Common Name: Flamingo Flower, Heart Flower, Lady Jane, Pigtail Plant, Painted Tongue
Latin Name: Anthurium
Plant Type: Perennial
Blooming Time: Year round
Temperature: 60 – 85*F
Color: Green foliage, white, lavender, red, pink, orange or green spathes
Insects and Diseases: Spider mites, scale, mealy bugs, aphids
Anthuriums are very popular foliage plants that have large, heart shaped leaves on slender stems. The leaves are generally naturally shiny and are dark green. The flowers aren’t actually flowers, they’re spathes. Spathes are leaves that flare out on the base of the stem. The flower part is the rough spiky part that forms out of the center of the spathe.
This plant loves lot’s of light, but not direct sunlight. But, it will also survive in low lighting areas of your home. The plant won’t bloom without the correct amount of light, too much light will cause the leaves to be elongated and not as pretty.
Anthurium’s should be thoroughly watered, but allowed to dry out slightly between waterings. If the plant is allowed to be dry for too long it will greatly decrease growth and cause the tips of the leaves to burn and damage the roots. Over watering also damages the roots and causes the leaves to turn yellow and fall.
The soil should be well draining and coarse and should consist of 3 parts of peat, one part small gravel and one part sphagnum moss that has been chopped into small pieces. A small amount of organic potting soil can also be added to the mixture.
Younger plants don’t need a soil that is as coarse as more mature plants need. The soil should completely fill in all the area around the roots and you should always use a pot that has a hole in the bottom for drainage.
A newly purchased Anthurium shouldn’t need fertilization for several months. Most growers mix slow release fertilizer in with the soil and unless you immediately repot you won’t need to add any extra.
When you do fertilize use a 3:1:2 ratio fertilizer and mix it to 1/4 of the recommended strength. Choose a fertilizer that is specifically for blooming flowers and apply once per month.
Propagation can be done from seeds, but Anthuriums produced from seed may take as long as 3 years to start producing blooms. Division and offsets are the best way to propagate when done in the spring time.
All parts of the Anthurium are poisonous if ingested. Symptoms will occur as mild stomach disorders. Coming into contact with the sap might cause skin irritation for some people.
Any dead foliage and blooms should be removed near the base of the plant. Be careful when removing any dead parts of the plant not to damage the stem.
Written by Connie Corder for HouseplantsForYou.com, Copyright 2008 All Rights Reserved.