Anthurium Plant Guide: How to Care for a Flamingo Flower

Anthurium Guide: How to Care for a Flamingo Flower

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It’s hard not to fall in love with anthurium. With its heart-shaped leaves and bright blooms, anthurium is beautiful in any setting. If you’re interested in growing a flamingo flower of your own, check out these care tips we’ve rounded up—everything from water and fertilizer to propagation and pest control.

Anthurium Details

Anthurium

AKA painted anthurium, flamingo flower, tailflower, painter’s palette, laceleaf
Ease of Care: Easy
Light: Bright, indirect light
Water: Moderate
Temperature: 70 to 90 degrees
Height: About 15 to 20 inches
Growth Rate: Slow to moderate
Pests: Mealy bug, aphids, scaly bugs
Disease: Root rot
Toxicity: Toxic to pets and people

Benefits of Growing Anthurium

pink anthurium in planter outdoors
CREDIT: TWENTY20

Anthurium has bright blooms that resemble a heart. Because the plant blooms all year long, it’s one of the best plants to add color to your indoor environment. But there’s more to this plant than its incredible appearance. Learn more about the benefits of having this plant around.

Feng Shui

If you believe in the principles of Feng Shui, you want this plant around. It’s believed to bring good luck to your relationships and other aspects of your life.

For this reason, Anthurium is a great gift for someone you care about. It’s a great looking plant that has meaning behind it

Conversation Piece

Anthurium isn’t just a plant. In addition to its aesthetic values, the plant also has an interesting history. In ancient Greece legend, Cupid’s arrows were the flowers of Anthurium. The flower could make people fall in love. And although that’s up for debate, you can still use the plant to share the history of the flower.

 Air Quality Improvement

In NASA research, Anthurium performed well as an air-purifier. It has large leaves that remove toxins like xylene, toluene, and ammonia. Thanks to this plant, you can breathe a little easier.

pink anthurium in planter outdoors
CREDIT: TWENTY20

Caring for Your Anthurium

Relatively easy to care for, anthurium doesn’t need too much attention. Perhaps the most important details is the plant’s lighting requirements. It needs bright, but indirect sunlight. If the plant does receive direct sun, the leaves will have scorch marks. Even the flowers will show damage.

If anthurium doesn’t receive enough light, the plant will also suffer. The plant will make fewer flowers, and those flowers will be smaller than they should be.

Water Requirements

Your anthurium needs a moderate amount of water. As a general rule, you should water the plant when the first inch of soil feels dry. Pour enough water for the water to run out from the holes in the pot.

You may need to water your plant more if gets high levels of light. If you give an anthurium too much water, it could develop root rot. To avoid this, look for signs of thirst and only water your plant when needed. A thirsty plant will feel lightweight in its planter when lifted, and may have droopy leaves.

Temperature

Although anthurium adapts well to a range of temperatures, it thrives in temperatures between 70 and 90 degrees. It will stop growing if the temperature drops under 50 degrees. If the temperature gets too high, the plant will start to wilt.

Humidity

Anthurium likes humidity, but some varieties can survive in dry homes. Generally, the plant needs a humidity of 60% or more. You can use a humidifier to increase your home’s humidity, or make a humidity tray. If you have the time, you can also mist your plant every day.

Fertilizer Needs

In the spring and summer, anthurium needs fertilizer. Once a month, you should fertilize your plant with a diluted liquid fertilizer. If you don’t use ¼ strength fertilizer, you could do damage to your plant. During the growing season, you can encourage your plant to grow flowers with a high phosphorus fertilizer.

red anthurium closeup of modified leaves indoors
CREDIT: TWENTY20

Pruning

On a regular basis, you should trim your plants. If older growth is allowed to stay on your anthurium, the stem of the plants may bend one way. You can prevent this by removing old leaves from the top, and go down from there.

Remove all dead or discolored leaves. If there are wilted flowers or dead blossoms, cut them down to the base. It’s also important to remove suckers from the bottom of the plant. When they’re allowed to remain, the suckers use up too much energy.

Propagating an Anthurium

To propagate this plant, remove it from the pot. Separate a few of the roots, looking for ones that are easily separated. Then, remove those plants and put them in a new pot with soil. You can separate your anthurium into as many new plants as the roots will allow.

Varieties of Anthurium

There are several varieties of anthurium. Before you pick out your plant, you should consider which variety is best for you.

