Everything you Need to Know About Anthurium Plant Care

Anthuriums are stunning tropic plants that burst with brightly colored blossoms in a host of interesting and exotic shapes. What’s great is Anthurium care generally requires minimal effort and with a few well-followed tips your plants will thrive for years to come. Perfect for both beginner botanists and those looking for a striking addition to their houseplant collection the Anthurium will warm up any interior space, making you and your guests feel at home, as it sprouts sunny-hued blooms year-round.

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For more, check out our guide to the best plant stores and garden centers curating a fine collection of Anthurium for sale throughout the year. They all deliver Anthurium plants nationwide throughout the United States and you’ll find options for a host of style preferences, budget considerations, and size requirements.


Anthurium Care – The Essentials:

With the right conditions, anthurium plants will thrive in most homes and offices. To prevent root rot, anthuriums should be potted in well-draining containers with porous soil. Anthuriums require moderate, filtered, or indirect sunlight and prefer a temperate, humid environment. Water anthuriums just before the soil dries completely about once every two weeks (more frequently in the summer and less frequently in the winter). Feed once a month in spring and summer with a balanced fertilizer that’s high in phosphorous.


All About Anthurium Plants

All About Anthurium Plants

Anthurium Origins & History

Anthuriums have a Greek name (flowering tail), but they’re not Greek in origin. Anthuriums are native to the tropical forests of Central and South America, as well as parts of the Caribbean. They’re classified as epiphytes, a type of plant that uses its roots to attach to and grow from the bark of trees.

Anthurium Facts

The genus anthurium belongs to the family of flowering plants called the Araceae or arum family. Cousins of the anthurium include peace lilies, dieffenbachia, and philodendrons.

Anthuriums have woody root systems and clusters of waxy, green leaves that vary in shape and size. Each anthurium plant blossom features a globe or spike-shaped spadix spiraled by thousands of tiny flowers. Each spadix is offset by a brightly colored spathe (also called a bract) that varies in shape with some resembling clubs, lances, or hearts.


6 Popular Anthurium Varieties

More than 1,000 species of anthuriums exist, but some are more popular than others.

  1. Flamingo Flower (Anthurium Scherzerianum) – The first anthurium officially recorded by a botanist, the flamingo flower features fire-engine-red spathes with sunny yellow spadix.
  2. Black Anthurium – Sometimes called a black queen anthurium, this plant’s spathes have an inky hue.
  3. Velvet Cardboard Anthurium – This anthurium is noted for the unique patterns that cover its heart-shaped leaves.
  4. Bird’s Nest Anthurium – Named for its circular array of leaves, the bird’s nest anthurium features an almost kale-like clutch of frilly green leaves.
  5. Pink Anthurium – This anthurium blossoms with delicately blushing salmon-colored spathes.
  6. Purple Tulip Anthurium – Admirers enjoy the regal hue of the purple tulip anthurium’s striking spathes.

Are Anthuriums Toxic to Pets or People?

Are Anthuriums Toxic to Pets and Humans

Anthuriums are not technically poisonous, but they can be dangerous for people and pets. Like other plants from the arum family, anthuriums contain calcium oxalate crystals. Found in every part of the plant, these tiny crystals are extremely sharp. When the plant is ingested, handled roughly, or chewed, it releases these crystals causing painful and severe inflammation and irritation.

Anthuriums should be handled with care and displayed where pets and small children can’t reach them.

Do Anthuriums Bloom All Year?

When properly cared for, anthuriums will bloom throughout the year. Anthurium blooms are long-lasting. On the plant, blossoms stick around for two or three months. In a cut arrangement, they can last up to six weeks.


Top 3 Anthurium Uses & Benefits

Uses and Benefits of Anthurium Plants at The Sill
Credit: The Sill
  1. Improved Air Quality – Anthuriums replenish oxygen, improving indoor air quality. According to NASA’s clean air study, anthurium plants also remove toxins from the air including chemicals like formaldehyde, ammonia, toluene, and xylene.
  2. Home Harmony – According to Feng Shui, living plants enhance a home’s wood element, bringing growth and vital energy into the space. Plus, anthuriums are thought to bring good luck in relationships.
  3. Reduce Stress – Studies have shown that plants can actually reduce stress, heart rate, and blood pressure. Choosing a low-maintenance anthurium is the best option since the plant’s care won’t add extra worries to your day.

Anthurium Plant Meaning & Symbolism

Anthurium Plant Meaning and Symbolism

With year-round abundant blooms, anthuriums symbolize warmth, generosity, and hospitality. As a result, they represent the generous and friendly reception of guests and make the perfect host or hostess gift.

Various colors of anthuriums also have different symbolic meanings. The anthurium flower blossoms in a variety of different colors, and each has its own symbolic meaning.

