Anthurium Plant & Flower Care

You might think that the different colors of red, pink, white, or purple found in Anthurium plants are flowers, but they are not! These heart-shaped flowers are called spathes, which grow from the base of the soft spike where you can find the real tiny flowers. Inflorescence, the flower of the Anthurium plant, sprout from the center structure.

Some of the common names of the Anthurium plant are flamingo flower, laceleaf, painted tongue plant, red peace lily, and tailflower. It’s native to the Americas and is common in the areas of northern Argentina to northern Mexico.

Here’s a thorough guide on Anthurium plant and flower care that we hope you’ll enjoy!

How do you take care of an anthurium plant?

There is no one rule in taking care of plants because it differs from one plant to another. For example, taking care of a Hibiscus tree is different from taking care of a Tomato plant.

The first thing you need to know about the Anthurium plant is that they are poisonous if ingested. If you have children or pets at home, keep this plant away from them. We recommend you to put it at an elevated place far from their reach.

Aside from being poisonous if ingested, the sap that this plant naturally produces may cause skin irritation. Take note of these two very important things.

Taking care of an Anthurium plant may be divided into five different topics that we need to consider. These are sunlight, water, temperature, humidity, fertilizer, and soil.

Sunlight

The Anthurium plant needs warm, indirect sunlight when they are flowering. Take note that you should never expose the Anthurium plant to direct sunlight. Doing so will scorch the spathes and leaves.

If you want your Anthurium plant to grow more spathes, you should expose it more often to sunlight. If you want the Anthurium plant to grow fewer spathes, lessen its exposure to sunlight. 

Water

Growing an Anthurium plant requires you to give much attention to the soil. When about an inch of the plant’s soil is dry to the touch, water immediately. When water starts to drain from the potholes, stop to avoid overwatering. The roots of the Anthurium plant are very delicate, making them susceptible to rot. During the winter season, it does not need much water as it is not actively growing.

If the Anthurium plant receives much indirect sunlight, it will need more water. Check the soil once every few days to ensure the soil is not too dry. On the other hand, if the plant does not receive much indirect sunlight, it will need less water.

The plant will show signs whenever it is stressed or thirsty. To find out if your plant is thirsty, try to lift the pot. If it feels light, then it is most likely thirsty. Another sign to pay attention to are puckering leaves.

Temperature

The Anthurium plant thrives the most in warm temperatures that range from 70°F to 90°F. If you are thinking of placing it indoors, don’t worry because it is very adaptable. 

What is important with the Anthurium plant in terms of temperature is to avoid extremes. If the temperature drops below 50°F, the plant will stop growing. If it is hot, the plant will wilt.

Humidity

A wide range of the Anthurium species thrive in humid weather, but the ones that flower can tolerate dryness more than the ones that don’t flower. The ideal humidity for the Anthurium flower is 60%. If it goes below that, using a humidifier is a quick way to increase humidity.

Aside from using a humidifier, putting your indoor plants close to each other can increase the humidity of the immediate area surrounding the plants. You can also try to fill a small tray with water and pebbles.

Fertilizer

Spring and summer are the growing seasons of Anthurium plants. During these seasons, apply 1/4-strength liquid fertilizer once a month to the plant. 

Measuring the fertilizer applied is very important because adding too much can harm the plant. A fertilizer that contains high phosphorus content encourages the plant to bloom more during the growing season.

Soil

In the wild, Anthuriums grow on trees, which allows them to receive a lot of water from fog and rain while allowing the water to drain fast. Allowing water to drain quick prevents the roots from rotting. 

The Anthurium plant prefers a soil that is rich, porous, and coarse. When making the soil for your Anthurium plant, consider adding one part peat moss, one part perlite, and one part fir bark. Mix these thoroughly before planting. 

Indoor Care

Indoor plants often receive less sunlight than outdoor plants, so it’s important to know which plants can thrive indoors and which plants can’t. The Anthurium plant thrives both indoors and outdoors, but they are most often found indoors due to its glossy, waxy leaves and rich spathe colors. Because of these characteristics, it’s a common mistake to think it’s an artificial plant.

If you have an Anthurium plant in a part of your house that gets little to no sunlight, you should consider placing it sometimes at a location that gets sunlight. A few hours a week should be enough.

When this plant does not get exposed to much sunlight, it is likely for the soil to dry slower. Controlling the amount of water it receives is the best way to prevent the roots from rotting and the plant from dying.

Repotting an Anthurium plant

Since Anthurium plants are common indoor plants, it’s likely for you to place them in a pot. It will come a time when you need to repot your Anthurium plant. The best time to do this is early in the year, right after new roots start to grow. 

A pot that is six to seven inches tall is the ideal size. Fill half of the pot with rocks and the other half with your soil mixture. Anthurium plants need a loose, organic soil mixture so water can drain well.

