Ctenanthe pilosa cv. Golden Mosaic (Golden Variegated Ctenanthe)
There were numerous plants for sale at the nearby nursery, but we spotted only one plant of this beauty in a poly bag in late February, 2014. It appeared to be so unhappy and eagerly waiting to be embraced by us.
Moreover, we’re positive that it would definitely be happy at our courtyard where mostly variegated plants that love semi-shade reside in.
Plant Profile, Culture and Propagation :
- Botanical Name: Ctenanthe pilosa cv. Golden Mosaic (Ctenanthe pilosa is a synonym of Ctenanthe marantifolia)
Golden Variegated Ctenanthe
- Family name: Marantaceae
- Etymology: Not available.
- Origin: Ctenanthe pilosa is native to Brazil in tropical South America. ‘Golden Mosaic’ on the other hand is a cultivar.
- Plant type: An evergreen perennial and ornamental plant.
Ctenanthe pilosa is a species of the genus Ctenanthe that comprises of about 16 species of flowering plants and are popularly grown for their often strikingly beautiful variegated foliage.
It is a herbaceous and evergreen perennial that grows approximately between 50-90 cm tall or more and spreads as wide.
A fast-growing and clump-forming plant that spreads via its stoloniferous root system underground. This species in its native habitat has dark green leaves.
On the other hand, the cultivar named Ctenanthe pilosa ‘Golden Mosaic’ has bold foliage variegation. Its leaf surfaces are dramatically speckled or mottled in creamy white or creamy lime and dark green. Leaves underside is lighter in colour.
Do not be surprised that occasionally the leaf blades may return to their species’ dark green form,
while some leaves may have lighter green markings sandwiched between the dark green.
Their papery leaves are oblong- or elliptic-shaped with a short-acuminate-falcate apex. Leaf blades come in varying sizes, small to medium and the larger ones are about 18 cm long and 7 cm wide.
Leaves are smooth-textured and glossy, with an entire margin.
It is characterized with a caulescent habit where the plant throws out long and stiff stems that are topped with a cluster of 2-12 leaves on each stem. These are arranged in a fan-like manner, with a lovely geometric design.
Like many species of the Marantaceae family, Ctenanthe pilosa has the characteristic feature of folding up their leaves at dusk to dawn by means of the tiny geniculum, an angular knee-like joint connecting it to the petiole, resembling hands put together in prayer.
And, in the morning the leaves will return to normal position, that is, almost perpendicular to the petioles.
Ctenanthe pilosa is known to produce inflorescences. When home-grown, the plant rarely produces flowers. However, it is greatly admired for its exquisite ornamental foliage instead.
Culture (Care): Ctenanthe pilosa ‘Golden Mosaic’ can be easily grown with a little extra care.
Light: Bright light indoors or filtered sunlight to semi-shade for best growth and foliage coloration. Never leave them in direct sunlight that will bleach or scorch their leaves.
Moisture: Moderate water needs. Keep soil constantly moist but never water-logged. Best to water with rain water or tepid water.
Soil: Humus-enriched and loamy soils that can retain water, yet free draining.
Remove withered or scorched leaves. Avoid drafts and low or cool temperatures. Provide adequate warmth and humidity. Mist the plant regularly or stand potted houseplant in a saucer of pebbles filled with water to just below the base of pot. Feed once a month with a balanced fertilizer for foliage houseplants. Generally free from serious pests and diseases but mealy bugs and spider mites can be a problem occasionally.
For subtropical and temperate regions: Hardiness: USDA Zone 10a – 11. Ctenanthe pilosa plants are frost tender. For non-hardy regions, best to grow it as houseplants indoors or in a greenhouse. Keep them in a draft-free position, with constant, moderate to high temperatures as warmth is essential. Humidity is required too, so mist the plants regularly or stand them on a shallow tray of pebbles and fill with water to just below the base of the pot. At lower temperatures, water sparingly and allow soil surface to dry between waterings.
Feed once monthly with a balanced liquid fertilizer for foliage houseplants except during winter.
- Propagation: By division or carefully separating the plants intact with the stoloniferous roots.
Usage: Ctenanthe pilosa ‘Golden Mosaic’ or Golden Variegated Ctenanthe makes great ornamental houseplants in homes or conservatories.
They are excellent for container gardening or raised planters and add beauty when located at the patio, deck or courtyard.
Its bold variegated foliage provides colour and variety when situated amongst a crowd of other plants or will be a stunner in the right surroundings.
Ideal to be grown outdoors in the garden borders and beds.
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Last edit: June 15, 2016