Adding plants to your home and office can boost both tranquility and liveliness. And no plant shows this more than the anthurium. This plant sports vibrant waxy leaves, spade-shaped flowers, and colorful modified leaves that resemble large blooms.
These plants make great houseplants as long as you know how to care for them. We’re going to cover the best environments for the plant, and go over common anthurium plant care tips and tricks.
About Anthurium Plants
Anthurium refers to a genus of plants with around 1,000 species of plants. You may also hear people refer to anthurium plants as laceleaf plants and flamingo flowers.
The plants are known for their colorful heart-shaped ‘flowers,’ which are actually modified leaves known as spathes. These spathes surround a spade-shaped spike covered with small, individual flowers. These colorful leaves are long-lasting, providing a pop of color to your living space for weeks on end. Anthurium plants also sport bright green, glossy leaves throughout the year.
They make great houseplants and are happy in pots. You can move the plants outdoors when the weather warms.
How to Care for Anthurium Plants Indoors
Since anthurium plants can thrive as potted houseplants, we’ll cover how to care for these plants indoors.
Choose the Proper Pot
First things first with anthurium care—you need to give your plant the proper home! Choose a planter that is just an inch or two larger than the base of your plant. Too much extra space can lead to wet soil and the related issues this can lead to.
Many planter materials work well, including colorful glazed ceramic, natural terracotta, and basic plastic. Just make sure the bottom of the plant has drainage holes!
Use a Well-Drained Potting Mix
You should plant potted plants in a soilless potting mix rather than natural soil. These mixes are specially designed to provide the drainage, aeration, and support container plants love.
Anthurium plants like a mix that’s well-draining but also able to hold onto a bit of moisture in between waterings. Many potting mixes that are based in peat moss or coco coir work well. However, since these plants often grow on other plants in nature, it’s a good idea to mix in some extra perlite or pine bark fines.
Provide the Right Lighting
In the wild, most anthurium plants grow on top of other plants or on the forest floor. That means they receive dappled or indirect light rather than piercing sunlight. Your goal is to place your anthurium plants in a place that mimics this type of lighting.
Rather than placing your anthurium in front of a south-facing window, set it somewhere that receives less direct light. The interior of a room or next to a north-facing window are both suitable options.
Keep the Soil Moist
Anthurium plants like their soil to stay moderately moist. That means you should avoid completely dry and sopping wet soil and aim for something in between.
A good rule of thumb is to water the soil when the top few inches of the soil is dry. You can poke your finger into the top of the soil to check the moisture level, or use a moisture meter to measure the moisture.
When you water your plant, thoroughly saturate it until water runs out of the pot’s drainage holes. This will allow all of the soil to become moist and encourage the plants to develop robust root systems.
Watch Temperature and Humidity
Anthurium plants are native to areas in Central and South America, which means they tend to prefer warmer temperatures. Fortunately, average household temperatures usually work just fine. Keeping the temperature between 65–80°F will keep your plants happy.
You should also do your best to avoid sudden swings in temperatures as well as exposure to hot or cold drafts. That means keeping your plants away from air conditioning vents and fireplaces.
When it comes to humidity, more is better to care for anthuriums. These plants thrive in high humidity, but average humidity can also work okay. If your home or office is particularly dry, a humidifier is the best way to boost the air moisture. You can also set the planter on top of a tray filled with pebbles and water, but this won’t increase the humidity as much as a humidifier.
Fertilize Just the Right Amount
Adding fertilizer to anthurium plants helps ensure they have the nutrients they need to grow and thrive. However, adding too much fertilizer can create even bigger problems than not enough fertilizer.
Choose a balanced fertilizer with a nutrient ratio of 1-1-1 and apply it to your plant once in the spring and again in the early summer.
Remedying Common Anthurium Care Issues
Even if you care for anthurium plants to the best of your ability, they may still develop some unsightly issues. Yellow leaves, dropping flowers, and stunted plants are all common problems. Learning about the causes of these problems can help you remedy them and get your plant back to looking the healthiest they possibly can.
Anthurium leaves are usually some variation of green, so yellow leaves can be a bit concerning. The problem with yellowing leaves is that they can have a wide variety of causes. But, all of these causes are related to stress.
Overwatering is one of the most common causes of yellow anthurium leaves. Double check that you’re using a well-draining potting soil and a planter with drainage holes. And remember to only add more water when the top few inches of soil is dry.
Other causes of yellow leaves include cold temperatures, drafts, too much fertilizer, and too little fertilizer.
Brown Leaf Tips
Anthurium leaves also sometimes develop brown leaf tips. This likely indicates that the soil or the air is too dry. Remember to water your plant thoroughly when the top of the soil is dry, and provide moderate to high humidity.
While you may think a lack of water is the most common cause of floppy leaves, overwatering is actually more likely to blame. Wet soil can lead to root rot, which can prevent the plant from taking up the water it needs. Hence, wilted leaves.
If you suspect your anthurium plant has root rot, you can remove the root ball from the planter and inspect the roots. Trim off any soft or mushy pieces, and repot the plant in a fresh potting mix. As long as you decrease the amount you water, your plant should make a swift recovery.
The most common pests that infect anthurium plants are tiny, sap-sucking critters like spider mites, aphids, and thrips. A few of these little guys won’t cause much damage, but they can quickly multiply and cause stippled or discolored leaves.
If you see any of these pests on your anthurium, act quickly. You can wipe off these pests with a soapy rag or spray them with neem oil or insecticidal soap.
Anthurium leaves are beautiful, but many people love them for their beautiful flowers and the surrounding colorful spathes. If your anthurium doesn’t have any flowers, a few factors could be to blame.
First, make sure your plant is receiving enough light. While these plants don’t like direct light, they do prefer lots of bright, indirect light. Next, check that the temperature is warm enough. Finally, try adding a bit of flowering fertilizer to your plant.
Popular Anthurium Varieties
As we mentioned above, there are hundreds of anthurium species. Not all of these are suited for life as houseplants, but many are! Here are some of the most popular types of anthurium to grow indoors.
- Anthurium andreanum: perhaps the most popular type of anthurium, this species has bright green leaves and heat-shaped spathes that can be pink, red, white, and more.
- Anthurium clarinervium: large heart-shaped leaves are dark green with stunning white veins.
- Anthurium veitchii:
Fill Your Home with Houseplants
Whether you live in a studio apartment or a large house, there’s always room for more plants! The anthurium is a great choice for many areas, but it’s not the only plant that can liven up your living areas. The Bouqs Co. offers a large variety of plants for delivery that you can order for your friends, coworkers, and even yourself!
Once you’ve found your new green best friend, you’ll want to be able to care for it properly. We’ve put together a variety of plant care articles, including a piece on Chinese money plant care and a guide on caring for succulents.Shop All