Anthurium Plant Care Guide

Anthurium is tropical species that we are lucky enough to be able to cultivate in our homes. This plant stands out with large, dark green, heart-shaped leaves. It is an evergreen plant that can bloom for months without excessive care. Some of the more popular species are Anthurium Crystallinum, Clarinervium, Veitchii but there are many more.

In adult plants, the leaves reach an impressive size, accompanied by unique flowers every year from June to February that will last for months.

Anthurium plant

©Shutterstock: Anthurium plants produce flowers every year from June to February that will last for months.

 

Have I drawn your attention yet? Keep reading and you will learn how to cultivate this unique plant like a trained botanist!

Soil Requirements for Anthurium Care

These epiphytes usually grow in rock cracks or on limestone soil. They have big, fleshy roots that can easily rot in moist soil. Soil should be adjusted to the original conditions of this amazing plant so a well-drained, light and the loose substrate is best.

The roots need constant good aeration, but the soil mixture should retain enough moisture to keep them hydrated between watering. They need a balanced substrate that is neither too dry nor too moist.

Orchid and potting soil mixture or a pre-made orchid mix is most commonly used. You can prepare the right mixture for your flamingo flower by yourself. Use a mixture of humus, peat, and sharp sand. The soil must be highly permeable. A slightly acidic soil can also have great benefits for these plants. The recommended range is from 5.5 pH to 6.5 pH.

Anthurium Light Requirements

A location with partial shade or indirect daylight will make Anthuriums thrive. They can tolerate the gentle early sun, and they will greatly appreciate the long hours of bright light for the rest of the day. Keep in mind that they can’t stand being exposed to direct sun rays.

East-facing windows are most favorable for this plant. Windows facing West will provide enough light, but be careful because the intense afternoon sun could scorch their leaves. Direct sun exposure on a south-facing window will almost certainly be too intense for this tropical plant.

Anthurium plant

©Thompson & Morgan: A location with partial shade or indirect daylight will make Anthuriums thrive

 

Once a week, clean the leaves of your plant with a damp cloth. Cleaning the leaves is healthy for the whole plant. Removing dust allows better absorption of natural light and encourages plant growth.

Anthurium Watering Needs

These tropical beauties need regular watering. During the summer, they should be watered moderately every two to three days. During the winter you can water once every ten to twelve days. It is recommended to use rainwater, distilled or boiled water which has been left to cool.

One way to make sure you don’t over-water your plant is to place the pot in a deeper container of water and leave it to soak for a while. When you notice that the air bubbles have stopped coming out, move the pot onto the side to drain before returning it to its usual position.

When pouring the water directly into the pot, make sure the soil is allowed to dry well before the next watering. Anthurium plants have thick, dense roots that rot easily in waterlogged soil. The appearance of yellow and dry Anthurium leaves can happen due to excessive watering or soil dryness.

Temperature and Humidity

Anthurium is native to the rainforests of Mexico, so it is quite natural that they require a humid environment and high indoor temperatures for proper growth.

The optimal temperature range is between 16C (60.8°F) and 30C (86°F). The temperature of the room should be balanced at all times, because sudden jumps or drops in temperature could damage the plant.

Given the natural habitat of this plant, it’s not surprising that the ideal place for your Anthurium plant is the bathroom or kitchen due to the increased humidity. These are the rooms that will best resemble the warm, humid conditions that they enjoy. If you want to place it somewhere else, make sure it is as far away from the heaters as possible, because they dry the moisture from the air.

Adequate humidity during the summer months can be maintained by spraying the foliage with a mist of warm water. In summer, when the heat is great, they can be sprayed several times during the day, and in winter once a day when the air in the room is dry. Avoid excessive spraying is also not good as it can lead to necrosis of the leaves.

Fertilizing

If you want to have a plant of lush and large leaves, fertilize twice a month from spring to autumn. Avoid feeding in winter when growth is minimal. Keep in mind that too much fertilizer can be just as harmful as excessive watering.

For potted plants like your Anthurium, liquid fertilizers are better absorbed and easy to apply. They are highly concentrated, so you would have to dilute them before use. Always follow the instructions carefully.

Anthurium plant

©Thompson & Morgan: If you want to have a plant of lush and large leaves, fertilize twice a month from spring to autumn.

 

Propagation

These ornamental plants can be propagated in the spring by planting seeds, or by dividing young plants that grow at the base of a large plant.

Anthurium seeds are sown in the same soil in which the adult plant was grown. Until the seedlings sprout, it is recommended to keep the pots in partial shade. When the first shoots sprout, move the pots to the bright daylight. Finally, take the young plants out of the ground with the roots and plant them in a separate pot.

When using the root division method, it is necessary to remove the plant from the pot. Divide them gently without damaging the roots. They should be planted immediately in different pots.

When using older plants to divide the roots, make sure that each part has its root system and leaves. Store the pots in a place with high humidity where temperatures never go below 16C (60.8°F). These babies should be watered regularly to keep the compost moist.

Repotting and Pruning

Young Anthuriums are sometimes transplanted once a year due to intensive growth. It is advised to transplant in March or April. Older plants are usually transplanted once every two years or whenever the roots become tight in their pots.

