December 2018: Anthurium Houseplant of the Month

The story of Anthurium

Anthurium is one of the most popular houseplants. Attractive to look at, easy to look after, and brings with it a real personality in the home, which gives a serene feeling in white, whilst the brightly coloured varieties have a lively appearance. Although most people think that the coloured part is the flower, it’s actually a coloured bract. Anthurium’s flowers are very small and are all found on the spike.

Origin

Anthurium originates from the tropical rainforests of Colombia, Guatemala and the Amazon region in Brazil. The plant grows there as an epiphyte: that means that they grow in and on trees with relatively few roots without drawing nutrients from the tree. The plant gets enough light there but no bright sun, and it’s always in a nice warm spot with high humidity.

Range

The Anthurium range has recently expanded substantially. There are many varieties of the tailflower (Andreanum Grp, shining spathes, straight spike). You have a choice from large, loose shapes with bracts like elephant ears through to attractive compact varieties with small ‘flowers’. Fantastic colours include white, red, pink, lilac, lemon, green and brown, but Anthurium is also grown as a bicoloured houseplant and with spotted and green spathes. the ‘Love’ and ‘Champions’ series are very distinctive.  Alongside the tailflower, there is also the flamingo flower (A. Scherzerianum Grp (matt spathes and spiral spike)), and there are Anthuriums with eye-catching decorative green foliage, such as A. clarinervium, A. 'Renaissance', A. 'Rain Forest' and A. 'Jungle King’.

Care tips

  •     Anthurium likes a light spot, but preferably not in full sun.
  •     Maintain the room temperature at 18-22°C - the plant should not be too cold.
  •     The soil should not be allowed to dry out, but nor should the roots be standing in water.
  •     Regular spraying reproduces the humidity of the tropical rainforest.
  •     Wilted flowers can be removed.
  •     Plant food once every three weeks helps Anthurium to flower lavishly for a long time.
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