The Habitat
Share to PinterestHow To Grow Your Own Anthurium

How To Grow Your Own Anthurium

By Staff Writer
Share to PinterestHow To Grow Your Own Anthurium

Anthuriums go by many names. The flamingo flower sounds dynamic and festive, and the Hawaiian love plant makes us think of a summer fling. This popular house plant has gone through ups and downs over the years—it went through an unfair phase of being called tacky, but that moment has thankfully passed.

You can easily grow these gorgeous plants that produce spathes throughout the year. They hail from the Caribbean, Central America, and South America and will add a hint of the jungle to your home's interiors.


Bringing your anthurium home

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Healthy anthuriums have firm, green, shiny leaves and glossy spathes with sturdy spikes. These spathes or bracts are not flowers but contain flowers. They should be brightly colored—red and pink are common. When looking for an anthurium to purchase, the foliage should be unblemished—spots are a sign of sun or cold damage.

Avoid specimens that are droopy or have odd-smelling soil.


Planting your anthurium

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Place your anthurium in an 8-inch plastic or terracotta pot with drainage holes. A clear nursery pot can help you observe the roots. Although it's better to plant in a shallow pot, anthuriums are not too fussy if they have good drainage. The soil should be rich in organic matter.


A healthy start: sunlight requirements for anthuriums

Share to PinterestHouse plant red Anthurium in modern white flower pot on a wooden console under sunlight and shadows on a white gray wall. Biophilia in minimalist Scandinavian style living room design.
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Anthuriums enjoy the brightness and heat provided by indirect sunlight—direct sun can burn the plant. Indoor temperatures around 60ºF should be fine, but your anthurium will thrive if it's warmer than that (up to 85ºF) inside your home. Pop it about five feet away from an east or south-facing windowsill, and don't place it near a heater in winter.


A healthy start: watering

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Soil is your anthurium's anchor and foundation. It shouldn't be soaked, so water gently to keep the soil moist. You can hydrate your plants about once a week. Stick your finger in the pot, and when the top inch is dry, go in with some H2O.

Yellowing leaves can be a sign of overwatering—water less frequently and see how the plant responds.


A healthy start: humidity levels

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Because anthuriums are tropical plants, they thrive in humid conditions. If you live in a dry climate, daily mistings will make your anthurium think it's in the rainforest. Alternatively, if your plant lives in a room of its own or others of its kind, switch a humidifier on. The room should be at 80% humidity—you can use a hygrometer to check.


A healthy start: special nutrients

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Don't be overzealous with fertilizer, especially when you've just planted your anthurium. Applying fertilizer can result in better growth and richer color. A slow-release 3:1:2 fertilizer should do the trick, but you'll want to dilute it to a quarter of its strength and use it according to the package instructions.

Fertilize weekly throughout the growing season.


Healthy growth: pruning your anthurium

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You don't want your anthurium to waste its precious resources on dying leaves. Prune brown leaves off with sterile secateurs and snip faded flowers at the base of the stem. Top-cut a leggy anthurium and shape your plant for a balanced look, but don't go overboard.


Healthy growth: repotting your anthurium

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Monitor your anthurium to see whether it needs to be moved to a larger pot. Air roots are a good indicator it's time to up-size. Pick a vessel that's two inches larger, fill it a third of the way with potting mix, and gently place the plant inside.

Water your anthurium's new home lightly to help it settle. There's no need to transfer your plant more frequently than every two years.


Can I propagate my anthurium?

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Anthuriums can be divided for propagation. You can multitask while repotting, or propagate using stem cuttings or air root cuttings. Use sterilized pruners to cut off a 6-inch stem with leaves, or a few air roots.

Dip the cut side in rooting hormone and plant it in fresh potting soil. Water, provide a cozy spot, and wait six weeks.


Common diseases

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Plant enthusiasts come up against a few diseases with their anthuriums. The plant is prone to developing bacterial and fungal issues. Bacterial blight, for example, can result in death. Black nose disease leads to a darkening spike. The best way to prevent most issues like this is to be really careful not to overwater your plant without adequate drainage.


Common pests

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Pests that can affect your anthurium include thrips, mealy bugs, spider mites, scale, whiteflies, and aphids. They can cause various symptoms, including yellow, shriveled leaves. Take care of a pest problem by spraying the insects off with cold water. Use a pesticide as a backup measure.


Displaying your anthurium

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You have so many options when it comes to this beautiful indoor plant. Pick a color that suits your decor and pop it in your bathroom or living room. Give it a boost by placing it atop a side table, or leave it on the ground. You can even hang your anthurium or create a floral arrangement with greenery and a neutral vase.


Similar plants

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The peace lily is another low-maintenance plant with a spathe. They clean the air just like anthuriums do, but they're more common than white anthuriums if you're working with a neutral palette. Philodendrons are a lovely vining alternative, too, if you like the trailing aesthetic.


Cautions and additional information

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All the above-mentioned plants are toxic to various degrees. Chewing any part of the anthurium causes an uncomfortable burning sensation, as well as blistering and swelling, and your pet or child's breathing could become impeded, requiring urgent medical attention. In addition, contact with the plant's sap can irritate the eyes and skin.

Keep this option up and out of the way of curious snackers, or opt for alternatives if you have a particularly monkey-like cat.


Varieties of anthurium

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There are more than 800 species of anthurium. Some are known for their blooms, while others are favored for foliage. A. andraeanum and A. scherzerianum have colorful, long-lasting spathes. A. clarinervium and A. crystallinum have large leaves with interesting markings.

Other varieties to try indoors include Superbum, which grows up to four feet tall, or Veitchii, with its leathery texture.


Soil composition is crucial for anthuriums

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The foundation of a thriving anthurium lies in its soil. A well-balanced mix of peat moss, perlite, and vermiculite offers the ideal environment. This blend ensures optimal moisture retention and drainage, preventing root rot while supplying essential nutrients. When repotting or planting, always choose this combination to give your anthurium the best chance at a long, healthy life.


Avoiding direct sunlight protects your plant

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Anthuriums have a love-hate relationship with sunlight. While they thrive in bright conditions, direct sun can harm them. Position your plant near a window with filtering curtains to protect it from the sun's intensity. This setup ensures the plant gets the light it needs without the risk of leaf burn.


Maintaining a specific temperature range is key

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Originating from tropical regions, anthuriums have a preference for temperatures between 60 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit. It's essential to monitor indoor temperatures, especially during seasonal changes. A consistent temperature within this range ensures the plant's vitality, promoting lush growth and vibrant blooms.


Choose the right fertilizer for each growth stage

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Anthuriums' nutritional needs vary with their growth stages. During leafy growth spurts, a nitrogen-rich fertilizer is ideal. However, when it's blooming time, a phosphorus-heavy feed is more appropriate. By adjusting the fertilizer type according to the plant's stage, you ensure it receives the right nutrients at the right time, leading to optimal health and beauty.


Selecting the right pot promotes healthy growth

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The pot you choose plays a pivotal role in your anthurium's well-being. A container 1-2 inches larger than the current one, equipped with sufficient drainage holes, is ideal. This allows the roots ample space to grow and ensures excess water drains away, preventing potential root diseases and promoting robust growth.



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