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Anthurium leaves

How to take care of an Anthurium

If you love tropical plants, but want something more than just a plant with dark green leaves, the Anthurium is the perfect plant for you! An Anthurium is a tropical plant with brightly colored or patterned leaves that look a little like Monstera leaves without the holes. It's a tropical plants that grows flowers in many different colors, including: red, pink, purple, white, and orange.

An Anthurium comes in a few different shapes and sizes, ranging from red and white colored leaves to leaves that almost look like an Alocasia Polly's leaves. The variety of the Anthurium makes it a great plant family to collect for your house. The many different colors, textures, and shapes will certainly turn your home into an indoor jungle!

In this plant care guide, we're going to explore how to take care of your Anthurium. These are the topics we're going to look at together:

  1. Watering your Anthurium
  2. Sunlight for your Anthurium
  3. The perfect soil for your Anthurium
  4. Humidity for your Anthurium
  5. Fertilizing your Anthurium
  6. Is your Anthurium toxic for pets?

Let's get started and learn to take care of an Anthurium in your house!

Watering your Anthurium

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Anthurium with water drops

Watering your Anthurium is one of the most important things to make your plant happy. To get an idea of how often you should water your plant, it's good to know where your Anthurium grows in nature: The tropical rain forests of South-America. These rain forests are very humid, warm, and it rains quite often. This gives us a great idea of the type of watering your Anthurium likes: It likes to grow in a permanently moist environment.

What is a "moist" environment?

A moist environment for your plant means 2 things: the soil of your plant should never dry out, but it also shouldn't be in soil that's wet. You have wet soil if you have a puddle of water at the bottom of the pot. Most houseplants will die when they're in wet soil, because their roots aren't designed to sit in water. If you have wet soil, you risk your plant getting root rot and die from it.

How often should you water your Anthurium?

The Anthurium thrives in soil that's permanently moist, so how often should you water it? Unfortunately, I don't have a fixed number for you, because how often you water your plant depends on the soil. If you've got soil that retains water well and can hold onto water for 5-7 days, you'll only have to water your plant once per week.

The best advice I can give you is to check the moisture levels of your soil every day until you notice the top layer drying up. You can check whether the soil is still moisture by sticking your finger in the soil. If the soil sticks to your finger, it's still moist and you don't have to water your plant yet. If the soil falls off easily, it's time to water your plant. When it's time to water your Anthurium, note how long it takes before you have to water your plant again. After a few weeks, you'll start to learn when your plant might need some water to stay happy.

Watering your Anthurium in the winter

In the winter, when your Anthurium goes dormant, you won't have to water your plant as often as you did in the spring and summer. The sun is less strong in the winter, so your plant will (almost) stop growing for a few months. During the winter, you can let the soil of your Anthurium dry out for a few days before you water it again. By letting the soil dry out a little bit, you avoid accidentally overwatering your plant.

How do you know if you've watered too much?

We've all killed houseplants by watering our plants too much. That's why it important to realize when you've watered your plant too much, so you know to slow down watering for a few days. When the leaves of the Anthurium start to get yellow edges and brown spots, you've watered your plant too much. There is no reason to panic, because you can still save your plant! This is what you need to do:

  1. Let the excess water escape from the pot
  2. Let the soil (mostly) dry out
  3. Remove any "dead" leaves to give your plant extra energy to recover
  4. Water your plant less often

If you want to know more about rescuing your plant from being overwatered, you can read "How to rescue a plant from overwatering".

Sunlight for your Anthurium

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Anthurium Clarinervium

In the previous section, about watering your Anthurium, we've discovered that the plant naturally grows in the rain forests of South-America. The Anthurium's natural growing environment is a warm place that gets a lot of sun. It's natural habitat gives us a great idea about how much sunlight your Anthurium should get. In the rain forest, the trees are very large and won't let through most of the bright sunlight to the ground, where the Anthurium grows.

You can help to give your Anthurium the perfect sunlight exposure by finding a bright spot in your house where the plant won't get any direct sunlight exposure. The direct sunlight will turn your Anthurium's leaves yellow and leave sunburn spots.

The perfect place for your Anthurium is a spot in the middle of a room with a south or west facing window. These rooms will get a lot of sunlight during the day, but by placing your Anthurium away from the window, it won't get any direct sunlight. This spot will keep the brightly colored leaves looking beautiful.

You can read more about the type of sunlight each direction gives you in "Does the sunlight direction matter for your houseplant?".

Sunlight exposure for your Anthurium in the winter

In the winter, the sun isn't as strong and lower in the sky during the day. This means that there is less sunlight coming in through the windows and your house is darker during the day.

Because of this you should move your Anthurium closer to windows to give it a bit of extra sunlight exposure. During the growing season (spring and summer) this sunlight is too harsh, but it's the perfect sunlight exposure during the winter.

