Essential Guide to Propagating and Dividing Anthurium Plants
Anthuriums are one of the most popular tropical houseplants around, beloved for their stunning leaves and symbolic flowers. To add to their long list of benefits, they are also easy plants to propagate, either from cuttings or by division. In this article, we’ll take you through the process of when and how to propagate Anthurium plants at home with tips on what to do after dividing and planting.
- How to Propagate Anthurium Plants
- Why Propagate Anthuriums?
- Key Considerations when Propagating Anthuriums
- Anthurium Growth Expectations
- How to Propagate Anthuriums
- Post-Propagation Care & Tips for Propagating Success
- Common Anthurium Propagation Problems, Questions, and Remedies:
- Propagating Anthuriums – The Final Word
How to Propagate Anthurium Plants
Anthuriums can be propagated by stem cuttings or division. Cuttings can be rooted in either water or soil and develop roots in 4-6 weeks. Division provides instant results by simply pulling two sections of the plant apart and repotting. A warm and humid area away from direct sun will provide the best conditions for root growth.
Why Propagate Anthuriums?
There are many reasons to propagate Anthuriums. The most compelling reason is that you can grow every more of your existing plants at absolutely no cost. If you’re looking to fill your indoor garden but don’t have the budget to buy new plants every week, propagating is your next best option.
If you have an Anthurium cultivar you absolutely love, but can’t find any more of them in stores, then propagating can also come to the rescue. Propagating by cuttings or divisions will create replicas of the parent plant, retaining color in the modified leaves and overall size.
Propagating can also be beneficial for the health of the plant. Anthuriums can often become overgrown in small pots, requiring additional space to expand. Rather than simply repotting, division can help you separate the bulk in the plant, giving you two brand new plants from one.
Finally, propagating is also a wonderful experiment and way to develop your gardening skills. As propagating processes are pretty similar between plants, getting better at propagating one should help you get better at propagating others.
Key Considerations when Propagating Anthuriums
Level of effort
Propagating Anthuriums is not a difficult task. The process is suitable for beginners and only takes a couple of minutes. Results from division are instant, but may take a bit longer with stem cuttings. However, if you choose the right cutting and remove it correctly, it shouldn’t take long for the plant to develop roots.
Can Anthurium Plants Grow In Water And Soil?
When propagating from cuttings, you can choose to root in either water or soil.
Rooting in water allows you to keep an eye on root growth but doesn’t provide ideal conditions for root development. Rooting in soil is more of a mystery during growth, but any roots that do develop will be far better suited to soil conditions than if they were in water.
For long-term health, soil is generally better, but both can yield strong results.
Can you Propagate Anthurium Plants from a Single Leaf?
Several common houseplants, such as African Violets and Jade Plants, can be propagated from just a single leaf. Unfortunately, that is not the case for Anthuriums. Part of the stem needs to be present for the plant to develop roots, so only cutting from entire stems is possible.
Anthurium Growth Expectations
Anthurium cuttings will take around 1 to 2 months to develop roots, ready for transplanting.
When rooting in water, you can watch the root growth and transplant when the roots are an inch or two long. The sooner the plant in soil, the quicker the cutting can adapt to those conditions.
When rotting in soil, wait until you see new growth pop up above the soil. You can also pull on the cutting to see if there is any resistance. However, it’s best not to disturb the cutting if you can avoid it.
If you’re going the dividing route, the results are instant. The divisions may slow growth for the next few weeks while they adjust and recover from any potential shock, but they should bounce back within the month.
How to Propagate Anthuriums
Propagate from Cuttings
It’s worth noting that anthurium plants are considered somewhat toxic to pets and humans so it’s prudent to wear a pair of gloves when handling the plant.
Propagating from cuttings is best done in spring when growth is most active. Follow these easy steps to propagate your Anthurium from cuttings:
- Identify a stem with a few aerial roots at the base. It should have at least one or two healthy leaves to maintain the cutting while the roots continue to develop.
- Using a sharp knife or pair of pruning shears, trim that stem off at its lowest point, taking care not to damage any of the aerial roots in the process. The cleaner the cut, the quicker the parent plant can recover.
