Anthurium plants are stunning perennial tropical plant delights wherever it sits with beautiful brightly colored blossoms that come in original shapes.
The anthurium requires very little care, making it ideal for the beginner gardener looking for a colorful addition to any decor. These plants will warm up any environment and sprout vibrantly colored blooms all year round.
- Related: Varieties of Houseplants
Here’s everything you’ll want to know about caring for and growing anthurium plants as your houseplant indoors.
Anthurium Plant Overview
Anthurium plants are perennial epiphytes, also known as an “air plant.” They grow on another plant, tree, or object for physical support, but are not parasitic. They do not attach to the ground.
Anthuriums get their name from Greek and signify flowering tails. But they are native to tropical forests that can be found in Central and South America, together with the Caribbean.
These plants thrive in moist tropical zones, and their capability to grow above ground allows them access to sunlight amid dense tropical forests.
They usually attach to tree barks. They feed on nutrients from leaves and other organic debris that rests high up in tree canopies.
If you care for your Anthurium plant correctly, it will bloom throughout the entire year. The flowers are long-lasting and may last from two to three months if they are left on the plant. If they are cut and used in a flower arrangement, they can last up to six weeks.
Most epiphytes are plants that flower or angiosperms, such as orchids, Bromeliaceae (pineapple family), and tillandsias. Mosses, liverworts, and ferns are epiphytes that can be found in tropical environments and temperate areas. They are very uncommon in arid, dry regions.
The anthurium genus belongs to the Araceae family and is a cousin to peace lilies, philodendrons, and dieffenbachia. They feature woody root systems, waxy leaves, and form in clusters, differing in size and shape.
Anthurium blossoms have a spadix that is spiraled by numerous tiny flowers, and each spadix is almost hooded by a vibrant bract or spathe that may take the shape of a club, heart, or lance.
There are over 1000 anthurium species, however, some are more well-known and popular:
- Anthurium Scherzerianum (aka Flamingo Flower) – This is the popular anthurium that features a bright fire-engine red spathe hosting a vibrant yellow spadix.
- Bird’s Nest Anthurium – This plant boasts a circular arrangement of leaves that slightly resemble kale because they are frilly.
- Black Anthurium – The spathes of this anthurium are inky in color.
- Pink Anthurium – This plant offers beautiful salmon-colored spathes.
- Purple Tulip Anthurium – The spathes of this plant are a royal purple in hue.
- Velvet Cardboard Anthurium – Beautiful heart-shaped leaves are characterized by unique patterns.
Anthurium Main Benefits
Anthuriums are part of a group of plants that improve air quality indoors, removing toxins such as ammonia, formaldehyde, xylene, and toluene.
Plus, studies have shown that indoor houseplants can reduce stress, so an anthurium can contribute to your well-being.
The anthurium is also relatively low maintenance compared to many other types of houseplants. These anthurium plant care tips will help you add the anthurium to your group of indoor plants.
Soil for Anthurium
Since anthuriums don’t grow in the ground or soil. If you want to reproduce their natural growth environment, you can make your potting mix by combining one part pine or fir bark, one part peat moss, and one part pearlite.
If you choose to purchase potting soil, combine five parts of low-moisture potting soil, two parts peat moss, two parts orchid potting mix, and one part perlite.
They prefer a well-draining soil bed that is moist, but not wet. Another option is a well-draining potting soil for orchids, combined with a couple of handfuls of sand, and another couple of peat moss.
In nature, the anthurium “leans” on its host for support. If your plant can’t manage to stay vertical by itself, give it a trellis or stake for support.
Temperature for Anthurium
Anthurium prefers the same temperatures that humans find comfortable.
In spring and summer, they enjoy the warm weather, because it is the growing season. During their dormant season, they prefer the cooler weather.
Temperatures should not dip under 60° Fahrenheit. An ideal temperature will sit between 65°F and 85°F.
Light for Anthurium
The anthurium loves bright, indirect light. Anthuriums prefer and thrive in filtered sunlight. If they receive direct sunlight, their leaves may scorch.
In their natural habitat, they receive sunlight through the canopy of jungle trees. They love light that is moderate, filtered, and indirect.
Water and Humidity for Anthurium
A humid environment is appreciated by anthuriums. If you don’t use a humidifier in the area of your plant, you can treat it to a misting occasionally. Anthuriums like humidity levels between 50% and 70%, which means they prefer a humid room.
Do not place it near an air conditioner vent, a drafty doorway, or a drafty window. Bursts of dry or cool air can stress your plant and as a result, it will not grow or bloom well.
Even though these plants enjoy frequent watering and humidity, they do not tolerate stagnant standing water or soggy soil for too long. Overwatering will result in root rot.
The soil should remain moist still. You can monitor the soil with a soil moisture meter or touch the topsoil.
In the warmer spring and summer months, water your plant once a week. In the dormant winter months, water every two to four weeks. Much will depend on your climate. You should keep the soil slightly damp at all times, especially when the weather gets hot.
The ideal way to water your anthurium is to water it until the water drains out from the holes in the bottom of the flowerpot. Allow it to drain completely and then return it to its preferred position.
You can use water that is filtered, mineral, or even distilled. If you use city water from your tap, it would be better to filter it. City tap water often contains chlorine or fluoride which can upset the plant.
Fertilizer for Anthurium
Anthuriums should be fertilized once a month during their growing season using a balanced ¼ strength fertilizer that has a high phosphorous content.
Do not overdo the fertilizer. In the case of the Anthurium, less is most definitely more.
