If you’re looking for a colorful indoor plant to brighten up your home all year round, an elegant anthurium offers the perfect choice. Its large, eye-catching blooms come in a range of colors, including red, pink, white, and burgundy, and they comprise an outer waxy, heart-shaped spathe (leaf-like sheath) and a long spike of tiny flowers, known as the spadix. These striking indoor plants flower for long periods throughout the year and when they’re briefly not in bloom, the glossy spear-shaped foliage helps to keep the show going.
In their natural habitat these tropical indoor plants are rarely subjected to cold temperatures, so bear this in mind and keep yours in a warm area, away from drafts. 'Anthuriums should be watered when about 50 per cent of their soil is dry,' advises Lindsay Pangborn, plant expert at online retailer Bloomscape (opens in new tab). In practical terms, this means when the top of the compost feels dry but when you slip the plant out of its pot, there is still some moisture at the bottom of the rootball.
'Remove any excess water that collects in the saucer or waterproof container to prevent root rot, which may eventually lead to the plant’s death.' Feeding once every two to three months from spring to early fall with a balanced fertilizer, such as a 20-20-20 or 10-10-10, is sufficient, and always apply it to damp soil at the strength recommended on the label.'
This Bonide Houseplant Liquid Plant Food from Amazon (opens in new tab) is a 10-10-10 mix, meaning it contains equal amounts of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. Underwatering is less harmful, so if the leaves and stems are wilting and the soil feels dry, watering should quickly fix the problem. If you catch these pests at an early stage and they are only on a few stems or leaves, the simplest solution is to remove the affected parts. A product such as Mighty Mint Plant Protection from Amazon (opens in new tab) is easy to apply and can be used to kill spider mites, insects and fungal diseases on your houseplants.
'Anthurium andraeanum is my favorite because it’s the easiest to care for, resilient to a missed watering, and adds color to my houseplant collection,' says Lindsay Pangborn, plant expert at Bloomscape. 'Or plant them in the ground in well-draining garden soil, but keep an eye on temperatures and bring them in again before the frosts hit in fall.'