  • Pink – unconditional or motherly love, compassion, and femininity
  • White – purity and innocence
  • Red – passion and romantic love
  • Purple – spirituality, royalty, and passion
  • Green – hope, renewal, and freshness

How to Grow Anthurium Plants at Home

How to Grow Anthurium Plants - Bloomscape
Credit: Bloomscape

4 Things to Do Before Planting an Anthurium

  1. Choose a Container. Find a well-draining container that isn’t much bigger than your plant’s rootball.
  2. Gather Supplies. You’ll need a suitable potting mix, a plant dish, and sturdy gardening gloves.
  3. Choose a Home. Anthuriums are easy to grow, but moving them around frequently can put stress on the plant. Look for a spot with the right sunlight and temperature.
  4. Prepare to Pot. If it’s cold outside, stay indoors to plant your anthurium. Find a sturdy surface and cover it with old newsprint for easy cleanup.

Growth Expectations: How Big and How Fast Will Anthuriums Grow?

Anthuriums grow moderately slowly. With perfect conditions, they’ll grow more quickly. Mature plants reach about 12 to 18 inches in height with a spread of about 9 to 12 inches.


How to Plant an Anthurium

  1. Prepare a soil mixture using the guidelines listed below.
  2. Choose a well-draining container that’s only slightly larger than the plant’s rootball.
  3. Fill the container 1/3 of the way full with your potting mixture and place the anthurium on top.
  4. Continue adding potting mixture around the sides until the soil covers the roots.
  5. Gently pat the soil.
  6. Water until thoroughly wet. Allow moisture to drain completely.

How to Grow an Anthurium in Water

This attractive anthurium growing method uses principles of hydroponics. You’ll need a vase, mineral water, and indoor houseplant fertilizer.

First, rinse the anthurium’s roots until they’re completely free of soil. This will help prevent the bacterial and fungal growth that leads to root rot. Place the anthurium in a vase and fill with water until the waterline is just below the plant’s stems. Replace water at least once a month or more frequently to prevent rot and replenish the anthurium’s mineral source.

Anthurium Care: Essential Ingredients for the Best Anthurium Plant Soil Mix

The best soil mix for Anthurium Plants

When creating an anthurium potting mix, consider where they grow naturally. Big surprise – wild anthuriums don’t grow in pots. They don’t even grow in the ground. Anthuriums actually grow from the bark of trees in tropical rain forests.

The best way to mimic an anthurium’s natural environment is by using a porous, coarse, low-moisture potting mix that will drain completely.

Make your own anthurium potting mix by combining:

  • (approx) 1 part pine or fir bark
  • 1 part peat moss
  • 1 part pearlite

To purchase a potting mix, combine:

  • 5 parts low-moisture potting soil
  • 2 parts orchid potting mix
  • 2 parts peat moss
  • 1 part pearlite

Anthurium Light Preferences:

Anthuriums thrive in sunlight filtered through leafy canopies. They prefer moderate, filtered, or indirect light to grow properly. Their leaves can scorch if placed in a window that receives direct sunlight.


Optimal Anthurium Temperature and Humidity:

Anthuriums thrive in the temperature range we find comfortable, too! During the growing season (spring and summer), they like it a little warmer, and they prefer it slightly cooler during the dormant season (fall and winter).

They prefer a humid environment. Treat yours with an occasional misting or by running a humidifier nearby. Avoid placing an anthurium near an air conditioning vent, drafty window, or exterior door. Frequent burst of cool, dry air can stress your plant, stunting its growth and preventing it from blooming.


Anthurium Plant Care

Anthurium Plant Care

How to Water an Anthurium Plant:

Anthuriums are sensitive to root rot. Although they like humidity and frequent watering, they won’t tolerate standing water or overly saturated soil. Let the soil dry almost completely between waterings. Monitor the moisture level with a water meter.

During warmer months, water your anthurium once a week. In the winter, water once every two to four weeks. Depending on your climate, you might need to water your anthurium more or less often.

When watering, take your anthurium to the sink. Soak it until the water runs out of the bottom of the plant. Let it drain completely before returning it to its favorite spot.

Watering with mineral, filtered, or distilled water is fine. If you’re on a city water system, use filtered water because chemicals like fluoride and chlorine can irritate the plant.

Do Anthuriums Need to Be Fertilized?

During the growing season, fertilize anthuriums once a month with a balanced 1/4-strength plant fertilizer that’s high in phosphorous. Too much fertilizer can harm your plant. So, less is more.

Pruning Anthurium Plants:

Anthuriums don’t require much pruning. Use clean, sharp pruning shears to remove spent blooms and yellowed leaves. Trim stems near the base of the plant.

Anthurium Propagation:

Splitting the plant is the simplest way to propagate an anthurium. This requires neither a degree in botany nor any special supplies.

When new growth begins to sprout in the spring or summer, remove the plant from its pot and divide it into two (or more) sections with at least three leaves each. Avoid breaking roots and stems in the process. Pot the separate sections following the anthurium potting instructions above.

