How To Actually Grow Anthurium Crystallinum: 37 Secrets And Care Guide
Anthurium crystallinum is a beautiful plant that’s becoming increasingly popular in indoor gardening circles around the world. While Anthuriums, as a whole genus, can be a little tricky to care for, the crystallinum, with its exotic and velvety leaves, is fairly sturdy and can thrive with proper care. Known for its anterior lobes and coppery-colored undersides, this is a gorgeous specimen that we know you’ll love.
In this Anthurium crystallinum care guide, we’re providing you with all the tips to buy, grow, propagate and care for this truly stunning houseplant.
What Is Anthurium crystallinum?
The Anthurium crystallinum is also called the Crystal Anthurium plant and Crystal Laceleaf. It has round, velvety leaves with white veins cascading from the base. The backs of the leaves seem to glisten as if covered in hundreds of tiny crystals.
It grows well in rooms with bright indirect sunlight and high humidity, such as a bathroom or kitchen.
Common Name: Crystal Anthurium; Crystal Laceleaf
Origin: Tropical Regions of Central and South America
Toxicity: Toxic to cats and dogs
Where Is Anthurium crystallinum From?
This Crystal Anthurium belongs to the Araceae family and is part of the Anthurium genus. It’s native to South America and Central America, making it home in rainforests across Panama and Peru. A majestic indoor plant, the Anthurium crystallinum has become a favorite for many indoor growers and is prized for its large leaves.
These elaborate plants have been around for a long time; Gustav Wallis first described them in the late 19th century. While it can bloom with proper care, the flower is pretty insignificant, and the plant is mostly grown for its foliage.
How To Identify crystallinum?
Anthurium crystallinum is often misidentified as either Anthurium magnificum or Anthurium clarinervium. At first glance, these tropical plants seem similar to the crystallinum, but they are actually pretty easy to identify side by side. Fortunately, the care needs are pretty similar for all three plants, give or take a few requirements.
Anthurium crystallinum Vs. clarinervium
The main difference between the clarinervium and crystallinum is the leaf shape and color. The crystallinum has a narrower heart-shaped green leaf with whitish-yellow veins. The Anthurium clarinervium has a wider heart-shaped leaf that’s more of a forest green color. It has a whiter vein structure than the crystallinum.
Anthurium crystallinum Vs. Anthurium magnificum
It’s incredibly tricky to see the difference between the crystallinum and the magnificum when they’re not side by side. The magnificum is a slightly darker shade of green, although it’s a bit shinier than crystallinum. It also has a more leather-like feel than the crystallinum.
Anthurium crystallinum Variations
We should note that Anthurium as a genus is known for having variations, even within a cultivar, and not every leaf of every specimen will look identical.
Anthurium crystallinum For Sale
You may be able to find Anthurium crystallinum at a local nursery, though it is considered rare. Etsy is also a great alternative that I like to use. We get some amazing plant options there.
This is a pretty expensive houseplant, with even small options costing $100 or more.
But our new favorite place to buy plants is Icarus Plant shop, which has a good selection of Anthuriums and other plants (although it currently doesn’t have crystallinum). You can save 30% on plant purchases when you use our link today.
Anthurium crystallinum Plant Size
The Anthurium crystallinum grows to about 30-60″ tall as a houseplant and about 15-20″ in width. This beautiful perennial epiphyte grows at a moderate rate and normally flourishes when placed in high-humidity locations with several hours of bright indirect light. It is also known to grown in nature on the sides of rocks and hills, meaning that it also grow terrestrially.
It grows faster as a young plant and may need more frequent repottings. For mature plants, the growth rate slows down a bit and it will need fewer repottings.
Anthurium crystallinum Care Needs
Crystal Laceleaf loves bright indirect light and is relatively moist at the top of the soil but dry further down the soil.
During the summertime, you should water this plant when you stick your finger in the soil, pull it back out, and don’t see soil clinging to your finger. Water deeply until it drains out the hole in the bottom of the pot. Be sure to toss out the water collection tray to fend off root rot.
Check out these specific care tips for getting started with this rare houseplant.
In terms of care difficulty, the Anthurium crystallinum is moderately difficult to care for. The biggest considerations for this beauty are its light, humidity, and soil requirements.
