Ctenantha: how to care for a beautiful woman from Brazil at home
Variegated plants enjoy steady popularity among gardeners. The lack of bright colors and the ctenant does not interfere. She is rather capricious and demanding when leaving at home, so for her maintenance requires some experience, but watching it is very interesting. It is better for beginners to pre-train on her less whimsical "relatives", for example, calathe and arrowroot.
What does a ctenant look like?
Ctenanthe (Ctenanthe), which is sometimes called the "ctenanthe" - a genus of evergreen perennials belonging to the Marantaceae family. Most of his few representatives can be found in Brazil, from where they sometimes "migrate" to Central America (Mexico, Costa Rica). According to various sources, there are from 15 to 20 "natural" ctenants.
In nature, the ctenant at the expense of large leaves looks very impressive, but even in the home collection the plant will not be lost
The name of the genus in Greek means "comb flower" (ctenos - "comb"). The leaves are uneven on the stem, and the plant “in profile” looks exactly like a comb or fan.
In nature, the ctenant grows up to 2–2.5 m in height, leaf length reaches 30–35 cm. They are located on long petioles and have the shape of an asymmetric ellipse with a pointed tip. At home, everything is much more modest - 70–80 cm in height and leaves 12–15 cm long.
Leaf plates are painted in bright green or lime color. They are covered with a pattern of yellowish, lettuce, whitish, silver spots and stripes, asymmetrically diverging from the central vein. There are also types with monophonic sheet plates, which also look very nice. Sometimes white or pinkish streaks stand out. The leaves are quite thin, translucent to the lumen.
At home, a ktenant is grown because of colorful brightly colored foliage
Watching the ctenant is very interesting. The plant is almost all the time in motion. By evening, the leaves rise, gathering in a bunch, in the morning they again fall. During the day, they also change position, angle of rotation. This is due to temperature differences in the room, the level of air humidity, the direction of air flow and other factors. It is unlikely that it will be possible to notice changes with the naked eye, but it is quite possible to hear a characteristic rustle and a slight rustle.
The shoots of the ctenanta are short, so it seems that rosettes of leaves on long stalks are on the ground. They do not grow evenly, but in "bunches."
The stalk of the ctenanta is very short, and the petioles of the leaves are long; when there are a lot of them, it seems that they grow straight from the roots
Lovers of indoor plants appreciate the ctenanth for large leaves of colorful coloring. Its flowering is definitely not the most attractive sight in the world. It is generally easy not to notice. Small greenish-white, lilac or yellowish flowers are collected in spike-shaped inflorescences tightly pressed to the petioles.
Ctenanthus flowers are very inconspicuous compared to leaves
Some gardeners recommend breaking off the buds that appear, so that the plant loses its strength on them. But if you do this regularly, you can harm the plant. Instead of young leaves, it will persistently form new peduncles, and this is unnatural for him.
A ktenant is often confused with her closest "relatives" - an arrowroot, a stromantha, and most often with a calathea. Even professional botanists, not only amateur flower growers, cannot always agree on assigning a plant to a particular genus. Ktenanta is relatively rare in specialized stores. To make sure exactly what plant you got, you need to wait for flowering, but at home this phenomenon is almost exclusive. In calathea, the inflorescence resembles a basket. Another reliable way is to do a DNA test. The leaves of the ctenantes are asymmetrical, sharpened a little sharper, but it is difficult for a layman to judge this.
Even professional botanists can’t always “find ten differences” between calathea and cetantha, let alone amateur gardeners
Species suitable for growing at home
Of the few "natural" ctenants, not everyone was able to adapt to home conditions. Basically, this is hampered by the demand for humidity. Most often "in captivity" you can meet the following species:
- Ctenanta Oppenheim (oppenheimiana), she is also a “giant bamburant”. Height - 85–90 cm. Leaf length - 15–18 cm. The surface is velvety to the touch, the inside is bright scarlet. Pattern - silver-salad and cream wide strokes. There is a breeding variety Tricolor (height 40-50 cm, pinkish and yellowish spots on the leaves). Compared with "relatives" tolerates low humidity.
