Anthurium is a genus of roughly 1,000 species of flowering plants in the arum family, native to South and Central America, often growing as epiphytes, although some are terrestrial. While all Anthurium flower, not all have showy blooms. Many varieties of Anthurium are sought after for their foliage.
Shown above, the first photo is a striking red flowering Anthurium, more commonly referred to as a Flamingo Flower, or Dutch Anthurium. They are available in a wide range of colors, from vibrant reds and pinks, to pale yellows, purples and white. The leaves on these varieties are usually larger, triangle shaped, but are generally plain green.
The second photo is of a birdsnest variety of Anthurium, boasting large, narrow, long, and ruffled leaves. Varieties such as 'Big Red Bird', Plowmanii 'Fruffles', 'Water Dragon', Superbum and others, have thick, richly green leaves and can reach very impressive sizes.
The 3rd photo is of an Anthurium Clarinervium. These, and others like it, are incredibly collectable and sought after. The foliage on Anthuriums like the Clarinervium, Crystallinum, Forgetii, Magnificum, Pedato-Radiatum and more are simply stunning, growing to medium to large sizes, truly showing off for everyone to admire.
Anthurium do best in a well lit, bright area, out of direct sunlight. Typically, but not always, the darker the leaves on an Anthurium, the less bright they need it, however, all do very well in bright, but shaded areas. This makes them perfect for just about any room of the house! Even bathrooms that have an indirect natural light source can be a great place to put a beautiful Anthurium.
Anthuriums can be quite picky with their water, preferring purified or distilled water and do best when they are kept evenly moist at all times. Many Anthuriums' roots will grow up and out of the pot, which is perfect, as most naturally grow as Epiphytes. Higher humidity levels are a must for Anthuriums. Tanks, Terrariums, and Domes are perfect. Pebble trays under the pots also help, as well as humidifiers running on a continuous basis. This will prevent leaf browning, wilting, and wrinkling.
While it is not completely necessary, you can use a general purpose, high quality fertilizer from Spring through Fall. We recommend diluting the fertilizer to about 50% strength. Fish Head Farms soil conditioner is a great option to use year round to provide essential nutrients and promote strong, healthy growth.
A loose, well draining soilless mix is ideal. A peat based mixture with lots of chunky perlite, or vermiculite will do the trick. Many Anthuriums can also be grown, very successfully, in Sphagnum Moss. For a pre-mixed formula, we find that a cactus/succulent blend could be ok, but we recommend adding more perlite, vermiculite or even chunky moss to maintain moisture levels, but keep the roots airy.
Anthurium are slow growers and therefor do not need, or want, to be repotted very frequently. We recommend doing so only every 2-3 years and only if they are noticeably pot bound. Even then, you only want to upgrade 1 or 1.5 pot sizes to reduce stress. This should be done in the Spring or early Summer months. If you have just recently purchased your plant, do not repot it for at least 6 months.
The most common pest issues for Anthuriums, like many others, would be Mealy Bugs and Red Spider Mites. It is always best practice to isolate any new plants you bring in to your home for a few weeks to watch for little pests. If you were to find any, see our At Home Pest Recipes here.
Anthurium can be propagated by dividing the new plants from the mother plant, at the root level, as long as they have a few leaves on them. You can also divide and cut just below nodes on the stalk, as a top cutting, to propagate, however, this method is more difficult and does not have a very high success rate. With practice, and some risk, you can grow multiple cloned Anthuriums from stem chunks and nodes.
If you have any more questions, or need further assistance, please feel free to give us a call or shoot us an email!