When and How to Repot an Anthurium:

When and How to Repot Anthurium Plants

It’s best to re-pot anthuriums during the growing season. However, if an anthurium is rootbound, re-pot it immediately. When anthuriums are rootbound, you might notice roots growing above the soil, roots sprouting from the drainage hole, wilting leaves, or a cracked/bent container.

  1. Water the anthurium a couple hours before repotting to moisten the roots for an easier transplant.
  2. Select a container that’s one to two inches larger than your current pot.
  3. Prepare a similar potting mix.
  4. Gently slide the anthurium out of its current pot and tease its roots loose.
  5. Fill the new container 1/3 full, place the anthurium inside, and fill in with potting mixture until it reaches the same level as in the previous pot.
  6. Water lightly to allow the soil to settle.
  7. Top off with additional potting mixture.

Beware, it’s normal for your plant to appear droopy for a couple of days after repotting.


5 Common Anthurium Problems & How to Treat Them

Common Anthurium Plant Problems and how to treat them

1. Roots Growing from Stems

Roots growing from the stems above the soil are aerial roots. They’ll benefit from an occasional misting or, if you don’t like their looks, simply trim them.

2. Roots Above Soil

Roots sprouting from the soil or through the pot’s drainage hole indicate a rootbound plant. Repot as soon as possible.

3. Yellowing Leaves

Yellowing leaves indicate several problems. Your plant might be receiving too much sunlight, too much or too little water, or it could be rootbound. Inspect your plant’s environment and care to determine the proper adjustment.

4. No Blooms

In ideal conditions, anthuriums bloom year-round. If yours lacks blooms, this could indicate a problem with its environment or care. Try giving your plant a bit of fertilizer and moving it to a sunnier location.

5. Pests

Anthuriums are susceptible to mealybugs, scale, and aphids. If you see pests, take action right away. Wash your plant’s leaves with a mild soap (avoid splashing it on the roots) or apply a pest-specific treatment from your local garden center.


Essential Tools for Anthurium Care

Essential Tools for Anthurium Plants
  1. Course, porous potting mix
  2. Well-draining container
  3. Balanced fertilizer high in phosphorous
  4. Protective gardening gloves
  5. Sterilized gardening shears
  6. Moisture meter
  7. Watering can and plant mister

Wrap-Up

Anthuriums, with all their varieties, vivid colors, and lush foliage, are wonders to behold and beauties to grow. Now that you have all the supplies you need and more (or at least as much) knowledge as a plant expert, you’ll be able to grow, gift, and enjoy this low-maintenance indoor plant without any problems.


Anthurium Care FAQ:

With the right conditions, anthurium plants will thrive in most homes and offices. Anthuriums should be potted in well-draining containers with porous soil. Anthuriums require moderate, filtered, or indirect sunlight and prefer a temperate, humid environment. Water anthuriums just before the soil dries completely about once every two weeks (more frequently in the summer and less frequently in the winter). Feed once a month in spring and summer with a balanced fertilizer that’s high in phosphorus.

Anthurium plants, with due care and attention, will live for many years. The cut flowers typically last between 4 to 7 weeks. 

A light, delicate mist to boost the relative humidity can be beneficial to the Anthurium plant’s health during periods of particular low-humidity (typically occurring during the peak winter months in certain regions). The key is to avoid over-saturating the plant as stagnant water in the soil or on the stems or leaves can lead to fungal infections. Humidity trays are another good option to achieve similar results. 

As a general rule, I avoid using coffee grounds due to the potential of nutrient and acidity imbalances in the soil having a negative impact on the Anthurium’s overall health. Stick to an appropriate all-purpose plant fertilizer and a porous, coarse, low-moisture potting mix. 

Anthuriums replenish oxygen, improving indoor air quality. According to NASA’s clean air study, anthurium plants also remove toxins from the air including chemicals like formaldehyde, ammonia, toluene, and xylene.

Anthurium plants are capable of blooming year-round. The trick is to ensure the plant is growing in optimal conditions in your home. Aim for a spot with bright, indirect light; ensure you’re using a well-draining soil-mix, never over-water the plant, and fertilize with a good, organic all-purpose plant feed once a month during the spring and summer months. 

With year-round abundant blooms, anthuriums symbolize warmth, generosity, and hospitality. As a result, they represent the generous and friendly reception of guests and make the perfect host or hostess gift.

Author

I’ve long been fascinated with the world of flowers, plants, and floral design. I come from a family of horticulturists and growers and spent much of my childhood in amongst the fields of flowering blooms and greenhouses filled with tropical plants, cacti, and succulents from all over the world. Today, my passion has led me to further explore the world of horticulture, botany, and floristry and I'm always excited to meet and collaborate with fellow enthusiasts and professionals from across the globe.

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