The Q&A Archives: anthuriums

Question: I was recently given an anthurium plant as a gift. It had no instructions for its care. The only thing I have found online is that it is grown in shady areas and likes humid conditions. Is there any other information you can give me. It started growing good at first, and now it seems to be wilting.

Answer: This is a tropical plant that can be kept as a houseplant although it is very difficult to keep it healthy under home conditions unless you happen top have a tropical greenhouse. It needs rainforst type conditions -- warm temperatures (about 80 to 90 degrees daytime, 70's at night) and humid air; it also needs good air circulation. (Air conditioning and winter heating both tend to dry the air too much for this plant.)

Wilting can be related to over or underwatering (or to wilt diseases that most often occur when the soil is kept overly wet). The soil should be slightly moist all the time, but not saturated and sopping wet. You should check the potting mix with your finger to see if you need to water. If you have a saucer under the plant, empty it after watering.

Fertilize with a very dilute solution of watr soluble complete fertilizer such as 10-10-10 plus minors. This plant is sensitive to overfertilizing so use sparingly.

In nature these are outdoors in a shaded location. Indoors, however, they need a bright spot but no direct sun.

Often by the time it has gone through the retail process and the shock of moving from the specialized greenhouse conditions to your home it is shocked and will just deteriorate. Many people consider it similar to a cut flower bouquet for this reason. I wish I could be more encouraging.

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