Anthurium – Anthurium andreanum – Indoor plants – Anthurium – Apartment

Anthurium is a herbaceous plant from the rainforests of Central and South America. It belongs to the Araceae family. The anthurium genus includes more than 500 species that can be both epiphytic and terrestrial. At our latitudes they are mostly considered indoor or hothouse plants and are very cultivated for the elegance of their spathe and leaves.

In the forests of tropical America there are dozens of species of anthurium, among them the anthurium andreanum is the one that is also grown in nurseries, as an indoor plant. In the nursery there are numerous hybrids and cultivars, with pink, white, lilac and orange inflorescences. In the last years, in the nursery, you can find also the anthurium of the species scherzerianum, with particular spiral spadix.

The anthurium are also widely used as cut flowers, since the inflorescence lasts long once cut by the plant.

anthurium arancio

The anthurium in the house

anthurium rosa These plants need average minimum temperatures which should not be below 10-12°C, therefore in Europe they should be grown in an apartment; let’s choose a bright position for the the anthurium, but far from direct sunlight, which could ruin the foliage. Watering should be regular, but not excessive; let’s always try to water only when the soil is dry, but let’s avoid leaving it without water for prolonged periods of time.

Every 12-15 days, let’s add to the water some watering of the fertilizer for flowering plants, for all the year round, as the anthurium does not have a period of vegetative rest.

The anthurium is susceptible to temperature changes and air blows, so we avoid placing it too close to a window or heat source. Periodically it is advisable to remove the wilted flowers but also the damaged foliage.

The yellowing leaves are usually a symptom of problems in cultivation: if the leaf turns yellow completely it is a water problem, the roots do not reach the oxygen or minerals contained in the soil, this can happen because of a soil constantly soaked in water.

If, on the other hand, the foliage turns yellow at the ends or from the edge, this may be due to a lack of watering or over-fertilisation.

Summer temperature

 18-20°

Winter temperature

 13°. Never go below 10°.

Exposure

 No direct light. Shadow-half shade.

Substrate

 Very porous and draining.

Subacid.

Irrigation

 Constant, no stagnation

Ambient humidity

 Keeping it high at all times

Fertilization

 Every ten days

Repotting

 Every three years, in March

Multiplication

 Head division, leaf or stem cutting

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Anthurium flower

In the wild, they live in the pluvial forests, in the shade of the big trees, sheltered between the branches; those commonly called flowers, in reality, are big inflorescences, similar to those of the callas, formed by a leaf modified in a heart-shaped bract, called spathe, big, glossy and slightly leathery, wrapped around a spadix, a cylinder on which bloom the small white or yellowish flowers.

Together they give rise to a very striking inflorescence; each plant can produce several inflorescences throughout the year. Even when it is not in flower, the Anthurium is, however, a beautiful plant, with big heart-shaped leaves, of a pale green colour, which give origin to a roundish bush, of about 35-45 cm of diameter.

Care of the anthurium

anthurium To always have a well-developed and lush anthurium every year, or at most every two years, let’s remember to repot our plant; let’s place it in a slightly larger container than the previous one, but let’s add fresh, rich and soft soil; let’s prepare a good soil for the anthurium by mixing some universal soil with at least a quarter of lapillus, pozzolan or pumice stone, in order to make the substratum well permeable.

We remind you that, in the wild, the Anthuriums do not sink their roots in the soil, they are epiphytic plants, like many orchids, and therefore their roots are immersed in the vegetal remains which nest in the hollows between the branches of big trees; therefore, we can utilize for the anthurium also half universal mould and half soil for orchids, formed by vegetal fibres and small pieces of bark.

When we place our plant in the ground, we must remember to bury it up to the collar, avoiding burying it too much, which would encourage the development of fungal diseases.

In order to have always shiny and beautiful inflorescences and foliage, we remind you to clean them periodically from the dust, which easily deposits on these leaves, so big; let’s avoid the use of spray leaf polishers, and let’s use a simple cloth, maybe in microfibre, slightly humid.

In nature, anthuriums live in rainforests, where the climate is perpetually hot and humid, especially during the summer and during the winter (when the heating system of the house is active) the climate is very dry at home, so remember to increase the humidity by frequently vaporizing the foliage of the anthurium with demineralized water.

Temperatures

As we have said, these are plants that originally live between the Tropics and the Equator and in particular are part of the vegetation of the rainforests. They are therefore particularly sensitive to the cold. They should not be exposed to temperatures below 13°, while the ideal is to keep them around 16-18. Higher temperatures, from May to September, are generally not a problem. The important thing, however, is that you maintain the right exposure and humidity environment.

