Melinda Myers offers advice for the care of this tropical favorite.
The impressive red or pink, heart-shaped flowers of the anthurium plant (Painter's Palette, Flamingo Lily) make a sweet, Valentine's Day gift.
Bring a bit of the tropics indoors with this colorful, long lasting plant. All varieties make a great low maintenance addition to your indoor garden.
The colorful heart-shaped flowers are really just modified leaves called spathes. The real flowers are small and yellow clustered around the tail-like protrusion known as the spadix. The flowers can last for weeks on the plant or as a cut flower in a vase. And watch for new flowers appearing throughout the year.
Most anthuriums are epiphytes native to the canopies of tropical rainforests. They use their roots to anchor themselves on trees. Then gather water and nutrients from the surrounding environment, not by parasitizing the tree.
You can purchase plants mounted on stones mimicking their natural habit. Or, potted and growing in a well-drained organic, potting mix.
Grow anthuriums in a warm, brightly lit location. The plants will tolerate lower light but will not flower readily. These tropical beauties like it warm so avid temperatures below 60 degrees and draft of hot and dry air.
Group them with other plants to keep the humidity high around the plant. Or, set pebbles in the bottom of the saucer. This elevates the pot above excess water that collects in the saucer preventing root rot. As this water evaporates, it increases the humidity around the plants.
Water thoroughly and often enough to prevent the roots from drying. Avoid overwatering that leads to soggy soil and root rot. New roots grow near the soil surface. Cover them with sphagnum moss to keep them from drying out.
Go light on the fertilizer. Give these beauties a very dilute solution of a liquid fertilizer or slow release fertilizer as needed between March and November. Error on the side of under fertilizing; you can always add more if you plants need a nutrient boost.
Anthuriums At a Glance
Name: Anthurium, Painter's Palette, Flamingo Lily (Anthurium)
Size: 8 to 24 inches
Light: Bright light
Water: Often enough to keep roots from drying out or soil slightly moist, not soggy
Soil: Quality potting mix or can be mounted on stone or board
Fertilizer: Dilute solution every few months or use a slow release fertilizer between March & November
Written by, gardening expert, Melinda Myers. Each month Melinda will feature a low maintenance plant perfect for beginning and experienced gardeners looking for attractive easy care plants. Melinda Myers is a nationally recognized gardening expert with more than 30 years of horticulture experience. She is a wealth of knowledge and we are pleased to share Melinda’s Low Maintenance Plant of the Month with you!