33 Anthurium andraeanum Care Secrets: How to Grow The Flamingo Lily
If you’re searching for indoor plants that offer a splash of color, look no further than the Anthurium andraeanum. This exciting tropical plant is known for its dark green leaves and beautiful red flower, and it’s said to symbolize hospitality. It’s also one of a few easy-care houseplants that’s all the rage right now.
In this article, we’re explaining details on how to grow Anthurium andraeanum, as well as answering some common questions and providing tips to optimize your success.
Like all popular foliage plants with exotic looks, this beautiful Anthurium has some specific care requirements, as well as diseases and pests to look out for. We’ve got the answers you need to help this Flamingo flower thrive.
What Is Anthurium andraeanum?
Anthurium andraeanum, also called Flamingo lily plants, or flamingo flowers, are evergreen tropical perennial plants that grow well just about anywhere, assuming the light’s not too bright.
They have dark green leaves shaped like large glossy hearts. They also have long-lasting red flowers with a creamy yellow spadix. And being from tropical regions, they thrive in high humidity and indirect light.
- Genus Name: Anthurium
- Family: Arums
- Distinguishing Features: long stems, dark green foliage with bright, glossy red flowers, including unusual red spikes
- Common name: Flamingo lily, Painter’s palette
Origin And Family
From the genus Anthurium, the Flamingo lily is native to the wet tropical mountain forests regions of Columbia, Ecuador, and other nearby tropical areas of South America. This Anthurium plant is known for producing significantly large waxy, bright red flowers.
Discovered in 1876 by Edouard François André, this houseplant makes a great addition for any home, assuming you don’t have pets that would take a bite out of this toxic beauty.
Where To Buy
You might be able to find an Anthurium andraeanum plant at your local nursery or home improvement store, but there are a wide variety of options from online sellers, such as Icarus Plants.
Anthurium andraeanum Plant Size
As a houseplant, the Anthurium andraeanum reaches between 14-18 inches in height and 12 inches in width when mature. Because of its height and size, it looks good in a living room or kitchen – or really anywhere that has medium to bright indirect light.
Anthurium andraeanum Care Needs
When properly cared for, your Anthurium andraeanum, like any other houseplant, thrives. The Painter’s palette, which adores humidity and has lovely heart-shaped, drooping leaves, wants relatively moist-to-dry soil throughout the year. That said, you should never have soggy soil.
For most growers, you’ll want to water your Anthurium when you notice the top 1-2″ is completely dry. Allow plenty of time for the water to drain out of the pot’s drain holes. Similarly, in terms of lighting, this lovely plant needs bright indirect light – but can live in lower light areas such as an office space.
Check out the thorough Anthurium care guidelines below for more specific advice.
The growth rate of an Anthurium andraeanum is moderate. At a mature height, it will grow to about 14-18 inches tall, and 12 inches wide.
This stunning plant has adjusted well to indoor living and can thrive in most potting options, but a plastic pot works fine for Anthurium andraeanum.
In terms of pot size, you typically want to use a small-to-medium pot for most plants. Anthuriums like to be a little snug. As long as it has a drainage hole in the bottom of the pot, it should be fine.
You typically need to repot your Anthurium andraeanum every 2-3 years or until you notice that they are outgrowing their pot. If the height is 3-4 times the size of the pot’s diameter, it’s time to find a bigger potting option. When this happens, carefully remove the plant from the pot.
Another main reason to repot your andraeanum is if you suspect it has root rot, which can seriously damage or kill this plant. If you do have root rot, check out this video to see how to best treat it.
But ideally – you should try to prevent root rot. See the water section below to make sure you know the requirements.
In terms of care difficulty, the Anthurium andraeanum is easy-to-moderate. The biggest considerations for this beauty are the well-draining soil and the amount of light it receives.
A moisture control potting soil is ideal for the Flamingo lily. In a perfect state, this plant wants soil with a little charcoal, some perlite, sphagnum moss, peat moss, and even some sand with coarse texture. But seriously – a basic indoor potting mix or a moisture control soil is fine.
Here are some excellent options for soil or potting mix:
Flamingo lilies are humidity-loving plants that need relatively moist soil throughout the year. When watering, try to use room temperature water. Hot or cold water can stress this plant. It’s also best to leave your water out for 24 hours before using it, as this allows time for components of tap water – like fluoride – to escape. Fluoride, which is fine for humans, can stress out some plants.
During the spring and summer, water your plant when you notice the top 1-2″ is completely dry. Water deeply until it drains out the hole in the bottom of the plastic pot. Be sure to toss out the water collection tray to fend off root rot.
