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rare plants - fragrant flowers - exotic fruit

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rare plants - fragrant flowers - exotic fruit

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Date: 15 Jan 2021, Entry id: 1610731862-1

Never-never be without one!

Ctenanthe lubbersiana variegata

Stevie's Pick: what's special today?

Our exotic plant grower Steven Gowdy spotlights the most interesting plants he discovers and recommends today while working in TopTropicals greenhouses.

Year 2021 is celebrated as a Year of Variegated Foliage plants, and I have something special for those rare plant collectors. Besides exclusive Monstera variegata Thai Constellation, there are a few less expensive plants that are as much beautiful and yet fit into any budget.

Known as the Never-never plant, this beauty is native to Brazil. I think in South Florida a shade garden should never-never be without one!
Ctenanthe lubbersiana variegata has deep variegation, with branching bamboo-like stems and oblong green, veined leaves that are mottled with cream and gold. Needing high humidity and indirect, bright filtered light, it just screams tropical and fun! Ctenanthe is a close relative of showy Marantas grown for the beauty of their foliage, and also makes a great house plant in cooler climates.
In warmer climates, it can be planted as an under story plant. The plant is growing to 2-3 feet high and 4-6 feet wide, with leaf patterns of indistinct cream and green marbling. It does have a rapid growth rate and liking soil moist, but not soggy. In the winter, water should only be given when the dirt is somewhat dry. Watch out for mealy bugs, spider mites, and aphids and apply Sunshine NoBug if you notice any - they will be easy to get rid of.

Give it a liquid fertilizer SUNSHINE Robusta - Rapid Growth Booster and divide as needed.

This plant is one of my favorites. I planted a nice specimen at TopTropicals entrance gate last year, and now we finally have beautiful baby plants propagated from it, looking great!

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