PRO TIP: In optimal growing conditions, Anthuriums can produce flowers for several months at a time, followed by a resting period before starting to bloom again. However, if the plant is not receiving enough light or nutrients, or the growing conditions are not suitable, it may not produce flowers at all.
Anthurium plants are adored for their show-stopping flowers and glossy green leaves. As a large genus of plants, Anthuriums have varied needs when it comes to indoor care. Originating from tropical regions of Central and South America, Anthuriums prefer warm, humid environments with bright, filtered light.
To maintain healthy growth and flowering, Anthuriums require bright, indirect light, preferably from an east- or west-facing window with a sheer curtain. They do not tolerate direct sunlight, and exposure can cause bleaching of the leaves. A lack of light can cause the plant to tip over, with yellow or pale foliage and less frequent blooms. Optimal growth and flowering can be achieved by providing consistent, moderate light. If you are unsure about the lighting conditions in your home or office, read our guide for how to measure light in your space.
The brightly colored "flowers" of the Anthurium plant are not actually flowers at all, but rather modified leaves called spathes. The true flowers of the Anthurium are small and located on the spike or "spadix" in the center of the spathe. The spathe serves to attract pollinators, such as hummingbirds, to the plant.
PRO TIP: The cut flowers of the Anthurium are incredibly popular in arrangements and quite long lasting. Cut about an inch off the end of the flower's stalk and place it in water. Refresh the water and trim the stem weekly and the flower can last in for the best part of a month.
Always be sure to assess your plant’s watering needs upon receiving it. Before giving your plant a drink, it is best to check the moisture level in the soil first to ensure it isn’t moist right beneath the surface. A soil probe is a very handy tool for both checking the soil moisture deep within a planter and can also be used to aerate overly wet soil.
Regular watering is crucial for Anthuriums to maintain their vibrancy. They prefer moist but not waterlogged soil, with a slight drying period between watering to prevent root rot. Good humidity is also crucial for Anthuriums, with the soil drying out halfway between fully watered and bone dry before rewatering. Watering frequency should be adjusted based on the temperature and humidity of the environment. To increase humidity levels, placing a tray of pebbles filled with water near the plant or using a humidifier can help. For feeding, Anthuriums benefit from a balanced, water-soluble fertilizer formulated for flowering plants. During the growing season (spring and summer), fertilization should occur once a month according to the manufacturer's instructions. During the dormant season (fall and winter), fertilization can be reduced or eliminated to avoid over-fertilization. Over-fertilization can cause yellow spotting in leaves.
Like all plants, Anthuriums are vulnerable to pests and diseases. Anthuriums are particularly susceptible to spider mites, scale, and mealybugs. They can also be prone to root rot, which can be prevented by using well-draining soil and avoiding overwatering. Although Anthuriums are typically grown indoors, they can thrive in warm, humid climates when grown outdoors. If the area has mild winters and high humidity, Anthuriums can be grown outdoors year-round with protection from direct sunlight and heavy rain. In cooler or drier climates, Anthuriums can be grown outside during the summer months but should be brought indoors or given shelter during the fall and winter.
Overall, Anthuriums are a beautiful and adaptable plant that require consistent bright, filtered light, regular watering, and occasional fertilization to flourish. By providing the proper growing conditions and monitoring for pests and diseases, Anthuriums can provide stunning flowers and glossy foliage for years to come.
Frequently Asked Questions
Will my Anthurium's flower die?
- Yes, but likely not for a while after you bring it into your home. When the flower dies, pluck it off to encourage a new one to grow. Sufficient light and proper watering will also encourage the plant to bloom again soon.
What type of soil should I use to grow an Anthurium?
- Anthurium plants typically grow best in a well-draining soil mix that is rich in organic matter. A good soil mix for anthuriums can be made by combining equal parts of peat moss, perlite, and coarse sand or orchid bark. Peat moss is a great organic matter source that retains moisture and nutrients, while perlite and coarse sand or orchid bark add drainage and prevent soil compaction. The resulting soil mix is well-aerated, loose, and will allow excess water to drain freely, which is essential for anthuriums. Additionally, it's essential to avoid using heavy, dense soil or soil that doesn't drain well, as this can cause root rot and other plant health issues.
How often will Anthuriums flower?
- The frequency of flowering in anthuriums depends on several factors such as the plant's age, growing conditions, light, and temperature. Generally, mature anthurium plants will flower throughout the year, with a peak bloom period during the warmer months. In optimal growing conditions, anthuriums can produce flowers for several months at a time, followed by a resting period before starting to bloom again. However, if the plant is not receiving enough light or nutrients, or the growing conditions are not suitable, it may not produce flowers at all. To encourage blooming, it's recommended to provide your anthurium plant with bright, indirect light, consistent moisture, and a balanced fertilizer. Additionally, avoid exposing your anthurium plant to temperatures below 60°F (15°C) as this can also inhibit flowering.
My plant is developing brown tips on the leaves, what’s going on?
- Browning tips can be caused by over or underwatering. Feel the soil to see if it's lightly moist. If it's dry further down than the top 2", increase your watering frequency. If it's still wet, allow the soil to become dry to the touch before giving it more water.
How often should I fertilize my plant?
