Anthurium (Flamingo plant) - Expert tips
In this article
- How to care for Anthurium: Expert Tips for Thriving Plants
- Anthurium care: 10 expert tips for growing it successfully
- Anthurium Care Tips
- Light and placement
- Anthurium Flowers
- Anthurium propagation
- Most common pest and diseases on Anthuriums
- Anthurium varieties
- Anthurium Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
- Buy your new Anthurium at PLNTS.com
How to care for Anthurium: Expert Tips for Thriving Plants
Anthuriums (also called Flamingo plants) are known for their brightly coloured "flowers", which are typically red, pink, or white but can also be purple, orange, or other bright colours. These heart-shaped “flowers” grow on long stalks above glossy, dark green leaves. It's so gorgeous!
There are many names given to Anthurium by plant parents, including flamingo flowers, tail flowers, and laceleaf. A flamingo flower gets its name from its red and pink flowers, which are similar to flamingo beaks.
Good to know! Flamingo flowers are really tiny and are found in spadixes. Colourful so-called "flowers" are actually spathes, aka glorified leaves.
Anthuriums are popular houseplants due to their long-lasting blooms. There are not many houseplants that can bloom that long in indoor conditions. They are also easy to care for, making them perfect for beginners or for even the busiest plant parents. You can add a touch of a tropical vibe to your living room, bedroom, or study with an Anthurium. You can also bring an Anthurium to the office to liven up the space and have a unique "colleague."
Our guide will show you how to care for Anthuriums and keep them happy.
Anthurium care: 10 expert tips for growing it successfully
- Provide bright, indirect light. It is best to place your Anthurium in filtered sunlight to avoid direct sun rays that can damage its leaves.
- Make sure you don't overwater. Anthuriums are really sensitive to overwatering. Ensure that the soil ball dries out a little between waterings. If you are unsure whether it is time to water, keep the soil dry rather than moist.
- If the leaves start to yellow, brown, or wilt, this may be a sign of overwatering or underwatering. You may need to adjust your watering schedule.
- Fertilise monthly during the growing season. Feed your Anthurium a balanced houseplant plant food monthly during the growing season to help it thrive and flower.
- Avoid temperature fluctuations. Keep your plants away from drafty windows and doors because sudden temperature changes can cause them to wilt.
- Repot as needed. If your plant grows too large for its current pot, repot it in a larger container with fresh soil.
- Remove dead or brown flowers. It improves the appearance of the plant and encourages flower growth.
- Keep the leaves dust-free. Use a soft, damp cloth to regularly clean your Anthurium leaves to keep them healthy and glossy. Also, this enhances photosynthesis.
- Keep an eye on it. Anthurium plants are susceptible to pests such as aphids, mealybugs, and scale. As soon as you notice any signs of an infestation, you should take action.
- Young Anthurium leaves can be reddish or lighter in colour. There's no need to worry! As they mature, their beautiful deep green colour will develop.
Types of Anthurium plants
All varieties of Anthurium plants are tropical plants and mostly come from South and Central America. Anthurium is a genus of about 1000 species and, therefore, one of the largest genus of the Araceae family.
Anthuriums are divided into two main groups: flowering Anthuriums (flamingo flowers) and foliage Anthuriums. Flowering Anthuriums have brightly coloured waxy spathes (modified leaves) that look like flowers. Other varieties of Anthurium plants have striking foliage with big and deep green heart-shaped leaves and amazing veined patterns.
In addition, Anthuriums can be divided into two groups according to their growth habits. Some of them (such as Anthurium andreanum) grow as an epiphyte on a tree, while others (such as Anthurium antioquiense) grow on the ground.
Anthurium Care Tips
As we have already mentioned, Anthuriums are beautiful but easy to care for indoor plants. You just have to know the best way to take care of it, and then this plant will shine for a long time. Isn't that nice?
Light and placement
Anthurium plants prefer indirect bright light. Avoid spots with full, direct sunlight, as the intensive sun can scorch the leaves. If you place the plant in a spot with too little light, the plant will produce fewer flowers. While epiphytic Anthuriums may tolerate slightly lower light levels than terrestrial Anthuriums, both types benefit from good light conditions.
It is best to place the plant near a north-facing window or a windowsill that receives filtered sunlight. For an east or west-facing window, it is advisable to keep 1 to 2 meters distance. You can also use a grow light to provide the plant with sufficient light if it is not getting enough natural light. Since Anthuriums thrive in humid conditions, a well-lit bathroom is also a good choice for them.
Watering must be done with care. Flamingo plants love even soil moisture but are afraid of overwatering. It is best to water your Anthurium after the soil ball has dried out slightly. Epiphytic Anthuriums may require slightly less water due to their natural habits. Also, epiphytic Anthurium roots are thicker (and fleshier) and are more prone to root rot.
