Anthurium: Care, Growing Guide, & Facts
Anthurium Plant Description
Anthurium is a genus of over 1,000 perennial plants endemic to Central and Northern America, the Caribbean, and northern South America. Although they may be grown in the garden in warm areas, anthurium is more commonly cultivated as houseplants or in greenhouses because to its specific care requirements.
They develop slowly or moderately, relying on how much light they get without being sunburned.
They’re also known as “flamingo flowers” because of their distinctive tropical form. They may be planted all year and bloom all year. Colorful, heart-shaped waxy spathes and red or yellow tail-like flower spikes distinguish the flowering kinds.
Other variations have large-leaved, richly veined foliage that distinguishes them. The vivid red, green, and white hues of this plant linger for a long time, making it a favourite Christmas centrepiece.
Many anthuriums are climbers, and they all thrive in intense humidity and heat. Anthurium poisons both humans and pets. It grows up to 12 to 18 inches tall and spreads up to 9 to 12 inches.
How To Care Anthurium?
Anthurium plants like bright, indirect light, and direct sunlight is only tolerated in the winter months or in plants that have been well adapted. Wild anthuriums prefer temperatures of 60 degrees Fahrenheit or higher, with the leaf forms preferring even higher temps.
The plant will suffer if temps fall below this threshold. Rich, well-draining potting mix is preferred for potted anthuriums, which should be kept damp but not soggy. Orchid-specific potting mix with a few handfuls of sand and a few handfuls of peat moss is good.
In natural environments, many anthurium plants are “epiphytic,” meaning they grow on other plants rather than in soil. Give your plant a stake or a little trellis to climb on if it can’t sustain itself.
How To Grow Anthurium?
Anthuriums thrive in bright, indirect light, whether indoors or out. Avoid direct sunlight, since it might cause the leaves to burn.
Anthuriums like potting soil that is gritty and drains well. The optimum potting mix for anthuriums is an orchid mix with added sand and peat moss.
The soil must be kept slightly wet at all times. It should never be entirely dry. Place the pot in a tray with water and pebbles or gravel. The water from the plant may drain there, helping to maintain a greater degree of humidity around the plant.
Before watering again, allow the top of the soil to dry out to the touch. This happens roughly once a week inside. If you’re watering outside on hot days, you may wait 2–3 days between waterings.
iv. Temperature and Humidity
Every anthurium species is a native tropical plant, and simulating such circumstances will increase your chances of success. High humidity and temperatures between 65 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit are ideal for this plant.
These plants may be cultivated outside in zones 11–12, although they will likely die if temperatures drop below 40 degrees.
Mist the plant frequently to maintain high humidity levels in arid locations or during dry winter months. During the dry months, you may need to have a humidifier on all the time.
Using liquid fertiliser during the growth season is both safe and advisable. Use a phosphorus-rich fertiliser, dilute it to 1/4 strength, and feed the plants once a week.
The phosphorus-rich fertiliser will aid in the blooming process. “Weekly, weakly” is a frequent gardening idiom that refers to how often to fertilise and the strength or concentration of fertiliser to irrigate.
Varieties of Anthurium
1. Andreanum is a common species with heart-shaped leaves that grow up to 1 foot in length and red, white, pink, and variegated flowers, as well as a straight flower spike.
2. Scherzerianum is a common species with a curling orange flower spike and arrow-shaped leaves that is the most forgiving of the anthuriums.
3. Crystallinum is a less common species with deep green velvety leaves with prominent white ribs that grow up to 2 feet wide.
4. Faustinomirandae is a less predominant plant that grows up to 5 feet long and has cardboard-stiff leaves. It is virtually solely used as a greenhouse plant.
If a plant has dead or wilting leaves, it devotes all of its energy to reviving them. By removing the browning leaves, you may assist your plant focus its energy on producing new leaves and blossoms.
Trim them using hand pruners if they’re difficult to pluck. Snip fading flowers off at the root to get rid of them. If you want the plant to generate seeds, only leave fading blossoms on longer.
Take some time to shape your plant; snip off any stray leaves or stems that make it appear unbalanced. Remove only a few leaves; at least three or four should remain.
How To Propagate Anthurium?
Anthuriums let you know when they’re ready to reproduce by sending out “air roots.” Anthurium roots are plump, nearly knobby or tuberous in appearance. They’ll start sticking out over the soil level in the pot from a stem. This can happen at any time of year.