- If you want to increase your chances of new growth, dip the end of the cutting in rooting hormone. This step is optional and not required when rooting in water.
- Root the cutting. To root in water, fill a glass with filtered water and place the cutting inside until the base is covered. Keep any leaves completely out of the water to prevent rotting. To root in soil, fill a pot with pre-moistening potting mix and plant in the center, keeping the cutting upright.
- Move the pot to a warm and bright spot to encourage new root growth.
Propagate by Division
Consider propagating by division when your plant has outgrown its existing pot. Follow these easy steps to propagate your Anthurium by division:
- Gently squeeze the sizes of the pot to release the plant, turn it on its side and gently pull it out of the pot.
- Tease any tangled roots and loosen the soil around the plant to get a closer look at the roots.
- Check the base of the plant to identify potential areas of division.
- Grab the two sections at the base and gently shake the plant to separate the roots. Continue gently pulling them apart until each section is free.
- If the roots are very long, trim them back slightly to make planting easier.
- Repot each division into a new pot with a well-draining houseplant potting mix. Water immediately after planting to allow the roots to settle and get rid of any large air pockets.
Post-Propagation Care & Tips for Propagating Success
Best times of year to propagate Anthuriums
Early spring is the best time to propagate Anthuriums (also the best time for pruning or repotting anthuriums). This will ensure the quickest recovery on the parent plant, as well as the best chance of root growth for your cutting. Avoid propagating in fall and winter when growth naturally slows down.
Light & Temperature Considerations
Your cuttings need warm temperatures and high humidity to replicate conditions in their native habitats. This will give you the best chances of root growth in the first few weeks. Light is also important, but shouldn’t be direct to avoid damaging the vulnerable cuttings or divisions. Aim to position your anthurium plants in a spot with a full day of bright indirect light and temperatures around 75F for the best results.
Moisture and Watering Cycles
As Anthuriums are moisture lovers, the soil should be kept lightly moist but not waterlogged until roots develop. When rooting in water, make sure you change it out every few days and clean the glass around once per week to prevent bacterial growth.
The Growing Medium
To root cuttings in soil, you need a lightweight, well-draining potting mix to avoid rotting. A combination of coconut coir (or peat moss) and perlite provides the least resistance to root growth and holds onto enough moisture without becoming waterlogged.
When dividing or transplanting, replant into a well-draining Anthurium potting mix for long-term growth. Mixes are available to purchase online, or you can make your own by combining two parts potting soil with one part coconut coir and one part perlite.
Signs Your Propagated Anthurium isn’t happy
If you notice all rotting at the base of the cutting, root growth is unlikely. When rooting in water, dirty water is also not a good sign. With the proper care and conditions, these problems can be prevented to give you the best chances of root growth.
When dividing, slowed growth, some drooping, and slightly yellow coloring are common. This is due to the shock of the process. Give your plant time to adjust to its new home, and growth should return to normal. You’ll also want to keep an eye out for common anthurium plant pests and diseases.
For more, see our in-depth guide to Anthurium plant care.
Common Anthurium Propagation Problems, Questions, and Remedies:
How long does it take Anthurium to root in water?
Anthuriums should develop roots in water in about 4-6 weeks but can occur quicker in the right conditions and with the right cutting.
Can Anthurium live in water forever?
You can keep an Anthurium cutting in water permanently with the right upkeep. The water needs to be topped up and changed frequently. As water lacks nutrients, you also need to add small amounts of liquid anthurium fertilizer to the water to keep the plant alive long-term.
Are Anthurium plants hard to propagate?
Anthuriums are not difficult to propagate, especially when propagating by division. The process is very similar to many other common tropical houseplants.
Can you grow Anthurium plants from a broken leaf?
Anthuriums cannot grow from single leaves alone. They can only be propagated via stem cutting or division as the leaves lack the tissues to develop roots.
How To Propagate Anthurium Plants – The Final Word
If you have a spare few minutes and a stunning Anthurium, you can use these simple tricks to grow even more of them at absolutely no cost.
If you’re looking for your next Anthurium plant to add to your collection, see our in-depth guide to the best plant shops delivering Anthuriums 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.