Indoor Anthurium – Your Complete Care Guide

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Anthuriums are one of the best indoor house plants. They are commonly known as the flamingo flower or laceleaf plant.

Anthurium plants are one of the largest genera in the arum family, Araceae. According to ancient Greece legends, Anthurium flowers represent cupid arrows. A flower that signifies love, friendship and brings good luck upon those that possess them.

Anthuriums are among the best indoor plants to own because of their simple care requirements, spark conversations, and air purifying abilities. Proper care of these plants in your home can reward you with beautiful, long-lasting flowers.

Anthurium Origination

Anthurium Origination

The Flamingo Lily, but you will find this plant in your local nursery called the Anthurium flower; it is native to Columbia and Ecuador. Being one of the most popular house plants to own, it is hard to believe they originate in the tropical rainforest of areas similar to the Amazon regions of Brazil.

These plants grow in and on other trees surviving as epiphytes or air plants. They thrive in warm, high humidity locations, receiving plenty of indirect sunlight. Being an epiphyte means this plant’s nutrients to grow are absorbed from the air, water, and surrounding debris; compared to most other plants that gather nutrients from the soil.

Anthuriums are the largest genus of the arum family, Araceae. The scientific name for this lovely, rich, and colorful flower is Anthurium Andraeanum. Other names for the prevalent plant are Laceleaf, Tailflower, Flamingo Lily, Flamingo Flower, and Painters Palette. The Anthurium is famous among tourists in Hawaii, making it economically valuable since the 1940s.

If well cared for and in optimal conditions, Anthuriums will mature to between 12 to 18 inches high and have a 9 to 12-inch spread. They can live as a house plant for multiple years producing blooms repeatedly. Blooming seasons for these plants typically last for more than three months, but even after the blooming season is over, it can have blooming seasons year-round as long as adequate lighting is provided.

How To Care for Anthuriums

How To Care for Anthuriums

Anthuriums require a few key elements to have successful growth Light, soil, watering, temperature regulation, and fertilizer are the essential ingredients for these plants to thrive. These plants are great for beginners or those concerned about their green thumb capabilities.

Temperature

Flamingo Lilies do best with daytime temperatures hovering 75 to 85 degrees and 70 to 75 Fahrenheit during nighttime hours.

Flamingo Lilies being native to warm tropical climates prefer warmer weather to produce their beautiful flowers. However, they will still grow with temperatures as low as 45 degrees Fahrenheit. If your temperatures are on the lower end, while you should expect growth, do anticipate a slower bloom.

Humidity

Humidity requirements are where it starts getting a little tricky. Anthuriums need a minimum of 50% humidity level. Fifty percent is way higher than the average home is expected to maintain.

To best manage your plant’s humidity requirements, you have a few options.

  • Humidity Tray – Humidity trays are fantastic to help provide individual plants with their needed moisture requirements. All you need to create this tray is a plastic drip tray you can purchase from your local nursery, some rocks or pebbles, and water. Place your stones into your drip tray. Then, fill the tray midway up the stones with water – be sure you do not cover the rocks with water. Finally, simply place the potted plant on top of the humidity tray, and rest assured that your plant will get the moisture it needs.
  • Spray Bottle – Using a spray bottle is controversial. Some gardeners swear by this method, and some stand saying this is ineffective. Try it out and see how it works for you. Fill a spray bottle with Lyme-free water and mist the plants daily. If trying this method to mist your flower multiple times daily, if possible, for optimal results.
  • Humidifier – A humidifier in the same room as your Anthurium is another excellent option. Place the humidifier as close to your plants as possible for best results using this method. This method is suitable to use secondary to a spray bottle or humidity tray, especially in the winter months.

Sunlight

nlight

A great thing about Anthuriums is that they can grow in bright and low light. Even though this is true, they prefer being close to an open window with plenty of indirect sunlight.

Anthuriums will grow in low light but only bloom and produce flowers if bright indirect light is available.

If placed in direct sunlight, be careful because their leaves are very easy to sunburn and damage. If direct sunlight is all you have available, then allowing sunlight in the early mornings or late evening is best. Mid-day light can be way too harsh, so if unable to move from direct light, try covering with a lightweight sheet during the mid-day hours.

Watering

Watering

Anthuriums are tropical plants and love high humidity but believe it or not; they have low watering needs.

These tropical plants can quickly get waterlogged, causing more harm than good, so it is best to only water every week or so. To check if your Anthurium is ready to be watered, insert your index finger into the soil, and if a minimum of 60 percent of the soil is dry, then it is time to water.

Experts have discovered a nice trick to watering Anthuriums, making it almost foolproof. Simply place six or seven full-size ice cubes onto your plants’ soil inside the pot, and let them melt. Only do this once weekly.

