An Introduction to Anthuriums: Our 5 Favorite Species and Anthurium Care

Posted on Apr 6, 2018

Somehow both elegant and bizarre, Anthuriums have a certain undeniable magnetism about them. They are certainly charming like their more easygoing cousin the philodendron, but there is a wildness in those hulking leaves and neon flowers that says unmistakably, ‘I belong to the jungle’. While Anthurium care is a little different than that of most houseplants, with a few adjustments these plants can happily grow indoors.

Anthurium veitchii - anthurium care - pistils nursery-5

Anthurium veitchii

Anthuriums are aroid plants originating in the neotropics (South America, Mexico, and the Caribbean), where most species grow epiphytically on the branches of trees in lush, tropical forests. With a little care, these wild things can be tamed and make lovely additions to the home. They command our attention with their strange, candy-bright blooms and foliage ranging from the delicate, palmate Anthurium ‘Fingers,’ to the velvety, almost black leaf of Anthurium ‘Queen of Hearts’ that is so massive and dark, it seems to look back at you with the intensity of a wildcat.

Few genera offer such varied and beautiful options for indoor growing. They are a must for any houseplant collector and a great choice for someone who feels like they’ve mastered philodendrons and are looking for a new challenge. A few key factors distinguish Anthurium care from that of other houseplants. Read our guide to see if you’re ready to take one of these strange beauties home with you.

Anthurium magnificum x crystallinum - anthurium care - pistils nursery-4

A jumble of Anthurium magnificum x crystallinum

Anthurium Care: How to Care for Anthuriums as Indoor Plants

  • Light

    To thrive in our homes, anthuriums need medium to bright indirect light, although they’ll accept less during their dormant period in winter. They are sensitive to direct light and burn easily, so take care to protect from hot afternoon sunbeams.

  • Water

    Proper watering is key to Anthurium care (and to the care of all your houseplants!). Keep the soil lightly moist during the growing season (March-September), letting the top layer just approach dryness between waterings. Make a habit of checking on it at least once or twice a week by gently digging a finger into the soil. It should feel barely moist. If it still feels wet, wait a bit longer.

    Remember that your plant’s watering needs depend greatly on the unique light and humidity of your home and can also change drastically with transitioning seasons and weather. In winter, your Anthurium may only require water every few weeks or so, while in summer it may require water every few days. Get to know your plant and its needs by keeping a close eye on it the first few weeks after bringing it home and using your senses: How does it look? How do the leaves feel? How does the soil feel? Listen to what your plant is telling you and gently adjust your care regimen accordingly.

  • Temperature

    Proper Anthurium care means keeping a watchful eye in winter and protecting your plants from drafty doors and windows. They will suffer or even die below 55 degrees and are happiest between 65-70. It’s also important to protect your Anthurium from forced air. Heaters, fans, and air conditioners can damage plants if they are too close, but gentle air circulation (such as an open window on a warm, humid day) will benefit them.

  • anthurium care - pistils nursery

    A trio of juvenile anthuriums from left to right: Anthurium clarinervium, Anthurium veitchii, Anthurium pedato-radiatum ‘Fingers’

  • Humidity

    Humidity is definitely a factor to consider before bringing home an Anthurium, and very important to Anthurium care. The foliage varieties especially require high humidity to thrive and will suffer without it, often getting brown edges. Consider keeping your Anthurium in a well-lit bathroom or near your kitchen sink. If that’s not practical, you can run a humidifier near your Anthurium, mist it periodically, or use a simple pebble tray under its pot.

  • Soil

    With careful watering, some hybrids can be grown successfully in potting soil by treating them similarly to philodendrons, letting the soil dry out a bit between waterings. However, because Anthuriums grow in the moss and leaf litter of tree branches in their native environments, they prefer something more akin to an orchid mix. This is usually a loose, breathable mix of potting soil, peat moss, bark pieces and/or mulch, charcoal, gravel, perlite or pumice, and sphagnum moss. Using this type of soil mix will make Anthurium care a bit more manageable.

  • Fertilizing

    Anthuriums benefit from regular but restrained fertilizing. Once every 6-8 weeks March through September with an indoor plant formula is adequate for foliage varieties, while a formula for orchids or flowering indoor plants used more regularly (every 3-6 weeks) will encourage blooms in flowering varieties.

  • Flowers

    Many Anthuriums are grown for their unique flowers, which come in brilliant colors and have an almost lacquer-like shine. What we call the flower is actually many very tiny flowers growing along the spadix (the thin, finger-like center) while the heart shaped outer “petal” is really a modified leaf called the spathe. These “flowers” are some of the longest lasting on earth, which means that lustrous color can last in your home for months after you being one home from the nursery. Getting your Anthurium to re-bloom is doable, although it requires some patience and care. They will require bright filtered light (lower light will dissuade plants from blooming), consistent but careful watering, and regular fertilizing. Gently clip spent flowers so your plant can use its energy on new growth.