Compared to other Anthuriums, crystallinum is a bit easier to grow. While not as easy as taking care of a purple waffle plant or coleus canina, it’s still doable – even if you don’t naturally have a green thumb.
Most Anthurium species have a slow-to-moderate growth rate, and that holds true for Anthurium Crystallinum.
The Laceleaf is actually a pretty fast grower as a younger plant, but the growth rate slows as it matures.
The Crystal Anthurium plant grows between 30-60″ in height. At maturity, they reach 15-20″ in width. Their growing season is in the spring and summer.
For a healthy plant, you can expect new leaves every 4-5 weeks.
Is crystallinum A Climbing Plant?
The Anthurium crystallinum is an epiphyte with aerial roots that loves to climb on trees in its native rainforests – and anywhere outdoors in zones 10 and above. Indoors, it grows well on a moss pole, which can give this large-leafed plant the support it craves.
When choosing the right pot size, you can use a medium-to-large container. Most potting materials, including a terracotta pot or a plastic pot, work well.
However, we can’t emphasize enough how important it is that your pot has proper drainage. Make sure there are drainage holes in the pot. Anthuriums don’t like wet feet, and this is especially true for crystallinum. Root rot is one of the primary killers for this stunning houseplant variety.
Only choose a pot that has one (or preferably more) drainage holes. Good drainage is key for this lovely plant.
The Crystal Anthurium can survive and do well in an airy, well-draining commercial potting soil. That said, a premium Anthurium plant potting mix or an orchid potting mix is preferred.
If you are going to make your own potting/soil mix, we recommend a soil mixture that has one part perlite, one part coconut coir, one part sand, one part peat moss, one part pine bark, two parts orchid mix, and mixed with a handful of compost. You want your Anthurium’s roots to be able to breathe well, so you want your mixture to be airy.
Remember, you want a growing medium that supports crystallinum’s soil wetness preferences, which we’ll dive into in the watering section.
A quality, well-draining soil is a good option for this sometimes tricky houseplant. Here are some good options:
It’s important to plan ahead for your Anthurium Crystallinum and repot it as needed. Assuming you start growing a young Laceleaf in a medium-to-large pot, you’ll still likely need to repot every two years.
As it matures and growth slows, you may only need to repot a bit less – every 2-3 years.
In between repottings, fertilize and freshen up your plant’s soil by adding a premium Anthurium plant potting mix. This will keep your crystallinum feeling happy and healthy.
For this crystallinum, you’ll need a soil pH of around 6.0-7.0, which is considered neutral to slightly acidic soil.
A regular potting mix might be a hair low for the Crystal Laceleaf plant. To raise the pH, add calcitic or dolomitic lime, wood ashes, or baking soda if necessary.
While it would be pretty uncommon to find a new potting mix with a pH that’s naturally too high for crystallinum. But if you’re using garden soil or something that has too high of a pH, you can use sulfur or aluminum sulfate to decrease it.
Conduct a pH test to see if the soil has a low pH. There are low-cost tests available on the internet or at a garden center.
Anthurium crystallinums are epiphytes in the rainforest. This tells us a couple of things right off the bat. They like lots of water – but their roots are exposed, meaning they dry almost immediately. So how do you keep your indoor crystallinum – which lives in a pot – dry and wet at the same time?
Well, it’s tricky. The first factor is that you have a soil that’s incredibly airy (see our soil section), as well as a pot that drains well. This beautiful plant likes the surface of the soil to be a bit moist, but it needs dry dirt near the roots. This means you’ll need more frequent waterings – every 3-5 days – but not deep waterings. In the winter, you can water the Crystal Anthurium less – only once every 1-2 weeks or so.
Anthuriums as a whole are a little finicky around tap water too. They often develop burns or leaf spots because of the chemicals in our water. In a perfect state, use tepid rainwater or tepid distilled water on these lovely indoor plants.
If that’s not an option, leave your water out 24 hours before using it on the crystallinum. While not the ideal state for this plant, this should give the water enough time to release most of the chemicals.
Another fun fact – if you’re a fish owner – is to use water from an aquarium. Anthuriums love some fresh fish manue mixed with water. Some growers have even tried growing Anthuriums aquaponically using LECA. This is actually pretty genius, as it exposes the roots and provides the plant with access to fish droppings.
