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Complete Anthurium Care Guide (Growth, Maintenance, Pests, & More)

Complete Anthurium Care Guide (Growth, Maintenance, Pests, & More)
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Anthurium plants are usually grown as houseplants in most cool areas of the world. They can definitely be grown outdoors, but they prefer hotter environments, and not everyone lives in a USDA zone 10 environment.

Even so, these plants have become very popular due to how beautiful they are. They’re also known for having some of the longest-lasting flowers around.

The color of the anthurium’s flowers is quite vivid and impressive. It’ll definitely add aesthetic appeal to whatever location you decide to put it in.

The anthurium plant itself has come to symbolize hope when given as a gift. People think that the flowers have a shape that resembles an open heart, and this has also led to the plant being associated with happiness and abundance.

If you’re just now getting into taking care of anthuriums, then it’ll be good to learn more about them. Keep reading to get all of the information about anthurium care that you need.

The “Flowers” of the Anthurium Are Actually Leaves

One weird thing that you should know before going further is that the flowers that have been mentioned above aren’t technically flowers at all. They’re actually colored and modified leaves that just look visually stunning.

Anthurium plants do have true flowers as well. Those grow from the center of the inflorescence of the plant.

Even if the leaves that people call flowers aren’t technically flowers, they’re still incredibly gorgeous to look at. These are the reason why so many people find anthurium plants to be aesthetically pleasing.

Light Requirements

You definitely need to get the sunlight requirements figured out if you want anthuriums to thrive. Anthuriums aren’t going to do nearly as well as you would like them to if they aren’t getting enough sunlight.

Anthuriums need medium to bright sunlight so that they will be able to bloom. If you don’t give them enough light, then they aren’t going to bloom and they won’t look as visually impressive as they’re supposed to.

Interestingly, anthurium plants can survive in low-light conditions. If you place an anthurium in a room that gets very little light, then it should still be able to live.

Anthurium plants are typically bought for people to enjoy the impressive look of the plants, though. This means that you want to give the plants the light that they need to thrive and look pretty.

When keeping anthurium plants indoors, it’s going to be best to find a sunny spot near a window. You might want to avoid placing the anthurium plant in harsh direct sunlight so that you don’t encounter issues with scorching.

Water Requirements

Watering is an important thing to get right no matter what type of plant you’re caring for. Anthuriums are actually going to need more or less water depending on what time of the year it is.

During the spring and summer, you’re going to find that anthurium plants need a bit more water than usual. You’ll be able to water them less during the other months of the year.

To help your anthurium plant thrive, it’s going to be best to keep the soil just barely moist. This means that you’ll need to water the plant fairly often without going overboard.

Always check the soil before you choose to water the anthurium plant again. If the soil is moist, then you should wait to give it more water.

Watering too much could be problematic, and you might even wind up killing the plant. Be sure that you never allow the soil to become soggy when you’re watering your anthurium plant.

As long as you’re checking the soil with your fingers before watering, it should be easy to avoid making mistakes. Get in the habit of checking the anthurium each time so that you do things right and continue to keep your anthurium in good health.

Fertilizing Anthurium Plants

Fertilizing anthurium plants can be beneficial when you’re trying to help them grow strong. You should fertilize these plants in the spring and summer to get the best results.

The type of fertilizer that you use doesn’t have to be anything fancy either. In fact, it’s recommended to use a standard water-soluble fertilizer for houseplants to get good results and help the plant during the growing season.

Most anthurium enthusiasts say that diluting the fertilizer to 25% strength is a good idea. Some people will do this each time they water the plant during the growing season.

You can likely fertilize less than this to still get decent results. You could also choose to use a slow-release fertilizer on your anthurium plant if you’d rather go that route.

Temperature Requirements

When you’re taking care of an anthurium plant indoors, it’s going to be best to pay attention to the temperature in your home. If things get too hot or too cold in your home, then you could encounter some issues.

Most people are going to be fine so long as they’re using heaters when it gets cold and using some type of cooling system when it gets hot. Anthurium plants do well in temperatures that range between 65 degrees Fahrenheit and 80 degrees Fahrenheit.

