Anthurium Plant & Flower Care

You might think that the different colors found in Anthurium plants are flowers, but they are not! The various shades of red, white, and purple aren’t flowers. These heart-shaped flowers are called spathes. They grow from the base of the soft spike, where you can find the real tiny flowers. The inflorescence sprouts its flower from the center structure.

Common names are flamingo flower, laceleaf, painted tongue, red peace lily, and tailflower. It’s native to the Americas and is common from northern Argentina to northern Mexico.

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

Anthurium plant in the wild

How do you take care of it?

There is no one rule in taking care of plants because it differs from one variety 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 it is that they are poisonous if ingested. If you have children or pets, keep them away from them at home. This includes cats and dogs. We recommend putting it at an elevated place far from their reach.

Caring for it
SunlightWaterTemperature
HumidityFertilizerSoil

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

Taking care of one of these may be divided into five different topics that we need to consider. We’ll go through the various sections from the table above.

Sunlight

They need warm, indirect sunlight when they are flowering. Please take note that you should never expose it to direct sunlight. Doing so will scorch the spathes and leaves.

If you want yours to grow more spathes, you should expose it more often to sunlight. If you want it to grow fewer spathes, lessen its exposure to sunlight. 

Water

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

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

They will show signs whenever it is stressed or thirsty. To find out if it 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

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

Humidity

A wide range of their species thrives in humid weather. The ones that flower can tolerate dryness more than those that don’t flower. The ideal humidity is 60%. Using a humidifier is a quick way to increase humidity if it goes below that.

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

Fertilizer

Spring and summer are the growing seasons for them. During these seasons, apply 1/4-strength liquid fertilizer once a month. 

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

all-round fertilizer

Soil

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

It prefers soil that is rich and porous. When making the soil, consider adding the following:

  • one part peat moss
  • one part perlite
  • and one part fir bark

Mix these thoroughly before planting. 

Indoor Care

girl holding up an Anthurium plant

Indoor plants often receive less sunlight than outdoor ones. It’s important to know which can thrive indoors and which ones can’t. It thrives indoors and outdoors. They are most often found indoors due to their 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 put one in a part of your house that gets little to no sunlight, sometimes place it at a location that gets sunlight. A few hours a week should be enough.

When it 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

Since they are common indoor varieties, you will likely place them in a pot. It will come a time when you need to repot it. The best time to do this is early in the year, right after new roots 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. They need a loose, organic soil mixture so water can drain well.

As it grows, its roots will raise the level of the entire plant above the rim of the pot. Put some moss around this area to keep it moist when this happens. 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.

pruner

The best way to make an Anthurium bloom is to provide the best conditions by following the steps below:

How do I get my Anthurium to bloom?

  1. Ensure fertile and well-drained soil.

  2. Ensure the input of an optimal amount of indirect light.

  3. Water the soil constantly during the growing season, but avoid soaking it with water.

  4. Spray the leaves with water several times a week to avoid lowering the humidity level.

  5. Place the plant in an area of the house where the temperature varies between 70 and 90 degrees Fahrenheit.

potting soil

Common problems

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

Common problems
Too much lightOverwateringOverfertilization
Little to no floweringBacterial problemsFungal problems
InsectsNo blooming 
Anthurium plant

Too much light

You will know it 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 plant is. You can either move it to a location that gets less sunlight or use thicker curtains for your windows. 

Overwatering

The leaves will turn yellow when overwatered, just like you experience cucumbers. If this happens, check the pot’s drainage holes 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 water it. 

You might also need to check how frequently you water them and adjust accordingly. The last option is to repot it to the air around the roots.

Overfertilization

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

Applying too much fertilizer to them 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. 

Little to no flowering

A mature one 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 it to a location that receives high levels of indirect sunlight. Remember not to expose it to direct sunlight. It will scorch the leaves and flowers. Continue to expose it to indirect sunlight as long as it does not develop any problems mentioned in the too much light section. 

Bacterial problems

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

If it gets systematically infected, it will show signs of stunting. Loss of leaves in the lower area and yellowing are also signs to look out for. If left untreated, it will eventually die.

