Motley ktenanta – for decorating modern interiors-Care

Ktenanta is often confused with relatives – arrowroots and calatheas. And not only because of the external similarity, but also often perceiving it as an identical plant in care. Despite the relationship, the ktenant is still different from other species of Marantovs. This plant is a true decoration of the modern interior – for experienced or ready to provide her with careful care of flower growers. Ideal ovals of leaves on thin petioles and contrasting, strict patterns make ktenants prim and somewhat “cold”. But if used correctly, this disadvantage also turns into a virtue.

Motley ktenanta – for decorating modern interiors. Farmer alivia_houseplants

Description of the plant

Representatives of the genus Ktenanta (Ctenanthe) – modern indoor plants in every sense. And the point is not only in the special colors, strict beauty and elegance of the leaves, flaunting the play of contrasts of dark green with silver or cream tones, but also in the possibilities of using plants.

Ktenants representing the Marant family (Marantaceae) Are evergreen stemless perennials, which are easy to distinguish from congeners by a limited number of patterns, a more elongated shape of rectangular-oval leaves and at least 2 times the height of calathea petioles.

Despite the sufficient variety of shape, the leaves of the ktenanti are always easy to recognize – by the absolute plane, smooth edge and almost perfect symmetry of an elongated oval with an ovoid or almost rectangular base. The leaves are large, 20 to 40 cm long, on very tall thin petioles.

The leaves unfold from characteristic “tubes”, at night and with strong shading, they rise straight up, crackling and noisy, and during the day they fall again, providing the gaze with luxurious patterns. Ktenants are very sensitive to light and self-regulate the slope, protecting themselves from the sun, indicating too high temperatures or lack of moisture – from sticking out with an edge to pressing against the petioles.

The richness of greenery colors is a virtue that makes ktenant almost ideal Marantov for modern design styles. The decorative, always contrasting leaves of the ktenants offer to admire the contrast of dark green along the edge and veins with a “solid” silvery spot between them. The reverse purple side is visible only in the raised state, but decorates the plant no less.

Ctenanthe burle-marxii
Ctenanthe burle-marxii. Farmer alloe.

Types of indoor ktenant

  • Ktenant Oppenheim (Ctenanthe oppenheimiana) – one of the largest and most famous species of ktenant. At a height of up to 1 m, it produces huge oval-elongated leaves up to 40 cm in length, which seem absolutely flat. An exemplary look with a silvery-dark green contrast of veins and leaf plate and a dark purple underside.
  • Ktenanta bristly (Silky Ctenanthe) Is a large meter-long species with narrower stripes, widened base of leaves and dense pubescence of petioles.
  • Ktenanta compressed (Ctenanthe tablet) – medium, up to 50 cm view with whitish-gray leaves without contrasting dark stripes with an almost rectangular outline.
  • Ktenanta Burle-Marksi (Ctenanthe burle-marxii) – a beautiful low appearance up to 40 cm tall with wide silvery leaves with a blunt tip and very thin stripes.
  • Ktenanta is nice (Ctenanthe lovable) – gray-green compact species, forming almost thickets, rapidly growing, up to 40 cm high.
  • Ktenanta Lubbers (Ctenanthe lubbersiana) is distinguished by a slightly more restrained growth and height – up to 80 cm, with a pale green back of the leaves and a creamy yellow-green top with predominantly variegated veins and wide white or cream stripes.
  • Kentanta marantolistnaya (Ctenanthe marantifolia) – a more compact golden appearance with compact, up to 20 cm leaves, with light green and yellow stripes and spots.

Ctenanthe oppenheimiana
Ctenanthe oppenheimiana. Farmer Maja Dumat
енанта Лубберса (Ctenanthe lubbersiana)
енанта Лубберса (Ctenanthe lubbersiana). Farmer elka52
Ctenanthe marantifolia
Ctenanthe marantifolia. Farmer Cowell’s Garden Center

Growing conditions for room ktenants

Ktenanta is good individually. It should not be mixed even with related plants or displayed in complex groups. She reveals her beauty only in solo parts. And so it is easier for her to provide “correct” ventilation.

