Native to the Tropics

Anthurium, also known as the “Flamingo Flower” or “Boy Flower,” is part of the Arum family, which as approximately 600 to upwards of 1,000 species. Considered a tropical species, Anthurium is primarily found in wet, tropical regions in Central and South America, such as Panama, Colombia, Brazil and Ecuador. Some species of Anthurium have appeared in Asian rain forests as well. Florists use these for pot plants, cut flowers, and interior décor.

Although Anthurium grows in many forms, including an evergreen or bushy type of climbing plant that forms a canopy, there are also terrestrial species found under other planes. Some are also found near ant colonies or growing on rocks within a river area. Leaves appear in a very simple form but in various shapes. The leaves are structured in such a way that they can turn toward the sun, which is similar to the sunflower. The drier areas where Anthurium is found has species with leaves that form a bird’s nest shape to catch falling debris and water, which offers food and fertilizer. Anthurium does have flowers, but these are very small and come in different shapes (tapered, globe, spiral and club) as well as in various colors (green, pink, purple, white, red or a combination of colors). The flowers also offer a wide range of fragrances.

Growing Recommendations - Anthurium

Anthuriums are fairly easy to grow and offer attractive foliage and long-lasting flowers on a year-round basis. They are pretty durable and can survive as an indoor plant for a long time without much attention. Anthuriums grow best in daytime temperatures of 78°F to 90°F and nighttime temperatures of 70°F to 75°F. Higher temperatures may burn the foliage and fade the flower color while lower temperatures can slow growth or kill Anthuriums if it is subjected to freezing temperatures or a frost.

Anthuriums like coarse, well-drained potting soil with a peat moss base and mixture of pine bark and perlite. They require thorough watering to prevent the plant from drying out and experiencing root damage or yellowing leaves. Anthuriums like light but not direct sunlight. Lower light will adversely impact flower growth. Feed them with a slow time release fertilizer and dilute to about a quarter of its strength. Anthuriums are susceptible to a number of pests that typically invade indoor plants, such as thrips, aphids, and mealybugs. Keep on the lookout for these pests so they can be stopped before they take over the plant. Periodically wipe the foliage on both sides and use a little water in spray form. If pests get worse, "insecticidal soaps" or stronger insecticides can be used. Anthuriums are also susceptible to Rhizoctinia, which is a disease caused by higher temperature, high humidity, and poorly drained soil. This can be treated by replanting to a well-drained soil and a wide variety of fungicides.

Photos of Anthurium

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