Before we head straight into our topic, let’s talk about the genus Anthurium first—the diverse family of almost 1,000 flowering plants!
It’s the largest genus of the arum family and has many names, including laceleaf, flamingo flower, and tailflower.
The thing that makes this plant stand out from the rest is its heart-shaped leaves that seem to shine in the light because of their glossy sheen.
Many people have Anthuriums decorating their living rooms or offices, but it’s mostly in vases filled with water.
This begs a couple of questions. For instance, can Anthuriums grow in water? And if they do, how do you care for them?
Today, we’ll share all that you need to know about Anthuriums, the easy-to-care-for flowers that make any rooms come alive!
Yes, Anthuriums can definitely bloom in water. It’s a great alternative if you don’t have much space in your home for a large pot or if you’re still a beginner experimenting with your first plant.
However, keeping an Anthurium in a water vase isn’t the best option as it cuts down on its lifespan—from three or five years to a few weeks!
Regardless, you could still try it if you’re looking for something easy to care for that doesn’t require much attention.
Planting your Anthurium in soil is one thing, but allowing it to bloom in water? That’s another matter altogether!
So, here’s how you can do it:
Before you begin this project, you’ll need to have all your tools next to you so you won’t keep going back and forth. So, keep the following items next to you:
- Sterilized soil knife and pruning shears
- Container for the plant
- Gardening gloves
- a large bowl of water
- Liquid fertilizer
- Soft-bristled toothbrush
- Some decorative pebbles or stones
- Hydrogen peroxide
- Rooting hormone
This step can be a little tricky, so put on your gardening gloves, bring the rest of your tools, and proceed with care!
Get your Anthurium pot and give it a few firm taps on the sides with your hand or the back of the knife. This is to loosen the soil and the roots and make them easier to remove.
Make sure that you’re holding the plant’s stem in one of your hands so that you don’t accidentally damage it.
After you’re done, take the sterilized soil knife and run it around the edges between the pot and the soil to loosen it more.
Lastly, gently remove the plant from the pot and let it rest for a couple of seconds before moving on.
Placing your Anthurium in the water without cleaning it first can hinder its growth significantly.
The soil has many bacteria and fungi inside it, and if you don’t properly wash them off, they can grow on your plant’s roots and cause them to root.
To do this, bring the large water bowl and clean the roots with your fingers to remove any dirt or grime.
Once you’ve done that, take the toothbrush, dip it in the water and gently scrub the roots until all the dirt has been removed and your plant looks clean.
To get the best results, put the bowl under the sink and run some lukewarm water while scrubbing.
Make sure the water doesn’t reach further than the flower’s stem, though, as there’s no need to submerge the entire plant.
Now that the plant is clean, you’ll need to remove around half of the existing roots. Though this may sound odd, the roots have already adapted to the previous soil environment.
Therefore, moving them as they are can slow the growing process. So, you’ll need to cut back a few to allow the new hydro roots to grow.
To cut the roots, use the knife or the pruning shears on any brittle or discolored ones you may encounter. You can also cut any excess roots that’ve grown beneath the soil line.
After cutting, remove any dirt that may have been clinging inside the plant with a quick rinse.
Before moving the plant into the container, dip the roots in a solution of 3% hydrogen peroxide mixed with two parts water.
This mixture is excellent for killing any root rot and other pathogens that could be present in your plant’s soil.
Once that is over, you can dip the plant in the rooting hormone to ensure good root development.
Finally, set the plant aside for a couple of minutes to absorb both solutions while you prep the container.
In this step, all you need to do is place the pebbles inside the container so that when you transfer that plant, it’ll have support and won’t fall over.
Then, fill the container with high-quality rain or mineral water. However, be careful not to fill the container to the brim. Just a couple of inches above the pebbles or stones should be fine.
Lastly, add the right amount of liquid fertilizer to the water and mix it well. Once that’s done, you can set the Anthurium in its new home!
