Common name: Anthurium. Also known as Painted Tongue, Flamingo Flower (Flamingo Lily), Lace Leaf, or Tail Flower.
Botanical name: Anthurium andraeanum
Difficulty level: Easy. The Anthurium is very easy to care for, requiring very little attention to keep it looking beautiful.
Anthurium – General Description
The Anthurium’s bright-red heart-shaped spathes and large ornamental leaves make it a popular indoor plant. In Greek, the name Anthurium means “tail-flower”—which refers to these elegant spathes emerging from the plant’s long stems.
When healthy, the Anthurium can grow to be up to 46 cm tall, and can bloom year-round, with flowers lasting up to eight weeks. The plant’s typical yearly cycles include three months or so of flowering, followed by a few months without flowers, and then three more months of flowering.
The Anthurium is also one of the plants cited in the U.S. NASA Clean Air Study, for its capacity to purify the air. This plant contributes health as well as beauty to any room that it adorns!
How To Care For Your Anthurium
Here’s some basic guidance on how to keep your potted Anthurium happy and healthy.
Light. Anthuriums do best in bright, indirect light. Avoid placing this plant in direct sunlight—as this may damage its leaves.
Soil & Water. Use a course, free-draining soil for your Anthurium (e.g. a 50-50 mix of potting soil and orchid soil). Water the plant thoroughly, but allow it to dry slightly between waterings, and make sure there is never standing water.
Temperature & Humidity. Anthuriums thrive in moderate to warm temperatures: around 21-32°C. They also prefer high levels of humidity, so do well, for instance, in a bathroom where they receive frequent doses of warm shower steam—and are happy to receive an occasional spritz. They don’t tolerate frost or freezing temperatures, and can be harmed by drafts.
Nutrients & Fertiliser. When the Anthurium is in its active growing cycle, you can support it with a monthly feeding of a diluted high-phosphorus liquid fertiliser.
Toxicity. Anthuriums are poisonous to pets as well as people, if they’re ingested. Some people are sensitive also to the leaves and/or sap, and wear gloves to avoid skin irritation.
Pests & Other Problems. Anthuriums are susceptible to the same types of pets that infect other indoor plants. If you periodically wipe down the leaves (both top and bottom) with soapy water, you’ll be able to avoid many of these problems.
Helpful Hints & Additional Care Tips
- If the Anthurium has brown leaves or leaf tips, this means that it’s getting either too much or too little water. Water regularly—but only when the plant’s soil feels dry to the touch.
- If the Anthurium’s leaves yellowish, this likely means that it’s getting too much sunlight—and needs to be moved further away from the window.