Crystal Anthurium Light Requirements
Anthurium crystallinum prefers bright indirect light for approximately 12-16 hours daily, which is a lot of light. Remember, you’re attempting to replicate its natural habitat. A. crystallinum grows beneath the canopy, so the light is subdued. And being near the equator, it’s used to long days.
In terms of a percentage, some growers will say you need 70-80% direct sunlight.
Honestly, though, a lot of indoor growers – especially those in colder climates with less sun – should test placing their plant in a south-facing window. At the very least, see how it reacts first. You’d be surprised, but I’ve noticed that a lot of “indirect-light” plants seem perfectly happy in direct light.
For many growers, a grow light (you may need to dim it with a sheer curtain) might be the best option for this Anthurium cultivar. Natural sunlight is usually better, but artificial light can do in a pinch.
If you see burn marks with yellow spots, you’ll know your Crystal Anthurium is getting too much direct sunlight. On the other hand, if this plant doesn’t get enough light, its stems will become scraggly and leggy, and growth will slow. Proper lighting is one of the most important growth factors for crystallinum.
Drooping and yellow leaves can indicate too much light, but they can also indicate a lack of proper fertility. See our section below on fertilizer.
In terms of fertilizer, a diluted liquid orchid fertilizer that’s high in phosphorus is great for the Anthurium crystallinum, such as Espoma Orchid. A basic slow-release fertilizer can work well too. In the spring and summer, you should be feeding the plant every six to eight weeks at 1/4 to 1/2 strength.
Some growers prefer organic fertilizers, but a chemical fertilizer works fin.
You typically shouldn’t fertilize at all during winter.
Similarily, you can give your Anthurium some crushed organic matter about once a month to help with growth. Again, this is simulating how its epiphytic roots would receive nutrients in the rainforest. A simple compost can be an excellent added nutrient source to add to your plant.
How To Propagate Anthurium crystallinum
Propagating a Crystal Anthurium is easy and can be done through a few basic steps. Here is the top way to propagate this unique plant, even for beginner gardeners.
The best way to propagate this Anthurium is through a process called division, where you separate young plantlets as they appear next to the mother plant. I should point out that propagation for this plant shouldn’t happen until it’s at least a year old.
First, remove the mother plant from the pot (I would recommend doing this in the Spring) and gently pull the roots of the new plant and the mother until they are separated. Then, plant the new Anthurium in its own pot with soil. If they just aren’t budging, you can use sterile clippers to get the plants apart. Make sure you return the mother plant to its original pot, and you should swap out soil to give it access to new nutrients.
Stem Cuttings In Soil
One of the most convenient techniques to propagate your Anthurium crystallinum is through stem tip cuttings in soil. You can sometimes buy cuttings from online sellers on Etsy, or you can follow these steps to make your own.
- At the base of the plant, you may notice that each stem is actually its own node.
- Pick a stem with at least a single healthy leaf (I usually recommend two healthy leaves, though)
- Using a sterile knife, cut diagonally to separate the node, stem, and leaf from the rest of the mother plant.
- Coat the bottom of the cutting in a rooting hormone to increase the chances of success and fend off root rot.
- Place your cutting in a small pot. Use a combination of potting mix and sphagnum moss for your grow medium.
- Maintain a high degree of humidity around the cutting by keeping the soil moist. Until the Anthurium crystallinum produces new roots, you’ll also need to keep the plant warm, around 75 degrees Fahrenheit, for healthy root development.
The best time to propagate A. crystallinum is in the Spring.
Humidity And Ventilation
Anthurium crystallinum or Crystal Laceleaf is an elaborate perennial epiphyte that prefers high humidity– often between 70 and 80%. Because this is exceptionally high for a home, I recommend a few things. First, it’s easiest to grow this plant near a kitche or in a bathroom, where humidity is naturally higher.
And if you’re concerned about dry air or if you see brown edges on your plants, consider using a humidifier. A single humidifier can greatly increase your home’s overall humidity.
All that said, you probably don’t need to have your home at 70%+ humidity all the time. Keeping it around 55% or so is usually enough to grow your Anthurium. Will it grow better in higher humidity? Probably. But if your home is above 50% all the time, it’s also the perfect environment for mold. I don’t want that for you, so start with 50% and ease your way up in the Anthurium is still struggling.