- Ktenant Burle-Marx (burle-marxii). Low plant (20–40 cm). In nature, it forms a continuous carpet of leaves 10 cm long and 5-6 cm wide. They are greenish-gray, almost rectangular with wide darker stripes along the lateral veins. The wrong side is dark purple. The Obscura hybrid is bright green leaves with randomly distributed blurry spots of a darker color and a wide border, Amagris is silver-gray leaves with salad veins.
- Ctenantus Lubbers (lubbersiana). Height is up to 75 cm. Leaves of a saturated bright green shade that does not fade even in the shade and in the complete absence of natural light. Pattern - thin pale yellow strokes similar to feathers. The most popular hybrids are Golden Mosaic (slash and spots of the color of butter on the leaves) and Variegata (cream, yellow and lime stripes along the veins).
- Ctenantha compressed (compressa). It differs in very large leaves (length up to 30 cm, width - 10-12 cm).
- The bristled chtenantha (setosa). It grows to 1 m in height. The leaves are dark green with a grayish undertones. The inside is bright purple. With a sufficiently spacious pot and plentiful watering, it grows very quickly.
Photo: species of home-grown ctenants
- The bristled ctenanta has a growth rate, but only under optimal conditions
- Squeezed Ctenanta is allocated by the size of leaves
- Ctenanta Lubbers Variegata are almost rectangular leaves
- Ktenant Lubbers Golden Mosaic differs from the “parent” in spots of a lighter shade
- Ktenant Lubbers pleases the eye with bright colors
- Amagris Burt-Marx Ktenant looks very impressive, despite the muted shades
- Obscura Burle-Marx ctenantus can be distinguished by a wide border running along the edge of the sheet
- From the inside, the leaves of the Burlé-Marx ctenanta are dark purple, almost purple
- Ctenanta Oppenheim Tricolor - One of the Most Popular Breeding Hybrids
- Oppenheim Ktenant is most often found at home
How to create a plant optimal microclimate
The microclimate of the ctenant is quite demanding. In nature, it grows on swampy soils under the cover of the "canopy", which are formed by interwoven tree branches. The main difficulties are associated with the creation of high humidity. The standard 40-50%, which are supported in modern apartments, categorically do not suit her.
Table: optimal conditions for growing kenanty
|Location||The windowsill of the window facing north, east or south (in the last two cases - with mandatory shading). Ktenanta is very negative about cold drafts. Place it as far as possible from the window that opens for ventilation. It is not recommended to take the pot out into the open air; a glazed loggia and a covered veranda will do.|
|Lighting||Penumbra for species with plain leaves and diffused light for variegated. The bright light of the ctenant is difficult to bear, not to mention direct sunlight. It can exist in fully artificial lighting, if the lamps work at least 16 hours a day. The minimum daylight hours at any time of the year is 12-14 hours.|
|Temperature||During the period of active vegetation - 23–25ºС. In winter - 5–7ºС less. The plant will not tolerate “frosts” below 12-14ºС. It reacts very negatively to any changes, except for the natural daily allowance. Pay attention to the temperature of the soil (optimally - 20–22ºС), hypothermia of the roots leads to rapid death of the plant.|
|Air humidity||The higher the better. The optimal indicator is 80% and higher. During the day, you need to spray the surrounding air several times from the spray gun or wipe the leaves with a wet sponge. It is advisable to pour wet pebbles or expanded clay into the pan of the pot, put sphagnum moss or coconut fiber. They cover the soil in extreme heat. Place wide containers of water near the ctenant. At night, you can put a plastic bag on the plant or put the pot in a special florarium, a mini-greenhouse.|
Each variety of ctenantas has its own lighting requirements. It is important to find a middle ground. With a deficit of light, the leaves become smaller and fade, with an excess - they become translucent, covered with vague beige spots.