Anthurium plant

©Thompson & Morgan: Older plants are usually transplanted once every two years or whenever the roots become tight in their pots.

 

The new pot should match the size of the plant. Never transplant into oversized pots, but one or two sizes larger than the old one .  Choose a fairly wide and low pot because of the short roots this species has. The above-ground part of the plant should remain above the ground and, as it grows, additionally cover it with a loose base of moss.

Summary

With gentle care, Anthurium will grow and bloom for many years. It is extremely durable and doesn’t require a lot of time to give it the conditions it needs. I’m sure it will be worth the effort when you feel the touch of exotic tropical regions spreading through your home. Here’s a quick summary of my Anthurium growing tips!

  • Use a fast-draining substrate
  • Provide medium to bright light exposure
  • Keep the air humid by misting
  • Water regularly with distilled water
  • Maintain temperature
  • Feed it with organic fertilizer
  • Cut damaged leaves regularly
  • Transplant every two years

How to Grow Hibiscus

Hibiscus flowers are one of the most beautiful flowers you can find. And guess what? They can be easily grown in your own home or garden.

Let’s discuss what are the most popular types of Hibiscus and what you can do to properly care for them, whether you opt for a hardy garden variety or a tender house plant.

 

Types of Hibiscus

In total, there are more than 200 known species of Hibiscus. The most suitable Hibiscus to grow indoors is Chinese Hibiscus, otherwise known as Hibiscus rosa-sinensis. Whereas Hibiscus syriacus, or if we use its other name, Rose of Sharon prefers to be grown outdoors.  Hardy Hibiscus syriacus are more widely available that the the tender indoor types, and you will find a superb range of flower colours on offer.

Now, let’s find out a bit more about them.

 

1. Hibiscus rosa-sinensis ‘Apollo’

Hibiscus rosa-Sinensis ‘Apollo’ has very pretty flowers with a mix of yellow, orange, and red colors, making it look almost like a Sun, hence its name, after the Greek god of Sun. This variety was bred especially for larger flowers, so it makes quite an impression in the conservatory or a bright, sunny room indoors.

Hibiscus 'Apollo'

©Zenflora – Hibiscus ‘Apollo’ produces dazzling flowers!

 

2. Hibiscus syriacus ‘Pink Chiffon’

Hibiscus syriacus ‘Pink Chiffon’ is quite recognizable, due to its ruffled, double pink flowers that don’t appear until quite late in the summer, but deliver plenty of colour while early summer plants are starting to fade. It really likes direct sunlight, enjoying 6 hours of direct sun per day, so make sure it is placed in a bright location.

Hibiscus Pink Chiffon

©Shutterstock – Hibiscus Pink Chiffon boasts ruffled, double blooms.

 

3. Hibiscus ‘Starburst Chiffon’

Hibiscus ‘Starburst Chiffon’ will really add an exotic feel to your garden, with its huge semi- double flowers with the crimson-red streaks. This hibiscus species can grow up to 150cm in height and spread, making a fabulous specimen shrub that will really make an eye-catching display.

Hibiscus 'Starburst Chiffon'

©De Nolf – Hibiscus ‘Starburst Chiffon’ is a real eye-catcher!

 

4. Hibiscus ‘Big Hibiskiss’

Hibiscus ‘Big Hibiskiss’ comes with extra big flowers that grow up to 18cm (7”) across! It makes an incredible focal point for late summer borders. This impressive variety comes from British breeding, with flowers that are much flatter than most other varieties.

Hibiscus 'Big Hibiskiss'

©De Jong – Hibiscus ‘Big Hibiskiss’ has been bred for extra-large flowers.

 

5. Hibiscus syriacus ‘Oiseau Bleu’

Hibiscus syriacus ‘Oiseau Bleu’ is  a real head-turner for its silky blue flowers. Like many Hibiscus it is often one of the last plants in the garden to begin leafing-up after winter – often not until May. It’s worth waiting for though, as the late summer flowers will keep going right into autumn.

Hibiscus 'Oiseau Bleu'

©Shutterstock – Hibiscus ‘Oiseau Bleu’ flowers right through to autumn.

 

Hibiscus Care

Watering

First of all, most Hibiscus like moderately wet soil, with the ability to drain well. This means that if you are gardening on clay soil, you may need to mix in some grit, sand and garden compost when planting , to increase its drainage.

If you are growing it in a pot then make sure that there are plenty of drainage holes in the base of the pot to allow good drainage, and prevent it becoming water-logged.

Pot grown plants will need regular watering during the summer months. Plants grown in borders should be able to look after themselves once they are established, so you will only need to water them for the first month or two after planting.

Hibiscus in the garden

©Shutterstock – Hibiscus are quite low maintenance once they are established in borders.

Sunlight

Hibiscus likes sunlight, so whether you are growing a hardy variety outdoors or a tender houseplant, make sure that they are in a bright spot.

Fertiliser

You can use fertiliser to help your hibiscus to grow. Feed them with a liquid plant food every 4 weeks from spring to late summer.

