Anthurium is a striking plant with bright red, pink, or white blooms and glossy green foliage. The huge, heart-shaped spathes bring strong colour to indoor environments and can stay for months. This tropical, also known as flamingo flower, is a wonderful houseplant that thrives in bright, indirect light. Continue reading to discover more about anthurium plant cultivation, care, and propagation.
What exactly is an anthurium plant?
Anthuriums are tropical plants native to the Caribbean, Central America, and South America. They are also known as flamingo flowers or painter’s palettes. They are hardy in USDA zones 11 to 12 and may be cultivated indoors in colder areas. Anthurium andreanum is the most popular type of anthurium, and it is frequently offered at garden shops and florists throughout the holiday season to provide cheery colour to the festive season. However, these plants are beautiful all year and make wonderful low-maintenance houseplants.
Anthurium’s heart-shaped ‘flower’ is actually a waxy spathe, which is a sort of leaf. The real bloom is the centre spadix. Individual blooms can last up to two months and emerge all year. Red, pink, and white are the most common spathe colours, although there are also yellow, salmon, and purple varieties. When not in flower, the erect plants grow up to 18 inches tall and provide interest with their huge lustrous leaves.
Most anthurium plant species are epiphytes, which means they grow on trees in their original tropical habitat. The roots of anthurium, like the roots of orchids, hold it to the branch or truck of the tree. They collect nutrients and water from their surroundings.
What is the ideal light for anthurium plants?
Place anthurium plants in a location with good indirect light. Avoid direct sunlight since it will burn foliage and blooms. They grow in the canopies of trees that screen the light in their natural environment. There are several levels of indirect light within a home, and you want to offer exactly the proper amount, roughly 6 hours of strong, indirect light every day. Too little light might lead to fewer flower spathes and smaller flowers. The plants may live in lower light conditions, but we cultivate this plant for its spectacular blossoms, so it’s worth the effort to locate the appropriate place.
Choosing the Best Anthurium Soil
Anthuriums can be planted as a pot plant or in a kokedama, which is a moss-covered ball of soil. Potting mixes are often made up of peat moss, perlite, and vermiculite. Anthurium plants require a loose, well-draining, and aerated growth medium. Soggy soil immediately causes root rot. I’ve discovered that combining orchid mix with more sand or a handful of peat moss works well for these lovely houseplants. You may make your own orchid mix or purchase one from a garden shop or online. A coarse growth media including bark bits, perlite, and charcoal is known as orchid mix.
How frequently should anthuriums be watered?
Water flamingo flowers as needed, not on a timetable. Plants should be checked monthly for soil moisture by touching the surface of the soil. Push your finger approximately an inch into the growth medium if the soil’s surface is dry. It’s time to water if it’s also dry an inch down. You don’t want the soil to be sopping wet that the roots decay, but you also don’t want it to be soggy that the leaves droop. After watering the plant, drain any excess water in the saucer or tray.
Because of their tropical nature, anthuriums thrive under conditions of continuous wetness and high humidity. This plant would thrive in a bathroom with a shower. In a living area, you may set the pot on a tray of stones and water or keep it on a little humidifier. You may also keep a hand mister nearby to wet the greenery on a daily basis. Growing anthurium near radiators, heat pumps, or other heat sources that quickly dry out the roots and leaves is not recommended.
When and how to fertilise the flamingo flower
During the active growing season, fertilise flamingo flower plants regularly to maintain a consistent supply of nutrients. Fertilization is most effective from early spring to mid-summer. Fertilize less often throughout the autumn and winter, around every two months. Yellowing leaves, drooping foliage, and poor development are all indicators that it’s time to fertilise. A liquid or water soluble fertiliser is great, but dilute it to avoid over-fertilization. Anthurium has low fertility requirements, and too much fertiliser is just as terrible, if not worse, than too little.
Look for a phosphorus-rich fertiliser. A high middle value indicates a phosphorus-rich fertiliser. Fertilizer bottles and containers are often labelled with three numerals. This shows the product’s N-P-K ratio. N stands for nitrogen, P for phosphorus, and K stands for potassium. Anthurium thrives on fertilisers with N-P-K ratios of 11-35-15.
Taking care of an anthurium plant
Anthuriums are easy to cultivate indoor plants that require just a small amount of light and humidity. Other things you can do to keep the plants happy include washing the leaves with a moist cloth to eliminate dust from time to time. Dust obstructs light and inhibits the capacity of plants to photosynthesize.
These are slow-growing plants that will need to be repotted every three to four years. Repotting also revitalises the plant and promotes fresh growth. When the roots have completely filled the present pot or aerial roots sprout at the top of the growth media, it is time to relocate the plant to a larger container. When the plants are actively developing, repotting is best done in the spring or early summer. Choose a new pot that is 2 to 3 inches bigger in diameter than the existing container. Check that the new pot has enough drainage holes. I prefer to use orchid pots that I place in a bigger, more attractive container.
Begin by carefully removing the plant from its container. It will most likely have a thick root system. Spread out the roots with your fingers, trimming some of the longer roots. Without hurting the plant, you can remove around one-quarter of the roots. Root trimming encourages new development. Remove any rotting or dead roots using garden snips. Remove the majority of the old dirt as well. Fill the bottom of the new container with fresh growth material and set the loosened and trimmed root ball on top. Work extra growth mix into and around the roots. Push the growth mix into the root ball with a chopstick or pencil.
Pests of flamingo flowers
Check your plants for bugs every month or so. Damage symptoms may include drooping foliage, discoloration, or shriveled leaves, depending on the pest. Spider mites, mealybugs, white flies, and scales are examples of common insect pests. Many bugs may be removed using insecticidal soap, but a tenacious pest-like scale must be eradicated with rubbing alcohol.
More information about cultivating anthurium plants
Repotting is the simplest approach to propagate anthurium. After removing the anthurium from the container and loosening the roots, carefully divide the plant into multiple sections. Each portion should be repotted into a fresh pot. Another method of propagation is to root a stem cutting. Cut a 4-inch length of stem with at least two pairs of leaves. Choose a stem that already has aerial roots. Place the cut end in a container of orchid mix or a jar of water. When roots appear, pot it up.
Anthurium plants are harmful to both people and pets, therefore keep them away from children and pests to avoid accidental consumption. Skin irritation may result from contact with the plant sap.