Anthurium is also known commonly as flamingo plants maintain their flowers pretty much the entire year. Their flowers also last for a very long time after being cut which makes them very popular. However, for a range of reasons anthuriums can tend to not look as healthy and grow as they should, so today I’ll explain what causes that to happen.
The air is too hot or cool, consistently damp soil, not enough water, and too much or not enough sun cause anthurium to die. To revive it move anthurium where the temperature range is 55 °F (13 °C) to 90 °F (31 °C), into soil that is 50% peat, 50% bark, and out of direct sunlight but a bright area.
Consistently damp soil
Roots that are consistently damp will become softer, and the roots can’t grow well. This is because they can’t push through the soil with ease and adapt to their container. Because they are softer they can also be susceptible to mold which can eat away at the surface of the roots.
It can easily be seen if you’ve ever left pasta or noodles cooking for too long. They become swollen, soft, and mushy as they absorb more and more water. Anthurium is like damp soil, but not soil that is damp all the time. And as a result, they can begin to die. This can be seen by digging up the plant and inspecting the soil.
Thick, sticky soil holds water, and will seldom dry. Whereas, water passes easily through soil that is light and airy, and is what anthurium needs. Other symptoms are the leaves turning yellow, the stems bending over, and the edges of the leaves showing browning, and getting crispy.
- Completely wet the soil when watering but don’t water if the soil is already damp.
- Ensure drip trays aren’t full of water for more than 1-2 hours.
- Pour out excess water in drip trays so the soil doesn’t stay permanently wet.
- Repot or replant them in loose coarse soil that is 50% peat, and 50% bark.
- When watering, hold the pot in one hand to allow the water to pour out of the bottom before putting it on a tray.
Temperature stress causes Anthurium to die
As you may know, Anthurium is native to the north of South America. This region is close to the equator and therefore is quite humid, and the seasons aren’t as pronounced as in higher and lower latitude regions.
For example, they don’t have a very cold winter or a very hot summer. Overall, it’s relatively warm most of the year. For that reason, Anthurium is best suited to warm and slightly humid conditions. And begin to die when it gets too hot or too cold. The symptoms of this occurring are wilting leaves, the stems bending over, low flower production, and stunted growth.
- Keep Anthurium in at a temperature range between 55 °F (13 °C) to 90 °F (31 °C).
- Keep them where they’ll be out of the cold or hot wind.
- Don’t keep them in direct sunlight as it can raise the temperature of the plant, even if the air temperature is in the range above.
- Move them to a room/area that has a regulated temperature during extreme winter or summer temperatures.
There are various varieties of anthurium but interestingly they can grow virtually anywhere. Some grow in the branches of other trees, in between rocks, as well as, clearings. They do the best when kept out of direct sunlight, but still, need some sunlight to grow. In full sunlight, the stems will begin to bend and won’t be first rigid and straight.
The leaves can have brown dry areas on the edges that are crispy and dry. The leaves can also turn yellow rather than being a deep green which is a sign of a healthy anthurium. When kept in full shade or a dark area they will have stunted growth and the stems will also begin to bend. On top of that, the leaves can become soft and floppy, and they won’t bloom.
- Move them in an area that is bright but where they aren’t in full direct sunlight
- Position them where they aren’t in full shade or a completely dark room
- Move potted anthurium out of direct sunlight when the sun moves during the day.
Pests – bugs and mold that will eat away at the stems and leaves
Anthurium is quite hardy but is susceptible to bug infestations, and mold. These include common pest insects such as scale and mealy bugs. They are very easy to treat using neem oil. And mold can be treated with a solution of 1 tablespoon of baking soda, 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil (such as sunflower oil) mixed into 1 liter of water. This can be sprayed onto the affected areas.
Signs of pests are drooping leaves, stems bending, small bite marks on the stems, holes in the leaves, and clusters of bugs visible on the leaves and stems. Mould appears as white powder on the surface of the leaves. As well as, a small black dot surrounded by a brown dead area of the leaf. Or spots of brown, dry, dead areas on the leaves.
- Dab insects with isopropyl alcohol using a cotton bud, or cotton wool.
- Cut off leaves that have dead areas, but try to leave as many leaves as possible.
- Spray leaves affected with mold after sunset and leave them on.
- If the problem persists after these treatments then replant it into fresh soil.
Wrong type of soil
Different species of plants require different soil to do well. Some do well in thick gluggy soil, whereas, others prefer sand and hardly any water. Anthurium that is kept in thick, dense clayey soil will begin to die. As well as in soil that is too free draining.
The symptoms of anthurium being in the wrong soil are the same as those where they are getting too much water, and sitting in water. The leaves will begin to show burning on the edges, which are dry, brown, crispy areas. This is due to the roots beginning to rot, and the plant can’t get enough water. The stems will begin to bend over, it will have poor flower production, or not produce flowers at all.
- Repot or replant into soil that is 50% peat, 50% bark, and a small handful of perlite.
- Ensure the water can flow through it and exit easily. Do not keep it waterlogged.
- Add a generic liquid fertilizer to give it a boost, and once a month to increase flower production.
Not enough water
Certain plants hardly need any water, whereas others thrive on lots of water. Anthurium needs some water but not a lot. However, unlike some plants, they start to die if they don’t get water for 3 to 4 days. Or, if the soil dries out particularly fast, such as when temperatures are particularly hot. Although, not necessary anthurium can be sprayed with water mist, as they don’t mind humid conditions. Especially when it’s particularly hot.
The signs of not enough water are the leaves drying out at the edges, becoming brown, the leaves losing their rigidity and bending over, as well as, the stems beginning to bend. Or, being completely bent over.
- Completely wet the soil once every few days, but don’t allow the soil to be waterlogged.
- In very hot weather, at around 90 °F (31 °C), spray the plant with a water mist.
- Don’t allow the soil to be completely dry for more than 3 to 4 days.