As the Anthurium plant grows, its roots will raise the level of the entire plant above the rim of the pot. When this happens, put some moss around this area to keep it moist. You can cut off the stem to level with the rim of your pot, then repot. Do this yearly or whenever the roots have raised the entire plant above the pot’s rim.

Common problems with Anthurium plants

The Antherium plant is easy to grow and maintain, but you may still face some problems while growing it. Addressing these issues is easy, so don’t worry about it. 

Too much light

You will know your Anthurium plant is overexposed to sunlight if its leaves start to look bleached in the center. Another indication of overexposure to sunlight is if the tips turn brown. When this happens, increase the shade where your Anthurium plant is. You can either move your plant to a location that gets less sunlight or use thicker curtains for your windows. 

Overwatering

The leaves of your Anthurium plant will turn yellow when overwatered. If this happens, check the drainage holes of the pot and make sure it is not clogged. It does not like to stand in water, so make sure all the water gets drained whenever you are watering it. 

You might also need to check how frequently you water your plant and adjust accordingly. The last option is to repot the plant to give some air around the roots area.

Overfertilization

The leaves in the lower part of the plant will turn yellow. The tips will also turn brown, which will gradually increase in coverage.

Applying too much fertilizer to an Anthurium plant can do more harm than good. You will have to reduce the amount of fertilizer and leach the soil thoroughly. Check the roots for any infection or damage. 

Few to no flowering

A mature Anthurium plant normally produces a lot of flowers and leaves. If this is not the case, then there could be a problem with the positioning of the plant. 

Reposition the Anthurium plant to a location that receives high levels of indirect sunlight. Remember not to expose it to direct sunlight as this could scorch the leaves and flowers of the plant. Continue to expose the plant to indirect sunlight as long as it does not develop any problems mentioned in the too much light section. 

Bacterial problems

Bacterial problems in the Anthurium plant are not rare and may happen in all parts of the plant. Signs of bacterial usually start on the leaf margins near the hydathodes, which is where bacteria enter. Lesions are the first cosmetic sign of bacteria. It appears translucent, water-soaked, and yellowish. It may take time for it to spread but will eventually encompass the leaf margin, then through the center of the leaf.

If the plant gets systematically infected, it will show signs of stunting, loss of leaves in the lower area, and yellowing. If left untreated, the Anthurium plant will eventually die.

The treatment of the bacterial problem is quite tricky. You will have to remove symptomatic leaves and limit overhead irrigation so the pathogen won’t spread to the other parts of the plant. The point is to limit the pathogen within the infected areas to avoid further damage to the plant.

Fungal problems

The common fungal problems in Anthurium plants are flower blight, leaf spot, and root rot.

A flower blight or leaf spot are small lesions on the spathe issues or the leaves of the plant. They turn black as they enlarge and are wet in appearance. In high moisture or high temperature, they can easily encompass the entire leaf or flower as these are favorable conditions for the development of pathogens. In low moisture or low-temperature conditions, they can appear papery. 

You can characterize the rotting of the roots by leaves wilting and yellowing. In the early stages of the rotting of the roots, you may see water-soaked brown or gray lesions, which can rapidly expand and affect the entire portion of the roots. When detected at a later stage, there may no living roots left, and will make it impossible to save the plant.

Fungal problems are difficult to cure when they’re already there, so the best cure is prevention. It is advisable to grow the Anthurium plant on raised benches and to use clean pots.  

Insects

Insects such as spider mites, scale bugs, thrips, and aphids attack and cause damage to Anthurium plants. The best way to handle insects is to monitor the plant closely. The plant needs treatment at the earliest stage of an insect attack. For soft insects, insecticidal soap should do the trick. For insects that have a hard outer shell, use a stronger insecticide. 

No blooming

Anthurium plants that do not bloom are either underexposed from indirect sunlight or are too young to bloom flowers.

How long do anthurium plants live?

Anthurium plants have a typical lifespan of five years or even more. However, propagating it by division lets the Anthurium plant last indefinitely.

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Should I mist my anthurium?

The Anthurium plant thrives most in high humidity. Regular misting of your Anthurium plant will help keep the humidity up. It is important to mist it every few days. It also helps if you keep your Anthurium plant in an area with natural humidity, such as the bathroom or the kitchen.

When you mist, do not use cold water but use lukewarm water. Spray the entire plant evenly to keep it moist but not soggy. Remember that Anthurium plants love water, but they do not like being soaked in it for an extended period.

It is best practice to keep your Anthurium plant in soil that is loose. This way, water will easily flow through the soil and drain properly. Remember to water the soil evenly.

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How often should I water my anthurium?

What makes the Anthurium plant an excellent household plant is that it requires low to medium amounts of water. Before watering, make sure the soil is dry. Remember that the roots of the Anthurium plant are easy to rot when it stays in contact with water for an extended period, so be careful.

If you live in a generally hot area, you can water once every two to three days. If you live in a rainy or cold area, water only when necessary. Your pot should also have unobstructed drainage holes so water can flow freely.