If you’re using a humidifier, set up an oscillating fan to keep the air flow moving, as this helps fend off bacteria and fungus (which can plague an Anthurium).
Warm temperatures are preferable for your Crystal Anthurium plant, and it thrives in a temperature range Warm temperatures are preferable for your Crystal Anthurium plant, and it thrives in a temperature range of 65-80 degrees Fahrenheit (18-26 degrees C). At minimum, you need to keep your plant above 55 degrees Fahrenheit. But please do your best to shoot for at least 70.
Like all Anthuriums, they don’t do incredibly well with quick changes – keep them away from drafty areas such as vents or open windows in winter. You should shoot for a constant temperature.
While the majority of this article is about indoor growing, you can grow this plant in hardiness zones that stay to around 50 degrees Fahrenheit in the winter. If you live somewhere colder than this, you should plan to overwinter the plant.
To recap, it’s best to put them in a warm area with humid air and keep them there.
While most indoor gardeners grow Anthurium crystallinum for the unique foliage, these plants can also produce long greenish-gold flowers with proper care. Typically, its flowers are known for their green to purplish-brown spathes and the spadix having a faint, pleasant aroma.
If you aren’t seeing new flowers, it could be a sign that your plant isn’t getting enough sunlight.
Toxic To Pets
Pet owners beware. According to the ASPCA, the Anthurium crystallinum is considered toxic to dogs and cats, as well as other Anthuriums in the family Araceae. The leaves have insoluble calcium oxalates, which can cause the following symptoms in your fur babies if ingested: oral pain, vomiting, pawing at the mouth, drooling, and decreased appetite.
That said, in most cases, this exotic plant is not considered life-threatening. To be safe, though, always contact your local veterinarian as soon as possible if you think they’ve eaten part of the plant.
y’all, the ROOTS on this Anthurium crystallinum!! plus two new growth points and a new leaf trying to work it’s way out!! 🤩 pic.twitter.com/OmcVvUEoIM— Kate (@katepropagates) July 23, 2021
Pests, Diseases, And Common Problems
Even with expert care, things can go wrong from time to time. Pests, diseases, and general problems pop up now and again. As a whole, the Anthurium crystallinum is a disease and pest-resistant plant, but it does have a few issues now and again.
Review these tips for diagnosing common Crystal Anthurium problems and discover ways to return your plant to a healthy condition, assuming it’s not too far gone!
Pests, rapid changes in temperature, overwatering, inadequate sunshine exposure, low humidity, and other factors are among the most prevalent causes of curling Crystallinum leaves. Start troubleshooting, starting with potential overwatering, to figure out what’s causing the curl.
For the Anthurium, thrips could be your biggest problem. They produce brown streaks on the flowers and leaves and can even disfigure the plant. Prune affected leaves or flowers where you see thrips or use a mild insecticide like neem oil to get rid of them.
Check out this helpful guide on managing thrips from the University of Minnesota Extension.
Spider mites are incredibly annoying, especially when they’re on a plant as beautiful as the crystallinum. The larvae will be invisible to the human eye, but the little mites can be seen. Neem oil mixed with water or some other kind of pesticide can help you get rid of them.
Fungus gnats are a pretty common pest for Anthuriums. These tiny insects feed on organic matter in your growing media. Their larvae have a nasty tendency to devour roots, which is bad news for your crystallinum.
Hydrogen peroxide kills fungus gnat larvae on touch, making it a rapid and effective approach to get rid of them. Soak your soil in a solution made up of four parts water and one part hydrogen peroxide.
And when in doubt, purchase some sticky paper, which can put a dent in their population. Paired with hydrogen peroxide, you can kill them in no time.
Scale insects suck the sap from your houseplants, stealing their nutrients with each meal. They tend to live in drier environments, so they shouldn’t be as common on a crystallinum unless you’re underwatering. They are oval-shaped bugs that cling to your leaves. Neem oil mixed with water can kill most of these little terrors.
You could also introduce predatory insects, like the ladybug to help you in your efforts.
