A flowering perennial, anthurium grows outdoors in tropical climates and as a container plant in cooler locations. Known for their bright, heart-shaped flowers, anthurium can't tolerate direct sun but thrive with proper drainage in bright, indirect sunlight. With easy care and maintenance, anthurium adds color and beauty to home and garden for years to come.
Anthuriums are native to the tropics and grow outdoors in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 10 and 11. They can also grow as indoor/outdoor houseplants in other U.S zones as long they're planted in pots with proper drainage.
Plant anthuriums in a mix of equal parts perlite, pine bark and peat moss. When the roots are established and fill the pot, transfer to a larger container. Anthuriums have no serious disease or insect problems other than those that commonly afflict potted plants growing indoors.
Anthuriums contain calcium oxalate crystals which can be toxic to people and pets. Consuming any part of an anthurium can cause irritation to the mouth and digestive system, and eyes and skin irritation. Place anthuriums where they won't tempt pets or children.
Light and Temperature
Place indoor potted anthuriums in bright, indirect light, ideally between 5 and 8 feet from a window. Too much sun can brown the tips of the leaves and bleach their centers. Not enough light will cause slow flowering or no flowers at all.
Anthuriums grow best at 60 to 85 degrees, with night temperatures ranging from 70 to 75 degrees and day temperatures between 78 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit. They grow slowly with yellowing lower leaves at night temperatures between 40 to 50 degrees. Their foliage burns and their flowers fade and drop at day temperatures above 90 degrees.
Keep anthuriums away from drafts, ventilator grills, and heat ducts. In the summer, anthurium pots can be moved outdoors, as long as they're receiving sun without being in direct sunlight.
Water and Fertilizer
Whether indoors or out, let the soil dry out slightly between waterings. Keep roots moist but not soggy. Mist an anthurium once a week to give it some humidity. For one gallon of container growing mix, spread 1/2 teaspoon of slow-release 14-14-14 fertilizer on the surface once a month and water well.
Too much fertilizer causes salt to build up in pots, causing dry leaves, brown roots, and stunted growth. If salt collects on the outside of clay pots and drainage holes, leach the pot every four to six months by pouring twice the amount of water through a pot than it can hold, and letting it drain completely.
You can propagate anthuriums by planting cuttings or seeds. As an anthurium matures in a pot, it develops multiple plants, each with its own roots. Simply divide these separate plants early in the spring through the summer growing season and plant them in separate pots in a warm location. Keep the potting soil moist and they will grow and mature.
As an anthurium matures it will be leggy, having more stem than leaves with what appear to be roots growing at various points on the stem. Cut the stem just below the roots using a clean knife or gardening shears and plant it in a pot. Treat cuttings just as you would if you separated the plant. Planting anthurium seeds will take from two to five years to yield a flowering anthurium.