The best way to determine if you need water is to touch the soil 3-5 cm from the surface. If the soil feels dry, it's time to water, but if it feels moist, wait a few more days. Using a moisture meter will also allow you to measure it more deeply. It is also a good idea to check under the pot from time to time. If soil near drainage holes is wet, let your plant be and don’t rush into watering it. Watering can be done from the top or from the bottom. If you’re watering from the top, water until the water runs through the drainage hole at the bottom of the pot and throw away the water that has accumulated in the saucer.
You may need to adjust your watering schedule if you see yellow or brown spots or wilted Anthurium leaves.
Feed your Anthurium once a month during spring and summer. Since the plant is not actively growing during winter, fertilising is unnecessary. It is best to add liquid fertiliser to the water when fertilising. For best results, use PLNTS Nutrition plant food. To encourage flowering, you can use liquid fertiliser specially made for indoor flowering plants or orchids.
Make sure to follow the instructions on the fertiliser packaging when fertilising the plant. Fertilising too much can result in excessive foliage growth, which results in fewer flowers.
It's no secret that Anthuriums love warm temperatures! Anthurium plants thrive at temperatures between 16 and 24°C. Their minimum temperature tolerance is 10°C. Keep it away from open windows and doors, as sudden changes in temperature can stress it out.
Is it safe to take it outside in the summer (Europe)?
You can take Anthuriums outside in the summer as long as they are protected from direct sunlight and not exposed to excessive wind or drafts. Ideally, it is best suited to a less windy area, such as a balcony or a terrace. Bring the plant inside before it gets too chilly in the evenings.
Anthuriums are tropical plants and thrive in humid conditions. The ideal level of air humidity is between 50 and 70%. Their semi-waxy leaves help them tolerate lower levels of humidity, so they usually do fine with average home humidity. However, when humidity levels are low for a long time, it can cause stress. Anthurium Scherzerianum tolerates dry air the best.
If the humidity level in your is too low, you can increase the humidity around the plant by misting the leaves with water or placing a humidifier nearby. Learn more about air humidity and how to raise it. If you keep your Anthurium near heating during the winter, its leaves may turn brownish.
Occasionally, Anthurium plants may need to be repotted if they become too rootbound or too large for their current pot. Usually after every 2-3 years. You can choose a pot that is wider rather than deeper, but a regular pot will also work.
Anthuriums should be planted a little bit deeper than they grew in their current pots, or they will slowly push themselves out. You can find tips & tricks for repotting your plants here.
Both terrestrial and epiphytic Anthuriums love the potting soil that is well-draining and rich in nutrients. You can add some French bark chips (or orchid mix) to make your soil airier and vermiculite or perlite to make it retain more moisture. Epiphytic Anthuriums will also do well in a potting mix that is more lightweight, such as a mix of sphagnum moss, bark chips, and perlite.
Anthuriums like slightly acidic soil, around 6.0-6.5. If you are a more adventurous plant parent, you should know that Anthuriums are adaptable to other growing conditions - for example, you can try hydroponics.
The most unique feature of Anthurium flowers is the bright, heart-shaped spathe, which can range in colour from white to red, pink, and shades of purple. The spathe is often mistaken for a flower, but it is actually a modified leaf enclosing the spadix. Spadixes are long, slender stems that emerge from the centre of spathes and bear small, inconspicuous flowers.
The other popular Anthurium species are the velvety Anthuriums. They are also a flowering species, but their flowers are unnoticeable. The flowers and flower plumes grow at the end of long stems. Most experts recommend cutting the flowering stems to give more energy to leaf growth.
There are a few different ways in which Anthuriums can be propagated, but stem cuttings and division are the most common methods.
Step-by-step guide on how to propagate Anthurium by stem cuttings:
First, let's clarify where Anthurium stems are. The long green stalk attached to the leaf is a leaf petiole, not a stem. The stem of an Anthurium is just above the soil, and many leaf stalks are growing out of it. The Stem part also usually has some brown and dried “leaf-alike” parts on it.
- Choose a healthy stem from a healthy mother plant. Cut the stem just below a leaf node. Make sure your cutting has at least two leaf nodes.
- If needed, remove the bottom leaves (leave two leaves) and dip the cut end of the stem into rooting powder that encourages root growth.
- Place your new stem cutting into a pot filled with a well-draining potting mix or soil.
- Water it well and regularly. You can also put a plastic bag above it to increase humidity around cuttings, as they are sensitive to plant stress.
- Place the pot in a warm, well-lit location out of direct sunlight. A south-facing window is a good choice.
Stem cuttings can take several weeks to a few months to develop roots. This process can take a while, so be patient. After the stem cutting has formed roots, it can be transplanted into a larger pot. Continue to water and care for the plant as usual.
Step-by-step guide on how to propagate Anthurium by division:
Another simple way to propagate Anthuriums is by splitting your plant into two or more.
- Choose a healthy, mature Anthurium plant with multiple crowns (the point where the leaves and stems emerge from the soil).