If you provide the ctenant with a sufficiently long daylight, she will feel quite comfortable in the back of the room
Transplant procedure and preparation for it
For ctenants under the age of five, transplantation is an annual procedure. Adult specimens are moved to a new pot less often - every 2-3 years. Moreover, they annually change the upper 2-3 cm of soil. The best time for the procedure is the end of spring or the beginning of summer.
The capacity is wide and shallow, similar to a bowl. Each time its diameter is increased by 5–7 cm. The best material is unglazed ceramics, the soil in it is much less acidic.
Soil is required quite nutritious, but at the same time it is well permeable to air and water, slightly acidic. A special mixture for Marantovyh is rarely found on sale, so it is prepared independently from sheet soil, peat chips, coarse river sand (2: 1: 1) and pieces of charcoal, finely chopped sphagnum moss (about 5% of the total volume of the mixture). An alternative is a purchased substrate for azaleas.
Soil for Marantovy is rarely found on sale, but it can be replaced by a self-prepared mixture, all of whose components are quite available
The transplant itself looks like this:
- Pour expanded clay or pebbles into a new pot (layer 2-3 cm thick). Above - about the same amount of fresh soil.
- Remove the ctenant from the old tank. This is easier to do if after about half an hour abundantly water the plant. Try to keep the earth ball intact.
- Trim the dried leaves. Do the same with dead and / or decayed roots. Sprinkle the “wounds” with crushed chalk, activated carbon, cinnamon.
- Place the earthen lump in a new pot, add the substrate along the edges. When finished, gently shake the container to fill all the voids.
- Do not water the plant for 3-5 days. Take particular care to protect it from direct sunlight. This will help minimize stress.
The ctenant is transplanted by dividing the bush, trying not to destroy the earthball
Video: transplant of plants from the Marantov family
Proper care of the ctenant at home
Ctenantha is a fairly demanding plant. The slightest mistakes of the grower and the lack of attention on his part negatively affect her. So that the flower does not have to suffer, you need to study the rules for caring for it in advance and follow them exactly.
Watering a flower
Watering the ctenant requires frequent and plentiful, the soil in the pot should always be slightly moist (but not wet). Wait until the soil dries 1.5–2 cm deep after the previous procedure. If the street is cool, it takes 2-3 days, in the heat - less than a day. Therefore, the intervals between irrigation are constantly adjusted.
A spray gun is a must for anyone who is planning to grow a ctenant.
Water must be heated to a temperature of 30 ° C or slightly higher. This also applies to the one used for spraying. If it is not possible to collect rain or melt water, the tap water is first defended, boiled, passed through a filter. Since the ctenant prefers a slightly acidic substrate, apple vinegar or citric acid (a few drops or granules per 10 l) can be added to it every 7-10 days.
The plant does not tolerate either overdrying or waterlogging of the soil. It also reacts very negatively to hypothermia of the root system. Before each watering, carefully loosen the soil. When spraying, make sure that large drops of water do not fall on the leaves - ugly brown spots remain on them.
Ctenanta leaves should be regularly cleaned from dust.
Top dressing is applied throughout the year. From the beginning of spring to mid-autumn, the ctenant is fertilized once every 12–15 days; in winter, the intervals between procedures are increased to 5–6 weeks. Universal fertilizers for decorative leafy indoor plants are quite suitable. The nutrient solution is prepared in strict accordance with the manufacturer's recommendations. A ctenanta does not like an excess of macro- and micronutrients in the soil. This is especially true for nitrogen and calcium. Natural organics for her is definitely not an option.
Any universal complex fertilizer for decorative deciduous indoor plants is suitable for feeding ctenants.
Video: Important Nuances of Care for the Ctenant
Pruning for a ktenant is rather a sanitary procedure. The plant does not need to be formed. It is enough to remove dried or dying leaves at the same time as a transplant.
