Native to Central and South America, there are roughly 1,000 different species of anthurium plants. They’re perennials, and although they can be grown outdoors in warmer climates, they’re one of the most compatible houseplants for indoor spaces, and are often seen in an indoor garden collection. Some gardeners will grow them to admire their foliage, others for the beautiful colors the anthurium has to offer.
But be aware, this plant—also known as the “flamingo flower”—can be fussy. As most plants do, the anthurium needs certain care conditions to be met in order to really thrive. You may end up doing a bit of trial and error, but it will be worth it to have this beautiful plant in your home. So, how do you care for an anthurium plant indoors?
As with most indoor plants, your anthurium will do best when potted with a well-draining soil in a container that has good drainage. You want to keep the soil moist when watering, but not wet (as you don’t want your anthurium sitting in soggy soil and potentially rotting). To avoid repotting too much, it would be ideal to use a pot that the anthurium can grow into instead of out of. If needed, repotting should only be done when the plant’s roots fill the space. When you see roots begin to come above the soil, that means it’s time to repot.
You may notice as your anthurium grows, too, that it isn’t supporting itself too well. When they grow in their natural environment, anthuriums tend to grow off our plants instead of in soil. So, you may need to provide it with some additional support in the form of a garden stake or skewer.
Anthuriums prefer an environment in which the soil is moist, not wet, and never dries out completely. In a pot with good drainage, you should be better able to avoid overwatering your anthurium by paying close attention to when the water begins to seep out the bottom and into the tray. You’ll know that it’s time to water again when the top of the soil is dry to the touch.
Since they prefer a moist environment, anthuriums will require regular watering. Be wary of overwatering and drowning the plant. Anthuriums are prone to root rot if the soil is too wet for too long. On the other hand, allowing the soil to dry out too much will slow the growth of the plant and make it more difficult for the roots to become wet again. Unlike hardy houseplants, the anthurium is one that will need to be more closely monitored to ensure you’re providing it with the care it needs.
To create the perfect soil environment for anthuriums, you’ll need a well-draining soil and a pot with a drainage hole. The ideal potting mix would be one that was designed for orchids with some additional sand and peat moss. Anthuriums need the soil to drain well but be able to hold some water so that it stays moist. If you are unable to do the orchid mix with sand and peat moss, you can also try a half-and-half mixture of regular houseplant potting soil and orchid mix. This will give you a similar environment to the one with sand and peat moss, and your anthurium will still be happy.
Anthuriums can grow in all levels of indirect lighting, so if you live in a dimmer space, you still have a shot at keeping an anthurium as a houseplant. Keep in mind, though, that anthuriums grown in lower lighting will grow slower and have fewer flowers than those grown in bright, indirect lighting. The one place you absolutely don’t want it is in direct lighting. Anthuriums have low tolerance for direct sunlight, and their leaves will easily burn. The best growing environment is bright, indirect light.
If there isn’t a spot in your home where an anthurium can get the light it requires, you can use a grow light instead.
If the anthurium isn’t blooming, it may be because it isn’t getting the exact mixture of humidity, light, water, and nutrients from its potting mixture that it requires. Troubleshoot first by making sure you’re following the directions, as listed above. Like we said—anthuriums can be a bit trickier. You can fertilize the plant occasionally—about once every one to two weeks, using a fertilizer that’s been diluted to quarter strength. Make sure to use a fertilizer that’s rich with phosphorus.
Also keep in mind that anthuriums should be repotted every two to three years, to make sure they have room to continue growing and pushing out new blooms.
Yes! And doing so when you repot is the perfect time. Just take a stem cutting, root it in water or perlite, or just push it directly into soil. For best results, take a portion of the stem that has at least two nodes. The cutting may take some time to grow, but so long as you’re patient, you’ll be sure to see results.
Remember that anthuriums are still tropical plants. They grow in humid, moist environments. Recreating these conditions as best you can will give your anthurium the best shot at thriving. When it’s colder/drier out, you’ll want to mist your plant to increase humidity levels or even run a humidifier.
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