Marea and Facetto

These plants are considered to be tulip-shaped anthurium. As you might expect, these varieties have a tulip shape.

anthurium varieties marea and facetto
CREDIT: Anthuriuminfo.com, Triangle Nursery

Zizou

These plants have flowers with a narrow ribbon shape. They typically come in bold colors.

Peruzzi

Shaped like a cup, the flowers on Peruzzi comes in several unique warm colors.

anthurium varieties peruzzi and zizou
CREDIT: Vooren, Anthuriuminfo.com

Dutch Anthurium

More traditional than other varieties of anthurium, this plant has heart-shaped flowers and foliage.

    Costa Farms Anthurium in Decorative Planter

Buy on Amazon
    The Anthurium features stunning glossy dark green heart-shaped leaves with long-lasting red blooms. Provides an instant impact for your home or office, perfect for home decorating or gift-giving. Ships 12 to 14 inches tall in decorative white planter.

Tequila

No, this variety of anthurium won’t get you tipsy. But it will produce flowers with red veins that give the plant a unique appearance.

Kaseko

This plant stands out in its multicolored flowers. With two tones, the flowers are quite the vision.

anthurium varieties kaseko and tequila
CREDIT: Anthuriuminfo.com, Triangle Nursery

Where to Buy

You can buy anthurium online or in most landscaping stores. Depending on the season, you can also find the plant in most grocery stores.

If you prefer to order online, The Sill offers anthurium in custom planters.

    Pink Anthurium in Custom Planter

Buy at TheSill.com
    Anthuriums are the world’s longest blooming houseplant – they are rarely without their showy blooms! Each bloom can last up to eight weeks, and new ones will pop up often.

Amazon also has a range of live plants, most of the Dutch variety.

    House Plant Shop White Anthurium (4-Inch Pot)

Buy on Amazon
    These exotic houseplants have glossy heart-shaped leaves with a beautiful bloom that comes in a large array of colors. They can bloom all year long with enough light and water. The Anthurium originated in the South American rain forest so they thrive in high-humidity environments with a decent amount of shade.

If you’d like a rarer cultivar, a good option is Etsy.

Anthurium FAQ

Check out some of the most commonly asked questions about anthurium.

How Long Does an Anthurium Flower?

Although it’s possible for the plant to flower throughout the year, most plants only flower for three months. Then, the plant will begin a flowering cycle once again. Typically, the plant takes a break from flowering in the winter.

The plant flowers more when it receives sunlight. If there’s not enough sun, Anthurium goes into hibernation mode. You could move your plant into a more sunny spot or room if you think it’s not getting enough sun to flower properly.

Why Does My Plant Have Yellow Leaves?

If your plant has yellow leaves or brown flowers, it’s not content. While there are many causes of this, there are two common causes for this. The plant may be getting too much water or too much direct sun.

To fix the issue, feel the soil. If the soil is moist, it could be receiving too much water. You can check the roots for moisture by pulling the plant from the pot and checking them. Are they wet? If so, you should allow them to dry out for a short time. Then, replace them in the pot and avoid overwatering.

If you suspect that the sun is the problem, move the plant to a different location. With a little less sun, the plant will recover.

What Can I Do to Make My Plant Flower More?

anthurium bold colors closeup of foliage and flower
Credit: @Danas via Twenty20

If you’re not satisfied with your plant’s flowers or the frequency of flowering, you can do a few things to make a change.

First, try to move your plant to a position that has more light. Just make sure the plant isn’t in direct sun.  Secondly, keep a healthy watering schedule. Don’t water it any more frequently than once a week.

Finally, give your anthurium some fertilizer. Take a break from the fertilizer when cold weather approaches, because the plant will slow down its growth.

What Should I Do About Anthurium Pests?

Your anthurium is not immune to pests. Even indoors, there are pests that can destroy your plant. Whether your anthurium is inside or outside, it could experience the following pests:

  • Mealybugs
  • Aphids
  • Thrips
  • Scale mites
  • Spider mites

Fortunately, getting rid of pests is relatively easy. You can spray them with water or try to wipe the dust off your plant’s leaves.

Why Do I Need to be Careful While Fertilizing My Plant?

Fertilizing your plant can help it thrive, but too much fertilizer could kill your anthurium. Overfertilization results in leaf burn, which may kill your leaves.

The nitrogen in fertilizer hurts your plant in several ways. In addition to burning your leaves, nitrogen keeps flowers from developing. To keep damage from happening, use a fertilizer that’s low in nitrogen. A fertilizer that has a 1-2-1 mix is ideal.

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