Gently place the plant in the soil.
  • Most importantly, I repot my plants in Spring or Summer.

How Do You Propagate a Ctenanthe Oppenheimiana?

When I had my first Ctenanthe Oppenheimiana plant, I fell in love with it. I would like to have more plants like this one. So, I chose to propagate the plant and have more like this. There are numerous methods for propagating this Never Never plant. But stem cuttings and offset divisions are the most popular.

Stem Cutting

For stem cutting:

  • Pull out the plant gently and shake off the extra soil.
  • Next, snip a stem just below a leaf node, ensuring it has at least two leaves.
  • Dip the stem in a hormone medium.
  • Plant the stem in a pot with fresh soil.

Offset Division

Offset division is also a popular way of propagation. For offset division:

  • Remove the plant from its pot and gently remove any extra soil by shaking it off.
  • Cut the offset with a sanitized knife or shear. Ensure that the offset has ample roots to support its growth.
  • Plant the offset in a fresh pot and place it in a perfect environment.

How Do You Prune and Maintain a Giant Bamburanta Plant?

An image of a Giant Bamburanta Plant with text above Giant Bamburanta and below ''.

As a jewel plant, you must regularly prune and clean the plant Ctenanthe Oppenheimiana or the Giant Bamburanta. Moreover, the yellow and dead leaves also destroy the charm of your plant. So, as soon as you notice any dead or yellow leaves, prune them with sterilized shear.

Further, the plant should be clean from the dust as well. Many bugs can attack if the leaves are not clean and fresh. So, use soft fabric and clean the leaves thoroughly.

Pests and Diseases 

Since the Ctenanthe Oppenheimiana plant is not prone to diseases, you will seldom face bugs. But if there is a lack of care, some common bugs and diseases can attack.

  • Mealybugs: Mealybugs are the most frequent pests for houseplants, as they feed on the plant’s sap.
  • Spider mites: Another bug that destroys the charm of your plant is spider mites. It makes your plant weak.
  • Root rot: The most common disease of the Ctenanthe Oppenheimiana plant is root rot. When you overwater your plant, it shows up.

Common Problems of Ctenanthe Oppenheimiana

The Ctenanthe Oppenheimiana plant is almost a problem-free plant. But still, you can notice some common problems in your plant.

  • Leaves shedding: When you water your plant less than it needs, the tricolor leaves start to shed. Moreover, it loses its charm.
  • Leaf curling: As I mentioned, the direct sun hit harms your plant. When you put your plant under direct sunlight, the leaves curl up.

Is Ctenanthe Oppenheimiana Poisonous?

An image of a Ctenanthe Oppenheimiana plant with overlay text above 'Is Ctenanthe Oppenheimiana Poisonous?' and below ''.

Happily, the Ctenanthe Oppenheimiana plant is non-toxic. Therefore, if you want to plant it in your home or office, you can grow it without hesitation.

But you must be very careful because if someone swallows the leaves, it can also show toxic symptoms. Though the signs are not persuasive, they will harm a little. You will feel nausea, vomiting, and inflammation too.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How tall does the Oppenheimiana get?

The Ctenanthe Oppenheimiana is also known as the Giant Bamburanta plant. The plant is not only giant by name, but its size is also huge. Moreover, the plant grows up to 5-6 feet. Furthermore, the plant is best for big apartments and hotels.

Is Bamburanta toxic to cats?

This plant is recognized as being non-toxic. Also, the plant does not show any toxic reaction to the cats or any other pets. But the poisonous symptoms come to light if anyone tries to swallow the leaves.

Can overwatering damage Ctenanthe Oppenheimiana?

Yes, overwatering damages the charm of your Ctenanthe Oppenheimiana plant. Moreover, overwatering makes the soil soggy and causes waterlogging. Consequently, the leaves may turn yellow, resulting in root rot.

What happens if Ctenanthe Oppenheimiana suffers dehydration?

If the Ctenanthe Oppenheimiana suffers from dehydration, you are underwatering your plant. To avoid this situation, water your plant correctly. But if you do not water the plant properly, it will turn the leaves brown.

What is the difference between the Never-Never plant and Calathea?

Both Never Never Plant and Calathea are from the Marantaceae family. So, they have almost the same nature and appearance as well. But they still have some differences. The foremost dissimilarity between the Never Never plant and Calathea is the growing pattern of the leaves. The Never Never plant grows above ground bunching stalks, and the Calathea grows from the root mass.

Bottom Line

In a word, the Ctenanthe Oppenheimiana plant care is easy , low-maintaining. The plant has tricolor leaves that grab everyone’s attention at once. Moreover, the plant is best for making any place sophisticated.

Top 5 Steps to Growing Ctenanthe Oppenheimiana

  1. Take more care of the plants in spring and summer.
  2. Avoid using tap water for the plant.
  3. Do not over-fertilize the plant.
  4. Before you water, always inspect the soil.
  5. Clean and prune the plant often.

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