Anthuriums Astound

They aren’t easy. But they are spectacular! These tropical beauties from Central America (other species from South America) are common in houseplant sales areas in flower shops, nurseries and groceries this time of year, so I thought this might be a good time to share a bit of their message in case you’re compelled to give them a try.

What a compelling flower just before Valentine’s Day. Anthuriums are super-showy, but they’re not super-easy.

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What you’ll want to know…
Anthuriums (several species, but this one is Anthurium scherzerianum.)
Common names: Anthurium, flamingo flower.
Plant family: Araceae (the Aroids, along with philodendrons, dieffenbachias, aglaonemas, peace lilies, caladiums and elephant ears.)
Native home: Costa Rica.
Light preference: medium to bright light, but no direct sunlight from late spring through early fall.
Temperature preference: Warm (think “tropical Costa Rica”).
Humidity levels: humid (think “tropical Costa Rica”).
Soil: loose and highly organic, similar to what the plant would find in a tropical rain forest where organic debris is always collecting.

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Water requirements: moist at all times, but never soggy (root rot) and never dry (poor growth and leaf burn).
Fertilizer requirements: high-phosphate types (liquid or water-soluble) to promote flowering, but high-nitrogen to keep plants producing new leaves in the warm, humid conditions.
Challenge level as houseplants go (scale from 1 to 10, with 10 being most difficult), anthuriums would probably rate 8 or 9. That’s why you don’t see them sitting around more offices and living rooms.

Posted by Neil Sperry
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