You might need to run the air conditioning during the hottest times of the year to keep things in that range. Otherwise, it shouldn’t be a big problem to keep your anthurium plant in a room with a temperature that it can tolerate.

It’s also notable that anthurium plants don’t like things to get lower than 60 degrees Fahrenheit at night. If it gets cooler than that during the night in your house, then you could have some issues with your anthurium plant.

Most people will want to keep the temperatures set around 70 degrees Fahrenheit or so during the winter months. Just keep this information in the back of your mind so that you can make good decisions for the plant.

It’s also important to understand that cold drafts can be a real problem for this plant. Don’t position your anthurium plant too close to your vents or your air conditioning unit or you’ll harm the plant.

You should even be wary of keeping the anthurium plant too close to drafty windows or doors. Temperature fluctuations can throw the plant off and it isn’t going to be good for the overall health of the plant.

Find a good spot for the plant where it will get a consistent temperature that is comfortably in the range that it can tolerate. It shouldn’t be hard to protect the plant from temperature fluctuations so long as you know what to do.

Humidity Requirements

Anthurium plants are tropical plants, and this means that they like humidity. Depending on where you live, it might be possible that your home doesn’t have high enough humidity for the plant to do well.

Ideally, anthurium plants should be kept in rooms that have humidity levels of 80%. When the humidity level is lower than that, the plant might struggle in certain ways.

Thankfully, there are ways that you can raise the humidity level in your home even when you live in a dry environment. Some people get decent results by just misting their plants with water from a spray bottle.

Misting plants can help a bit, but that will probably only be good enough if you were close to the right humidity level to begin with. If you need a lot more humidity, then it might be necessary to buy a small humidifier for plants.

A humidifier can ensure that the room that you keep your anthurium plant in stays humid enough. This is going to be an easy solution to any humidity problems.

Humidifiers are actually very affordable, and it might be beneficial for you to use humidifiers during the winter months for your own health. Consider getting a humidifier as soon as you can if you know that your home isn’t humid enough.

Best Soil for Anthurium Plants

You will want to plant your anthurium in soil that is going to help it to thrive. The best soil for an anthurium plant will be both coarse and well-draining.

People often create their own potting mixes for anthurium plants using orchid potting mixes that you can buy from the store. If you use an orchid mix as a base, then you can just add a bit of sand and peat moss.

This should help to create an ideal soil that will work great for your anthurium plant. This soil will drain very well and allow you to get good results when watering the anthurium.

Remember that anthurium plants are susceptible to being watered too much. If you use a thick type of soil that doesn’t drain properly, then your anthurium plant could easily encounter issues.

Avoid using soil that is too dense such as clay when you’re potting anthuriums. It’d be better to go out and buy the stuff to make a good potting mix than it would be to just use soil that you have at home.

Repotting Anthurium Plants

Eventually, your anthurium plant is going to grow enough that you will need to plant it in a new pot. It’s usually recommended to try to wait to repot anthurium plants in the spring.

You can do this just when the roots are starting to grow in the spring to get good results. Just be sure to plant your anthurium in a soil mixture such as the ideal one above.

During the repotting process, it’s going to be best to carefully take the anthurium plant from its original pot. Examine the plant thoroughly so that you can spot any brown leaves or wilted flowers that are present.

Take your pruning shears and trim the brown leaves and wilted flowers that you can spot. Once this is done, you’ll be ready to place the anthurium in a larger pot.

Remember that you shouldn’t place the anthurium in a much larger pot than before. You should try to find a pot that is only a few inches bigger than the old pot in diameter.

Taking care to repot your anthurium this way should help it to do better. You’ll have to repot anthurium plants every so often as they outgrow the pots that they’re in, but you’ll know what to do and it won’t be a problem for you any longer.

Anthurium Pests

As with most plants, you’re going to want to keep an eye on anthuriums to ensure that they don’t have issues with pests. For the most part, the types of pests that anthuriums have to deal with will be insects that suck on plants.

Anthurium plants have thick enough leaves that they won’t be bothered by pests that chew on leaves. So you don’t need to be as concerned about things such as caterpillars.

