An important factor in determining the suitability of a plant to your home and envisioning the care it will need, is to know the origin of the plant. Plants that are native to desert regions will require substantial amount of sunlight and loose, fast-draining soil. Plants from the floor of a rainforest will need some protection from strong sunlight and generous humidity.
Anthurium, sometimes called flamingo flower, grow either in the ground or on trees (epiphytically) in wet, mountain forests of North, Central and South America. They have distinctive, exotic blooms consisting of a colorful, waxy bract (the spathe) with a tail-like inflorescence (the spadix) at the center. The blooms last for many weeks.
Anthurium scherzerianum is the species that you are most likely to find available as a houseplant, as it is more tolerant of the humidity limitations in the home environment than most.
Anthurium prefer medium light, but keep your plant close to a window to prevent elongated leaves. A slightly shaded window is best in the harsh sun of the summer but give your plant a bit more brightness in the winter.
Water plentifully and keep moist during active growth; water moderately during the winter rest period, allowing the top ½ inch of soil to dry between waterings. When watering, do so thoroughly, until water drains through the bottom of the pot. Water your plants in the morning. Mist frequently or keep your plant on a moist pebble tray to create the needed humidity.
Regular spraying of leaves to remove dust is recommended.
Grows best between 65º and 72º F during the day, with a little drop in temperature at night, keeping above 60°F.
Move Anthurium every spring into one size larger pot. If desired, divide overcrowded clumps carefully; include some fleshy roots and a growing point. Pot these up in an appropriately small pot and keep them at 70 degrees F.
This plant is naturally an epiphyte that grows in a loose, highly organic, spongy medium with a small root system. Use a potting mixture with equal parts houseplant potting soil, peat moss and sand or perlite for excellent drainage and moisture retention.
Apply a dilute, liquid fertilizer only during the growing season, March through September.
If inflorescence start to flop over, attach them to thin stakes with soft twine or covered wire for support.
Humidity is the essential ingredient for good health. Moist air and careful watering are critical components to producing flowers.