In the winter, you won’t need to water as much. Water your plants deeply but less frequently.
This houseplant prefers bright indirect sunlight for approximately four to six hours a day. Too much bright light and its leaves will likely burn. If you don’t have enough light, it likely won’t flower as much (or at all).
It can survive in lower light situations, but again, it may flower less than you’d like in these conditions.
During this plant’s growing season – the spring and summer – fertilize your Painter’s palette once a month using a basic organic liquid fertilizer.
In the non-growing seasons, when plant development naturally slows, you don’t need to fertilize at all.
You’ll want neutral to acidic soils for your pH, somewhere between 5.5-6.5. Moisture control potting soil will already be close to this (perhaps more on the alkaline side), so you shouldn’t need to worry too much.
Overwatering or too much light are the main issues for this houseplant, but if you’re troubleshooting still, you may check the pH of your soil, especially if you’re growing this plant outside or alongside other plants. A simple pH test can help with this.
Propagating Anthurium andraeanum
Propagating a Flamingo lily can be done through a few basic steps and methods. Here are the top ways to propagate this unique plant. The first and most popular is to separate the plant at the roots. Check out this easy way to propagate:
Stem Cuttings In Soil
Another way to propagate your Anthurium andraeanum is through stem tip cuttings.
Spring to summer (or early fall in warmer climates) is the best time to take stem cuttings. For your cuts, choose those with a good rate of development, preferably fresh growth.
Until the Anthurium andraeanum takes root, it’s best to cover the plant with a plastic bag or other enclosure. I just put my cuttings in a room and run a humidifier. You’ll also need to keep the plant warm for healthy root development. For us, we already have a grow light in the space, so it keeps our plants at a toasty temp throughout the day.
Stem Cuttings In Water
A Flamingo lily can be propagated in water. Here is a good video on how to propagate these indoor garden plants using this method:
Humidity And Aeration
Anthurium andraeanum or Painter’s palette enjoys high humidity– often between 60-80%+.
If your home is too dry for your Anthurium (dry leaf tips can be a sign of this) consider getting a humidifier to increase humidity. Another option is placement. Put your plant in a bathroom or kitchen where the humidity is naturally higher.
Warm-to-temperate temperatures are preferable for your Anthurium plant, but it can thrive in a temperature range of 65-80 degrees Fahrenheit.
Anthuriums can survive in slightly lower temperatures, but they don’t love it. If this is the only option, try to ease your plant into the temperature, rather than forcing it there. And please keep them away from things like vents or open windows, especially during colder months.
The Anthurium andraeanum can produce large waxy, bright red flowers with bright red spathes year-round, assuming it’s given proper care.
If you’re noticing fewer flowers (or no flowers), it could be a sign that you aren’t getting enough light, your humidity is insufficient, you’re overwatering, or you’re not giving your plant enough fertilizer. The flowers act as a good gauge for how well you’re caring for this anthurium.
Painter’s palette, which has calcium oxalate crystals in its leaves, is considered toxic to humans, dogs, and cats. If ingested, this plant will cause the following symptoms: diarrhea, drooling, mouth salivation, swelling, seizures, and vomiting.
In some (rare) cases, this plant is considered life-threatening. Contact your veterinarian if your pet has consumed some or all of the plant’s leaves.
Pests, Diseases, And Other Problems
V-shaped lesions on your Anthurium could be a sign of bacterial blight. It can form when the humidity is too high and the soil is too wet. Another sign of this is if the leaves have a strange bronze coloration. You also might see spotted flowers or leaves.
If you just see a few leaves with blight, you can break them off near the edge of the leaf blade to prevent more blight from spreading.
If your whole plant is covered, you need to wrap it in a bag and dispose of it (unfortunately). But it’s better to lose one plant than your entire garden.
That said, the best way to stop blight is to prevent it from happening. Make sure your leaves aren’t getting wet. Water your Anthurium at the roots – not the leaves. If you have a humidifier in the space – or you’re in a room with a lot of humidity – have a fan on the plant to improve airflow.
Lastly, when pruning, always make sure your gardening shears are disinfected.
Black Nose Disease
This is a less common Anthurium disease nowadays, as most modern cultivars have some resistance to Black Nose. But if your plant has it, you’ll likely notice that the flower has a dark brown or black spot on its flower. It can also harm roots, leaves, and stems if given the opportunity.
The best way to treat Black Nose is through a fungicide that has mancozeb as an active ingredient.
