Leafy houseplants are all the rage and in terms of size, the bigger, the better. Rare and unique houseplants are also incredibly popular, sought after by collectors that have mastered the many popular houseplants available today. Luckily, the fascinating Crystal Anthurium meets all these criteria and comes with even more benefits. In this article, we’ll cover everything you need to know about how to grow and care for Anthurium crystallinum plants home including planting, soil considerations, light, temperature, watering, fertilizing, pruning, and more.
- How to Grow Anthurium crystallinum – The Essentials:
- About Anthurium crystallinum
- How to Grow Anthurium crystallinum at Home
- How to Care for Anthurium crystallinum at Home
- Common Problems & How to Treat them
- Essential Tools for Anthurium Crystallinum Care
- Anthurium crystallinum Care FAQs:
- Anthurium Crystallinum Care – The Final Word
How to Grow Anthurium crystallinum – The Essentials:
|Botanical Name:||Anthurium crystallinum|
|Also Known As:||Crystal Anthurium|
|Light Requirements:||Bright indirect light|
|Temp & Humidity:||Warm temperatures around 75F and high humidity around 70%|
|Watering Needs:||Water when the top two inches of soil have dried out|
|Soil Preferences:||Well-draining, airy houseplant potting mixes|
|Fertilizing:||Half strength dose of balanced fertilizer every two months in spring and summer|
|Toxicity:||Toxic to humans and pets.|
About Anthurium crystallinum
Taxonomy and Characteristics
Anthurium crystallinum is commonly known as the Crystal Anthurium, a member of the popular Anthurium genus. These traditional houseplants are known for their waxy, modified leaves in various colors, surrounding their interesting spadix flowers. The flowers are characteristic of the Araceae family to which this genus belongs, along with similar houseplants like the Peace Lily.
However, Anthurium crystallinum is special in that it’s not desired for flowers but rather for its interesting foliage. The large leaves are heart-shaped and a deep velvety green, intensified by the contrasting white veins. To top it all off, the undersides have a stunning coppery color that makes the Crystal Anthurium interesting from any angle.
Anthurium crystallinum is largely native to tropical forests in South America, much like other species in the genus. They cover the regions from Panama to Peru, but due to their rarity, are not as prominent as more common Anthurium species.
Uses & Benefits of Anthurium crystallinum
Those considering growing this beauty will be pleased to know they also have a few additional benefits.
The first, understandably, is aesthetic. The stunning large leaves make an instant statement anywhere they are placed to become a wonderful design feature. The softness of the leaves, along with the strong contrast and geometry of the veins, make it suitable for any type of interior design.
It’s also great for the air in your home. Anthuriums were tested as part of the famous NASA Clean Air Study. They appeared at the top of the list for removing volatile organic compounds from the air, including ammonia, xylene, and formaldehyde. While you’ll need many plants to have this effect, that’s all the more reason to add more Anthurium species to your collection.
In Feng Shui, the Crystal Anthurium is also believed to bring positive energy and prosperity to your home. Keep them in a light and bright corner to reap all the possible benefits from this wonderful plant.
Average Cost of Anthurium crystallinum
Crystal Anthuriums can be pricey compared to more common houseplants. They were previously considered quite rare but have become more common in recent years, bringing the price down. You can pick up a plant online for just under $100, and a cutting for even less. They may be slightly more difficult to find, so contact a local grower in your area for help if you can’t find one.
Anthurium crystallinum Toxicity
Like all other Anthuriums, this plant is toxic to pets and humans. The leaves contain calcium oxalate crystals that cause irritation when ingested. Keep them out of reach of your pets and curious children.
How to Grow Anthurium crystallinum at Home
Are Anthurium crystallinum Considered Easy to Grow?
Many rare plants are considered difficult to care for as they are fussy about their conditions. Luckily, that is not the case with the Crystal Anthurium. This plant is just as easy to care for as common Anthurium species and has similar requirements to other leafy houseplants.
Anthuriums are relatively slow growers, adding a couple of inches to their height every growing season. In perfect conditions, they are considered moderate growers but remain relatively compact indoors.
The Best Soil Mix for Anthurium crystallinum
Anthuriums require a well-draining soil mix with large spaces between particles to deliver oxygen to the roots. Standard potting soil or garden soil generally doesn’t drain well enough for indoor plants, requiring a specialized houseplant soil mix to do their best.
Houseplant soil mixes are available to purchase online, containing the right ratios of materials to drain well while keeping the soil moist. You can also mix your own by combining potting soil with perlite, coconut coir, or peat moss.
To maintain the strong color in their leaves and grow as large as possible, give your Crystal Anthurium plenty of bright indirect light throughout the day. They will also grow well in moderate light but aren’t suitable for low-light areas of your home.
These plants should also be kept out of intense direct sunlight as the large leaves can burn easily. Some gentle early morning sun in front of an east-facing window is suitable, but a sheer curtain should filter south or west-facing windows to protect the foliage.
Temperature & Humidity Preferences
In their native habitats, Anthurium crystallinum are accustomed to consistent warmth and high humidity. The forests they reside in rarely dip below 60F in temperature and average around 80% humidity. Replicating these conditions is key to keeping your plant happy and thriving.
The Crystal Anthurium is not tolerant of cold at all. They cannot be left in temperatures below 50F or the leaves and roots may become damaged. Aim for consistent temperatures of around 75F throughout the year, keeping them in the warmest room of the house.
