Ctenanthe oppenheimiana Revealed: A Concise Exploration of the Distinctive Never Never Plant

December 04, 2023

Ctenanthe oppenheimiana Revealed: A Concise Exploration of the Distinctive Never Never Plant

Ctenanthe oppenheimiana, also recognized as the Never Never Plant or the Fishbone Prayer Plant, falls within the Marantaceae family and is indigenous to Brazil. This alluring plant has gained popularity among indoor gardening enthusiasts due to its distinctive foliage and unique growth patterns. As part of Sunshine Horticulture's 2024 lineup of new plants, we trust this overview will be informative.


The standout feature of Ctenanthe oppenheimiana lies in its splendid foliage. Characterized by large, lance-shaped leaves adorned with intricate patterns of light and dark green, reminiscent of fishbones, this plant adds a captivating touch to any indoor setting.

Growth Habit:

Ctenanthe oppenheimiana adopts a clump-forming growth pattern, creating a bushy appearance. With a moderate height, it suits both tabletops and floor displays, making it an excellent choice for those seeking to infuse a hint of tropical elegance into their homes.

Prayer Plant Movement:

Similar to its counterparts in the Marantaceae family, Ctenanthe oppenheimiana displays nyctinasty—a behavior where its leaves respond to light variations by folding upward in the evening, resembling a prayer pose, and unfolding during the day. This dynamic characteristic adds an interactive dimension to the plant.

Light and Temperature Requirements:

Thriving in bright, indirect light, Ctenanthe oppenheimiana should be shielded from direct sunlight to prevent leaf scorching. Preferring warm and humid conditions, it is well-suited for indoor environments, with an ideal temperature range of 65-75°F (18-24°C).


Maintaining consistent soil moisture without waterlogging is crucial. To prevent root rot, allow the top inch of soil to dry between waterings. Using lukewarm water aids in preserving the plant's preferred temperature and humidity levels.

Soil and Fertilization:

Ctenanthe oppenheimiana flourishes in well-draining, peat-based potting mix. Regular fertilization during the growing season, using a balanced, water-soluble fertilizer, promotes healthy growth.


Typically propagated through division, Ctenanthe oppenheimiana can be separated into individual stems as the plant matures, creating new plants. Alternatively, opt for our tissue culture-produced plants, ready to go in a 2-inch liner.

In conclusion, Ctenanthe oppenheimiana stands out as a captivating indoor plant renowned for its decorative foliage, distinctive movement, and manageable care requirements. Its striking appearance and convenient size make it a preferred choice for plant enthusiasts aiming to elevate the aesthetic charm of their indoor spaces.