Sucking insects can harm the plant, though, and they will even drain the plant of sap. The sap draining will cause the flower of the anthurium to look less healthy, but sometimes it can be hard to tell what’s happening because the flower changes slowly over time.

You can often spot the insects that are doing this to the plant if you take the time to look, though. Aphids are among the most likely culprits and they can be red, brown, green, white, gray, and black, depending on various factors.

Aphids crawl around on anthurium plants and stick to the flesh of the plant to suck out the sap. If you notice aphids, then you’ll want to try to take steps to get rid of them right away.

Spider mites are also known to bother anthurium plants, but they can be tough to see. These pests are so tiny that you’ll have to look really close to spot them.

Spider mites are red, but you might notice them by the little webs that they leave behind rather than actually spotting their red bodies. Thrips are another tiny pest that could be to blame for anthurium issues.

There’s an interesting trick to try to spot thrips and spider mites that you can use. Take a sheet of white paper and hold it underneath the anthurium plant before shaking it.

As you shake the anthurium plant, you might notice black specks or red specks on the paper. These are the thrips and the spider mites respectively.

Mealybugs can suck on anthurium plants, but they’re most common in warm parts of the United States. Scale pests will be the final type to consider that might be bothering your anthurium plant, and they’re known for having very hard bodies.

Solving Pest Problems

Thankfully, these pest issues can be solved without it being too big of a deal. As annoying as these pests are, you’ll be able to get rid of them with just a simple blast of water in some instances.

You can blast water on the plant to wash the pests off, and the water can even drown the pests. Of course, you want to be careful about not getting the anthurium plant too soggy because of how prone it is to conditions such as root rot.

If you’d like to use other methods, then you can try washing the anthurium plant with a type of horticultural soap. Some people will also use insecticide, but it’s up to you if you want to go that far.

If you’d like to use a natural method to try to keep pests away from your anthurium plant, then try treating it with neem oil. Neem oil is a completely natural product that deters pests and keeps them from wanting to get near plants.

Just try to be proactive so that the pests don’t continue to harm your plant. You’ll want to solve any pest problems so that your anthurium plant doesn’t encounter any big issues that will keep it from growing and looking nice.

Anthurium Diseases

Sadly, anthurium plants are known to be quite susceptible to certain diseases. There are several bacterial and fungal diseases that could give your plant problems.

Learning to identify certain diseases might help you to take the right steps to fix things. Keep reading to learn more about anthurium diseases so that you can safeguard your plant.

Bacterial Blight

Bacterial blight might be the most common type of bacterial disease that anthurium plants will encounter. The first signs that you’ll notice when bacterial blight is present have to do with the appearance of yellow lesions along the leaf margins.

These lesions will rapidly grow and eventually form into v-shaped lesions. This disease occurs when bacteria infect your plant by entering into pores along the leaf margins.

Sometimes bacteria can infect the plant when you’re pruning it as well. This has been known to happen as a result of pests sucking on the plant and puncturing it, too.

If the bacterial blight is left unchecked, then you’ll see that the plant will look worse and flower quality will diminish significantly. Over time, the anthurium plant will begin to wither and die.

Sadly, this isn’t something that can be fixed, and you’ll need to discard your anthurium plant if it is discovered to be infected. You can try to keep this from happening again by improving air circulation and lowering humidity levels slightly to make it harder for the bacteria to thrive.

Bacterial Wilt

Bacterial wilt is another type of bacterial disease that you will need to look out for. Leaf yellowing is the first symptom that you’ll see when your anthurium plant has bacterial wilt.

It’s a type of bacterial disease that can spread rapidly and it can turn the leaves and stems of the plant brown. They might eventually develop a bronze color and you’ll notice brown slime if you cut into the stem of a plant that has been severely infected.

If the plant is systemically infected, then it isn’t going to be able to be saved. It’s possible for bacterial wilt to spread in contaminated water, soil, and tools as well.

You can discard the plant if it is severely infected since you won’t be able to save it. It might be possible to prevent future infections by using a type of fungicide that contains phosphorous acid.