Humidity is also essential for these large-leaved plants. Some houseplants may be happy with humidity as low as 40%, but Crystal Anthuriums grow best when humidity is closer to their native habitats at around 70%.
To raise humidity, group several houseplants together, place them on pebble trays filled with water, or invest in a humidifier. Keep humidity consistently high throughout the year to stop the leaves from drying out and turning brown.
How to Care for Anthurium crystallinum at Home
Crystal Anthuriums are accustomed to consistently moist soil in their rainforest habitats. However, planted in containers where water doesn’t drain away as quickly, they are sensitive to root rot. They cannot sit in soggy or waterlogged soil for long periods and can’t stand being overwatered.
Watering Anthuriums when the top layer of soil is still moist will quickly lead to damage. The leaves will begin to turn yellow or brown, the stems will soften and fall over and the roots will stop drawing up any moisture. In severe cases, only repotting and trimming the roots will potentially save the plant, so this is an important mistake to avoid.
Underwatering can also be damaging. Without enough moisture, the large leaves will begin to curl and turn brown. The soil should not be left to dry out completely to avoid damaging too many of the leaves at once.
To water consistently, avoid overwatering and underwatering, and get into the habit of testing the soil every couple of days. When the top two inches have dried out, you can water them again. When watering in a pot cover or on a drip tray, make sure to empty it out after watering to stop the pot from sitting in water.
Fertilizing Anthurium crystallinum
As slow growers, Crystal Anthuriums don’t rely heavily on fertilizer. However, when growing in the same pot for a while without additional nutrients, they would benefit from a top-up.
Feed your Anthurium crystallinum with a balanced houseplant fertilizer once every two months. A half-strength dose should be enough to keep the plants satisfied, but more can be applied if growth slows.
There are two ways to propagate Crystal Anthuriums. Propagating by division is great for large and established plants and instantly gives you two fully grown plants out of one. However, if your plant is small and not ready for division, you can also propagate by stem cuttings.
Follow these steps to propagate by division:
- Propagate when your plant is ready for repotting to tackle two tasks at once and limit problems with shock.
- Squeeze the sides of the pot to release the roots and gently lift the plant out of the pot.
- Gently separate the roots and identify areas where the plant can naturally split. If you cannot identify spots, trim some roots with shears to separate them, cutting as few roots as possible.
- Repot each division into separate new pots with a well-draining potting mix.
- Water after planting to encourage new root growth.
Follow these steps to propagate from stem cuttings:
- Identify a healthy stem with no signs of disease or damage.
- Trim the stem just below the node.
- Root in a propagating mix of equal parts perlite and coconut coir or peat moss.
- Transplant into a rich soil mix when the roots are an inch or two long.
For more, see our in-depth guide to propagating anthurium plants at home.
Repotting Anthurium crystallinum
Due to their slow growth, Crystal Anthuriums don’t require repotting very often. They are happy to remain confined to a pot for long periods and only need repotting every couple of years (and you’re unlikely to need to prune these anthuriums).
Look for signs that the plant has outgrown the pot, such as roots growing through the drainage holes, or signs that the soil has disintegrated and can no longer hold onto water or nutrients.
To repot, remove the plant from its existing container. Gently tease the roots to release them and plant in a new pot one size up. Try to match the soil mix as much as possible to limit the chances of shock and water immediately after planting.
For more, see our in-depth guide to repotting Anthurium plants at home.
Common Problems & How to Treat them
Although they aren’t majorly fussy plants, Crystal Anthuriums are susceptible to a few problems. Look out for these signs, identify the most likely cause and tackle it soon to bring your plant back to good health:
- Yellowing leaves: Overwatering, low light, lack of nutrients
- Brown leaves: Underwatering, lack of humidity, excessive sunlight
- Drooping: Usually overwatering or underwatering.
- Stunted growth: Low sunlight, lack of pot space, lack of nutrients
- Spotted leaves: Anthurium pest or disease problems, or root rot
Essential Tools for Anthurium Crystallinum Care
No specialized tools are required to keep these plants. When doing maintenance, a pair of pruning shears are easiest to trim any damaged or dying foliage, but sharp and cleaned scissors are also suitable.
When repotting, you’ll need a new pot one size up and the right soil mix. A balanced fertilizer is also a good investment for when you need it.
Anthurium crystallinum Care FAQs:
Is a Anthurium crystallinum a good indoor plant?
Crystal Anthuriums make wonderful houseplants due to their love of warmth and high humidity like most houseplants.
How fast does Anthurium crystallinum grow?
These plants are slow to moderate growers depending on the conditions they are placed in. To make them go quicker, ensure they have the right amount of light and plenty of nutrients.
Is Anthurium crystallinum poisonous to dogs and other pets?
The Crystal Anthurium is poisonous to pets and humans when ingested.
Can a Anthurium crystallinum tolerate low light?
Anthurium crystallinum can tolerate moderate light, but shouldn’t be grown in low light areas. This will slow growth dramatically and may cause the leaves to yellow.
Anthurium Crystallinum Care – The Final Word
If you’re looking for an interesting leafy plant to add to your collection, the Crystal Anthurium is the one. These easy-to-grow plants are suitable for beginners and any Anthurium lovers.
For more, see our in-depth guide to the best plant shops delivering Anthurium plants nationwide.
Madison is a writer and editor with a Bachelor’s degree in History and Political Science. She writes and photographs for various online and print publications in the gardening sphere and is the author of the book The Next-Generation Gardener.