The stunning flowers of the Anthurium andraeanum cause these houseplants to be popular. Its names include a painter’s palette and laceleaf.
Growers familiar with the indoor plant may say, “It’s a tailflower” because the plant looks on fire like a flamingo dancer. Because of this, other growers call it the “flamingo flower.” Some may say, “The Flower with a Heart.”
Naturally, the tropical plant holds deep reds, lavenders, pinks and whites. The heart shapes communicate everlasting love as an ideal gift to express one’s passion.
The prominent feature is the inflorescence, a red spathe and a yellow spadix, looking similar to a red flower with a yellow stamen. The laceleaf flower creates a vibrant contrast with the deep green and heart-shaped leaves.
As a low-maintenance plant, it’s just the right plant for beginners. However, giving the plant proper care will ensure its happier and healthier.
|Botanical Name||Anthurium andraeanum|
|Common Name||Flamingo Lily, Flamingo Flower, Painter’s Palette, Laceleaf, and Tailflower|
|Size||12 to 18 inches tall and 9 to 12 inches wide|
|Pet Friendly||Toxic to pets|
Anthurium Andraeanum Origin
The flowering plant is native to the tropical rainforests of Columbia and Ecuador. They are easy to find in nurseries, florists, grocery stores and big-box stores.
The genus name comes from the Greek “Anthos” and “Oura,” meaning “flowering tail.” It fits because of the way the tropical plant flowers — a spathe and the spadix centered where the flowers grow. Having such a characteristic includes the Anthurium in the Araceae family.
How to Care for Anthurium Andraeanum
Experience growers and beginners shouldn’t have a troublesome time growing these plants indoors. Beginners can follow the basic guidelines to ensure their Anthuriums thrive as houseplants. With such a large variety of Anthurium andraeanum available, the exciting part is bringing home to nurture.
Light and Temperature
Bright, indirect light helps Anthurium andraeanum grow well indoors. The plants grow under the dense canopy of rainforests in their natural habitat. There, they receive speckles of sunlight. With that in mind, find a location in your home that simulates those conditions. It could be a room facing south or west. But try not placing the laceleaf close to the window, where the sun magnifies through the window and scorches the leaves, producing a discoloration.
When winter arrives, these beauties go dormant and accept less light. Yet they still like the sun, so if kept in the dark for long periods is not suitable. Not receiving enough sunlight will cause the leaves to pale, leading to nutrient deficiencies caused by the inability to experience photosynthesis. Light encourages the Anthurium andraeanum to flower. If kept in the dark, they will not bloom.
Even though they are tropical plants, these houseplants thrive in average home temperatures. Anthurium andraeanum tolerate a wide range of temperatures — 60° to 90° Fahrenheit. They can also grow outdoors during spring and summer. Be sure to bring them back inside when the temperatures fall below 60° Fahrenheit. Getting them indoors when it’s cold will prevent irreversible damage to the flamingo flower plants.
The American Horticultural Society recommends the Anthurium andraeanum grow in zones one to 12. Twelve means the average number of days with temperatures above 86° Fahrenheit. If left outside in extremely high temperatures, their leaves may burn, and the coloring of the flower fades.
Like most members of the Araceae family, Anthurium andraeanum thrive in moist soil without being saturated. Monitor the soil and water when the top inch is dry. The finger is the best way to check the potting mix, then give these plants a good soak. Water needs to run through the drainage holes at the bottom of the planter. Avoid causing stagnant water where the water drains out and the potting mix.
In general, Anthurium andraeanum needs watering once a week. However, watering may vary based on the season and time of year. These plants need more water during the growing season, from spring to early autumn.
When water evaporates faster during dry, hot periods, these indoor plants need more watering. When it’s dormant season, winter, reduce watering frequency by monitoring the plants and using the finger test.
Humidity is vital for most tropical plants, and Anthurium andraeanum is no different. They can grow in 50 percent humidity levels, but leaves may appear brown and crispy at the edges. Therefore, the optimum level is 80 percent, which is relatively high compared to most homes.
So, invest in a humidifier, allowing the ability to monitor indoor humidity levels, and growers can adjust accordingly. Positioning a bowl of water near the plants or leaving them near a bathroom window will help. Some growers will group their indoor plants, creating a little tropical forest to keep the humidity in range. Or mist the leaves using room temperature water. In fact, Anthurium andraeanum needs daily misting as short-term handling until there’s a permanent solution.
Anthurium andraeanum need fertilizing during their growing period because they are not heavy feeders. Use diluted fertilizer rich in phosphorus about once a month, between spring and early autumn. The phosphorus stimulates abundant flowering of their beauty.
When the dormant season arrives, their growth slows down. There isn’t as much sunlight, so cut back on the fertilizer.
Seeing blooms on anthurium plants makes them gorgeous, and it’s exciting to witness. They grow flowers throughout the year and blooms last three months. Then the plants will form buds again.
If anthuriums don’t flower, they need more indirect light and fertilizer. Move the Anthurium plants to a location with more sunlight and increase the fertilizing, diluting it.
Anthurium andraeanum needs hardly any pruning. Just now and then, prune to keep the plants looking healthy. Make a snip at the stem base just to remove the dead foliage.