Spider mites could potentially be unwelcome visitors in your home. The larvae will not be visible, but the little mites will. During the larval stage, neem can help eradicate them. Home growers can also use an organic pyrethrin spray to get rid of these annoyances.
Scale insects may appear as lumps on the stems or branches of a plant, rather than insects. Once they’ve latched on to a plant, the tiny bugs, which come in green, gray, brown, and black colors, usually stay put.
Care for Light Infestation
You can use a teaspoon of neem oil in water to help keep new scale insects from attacking your wonderful Anthurium if your infestation is on a single plant or part of a single plant.
While neem oil or horticulture oils will not kill everything, they will certainly cause some damage. Another alternative is to introduce scale insect predators, such as ladybugs.
Treated myself yesterday to a new #houseplant. We hope the #AnthuriumAndraeanum has found a #happy #home in our warm sunny #livingroom. FYI the small table is to be changed for a small sideboard/display cabinet once the funds are together 😁 #plants #interior pic.twitter.com/0BSY1ZtNs2— 🌱Sara Turton-Lyndel (@SaraLyndel) September 24, 2020
It’s possible that mealybugs will infest your Anthurium andraeanum. Act quickly if you see these little bugs, which can be identified by the small white puffs they leave behind. A cotton swab dipped in rubbing alcohol can get the mealybugs to release their grip on the Flamingo lily. Neem oil is an alternative, as well.
Several factors can cause Flamingo lilies to become yellow. It could be that it doesn’t get enough sunlight or gets too much or too little water. It could also be a sign that your plant needs fertilizer.
Yellow leaves should be pruned to encourage new growth and prevent deterioration from spreading.
Brown Leaf Tips
If the tops of your Flamingo lily start to turn brown, it could be an indication that it’s getting too much sunlight – or that your home doesn’t hit that 60-80% humidity level.
Root rot is a particularly common cause of death for Flamingo lily. Indoor gardeners can be a little excessive with their watering – or they can fail to provide proper drainage for their potting soil.
These are the two most common mechanisms by which root rot is caused. Given the difficulty of treating root rot and other plant diseases, prevention is the best course of action in most cases.
One of the most straightforward strategies for preventing root rot in Anthurium andraeanum is to carefully check the amount of water that it receives. The primary cause of this frequently fatal condition is an excessive amount of water.
Aphids can eat the leaves and leave a mark on them, resulting in black and brown patches.
Use an insecticidal soap or neem oil to treat aphids, or prepare your own with a dish detergent.
Use a product free of fragrances, which could harm plants. Combine the soap and water in a weak concentration (starting with 1 teaspoon per gallon and increasing as necessary). Spray the plants, paying special attention to the undersides of the leaves.
Clean Air Plant
The Anthurium andraeanum was also part of the NASA clean air study, which looked at popular plants for improving air quality. The andraeanum was shown to remove formaldehyde, xylene, toluene, and ammonia from the air, making it one of the best air-purifying houseplants out there.
Lovely red Anthurium (Anthurium andraeanum) also called flamingo lily, painter's palette and tailflower. (Due to the unique spadix that resembles a tail.)#Anthuriumandraeanum #tropicalflowers #painterspalette #tailflower #flamingolily pic.twitter.com/ifABPsu7TS— Dream Yard Team (@DreamYardTeam) September 11, 2020
Love Flamingo lily? While this kind of Anthurium, is great, there are so many more options available for your home. Here are some other similar plant options you should try:
Anthurium veitchii – Called the King Anthurium, this plant is known for its massive, corrugated leaves.
Anthurium warocqueanum – Called Queen Anthurium, this beautiful plant sports dark-green velvety leaves, and silvery-white veins.
Anthurium crystallinum – The crystallinum is one of our recent favorites. It has large heart-shaped leaves and sparkly white veins that give it its name.
Anthurium magnificum – The magnificum, much like its name sounds, is magnificent. It has massive dark green leaves with a leathery texture.
Anthurium Scherzerianum – This Anthurium is a bit different than most. It has lance-shaped leaves that come to a point. Much like the andraeanum, it has waxy red flowers – but with a pinkish spadix. It also sometimes gets the name flamingo flower.
Anthurium regale – This plant has heart-shaped velvety leaves that are also fantastically large. This is a very expensive Anthurium on the market.
We can’t say it enough – the Anthurium andraeanum is wonderful if you’re looking for an interesting houseplant. It’s beautiful, pretty easy to care for, and it lights up a space. This tropical plant will likely be a fan favorite in your collection.
Do you have an Anthurium andraeanum? We want to see it! Please send pictures to [email protected], and we may highlight them in one of our articles.
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