The ctenant does not have a clearly expressed vital for her for the correct growth and development of the rest period. In order for the flower to “rest” well, it is enough to lower the temperature a little in the winter and reduce the number of top dressings (some growers recommend giving them up completely). Remove the ctenant as far as possible from the radiators and other heating appliances - they dry the air very much.Recent entries In April, I process roses so that no pests encroach on my beauties
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You should be especially careful in the cold season with watering. The plant is very easy to fill, thereby provoking the development of rot. But it is also impossible to overdry. On average, once every 5-6 days is enough.
The lighting requirements of the ctenantas do not change. In most of Russia, it will not have enough natural light, so use lamps for illumination. You can rearrange the pot on the south window (without shading) - the winter sun is not so active.
Common mistakes of an amateur gardener
The ctenant reacts to any errors in care and conditions that are not satisfactory for her, and worsens her appearance. And since its main value in the eyes of the grower is precisely the bright motley foliage, you need to learn how to correctly interpret the signals sent by the plant in order to know what exactly he does not like.
Table: how the ctenant reacts to errors in care
|What does the plant look like?||What is the reason?|
|The stalks lose their tonus, they lose their nickname. The ctenant grows slowly.||Temperature too high.|
|Leaves curl up, covered with brownish spots.||Moisture deficiency. This applies to watering and spraying.|
|Leaves turn yellow to brown.||Deficiency or, conversely, an excess of nutrients in the soil.|
|The leaves fade, dry out, the mottled color disappears.||The lighting is too bright.|
|Leaves fall off without drying out.||Low humidity or too much watering. Or the plant is on a draft.|
|The base of the stems and petioles of the leaves turn black.||Low temperature combined with high humidity.|
Coagulated coenant leaves suggest that the plant suffers from a moisture deficit
Diseases and pests affecting the ctenantus
A florist growing a ctenant will have to deal with the most common pests that feed on plant sap. Another serious danger threatening the plant is root rot. Here, the owner himself is most often to blame, who is too abundantly watering him.
In general, with proper care, the ctenant suffers from diseases and pests quite rarely. The risk of infection can be minimized by performing a set of simple preventative measures:
- quarantine for new acquisitions for 3-4 weeks;
- examination of plants for the presence of suspicious symptoms and immediate isolation of those instances in which they were detected (at least once every 5-7 days);
- free, without crowding, placing pots on the windowsill;
- regular airing of the room;
- placement of indoor flowers and bouquets as far from each other as possible (preferably even in different rooms);
- proper watering and maintaining high humidity;
- dust removal from plant leaves and sanitary pruning;
- use only sterilized soil, clean pots and tools;
- periodic replacement of water for irrigation with a pale pink solution of potassium permanganate, weekly irradiation of leaves on both sides with a quartz lamp (2-3 minutes is enough).
Table: Diseases and Pests Typical of Ktenantas
|Disease or pest||External manifestations||Control measures|
|Root rot||The bases of the stems and petioles turn black, the leaves become covered with brown spots. Mold appears on the soil, from it there is an unpleasant putrefactive smell.||You can get rid of root rot only if the disease is detected at an early stage of development. |
|Mealybug||Spots of a whitish coating - the plant is as if dusted with flour. Leaves quickly turn yellow and dry.|
For prevention, once every 12-15 days, gently apply on the leaves any preparations containing Neem tree oil.
|Spider mite||Translucent spider webs braid petioles and stems. On the underside of the leaves are small brown dots and blurry yellowish spots around them.|
For prevention, weekly spray the plant with a decoction of cyclamen tubers.