  • Ornamental anthurium flowering - anthurium care - pistils nursery

  • Propagation

    Propagation is best done during repotting in the early spring by carefully dividing the roots. Gently pull the plant into pieces, feeling for roots that separate easily. Make sure each piece has healthy roots and at least 1 or 2 leaves.

A little extra care will keep your Anthurium thriving, but they are survivors and will usually tolerate imperfect conditions when they have to. All in all, they can be quite easy to maintain and bring such unique beauty to a space.

Our 5 favorite Anthuriums
  1. Anthurium veitchii (“King Anthurium”)

    Why we love it: Simply stated, Anthurium veitchii has one of the most magnificent leaves we’ve ever seen in our years of loving tropical plants. The leaves grow to 3′ long, bright green in color and deeply quilted/pleated in texture.

    Anthurium veitchii - anthurium care - pistils nursery

    Anthurium Veitchii, aka King Anthurium

  2. Anthurium magnificum x crystallinum

    Why we love it: This hybrid of two equally awesome species has gorgeous velvety leaves with bright white venation. The new leaves often emerge bright red!

    Anthurium magnificum x crystallinum - anthurium care - pistils nursery

    New leaf on Anthurium magnificum x crystallinum

  3. Anthurium ‘Ace of Spades’

    Why we love it: This velvet-leafed hybrid has dark purple-green leaves that can be nearly black, with some lighter green venation. Dark, mysterious and lovely!

  4. Anthurium superbum

    Why we love it: One of numerous “bird’s nest Anthuriums,” A. superbum grows in a dense rosette, with delightfully rounded, ruffled and upright leaves.

  5. Anthurium clarinervium

    Why we love it: You always want what you can’t have, right? This compact Anthurium with velvety heart-shaped leaves that are delightfully perky is unfortunately very hard to find in the states. That doesn’t mean we’ll stop looking, though!

    Anthurium clarinervium - anthurium care - pistils nursery

Are you as excited as we are about Anthuriums yet? Ready to bring home one of your very own? They are undoubtedly one of our personal favorites and we often have them available for sale here at Pistils. We’re always looking for rare and unusual varieties, and happen to be expecting some exciting shipments in the near future. Follow us on social media to be the first to know when new shipments arrive or call today to see what we have in the shop!


    May 6, 2018

    Thank you for a very interesting article. I live in South Australia where the climate is Mediterranean, hot dry summers, cold frosty winters. The area is good for growing wine grapes and wheat. My plant is called Anthurium coriaceum, the giant paddle leaf plant. There are almost NO anthuriums for sale in our state. Not sure why. I have collected the seeds from my plant and now have over a hundred baby plants with two or three leaves each. I grow them under 75% shade cloth. I would like to receive more information and if possible, purchase seeds from the plants described above. I am enclosing an image. Barry Portlock

    • Christine
      September 2, 2018

      I’m impressed you’ve grown your plants from seed!

        September 14, 2018

        Hi Scott Yes I am willing to supply you with a few very small anthurium coriaceum plants, a couple of dollars each. I live in Gawler East, South Australia. mobile 0438050246

        September 14, 2018

        Hi Christine, Glad you were impressed with my growing anthuriums from seed. What part of the world are you in ?

        • Judie Kreitman
          January 14, 2019

          I’m a widow living in a small apartment in upstate New York (USA) and would like to try growing an Anthurium plant. Is there any specific one I should start with? Also, do they reproduce new stalks or just rebloom on the old ones (assuming I don’t kill it)?

          Thank you for replying directly to my email address.

          Judie Kreitman

    • Scott Heywood
      September 12, 2018

      Hi Barry,
      i am also from south australia and was wondering if you are selling any of your Anthurium coriaceum seeds/plants?

      Kind Regards
      scott Heywood

    • Ria Miles
      May 4, 2019

      Hello, I have a seed pod developing on my Anthurium clarinervium. I would like to try and germinate the seeds if I can. Can you offer me any advice on this please? I can’t seem to find anything online!

      • Flora
        July 25, 2019

        Hi Ria, curious is anybody got back to you with tips, I have the same question! Would love to make something of those seeds:)

      • Rajni Vescio
        August 20, 2019

        Wow you are lucky , would you sell some seeds ?

    • Linda Schutt
      August 15, 2019

      Hi Barry. Your Anthurium is beautiful.

      I live in tropical Darwin so it is the ideal climate for growing Anthuriums but it is almost impossible to get any Anthuriums (except for the common flowering potted plant). Today I hit the jackpot and go very excited when I found A superbum at Bunnings. It was like winning the lottery finding this plant.

      I would love to get some more A spp but top of my plant wish list is A veithcii. Don’t know if these are even available in Australia.

      If I was in SA I would definitely buy one or your plants. Thanks for sharing your story and photo.