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

Fungal problems

The common fungal problems they usually experience are flower blight and leaf spot. Watch out for root rot as well.

A flower blight or leaf spot are small lesions on the spathe issues or the plant’s leaves. They turn black as they enlarge and are wet in appearance. They can easily encompass the entire leaf or flower in high moisture or high temperature. High-moisture areas are favorable conditions for developing 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. It can rapidly expand and affect the entire portion of the roots. When detected later, there may be no living roots left. It 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 it on raised benches and to use clean pots.  

Insects

Insects such as spider mites and scale bugs attack and cause damage. Thrips and aphids could also cause problems. The best way to handle insects is to monitor the plant closely. It 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

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

How long do they live?

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

We also recommend checking out some of our other resources, like those on plasma cutters and wide belt sanders.

Should I mist it?

It thrives most in high humidity. Regular misting of it will help keep the humidity up. It is important to mist it every few days. It also helps if you keep it 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 these love water, but they do not like being soaked in it for an extended period.

It is best practice to keep it in loose soil. Water will easily flow through the soil and drain properly. Remember to water the soil evenly.

Please also read our article on ThermoKing and common fault codes consumers encounter.

How often should I water it?

What makes it an excellent household option is that it requires low to medium amounts of water. Before starting, make sure the soil is dry. Remember that the roots rot easily when it stays in contact with water for an extended period. Be careful!

If you live in a generally hot area, you can do it 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 it can flow freely.

They 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. Overwatering can also cause damage to the root area and yellowing of leaves.

Beautiful Anthurium plant

Common Species

Several species are known, and they come in many colors and forms. Some are white, while others are pink. Some have pink and green leaves, while others have red leaves.

Below are some of the common species and some information for each species. 

Crystallinum

Crystallinum is a species of the Araceae family. 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 shade position but get indirect sunlight. Soil that lets water pass through easily promotes growth.

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

Andraeanum

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

It prefers warm and humid but shady climates and thrives the most in tropical conditions such as rainforests. The most attractive feature of the Andraeanum is its bright spathe leaf and the spadix that sprouts from it. 

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

It may look 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 into 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 a range of symptoms. Some of them include vomiting and difficulty swallowing.

Superbum

The Superbum is a species of the Araceae family. They are native to Ecuador in the tropical, moist areas of the forest. The 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 discussing essential caring tips, it is important to know that the Superbum is a hybrid plant. It means it results from crossbreeding different varieties. 

The 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 species, the Superbum cannot tolerate direct sunlight. Be sure to place it somewhere that receives indirect sunlight.

This specific variety 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, the soil should be kept moist. It is from March to September. Check if the soil is moist once every few weeks for the passive stage.

Scherzerianum

The Scherzerianum variant is commonly known as pigtail. It is 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. It is ideal for people looking for an indoor plant that isn’t too big or 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 other species, it 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 it in an area far from their reach. When handling it, wear protective gloves.

Veitchii

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

The Veitchii is an epiphyte. It gets nutrients from the rain, wind, and debris from tree branches. The soil has to be loose and well-draining. An excellent soil mixture for the Veitchii includes:

  • orchid bark
  • peat moss
  • sphagnum moss
  • perlite
  • and activated charcoal.

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

Does an Anthurium like sun or shade?

This type of plant prefers light to shade.

During the flowering process, Anthurium needs indirect light to grow optimally.

But too much light can do more harm than good.

Therefore, exposure of this plant to direct light sources should be avoided.

Direct exposure to light can cause rapid leaf degradation.

Is the Anthurium plant good for indoors?

Fortunately, Anthurium is a plant that withstands living inside a home.

People prefer to keep this plant inside the house because of the shiny and waxy appearance that its leaves display.

Due to these characteristics of its leaves, many people consider that its appearance resembles that of an artificial plant.

How do you keep Anthuriums blooming?

To keep this plant in a flowering state, you need to make sure that it has enough indirect light.

Otherwise, it will not be able to bloom at all.

How long do Anthurium plants live?

An Anthurium that has been properly cared for can live up to 5 years or even longer.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.