All about the Anthurium
Anthurium is a flowering plant that will serve as a paragon of luxury and charm at your home or garden. Its colorful waxy foliage is characterized by spathes flaring from the base of the fleshy spike, heart-shaped bracts, and slender clusters of flowers that are found to be highly appealing for its viewers.
The name 'Anthurium' is derived from the Greek language, which means a tail flower. Due to its distinctive shape and spadix, it also goes by the names of Flamingo Flower, Hawaiian Heart, Painted Tongue and Painters Palette.
Different Types of the Anthurium
Anthurium plant is a genus of 1000 species and belongs to the Araceae family. It exists in a wide range of sizes and versions. It is also available in solid and multicolored varieties as well as in large-flowered and small-flowered versions.
Superbum (Bird's Nest), Veitchii (King Anthurium), Warocqueanum (Queen Anthurium), Crystallinum (Ace of Spades), and Scherzerianum (Flamingo Flower) are a few types of anthurium that are commonly kept as houseplants. All are analogized based on their beautiful foliage's distinctive colors and sizes.
Origin of the Anthurium
Anthuriums tend to appear in or on those trees with relatively few roots. They are native to the tropical rainforests of South America, namely Columbia, Guatemala, and the Amazon region in Brazil. They also originate from Northern Mexico to Northern Argentina and can be found in some parts of the Caribbean.
How to (generally) take care of an Anthurium
Flowering plants are known to be sensitive when it comes to their overall being. Anthurium usually isn't a complex plant to care for, but there are a few requisites one should keep in mind before venturing on the road to sustain its vitality and blooms. Let's have a look at how one can fulfill its basic needs:
A consistent watering schedule will help your anthurium blossom profoundly. Allow the top inch (2 to 6 cm) of the soil to dry before saturating it with water until it starts draining from the drainage holes. Avoid overwatering the plant as it can lead to root rot, but don't let it get too parched either; therefore, check the soil for dryness every few days.
In the growing seasons of March through September, water anthurium once or twice weekly, making sure the soil is dry between each watering. While in the dormant winter seasons, you can water it once every two weeks, again confirming that the soil is dry before each watering.
An ideal spot for any plant is where it's lightning, soil, temperature, and humidity requirements are fulfilled. Keep in mind the following specifications when deciding where to place your anthurium:
- Lightning exposure: Bright, indirect light is perfect for this plant. The more sunlight it receives, the more blooms it will produce, but never expose it to direct sun as it can burn its foliage.
- Temperature requirements: Being tropical in nature, anthurium loves warmth and is at its best in a temperature range of 15- 32°C.
- Humidity Preference: Anthuriums prefer a humid environment. Allow daily misting or use a humidifier to keep the ambient moisture levels high.
Anthurium doesn't call for too much fertilization. Feeding it once a month during the growing seasons of summer and spring with a balanced fertilizer for diluted to half the recommended strength is sufficient. In winter, however, it appreciates being left alone to rest.
To encourage more blooms, you can use a fertilizer that consists of a high concentration of phosphorus. It's good for the roots and plant's flowers and the overall growth and health of an anthurium. Avoid over-fertilization as it causes the salts to build up, which can burn the plant's roots.
Anthuriums are listed among the best houseplants that purify the surrounding air, as stated by the NASA Clean-Air study. Their large and dark foliage absorbs ammonia, formaldehyde, toluene, and xylene from the air and releases oxygen in return.
Anthuriums are certainly toxic. Their toxicity comes into action when either pets or humans ingest them. Not only do they cause mouth and skin irritation, but they can also lead to the development of blisters in your mouth. They also prompt hoarse voices and stomach pain with possible vomiting.
Propagating the Anthurium
Propagation is an unnerving task for many. Fortunately, anthurium is candid in this regard. You can easily perform it through division, seed germination, or cuttings. Here's how:
- Propagating anthurium through division: Take the plant out of its pot. Look for the offshoots and roots that are easy to separate. Remove these and replant them in a separate pot. You can divide them in two or end up with ten new plants depending on your plant's size.
- Propagating anthurium through seed germination: This method requires tricking your plant into producing the needed seed at first. The flowers, formerly female, turn into males and emit pollen. Collect the pollen and prepare a container for its germination.
Lightly press the seed into the container and cover it up. Ensure the temperature inside the container is at least 21°C and the soil isn't too moist. Once germination is achieved, remove the lid and follow the basic anthurium care practices until it produces a lovely spathe, which may take up to 4 years.
- Propagating anthurium through stem cuttings: Cut off the leggy stems of anthurium once it's big enough with a sharp knife. Leave the base of the plant in its original pot and put the cuttings into a new pot. Water both regularly, and they will blossom in no time!