They can be safely kept outside during the summer. However, they should be withdrawn as soon as the autumn arrives and therefore when there begins to be a good temperature range between night and day. In fact, they are very sensitive to currents and temperature changes.

From October to April, it is advisable to keep the temperature at a low level (around 13°C): they need a resting phase, the absence of which could compromise flowering in the year to come.

Exposure

In their natural habitat they live on the bottom of the forest where little light comes, filtered by the leaves of the trees. Bearing this trend in mind, we must find our plant a location as similar as possible to the natural one. Indoors it is best to place it in a bright place, but where there is no direct light. Ideally, the windows should be screened with light-coloured curtains.

During the summer, if we keep the plant outside, let’s place it in the shelter of a tree or a pergola.

Irrigation

Irrigazione From March to September the substrate must remain constantly moist and therefore the irrigation must be constant. Special care must be taken to avoid any kind of stagnation that could cause root rot (the roots are particularly fleshy and unfortunately subject to these phenomena). In winter they certainly go a little thinned out but not to the point of letting the soil dry out completely. An essential point for health alone is the need to keep the environmental humidity very high.

This can be achieved in different ways. First of all we can place the container on a saucer filled with expanded clay and water. This floor plan will evaporate while maintaining the right environment for the plant. We must only take the utmost care so that the roots of the plant are not in contact with water, always to avoid rottenness. In addition to this we can intervene by vaporizing the leaves several times a day with water.

For this purpose, it would be better to avoid tap water, which is often too calcareous and may leave residues (especially on varieties with velvety leaves). It is better to use demineralised water such as the one on sale (for irons), rainwater or water derived from condensation from air conditioners.

Substrate

The compound must be sub-acidic and very porous. The ideal is to mix peat and leaf soil, combining a material capable of maintaining moisture such as shredded sphagnum and a draining material such as sand or agri-perlite. To avoid the risk of stagnation it is important that the pot is filled for at least 1/3 with drainage material (gravel, expanded clay, shards). Always make sure that the drainage holes are not blocked.

Repotting

Rinvaso Repotting, if the growth is regular, should usually be done every three years, at the end of the winter. It is important that the new container is slightly larger than the previous one. On the surface we can put shredded moss (possibly sphagnum). This will retain water and release it slowly, naturally increasing the humidity around the anthurium.

Fertilization

From spring to autumn, fertilisation must be carried out regularly, every 10 days. The ideal is a liquid product for flowering plants to be administered with irrigation water. If desired, a small amount can be added to the water for vaporization, to be spread both on the leaves and on the aerial roots.

Adversity

The anthurium can be attacked by insects, cryptogams and rottenness. The most common insects are aphids. If the aggression is small, it can be done by removing the insects manually and possibly cleaning the leaves with a detergent. If it is severe, it is better to use a specific insecticide. Infestations may also appear caused by the cottony cochineal, which usually lurks on the stems. If there are few specimens, they can be removed with cotton buds soaked in alcohol.

Otherwise, it is better to intervene with an insecticide, maybe with systemic action.

If we keep the plant outside, it may be necessary to protect it from snails and snails with special baits. Because of the frequent nebulisations, it may happen, especially in the varieties with velvety leaves, to see some spots appearing, which can be connected to various cryptogams. In that case, it is better to suspend the practice for some time and distribute a broad-spectrum fungicide. Naturally, the most common problem is the rottenness of the root or the collar.

Unfortunately, once it appears it is very difficult, if not impossible, to eradicate. It is therefore very important to regulate the irrigation, create a good drainage layer and use a specially compound soil.

Multiplication

There are several ways to reproduce the anthurium. The easiest way is surely the division of the head. It must be done at the end of winter in conjunction with repotting. It is necessary to divide the roots into several portions, making sure that each portion has at least one bud. They should then be placed in pots with a substrate similar to that of the mother plant.

Another possible method is cutting. It can be tried with any part of the plant, in particular with a portion of a leaf or with a segment of a stem. In the first case, it is best to cut into the veins and place the fragment on a very light, porous and moist compound. The ideal is a mixture of chopped sphagnum, peat and agri-perlite. It must always be kept moist and at a temperature of about 25°.

