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How to repot an anthurium so it continues to thrive in your home

Known colloquially as the flamingo flower, anthuriums are sought out for their ability to bloom at any time of the year as long as they’ve been cared for well. With over 1,000 varieties in the genus, anthurium blooms come in all sorts of colors, including green, pink, red, white, and yellow. Their unique and vibrant blooms, especially those in red, white, and green shades, make great centerpieces around the holidays or general accents in your home. Because they’re native to tropical environments, they’re most commonly grown as a houseplant. And even though they have a fairly moderate growth rate, chances are you’ll still need to repot your anthurium during its lifetime.

Anthuriums with pink blooms

Why you should repot your anthurium

Anthuriums need repotting for the same reasons as other plants: room to grow and ability to thrive. When an anthurium grows to fill the size pot it’s in, the roots start to become cramped, which inhibits their ability to absorb the proper amount of nutrients and water needed to thrive. They’ll start to suffocate, and the result will be a plant that doesn’t put out a lot of new foliage or blooms.

How to tell your anthurium is ready for repotting

Your anthurium is ready for repotting as soon as it starts showing signs of being rootbound. When possible, you want to wait until new growth starts in the spring and the plant has enough energy to recover from the stress faster; however, a severely rootbound anthurium should be repotted as soon as possible.

Signs that an anthurium is ready for repotting include:

  • Bent or cracked containers
  • Roots around the soil surface
  • Roots growing out of the drainage hole
  • Water running straight through
  • Wilting foliage, especially after watering

How do you split and repot anthurium?

Repotting an anthurium isn’t a difficult thing to do and usually needs to be done about every two or three years. You want to pick a new pot with good drainage holes to help prevent excess water collection. If you know you tend to overwater, you should lean towards a pot that’s made from terracotta, whereas forgetful waterers will want to pick one that’s ceramic or plastic. It should be no more than two inches larger than the current pot (for example, if you have a six-inch pot, you should upgrade to no bigger than an eight-inch pot).

Follow these steps for repotting your anthurium:

  1. Water the anthurium well the day before repotting. You’ll have an easier time repotting a moist rootball for this plant as it will help prevent root shock.
  2. Fill the new container with your prepared potting soil. Just enough so that the top of the anthurium’s root ball sits about an inch below the rim of the container. You don’t want the roots to be buried at the bottom of the pot.
  3. Remove the anthurium from its current home. To do this, tip the pot on the side and gently work the plant out from the base. Never pull on the stems, as you could damage the plant. If needed you can use a rubber spatula to loosen the edges of the soil around the pot.
  4. Remove excess dirt. If there’s a lot of soil clumps around the roots, use your fingers to gently release it and loosen the roots.
  5. Place the anthurium in the new pot. Fill in the gaps around and on top of the roots with your potting mix.
  6. Water lightly. This will settle the soil, and then you’ll be able to top it off with a bit more mix as needed.

Make sure you don’t plant the crown of the anthurium too deep, otherwise the plant could easily rot. Slight wilting does happen when repotting anthuriums, so don’t be worried if your plant isn’t fully happy for a few days. It should perk up in no time.

Splitting your anthurium

For splitting your anthurium, you’ll need the above materials in addition to a pair of sterilized shears. If you’re looking to split your anthurium before repotting, take the following steps during the repotting process:

  1. Water the anthurium well the day before repotting.
  2. Fill the new containers with your prepared potting soil.
  3. Remove the anthurium from its current home.
  4. Remove excess dirt.
  5. Find where the offshoots are joined at the roots. This is usually close to the base of the plant and is where you’ll be splitting them up.
  6. Gently start pulling apart. It’s important to not be too forceful, but as long as the roots aren’t severely compacted, you’ll be able to separate them with just your hands. If the roots are tangled up, try to use your fingers to gently unwind them; however, if there are a few parts that just won’t give, you can use your sterilized shears to make some cuts.
  7. Place the anthuriums in their new pots.
  8. Water lightly and top off with potting soil.
An anthurium in a green pot

How do you prepare the soil for an anthurium plant?

Anthuriums prefer to have a potting mix that’s coarse, loose, and well-draining. You want to shy away from the standard bag of indoor mix. The best option would be to make your own using two parts orchid mix, one part peat moss, and one part sand or perlite. This mixture creates a perfect environment for anthuriums to thrive in.

That said, if you know what your anthurium was potted in before and it was doing well, you should repot it in the same mixture you took it out of — just new and fresh instead of the oil nutrient-drained soil.

Things to be cautious of when repotting

After repotting, your anthurium will need anywhere from a few days to a week to readjust. Anthuriums are more sensitive to light following their repotting, so you want to keep it in a shadier area of the home for three to seven days as opposed to its well-lit location it came from. If you put it right back in the sun, the leaves could burn and stress the plant even further.

Anthuriums are gorgeous plants that make beautiful accents in your home. Their unique foliage and blooms fit perfectly on a side table, as a centerpiece, or even as an office plant. As long as you take care during the repotting process and are careful not to damage the roots when splitting, your anthurium will continue to bounce back and thrive.

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