Proper anthurium care is easy; for the most part, you only need to address two basic factors to keep your anthurium plants healthy and you only need to avoid making three deadly mistakes to ensure that they stay alive.
The two factors that are vital for ensuring healthy anthurium plants are: the location where your keep your plant and the way in which you water your plant.
Once you have addressed these critical factors, all you have to do is avoid making the three deadly mistakes that I cover below and you will be well on your way to ensuring that your anthurium plants remain healthy.
Best Location For Anthuriums
If you want to keep your anthurium flowers healthy, you have to keep them in the right place. Anthuriums come from South American rainforests and can be harmed if they are not kept in conditions that resemble their ancestral home.
In the rain forest, anthuriums generally encounter temperatures between 70 and 90 degrees and humidity between 80 and 100%, plus they either live on the forest floor or grow on trees and so they are shaded from direct sunlight.
So, first, you have to be sure that your plant is never put in a location that freezes. Frost will kill your plant. Temperatures below 55 degrees are bad for your plant and it should ideally be kept at temperatures above 70 degrees. In addition, your plant should not be allowed to get too hot. Temperatures above 90 degrees are too hot and can also harm your plant.
Second, you have to try to ensure that your plant receives the proper amount of humidity. Humidity between 80 and 100% is ideal. But a little lower is fine as long as you water your plant regularly.
Third, you must make sure that your plant is not exposed to direct sunlight. Direct sunshine can harm its leaves and flowers. However, you do want it to receive a fair amount of light, so that it can grow well.
So, what is the best way to achieve these two conditions? The first thing you can do to ensure that your plant is kept at the proper temperature is to keep it indoors. Assuming that you keep your house between 70 to 90 degrees, your plant will find the temperature agreeable. The second thing you can do give your plant the proper humidity is keep it in the bathroom. When you take a hot shower, you will also be providing plenty of humidity for it. If you don’t want to keep your plant there and you live in a dry climate, consider keeping your plant in a room with a humidifier. Finally, keep it near a window that receives a lot of light, but make sure that it does not receive direct sunshine. If the edges of its leaves are becoming bleached or are turning brown, move it a little further away from the window to prevent them from being burnt by excessive sunlight.
Watering Anthurium Plants
Anthuriums are used to growing in tropical rain forests. The key word in the previous sentence is rain. They are used to receiving water on a daily basis. However, they are not accustomed to standing water. They typically grow on trees. So what happens is rain falls on them and it immediately drips off, it does not pool around their roots. This allows their roots to receive moisture, while also receiving exposure to air. The exposure to air is critical. This prevents the growth of anaerobic organisms that can harm them.
So the key when it comes to watering anthuriums is to water them regularly, while at the same time allowing their roots to receive air.
We can accomplish this by using a good potting soil. The ideal potting soil is light, fluffy and has to drain well. You can use just about anything as long as it meets this last criteria. Everything from sand, perlite, bark, volcanic cinder and gravel can be used to help meet this requirement.
Once you have the proper potting soil nailed down. You have to make sure that the water can drain completely out of the pot. If you have your pot in a tray, you have to make sure that you empty the tray after watering.
Do not overlook the importance of adequate drainage. The deadliest mistake of all is forgetting to water your plants, but arguably the second deadliest mistake is allowing their root system to remain soaked in water. When their roots are left in water, this prevents oxygen from reaching their roots and when this happens anaerobic microbes and fungal growth will occur and cause root rot. Left unchecked root rot will kill your plants.
Finally, we get to the actual watering of your plant. The general rule is water it everyday. As long as your pot drains completely after each watering, it is almost impossible to over-water your plant. If you have the time and live in an area with low humidity, you should also mist the leaves of your plant. Just spritz them with water twice a day.
Fertilizing Anthurium Flowers
Anthuriums need to be fertilized periodically, but you have to be careful not to over-fertilize them. This can be a deadly mistake. When fertilizing your plants, always err on the side of under-fertilizing them. If you give them too little fertilizer, the worse that will happen is that they will grow slower and produce fewer flowers, and if you see this happening you can easily fix this by giving them a little more fertilizer. But if you give them too much fertilizer they can die.
Aim to fertilize them once or twice per year depending on how long the growing season in your region lasts. Use a fertilizer with a ratio of 5-10-5 and apply roughly a quarter of what the label recommends. This ratio is ideal for ensuring a good balance between foliage and flowers. If you were to use a fertilizer with high nitrogen like, 15-10-5, you will get a bunch of leaves but fewer flowers. And when choosing a fertilizer, go for a slow release variety. This way you only have to fertilizer your plants once or twice per year, rather than once a week if you were to use a liquid fertilizer.
In conclusion, anthurium care is simple. Just put your plants in the proper location and water them properly. Avoid the three deadly mistakes of: forgetting to water them, over-fertilizing them and allowing water to collect around their root system; and you will have no problem keeping your anthurium plants in great shape.