The same substrate can be used with the stem fragment, which should possibly be dusted with a root product based on vegetable hormones. It must then be inserted deep into the compound. The multiplication by seed is scarcely practiced by us mainly because there are no environmental conditions for pollination, especially specific insects. On the other hand, the seeds remain germinable for a very short time and, consequently, when they arrive in Europe they are often inactive.

Variety

anthurium As we have said, the genus includes more than 500 species, even if not all of them have a horticultural interest. It is true, however, that hybridizers have long been interested in this plant and have consequently imported many varieties working to create new cultivars more colorful and resistant.

Anthurium andreanum

It is the most widespread species and is most easily found in the large distribution. It grows spontaneously in Colombia and usually does not exceed the 50 cm of height. The leaves are heart-shaped, glossy dark green, very large and decorative. From spring to autumn it produces leathery and waxy spathes. The color was originally deep red, but over time have been created cultivars characterized by new colors of the inflorescences: white, pink, fuchsia.

Even the spatice has found new colors, often contrasting, such as yellow.

Anthurium crystallinum

It’s a plant from Colombia. Very interesting and decorative, especially for the huge leaves (which can reach 40 cm in length). They are a beautiful dark green with deep silver veins in contrast. When they sprout they are tending to red as well as the back, another interesting aspect. The leaves are not glossy, but velvety. They should not be sprayed because they tend to stain over time and are often attacked by cryptogams. In any case, the plant needs a very high ambient humidity.

It will be necessary to find different solutions by possibly equipping itself with an electric environmental humidifier, similar to what is done with tropical orchids.

Anthurium scherzerianum

It’s quite small, since it usually doesn’t reach a height of half a meter. It is perhaps the easiest species to grow indoors because it tolerates also the lack of humidity. It has dark green lanceolate leaves. The inflorescences are heart-shaped, white, pink, red or even yellow. The spatice is particularly appreciable because it is curved.

Anthurium veitchii (also known as “king”):

Always from Central America. It is a spectacular plant for the beauty of its leaves, almost one meter long and a beautiful green almost glaucous, leathery and shiny, crossed by ribs in the shape of horizontal waves. It can reach a height of one metre and produces quite pleasant yellow inflorescences.

The anthurium as a sign of love and friendship

Anturio The meaning and sense of Anturio connects this beautiful flower to the highest feelings, as are love and friendship. Giving a beautiful bouquet or a single anthurium flower to a loved one, or as a gift on the occasion of a special occasion, therefore means to express in a simple and direct way a strong, sincere and pure feeling.

Also for the easy maintenance and the good resistance to the various temperatures, the plant is a gift of certain liking.

Particularly suitable also as a Christmas gift, thanks to its bright and lively ruby color, which increasingly associates it as a valid substitute for more traditionally famous plants such as the widespread Christmas star or the classic fir.

Anthurium yellow leaves

Although we have already talked about the adversities that can affect the Anthurium plant, in this paragraph we will do the opposite process: we will start from the problem to try to understand the disease. Very often, in fact, they write to us about plants that are very concerned about the fate of their anthurium plant, which is starting to have yellowed leaves. The causes of leaf yellowing in anthurium plants can be different and now we will see what they can be.

First, a yellowing of the leaves may be due to a lack of proper irrigation of the plant. Anthurium is a plant that needs constant watering because it is a tropical plant and needs a moist soil and growing environment. So let’s be careful to water this plant constantly trying to ensure that the soil is always moist. Wet soil does not mean soil soaked and therefore we should always be careful not to exaggerate with the quantities of water.

Other possible causes of leaf yellowing may also be poor lighting or a plant position too prone to draughts and air currents. The anthurium, in fact, suffers too low a position of light as far as lighting is concerned, but also suffers from exposure to direct light. It is therefore necessary to choose a semi-shade position for this plant, such as a well-lit window or veranda.

As far as air currents are concerned, it is very important to avoid positions subject to excessive draughts because anthurium is a plant that suffers from air, especially cold air.

Red Anthurium

anthurium rosso Many lovers of plants and flowers of first hair write to us to know the name of the red anthurium and generally what is commonly called anthurium red is the anthurium andraeanum. This plant is a very common plant as an ornamental in houses and apartments and is often also used in church for religious decorations. It has a long and particularly decorative flowering, a rather small size and beautiful shiny green leaves.

The contrast that is also created between the red flower and the white spatice is something very pleasant. This plant survives particularly well in an apartment because it does not need large amounts of light, on the contrary. Being a plant of the tropical substratum, the red anthurium lives well with little diffused light, so near a window but with something that shields direct light.