If only parts of the plant are infected, then discard the infected parts of the plant as well as any soil. You can try to save the plant if it isn’t too far gone, but the likelihood of the plant surviving might be dubious depending on the situation.

Root Rot

Root rot is a type of fungal infection that occurs when you allow the soil to get way too moist. You’ll remember reading about how you’re supposed to water the anthurium plant earlier, and it was mentioned how bad watering the plant too much can be.

If you make the soil soggy and you continue to water the plant too much, then Rhizoctonia could easily infect the roots of your plant. This is a type of fungal infection that can cause stems to become water-soaked and unable to support the weight of the plant.

The roots and the lower stems of your anthurium plant will be at risk here. If the conditions are particularly wet, then it’s possible that the upper canopy of the anthurium plant could be attacked as well.

Fungicides can be used to treat this problem and it might be possible to save your plant. Try to use fungicide effectively to see if you can turn things around.

To keep this from happening in the future, you should try to remember not to use native soil in your potting mixes. Instead, it’ll be safer to make your own potting mixes because of how Rhizoctonia can stay dormant in the soil for years.

Phytophthora

Phytophthora is a type of water mold that can spread to your anthurium plant. When your plant is infected this way, it might show signs of wilting, leaf yellowing, and dying roots.

This infection mostly attacks the roots of the plant and causes plants to wilt even when they’re receiving enough moisture. When the condition gets really bad you might start noticing black and brown lesions on the foliage.

The symptoms wind up looking similar to the Rhizoctonia infection mentioned above in many ways. It’s possible to avoid issues with infections such as this by being more careful with your watering habits.

You might need to start using soil that drains better as well. Soggy soil is the most likely cause of an infection like this, and it’s something that you can avoid if you are more mindful of what you’re doing.

Plants that show symptoms of being infected should be discarded right away. You might want to use fungicide on any nearby plants that haven’t exhibited any symptoms just to be on the safe side.

Black Nose Disease

Finally, you should know about black nose disease when you’re caring for anthurium plants. When a plant has this disease, you’re going to see small brown or black flecks on the floral spadix.

The spadix is sometimes referred to as the nose, and this is why the condition is called black nose disease. The spots that you see can get larger over time and they’ll start to get darker and become water as time marches on.

Eventually, the black spots will be all over the spadix and the spadix might even fall off. Sometimes black structures that contain spores will appear on dead leaves and stems as well.

This disease is most likely to occur when conditions are very humid and hot. Thankfully, fungicides are effective and can help you to turn things around if you catch it early.

It’s also a good idea to improve air circulation where you’re keeping your anthurium plant. You could also look into purchasing cultivars that are resistant to this disease.

Final Thoughts

Knowing everything that there is to know about anthurium plants should allow you to have an easier time caring for them. These are beautiful plants that can add a lot of charm to any room, but you do need to be careful about how you’re caring for them.

It’s essential to keep your anthurium plants in an environment where they can thrive. You’re going to need to keep the temperature and humidity levels set appropriately if you want the plant to grow and stay healthy.

You want your anthurium plant to get enough sunlight so that it can flower and look pretty, too. It can survive in low-light environments, but it might not look its best if it isn’t getting the amount of light that it needs.

Watering the plant is very important, and you’re going to need to keep the soil slightly moist. If you fail to do this, then the anthurium plant isn’t going to do too well.

Sadly, it’s easy to water an anthurium plant too much, and this leads to many people having issues with root rot. You can even cause the plant to become susceptible to fungal infections by making the soil too soggy.

This is another reason why you have to pay attention to the type of soil that you’re using. If your anthurium plant doesn’t have well-draining soil, then it’s going to be tough for you to keep it safe.

Thankfully, you’re going to be able to make a good potting mix for anthurium plants without it being a problem. So long as you remember that anthurium plants do best with coarse and well-draining soil, you’ll be just fine.

Anthurium plants really aren’t that hard to care for, but it’s still good to learn the ropes. If you’re new to caring for anthurium plants, then you shouldn’t be intimidated in any way.

You’ve learned all of the important things that you need to know about anthurium care now. Do your best to look after your anthurium plant and be sure to keep an eye on it so that you can spot any potential issues with pests.

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