The Anthurium species is favored by many houseplant enthusiasts. It has waxy and bright foliage that adds a burst of color to your home and houseplant collection.
In this care guide, we’ll fill you in on everything that you need to know about looking after and growing a thriving Anthurium.
It loves warm, humid rainforests and in its native environment grows as an epiphyte. This herbaceous perennial is slightly fussy, so you will need to follow a consistent care regime.
The houseplant is known for its long-lasting blooms and variations. This genus is made up of over 1,000 different types.
Fun fact: According to Feng Shui, this houseplant brings a household good luck and it attracts positive energy.
There are many different types of Anthurium each with its own unique foliage and colorful spadix and spathe. We’ve listed and briefly described 16 popular variations.
- Anthurium crystallinum: These heart-shaped leaves have a silvery-green shine to them, and they’re accompanied by strong, white veins.
- Anthurium ‘red dragon’: Its dark green foliage has stunning, bright red blooms.
- Anthurium clarinervium: This variation has dark green leaves with a creamy-green heart.
- Anthurium ‘water dragon’: It has deep green emerald-colored foliage that almost resembles a bird’s nest.
- Anthurium scherzerianum: This type originated in tropical America and has waxy green leaves with a bright orange flower.
- Anthurium magnificum: These heart-shaped leaves are a dark green color, but have piercing white veins.
- Anthurium coriaceum: Their leaves are paddle-shaped, thick, and dark green with a leathery texture.
- Anthurium pachyneurium: This variation is interesting as it has long green leaves that turn into a dark red color as it gets cooler. It is also known as the ‘big red bird’.
- Anthurium jenmanii: Also referred to as the ‘lovely green’, this variation grows upright and sprouts lush green leaves.
- Anthurium pedatoradiatum: This type of Anthurium is also called ‘fingers’ as it has finger-like leaves that almost look like an open hand.
- Anthurium regale: It has light green leaves when it is a new plant, and as it matures these leaves begin to darken.
- Anthurium vittarifolium: Unlike other variations, this one has long narrow leaves that cascade over when grown in a hanging basket.
- Anthurium veitchii: Often called the ‘king Anthurium’, this houseplant originated in Columbia and has strongly corrugated leaves.
- Anthurium superbum: The plant takes a rosette format and was nicknamed ‘bird nest’. It is also corrugated and the leaves are long with a pointed end.
- Anthurium andraeanum: Commonly referred to as ‘flamingo flower’ or ‘lace leaf’, this type of Anthurium sprouts a glossy red spathe.
- Anthurium warocqueanum: This variation has elongated, thick and waxy green leaves with a creamy-green vein.
If cared for well, the Anthurium can reach heights of up to 12 to 18 inches (30.5 – 45.7cm). It also can grow a spread between 9 to 12 inches (23 – 30.5cm).
How Fast Do They Grow?
Typically, it grows 2 to 10 inches (5 – 25.4cm) a year. The growth rate is dependent on the type of Anthurium and the care it is given.
How Long Do They Live?
This houseplant can live for many years in your home and the precise lifespan varies across the many variations. Typically, it lives for as long as 5 to 10 years.
Just like many houseplants who are part of the Araceae family, this plant contains calcium oxalate crystals. In large quantities, the sap can be highly toxic.
Below, we will discuss the symptoms that you or your pet may face if the sap is ingested by either one of you.
Is It Toxic to Cats and Dogs?
Yes, it’s poisonous to both cats and dogs. If your pet eats any part of the plant it may begin to drool excessively, paw at its face, and experience oral pain. You may notice that they’re not eating as much because their appetite has decreased. Your furry friend may also begin to vomit or have diarrhea.
Please seek advice from your vet if you suspect that either of your pets has ingested the plant.
Is It Toxic to People?
Yes, when ingesting or coming into contact with the plant’s sap, you may experience one or many of the symptoms listed below.
- Burning sensation in your mouth.
- Blisters may form in your mouth or on your skin.
- Your throat may become swollen.
- A rash may develop.
- If it gets in your eye then you’ll experience some irritation.
All of these symptoms should fade over time, however, if you’re concerned then contact your doctor as soon as possible.
We’ll explain all of the care requirements and environmental conditions needed for a stunning Anthurium houseplant.
