The genus name of this plant comes from two Latin words: “anthos” – flower and “oura” – tail, which means “flower tail”. The shape of the inflorescence in some anthuriums really resembles a tail. Anthurium is a very popular houseplant among flower growers. It has a high decorative effect and does not require special care if you create suitable conditions for it. How to grow anthurium indoors, read the article.
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Botanical description of anthurium
Anthurium (Anthurium) – a genus of plants of the Aroid family, or Aronnikovye (Araceae). Perhaps the most numerous genus of its family, according to some sources, there are up to 900 species.
Anthurium originates from tropical and subtropical regions of Central and South America. The northern border of the range is in Mexico, the southern border is in Paraguay and in the north of Argentina. Many species of this genus are terrestrial upright grasses, others that live in tropical forests, in the process of evolution, have become creepers – vines or epiphytes with aerial roots.
Anthuriums are popular because of the “bedspreads” that resemble a huge petal and adjoin the inflorescences. The inflorescence forms a cob resembling a thick tail, which is reflected in the name of the plant.
Features of growing anthuriums at home
The vast majority of cultivated species of the genus Anthurium are epiphytes, which imposes special requirements on indoor cultivation. Many species grow well in warm, humid greenhouses.
Lighting and temperature
Anthuriums prefer diffused light and tolerate partial shade well. Shade from direct sunlight. Windows with east and north-west orientation are optimal for them.
All representatives of the Anthurium genus need evenly warm maintenance throughout the year, without drafts. In summer, the optimum temperature is within + 20 … + 28 ° C, not lower than + 18 ° C. If possible, from September to February, plants should be kept at a temperature of + 15… + 16 ° C.
Only hybrids of Scherzer anthurium for the establishment of flower buds require a cooler regime (+ 6 … + 8 ° C) for 12-16 weeks in winter, while reducing moisture. If you want the anthurium to bloom earlier, then in January the temperature is gradually increased to + 20 … + 25 ° C.
Watering anthurium and air humidity
Anthuriums are watered abundantly, so that the top layer dries up between waterings. Do not allow the earthen coma to dry out. In order to have abundant flowering plants in winter, watering is reduced in September, the relative humidity is maintained within 80-85%, the air temperature, if possible, is reduced (up to + 16 … + 18 ° C).
For watering anthurium, soft water (rain) is optimal; if the tap water contains a lot of lime, it should be softened. The most common mistake is waterlogging of the substrate; in an excessively waterlogged substrate, their roots quickly rot, which can lead to the death of plants. Stagnation of water in the sump is unacceptable; it must be drained immediately after watering.
Anthuriums love high air humidity – 85-95%. All anthuriums suffer from dry air in living quarters, especially species with beautifully colored, thinner leaves (crystal anthurium and majestic anthurium).
It is recommended to cover the stems of plants with sphagnum moss or other hygroscopic material, which must be regularly sprayed. This increases the humidity of the air, gives the necessary moisture to the aerial roots of anthurium and stimulates their growth, which usually stops quickly in a room with dry air.
To maintain sufficient air humidity, it is better to place anthurium on a pallet with wet gravel or expanded clay. To increase moisture, the pots are kept submerged in sphagnum moss, keeping it constantly moist.
Optimal conditions can be created when growing anthuriums in a room greenhouse. Dust from the leaves is washed off with a soft sponge soaked in warm water. Spraying with soft warm water is beneficial in summer. During flowering, they are sprayed carefully so that water does not get on the flowers, from which they have brown spots and decorativeness is lost.
Anthuriums are fed in the spring-summer period once every 1-2 weeks. Since anthuriums are sensitive to an excess of mineral salts and lime, fertilizers are applied in a diluted concentration. As a complex fertilizer, Azofoska can be recommended at a concentration of 3 g / l with the addition of potassium humate in an amount of 1-200 mg / l. The most effective are weekly foliar dressings.
Fertilizing with organic anthurium fertilizers is very effective, but not always available. You can apply leaf humus, semi-rotten horse or cow manure to the surface of the substrate in the form of mulch, and also water the plants with chicken droppings or fermented mullein infusion once a month.
Budding is stimulated by a cool wintering of anthurium at a temperature of + 15… + 16 ° C. With proper care, plants can bloom throughout the summer. Anthurium hybrids Andre can bloom for almost the entire year. It is better to cut off faded inflorescences so that they do not form seeds and do not weaken the plant. To set seeds, artificial pollination is carried out with a clean brush.
Cut off blossoming anthurium inflorescences persist from 3-5 weeks, if the ear is underdeveloped, then they fade within 2-3 days.