It’s a common belief that you can just use fresh water from the tap to prepare your plant’s container. However, this isn’t correct.
Tap water usually contains chlorine to protect us from diseases such as Salmonella and Campylobacter. But, sadly for plants, chlorine can damage the root.
Because of this, you can only use two types of water: rainwater or mineral water.
Rainwater is a good source of nitrates—a vital micro-nutrient that promotes lush growth. Moreover, it contains fewer chemicals and salt than tap water, so plants prefer it more.
When it comes to mineral water, the hint is in the name!
Plants love it because it contains the necessary minerals for their growth and health without being too much for them.
So, if you can get bottled rainwater, your plants will certainly appreciate it. If not, mineral water will do just fine.
Depending on how you take care of your Anthurium, it should stay lively and beautiful for about three whole weeks.
But that’s not to say that after three weeks, your flower will be dead. In fact, if you take proper care and keep it in a humid place, your Anthurium can probably last for another week or so.
Once it starts looking sad or droopy, though, it might be time to give a good trimming and replant it in soil again.
Anthuriums aren’t very hard to care for; they just need a little attention to keep them looking their best.
So, here are some tips on how to care for them properly:
One thing to keep in mind about your Anthurium: it loves humidity! This is because Anthuriums are native to hot, tropical areas with high humidity levels.
Unfortunately, your living room might be a bit too dry for the plant to be happy!
To solve this problem, you can use a humidifier to keep the air around your Anthurium moist.
Usually, you should change the water in your Anthurium container once every 5–7 days to prevent mold or fungus from forming.
However, if you notice the water getting murky or brown, it’s time for a quick change. This will prevent any issues and keep your plants healthy.
Of course, don’t forget to use high-quality rain or mineral water instead of tap water.
Anthuriums, like most plants, love their sunrays. However, exposure to direct sun can be quite damaging to them.
So, keep your plant away from any windows that receive direct sunlight and place it in a shaded spot where it can enjoy indirect sunlight.
If your apartment doesn’t have a lot of natural light, you can opt for a grow light to help your anthurium thrive.
Last but not least, Anthuriums thrive in warm temperatures. They love temperatures ranging from 75º–85ºF during the daytime and 70°–75°F at nighttime.
If you live in a cool climate, add a small heat lamp to keep your anthurium warm.
Now that you know almost everything about growing Anthuriums in water, let’s dive into some of the most frequently asked questions about this plant.
Sadly, Anthuriums are toxic to humans and pets. They contain calcium oxalate crystals which can cause severe irritation to the skin and eyes.
Moreover, if ingested, they can cause painful burning in the mouth that may result in blisters and swelling. So, if you have pets or children, please keep the plant out of reach.
There are a few signs that could indicate your Anthurium is dying, including:
- Poor growth
- Yellow foliage
- Leaves turning brown
If you see any of those signs, it’s time to take action. First, check the water levels and ensure the roots are covered. Then, take a look at the humidity and heat levels in your home.
If they’re too high or too low, adjust them accordingly. Lastly, move your plant from its spot if it’s sitting in direct sunlight.
Your Anthurium leaves could be turning yellow because of two main reasons: improper lighting or too much water.
Considering that the plant’s entire environment is now water-based, there isn’t much to do!
However, if it’s the lighting part, keep it away from direct sunlight, but make sure it’s not in complete darkness, either.
So, can Anthuriums grow in water? The answer is a resounding yes!
Anthuriums are some of the easiest flowers to grow and maintain, which makes them great for beginners. They’re also stunning and add a tropical feel to any room.
The only downside to Anthuriums is that their saps are poisonous to humans. So you should always be careful when handling them, and never eat the leaves or flowers!
Growing up with a mom who filled her home (inside and out) with all sorts of plants, Lisa got her start in gardening at a young age. Living now on her own with a home and yard full of plants (including an indoor greenhouse), she shares all the gardening tips she’s gained over the years.