Aphids are known for eating leaves and leaving brownish-yellow splotches. You can get rid of a light infestation by simply spraying the plant with cold water. That said, water on the leaves can cause fungal problems for the Anthurium, so it’s best to dry out your plant afterward using a fan.
Another option is to use a regular insecticidal soap or neem oil to treat aphids. You can even use a dish detergent (free of fragrances).
Combine the soap and water in a weak concentration (starting with 1 teaspoon per gallon). Spray the plants, paying special attention to the undersides of the leaves.
Mealybugs infestations are somewhat common on Anthurium crystallinum, especially if you have a lot of different houseplants. If you find these little parasites (often identified with white puffs on the leaves), act promptly. Take a cotton swab bathed in isopropyl alcohol, and rub it over the plant. Neem oil also works well as a prophylactic spray.
Brown Leaf Tips
If the tops of your Crystal Anthurium start to turn brown, it could be an indication that it’s getting too much sunlight – or that your home isn’t humid enough. In less common situations, it could mean that you’ve overused fertilizer or your plant isn’t getting enough water.
Anthuriums are also prone to some blight, which we’ll talk about below. This can appear as brown leaf tips, as well.
Several factors can cause a Crystal Anthurium plant to become yellow. It could be that it doesn’t get enough sunlight or gets too much or too little water.
V-shaped sores on your Anthurium may indicate bacterial blight. When the humidity is too high and the soil is excessively wet, it can form. If the leaves have a weird bronze hue, this is another sign that your plant is infected with blight.
If you just see a few blighted leaves (often caused by wet leaves), break them off around the edge of the leaf blade to avoid further spread of the blight.
If your entire plant has been covered, you may need to throw it out. I know this sounds terrible, but losing one plant is preferable to losing your entire garden.
Having said that, the greatest method to stop blight is to prevent it from occurring in the first place. Check that your leaves aren’t becoming moist.
Water your Anthurium crystallinum from the roots rather than the leaves. If you have a humidifier in the space – or if you’re in a humid environment – put a fan on the plant to promote ventilation.
Finally, before pruning, ensure your gardening shears are clean.
Black Nose Disease
Because most current cultivars have some resistance to Black Nose, this is a less prevalent Anthurium disease. However, if your plant has it, you’ll notice that the flower has a dark brown or black blotch on it. If given the chance, it can also harm roots, leaves, and stems.
The most effective technique to treat Black Nose is with a fungicide containing the active component mancozeb.
Avoiding excessive wetness or dryness in the soil is the most important aspect of caring for Anthurium crystallinum. Root rot and other fungal diseases, as well as bacterial infection, can be caused by an excessive amount of moisture in the soil.
In order to keep a healthy Crystal Anthurium, you must provide it with adequate hydration. If you provide it with too much moisture, the plant may succumb to any number of diseases that could otherwise be introduced. It is also vitally necessary to ensure that the soil is well-aerated, which improves drainage.
Plants Similar To Anthurium crystallinum
Do you like crystallinum and want to try other amazing Anthurium varieties? Here are some of our favorites.
Anthurium clarinervium – Also called Velvet Cardboard, this stunning aroid has dark green leaves and striking white veins. The leaves look very similar to the crystallinum at a first glance. But with a closer inspection, you may notice that it has wider heart-shaped leaves.
Anthurium warocqueanum – This lovely plant, known as Queen Anthurium, has dark-green velvety leaves with silvery-white veins.
Anthurium andraeanum – Called Flamingo Lilies or Painter’s Palette, the andraeanum is a variety of Anthurium known for its long-lasting bright red flowers and yellow spadix.
Anthurium veitchii – This plant, known as the King Anthurium, is distinguished by its gigantic, corrugated leaves.
Anthurium magnificum – The magnificum is, as its name suggests, magnificent. It has large dark green leaves that are leathery in texture. This Anthurium is eerily similar to a crystallinum. I need to have them side by side to see the difference.
With its beautiful, intricately veined leaves, it’s easy to see why the Anthurium crystallinum is the talk of the indoor gardening world. With a little care, you can easily add these tropical beauties to your plant collection.
Have you been growing crystallinum or other Anthuriums? We really want to see them. Please send pictures of your process to [email protected]. We may add them in an article!
And do you love growing guides as much as we do? Check out these other options below.