The flamingo flower or Anthurium comes from the tropical rainforests of Central and South America and belongs botanically to the Arum family (Araceae). As an indoor plant, it enjoys great popularity with us and is always becoming a real trend plant. However, the houseplants referred to are strictly speaking Anthurium hybrids, which originated from intensive crosses, mostly based on the two species Anthurium andreanum (Large Flamingo Flower) and Anthurium scherzerianum (Small Flamingo Flower).
The height of the Anthurium is between 40 and 100 centimeters, the average width is between 30 and 60 centimeters. The evergreen and horst-forming houseplant impresses above all by its colourful leaf decoration, which is usually mistaken for flower decoration.
Depending on which parent is more pronounced, the long stemmed leaves of the Anthurium are lanceolate (Anthurium Scherzerianum hybrids) or elongated heart-shaped (Anthurium Andreanum hybrids). However, even botanists now find it difficult to make a precise distinction. Either way, the leaf blades are green, partly dull, partly shiny. What is commonly known as the Anthurium is in fact also the leaves, the so-called spatha. They are either oval to ovoid or heart-shaped with bulges. The colour palette ranges from pure white to pink, pink and deep red. Some are also speckled or show an interesting color gradient. The bracts of the Anhurium Scherzerianum hybrids usually do not shine.
The actual flower of the Anthurium is the bulb in the middle of the bracts. It can be yellow, orange or red in colour. It grows straight or curved, but can also be slightly twisted, which has given the plant the unflattering nickname “pigtail”. The flowering period of the Anhurium Scherzerianum hybrids lasts from May to June. Anhurium Andreanum hybrids flower all year round under suitable conditions.
The fruit of the Anthurium are berries.
The houseplant appreciates a light to semi-shade location protected from draughts all year round without direct sunlight. It thrives at temperatures between 20 and 25 degrees Celsius. In winter, on the other hand, the Anthurium should be somewhat cooler – at 16 to 18 degrees Celsius. This is especially important for the Anthurium Scherzerianum hybrids, as the cold stimulus stimulates flower formation. High humidity is absolutely recommended.
Anthuriums are perfectly suited for hydroponics and are extremely persistent and durable in this type of housing. It can also be placed in slightly acidic to sour potting soil, which is loose, crumbly and easily permeable. Their humus content should be very high.
The Anthurium reacts very sensitively to lime. Therefore, only use decalcified water or rainwater for watering. Besides, it shouldn’t be cold, it should be room warm. The substrate of the anthuria must never dry out completely, but must also not be permanently wet. It causes root rot. In winter the amount of water is reduced, but the root ball is still kept slightly moist.
Fertilization is frequent, but moderate. During the summer, add a shot of liquid fertilizer in half concentration to the watering water every week. In winter once a month is sufficient. Attention: The plant reacts sensitively to too much salt.
Younger plants are repotted every spring. In the case of larger specimens that have already reached the final pot size of 25 centimeters in diameter, only the uppermost layer of soil is replaced with a new substrate every year. If the Anthurium is kept in hydroponic cultivation, it must be repotted less frequently.
Cutting measures are not required.
If the air humidity is too low, the leaves should be sprayed several times a day. Also use room-warm, lime-free water for this purpose. It is also important that the flower of anthuria is not wetted. Caution: The Anthurium is poisonous as an arum plant, so gloves should be worn during all care measures for safety. In addition, the large leaves should be dusted regularly.
The most reliable way to reproduce your Anthurium is to split it. When repotting in spring, use this opportunity to carefully separate the bale into pieces with at least one leaf and clearly defined roots. Place the pot with the offspring warm and bright. In order to keep the humidity as high as possible, especially in the beginning, you can simply put a transparent plastic foil over the pot. However, this must be lifted regularly for ventilation so that mould does not form.
Diseases and pests
Anthurium reacts sensitively to excessively cold locations and incorrect casting quantities. If the plants remain flowerless for a longer period of time, too little fertilizer may be the cause. An indication of room air that is too dry is the rolling up of leaf edges. Then also increased spider mites and scale insects occur.
I am Don Burke, one of the authors at My Garden Guide. I am a horticulturist that cultivates, grows, and cares for plants, ranging from shrubs and fruits to flowers. I do it in my own garden and in my nursery. I show you how to take care of your garden and how to perform garden landscaping in an easy way, step by step.I am originally from Sydney and I wrote in local magazines. Later on, I have decided, more than two decades ago, to create my own blog. My area of specialization is related to orchid care, succulent care, and the study of the substrate and the soil. Therefore, you will see many articles dedicated to these disciplines. I also provide advice about how to improve the landscape design of your garden.