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6 Reasons Why Anthurium Is Dying (And How to Revive)

Anthuriums, often called flamingo plants, are known for their year-round blooms and the impressive longevity of their cut flowers, making them a favorite among plant enthusiasts. However, there are times when anthuriums may not seem as vibrant or grow as expected. Let’s dive into what might cause this.

Improper watering—either too much or too little—can lead to flower loss in anthuriums. Overwatering can result in root rot, potentially killing the plant. Signs such as browning leaves, wilting, or flower loss indicate it’s time to adjust your watering routine promptly.

1. Overwatering

anthurium dying

Anthurium is dying due to root rot.

When roots stay too wet, they soften and struggle to grow properly. Soft roots have a hard time moving through the soil and adjusting to their surroundings. Plus, they’re more vulnerable to mold, which can damage the root surface.

Dense, heavy soil tends to retain water, making it difficult to dry out. In contrast, anthuriums thrive in soil that’s light and airy, allowing water to flow through easily. Other signs of trouble include yellowing leaves, stems that droop, and leaf edges that turn brown and crispy.

Here are some tips to help:

  1. Water thoroughly, but wait until the top 2-3 inches of soil are dry before watering again.
  2. Always empty drip trays after watering to avoid soggy soil conditions.
  3. For best results, repot the plants in a mix of 50% peat and 50% bark to ensure the soil is loose and well-draining.

2. Temperature Stress

Anthurium originates from the northern parts of South America, a region near the equator known for its high humidity and less distinct seasons compared to areas farther north or south.

Instead of experiencing extreme cold winters or hot summers, this area enjoys a consistently warm climate year-round. Consequently, Anthurium plants thrive in warm and moderately humid environments but may struggle with too much heat or cold. Signs of distress include drooping leaves, sagging stems, reduced flowering, and slowed growth.

Here are some tips to help:

  1. Maintain a temperature range from 55°F (13°C) to 90°F (31°C) for your plant.
  2. Protect it from harsh, cold, or hot drafts.
  3. During extreme winter or summer conditions, relocate your Anthurium to a space where the temperature is more controlled.

3. Light Issues

anthurium dying

Sunburn

Anthuriums come in a variety of types and have the remarkable ability to adapt to various environments. They can be found thriving in tree branches, nestled among rocks, or in open clearings. While they should be shielded from direct sunlight, a bit of sunlight is necessary for their growth.

Exposure to full sunlight can cause the stems to bend and lose their straight, rigid form. The leaves might display brown, crispy edges and may turn yellow instead of maintaining their vibrant green hue, which signifies a healthy plant.

Conversely, when anthuriums are placed in too much shade or dark areas, their growth becomes stunted, stems may bend, and leaves can turn soft and floppy, often without flowering.

Here are some tips to help:

  1. Place it in a bright area away from direct sunlight.
  2. Ensure it receives 6-8 hours of indirect sunlight daily.

4. Pests

anthurium dying

Leaves damaged by thrips.

Anthurium plants are robust yet can fall prey to bugs and mold, including pests like scale and mealybugs. Fortunately, these issues are manageable. Neem oil is effective for treating pests, while fungicides can address mold, both of which can be applied directly to the troubled spots.

Pest infestations might be indicated by drooping leaves, bending stems, tiny bite marks or holes in the leaves, and visible bug clusters on the leaves and stems. Mold is identified by a white powdery substance on leaf surfaces, small black dots encircled by brown dead leaf areas, or brown, dry patches on the leaves.

Here are some tips to help:

  1. Apply isopropyl alcohol to pests using a cotton swab or ball.
  2. Remove leaves with significant dead areas, ensuring you retain as many healthy leaves as possible.
  3. Treat mold-affected leaves with a fungicide.
  4. Use horticultural oil to combat pests.

5. Soil Issues

Anthuriums struggle in both overly dense, clay-rich soil and excessively well-draining soil. The signs of distress due to inappropriate soil are similar to those caused by excessive watering or prolonged water retention. You might notice the leaf edges turning dry, brown, and crispy, indicative of burning.

This condition often stems from root rot, which hampers the plant’s ability to absorb water properly, leading to drooping stems, poor or nonexistent flower production.

Here are some tips to help:

  1. Repot the anthurium using a mix of 50% peat, 50% bark, and a bit of perlite to improve drainage and aeration.
  2. Ensure the soil allows for proper water drainage without retaining excess moisture.
  3. Apply a general-purpose liquid fertilizer to boost the plant’s overall health and encourage more frequent flowering, ideally once a month.

6. Not Enough Water

anthurium dying

Dehydration

While some plants require minimal water to survive, others flourish with ample moisture. Anthuriums fall in the middle, needing a moderate amount of water but not excessively. However, they are less tolerant of drought than some plants and may start to suffer if they go without water for 3 to 4 days, especially under hot conditions that cause the soil to dry out quickly.

Signs of insufficient water include the edges of the leaves drying out and turning brown, leaves losing their firmness and drooping, and stems bending or even collapsing.

Here are some tips to help:

  1. Water thoroughly once the top 2-3 inches of soil become dry.
  2. During periods of intense heat, around 90°F (31°C), mist the plant to provide extra moisture.
  3. Avoid letting the soil completely dry out for extended periods, especially not longer than 3 to 4 days.

Lynne

Wednesday 27th of September 2023

Great information, thanks for the help.