Botanical Name: Anthurium andraeanum
Height: Regular Anthuriums tend to grow to a height of approximately 45 cm (18 in), while compact varieties grow to 30 cm (12 in). Either way, it may become necessary to stake the plant's tall flower stems.
Soil: Anthuriums are at their happiest in potting mix that is peat moss based.
Light: A minimum of four hours of bright light per day is required, but direct sunlight must be avoided.
Humidity: As Anthuriums prefer moderate to high humidity levels, it may be necessary to raise humidity around them to acceptable levels.
Temperatures: During the night, temperatures should be allowed to drop to between 18 and 21 degrees C (65 to 0 degrees F), while day-temperatures are perfect between 24 and 27 degrees C (75 to 80 degrees F).
Water: This plant needs its soil to be kept evenly moist from spring through into autumn. During the winter months, it is acceptable to let the soil become a little drier, but not completely dry.
Fertiliser: Liquid high phosphorous fertiliser should be diluted with an equal part of water and fed to the plant once a fortnight during the spring and summer months.
Propagation: Crowded clumps can be divided and planted separately in small pots. New plants will typically bloom within a year.
Description and Care Tips
Also often referred to as the Tail Flower, the long-lasting Anthurium is one of the better known tropical flowers. While the flowers of all Anthuriums are long-lasting, some of the newer cultivars will bloom almost throughout the whole year.
The heart-shaped, glossy red flowers of this plants are in fact spathes that have a white spadix covered in the plant's true, tiny flowers. Lasting for several weeks at a time, these spathes may be white, pink or orange in some varieties.
It should be noted that the long, leathery and deep green leaves of the Anthurium are poisonous. Containing calcium oxalate crystals, which can cause severe burns in the mouth, they should subsequently be kept well away from pets and small children. To avoid unpleasant skin irritations when handling this plant, it is advisable to wear protective gloves at all times.
Anthuriums need as much bright light as possible to keep blooming, but direct sunlight should be avoided. Humidity levels will need to be raised to keep Anthuriums happy, although some of the newer cultivars are a little less fussy about this than the original species.
Brown leaf tips may indicate that the relative humidity of the room is dropping below 50 per cent and subsequently becoming too dry for the plant. Grouping plants will help to keep moisture levels up, as will using a humidifier or a humidity tray.
Anthuriums should only be repotted when necessary, and then only to a pot one size larger than the original. The crown of the plant should be left above the soil line. Drainage holes in the pot will prevent soil becoming too soggy.
The naturally glossy leaves of the Anthurium need to be cleaned regularly with a damp cloth to preserve their sheen. It is crucial not to leave drops of water on the leaves, as this could lead to brown spots, a fungal disease requiring fungicide treatments.