Whilst Anthurium plants are generally considered easy to care for at home, providing them with the correct watering cycle is key for these tropical beauties to thrive. In this guide, we’re going to take you through everything you need to know about when and how to water anthurium plants properly indoors.
- When and How to Water Anthurium Plants – The Essentials
- About Anthurium
- The Role of Water in Plant Health and Development
- When to Water Anthurium Plants
- How to Water Anthurium Plants
- Signs You Might be Overwatering Your Anthurium
- Signs You Might be Underwatering Your Anthurium
- Watering Anthurium Plants FAQs
- Wrapping Up
When and How to Water Anthurium Plants – The Essentials
You should not water an Anthurium plant unless the top 50-75% of the soil is dry – typically every 5 to 7 days during the spring and summer months and every 7 to 14 days in winter. Ensure your potting vessel has ample drainage to allow excess water to disperse. You can tell that an Anthurium is overwatered if the leaves’ tips are yellowing, while brown leaf tips indicate underwatering.
Anthurium, also known as laceleaf, tailflower, or flamingo flower, comprises roughly 1,000 flowering plant species (including rarer species like the Anthurium crystallinum). It is the largest genus in the arum family, Araceae, and the subfamily, Pathoideae. These beautiful plants offer a host of uses and benefits and are rich in meaning and symbolism.
Anthurium plants were originally found in the Andes Mountains in Colombia and Ecuador. While Anthurium plants are commonly grown as houseplants, they can also be grown outdoors in mild climates or in the shade. In terms of Anthurium soil requirements, moist ground rich in organic matter is ideal for cultivation and growth.
Anthurium plants are also relatively easy to propagate if you’re interested in expanding your collection.
The Role of Water in Plant Health and Development
Alongside sunlight and nutrients, water is necessary for healthy Anthurium plant growth because it provides pressure to the individual cells. When a plant is low on water, it wilts, slumping over visibly. The cells shrink and simply can’t keep the stems and leaves at normal pressure.
Water also carries nutrients from the soil into the plant, helping it create amino acids that it can’t make from photosynthesis alone.
When to Water Anthurium Plants
The most critical question about your watering routine involves exactly when you should water the plant. The answer, however, requires context.
How do you know when an Anthurium needs watering?
To determine whether your Anthurium plant needs watering, you can use a simple touch test to determine the composition of the soil.
If the top 50-75% of the soil (depending on the Anthurium plant that you’re growing) or the top two to three inches of the soil is dry, it’s an indication that your Anthurium plant needs water.
Visually, drooping anthurium leaves or discoloration are good indicators that the plant requires hydration. However, if you pick up on these visual cues, your plant has already been neglected, and it’s a troubling sign that needs to be taken seriously to ensure your plant recovers.
How to check When to Water Anthurium
So, in light of the indicators above, what are the best methods that you can use to quantify the dryness or moisture of your Anthurium plant?
Firstly, you can use the finger test to check whether the soil is moist by simply inserting your finger into the top two to three inches of the soil. If the soil sticks to your fingers, it’s moist, but if it falls off, it is dry.
You could also use a moisture meter or probe; you can use a stick to recreate the finger test if you don’t like getting your hands dirty or simply pick the plant up and feel if it’s light or heavy. If the pot is feeling too light, your Anthurium may require watering.
How Often Do Anthurium Plants Typically Need Watering?
Suppose you’re growing an Anthurium plant indoors in a normal living environment that isn’t subject to extreme temperatures. In that case, you should water it every five to seven days during spring and summer and typically every 7 to 14 days in winter.
For more, see our in-depth guide to Anthurium plant temperature and humidity tolerances.
Environmental Considerations That May Impact Watering Cycles
You should consider external factors when choosing the best position for anthuriums in your home such as if you live in a place with a warmer climate, if your plants are exposed to air conditioning units for extended periods, or if your plant is located near a warm south-facing or west-facing window. These all tend to accelerate moisture loss, requiring more frequent watering cycles.
Seasonal Considerations That May Affect Watering Cycles
At different times of the year, your anthurium watering (and fertilizing) cycles will also change, and they have to be adapted throughout the year. You will need to water your Anthurium plant more during the spring and summer and less during the fall and winter when cooler temperatures emerge and your plant’s growth cycle slows.