Lighting and placement

Comfortable for ktenants will be bright, protected from the direct sun places or any partial shade. The brighter the patterns and color of the variety, the more light-loving it should be considered. Any extremes will cause discoloration, but a lack of light is easier to recognize by shredding the leaves. The northwest, north or east window and similar places are considered ideal for ktenants. For the winter, the ktenants should be moved closer to the windows (or similar measures for supplementary lighting should be taken).

Ktenants can be safely placed in the interior – within the framework of bright places corresponding to the parameters of partial shade. They feel good on the windowsill too, but do not miss the opportunity to decorate a room near the windows with green, fresh and daring large accents. The possibilities of use are only enhanced by the excellent tolerance to artificial light.

Temperature control and ventilation

Ktenants are extremely thermophilic plants. Even in winter, the temperature should not be allowed to fall below 18, and in summer – below 20 degrees. The ktenant also does not welcome strong heat, especially if the humidity of the air suffers, but in warm rooms it usually develops very well.

Ktenanta does not like rearrangements and abrupt changes, any drafts. For her, you need to carefully choose a place in which she can stand for many years.

The air around the bushes should circulate freely. In the summer, the plant can be taken out into fresh air, but only in protected, semi-shady places and when the temperature does not drop below 13 degrees at night.

Comfortable for ktenants will be bright, protected from the direct sun places or any partial shade
Comfortable for ktenants will be bright, protected from the direct sun places or any partial shade. Farmer Folia Collective

Caring for a ktenant at home

The need to maintain very high air humidity is the most difficult moment in growing ktenants. But she doesn’t like irrigation mistakes either.

Read also our article Arrowroot – very hygrophilous, but responsive to care.

Watering and air humidity

For ktenants, only soft water is suitable, best of all – purified, melt or rainwater at room temperature. Watering frequency is standard, with drying of the upper layer of the substrate and draining the water from the trays after 5 minutes. The lower the temperature, the more the substrate dries.

The plant suffers greatly when the air humidity is below 55%, does not tolerate the proximity of air conditioners and heating devices. The best option for keeping is with the installation of a humidifier or a pallet with wet moss or pebbles (without water contact with the bottom of the pot). The ktenant will not refuse from spraying supplementing humidifiers. For the plant, use fog sprayers and soft, lukewarm water.

Top dressing and composition of fertilizers

Ktenants need fertilizers only during the period of active growth. After transplanting, feeding is resumed after 4-5 weeks, in years without transplanting – from March, repeating feeding every 2 weeks. Finish feeding, gradually reducing the dose, in September.

Ktenanta does not like long-term fertilizers and prefers feeding in liquid form. It is better for her to look for special fertilizers for Marantovyh, but mixtures of macro- and micronutrients for decorative deciduous plants are also suitable. The dosage is halved.

When transplanting, the ktenant is carefully rolled over
When transplanting, the ktenant is carefully rolled over. Farmer Zach DuFran

Transplant, containers and substrate

Do not disturb the tenants unnecessarily. Plants will prefer to transplant “on demand”, as the previous container is filled with roots. And they don’t like pots that are too spacious or too deep.

For ktenants, you should choose a special, slightly acidic, loose, fertile, humus substrate with a coarse-fibrous texture. It should contain large loosening additives that you can add yourself. If possible, it is better to choose a special substrate for Marantovs.

The plant is carefully rolled over, only partially exposing the roots when dividing. After transplanting, it is preferable to keep the plant in a warm, bright place with high air humidity and water it very carefully.

Diseases, pests and growing problems

The main health problems of ktenants begin in dry air. The leaves dry out rapidly, they are pressed almost all the time, growth slows down. But no less damage is caused by improper watering, leading to the rapid spread of rot.

Ktenants are sensitive to thrips, mealybugs, spider mites. You can only fight with insecticides.

Even small parts with just a couple of leaves root easily in ktenants.
Even small parts with just a couple of leaves root easily in ktenants. Farmer Anna M.

Read also our article 5 houseplants with the strictest leaf patterns.

Breeding ktenants

The main breeding method is simple division into 2-3 parts during transplantation. The strips are carefully cut, separating a group of rosettes or individual rosettes of leaves with a sharp knife.

Even small parts with only a pair of leaves root easily in ktenants, but they take a long time to build up their leaf mass, and division into 2-4 parts is preferable.


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Anna Evans

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