Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Random plant event: Ctenanthe burle-marxii

For a plant in the Marantaceae, Ctenanthe burle-marxii has been pretty easy to grow, and I've managed to propagate it a number of times (by divisions), and it's been relatively unbothered by pests. Apparently the Ctenanthes are just like that -- this post, which mainly talks about growing them outdoors, says they're pretty easy-going.

Also, if you're wondering: the "c" is silent. Dave's Garden says it's pronounced "tee-NANTH-ee;" I've been pronouncing it "ten-ANTH-ee." Potato, pohtato, maybe.

No Ctenanthes are commonly-sold around here; besides C. burle-marxii, the only one I've ever seen for sale was C. lubbersiana, and it's never at a size or price I could afford to get.1 C. burle-marxii itself was never actually for sale at the ex-job while I was there; my recollection is that shortly after I got Nina, I noticed a tiny, two- or three-leaved plant growing out of the soil on the greenhouse floor, and took it home for her terrarium, which it eventually took over, though I don't have any great photos of how much it took over. I was assuming when I brought it home that it was a Calathea, and then I thought Stromanthe for quite a while; it took a long time to figure out that it was a Ctenanthe.

In any case. The point being that it hasn't been a particularly difficult plant for me, but it's also never gotten me terribly excited, either -- it does its thing, and gets bigger, and it's handsome, and I like it, but it's never done anything new. Until now.

Which, this isn't especially pretty either, but it's the first time I've seen one bloom, so it's, like, exciting on a technicality, or something. And it's blooming a lot. This photo only shows three inflorescences, but that's because I couldn't fit the whole plant in the photo and still have the background. Really it's at least six:


I should maybe mention at this point that although I'm not quite back yet, I'm expecting to slowly ramp back up to a more frequent posting schedule in the next few weeks. (I hope you want to see some pink Anthuriums!) At some point relatively soon, we'll see round 2 of the Schlumbergera seedlings for sale as well, if there's anyone interested in those.


1 I've seen them at Lowe's before, but in like 10-inch pots, which is too big. The ex-job had a couple once, also in huge pots, and for like $40, and I asked if they'd sell me a cutting cheap and they said yes but then it never actually happened for some reason. Which is probably just as well, 'cause it's not like I need any more plants that get huge.


Paul said...

Beautiful full plant you have there. Never have been able to get that lush look with any that I have tried.

Mahée Ferlini said...

Great pictures! Even the leaves on this plant are quite interesting. Guess that makes the blooms a bonus. Thank you for sharing!