Plants that have ceased flowering or whose bloom frequency has reduced should be propagated. Here’s how to grow from air root cuttings or stem cuttings:
• A clean container, fresh, well-draining soil, and a sharp, sterilised knife or pruners are all required. If you want to improve your rooting success, you can apply rooting hormone.
• Cut out the air roots with your sharp object, or choose a stem that is at least 6 inches long and has two to three pairs of leaves. If you desire, you can dip the cut end of the stem in rooting hormone.
• In new potting mix, plant the cut end of the step or the air root. Keep the soil wet by watering it regularly. Place the pot in a warm, but dimly lit, location. It should take around 4 to 6 weeks for new growth to appear.
How To Grow Anthurium From Seed?
Anthurium may also be grown from seed, but it can take up to four years for blooms to appear, which may deter people wishing for a beautiful plant. This seed prefers damp vermiculite as a planting media.
An inch apart, lightly push the seed into the vermiculite. Cover the plant with a transparent plastic bag to hasten germination. Place the plant near a window that does not receive direct sunlight.
If the water in the plastic beads up, open one side to let some air through; the plant needs to breathe. When you observe new growth, remove the plastic cover completely.
Anthurium Potting and Repotting
It’s appropriate to repot an anthurium when it fills its container with roots and sends out a lot of air roots. This is usually required every two years or so. Transfer the plant to a pot that is only 2 inches larger than the original one.
Choose a container dependent on how often you water your plants. Overwaterers should use a terra cotta pot with a hole in the bottom that allows the water to drain.
Use plastic or ceramic to keep moisture in your plants if you have a habit of forgetting about them. You’ll need a container with several drainage holes regardless of your habits.
Fill the new container with about 1/3 potting mix, then place the plant on top of the dirt and lightly pack extra soil around the base, up to the depth the plant was buried in its former pot.
Over the next several weeks, when new air roots emerge above the soil, softly pack more potting mix around the exposed roots.
Even during winter, Anthurium will not thrive outside in non-tropical zones. If your plant spends the winter outside, bring it inside as soon as the temperature goes below 60 degrees Fahrenheit.
The plant will require a bright window, temps about 75 degrees Fahrenheit, and high humidity. This plant thrives in a washroom environment.
Common Pests in Anthurium
Mealybugs, spider mites, whitefly, and scale attack these plants in the same way they attack most houseplants. Aphids wreak havoc on leaves, causing them to become deformed and mottled over time.
It’s a symptom of an aphid infestation if you notice a trail of ants on your plants. Ants eat the sticky residue left behind by aphids. Spider mites can be identified by yellow stippling on leaves.
Mealybugs and thrips both generate mottled leaves and feed on fresh development. If the insects stay on the plant, they will fade, limp, stop producing new growth, and eventually die.
Using brief, rapid bursts of water to displace and drown insects is a common way to organically manage insects.
Horticultural soap or oil sprays, which are natural and do not harm the plant, may be effective against stubborn insects. These pests can be treated using horticultural oils and soaps.
Blooming of Anthurium
Anthuriums are finicky creatures. However, their one-of-a-kind blossoms make the extra work worthwhile. Each bloom can live up to six weeks, and they may return every several months to blossom.
It’s possible that you won’t see any blossoms. If your plant has wet soil, lacks adequate illumination, or is too rootbound. To get this plant to blossom, you’ll need high humidity and weekly feedings of a high-phosphorus fertiliser.
Other conditions may be tweaked by using a different potting mix and relocating plants from draughty windows or HVAC vents nearby.
Common Issues in Anthurium
This plant has some unique requirements, but once you’ve found its sweet spot and established a routine, anthurium is a simple plant to maintain.
Yellowing leaves: Anthurium leaves can turn yellow if they are exposed to too much direct sunlight. It is also receiving too much light if the tips are bleached and brown. Remove the plant from the window by a few inches. Yellowing leaves can also be caused by bacterial wilt. The colour of the stems and leaves may be changed from yellow to bronze.
Deep green leaves: It’s also possible that an anthurium isn’t getting enough sunshine. A obvious sign is dark green foliage. Move the plant to a more sunny spot.
Floppy leaves: Rhizoctonia is a fungus that lives in the roots and lower stems of plants. Because the young, fragile stems are soaked, they become weak and floppy.