    • Janet
      August 25, 2019

      Impressive! Anthurium are also very hard to come by where I live. If you are still offering to sell small plant(s) and can ship to the U.S., I’m interested!
      Thank you,

    May 6, 2018

    young anthurium coriaceum

    • Barbara Reinfeld
      April 3, 2019

      Hi Barry, we met at Begonia Society on Monday and I am a happy recipient of your kind donation. I’m very excited to see what it will grow into. Have now placed my baby plant on the windowsill in the bathroom and look forward to watching it grow!
      Thanks again, Barbara

  3. willem heitlager
    May 24, 2018

    how did you do the birds and bees on these flowers by hand (brush) or other way

  4. rezvan flower
    July 8, 2018

    i love Anthuriums so much and love your helpful info…i didn’t know how to Care of them, thanks for sharing this article

    July 22, 2018

    Thank you for a very interesting article.

    July 22, 2018

    I would like to ask , do you have any information about Hyacinth ?

  7. Enid Offolter
    August 3, 2018

    Great work guys! That is a very well written, informative article.

    September 14, 2018

    One of my GIANT PADDLE LEAF PLANTS (anthurium coriaceum). Very slow growing, very tidy upright plant, tough thick dark green leaves, probably only one new leaf each year, well behaved, does not climb like philodendrons and monsteras. I pollinated the spadix (flower) by hand. I seem to have higher germination success if seeds are fresh. Assuming the seeds are eaten by birds or other animals in the wild and pass through the animals body to be spread in the forest, I pop the seeds first because they come in pairs and wash the flesh off them. Some seeds were placed in potting soil but more success was achieved in vermiculite in small closed plastic containers in a warm place. In my case it was on top of the fish aquarium light but i have also had success by just throwing the seeds anywhere in my shade house and up they come in other pots.

  9. Angela
    November 13, 2018

    maybe some type of anthurium?
    Can you tell me?
    The bloom only opens for a day or so. I was concerned it may be rootbound, but maybe that’s what it’s liking. I’m in Boise Idaho. This was a gift, it seems to love where I have it. Just looking to care for it properly.

    • Steve (PA)
      December 16, 2018

      Your plant/flower looks like it may be one of the dark/wine-colored, self-heading philodendrons. Without seeing the entire plant, it is hard to tell for sure. Philodendrons will bloom most frequently when pot-bound in my experience. Many plants like to be somewhat pot-bound and philodendrons are good candidates. You can check to be certain by inverting the pot and seeing if the plant comes out easily. If the plant falls out of the pot, repot into (a same size) clean pot with fresh potting mix. If the roots are wrapped around the root ball, then it is pot-bound and would benefit from repotting. Consider using a combination of indoor potting mix and orchid mix, although Orchid mixes tend to dry out more quickly, so your watering may change if you incorporate the orchid mix into your potting.

    • Steve (PA)
      December 16, 2018

      Your plant/flower looks like it may be one of the dark/wine-colored, self-heading philodendrons that are slow to form a vine. Without seeing the entire plant, it is hard to tell for sure. Philodendrons will bloom most frequently when pot-bound in my experience. Many plants like to be somewhat pot-bound and philodendrons are good candidates. You can check to be certain by inverting the pot and seeing if the plant comes out easily. If the plant falls out of the pot, repot into (a same size) clean pot with fresh potting mix. If the roots are wrapped around the root ball, then it is pot-bound and would benefit from repotting. Consider using a combination of indoor potting mix and orchid mix, although Orchid mixes tend to dry out more quickly, so your watering may change if you incorporate the orchid mix into your potting.

  10. Sue
    November 14, 2018

    Barry, I live in Pa, USA and was checking on anthurium care, and was quite impressed with how you propagated yours. Also impressed with the giant paddle leaf plant.

  11. Steve (PA)
    December 16, 2018

    Great article! I am growing A. superbum under flourescent T-5 lighting and it seems to be working well. It is the same distance from the light as my Phalaenopsis and Neofinetias It is young, about 8″ tall and growing in a straight orchid mix of Orchiata bark, coconut fiber and chunks, perlite, charcoal in a slotted clay pot. Being winter, it is receiving 10-11 hours of light and as a result of the flourescent lights, it is watered about every 3-4 days (a bit more frequently than the orchids and bromeliads. Does anyone else have experience with these plants under lights?

  12. Claire St Jack
    December 31, 2018

    Hello Barry
    I’m from Albany in southern Western Australia. We were given a mystery plant that we are having trouble identifying. We suspect it’s an anthurium and the closest we can get is anthurium coriaceum; however, the leaves are not shiny and green and are very hard. It’s relatively happy under a patio facing south. I’ve attached a photo. Hoping you can help.

  13. Katlin
    January 15, 2019

    I just bought my first anthurium “ace of spades”!

    I was wondering should I just plant it in sphagnum moss instead of putting it in a soil mixture?

    Thanks in advance

  14. Nathan Strange
    July 25, 2019

    Hello! Could you tell me how fast anthuriums (for cut flowers) grow? Is it worth growing them as an annual for cuts?

  15. Rajni Vescio
    August 20, 2019

    I enjoyed reading this article and all comments. I am a succulent collector and then i fall in love with houseplants , getting my Anthuriums ( couple of ) and have couple of V.monstera and many more .. Thanks all


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