|Shield||Gray-brown rounded growths on the stems and leaves. They quickly “swell”, the tissues around them turn yellow or red.|
|Whitefly||Small whitish butterflies flutter from the flower at any touch.|
|Aphid||Мелкие зеленовато-жёлтые или чёрно-коричневые насекомые облепляют изнанку молодых листьев.|
Фото: болезни и вредители, с которыми придётся бороться при выращивании ктенанты
- Тля — на удивление «всеядный» вредитель, ктенанта тоже входит в круг её интересов
- Белокрылка питает необъяснимую слабость к жёлтому цвету — эту особенность можно использовать при изготовлении самодельных ловушек
- Прочный панцирь надёжно защищает щитовку от большинства народных средств, борьбу нужно сразу начинать с применения инсектицидов
- The spider mite is not an insect, therefore, special drugs - acaricides are used to combat it
- Листя, поражённые мучнистым червецом, очень быстро желтеют и сохнут
- Корневая гниль -опасное грибковое заболевание, вылечить растение можно только на ранних стадиях его развития
Methods of reproduction at home
Поскольку цветение ктенанты в домашних условиях — явление крайне редкое, и в продаже её семена тоже встречаются нечасто, она размножается вегетативно — укоренением верхушечных черенков или делением куста. Оба способа дают неплохие результаты.
Способ подходит только для крупных и абсолютно здоровых растений в возрасте от пяти лет. Чаще всего процедуру совмещают с пересадкой, чтобы лишний раз не тревожить ктенанту.
Чаще всего деление куста ктенанты производится в процессе пересадки
- Извлеките растение из горшка. Стряхните субстрат с корней.
- Постарайтесь расплести их руками так, чтобы разделить целый куст на 2–3 части. Там, где это невозможно, используйте острый чистый нож.
- Все «раны» присыпьте толчёным мелом или активированным углём, дайте им подсохнуть 2–3 часа.
- Высадите новые растения в небольшие горшочки, заполненные торфом или его смесью с универсальным грунтом для декоративнолиственных. Хорошо полейте тёплой водой.
- Ёмкости поместите в плотно завязанные полиэтиленовые пакеты и держите в «парниках» до появления первого нового листа. Периодически парнчики надо проветривать и проверять на наличие плесени и гнили.
- Чтобы ускорить процесс, обеспечьте яркий рассеянный свет, температуру около 25–27ºС и нижний подогрев. По мере высыхания увлажняйте грунт слабым (2–3 мл на литр воды) раствором любого стимулятора корнеобразования — Эпин, Корневин, Циркон.
Новые ктенанты довольно быстро приживаются и трогаются в рост
Видео: размножение комнатных растений делением куста
Черенок ктенанты — верхушка побега с двумя-тремя листьями длиной примерно 7–12 см. Срезают их в конце весны или в начале лета. В процессе обязательно нужно захватить часть стебля.
Черенки ктенанты укореняют в воде, в первые 2–3 дня листья могут свернуться, это нормально
- Срезанные черенки поместите в ёмкости, заполненные водой комнатной температуры с добавлением таблетки янтарной кислоты и активированного угля (на 200 мл).
- Чтобы ускорить процесс появления корней, поставьте их в домашнюю мини-теплицу или накройте полиэтиленовыми пакетами, стеклянными банками. Обычно на это уходит 5–6 недель, если обеспечить температуру 22–25ºС и яркий рассеянный свет. Не забывайте раз в 2–3 дня менять воду.
- Когда корни достигнут длины 2–3 см, с черенками поступают так же, как и с растениями, полученными в результате деления куста.