- Remove the plant from the pot and scrape off as much soil as you can to see where we can split it.
- Look for healthy crowns with at least one leaf, but more is better.
- Start dividing plants by hand carefully. Use a sharp knife or scissors to carefully cut through the roots and separate the sections into smaller divisions.
- Split each part and ensure that as many roots as possible remain intact.
- Plant the divisions in separate pots filled with a well-draining potting mix.
- Water the plants thoroughly, and place them in a warm, humid location with indirect sunlight.
That’s it. When the divisions are well-established and have formed new roots, they can be transplanted into the garden or larger pots.
If you have more than one Anthurium plant, they can pollinate each other, and you can get berries that contain seeds. You can use these seeds to grow new plants. However, it can take several months to a whole year before the berries develop and ripen. This is, therefore the most difficult and time-consuming propagation method.
Most common pest and diseases on Anthuriums
The main pests and diseases that can affect your Anthurium are mealy bugs, aphids, thrips, scale insects and spider mites. Anthurium pest control starts with recognising the insects that attack the plant and then taking timely measures to get rid of them.
The PLNTS Doctor helps you with that! On this page, you will find all the tips and tricks you need if your Anthurium shows signs of pests.
Anthurium are beautiful houseplants that include many different varieties, each with its unique characteristics and features. The most popular type of anthurium is the Anthurium Crystallinum, which is known for its attractive, oval-shaped, green velvety leaves and the strong almost white silvery veins. Other popular varieties include the Anthurium Silver Blush, Anthurium Clarinervium and the Anthurium Hookeri Variegata.
Anthurium Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Are Anthuriums toxic for pets or children?
Yes, Anthuriums are toxic to pets and humans. Swallowing them usually causes mouth and skin irritation, stomach ache and irritation with possible vomiting. Keeping Anthurium out of reach of kids and pets is a good idea.
Is Anthurium a good houseplant?
Yes, Anthurium is a beautiful, low-maintenance houseplant, making it a great houseplant. The plant is adapted to indoor conditions and is one of the few plants that can continue to bear flowers in such conditions.
Can Anthurium plants be grown in low-light conditions?
Although Anthurium plants can tolerate low light conditions, they prefer indirect or bright light. They might not bloom as much if grown in low light, and their leaves might become smaller. If your Anthurium is growing in low light and you want to see its beautiful blooms, you may want to consider adding grow lights.
Why are the leaves on my Anthurium plant turning yellow?
One common cause is overwatering, which can cause the roots to become waterlogged and lead to yellow leaves. On the other hand, if the soil is too dry, the leaves will also turn yellow and wilt. Just touch the soil - if it's moist and soggy, it's being overwatered. If it's ash dry, it's being underwatered.
It is also possible that your plant lacks the necessary nutrients. You should ensure that your plant receives regular feeding because it will eventually use all of its nutrients from the soil. You can always assume that your plant was damaged by a pest or disease, but then there are some signs left behind. You should keep an eye out for anything suspicious and act if necessary.
Should I cut off dead Anthurium leaves?
Check for dead leaves and snip them off if needed to keep your Anthurium plant looking its best. Dead leaves not only make your plant appear less attractive, but they can also attract pests and diseases. Cut as close to the base as possible to remove dead leaves without damaging the surrounding leaves or stem.
Your plant may have dead leaves because of other issues, such as not getting enough light or water or too much or too little nutrition. So, make sure to keep an eye out for any other problems and resolve them accordingly.
Should I bottom water Anthurium?
Anthurium plants can be watered from the bottom. It has many benefits, as the plant takes up water as much as it needs directly to the roots. However, it’s important to ensure that the plant is not left sitting in water for too long, as this can lead to root rot. It takes 15-30 minutes for it to absorb enough water
My Anthurium plant is not producing flowers. What could be the problem?
First of all, not all Anthuriums bloom indoors. If you have Anthurium Andraeanum or Scherzerianum - you’ve got a flowering plant. But if you have Anthurium Clarinervium or Crystallinum - you’ve got Anthurium that does not flower indoors.
If your Anthurium is not flowering, it's probably due to improper growing or caring conditions. The secret to flowering is providing sufficient filtered light, warmth, moisture, nutrition, and love. You might also want to consider repotting it if you haven't done it in a while. You can also let it have a dormant period by reducing watering and fertilising (in winter).
Should I mist my Anthurium?
You can mist your Anthurium leaves if you struggle with low air humidity. It’s recommended to mist in the morning or in the evening, and you can mist 2-3 times per week.
Buy your new Anthurium at PLNTS.com
At PLNTS.com you can buy Anthuriums online, like the Anthurium Clarinervium and the Anthurium Crystallinum. Whether you like your Anthurium big from the start or prefer to grow them from tiny BabyPLNTS into full-grown PLNTS - buy Anthurium online at PLNTS.com.