How to Water Anthurium Plants
Knowing the frequency you should water Anthurium plants is key, but you’ll want to ensure you’re watering your Anthurium correctly each time as well. There are some fundamental principles that you need to apply.
The Importance of Good Drainage
The pot you’re using to house your Anthurium plant is essential for watering, and it requires a good drainage system for watering to be effective. Your goal is to avoid stagnant water, root rot, infections, and diseases, and using the wrong pot can cause these issues.
What Type of Water is Best for Anthurium?
In terms of temperature, Anthurium plants can be hydrated with cold or lukewarm water and taken from all sources such as tap water, filtered water, and rainwater.
The Best Watering Techniques
Do Anthurium Plants Prefer Bottom-Up Watering Via Submersion or From The Top With a Watering Can?
From experience, Anthurium plants are best watered from the top with a watering can. Bottom-up watering can be really messy and also lead to overwatering and drainage issues.
Step-By-Step Guide for Top Watering
Once you’ve checked the soil and established that your Anthurium plant needs watering, you need to ensure that you’ve given it enough hydration to last until the next watering. Smaller plants (three to six inches tall) will require approximately 16 fluid ounces of water.
Medium and larger plants require an additional two fluid ounces per inch in height above six inches.
Pour a steady stream of water in and around the base of the plant, avoiding foliage until roughly 20% of the water that has been put into the pot comes out of the drainage and into the saucer below. This is how you know that the deepest roots are receiving enough water.
Signs You Might be Overwatering Your Anthurium
If you’ve overwatered your Anthurium plant, there are a few common characteristics that your plant will take on – most notably, the tips of the leaves will start to turn yellow.
The best solution is to hold off watering for a few days and allow the soil base to dry almost completely before restarting the cycle.
More severe signs of poor plant health include the leaves drooping or even picking up diseases. The soil may also foul smell, and stems may become slimy.
To rectify this, remove your Anthurium plant from its pot, inspect its roots, ensuring that they’re white and crisp. Prune and cut away any rotting tissue, change out the soil, and repot your Anthurium plant.
It’s worth noting that Anthurium plants are considered somewhat toxic to humans and pets so it’s prudent to wear a pair of gloves when handling these plants.
Signs You Might be Underwatering Your Anthurium
The leaves on your Anthurium plant may be crisp if it is underwatered, and the tips of the leaves will start to turn brown. There will also be visually identifiable diseases, or it could be attracting common anthurium pests, such as caterpillars.
Watering Anthurium Plants FAQs
Should You Consider Misting Anthurium In-Between Watering Cycles?
There is no need to mist your Anthurium plant in humid conditions, but if you live in a particularly dry environment, your plant will benefit from light occasional misting. Just be careful to avoid saturating the foliage which can attract pests.
Will Anthurium Plants Benefit From Sitting On a Humidity Tray?
Anthurium plants thrive in humid conditions. Humidity trays and in-room humidifiers can benefit overall Anthurium plant health in dry climates.
What are the most common signs Anthurium needs watering?
If the tips of your Anthurium plant are turning brown, the leaves become crisp; if it’s showing signs of disease or attracts pests, your plant needs to be watered.
What is the best way to water Anthurium plants?
The best way to water Anthurium plants is from the top-down, around the base of the plant and avoiding any foliage.
How much water does Anthurium need?
For Anthurium plants between three and six inches tall, 16 fluid ounces of water is sufficient to keep them hydrated, while larger plants require an additional two fluid ounces for every inch it stands above six inches.
Is it ok to get water on Anthurium leaves?
Anthurium leaves can get wet, but it isn’t advisable to let droplets remain on the leaves, so wipe off any excess water that may remain after the leaves have made contact with water.
What do I do if I overwater my Anthurium?
If an Anthurium has been overwatered, the best course of action is usually to hold back from re-watering and allow the plant to dry out in a warm spot in your home. You’ll want to remove the plant from its pot and inspect the roots in severe cases. Any rotten roots that don’t look white and crips must be removed. Change the soil in the pot and replant your Anthurium plant with the rotten roots cut off.
Can I water my Anthurium with tap water?
Anthuriums can be watered with tap water at any temperature. Rainwater and filtered water are also appropriate.
There are many ways to identify whether your Anthurium plant requires watering or has been overwatered. This guide shows you all the necessary information to keep your plant looking healthy and beautiful.