Anthuriums are herbaceous epiphytes native to tropical America. 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. Anthuriums are grown for their brightly colored flower spathes and their ornamental leaves. The plant's stem lengths may grow to a height of 15-20 inches depending on the size of the spathe. Its leaves are usually simple, large, attractively colored and borne on long stalks. The flowering stalk is slender, ending in a fleshy column crowded with many uni-sexual flowers.
Common name(s): Tail flower, flamingo flower and lace leaf
Flower colours: Pale white to yellow with orange to red colored bract
Bloom time: More or less continuously
Max reachable height: Upto 1.5 feet
Difficulty to grow: Medium
Planting and care
Anthurium are typically grown in the back portions of a vivarium, and planted directly into the substrate. They can be grown epiphytically and will climb the background. Anthuriums large leaves and taller growth habit make it ideal for a focus plant in the vivarium. Anthurium have moderate water needs making it perfectly adapted to the humid confines of a tropical vivarium. Like most Anthurium species, Tricolour has low light requirements. Air circulation is beneficial to all plants, but is not particularly required from this plant.
Sunlight: Shade to Partial Sun
Soil: Anthuriums prefer a growing media that is coarse and well drained. The potting media should be of a peat moss base with a 1:1:1 ratio of peat moss, pine bark and per-lite. Plants when they are young should be planted in a mix that is not quite so coarse, to retain moisture. The soil should be settled firmly around the roots and the root system should fill the pot before the plant is stepped up to a larger pot size.
Water: Keep compost moist at all times, but not drenched. Foliage anthurium throw off aerial roots that appreciate misting and can be pushed into the soil.
Temperature: Anthuriums grow best with day temperatures of 78 degrees F to 90 degrees F, and night temperatures of 70 degrees F to 75 degrees F. Temperatures above 90 degrees F may cause foliar burning, faded flower colour, and reduced flower life. Night temperatures between 40 degrees F to 50 degrees F can result in slow growth and yellowing of lower leaves. Anthuriums will not tolerate frost or freezing conditions.
Fertilizer: Use liquid fertilizer throughout the growing period or pellets in the spring. New plants should not need fertilizer for at least a few months, and if you use it, opt for a diluted 3:1:2 fertilizer.
Caring for Anthurium
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 watering. 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 droughts and strong temperature fluctuations. In winter, anthurium plants need a 6 week rest period at a 15 degrees C with little water. This allows the plant to flower profusely again in the following season. Pinch off the dead flower, leaving the stem and any remaining flower buds intact. Dead flower removal prevents seed formation and encourages a new set of flowers on some aster varieties.
Typical uses of Anthurium
Special features: Glossy heart-shaped bright red flower bract surrounds the true flowers.
Culinary use: NA
Ornamental use: The plant is used for an ornamental purpose. It is generally kept indoor in living room and in terrace area. Being popular foliage plants, Anthurium is used for their attractive flowering bracts which are popular with the cut flower trade.
Medicinal use: There are reports for the use of anthurium in steam for the discomforts of arthritis and rheumatism. You cut up the leaves and boil it in a pot and have the person sit over it in a chair with a blanket. The person sweats and the medicinal properties enter the body through the open pores. It is also useful as a poultice for muscle aches and cramps. You take the leaf and wrap it around your neck or your back and at the end of the day, just peel it off.