Anthurium Pruning and Repotting
Anthuriums do not require a great deal of pruning. You should remove yellowed leaves and spent blooms, using sharp scissors to cut them away near the base of the stem.
Anthuriums should be repotted at the beginning of the growing season. However, if you discover it to be rootbound, repot it immediately regardless of the season.
When these plants are rootbound, you may see roots growing above the soil or peaking through drainage holes. A cracked container is a clue to repot, as are wilting leaves.
To repot the anthurium:
- Water the plant several hours before you intend to repot to moisten the roots.
- Choose a container that is approximately two inches larger than the current container.
- Prepare your potting mix.
- Slide out the anthurium from its current container and loosen the roots.
- Fill the new pot with your soil at least one-third full and place the plant inside.
- Fill the pot with soil until it reaches the same level as in the previous container.
- Water lightly to settle the soil and top with a bit more soil.
Propagating the Anthurium
The easiest method for propagating an Anthurium is to divide it at the roots. When you see new growth in the spring or summer months, take the plant from its container and divide it into two or more sections.
Each section should have at least three leaves. Try to avoid breaking any stems or roots during the division. Place each section in its new container.
You can also trim off “air roots” growing on the stems, dip them in rooting hormone, and bury them in the soil in a new container. You should start seeing leaves in four to six weeks.
You can use a cutting by trimming off a stem with at least three leaves. Dip the cut end in rooting hormone and then bury it in the soil bed up to the first leaf. Water it when the soil becomes dry and mist it each week. In four to six weeks, roots should develop.
Growing Anthurium in Water
One nice thing about this plant is that you can cultivate it in water as opposed to soil. You will need:
- A vase
- Mineral water
- Plant fertilizer for indoor plants
To grow the anthurium in water, you’ll first need to transplant an anthurium plant from soil to water:
- Rinse the plant’s roots until they no longer have any soil on them
- Place your Anthurium in the vase
- Fill the vase with water until the waterline lies just below the plant’s stems
- Water should be replaced at least once monthly. Also replace the plant nutrients if you’re using any.
Replace or add water more often if you see that it needs more water or if you live in a drier climate.
Anthurium Plant Pests, Diseases, Problems, and More
Anthuriums are at risk for aphids, scale, spider mites, whitefly, and mealy bugs. If you find these insects or evidence of them, take action.
Wash the leaves with insecticidal soap and water. Take care to not spray nor splash it on the roots.
Roots growing on the stems are aerial roots. You can mist them occasionally or cut them off. If you note roots sprouting up out of the soil bed, your plant is probably rootbound and needs to be repotted.
Leaves that turn yellow may indicate one of several things:
- Too much direct sunlight
- Too much water
- Too little water
Inspect your plant carefully to determine the cause and correct it.
Ideally, your Anthurium will flower all year. If your plant lacks blooms, it may indicate some problem with its care or in the environment.
Give it a small feed and try moving it to a place with more indirect light.
Anthurium Toxicity and Pets
Anthuriums are toxic if ingested and will be a problem for both humans and pets. As with the other members of the Araceae family, it does contain calcium oxalate. Calcium oxalate takes the form of tiny crystals that are exceptionally sharp.
If Anthurium is chewed, ingested, or even handled, the crystals are released. That will cause irritation, pain, and in some cases severe inflammation.
For this reason, it would be wise to keep your Anthurium out of the reach of small children and pets.
Care of Anthurium Plants Final Thoughts
Anthuriums are a beautiful addition to any home or office. They offer lush foliage and vibrant, vivid colors.
This low-maintenance plant will add beauty to your decor and is a lovely gift for plant-loving friends and family.
For other houseplant guides to help you care for and grow indoor plants, check out these articles:
- Alocasia Plant Care and Grow Guide
- Aloe Vera Plant Grow Guide
- Areca Palm Plant Grow Guide
- Bird’s Nest Fern Grow Guide
- Coffee Plant Grow Guide
Growing Anthurium FAQs
Is anthurium a good indoor plant?
Yes, anthuriums make for a great indoor plant. They thrive indoors and don’t need constant care and attention. They love bright, indirect light and help to improve the air quality as well. Anthurium plants also hey look great when grown inside.
How long do anthurium plants live?
You can expect anthuriums to grow between 2–4 years before needing re-potting. This means that you could get 3–5 years of enjoyment from each plant! That’s a long life for anthurium plants.
How poisonous is anthurium?
Anthuriums aren’t particularly dangerous topically, but they are known to cause problems for people who ingest them. They contain calcium oxalate. The most common symptoms include stomach ache, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and skin rashes. In rare instances, anthurium poisoning has led to death. It’s important to know how to identify and treat anthurium toxicity, so you won’t end up harming yourself or others.
Does anthurium purify air?
Anthuriums have been used since ancient times to cleanse polluted air. Their ability to absorb toxins makes them ideal for use in cleaning homes and offices. Anthuriums help to remove air pollutant.
Do anthuriums need sunlight?
Anthuriums prefer full sun exposure, but indirectly. You should avoid placing anthuriums near windows, where there is too much direct sunlight. Too much sudden heat can damage their leaves, so don’t put them next to heaters.
Can I fertilize my anthurium?
Fertilizing anthuriums isn’t necessary unless you want larger flowers on your plant. Fertilizer helps increase growth rates and improves overall health. But remember not to overfeed your plant
Is an anthurium an annual or perennial?
Anthurium plants are perennials because they come back year after year. Annuals die off at the end of every growing season. If you’re looking for something to last longer than one summer, then choose a perennial instead.