Давший корни черенок ктенанты высаживают в грунт так же, как части разделённого растения
Видео: размножение комнатных растений черенками
Из своего опыта могу сказать, что ктенанты по сравнению с калатеями более терпимы к сухому воздуху, и ещё немаловажно, чтобы растение было крупным: мелкие быстрее сохнут. Определяющим показателем для содержания Марантовых является влажность воздуха не менее 50%, в сухих квартирах с влажностью 20–30% зимой даже увлажнитель воздуха не спасает.Liloue
I think that the leaves of the ctenanta dry out due to a violation of the regime of watering the plant (first it was dried, then it was flooded, and the watering of the ctenants should be uniform). And after the transfer from the balcony to the room, many plants get sick.Natella
The ctenantha is beautiful, but capricious, I’ve been fighting with her for a year, doesn’t want to take root and that’s all! Then her leaves dry around the edges, then they are folded into a tube, then generally both. I don’t know where to put it, it grew well in the summer, and as winter comes, the vagaries begin.Julia Chelny
I have a stromantha, a calathea and a ktenant for the winter thrust into a large plastic bag, glued with adhesive tape from large bags of clothes, and they winter there. Not to know what kind of decoration, of course, but then all three are met by beauties in spring. In the bag and watering it is easier to adjust (the earth dries less), and you can not be especially afraid of drafts.Savlana
I love Marantovy for their decorativeness and unpretentiousness relative (in different species). And in general, I have more deciduous plants than flowering ones. My ctenant has been sitting for a couple of years and is growing rapidly. She comes from South America and would like the same climate with us: warm (at least 15 ° C) and humid. But that is, that is. I do not spray it, I water it regularly, but she does not like waterlogging, practically does not feed it. They say that after a transplant or landing at least a month can not be fed. The leaves are located on a long bare stalk, they can deviate from the edge, so I cut such leaves, and if you have so few of them, tie them unnoticed by a thread. There is only one drawback - it collects dust on the leaves. Droplets may appear on the underside of the leaf, as if sugar syrup. This is not scary, but there may have been an overflow or other reasons. Lighting loves moderate, in the winter it stood on the north window, since I have opaque tulle and the eastern side mainly, and inside the plants can be inhibited in winter. It burns in the sun. I noticed that it was better not pebble, but peat (I tried both the one and the other). In peat growing faster. I plant by dividing the bush. But you can, they say, cut off at the base a rosette of leaves of small height, just below the place where the leaves are attached. It is placed in water until roots are formed, or immediately into the ground. It’s easier, of course, to pull out a small one, even if there are few roots, it will take root. And its undoubted value for me is that it is a very interior plant, tall, if there is a place to place the pot on the floor - it will turn out very effectively. Love her. Feel free to start!Mari25
A ctenanthe or a ctenanta (personally, the latter is somehow closer to me) is a rather unpretentious plant, it is beautifully with its unusual, colorful coloring of its leaves. The variety of coloration of the leaves of the ctenantas is huge. The leaves can be with silver streaks, with yellow streaks, with a purple border, as well as with a purple edge. For all the years of cultivation of flowering from the ctenanta, I did not achieve it, but the appearance of the plant was pleasing to the eye. It multiplies by dividing the bush. When transplanting into a larger pot, just pinch a separate bush from the total mass, or divide the entire plant into many small bushes (depending on how many new plants you want to get). A separate bush already has from 2 to 4 leaves and normally developed roots. Immediately plant it in a separate pot of earth. Do not forget to water immediately! Soil for him is better to take fatter. Clay or sandy loam from the yard will not work. It is better to buy in a store or dig in the country. Watering is daily, but it is impossible to flood. The bright direct rays of the sun the ctenant does not tolerate. Place the flower pot on the windowsill of the north window. If the plant liked your care for it, it begins to scrub. And he does it pretty quickly. Pretty soon, the entire pot of earth will be filled with new shoots, and you will have a lush bush. There will also be plenty of roots in the pot, and the plant will begin to “choke” itself. Therefore, it often needs to be transplanted into a larger pot or to separate part of the new bushes, distributing to friends. That is exactly what I did. I will recommend it for breeding as a very beautiful and unpretentious plant.Sardanapalova bomba
I first saw this flower a few years ago with my mother. Then he was a small nondescript plant, nothing special. About a year passed, the plant grew, more leaves appeared, became tall. You go into the room and the first thing that catches your eye is a ktenant. She took a small process planted, began to wait. And in the spring it started, the flower grew by leaps and bounds, with each week it became higher, more magnificent. The temperature for maintenance should be 20–25ºС, in winter at least 16ºС. The plant does not like drafts. The shade is hardy, but on dark windows the leaves of the plant lose their bright color, loves plentiful watering.Annushka100
A ctenantha is not an option for those who cannot give enough attention to green pets. This plant requires careful care and the implementation of all recommendations. But floriculturists who manage to “make friends” with an unusual exotic flower, its bright motley greens will invariably raise their spirits not only with their appearance, but also as a reason for legitimate pride.