Anthuriums are a favorite among flower enthusiasts and gardeners for their ornamental foliage (leaves) in distinct shapes and flower spathes in bright hues. Also known as Flamingo Lily, Painted Tongue, Tail Flower or Lace Leaf, the plants thrive in tropical areas in America.
About 900 varieties of the flowering plants native to tropical America are found in the Mexican tropics, Uruguay and northern Argentina. Whereas some flowering Anthurium species feature colorful spathes, others have large, deeply-veined leaves.
Although the plants can be grown in greenhouses, they can be domesticated and cultivated indoors. However, they require lots of attention and proper care. Anthurium flowers come in various colors, including pink, red, green, yellow and orange, among others. The colors vary from cultivar to another.
The attractive flowers grow on elongated stalks, and together with their wax-like surfaces, make it stand out. With proper, diligent care, a bloom can last four to six weeks. However, the period varies based on the prevailing season and the specific cultivar.
Top 7 Important Things You Need to Know about Growing and Caring for Anthuriums
Anthuriums require consistent moisture, warm temperatures and sufficient fertilizer to grow. Anthurium andreanum and Anthurium scherzerianum are popularly grown either indoors or in greenhouses. They’re easy to grow and thus can be extensively hybridized for accessibility in garden centers.
However, foliage Anthuriums are rare, available only in online seedling nurseries or specialty greenhouses. They thrive in similar conditions as their natural habitats in the tropical zones.
- Grow Anthuriums in the Right Soil
Anthuriums grow in all types of soil ranging from heavy clays to sandy loams. They require highly organic soil with high water-retention capabilities and proper drainage. Excess water in soil can cause fungal houseplant diseases such as root rot and stalk rot. Plant them 5cm deep maximum to prevent similar diseases.
Mulch the plants with sugarcane bagasse or coconut husks to reduce the loss of moisture. Also, provide some sort of support for optimal plant growth.
- Water Anthuriums to Prevent Continual Dryness
Water Anthuriums after planting. Make sure the water is enough to keep the soil moist without flooding it. Re-water only after the soil dries up because the plants love short-lived dryness in between the watering sessions. Use potting soil mixed with orchid bark and pumice for better drainage.
The roots mound out of the pot as the plant ages, exposing its slender stem. Spray the stem once exposed to help with regulation of the whole plant’s hydration.
- Expose the Plant to Sufficient Lighting, but not Direct Sunlight
Anthuriums require proper lighting to bloom indoors. Place them near windows for access to natural light. Install blinds or light curtains on the windows to protect the plants from direct sunlight, especially in the early afternoons.
During the cold months, direct sunlight is hard to come-by, hence not harsh on the plants. The plants get hard-pressed for survival if temperatures sip below 600 F. Opt for full-spectrum lighting if there’s no access to natural light.
- Fertilize Regularly with an Organic Fertilizer
Use liquid organic fertilizer throughout the growing period and fertilizer pellets in spring. Apply dilute fertilizer solution every third or fourth time the plants are fertilized for healthy flowering Anthuriums. A 7-9-5 fertilizer low in nitrogen is recommended.
- Provide Humidity Indoors
Native to tropical climates, Anthuriums require additional moisture indoors or in other climates. Mist them daily in dry climates; place a try with pebbles beneath the potted plants to humidify them.
- Repot Annually
Grow Anthurium in loose potting soil. Keep it moist, but not drenched in water to prevent fungal diseases. Add ¼ part orchid bark in the potting soil mix in dry climates to improve drainage. Repotting becomes necessary if the plants begin drying out fast between watering intervals.
Repot them in larger containers (one size larger than the pot in use). Make sure the pot is only 1/3 of the entire volume of the plant and pot combined while the plant makes up 2/3. Repot the plants every year.
- Watch Out for Pests and Diseases, and Look Out for Kids and Pets
Most Anthurium species are resistant to diseases because they’re rich in natural oils often poisonous to pests. However, they’re prone to spider mites and thus require regular misting as a preventive measure. Some cause skin irritation and thus should be placed indoors in areas inaccessible to pets and kids.
Potted Anthurium Plant
Here are some popular Anthurium cultivars:
- Anthurium acaule
- Anthurium albidum
- Anthurium albispatha
- Anthurium albovirescens
- Anthurium macrolonchium
- Anthurium anceps
- Anthurium magnifolium
- Anthurium andraeanum
- Anthurium aristatum
- Anthurium navasii
Although Anthuriums care might sound daunting to beginner gardeners, it’s easy after mastering what’s involved. Watering and repotting the plants becomes easy as long as they’re grown in the right soil and placed in strategic positions indoors. Growing Anthuriums at home rewards with beautiful, long-blooming flowers worth your effort and investment.
Are you looking for growing bags to start your Anthuriums at home? Browse through our collection of grow bags in all sorts of sizes for the exact fabric pot you need.