Use sharp, sterilized pruning shears to trim dead leaves and wilted flower heads. Sterilize the pruning shears after every cut to avoid spreading diseases.
Anthurium andraeanum slowly grows and requires repotting every two years. Inspect the bottom pot. If roots start growing through the drain holes, move the plants into a larger container.
The ideal time to report laceleaf plants is in the spring and summer when these plants grow. Pick a planter approximately one size larger than the old one. Two inches wider works well. Don’t use pots that are too large because the potting mix will stay wet longer, leading to root rot.
These plants are pretty accommodating when placing them in planters. Ceramic, terracotta or plastic containers will work, depending on the preference of the grower, not the plants.
The plastic keeps the soil moist, so watering is not frequent. Ceramic and terracotta will absorb the moisture from the potting mix, so water more frequently. No matter what material for the container, it needs drainage holes, so excess water flows out at the bottom, draining into a saucer.
Most commonly found on these houseplants are fungus gnats and spider mites.
Gnats appear like mosquitos but are smaller with grayish-color and see-through wings. Treating the Anthurium andraeanum for gnats requires spraying a neem oil solution on the plant and its topsoil. Treat again if they come back, but include mosquito bits to get rid of their larvae for a more permanent solution.
Tiny little specs that cluster around the stem or the underside of the leaves mean spider mites. It’s the early stages of infestation and easy treatable. Handling these buggers requires a clean cloth dipped in an isopropyl alcohol solution to wipe the leaves about once a week until there are no more signs of the insects.
Anthurium andraeanum rarely get diseases if they live in a healthy environment. Some common diseases include blight, root rot and wilt.
Blight appears when the bacteria appear on the leaf edges. Yellow spots form quickly, developing V-shaped molded sores. This bacteria blight will also infect the flowers.
Treat these bacteria with a combination of copper and mancozeb fungicides. Administer the solution two to three times at seven-to-10-day intervals.
Root rot affects the lower stems and roots of the Anthurium andraeanum and even spreads to the upper areas of the canopy in wet conditions. The roots become water-socked with young stems weak, resulting in the inability to support their weight.
Remove all diseased areas of the plant from the potting soil to stop further spread of the root rot. Use fungicides that have strobilurin to treat the disease. Prevention is the best cure, so don’t overstress the plant with too much water.
Wilt is also bacteria that moves throughout the Anthurium fast. Indications are leaf yellowing and color changes in the stems, resulting in an earthy color with a bronze tone.
Wilt worsens during hot, wet weather, making the wilting rapid. Fungicides that contain phosphorous are effective as a treatment. And retreat as needed.
How to Propagate Anthurium Andraeanum
The three ways to propagate these houseplants are plant division, cuttings and seeds.
The least difficult is plant division because it’s a process that requires less time. Do this method in the spring or summer when you have an Anthurium andraeanum that needs repotting.
Lift the plant from its container, and remove enough soil to expose the roots. Gently and gradually pull, separating the root ball in half. That way, there are enough leaves and stems on each half. Plant the halves into a container of fresh potting mix. And the process is complete with two beautiful plants.
Locate the leaf nodes of the Anthurium. Use sterilized pruning shears, and cut about half an inch from each node. Each stem should have two nodes, but one will work and be six to seven inches long.
Set the cut end in water and wait for the roots to grow in about a week. Keep the cuttings in a humid, warm room from direct sunlight. Once roots develop fully in about a month, remove the new plant from the water and place it in a pot with an organic potting mix.
Propagating from seeds is more complex, and growers might appreciate the challenge. It begins by watching the inflorescence when it has stopped dropping pollen. Left are small, green berry lumps on the spadix, meaning the Anthurium andraeanum has produced fruit. Wait until the berries turn red, then remove the fruit.
Separate the red pulp from the seeds of the fruit. Next, soak the seeds in a container of water for a day to get all the pulp off. This prevents molding of the seeds while they germinate.
Place the seeds in some potting mix after the soaking, and all the red pulp is off. Water only lightly and cover the container with a transparent plastic sheet to hold in moisture. Within three to four weeks, they will germinate. Then, place sprouts in their own container to grow into a beautiful Anthurium.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is Anthurium andraeanum a good indoor plant?
They can grow outside but are very compatible as a houseplant for indoor areas.
Is Anthurium andraeanum poisonous?
These plants are toxic, and if eaten, people will undergo painful burning of the mouth and develop blisters and swelling inside their mouth. Growers should also keep them away from their pets.
Anthurium andraeanum easy to care for?
If these beautiful plants receive proper care, they grow without difficulties and are easy house guests.
Can I touch Anthurium andraeanum?
People can touch the plant but don’t touch its sap that can seep out. The sap will irate and burn our skin.
Can Anthurium andraeanum cause allergies?
Though these plants are natural air filters, sensitive people may have an allergic reaction when around these plants.
Owning a stunning anthurium adds a spark of life to any indoor environment. With the information shared in this article, growing one of these plants at home is more manageable.
To recap the main growing tips:
Have a routine watering schedule, and don’t overwater.
Humidity is vital, and Anthurium andraeanum needs 80 percent to grow well and thrive.
These plants love the sunlight but keep it indirect and plentiful all day.
During the winter, Anthuriums go dormant and require less water, light and fertilizer. But don’t leave them in the dark.
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