Anthurium transplant and soil
Plants are transplanted at the beginning of the resumption of growth or during the growth period from February to August. When transplanting anthurium, you should handle the leaves and easily breaking roots with care. Plants are planted a little deeper than they grew before transplanting in order to deepen the young roots.
Young plants are replanted annually, gradually increasing the size of the pots. Old specimens of anthuriums are transplanted after 3-4 years into a more nutritious soil mixture. When transplanting, the earth is slightly compacted so that there is air access to the roots; the plants are placed in a warm place.
After transplanting, if necessary, the plant is tied to a support. In order to keep the soil temperature not lower than the air temperature, it is better to grow anthuriums not in ceramic pots, but in plastic ones. The plant does not tolerate stagnant water, and therefore use dishes with a good drainage layer.
The container for planting must be selected large enough for the free growth of the roots, but for purchased anthuriums, you need to take, on the contrary, a slightly cramped pot. In nature, anthuriums actively grow aerial roots, which, reaching the substrate, take root in it and actively branch. In culture, their growth is usually limited, but when the stems are wrapped with moss, some of them develop and reach the substrate.
The development of aerial roots is very important for the supply of oxygen to plants. Most often, anthuriums are grown in low containers with a diameter of 24-32 cm, placed in a warm and draft-free place. During the period of rooting of plants and their further growth, it is necessary to regularly water, spray, shade the plants from the sun’s rays.
For growing anthuriums in pots, very loose, coarse-fibrous, moisture- and air-permeable soil substrates with a weakly acidic reaction (pH – 5,0-6,0) are used. The substrate should be composed of coarse-grained components. It should hold the plant well, retain moisture and nutrients, dry easily and allow air to pass through. Moreover, it should not quickly decompose, cake and thicken.
Drainage from cuttings and a layer of sand is laid at the bottom of the pots. The substrate for anthurium is made from peat, chopped moss and sod land (2: 2: 1), or from deciduous soil, peat and sand with the addition of charcoal and coniferous bark, and sometimes sphagnum.
You can also use another substrate consisting of coarse deciduous soil, chopped marsh moss and light turf soil (2: 1: 1). Bone meal can be added to the mixture. A good substrate for anthurium is pine bark with pieces ranging from 2 to 5 cm, but it is mainly applicable in greenhouse culture, subject to regular feeding.
Good results are obtained with a substrate made up of 2 parts of pumice (pieces ranging in size from 1 to 3 cm), 2 parts of pine bark (pieces of 2-5 cm in size), 1 part of coarse fibrous peat and 1 part of semi-rotted horse manure. Such a substrate is well aerated, sufficiently moisture-absorbing and retains nutrients well. For young anthuriums, smaller fractions of its components are used.
Good results can also be obtained when using a substrate composed of equal parts of large expanded clay (2-3 cm in diameter), coarse peat and pine bark (fractions 2-3 cm). As you can see, the choice of substrates for anthuriums is quite large. You can constantly change them or stop at one of them.
Anthurium grows well on hydroponic crops.
For cut culture, plants are planted in large, shallow pots with a diameter of about 30 cm or in soil racks at a distance of 30-50 cm, depending on the age of the plants. Anthurium André has a long semi-growing stem and mature plants grown for cutting must be tied up. It is recommended to overlay aerial roots with moss and lightly tie with wire. You can also frame the stem with mesh and fill it with moss or peat soil. It is necessary that the peat and the substrate are always moist.
For better flowering, remove the numerous vegetative shoots appearing at the base of the stem. Anthurium flowers are cut only when the flower cover is completely open, the cob inflorescence has a staminate stage (covered with pollen) and the upper part of the pedicel at the cover is strong and hard. Only in this case the cut is preserved for a long time. Anthurium flowers cannot be cut in buds.
Reproduction of anutriums
The flowers of anthuriums are bisexual, that is, each flower has stamens and pistils. However, they ripen unevenly. Immediately after the deployment of the coverlet from the bottom of the ear, moving gradually upward, female flowers – pistils – ripen, secreting secretory fluid. Then only after 3-4 weeks pollen appears – male flowers ripen.
Artificial pollination of anthurium is carried out on a dry sunny day with a soft brush, carefully transferring pollen from one flower to another. For successful pollination, flowers must be of varying degrees of maturity in order to have both ripe pollen and stigmas of pistils ready for fertilization. Pollination of the same inflorescence is carried out several times.
