Anthurium Care Guide
Botanically known as Anthurium andraeanum and commonly called flamingo flower, tail flower, or painted tongue plant, the anthurium is an epiphytic evergreen tropical perennial plant of Araceae family famously adored for its beautiful pallet shaped bright red spathes and contrasting broad heart-shaped dark green foliage. The plant is native to Columbia and Ecuador. Anthuriums grow to about 16 inches, making them a perfect indoor plant for desks and floors, as long as pets and children are kept at bay since it is poisonous.
The quantity of light and the temperature will dictate the watering needs of the anthurium. High brightness and temperature levels demand frequent watering. In average environmental conditions, watering is done at least once a week. Always check for soil dryness - if the first inch of soil is dry, water it until water starts draining in the drainage holes. Under watered plants are characterized by droopy or puckering leaves. Too much water causes root rot which is signed by yellow dropping leaves.
Light and humidity
Flowering anthuriums require bright indirect light. Its flowers and leaves are weak to sustain direct sunlight. Growing the plant in low or medium-light environments drastically slows down the growth of flowers. Besides, plants with light deficiency produce small and little flowers. Anthuriums thrive in warmer environments of temperature between 70°F-90°F. It can, however, survive in typical room temperatures as long as the temperature does not fall below 50°F. Too much warmth wilts the plant. Though flowering varieties can tolerate dryness, typical anthuriums barely survive in humidity conditions below 50 percent. It is recommended to keep humidity at an average of 60 percent. Using humidifiers such as a tray of water and pebbles and grouping indoor plants can help maintain high humidity conditions. Tiny brown tips are an indication of low humidity.
Soil and Fertilizer
Anthuriums prefer soil mixtures suited for epiphytes. Applying a soil mixture of half peat moss and half orchid bark will provide sufficient soil requirements. Cymbidium orchid mix can also offer optimum conditions for anthuriums to thrive. During the growing season, it is advisable to feed the plant with a quarter strength fertilizer once a month. Using fertilizer high in phosphorous during spring and summer encourages more blooms. Spraying anthuriums with foliage fertilizer promotes the growth of leaves and flowers.
Cleaning and pruning
Cleaning foliage not only helps plants to breathe better but also enhances their general look. The anthurium's leaves and flowers are waxy; thus, they do not need artificial leaf shines. Clean with a soft damp piece of cloth soaked in water. You can also clean the plant by turning on the shower on it. Applying a mild natural soap won't do any harm. Pruning is primarily for removing spent flowers and yellow leaves. Use sharp typical pruning tools with protective gear.
Anthuriums can be propagated by planting seeds, tissue culture, division, and cuttings. Most of these approaches are difficult for typical growers, except for the cuttings method. The cuttings method involves cutting a mature stem with at least three leaves and sticking it in water-saturated soil without the leaves touching the soil. For about four to six weeks, keep the plant in humid and indirect bright light conditions.
Replanting should be done in spring or summer when the plant is growing. In warm regions, it can be done in early fall when the climate is still warm. Repotting should be done during growth seasons so that the plant can recover fast. Also, repotting is necessary when the plant is growing. Pot upgrades should be conducted at intervals of two or three years.
Problems and conclusion
The Anthurium is not prone to pests, but mealybugs and aphids can attack it. Too much water can cause root rot, which is signified by yellow leaves. Droopy and puckering leaves are an indication of inadequate water. Tiny brown tips are an indication of dry air. All these conditions are easily manageable; just readjust your care to conform to the plant requirements. Pest attacks can be countered with standard pesticides. Always remember anthurium's leaves are poisonous - keep it away from pets and children.
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