Anthurium is a genus of herbs often growing as epiphytes on other plants. Some are terrestrial. The leaves are often clustered and are variable in shape. The inflorescence bears small flowers which are perfect, containing male and female structures. The flowers are contained in dense spirals on the spadix. The spadix is often elongated into a spike shape, but it can be globe-shaped or club-shaped. Beneath the spadix is the spathe, a type of bract. This is variable in shape, as well, but it is lance-shaped in many species. It may extend out flat or in a curve. Sometimes it covers the spadix like a hood. The fruits develop from the flowers on the spadix. They are juicy berriesvarying in color, usually containing two seeds.
The spadix and spathe are a main focus of Anthuirium breeders, who develop cultivars in bright colors and unique shapes. Anthurium scherzerianum and A. andraeanum, two of the most common taxa in cultivation, are the only species that grow bright red spathes. They have also been bred to produce spathes in many other colors and patterns.
Anthurium plants are poisonous due to calcium oxalate crystals. The sap is irritating to the skin and eyes.
Anthuriums can be grown by 4 methods. They are by vegetative reproduction, seeds, tissue culture, and fertilization.
- Anthuriums grow on a wide range of soil types ranging from sandy loams to heavy clays.
- Anthuriums need a highly organic soil with good water retention capability and good drainage.
- A well-drained soil is important to prevent the rotting of stems and roots.
- Anthuriums should be planted in raised beds of 1.3 to 2 meters wide and 20 cm deep.
- Anthuriums should not be planted more than 5 cm deep, as deep planting results in the rotting of stems and roots.
- Stake the anthurium after planting for support.
- Water the anthuriums immediately after planting.
- A layer of coconut husks, semi-rotted wood, or sugar cane bagasse may be used.
- Mulching is needed for the anthuriums plants.
- Anthurium plant roots grow into the mulch and spread.
Anthuriums Plant Care
- Remove dead and unsightly foliage and faded or brown flowers.
- Use a peat moss base.
- Anthuriums need a high light but not direct sunlight.
- Water your anthurium thoroughly, but allow it to dry slightly between waterings.
- Do not over-water the anthuriums as it may cause root damage and yellowing of the leaves.
- Fertilize the anthurium plant about every other month.
- Avoid draughts and strong temperature fluctuations.
- In winter, anthurium plants need a 6 week rest period at a 15Â°C with little water. This allows the plant to flower profusely again in the following season.