- Anthuriums generally benefit from regular fertilization to promote healthy growth and encourage blooming. However, over-fertilizing can damage the plant, so it's essential to follow the recommended fertilization schedule. During the growing season, which is typically in the spring and summer months, you can fertilize your Anthurium every 2-4 weeks using a balanced, water-soluble fertilizer. It's best to dilute the fertilizer to half-strength to avoid burning the plant's roots. During the fall and winter months, when the plant is resting, reduce the frequency of fertilization to every 6-8 weeks, or stop fertilizing altogether. It's also important to ensure that the anthurium plant is well-watered before fertilizing, as fertilizing a dry plant can cause root damage. Always follow the manufacturer's instructions when applying fertilizers to your Anthurium plant.
How can I tell if my Anthurium is being overwatered?
- A tell-tale sign of over-watering your Anthurium is if it tips over. Additional signs are wilting leaves (overwatering can cause the roots of the anthurium plant to become waterlogged, which can lead to a lack of oxygen in the soil), yellowing leaves (when the roots of anthuriums are constantly in wet soil, they can begin to rot. This can cause the leaves to turn yellow, and the plant may drop its leaves), root rot (which can cause the roots to become mushy and discolored), and fungus gnats.
Standard Planter Instructions
All of our Standard Planters include a removable drainage plug to give our customers the option of drainage. While no drainage is sometimes preferred for its aesthetic simplicity, we don't recommend this option for beginners as watering mistakes can be hard to rectify.
Whether you choose to use drainage or not, we always recommend using a layer of drainage (such as our Aeration Stones) at the base of the planter. A drainage layer allows the plant's roots access to oxygen in the pockets between the drainage medium, and a lack of drainage can cause anaerobic damage to your plant.
If you decide to utilize the drainage hole for your pot, make sure to include a Plant Saucer beneath your pot to collect excess water. For most plants in standard planters, we recommend watering about once a week. Water the soil mass until water begins pooling in your Plant Saucer.
With no drainage hole, you will need to be more precise in your watering. While we would love to give you a specific measurement of water to provide for your plant, the reality is that a plant's water requirements vary wildly depending on factors such as light exposure and the overall health of the plant. You will need to learn to tell when the plant is thirsty based on how its foliage looks. Droopy foliage is usually the first sign: when your plant looks a little slumped over that's usually a visual indicator that it's thirsty.
The best solution for checking your plant's moisture level, drainage hole of not, is to use a Soil Probe to determine the moisture content of the soil at the bottom of the planter.
Self Watering Planter Instructions
The Self-Watering Planters require a deep and thorough watering of the topsoil after they are first planted. This is important because the roots of the plants first need to grow into the reservoir in order to drink from it. Water your plant from the top for two to four weeks before using the reservoir. During the dormant seasons, or for plants that have slower growing habits, consider top watering for longer.
TEST: After the initial top water period, fill the bottom water reservoir. If the water in the reservoir is absorbed into the planter, it means the plant is ready for regular reservoir servicing. If not, be sure to continue top watering for a few more weeks until the plant has started drinking from the reservoir.
RESERVOIR SERVICING: Once the reservoir empties on its own, do not refill the reservoir right away. Similar to how humans need a breath of air between gulps of water, most plants require a drying out period. Allow for the reservoir to empty all the way between watering. All plants are different in their needs so the amount of time the reservoir sits empty will need to be determined, but know that for most plants this period is between 1-3 days.
From here on out, you should rarely topwater the plant while using the reservoir system. Watering from below allows the plant to drink at its own pace, and can help combat certain issues like fungus gnats by allowing the top layer of soil to dry out more. Please note that if your plant's soil dries out too much, it can impair the wicking ability of the Aeration Stones in your planter. If your soil becomes too dry, we recommend giving it a thorough watering.
For more information on our Self Watering Planters include planting instructions, visit our blog post on How to Use Our Self-Watering Pots.
Aeration Stones promote healthy root growth by creating air pockets in the soil and absorbing excess water in the basin of your planter. These porous clay stones are a natural, efficient and invaluable material to set your plant up for success. We always suggest using these when working with a planter without drainage holes.
ARS Stainless Steel Pruners
Salts and moisture from potting soil wreaks havoc on cheaper metals. Stainless steel is one of the most durable metals available on a consumer scale, and these heavy duty pruners are built to take a beating. Great for pruning jobs large and small.
Neem Oil is an all purpose insecticide, miticide, and fungicide used for organic gardening. It's systemic, which means the plant will absorb the neem oil into its circulatory system and poison pests from within. Be careful not to overuse, as this can weaken plants and cause discoloration.
Plants do poorly without air to the roots. Overwatering causes the air to be pushed out of the soil, compacting the soil around the waterlogged roots of the plant. Using the Soil Probe aerates the soil as it checks for moisture.
Watering cans come in all shapes and sizes, and the perfect one for your home is the one you're happiest living with. Look for long spouts and a container volume that's appropriate for your plant collection.
Fox Farm Ocean Forest contains all the features we look for when aiming to ensure the long term health of a plant: excellent water retention, breathability, texture, and is made from organic materials.
10-4-3 fertilizer is a great, gentle choice for indoor foliage. Simply mix this in to your watering can using the supplied directions every other week. Ensure that your plant is receiving a good amount of light, otherwise it won't have the energy to process the nutrients and burnt tips may occur on the foliage.