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4 Easy Ways to Fix a Leggy Anthurium

4 Easy Ways to Fix a Leggy Anthurium

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One typical issue that some gardeners have with indoor anthuriums is that they can become “leggy.” This means that their stems are stretching out so much that it takes away from their appeal.

Repotting, reducing fertilizer, relocating, and cutting are the recommended courses of action once your anthurium’s “legs” grow out of hand.

If you’re interested in learning the causes and how to fix a leggy anthurium, all you have to do is keep reading!

Leggy Anthurium: Causes

Before fixing a problem, we must first understand the root of it.

So, what causes a leggy anthurium?

1 – They’re Tropical Plants

The first thing that you need to understand about these flowers is that they’re tropical plants. This means that they’re designed to compete with other plants for sustenance.

Anthuriums are epiphytes. That’s a type of aerial plant, similar to orchids, that survives by attaching its stems and aerial roots to the surfaces of trees and other plants.

They naturally elongate their stems and roots to access sunlight, oxygen, and water.

So, if your anthurium looks longer on the stem part but is green and has no signs of yellowing or wilting, what you have right there is a healthy tropical plant.

However, a healthy anthurium can sometimes look shaggy and unappealing. If it’s your choice to fix it, we’ll be discussing how below.

2 – Excessive Fertilization

It’s typical for flower owners to spoil their floras. However, in the case of anthuriums, it can potentially do more harm than good.

Because of the high nitrogen content, excessive fertilizing can be one of the reasons why your plant has lengthy stems.

Always remember that anthuriums are easy-thriving. They need fertilizer, but in lesser amounts than other flowering plants.

Another thing to note about why it’s bad to overfeed your plant is that it can cause root burns that can ultimately result in rotting.

3 – Wrong Spot for Anthuriums

As we mentioned earlier, anthuriums are tropical plants. This means that they’re used to receiving strong, indirect sunlight all year round.

Now, although they’re one of the most suitable plants to take indoors, they still need a sufficient source of light.

For that reason, if you place them in a space where they can’t receive enough sunlight, they will try to find some themselves. They do it by extending their stems toward the closest light source.

This is one of the primary reasons why people get lengthy and spindly anthurium stems.

4 – Bound by Their Roots

As your floras mature and grow, they sometimes outgrow their pots. When this happens, you have what we call a “rootbound” plant.

When your anthurium is rootbound, its roots will take over the whole pot space. This will lead to your plant being suffocated and not receiving the nutrients it needs.

This, too, will cause leggy stem growth, and worst scenario, your anthurium will start to wither.

4 Ways to Fix a Leggy Anthurium

Now that we’ve looked at the primary roots of the “leggy” problem, let’s go on to how to fix it.

Method 1: Repot Your Anthurium

Repotting your anthurium is the best solution if root bounding is the cause of its spindly stems. It’s also the best course of action if you have a healthy, overgrown anthurium that’s beginning to look unsightly.

To get the best results, replant your flora in a deeper and wider pot with better drainage holes. This will allow your plant to receive enough space and nutrients to grow as you want it to.

Before repotting, make sure that the soil you’re transferring your flower into is suitable for it.

Because anthuriums are similar to orchids, they don’t need soil that retains water as much. Instead, they’d want dry, easy-draining soil, like ones that’s mixed with pebbles, perlite or sand.

Once you have your pot and your soil ready, follow these steps to replant your anthurium:

  1. First, the day before replanting, water your anthurium sufficiently to soften the soil and loosen the roots of your plant.
  2. Next, prepare the pot and the soil where you’ll replant the flower.
  3. Fill the pot with enough potting soil based on the size of your anthurium.
  4. You can now start taking out the anthurium from its current pot.
  5. For this, you need to tip the pot and slowly gouge the plant from the base.
  6. Don’t pull on the stems to avoid damaging your anthurium.
  7. Once it’s out, remove the excess earth from the roots.
  8. If there are a lot of knots and coils on the roots, gently untangle them by hand.
  9. Place your anthurium in the new pot, and then fill the gaps and the roots with your prepared soil.
  10. Once you secure the plant, water it lightly to settle the soil and add more if needed.

Method 2: Regulate Your Fertilizer

If you’re fertilizing your anthurium too much, then you’re basically the reason for its leggy issues.

Now, we’re not saying that you should stop fertilizing it entirely; we’re saying that you should regulate it according to what your flora needs.

In fact, most gardeners would say that you only need to fertilize these plants once every month and only during their growing seasons.

The growing season is when the anthurium grows and produces more flowers. It usually occurs between the months of March and August, during the spring and summer.

That said, anthuriums don’t necessarily need fertilizer unless they’re undernourished. So, unless your plant has dead spathes or is yellowish, you should probably minimize the use of fertilizers.

Here are the things to remember about how you should fertilize your anthuriums:

  • Use a liquid fertilizer that contains more phosphorus than potassium or nitrogen.
  • Always dilute the fertilizer by mixing 1/4 fertilizer and 3/4 water as your solution.
  • Use the mixture to water your anthurium once a month during the summer and spring.
  • Don’t fertilize your plant during its dormant phase in the cold months.

Method 3: Relocate Your Anthurium to a Brighter Spot

As we said before, an anthurium that sits in a spot where not enough light can enter will try to reach the closest light source.

So, if you put these flowers under a window of a poorly lit room or behind something that blocks the light, you’ll get a leggy anthurium.

Now, the solution to this is easy. You only need to relocate your plant to a space with enough brightness.

However, avoid placing it under direct sunlight. Direct exposure to the sun will scorch its flowers and leaves.

If you have a flowering anthurium, then it only needs around six hours of indirect sunlight per day to flourish.

Method 4: Prune Your Anthurium

If you have no spot to relocate or a pot to replant your anthurium, pruning might be your best bet to solve that leggy issue.

Pruning is a good way to stimulate new growth. This would allow your anthurium to restart and fix those lanky stems.

Follow these steps to prune your leggy anthurium:

  1. Prepare your pruning shears and a spray bottle containing water.
  2. Before cutting, sterilize your shears with alcohol or hydrogen peroxide.
  3. Then, identify the excessively long stems you want to cut.
  4. Clip off stems around 3 to 6 inches under the first leaf from below.
  5. This is to avoid cutting the aerial roots that would help the stem regrow.
  6. After cutting, spray some water on the plant to help replenish the lost moisture.

Final Thoughts

There’s no question that anthuriums are popular and beautiful houseplants. They add vibrant colors to our homes and are easy to maintain.

That said, you still need to understand their needs to be able to take care of them. A leggy anthurium means it’s lacking some basic needs like sunlight, space, and an appropriate amount of fertilizer.

With the help of this guide, we’re confident that you can now take better care of your anthurium, leggy or not.

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