The perfect soil for your Anthurium

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Authurium being potted

Your Anthurium is a plant that loves soil that's permanently moist. When you have a plant like that, you'll need soil that has a few important characteristics:

  • It drains excess moisture quickly, so you don't overwater your plant
  • It keeps its structure for a long time, so the oxygen can still flow to the roots
  • It retains moisture for several days to keep your plant happy

You can find pre-mixed bags of soil at most garden stores, but you can also mix this soil yourself. You will need to mix several ingredients for the best result:

  • potting soil
  • coconut fibers
  • perlite

The potting soil will hold onto fertilizer and moisture to water your plant, the coconut fibers will keep your soil light and fluffy, and the perlite will drain excess moisture to the bottom of the pot quickly. The mix of these ingredients will help your Anthurium to stay happy for a very long time.

Humidity for your Anthurium

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An Anthurium is a plant that naturally grows in the rain forests of Brazil, Columbia, Peru, Equador, and Venezuela. Plants that naturally grow in rain forests are plants that thrive in a very high humidity environment.

What is "humidity"?

Do you know why plants that love humidity don't necessarily like to be watered often? Humidity is all about the moisture in the air around the plant and not about the moisture in the soil. A plant can love humidity, but also be very sensitive to over watering.

You've probably heard about using a spray bottle on your plants before. It's very easy to assume that spraying your plant is the same as watering your plant, because your plant is getting moisture. But this is a common misconception: using a spray bottle on your plant raises the humidity of the air around your plant and doesn't actually water the plant properly.

How to give your Anthurium the perfect humidity

We've already discovered that you can raise the humidity for your humidity-loving Anthurium by spray it with water every once in a while. There are a few other ways you can help your Anthurium get the humidity it likes:

  • Humidifier
  • Cover your plant
  • Using a greenhouse

A humidifier is a great way to regulate the humidity levels around your plant, but could be a slightly more expensive solution. An easier way is to cover your plant with a glass or plastic dome. This dome will trap the humidity around your plant and mimics the tropical environment of the rain forest it naturally grows in. If you've got a greenhouse, that's also a perfect place for your Anthurium. It's generally a warm spot with high humidity, just like the tropical rain forests of South-America.

There a a few other ways that might be easier for you. You can find these other ways in "10 ways to raise the humidity in your house". This guide will give you 10 different ideas you can try to help give your plant more humidity in your house.

Fertilizing your Anthurium

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Anthurium Lily

Like most tropical plants, an Anthurium grows quite quickly. When plants grow quickly, they use a lot of the nutrients from the soil, so it's important to keep feeding your plant to keep it happy.

There are a few different types of fertilizer that you can use to feed your Anthurium.

If you're using fertilizer sticks or any other slow-release fertilizer, you only have to feed your plant twice per year. You should fertilize your Anthurium once at the beginning of spring and once at the beginning of the summer. This will give your plant a boost at the beginning of the growing season and give it extra fertilizer to keep growing during the warm summers.

However, if you're using a liquid fertilizer, you will need to fertilize your plant a little more often. It's important to check the bottle of the fertilizer you've got, because every fertilizer is a little different. On average, you should add fertilizer to the water every 14 days and water your plants like you normally would.

You can read more about which fertilizer is best in "What is the best type of fertilizer for houseplants?".

Fertilizing your Anthurium in the winter

In the winter, when your Anthurium is asleep and it's not growing (as quickly), you shouldn't fertilize your houseplant. During this resting period, your Anthurium won't use the fertilizer you're giving it, so it'll stay behind in the soil. When fertilizer stays behind in the soil for too long, it'll make the soil too acidic for your plant to stay healthy. So it's best to stop fertilizing during the fall and winter.

Is your Anthurium toxic for pets?

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Most tropical houseplants have at least one thing in common: They're toxic to pets and people. The Anthurium is no exception and will cause stomach aches and/or vomiting. If you notice that your pet or child has eaten part of the Anthurium, make sure to call your veterinarian or GP to ask for advice.

Conclusion

The Anthurium is a beautiful plant from the rain forests of South-America and comes in many shapes and sizes. This humidity-loving, brightly-colored houseplant will make any house into an indoor jungle! In this plant care guide, we've looked at how you can take care of your Anthurium. We've looked at how you can water your Anthurium, the best sunlight exposure for your Anthurium, the best soil for your Anthurium, how to best fertilize your Anthurium, and whether your Anthurium is safe for your pets and kids.

Thank you for reading this post! I hope it helps you to keep your plants healthy and beautiful! If you're looking for more guides on specific plants, you can always request a plant guide or donate a plant in order to get a guide for the plant you have trouble with.

Tags: humidity-loving, tropical

Posted on: May 26, 2022 Last updated on: May 26, 2022

Other common names for this plant

  • Anthurium
  • Tailflower
  • Flamingo flower
  • Laceleaf

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