These attractive perennials are from tropical Brazil. They are related to the Calathea and Maranta and are mainly grown for the beauty of their foliage.
In cool climates, these plants should be grown in a house or greenhouse. The atmosphere should be kept at a steady temperature and humidity, and the foliage sprayed with water several times a day. Much less humidity and spraying is necessary in the winter. These plants will die if they don't have adequate drainage. The soil must not be packed too hard; firm gently with the fingers. Water sparingly until the pots are filled with roots. Their soil needs to be kept moist and shade must be available or else the leaves will be scorched. In the winter, water should only be given when the dirt is somewhat dry.
Ctenanthe lubbersiana variegata has deep variegation, with branching bamboo-like stems and oblong green, veined leaves that are mottled with cream and gold. Plant in a well-drained soil and keep moist during the growing season. It needs high humidity and bright indirect light. It is intolerant of drafts and temperatures below 60 degrees F. Give it a liquid fertilizer in the spring and divide as needed. It makes a great houseplant and can reach 3 feet tall and 4 feet wide.