How Often to Water It
When it comes to watering, this houseplant is slightly fussy. It requires a decent amount of water but is highly susceptible to root rot.
To achieve slightly moist soil you can water the Anthurium once a week. You should water it when the top 2 inches (5cm) of the potting mix is dry. Additionally, the soil should also never be left to completely dry out.
When watering the houseplant, make sure to stop once the water flows out the drainage holes. Ideally, you should opt for distilled or purified water as this houseplant is sensitive to chlorine and chemicals found in tap water, much like the areca palm.
Does It Need Drainage?
Drainage is imperative for a healthy Anthurium. As we previously mentioned; it is highly sensitive to root rot. This means that water needs to effectively drain out to avoid soggy conditions.
You need to use a pot with many drainage holes and make sure that your soil is well-draining.
Pruning can be carried out any time of the year. It does not require frequent heavy trimming but it is a great way to maintain a pretty plant and encourage new healthier growth.
You will want to cut back leggy and unhealthy growth or simply trim the plant to maintain its size. You will also need to prune off any wilting or dead flowers.
Follow the easy steps below:
- Take out a clean pair of scissors or shears and begin to prune from the top down.
- Start by trimming off any dead or unhealthy leaves.
- When pruning the blooms, you will need to cut them off at the base of the stem.
Typically, you should repot it every 2 to 3 years or when the plant is rootbound. It is best to repot it during the spring or summertime.
When transplanting the Anthurium, you will need to use a fresh potting mixture and a clean pot.
Follow the guide below:
- Remove the plant by sliding it out or tipping it over.
- Fill a new container with moistened potting mixture and plant it at the same depth it previously was.
- Water the plant well and place it back in its original position.
When it comes to sunshine the Anthurium thrives in bright, indirect sunlight. It needs filtered light as this replicates its natural environment in the rainforest.
Shady areas will cause leggy growth, whereas direct sunlight will scorch its poor leaves. Low-lit areas will not encourage blooming, and the plant may produce fewer blooms or none at all.
Anthurium prefers coarse and fast-draining soil. It needs to allow for water to flow out easily so that it doesn’t become waterlogged. Ideally, the soil’s pH should be slightly acidic and around 5.5 to 6.5. The best type of soil is an orchid mix and peat moss mix.
An ideal potting mixture is 1 part orchid mix and 1 part perlite. You can also throw in some mulch or sphagnum moss to enhance nutrient density.
To encourage blooms, you should use a water-soluble liquid fertilizer that is high in phosphorus. Ideally, the houseplant should be fed once a month during its active growing seasons.
To avoid fertilizer salts building up, you need to dilute the fertilizer to a quarter of its strength. During the wintertime, it isn’t necessary to fertilize the plant.
Best Pot Size and Type
It prospers in pots that are about 2 inches (5cm) wider than its rootball. A plastic pot is ideal as it allows for adequate drainage.
It is best to avoid using a terracotta container because this will dry out the soil far too quickly.
Top tip: Plant the Anthurium in hanging baskets for a gorgeous decoration especially when it has long leaves.
Anthurium flourishes in a temperature range of 65 to 85°F (18.3 – 29.4°C). At night it can withstand 50°F (10°C). The houseplant must never sit in an area where temperatures dip below 40°F (4.4°C), as it may be fatal to your houseplant.
Humidity is important for the Anthurium as it is native to tropical rainforests. You want to create a humid environment with a relative humidity level of 60 to 80 percent.
Here are some top tips to increase humidity levels:
- Mist your plant with lukewarm water every couple of days.
- Purchase an electric humidifier and place it close to the plant.
- Group it with other houseplants.
- Prepare a tray with water and gravel, then place the container on top of it.
Outdoors vs. Indoors
Just like the zebra plant, you can grow this houseplant outdoors in USDA hardiness zones of 11 and 12. When you decide to grow it outside you will need to water it more frequently, and it should be planted in partial shade, as when it is outdoors, its leaves are more likely to become burnt.
Keep in mind that you will want to bring it back inside when it is too cold.
The flower blooms year-round and if cared for properly, you may even see 5 blooms a year. These blossoms are red, pink, or white. The flower is made of two components; a spathe and a spadix.
The spathes are heart-shaped and waxy, while the spadix is at a right angle to spathes and deeply veined. They can last for up to 2 months before they begin to wither away.