Anthurium fruits on the cob are berry-shaped. The seeds in the berry ripen approximately 8-10 months after pollination of the flowers. Seeds quickly lose their germination and must be sown immediately after harvest. Ripe fruits are kneaded, washed first with water to remove pulp residues, and then with a weak solution of potassium permanganate or 0,2% baseol.
Anthurium seeds can be sown in bowls with a very light loose soil mixture, they are laid out and slightly pressed into the ground. It is recommended to sprinkle a very thin layer of perlite on the top layer of the earth, which will retain moisture well and create a more sterile surface of the substrate. Seeds are not sprinkled on top. After sowing, the bowls are covered with glass.
Very good results are obtained when inoculating anthurium in bacteriological dishes on filter paper with cotton wool. Seedlings appear in 10-14 days at a temperature of + 20 … + 24 ° C. Seedlings develop slowly.
Anthuriums are picked after the appearance of a real leaf into a very light and loose earth in boxes or bowls. The composition of the land mixture may include leafy soil, coniferous, heather, high-moor peat with the addition of pine bark, charcoal, fern roots, dry mullein, etc. After picking, the seedlings are watered abundantly and further maintain uniform humidity and a constant temperature of + 20 … + 24 ° C. As the seedlings grow, they dive 2-3 more times, placing them more freely.
The first inflorescences in Scherzer’s anthurium appear 2-2,5 years after sowing, but they are small. In the 4-5th year, large plants also have large inflorescences that can be used for cutting. Andre’s anthurium blooms a little later. The first inflorescences with bracts in young plants are also smaller.
It must be remembered that during seed propagation of anthuriums, varietal plants may lose their decorative qualities.
Anthurium is successfully propagated by stem suckers and apical cuttings. Stem suckers with good roots can be easily removed from the main stem and planted immediately in appropriately sized pots. If there are no roots or they are poorly developed, the offspring can be pre-rooted in sand or perlite. When rooting, it is necessary to cover the plants with a transparent film or use greenhouses, providing them with increased humidity. Apical cuttings are also rooted.
To rejuvenate André’s anthurium plants, it is recommended to wrap the aerial roots at the top of the bare stem with moss and when these roots sprout through the moss, cut the stem together with the moss ball and plant the plant in a new place. The remaining lower part of the plant will again produce side shoots that can be cut and rooted.
Diseases and pests of anthurium
A healthy anthurium flower has brilliant vibrant flowers and leaves. With good proper care, it blooms throughout the summer, but if the optimal maintenance regime is violated, anthurium turns yellow and dries.
Anthurium is a thermophilic plant. When the temperature drops below +18 degrees, problems begin. First, dark dots appear on the leaves, and then spots. If it is not possible to find a warmer place for a flower, it is urgent to reduce watering.
When direct sunlight hits the anthurium, leaves may burn, leaves will turn yellow and dry. It is necessary to shade the plant from direct sunlight.
If the leaves turn yellow in winter, they do not have enough light, you need to rearrange the plant closer to the window so that the plant receives enough bright light.
The care of the anthurium flower was mentioned above. Here are the basic requirements: anthurium does not tolerate drafts, lower temperatures, stagnant water, drying out of the soil, shading and direct sunlight. If the soil allows air to penetrate to the roots, and the water for irrigation is soft and warm, then the anthurium will not turn yellow and dry, but will be a healthy and beautiful flower.
Anthurium can be affected by aphids and scale insects.
Shield or the shield aphid got its name from the waxy shield that covers the body of an adult pest. At first, at a young age, the scale insect is hardly noticeable, but it multiplies rapidly, covering the stems and leaves with dark spots.
Adults are motionless and sit under shields, from under which larvae crawl out and crawl throughout the plant. At this time, they are destroyed by spraying with a soap-tobacco solution, to which you can add a little kerosene or denatured alcohol. Adult pests, along with shields, are removed with a damp swab, but you still need to treat the entire plant with insecticide or soapy water to remove the larvae.
aphid – a small insect can be green, gray or black in color. It settles on the underside of the leaf and feeds on plant sap, which leads to drying and folding of the leaves. It multiplies rapidly. It is destroyed by ready-made preparations that are sold in stores, or by solutions of nicotine sulfate in water and soap in a ratio of 1 g. nicotine sulfate per 1 liter of soapy water.
After processing the plant in a day, the anthurium must be washed well, covering the soil with polyethylene. If necessary, the processing is repeated.
To prevent anthurium from being affected by pests, it is enough to regularly wash the leaves with water.
The unusual shape of this flower can please any amateur gardener! Its beauty, unusual “tail” make anthurium popular among indoor plants. Is anthurium growing in your house? Share your experience of growing it in the comments to the article.