Exotic, elegant Anthuriums catch the eye. Flashy and colorful with heart shaped leaves. These are show stealers.
They make beautiful potted houseplants, patio plants and lovely ornamentals in your tropical garden.
Anthuriums are commonly known as painters palette, flamingo flower and Laceleaf. There are over 1000 varieties that are Native to Mexico, Argentina, Columbia Ecuador and the Caribbean.
Anthurium scherzerianum and Anthurium andraeanum are the most common species you will find in garden centers. More are showing up all the time so keep your eye out.
Red Anthuriums, pinks, purples and white varieties make choosing difficult. They are all so interesting.
In warm humid tropical climates Anthuriums enjoy moist rich well drained soil and thrive in shadier areas outdoors. They can go wild in tropical climates.
For those of us in colder climates they make a nice indoor plant.
More Lovely Foliage Plants:
All of these plants add interest and life to your home too. For even more indoor plant ideas take a look at our Houseplant section.
Air Filtering Plant:
The Nasa study of Air filtering plants includes Anthuriums. They Remove formaldehyde, xylene, toluene and ammonia from air.
If you have a well lit small enclosed bathroom, office or bedroom add these air filtering plants.
What we recognize as the plant flower is actually a colorful spathe. Anthuriums bloom on Spathes like their plant cousin the peace lily.
Anthuriums blooms last for several months. With good pruning and care Anthuriums will continually send up new spathes to replace the ones that die back.
The colorful spathes last well when cut. They are often sold as cut flowers to the floral industry. Anthurium arrangements make lovely gifts.
- This aroid requires a light soil.
- A mix of potting soil, orchid bark and perlite will keep the roots happiest.
- Our mix for this anthurium is 50 % potting mix to 10% perlite and 40% orchid bark.
- Mix the ingredients in a large bowl to create your mix. Use a mask when working with dry perlite.
- A heavy soil potting mix is not recommended for Anthurium plants.
Pot Size and Type:
- Anthurium plants can be grown in pots that fit the root size.
- If you want to encourage faster growth choose a pot about 2 inches wider in diameter than the current pot.
- Any well drained pot can be used. It MUST have drainage.
- Repot every second year or when roots come out the drainage holes on the pot bottom To the next pot size up.
- Don't jump to a huge pot from a small one unless you wish to encourage faster growth. Just go to the next size up pot.
- Anthuriums enjoy bright indirect or dappled shade outdoors.
- They will tolerate lower indirect light it if has some brighter moments in the day.
- For optimal growth and blooming set the plant in bright indirect light.
- Shield this aroid from strong direct light in summer south and west sunny windows. The leaves will burn.
- Tip: Window sheers or blinds can offset some brief periods of high direct light.
- Water your Anthurium when the soil is dry down an inch or so. Aroids do not like to be overly wet. Try a watering schedule of every other week.
- Watering is best done on a regular schedule so the plant is not over or under watered. Both can cause stress on the plant.
- This tropical plant enjoys humidity. In dry climates this Plants will thrive with a humidifier nearby. or set it in your kitchen or bathroom. For a really dry climate frequent misting will help.
- In dormant winter months reduce watering to when the soil is dry down halfway .
- Never let this plant get wet feet. If the soil is compacted the bottom of the soil can remain wet which encourages root rot and Fungus Gnats. If you see yellow leaves you are probably overwatering.
How to Fertilize:
- Apply a good quality balanced fertilizer (linked in materials) or bloom boosting orchid fertilizer monthly through Spring and summer.
- Decrease feedings by late Fall and allow your plant to rest through the winter months.
- Look for brown spots on the leaves of your Anthuriums. This may indicate an over concentration of salts in the roots from over feeding. It can burn the leaves.
- The remedy is to set the plant under a faucet of water and let the water run through for 10 minutes or so to flush out the extra salts..
- Allow the pot to Completely drain. Discontinue fertilizer until the plant recovers.
- Anthuriums can be grown successfully outdoors as an ornamental as a patio plant or ornamental garden plant in the proper soil conditions in climate zones 10 -12.
- Keep at a low of 60 Degrees F. to upward of 85 Degrees F. It enjoys warmth and humidity.
Pruning and Training:
- Anthuriums tend to grow leggy. Pruning them back helps maintain a well shaped plant.
- Sharp Hand pruners are preferred for pruning. They will give a clean cut that will heal quickly.
- Wear gloves to prune this plant. It contains skin irritants that are released during pruning.
- Prune the old dying leaves and colored bracts or spathes. Prune all the way back to the soil line.
- Prune back any suckers coming up to retain the strength of the mother plant.
- Some varieties of Anthuriums do climb. If you have a climbing variety it can be attached to a stake outside or in a pot. Use the velcro tape to attach it gently to the stake.
- All plants can get attacked by pests.
- Stress by longterm poor watering practices, poor light, extreme temperatures and soil conditions are contributors to pests.
- Spider mites, mealy bugs, scale, thrips and whitefly are the most common houseplant pests you will see.
- Read our post on How to get rid of aphids and other pests with our homemade pesticide soap recipe or neems oil.
- To minimize the possibility of pests be sure to check all nursery plants before bringing them home.
- Quarantine all new plants until you are sure no pests live in them.
How to Propagate Anthuriums:
Anthurium Propagation can be done most easily for home gardeners by root division:
- When it's time to repot your anthurium look for the plant separation in the top. Anthuriums grow offshoots that should be fairly easy to see.
- Gently pull the sections apart once the plant is unpotted.
- Cut or pull the new extensions off and repot them in their own pot to grow.
- New plant in the making.
For those of us growing plants in the home or garden root division is the best choice. It's very simple and has good results.
Anthuriums contain Calcium oxalate which is moderately toxic to humans and pets.
This plant can cause skin irritations and mild rashing. Gloves recommended when pruning this plant. Avoid contact with skin and eyes.
Please ensure the plant parts are not chewed by pets.
Symptoms may include oral irritation, vomiting, and difficulty in swallowing. These symptoms are rarely fatal but you should contact a vet to determine if medical care is needed.
Keep your anthurium away from strong winds outdoors. In the house keep this plant away from drying air conditioning and heat vents.