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Anthurium

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  • Indoor Plants
Anthurium sp.
Photo: Jardin botanique de Montréal (Josée Bouthot)

Onglets

Botany

Origin and description

Most anthuriums come from South American tropical forests. They are semi-epiphytic plants found in the plant litter that accumulates in crevasses, between rocks, on tree stumps and in cracks that form in tree bark. The lance-shaped leaves of Anthurium scherzerianum grow at the end of a long stalk. The inflorescences are formed of a long red, somewhat coiled floral spike (the spadix) and a shiny red, leathery bract (the spathe). They appear mainly in summer, but these plants may flower all year. This species has produced many cultivars with blooms in shades of red, salmon, pink and white.

Species, cultivars and related plants

Anthurium 'Lady Jane' is a cross between various anthurium species. This cultivar produces lovely dark pink flowers. More disease- and drought-resistant than Anthurium scherzerianum, anthurium 'Lady Jane' is easy to grow as a houseplant.

Toxicity

Anthurium contains substances that are irritating to the skin and mucous membranes. Place this potentially toxic plant out of reach of children and pets.

Common name

Anthurium / Flamingo flower / Tailflower

Latin name (genus)

Anthurium scherzerianum

French common name

Botanical family

  • Araceae
Horticulture

Growing conditions

This plant is native to warm, moist regions and requires bright, indirect sunlight. A west-facing window is suitable. Daytime and nighttime temperatures must be constant, between 18 and 22ºC during the growing period and between 16 and 18ºC in winter. This plant does not like temperatures below 13ºC. Protect it from cold drafts and provide high humidity.

Easy to grow?

Anthurium is fairly difficult to grow. Appropriate watering, high humidity and a proper soil mix are all needed to keep it healthy and blooming regularly from year to year.

Watering and fertilizer

This plant does not tolerate waterlogged or overly dry soil. In winter, allow the soil to dry out slightly between waterings. In summer, you can increase waterings slightly to keep the soil moist but not soaked. A small dose of indoor plant food, or an all-purpose fertilizer like 20-20-20, three times during the growing period is sufficient because this is a slow-growing plant.

Pruning and maintenance

After it blooms, cut off the flower stalks at the base. Use a damp sponge to clean dusty leaves. Stake the inflorescences if necessary.

Repotting

Anthurium requires porous, well-drained soil. Repot it in spring in a mix along the lines of two parts sphagnum moss, one part medium-sized wood chips and one part perlite. Repot young plants annually, then every other year for older plants, because an anthurium likes to be somewhat potbound. The plant's growing point must not be buried.

Propagation

Pests and diseases
  • Root and leaf rot
Physiological disorders

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