Pruning

Indoor Hibiscus rosa-sinensis won’t really need pruning so there’s no need to worry if you are growing this type.

Hardy Hibiscus syriacus should be pruned in in late spring, just as the leaf buds are opening. Remove any dead or damaged branches, and lightly prune the rest to shape the plant.

As you can see, Hibiscus plants are really easy to grow and don’t need a lot of special care. You can enjoy their bright flowers outdoors or in your home. Wherever you grow yours, you will love its exotic-looking flowers!

 

How to Grow Calatheas

Calathea is one of the prettiest tropical houseplants from the Marantaceae family that you can have in your home or office.

If you want to create a jungle feel in your home, then you simply have to include some leafy Calathea plants. All of them require similar care, which makes your job easier.

Types of Calathea

There are a lot of different species of Calathea plant, over several dozen of them, with distinctive colors, shapes, and sizes. They are mostly grown in pots and containers. Let’s check some of the most popular ones.

 

Calathea orbifolia

Calathea orbifolia is one of the largest-leafed Calathea plants. Each leaf can grow up to 30cm (12″) wide!

Its leaves have a round shape and striped, metallic appearance. This species forms a dense clump, with new leaves developing from the middle part of the plant.

Calathea orbifolia

©Thompson & Morgan – Calathea orbifolia

Calathea orbifolia, like most other Calathea species, likes a warm environment, where the temperatures are between 18°C (65°F) and 24°C (75°F).

 

Calathea ornata ‘Sanderiana’

Calathea ornata ‘Sanderiana’ is one type of Calathea ornata species. The most important difference between the mother plant and ‘Sanderiana’ is in the leaves. ‘Sanderiana’ leaves are shorter and not so spear- shaped as common Calathea ornata’s leaves.

Because of the distinctive foliage striping,’ Sanderiana’ has earned a nickname ‘Pin Stripe plant’, which is shared with many other cultivars of Calathea ornata.

Calathea 'Sanderiana'

©Thompson & Morgan – Calathea ‘Sanderiana’

The plant has very glossy, broad, and colorful leaves, with the dark green topside, combined with rose feather-like stripes, while bottom sides are dark purple.

The stem is purple, and it can grow up to 60cm (2ft) in height when the plant reaches peak maturity.

 

Calathea zebrina

Calathea zebrina, otherwise known as Zebra Plant, is one of the Calatheas that are very commonly found almost everywhere, even though it originates from Brazil.

It has very distinctive green stripes on the leaves, which look like Zebra patterns, hence the name. The underside of the leaves is purple, like with some other Calathea species.

Fully grown Calathea zebrina can be up to 90cm (36″) height and width and have leaves that are over 30cm (12″) in length.

Calathea zebrina

©Thompson & Morgan – Calathea zebrina

Calathea zebrina can also produce white and purple flowers during springtime, which is not so common for Calatheas.

 

Calathea roseopicta

Calathea roseopicta, otherwise known by the name of Rose Painted Calathea, has big glossy and circular green leaves, which are also purple on the underside.

What is distinctive about this Calathea subspecies is that every leaf has a very pretty pattern, which looks like a leaf inside the leaf. There are also different cultivars of this plant that have leaves with different patterns.

The plant usually grows up to 60cm (24″) in height and width. It likes moist soil, which is capable to provide excellent drainage.

 

 

Calathea roseopicta Medaillon

©Thompson & Morgan – Calathea roseopicta Medaillon

 

Calathea rufibarba

Calathea rufibarba doesn’t look like most other Calatheas at first glance. It doesn’t have similar markings and colors, but it is still very beautiful.

It is also known under the name of Velvet Calathea, as well as Furry Feather because its leaves look like feathers and have a distinctive texture that resembles fur on the bottom side of leaves.

Another characteristic of this plant is burgundy stems that are quite long, and the plant itself can grow up to 60cm (24″) in height and width.

Calathea rufibarba

©Shutterstock – Calathea rufibarba

Calathea Care

Calatheas need sunlight, of course, but not direct sun. They thrive the most in the shade because they are tropical plants, and are mostly found in the jungles. Exposing them to direct sunlight might cause burns on the leaves.

They prefer distilled water. You can also use water purified through filters to water these plants. Even though Calatheas like moist soil, make sure not to overwater.

Being tropical plants, Calatheas like warm temperature, between 18°C (65°F) and 24°C (75°F). Also, make sure to put them in a humid environment.

Calathea in a window

©Thompson & Morgan – Calatheas need sunlight, but not direct sun.

Fertilizing is not essential for Calatheas, but if you insist, you can use normal fertilizer for indoor plants during the autumn, spring, and summer.

Propagation of Calathea Plants

It is possible to propagate Calatheas from divisions, simply by repotting them. New divisions need to be kept moist and in a warm place. It is also advised to cover them with plastic and put them on indirect light until they start growing again. Always use the fresh potting mixture to grow a new plant.

Pruning Calathea Plants

Calatheas do not require any special pruning. The only thing you might worry about is removing occasional leaves that have turned brown or yellow.

 

 

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