Anthurium Care Indoors

My Garden Life
December 28, 2022
Table of Contents

 
From the rainforests of South America to your living room, the anthurium brings drama wherever it goes. Here’s everything you need to know about anthurium care indoors; a houseplant that’s both beautiful and surprisingly low maintenance.
 

Caring for Anthurium Plants

overhead view of potted anthurium plant in full bloom with other greenery in the background

The anthurium, also known as the flamingo flower, flamingo lily, or laceleaf, is native to Central America, South America and the Caribbean, where it flourishes in the warm, humid climates of the tropical rainforests.

 

There are many varieties of anthurium, but all are recognizable for their glossy green foliage and elegant, heart-shaped flowers (which are confusingly not flowers at all, but spathes).

close up of a red poinsettia flower and a red anthurium flower

With its festive combination of green foliage and bold red, pink or white spathes, anthurium plants are gaining space among poinsettias as a more modern take on holiday plant traditions. Use a mixture of anthuriums, poinsettias, and some greenery to arrange centerpieces for a dining table or buffet. You can also line plants along the mantle of a fireplace to create a beautiful backdrop for your Christmas stockings. Anthurium care is relatively easy and they make a great gift plant that can be enjoyed year-round.

 

Growing Anthuriums Indoors

flowering anthurium plant displayed in a decorative wicker basket on an end table in a living room

Anthurium plants are native to warm, wet climates (USDA Hardiness Zones 10-12), so they are better suited to being indoor houseplants in most regions. You can take your anthurium outdoors for the summer as long as temperatures remain above 50 degrees F (10 degrees C). Your plant will be happiest in a bright space with indirect sun, such as on a porch or shaded balcony.

 
 

When do Anthuriums Flower?

close up of pink anthurium flowers with foliage in the background

Anthuriums can flower on and off all year round with the right care. Typically, each flowering period lasts up to eight weeks, followed by a rest period of up to three months.

Anthurium Light Requirements

potted anthurium plant in a window with sun streaming between the window blinds

Anthuriums love light, but can be sensitive to direct sunlight and may get sunburn if overexposed. In the summer, avoid putting your anthurium directly in front of windows, put up sheer blinds to filter light, shade it with other plants, or place it just to the side of a window where the light is bright, but not hot.

In the winter, sunlight tends to be weaker, so place your anthurium in your brightest spot so it can soak up as many rays as possible.

 

Anthurium Humidity Requirements

woman using water sprayer to mist the foliage of a potted anthurium plant

Because they’re rainforest natives, proper indoor anthurium care requires a humid environment. You can replicate the anthurium’s tropical home by:

  • Putting it in your bathroom.
  • Misting the leaves regularly.
  • Placing it in a tray of damp pebbles.
  • Grouping it with other houseplants.

Anthurium Soil Requirements

Anthuriums like rich but loose, well-draining soil. Choose an all-purpose potting soil or orchid soil and mix in some perlite for drainage. Read more about choosing the right soil for your potted plants and other gardening projects.
 

Anthurium Watering Requirements

woman watering an anthurium plant displayed in a windowsill

Although anthuriums come from the rainforest, they don’t like having soggy roots. Here are some tips on watering anthuriums:

  • Check the soil by pushing your finger into the surface.
  • If the top 1-2 inches (3-5 centimeters) of the soil is dry, water generously until water flows out of the drainage holes.
  • Pour excess water away to avoid root rot.
 

Anthurium Fertilizer Requirements

In the summer, take care of your anthurium by feeding it once a month with a high-potassium (K) fertilizer, such as a tomato fertilizer, to help it produce flowers. You don’t need to fertilize in winter.
 

Repotting Anthuriums

woman repotting an anthurium plant on a table with potting soil all over the table

Anthuriums are slow-growing plants that like slightly crowded roots, so only repot every two or three years or if the plant is pot-bound. Learn more about how to tell if your plant has outgrown its pot, and general tips for repotting a plant, in our article Tips for Bringing Potted Plants Inside.

 

What’s Wrong with My Anthurium?

Black or brown spots on anthurium leaves

potted anthurium plant in a windowsill with leaves turning yellow and brown

There are many reasons why black or brown spots start to appear on an anthurium plant, including:

  • Sunburn.
  • Lack of humidity.
  • Sitting in wet soil.
  • Too little watering.
 