Soil and Nutrition

plant and fertilizer

Anthuriums are finicky about their soil. They like soil to be very slightly damp deep down but never saturated. Saturated soil can quickly lead to root rot, yellowing leaves, pest infestations, fungal growth, and even death.

Anthuriums like a course, well-draining potting soil mixture; they do best with a cactus, orchid, sand, or perlite soil type. Well-draining, quick-drying, and acid pH are optimal.

These tropical Flamingo Lilies are acidic pH-loving plants. They prefer their soil pH to a range between 5.5 and 6.5. Starting with the proper soil mixture can get you on the right track to ensure you have the correct pH level for your plant to grow but purchasing a pH meter can be beneficial when in doubt.

You need to add soil and fertilizer to your Anthurium plant, maybe every few months or as you see fit. Repotting is only necessary every two to three years or when your plant outgrows its current pot. When you initially repot an Anthurium, you want to give it three times the water you would usually to get the soil ready for the next three years. Instead of six ice cubes, use eighteen.

Propagating An Anthurium

Propagating An Anthurium

From time to time, propagating your Anthurium may be required. A good reason to split your Flamingo Lily into two plants will be if it outgrows its current container, if you want to gift a portion, or if your plant becomes too thick flowering blooms, which may diminish drastically.

Knowing how to propagate your Anthurium is essential to caring for one. Depending on how large your Anthurium has grown, you could have two new plants or as many as ten potential new plants when propagating. To divide your plant, remove it from your current pot and expose the roots. Starting at the roots diving the areas you feel need to be separated and then repot with fresh soil and water into their new individual homes.

Propagating a Flamingo Lily to gift to a friend or family member is an excellent idea when your plant needs to be divided; these flowers are elegant, and most would be thankful to receive such a beautiful flower.

Reviving A Neglected Anthurium

Reviving A Neglected Anthurium

Oversaturating, underwatering, no humidity, and direct light frying your anthuriums are common reasons these beautiful flowers die quickly.

If you have a dead or neglected Anthurium, do not lose hope too quickly because there is a chance you can still save these beautiful buds.

Flowers of the Anthurium itself cannot be saved. So, for these bright, eccentric blossoms, if they have not already fallen off themselves, it is best to go ahead and take your pruning shears, clipping them off. Removing the dead flowers will help encourage new ones to blossom.

After removing all the dead or burnt flowers, keep your shears in hand. Now, go through your plant, removing any dead or leggy stems, leaves, etc.

After all has been clipped, depending on a few factors, your plant may need new soil. Consider how long it has been since your plant has been fertilized, if your Anthurium soil is crunchy and dry, or if your plant is too saturated with water. These are all reasons you would want to start fresh with entirely new soil and fertilizer.

After replacing old soil, go ahead and water your flower. For fresh or dry soil that needs a good watering, add in 16 ice cubes allowing them to melt on their own for perfect watering. If you added soil to your plant’s surface instead of repotting, starting with 6 to 7 ice cubes is best.

You have now set your plant up for a successful comeback. All that is left is finding the perfect spot in indirect sunlight and letting mother nature go to work.

Continue watering weekly and check your plant periodically to see if it needs to be rotated in sunlight to grow more evenly.

Keep in mind sometimes, no matter what you do; plants cannot always be revived. If you find yourself with an Anthurium, even after all your hard work, it isn’t able to thrive again, don’t get discouraged. Start new with a new plant staying on top of a care routine.

Toxicity

Similar to other plants in the Araceae family, Anthuriums contain insoluble calcium oxalate crystals causing these plants to be classified as highly toxic to humans and pets.

Biting or chewing these plants will cause these calcium crystals to be released. These crystals are toxic because they are sharp and rigid, which causes tissue penetration and will irritate the mouth and GI tissues.

In extreme conditions, these crystals can get into the airway and cause swelling making breathing difficult. Commonly though, you will expect drooling, pain in the face and mouth, decreased appetite, and vomiting.

These plants are best in a home without curious cats and dogs or even young children that have tendencies to want to chew. If you do, however, keep these indoors, keep them up high and out of reach. If your beloved pets or children ingest, call your pediatrician or veterinarian for further guidance.

Conclusion

Anthuriums are beautiful, bright, exotic plants that make great additions indoors. Keeping these plants indoors are said to bring love, friendship, good luck, and fulfilled life to everyone around.

These flowers make great gifts for holidays and special occasions, and they make great conversation starters for homes that love to entertain. Make an effort to know if small children or pets will be lurking nearby and take precautions to ensure safety.

A fact to know about the Anthurium is that they are on NASA’s air purifying plant list. Anthuriums purify the air, freshen the air, add moisture, and help soothe respiratory infections and irritations.

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