Tropical Anthuriums for Indoor Enjoyment
Anthuriums grow in tropical areas around the world, with many being native to tropical rain forests. In recent years, plant collectors and breeders have gained an interest in this unusual group of plants. This translates to new varieties for us to grow and enjoy. And let’s not forget about the tremendous interest the florist industry has in anthuriums as cut flowers.
Anthuriums grow best in bright, filtered light. It’s best to avoid direct southern exposures that cause the leaves to burn. Too little light will reduce the plant’s ability to flower. Another plus for the growing them indoors: they are tolerant of a wide temperature range but do best between 68-90 degrees F. Anthurium is considered a durable plant, and with proper care, one that blooms nearly all year long.
A few words about watering and potting soils: anthuriums demand a potting soil that is rich in organic matter and drains readily. At all costs, avoid potting soils that are heavy or waterlog easily. When you water, make sure that the water drains out of the pot (drainage holes are a must!) If you use a saucer to catch excess water, be certain to dump that water within 15 minutes of watering. Soil should be slightly moist, never dry. If you neglect their water needs, you will know it – the tips of the leaves will dry and turn brown. Too much water causes the roots and leaves to rot.
A few trade secrets: Anthuriums like to be pot bound so repot only when absolutely necessary. An adequate root system is important to anchor the plant as it continues to grow; otherwise too few roots cause it becomes ‘top heavy’ and floppy. Another plus – anthuriums are relatively problem-free. Use a houseplant flowering fertilizer according to label directions. A little primping goes a long way – remove any dead leaves when they appear. Last secret – keep leaves away from frosty winter windowpanes; they aren’t tolerant of cold temperatures.