Yellowing anthurium leaves

close up of an anthurium plant leaf turning yellow

It’s normal for older leaves to turn yellow with age. However, if it’s happening all over the plant, this could be because of:

  • Too much direct sunlight.
  • Too much watering.
  • Too little watering.
  • Too much fertilizing.
 

No anthurium flowers

a potted anthurium plant without flowers is displayed on a living room coffee table

Anthurium houseplants are often sold in flower, so it can be confusing when those flowers fade and the plant shows no sign of growing new ones.

If this happens to you, don’t worry. When you first start caring for an anthurium, it needs time to adjust to its new home before it can start flowering regularly. But, if your anthurium isn’t flowering after three months, the growing conditions may need adjusting:

  • Check whether it’s getting enough light.
  • Check the humidity.
  • Check whether the soil is draining well or whether it’s too wet.
  • Feed it with a high-potassium fertilizer.
 

Green anthurium flowers

close up of pink anthurium flowers with areas of the spathes turning green

Anthuriums are long-flowering, but after eight weeks, they typically need a rest and the flowers will fade. Remove faded flowers by snipping at the base of the flower stems, and your anthurium plant should bloom again after three months.

Note that some varieties of anthuriums have bi-colored flowers (for example, red streaked with green). However, if the entire flower turns green it could be a sign of one of the following problems:
  • Your anthurium may not be getting enough light.
  • It may be too cold for your anthurium. Move it away from cold drafts or windowsills.
  • Your anthurium may not be getting enough water.
 

Anthurium pests

close up of scale insects on an anthurium leaf

Anthurium plants can be affected by several common houseplant pests, including:

  • Spider mites
  • Mealybugs
  • Scale
Learn more about how to identify and treat these, and other Common Houseplant Pests.
 

Are Anthuriums Toxic to Cats and Dogs?

close up of a cat looking out a window with an anthurium plant next to it

Yes, the ASPCA reports that anthuriums are poisonous to dogs, cats and horses if eaten. Keep your anthurium out of reach of pets and contact your vet immediately if ingested. Signs that an animal may have ingested a poisonous plant include:

  • Excessive drooling.
  • Mouth pain and irritation.
  • Swollen lips, mouth and tongue.
  • Vomiting.
  • Difficulty swallowing.
Anthuriums are also poisonous to humans, so it’s a good idea to wear gloves when handling and consider avoiding this plant if you have young children.
 

Anthurium Houseplant Companions

a charming kitchen with a potted orchid and potted anthurium displayed on the table

Because anthuriums bloom on and off year-round they’re a cheerful choice for brightening dreary winter days. Group pots of different winter flowering plants with your anthurium to keep it company. You’ll love the way an indoor “flower garden” gives a room a spring feeling that is sure to brighten your mood everyday!

 

4 Comments

  1. Mary Nichols

    How does it affect humans?

    Reply
    • My Garden Life

      Hi Mary,
      We are assuming that you are asking how the plant’s toxicity affects humans? We found information from the North Carolina State University that details the possible affects on humans. You can view it by clicking HERE.

      Reply
  2. Mary Lou Rueve

    The leaves on my plant are splitting. What do I need to do for it?

    Reply
    • My Garden Life

      Hello Mary Lou,

      Hailing from the tropics of South America, Anthurium thrive in warm, humid conditions and are generally considered a low maintenance choice for growing indoors. A certain delight to the eyes, Anthurium has specific conditions to take into consideration for success. Often splitting leaves are the result of low humidity or water stress, but there are few other conditions that can contribute as well.

      Let’s talk about how you can provide the best environment to reduce or eliminate splitting leaves with your plant.

      • Ideal humidity levels for Anthurium are between 60-70%. If needed, provide additional humidity by misting or placing plants on a humidity tray.
      • Keep the soil evenly moist but not saturated. Allow the top 1-2 inches of soil to dry between thorough waterings.
      • Confirm your container has good drainage.
      • Check to make sure the plant is not root bound or overcrowded in the container. When the plant has outgrown its container, consider repotting and dividing it into a larger pot.
      • Maintain a consistent temperature between 50°-80°F, preferably on the warmer side.
      • If there are plenty of healthy leaves to replace the damaged ones, snip off the split leaves and discard them.

      By implementing one or more of these suggested tips, you are certain to restore the beauty of your Anthurium.

      Reply

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