How to Get It to Bloom
To encourage more flowers to grow, you must water the plant properly, maintain a consistent temperature, find a sunny home and provide it with adequate humidity.
How to Grow It
You can grow an Anthurium of your own through multiple propagation methods, and you can plant its seeds. It is best to carry out all of these methods during the springtime and make sure that you have sterilized all of your tools.
You can propagate this houseplant in soil, and water. We’ll discuss the various methods of propagation below.
When propagating the stem cuttings or divisions in soil, you must use a fresh and well-draining potting mixture.
Growing from Stem Cuttings
When you want to grow a mature plant, you can use stem cuttings. Once you have a healthy stem, you can plant it and watch a new houseplant sprout. We’ve provided the steps below.
- Examine the houseplant and cut a healthy-looking stem with at least one leaf.
- Dip the cut area in some rooting hormone.
- Prepare a new container with nutrient-dense potting soil.
- Plant the stem 2 inches (5cm) deep and moisten the potting mixture.
- Position it in a warm, sunny area and keep the soil moist.
- After 3 to 4 weeks, the roots should have established themselves and you can repot it when necessary.
Propagating by Division
You can separate the plant’s rootball and plant these divisions to multiply your houseplant collection.
- Take out the plant and dust off the soil surrounding the rootball.
- Take out a sharp blade and slice through the rootball. Keep in mind that you don’t want to damage the actual roots.
- Take out a new container and fill it with some soil.
- Next, you can plant each division and water them well.
- Place them in an area where they’ll receive plenty of sunlight.
- Once you notice new growth, you can care for them as you normally would a mature plant.
How to Propagate It in Water
You can propagate a stem cutting in water. Should you decide to use this method, then you may need to change the water frequently. It is best to use a transparent glass jar so that you can see new growth easily.
- Choose a healthy stem and cut it as close to the base as possible.
- Trim off the leaves at the bottom of the stem as you don’t want these to become submerged in the water.
- Dip the cut area in rooting hormone and place it in a glass jar with room temperature water.
- Move the jar to a sunny home and change the water every 3 days.
- After 3 to 4 weeks, you will notice new root growth.
- It is best to transplant it in soil once the roots are long enough.
You can plant Anthurium seeds during the springtime but new growth may take longer to sprout.
Here’s a step-by-step guide to planting Anthurium seeds:
- Fill a shallow tray with vermiculite and peat moss, and then sprinkle the seeds evenly over this mixture.
- Place a plastic bag over the tray to lock in the moisture and warmth.
- Keep the soil moist and find a sunny home for the seeds.
- Once new growth has sprouted, you can remove the plastic bag.
- You can transplant the seedlings when they’re big enough and require their own pot.
How to Revive It
Below, we’ll discuss the four most common issues that the Anthurium may face. Furthermore, we will tell you exactly how to revive your houseplant back to health.
Why Are the Leaves Turning Brown?
Brown leaves are caused by either over- or underwatering, direct sunlight, and it may even be a sign of root rot. You must tweak your watering schedule to ensure that the soil is not too dry or waterlogged.
You may also need to move your houseplant and find a place where it will soak in some indirect light. When your plant is suffering from root rot, then immediately cut back any unhealthy roots and repot it as soon as possible.
Why Are the Leaves Turning Yellow?
The major reason for yellow foliage is overwatering, a lack of humidity, or a lack of nutrients. These can be solved by making a few simple changes.
Make sure that the soil isn’t soggy or left to dry out for too long. It is also vital that it is grown in a humid environment such as your bathroom. If you’re worried that it is lacking in any nutrients then add compost into the potting mixture or fertilize it more regularly.
Why Do the Leaves Have Brown Spots?
Brown spots on its leaves are caused by leaf blight. This is also called leaf spot, and it is due to nutrient deficiency, direct sunlight, and improper watering.
You will need to update your care routine and make sure that it is well fed and watered, and ensure that it isn’t receiving direct sunshine.
Few Flowers Blooming
The number one reason why you may see fewer and fewer blooms is due to a lack of sunshine. You will need to find a location where it soaks in filtered sunlight.
Although the Anthurium species is slightly finicky, it is fairly simple to grow once you have nailed down the basic care requirements. The best part about this plant is that it blooms year-round and produces such a waxy, vivid flower.