Kenna writes about the care of plants, both indoors and out. She wrote an orchid care booklet—a companion piece for workshops.
The anthurium plant has various names. People familiar with the plant say, "It's a tailflower." The plant looks like it's on fire like a flamingo dancer, though, so some people call it the flamingo flower. For obvious reasons, its ideal name is: "The Flower With a Heart."
By nature, the tropical plant contains deep reds, pinks, lavenders, and whites. The heart shapes offer a message of everlasting love, which makes them the perfect gift for someone you love.
Anthurium Andraeanum Care
- Anthuriums need a thorough watering about once a week. I always let them dry out for a week and then water them all over again. They seem to like it because they are a tropical plant.
- You want to make sure they grow evenly, and since they like the light, give them a quarter turn each time you water them. Rotating the plant also keeps the plant's color balanced, evenly growing throughout the plant.
- Like most tropical plants, caring for the anthurium is quite easy, as long as they don't get too cold. They are a tropical plant and like the heat. Keep them warm, around 78–90°F. At night, the temperature can go a little lower, around 70–75°F.
- If the plant looks a little down, check for water and sunlight. If that is okay, make sure the temperature is the room is above 70°F.
Getting the Anthurium to Bloom
A vital factor in caring for an anthurium plant is making sure the colorful plant grows in lots of light indoors. Think of it as a math equation. The more light you give your plant, the happier it will be and more likely to bloom for you.
You want to make sure that it is indirect light, however. Direct sunlight beaming down on the plant over time can burn the plant. By nature, the plant lives in lush, shady tropical forests, so they grow in filtered sunlight.
However, if the plant is living in low-quality light for a long time, it will stop flowering. You can tell if it is not getting enough light by the long, stretching leaves on the anthurium. It means the sun is too low, and the plant is reaching for it.
Fertilizing With 10-10-10
Fertilizing your anthurium is a must, but be sure to use a light fertilizer solution. A perfect formula is 10-10-10 of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. I like to use a water-soluble brand called Bonide House Plant Liquid Food 10-10-10.
I add water to the fertilizer, diluting the strength by three-fourths, and my anthuriums thrive. If my plants are in brighter light as the seasons change, I give them more fertilizer.
Caring for Anthuriums Indoors
Indoor plants love a good cleaning. The completed process helps them breathe and grow. I gently spray water on the foliage and wipe carefully. I do this at least once a week, so the plant is clean and pest free.
I also wipe the undersides as well, because pests usually like to hide under the plant leaves and petals.
I have learned that the anthurium attracts the usual indoor plant pests: spider mites and mealybugs. I keep a watchful eye on my plant and handle the pests right away. It is rare, though, because I stay on top of the pests and hardly ever have to treat the plant for them. Pests are no fun for your plant or you, though. They can spread quickly to other plants, so be vigilant.
If you cannot control the infection, the plant needs treatment as soon as possible with a general systemic. I use Bonide Product 951 Systemic House Plant Insect Control. It is not expensive, is easy to use, and lasts for at least eight weeks.
One treatment is all it takes with 951. I follow the ratio on the label based on the size of the plant, making sure the granules dissolve thoroughly before pouring the mixture into the plant's container.
Check your other plants for pests. Because if one plant has pests, some of your other plants might have little buggers, too—they travel quickly from plant to plant.
I recommend that you check the plant's soil once in a while to make sure the water is draining to benefit the plant. The only time you have to worry about the plant is when water doesn't flow through the soil very well.
Standing water causes the humidity to rise, potentially allowing disease or fungus to set.
When a plant lives in higher humidity with raised temperatures—and the drainage is deficient—it's a feeding ground for disease and fungus. But well-draining soil helps prevent any infection from forming.
- Blight: Visible signs are yellowed, water-soaked wounds accompanying the leaf margins that proliferate to form dead scars that are v-shaped.
- Wilt: Leaf yellowing usually is the first sign discerned. The infection spreads quickly throughout the vascular system of the plant, causing veins of the leaves and stems to turn a brown, bronze shade. A bacteria ooze looks like brown slime when you cut the stems of extremely infected plants. The name "wilt" signifies the plant's exhibit wilting symptoms, although there is sufficient soil moisture.
- Root Rot: The professionals call the symptoms "damping-off" because the stems look girdled, becoming water-soaked and cannot hold the plant's weight. The fungus attacks the roots and bottom part of the stems, and when in wet condition, it will spread to the upper canopy of the plant.
- Water Molds: The molds mainly attack the root, but the leaves will cause the plant to appear wilted even though the soil is moist. When it gets horrible, you see yellowing in the foliage wilting and brown lesions in the leaves.
- Black Nose: Small, brownish-to-black particles on the nose (floral spadix). The particles quickly increase in size and turn watery, then brown to black, and eventually cover the whole spadix before falling off. The black particles might spread to the leaves.
Anthurium Flower Meaning
Owning a healthy anthurium in your home is what love is all about. If you want to express your love, anthurium is the plant to give to the one you love.
The tropical plant’s heart shapes make sure the love is still on fire. You can communicate your suggestive love to someone special by giving a pink, lavender, or white anthurium.
If you need to express your burning desire, even more, try placing the plant in a colored container. A reddish-orange container means desire, pleasure, and a thirst for action. A yellow is playful, cheerful, happy, and optimistic. Or you can use pink, which expresses sentimental and romantic.
Whatever you decide to do with your anthurium, whether give it away as a gift or keep it for yourself, make sure you take good care of it. These beautiful, exotic plants can last a long time.
- Anthurium Diseases: Identification and Handling
With attractive, long-lasting flowers, anthurium is both an exotic cut-flower crop and a flowering potted-plant crop.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2016 Kenna McHugh