Anthurium plants can thrive through dryness around the root ball but still need regular, thorough watering for consistent growth. Leaving the soil dry for a few days will affect the speed of its growth cycle. It can also cause damage to the root area. On the other hand, overwatering can also cause damage to the root area and yellowing of leaves.

Common Anthurium Species

There are several species of Anthurium plants known, and they come in many colors and forms. Some are white Anthuriums, while others are pink. Some Anthurium plants have pink and green leaves, while others are Anthurium plants with red leaves.

Below are some of the common species of the Anthurium plant, as well as some information for each species. 

Anthurium Crystallinum

The Anthurium Crystallinum is a species of the Anthurium plant from the family Araceae. This species is native to the rainforest areas of South America and Central America. It grows to around 90 cm tall and is attractive with its velvety, large oval leaves. White venation is also prominent all over its leaves.

They are best grown indoors and in a position that has shade but still gets indirect sunlight. Soil that lets water pass through easily promotes growth.

This species of the Anthurium plant requires a minimum temperature of 16°C to grow healthy. They are also very similar in appearance to the Anthurium Clarinervium, which is harder to maintain because it requires high light levels and high humidity. If the Anthurium Crystallinum crossbreeds with the Anthurium Magnificum, it produces a plant with red and green leaves with weight venation.

Anthurium Andraeanum

The Anthurium Andraeanum is a species of the Anthurium plant from the family Araceae. They are native to the regions of Ecuador and Colombia and is a winner of the Royal Horticultural Society’s Award of Garden Merit. It’s also commonly called flamingo lily or red plant.

This plant prefers warm, humid, and shady climates and thrive the most in tropical conditions such as rainforests. The most attractive feature of the Anthurium Andraeanum is its bright spathe leaf and the spadix that sprouts from it. 

The spathe in this species of Anthurium plant looks waxy and is colored red. It usually measures eight to fifteen cm long, whereas the spadix measures seven to nine cm long.

Although this plant looks attractive, it is important to know that the whole plant is poisonous as it contains calcium oxalate and saponins. These elements may provoke painful irritations when penetration to the mucous membranes occurs. When it comes in contact with a human, it may cause severe blisters. If it gets ingested, it may result in vomiting, salivation, and difficulty in swallowing.

Anthurium Superbum

The Anthurium Superbum is a species of the Anthurium plant from the family Araceae. They are native to Ecuador in the tropical, moist areas of the forest. The Anthurium Superbum is also known for its nickname Bird Nest Anthurium, which derives from its rose-shaped format. Its leaves are broad and pointed with little shades of brown on the underside.

Before we discuss some essential caring tips, it is important to know that the Anthurium Superbum is a hybrid plant, which means it is the result of crossbreeding different varieties of the Anthurium plant. 

The Anthurium Superbum thrives the most in a breathable and loose environment. In its natural habitat, it grows off tree branches and moss. To mimic this indoors, use a mixture of orchid soil and regular soil. Like other Anthurium plants, the Anthurium Superbum cannot tolerate direct sunlight, so be sure to place it somewhere that receives indirect sunlight.

This specific variety of Anthuriums has two growth phases, which are the active stage and the passive stage. The difference between these two phases is the amount of water it needs. During the active stage, which is from March to September, the soil should be kept moist. For the passive stage, check if the soil is moist once every few weeks.

Anthurium Scherzerianum

The Anthurium Scherzerianum, commonly known as pigtail plant, is a species of the Anthurium plant from the family Araceae. It originated from the regions of Central America and South America. Their max height ranges between twelve inches to eighteen inches, which is ideal for people who are looking for an indoor plant that isn’t too big nor too small.

The spadix in this variety is color orange and is curly in form. The spathe is color red and has a very glossy texture to it. They usually bloom from spring to summer, where the flowers can last for weeks. The leaves are lance-shaped and grow up to eight inches long.

Similar to several species of the Anthurium plant, the Anthurium Scherzerianum is poisonous if ingested and can cause problems with digestion. If you have pets at home, keep away from them. It is advisable to place this plant in an area far away from their reach. When handling this plant, wear protective gloves.

Anthurium Veitchii

The Anthurium Veitchii, often called the King Anthurium, is a species of the Anthurium plant from the family Araceae. It is native to the rainforests of Colombia, where they grow from other trees. The leaves in this plant extend up to two meters long and appear strongly corrugated. 

Since the Anthurium Veitchii is an epiphyte, it gets its nutrients from the rain, wind, and debris that fall from the tree branches. It needs soil that is loose and well-draining. An excellent soil mixture for the Anthurium Veitchii includes orchid bark, peat moss, sphagnum moss, perlite, and activated charcoal.

The Anthurium Veitchii grows best when it gets bright, filtered light. In its natural habitat, they grow near the treetop, where they get a lot of natural, filtered light. It is important to know that direct sunlight will scorch the leaves of this plant.

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