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All About Ctenanthe Burle Marxii ‘Fishbone Prayer Plant’

Posted on December 12 2022

The Ctenanthe Burle Marxii makes a striking addition to the plant family with its perfectly oval shape and its elongated bone-like pattern pointing to the leaf’s edge (thus the name). As a member of the Marantaceae family, the Fishbone Prayer Plant requires medium care. Plus, these plants are mobile; their leaves constantly go up and down. New leaves appear like rolled-up newspaper and show off its mauve undersides!

Meet Your Match:

    • Nickname: Never Never Plant, Fishbone Prayer Plant
    • About the Family: The Ctenanthe Burle Marxii is a cousin of Calathea and Maranta Prayer Plants. They are more closely related to other species of Ctentanthe, such as the: Ctenanthe Pilosa ‘Golden Mosaic’ and the Ctenanthe Setosa ‘Grey Star.’
    • Understanding the Family Tree: Marantaceae (Family), Ctenanthe (Genus), Ctenanthe Burle Marxii (Species).
    • Hometown: The under-canopy of warm, humid rainforests of Brazil.

    How to Care for Your Fishbone Prayer Plant:

      • Watering: Keep the soil moist—water when the topsoil is crumbly.
      • Humidity: High. Place it near a humidifier or mist daily.
      • Soil: Your Fishbone Prayer Plant prefers well-draining soil. 
      • Fertilizer: Diluted fertilizer once monthly during the growing season. Do not fertilize during dormancy.
      • Environment: Keep your Ctenanthe in bright, indirect light.
      • Propagation: The easiest method is division during repotting.
      • Toxicity: Listed as non-toxic by the ASPCA. Known to cause some allergic reactions in individuals.

      The Best Unboxing Practices:

        Properly caring for your newly unboxed Fishbone Prayer Plant for the first week of its new life is crucial to the extended wellness of your plant. Follow these practices to get the best results:
          • Watering: Exotic Forest ships freshly watered plants. Do not water your Fishbone Prayer Plant until it exhibits the proper signs.
          • Repotting: Do not immediately repot your plant, which would likely result in shock and leaf-loss. Allow it to acclimate to its new environment for at least one week. 
          • Lighting: Place your plant in filtered, low light for a few days to acclimate. Relocate your Fishbone Prayer Plant to your desired location that fits its care needs afterward. Do not ever place a freshly un-boxed plant in direct sun.

          What You’re Getting:

          • You will receive a carefully selected, quality evaluated 6” diameter plant. All Exotic Forest plants are rooted and thriving. 

          What Makes Us Special:

          • Shipment Methods: Plants are precious, and we want yours to arrive safely! We ship our plants via UPS, with a maximum of 4-day shipping. 
          • Our Packing: Have you received ‘squished’ plants from other companies? Our solution to this common issue is bamboo stakes and biodegradable packing peanuts (starch), which securely holds your plant in place during shipment. 
          • Chemical-free: We are committed to keeping our plants and customers safe. We never treat our plants with chemical pesticides. 
          • Quality Standards: Exotic Forest strives to meet stringent quality standards and evaluates each plant we resource from our nursery. Pest-free, healthy plants are a requirement!
          • Customer Service: Your satisfaction is our priority. If you are experiencing issues with or have questions about how to care for your Ctenanthe Burle Marxii ‘Fishbone Prayer Plant’, reach out to us at or via our social media accounts. Are you tired of receiving pre-written responses? We believe that plant parents want to talk to people, not robots. A knowledgeable team member reads and replies to each individual concern: no cookie-cutter answers here!
          • Returns: While we do not accept returns at this time, you can contact us at with photos of your plant and receipt to discuss the specific plant care issues you’re experiencing with your Ctenanthe Burle Marxii ‘Fishbone Prayer Plant’ and possible resolutions.
          • Your Personal Plant-Care Resource: Do you love your new addition? We couldn’t be happier! Join our mailing list to receive exclusive offers, updates, and care tips.

            FAQ about Rattlesnake Prayer Plant Care:

              • How do you care for a Fishbone Prayer Plant? Humidity plays a vital role in successfully caring for your Fishbone Prayer Plant. For the best results, place this plant nearby a humidifier in a location with bright, indirect light. Water when the topsoil is mildly dry and crumbly during the growing season (spring-summer). Let the first ¼ inch dry out during dormancy.
              • What kind of propagation is best for the Fishbone Prayer Plant? Sadly, stem and leaf propagation don’t work for the Fishbone Prayer Plant. Division at repotting is the simplest method. 
              • Is the Ctenanthe Burle Marxii a Calathea? No, a Ctenanthe Burle Marxii is not a Calathea. But, they are closely related. Both gena (plural of ‘genus’) comes from the same family: Marantaceae. This makes the Ctenanthe and Calathea cousins. (They are similarly related to Maranta and Stromanthe.)
              • How do you pronounce “Ctenanthe?” Ten-Ann-Thee.
              • Are Ctenanthe good indoor plants? While you will often find Ctenanthe Fishbone Prayer Plant in tropical landscape schemes, they are great indoor plants, when given the proper care.

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