Learn all about Geogenanthus ciliatus Care requirements to ensure the gorgeous plant stays best in its health and appearance!
With glossy dark foliage, petite size, and pretty flowers, Geogenathus celiatus earns its place as one of the rare houseplants out there. If you are lucky enough to get your hands on one, this comprehensive care guide will help you provide it with a suitable growing environment.
- Botanical Name: Geogenanthus ciliatus
- Popular as— Geo Plant, Ciliatus Plant, Brazilian Starfish Plant
- Reaches about 6-8 inches tall
- Prefers low to medium sunlight
- Thrives in a temperature range of 60-75F or 15-24C
- Non-toxic to pets and humans
What is Geogenanthus ciliatus?
Member of the Marantaceae family, Geogenanthus ciliatus is a perennial species native to the tropics of Ecuador and Northern Peru. With a modest height of 6-8 inches, the Geo plant features remarkable starfish-shaped leaves that typically measure 4-5 inches in length. These leaves showcase a rich, dark green color on the upper surface, which almost looks black, and provides a stark contrast to the deep purple hue on the underside. The texture of the leaves adds to its allure, having a smooth and velvety touch.
This tropical plant exhibits a clumping growth habit that contributes to its dense and lush appearance, making it a fantastic addition to tabletops and plant shelves.
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Geogenanthus ciliatus Flowers
Apart from its attractive foliage, what adds to the plant’s beauty are the Geogenanthus ciliatus Flowers. They are tubular in shape and have a white color with purple spots. These flowers are not fragrant, but they add a lovely touch to the plant’s overall appearance. The flowers grow on long stems that emerge from the base of the plant and can last for several weeks.
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Is Geogenanthus ciliatus Pet Safe
Geogenanthus ciliatus is considered to be pet-safe, meaning it is non-toxic to cats and dogs. However, as with all plants, ingestion can cause minor gastrointestinal upset, so it is important to keep pets from chewing on the leaves or any other part of the plant.
It is always a good idea to keep plants out of reach of pets, especially those who love to munch on the leaves or are curious by nature.
Ideal Pot Size
Geogenanthus ciliatus is a petite plant and can easily accommodate in a 4-6 inches pot that will be enough for a couple of years. You may repot it to a one size bigger container after 1-2 years if you find it outgrowing the container, or just trim the roots a little and transfer to a fresh pot of the same size. The trick to choosing the right container size depends on the plant’s root ball, which must be slightly smaller than the pot you pick.
Ensure that the pot has enough holes at the bottom to aid drainage.
Geogenanthus ciliatus Plant Propagation
The easiest way to propagate Geogenanthus ciliatus is through stem cuttings. Here’s how to do it:
- Cut a healthy, disease-free stem from the parent plant using a clean, sharp pair of scissors.
- Leave the cutting at a clean, dry spot to allow it to callous over.
- Dip the cut end of the stem in rooting hormone powder, shaking off the excess
- Fill a pot with a well-draining potting mix and plant the cutting into it.
- Water the medium thoroughly and place the pot at a location that receives bright, indirect sunlight.
After a few weeks, you’ll notice new growth. Hold back a bit on watering and provide the plant with a suitable growing environment, helping it thrive.
Geogenanthus ciliatus Plant Care
Geogenanthus ciliatus requires medium to low light exposure to maintain the sheen. This plant is naturally accustomed to the understory of tropical forests, which means it thrives in filtered or indirect light, mimicking the light conditions in its natural habitat. Bright, direct sunlight can scorch the leaves and cause damage, while too little light might result in slowed growth and a lack of vibrancy in leaf color.
To maintain the balance, place it near north or east-facing windows that get a few hours of mild morning sunlight.
Geogenanthus ciliatus prefers well-draining soil rich in organic matter, which closely mimics the nutrient-rich forest floor in the wild. A mixture of peat moss, perlite, and general potting soil can work well for this plant. Remember to avoid compacting the soil too tightly around the plant’s roots to allow for proper aeration. Overly compact soil can cause root rot and hinder the plant’s overall health.
Geogenanthus ciliatus plants prefer their soil to be kept moist but not waterlogged, which again aligns with their natural habitat conditions. Overwatering can lead to root rot, while underwatering can cause the plant to wilt and its leaf tips to brown.
During the growing season, water the plant when the top 1-2 inches of soil feel dry to the touch. Saturate the medium thoroughly, allowing excess water to drain out to ensure the root balls get enough moisture without pooling at the bottom. In cooler months or periods of slower growth, watering can be reduced.
Temperature And Humidity
Since the Geogenanthus ciliatus hails from the tropics, it likes the environment on the warmer and humid side. Try to keep the temperature between 60°F (15°C) to 75°F (24°C). Cold drafts and sudden temperature swings can stress it out.
Geo Plants thrives in a relative humidity of around 40-60%. So mist the plant with tepid water, use a humidifier, or keep a pebble tray near the plant to boost the air moisture.
The plant benefits from a balanced NPK feed of 10-10-10 or 20-20-20 for optimal growth—Nitrogen for leaf growth, Phosphorus for root and flower development, and Potassium for overall plant health. Dilute the feed to one-fourth strength and feed your plant every 4-6 months during spring and summer.
When winter rolls in, and the plant enters a slower growth phase, ease off the fertilizing. Don’t forget regular watering to help distribute and absorb these nutrients.
Pruning a Geo Plant is less about plant health and more about making it look its best. Getting rid of browning leaves will give the plant a tidier look. Sterilize your scissors, snip off any yellow or brown leaves, and you’re good to go. If you notice the plant getting a bit leggy, prune it back to encourage fuller growth.
Major Troubleshooting Tips
- Wilted or Yellow Leaves: Wilted or yellow leaves are a sign of overwatering or underwatering. Tap a finger on the top layer of the soil and adjust your watering schedule accordingly. If the soil is waterlogged, allow it to dry out before watering again. If it is dry, water the plant thoroughly and allow the excess water to drain away.
- Curling or Crispy Leaves: Curling or crispy leaves are a sign of low humidity or excessive heat. Increase the humidity around the plant by misting it regularly or placing a tray of water nearby. If the plant is in a location that receives direct sunlight, move it to a shadier spot.
- Leggy or Sparse Growth: Indicates lack of sunlight. Move the plant to a brighter location or provide it with additional light using artificial grow lights.
- Pests: Geogenanthus ciliatus is susceptible to pests such as mealybugs and spider mites. To address this issue, regularly inspect the plant for signs of pests and treat it with an appropriate pesticide if necessary. You can also use natural remedies such as neem oil or insecticidal soap.
Where to Buy Geogenanthus ciliatus Plant?
If you’re interested in adding a Geogenanthus ciliatus plant to your indoor space, local nurseries, and garden centers are a good option as they often carry a variety of exotic plants. These stores may also provide advice on caring for the plant.
Additionally, websites like Etsy, eBay, and Facebook Marketplace often feature individual sellers offering a wide variety of plants, including Geogenanthus ciliatus for Sale. When purchasing plants online, always choose a reputable seller with positive reviews to ensure you get a healthy one.