Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Never-Never Plant, Oppenheim's Ctenanthe
Ctenanthe oppenheimiana

Family: Marantaceae
Genus: Ctenanthe (tee-NANTH-ee) (Info)
Species: oppenheimiana (o-pen-hiem-ee-AY-na) (Info)

One member has or wants this plant for trade.

Tropicals and Tender Perennials

18-24 in. (45-60 cm)

15-18 in. (38-45 cm)

USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)
USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)
USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Sun Exposure:
Partial to Full Shade

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:

Bloom Time:

Grown for foliage

Other details:
This plant is suitable for growing indoors

Soil pH requirements:
Unknown - Tell us

Patent Information:
Unknown - Tell us

Propagation Methods:
Unknown - Tell us

Seed Collecting:
Unknown - Tell us

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1 positive
1 neutral
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive joshz8a On Mar 27, 2009, joshz8a from z8a, AL (Zone 8a) wrote:

I've grown this plant indoors (not the tricolor cultivar) and find it easy to care for. Probably 10 years old and the 10" pot needs dividing, adding fresh soil about every 4 years. Does well in good light but doesn't require window space, just nearby. Lovely plant.

Neutral macybee On Dec 1, 2007, macybee from Deer Park, TX (Zone 9a) wrote:

Around 15 species belong to this genus of tropical plants closely related to Maranta and Calathea, all but one of them native to Brazil (the exception is a native of Costa Rica).They are evergreen perennials or subshrubs with short rhizomes; the taller species produce forking, somewhat bamboo-like aerial stems with a single leaf at each node. The rather leathery, lance-shaped or almost oblong leaves are borne on slender stalks which broaden into sheathing bases. The flowers are borne in spikes with tightly overlapping bracts and are not showy.
Also from Brazil, this widely grown species is normally about 18" high but can grow taller under good conditions. Its 10-12" long leaves are oblong and have a herringbone pattern of broad grayish bars on a dull green background, with dull red undersides. Most commonly grown is the cultivar 'TRICOLOR' with irregular blotches of creamy yellow on its leaves; the red undersides give it a reddish glow from above.
ZONES: 10-12
Cultivation: Several species are widely grown as indoor foliage plants, or in frost-free climates they are easily grown outdoors in the shade of trees, requiring protection from drying winds. Indoors they require bright to moderate light but direct sunlight may cause the leaves to curl. They need ample water during the growing season and dislike low humidity. Propagation is usually from basal offshoots.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Phenix City, Alabama

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