Scientific name: Anthurium x (various)
Synonyms: Flamingo Flower, Lace Leaf Plant
Since their discovery in 1876, Anthuriums have become popular plants and eventually must have houseplants. These attractive plants are renowned for their striking bloom colours or more recently for varieties with deep veining, velvety texture and large leaves.
The flowering Anthurium is so popular as a houseplant that they are often considered relatively cheap and easy to find. As a result, their more foliage-appreciative varieties have become more sought after over the past few years and can still carry a hefty price tag since they are often considered ‘collector plants’. Even so, they shouldn't be considered difficult to take care of, as most Anthuriums are relatively easy to maintain.
The more common varieties available, usually a hybrid of Anthurium Andraeanum, which is a flowering variety with deep green leaves, come in a large variety of striking shades of reds, pinks, pale yellow, white and salmon. When cared for correctly, these houseplants will produce beautiful, long-lasting flowers throughout the year. Their waxy heart-shaped ‘flowers’ are in actual fact modified leaves developed to attract pollinators.
Whilst foliage type Anthuriums, Such as Anthurium Clarinervium, are adored for their delightfully silvery veined and velvety textured foliage, which can get relatively large in time. Creating a lasting impression on your interior decor.
Native to tropical rainforests throughout Central and South America, many Anthuriums are climbers in their natural settings, preferring a well-draining and very loose potting soil for them to thrive. Since Anthuriums thrive in containers, they can often be kept in the same planter for decades without ill effects and can be trained up a moss pole to support their climbing growth habits.
To grow Anthuriums to their full potential, whether they are flowering or foliage, consider maintaining their natural environment by keeping them warm and humid. Making them ideal candidates for bright warm kitchens or bathrooms. Though general living areas are just as good, as long as humidity is considered.
NOTE: These plants are considered poisonous and should be kept away from pets and children.
Common Anthurium Symptoms
- Few flowers, thin straggling leaves: are a result of too little light or lack of fertilizer. You may also notice that the leaves are becoming thin as they ‘stretch’ towards the light. Relocate your plant to a brighter position, avoiding direct sunlight. If you find that your plant has enough light, then consider feeding as your plant may have depleted its nutrient resource within the potting mix and may need a little boost to encourage blooms.
- Yellow leaf tips / Brown leaf tips: Yellow leaf tips are most commonly caused by overwatering the Anthurium, whilst brown leaf tips are caused by underwatering or lack of humidity. Examine your watering schedule, light and air moisture conditions and adjust accordingly. Beware of Overwatering which will cause root rot and leaf drop. Read up more on Under / Overwatering here.
- Diseases: Fungal and bacterial plant diseases can be a problem for Anthuriums due to their high humidity and warmth requirements. It is best to avoid allowing water to sit on the leaves and provide the plant with good air circulation.
- Pests: The Anthurium can be susceptible to a number of common houseplant pests such as Mealy bug, Scale, Aphids and Thrip. The new tender growth is especially vulnerable. Treat infestations as soon as they are noticed with a good quality organic pesticide. Read up more on Household Pests here.
Anthurium Care Instructions
- Origin: Central and South America
- Height: up to 4 - 5m. Tall flowers may need staking to keep them upright.
- Light: Anthuriums like as much bright indirect light as they can get. They will tolerate almost all levels of available light, however, the plant will grow slower and produce fewer flowers in low light. Always keep out of the direct sun.
- Water: Water the Anthurium well and then allow the top half of the soil to dry out before watering again. This will help prevent accidental overwatering.
- Humidity: The higher the humidity, the happier the Anthurium!
- Temperature: Anthurium plants prefer indoor temperatures to be warm at 22-28 °C and about 10 degrees cooler at night.
- Soil: Use a good quality potting soil that will retain some moisture and amend with chunky bark, perlite or pumice to add extra drainage.
- Fertilizer: Use a balanced plant fertilizer diluted by 1/3-1/4 and feed the plant monthly during the spring and summer when the plant is actively growing.
- Resting period: Give your plant a 6-week resting period during the winter. During this time let your plant sit in lower temperatures, less light and drier soil to encourage your plant to produce more flowers in the spring and summer months.
- Repotting: Re-pot annually as needed. The Anthurium plant doesn’t mind being a little root bound, so only re-pot if necessary. Re-pot in Spring and choose a pot that is one size or about 5cm bigger. Set the plant high so the crown of the plant sits above the soil line.
- Pruning: Prune faded or dead flowers as soon as they appear to keep your plant looking fresh.
- Propagation: Is best done via division. Divide crowded clumps when re-potting the plant. New plants should bloom in about a year.
If in stock, shop for Anthuriums here.