Anthurium (alternative names – Flamingo flower, Boyflower, Tailflower)
Anthurium (sometimes also misspelled as Anturium, Anterium or Antorium) is a very beautiful, splendidly flowering house plant. Its native habitat is Сentral and South America. Anthurium plants are expensive and fastidious, its flowers have magnificent shape and colour and tower above large smooth leaves. Anthurim’s flowers contain an anguine curved or straight cop (spadix) that sticks up from a big flamboyant and slightly creasy bract like a caudicle.
The cop can have various colours from yellow to red, and bract colour can vary from white to ruddy. Shops mostly offer Anthuriums with ruddy bracts. Anthurium flowers are extremely elegant and beautiful and they are worth efforts spent for planting them.
Florists know many species of Anthurium, but only few of them can grow indoors, so we’ll mention only those ones.
First, it’s Pigtail Anthurium (Anthurium scherzerianum). This is the most suitable Anthurium flower for indoor gardening. Anthurium scherzerianum can be 30 cm high. Its dark green leatherlike and oblong leaves are about 20 cm long. Its flowers have flamboyant reflected bract about 5 cm long and a volute cop.
Second, it is Flamingo Lily (Anthurium andreanum or Anthurium andraeanum – both spellings are currently used), which is much bigger than Pigtail Anthurium and can grow up to 1 m high. Its heart-shaped leaves are large (20 cm long). The flower is also bigger, the bract is up to 10 cm long and the cop is straight or slightly curved. Anthurium adreanum is less suitable for indoor gardening and is much less popular than Anthurium scherzerianum.
All Anthurium leaves are beautiful, but there are Anthuriums with especially beautiful leaves – this is Crystal Anthurium (Anthurium crystallinum), which is handled as an ornamental deciduous plant. The leaves of Crystal Anthurium are small, velvet and change their colour with advancing age. Young plants have reddish leaves and the grown-up ones have dark green leaves. Each leaf has silver symmetric streaks, that are clearly visible and determine ornamental value of a plant.
Anthuriums are flowering from spring ‘till autumn if they have a good care. A good care means first of all right thermal conditions. Anthurium plant is thermophyte. Room temperature should be moderately warm in summer, and in winter it should be +18 0C and higher. You should also keep Flamingo flower away from drafts but ensure access for crisp air.
Anthuriums like bright light, but don’t like direct sunlight, so you should shade them. In winter they also need bright light. Most appropriate places for Anthurium plants are eastwards or westwards windowsills or stands.
Good care also means right watering for Anthurium. The water should be soft and well settled, or better boiled but in any case it must be warm. You should water Anthurium regularly, but with small portions, so that the water won’t stagnate in the underpot. It is required to regularly wash away the dust from Anthurium’s leaves and it is desirable to spray them often.
During the growth period Anthuriums should be fed every two weeks with mineral or organic fertilizers.
Like most plants Anthurium’s flower has a rest in winter. In this period, when the temperature is lower, watering and feeding of the plant are considerably reduced, but the soil in your pot should never dry out.
Anthuriums are replanted in spring into wider and lower pots with well drainage. The pot should not be big, otherwise Anthurium will bloom weakly. You should carefully treat leaves and brittle roots. While replanting Anthuriums should be planted a little bit lower than they grew before. When growing up further there will appear roots over the soil. They should be covered with moss, and that moss should be regularly watered, otherwise Anhturium will dry out.
Best soil for Anthuriums would be a mixture of fibrous leaf soil, pieces of log moss and light humus. You should not firm the ground too much, because roots need air. Anthurium plant doesn’t tolerate alkali neither in the soil nor in water. The soil should have acidic reaction, and the water should be obligatory soft.
Caulescent species of Anthurium are propagated by rods taken from tops of a stem. The rods are rooted in a wet sand or moss. The most favourable temperature for them is +24-25 0C. The rods should be regularly sprinkled and the soil should be always wet. Anthurium’s nurslings should be planted into permanent place after rooting.
ANTHURIUM. diseaseS AND PEST.
Healthy Anthurium plant has lustrous bright flowers and leaves. If Anthurium plant is treated right and well, it blooms the whole summer, but if the optimal treatment is not kept, Anthurim turns yellow and withers.
Anthurium plant is a thermophyte. When the temperature falls lower than +18 0C, the problems begin. The leaves get small dark spots which later grow to bigger ones. If you can’t find warmer place for the plant, you should immediately reduce watering it.
When Anthurium is exposed to direct sunlight, the leaves may get sunscald, so that they will turn yellow and wither. You should shade Anthurium plant and keep it away from direct sunlight.
If the leaves turn yellow in winter, they lack light, in this case you should place it closer to the window, so that the plant gets enough bright light.
The above text told you how to treat Anhturium. Here are the main requirements: Anthurium doesn’t tolerate drafts, lowering of a temperature, water stagnation, soil drying up, shading and direct sunlight. If the soil allows the air to access roots, and the water for watering is soft and warm, your Anthurium won’t turn yellow and wither, it will be healthy and beautiful.
Anthurium can be affected by plant louse and scale insects.
Scale insects or armored scales got their name from a wax-like clypeus that covers the body of a mature pest. First young scale insects are barely visible, but they are propagated very quickly and cover stems and leaves with green spots. Mature specimens are still and sit under their clypei, from where larvae creep out and crawl further to cover the whole plant. At this time you should exterminate them by spraying the plant with a solution of soap and tobacco, where you can also add some kerosene or denatured alcohol. Mature specimens should be removed together with their clypei using wet tampons, but in addition to it you should also treat the whole plant with insecticide or soap solution to remove larvae.
Plant louse is a bug that can be green, grey or black. It settles at the lower side of a leaf and feeds on a plant juice, and as a result the leaves wither and get rolled up. It propagates quickly but can be exterminated by drugs that can be obtained in shops or alternatively by solutions containing nicotine-sulphate, water and soap in the following proportion: 1 gram of nicotine-sulphate for 1 liter of soapy water.
In 24 hours after the treatment you should cover the soil with polyethylene and wash your Anthurium plant carefully. The treatment should be repeated if needed.
It is enough to regularly wash the leaves with water so that your Anthurium plant won’t get affected by pest (plant louse and scale insects).