30 Secrets To Growing Anthurium Clarinervium Plant (Velvet Cardboard)
If you love exotic foliage plants that put on a show, you’ll fall hard for Anthurium Clarinervium, also known as Velvet Cardboard. While not necessarily a low-maintenance plant, this stunning aroid has the most beautiful dark green leaves with white striking veins running along the surface.
We’re doing a deep dive on this interesting plant in this article, giving you the complete care guide to growing it without stress. When you’re done with this post, this Anthurium won’t just be surviving – it will be thriving. Let’s get started.
A quick word of caution – this plant is all the rage right now, meaning it’s difficult to find and pretty expensive. If you want to move full-steam ahead on your clarinervium goals, more power to you. We recommend you purchase it through a certified online seller on Etsy.
Background And Description
The plant comes from the Araceae family and the genus Anthurium. It’s an epiphyte, which means it grows on other plants and trees via aerial roots. It also means that it has some special soil requirements, which we’ll discuss in-depth below.
Originating from Southern Mexico, Anthuriums are tropical plants. Clarinervium has wide dark-green velvety leaves with veins across the surface.
While most aroids flower, the Anthurium Clarinervium’s blooms aren’t much to write home about.
But that aside, this plant species is one of the most beautiful on the market. Like other rare plants, it’s an accent piece that any indoor grower should consider for their indoor garden.
Anthurium clarinervium For Sale
The Anthurium Clarinervium is one of the most sought-after indoor houseplants due to its large, dark, heart-shaped leaves that are velvety with prominent crystal-like veining. Because of its popularity and rarity, it’s a bit expensive.
You can buy a Velvet Cardboard plant through Etsy, one of our favorite places to shop for indoor plants.
They arrive in surprisingly secure cardboard packages, and they ship quickly.
You can also likely find this Anthurium in a local nursery, but it may cost you a pretty penny.In terms of price, here’s the skinny on the online stores. The clarinervium is on the more expensive side. For a small plant (in a 2” pot), you’ll likely pay $80+. A larger plant could set you back $300 or more.
Anthurium Clarinervium Care
This beautiful houseplant requires a little bit of tender loving anthurium care. Let’s take a more in-depth look at this plant’s needs, including tips to get healthy leaves.
Do you have a smaller space but big Anthurium goals? The clarinervium is a smaller growing species, which makes it perfect for the home. At its max height, it’s around 2 feet high, and the leaves grow to about 6″ or a little larger.
Care Level: Moderate Difficulty
This houseplant isn’t as easy to grow as, say, a purple waffle plant, but it’s absolutely doable. The biggest considerations for this tropical beauty are the potting mix and the water requirements. Is it brain surgery? No. Do you need a green thumb? Maybe.
If this is your first go at anthuriums, perhaps consider a slightly more affordable option, such as Anthurium crystallinum. It looks about the same, you can get some great options for it on Etsy, and you can hone your skills before you drop a couple Benjamins.
If you’re looking for an easier plant to grow that’s also popular right now, start with the Philodendron birkin.
What’s The Difference Between Anthurium crystallinum And Anthurium clarinervium?
Just a quick note. We should point out the differences between crystallinum and clarinervium. They look very similar.
The laymen won’t know the difference between these two plants. But crystallinum has narrower leaves that are a brighter green. Clarverium has wider dark green leaves and grows a little slower than its counterpart.
Anthuriums are epiphytes. Like all epiphytic plants, you need to have amazing drainage – just having good drainage isn’t good enough.
To do this right, you want to start with a potting soil that’s high in organic matter with either a sphagnum moss or a peat-moss base. If it has perlite or coco coir in it, that’s an added bonus.
This should be about ⅔ of your soil makeup. The last third should just be orchid bark, which helps perfect the drainage needs of this plant.
Since they grow in acidic soil outdoors, they need similar conditions in your home. In terms of soil requirements, you should aim for a pH of 5.5 to 6.5. If you’re looking for some tips to lower the pH of your soil, start with this article.
You want a fertilizer that lacks urea, and the best time to fertilize is during this plant’s growing season, between spring and summer.
Start by adding fertilizer every other time you water this plant during the growing season. If it’s starting to look a little flimsy, up your fertilizing every time you water.
In the colder months and the winter season in general, you likely won’t need to fertilize your clarinervium. You certainly won’t need as much fertilizer as you would during the spring or summer months.
An all-purpose fertilizer will do the job, but a houseplant fertilizer is usually recommended, as it will have the right mix of nutrients for your indoor growing needs.
Anthurium plants generally tend to have a better root system in a low plastic pot with good drainage. That said, this isn’t a requirement. A clay pot or a terracotta pot works fine, as well. The most-used pot sizes are 5, 7, and 8 inches. And while it may seem obvious, please make sure that you have a hole in the bottom of your pot.
The lack of drainage is the leading killer of Anthurium clarinervium. Make sure your soil, pot, and water help your plant grow rather than cause it to die.
Anthurium clarinervium is a slower grower, so it won’t become root-bound as fast as some plants. That said, if it does become root-bound, it could quickly wilt.
You typically want to repot it every 2-3 years or when it has outgrown its current pot. Repotting encourages your plants to grow faster.
The velvet cardboard plant wants to be watered a moderate amount – every three days or so during the summer. They will need less water during the winter and fall months.
Like all plants, balance is key. Too much water can cause root rot, while too little water can cause wilting. The general rule for watering an Anthurium is that you should only water when the potting mix’s top 1” to 2” (2.5 – 5 cm) is dry. Water thoroughly. You should have evenly moist soil.
If you want to raise a healthy plant, the best way is not to use tap water. There are a few common chemicals in tap water that aren’t harmful to humans but can inhibit your Anthurium’s growth.
If tap water is your only option, here’s what you do. Set aside a gallon of water from your sink in a large bowl. Let it sit for 24 hours. During this time, the harmful chemicals will escape the water, and it will be at room temperature. Anthurium doesn’t like cold water, and it doesn’t like tap water. This option gets you two birds with one stone.
Should You Mist Your Anthurium Clarinervium
This plant loves to be misted. In the summer, misting the entire plant will help it keep its gloss, give it enough moisture and help avoid damage.
In terms of light requirements, this is a plant that’s particularly sensitive to light and heat. It can’t survive in direct sunlight or extreme heat. If exposed to too much heat or high temperature, it can develop burns. In ideal conditions, it grows well in bright indirect sunlight.
The extreme rays of a south-facing window are likely too much for this Anthurium unless you live in a city where nearby buildings lessen the light. An east or west-facing window is ideal for this houseplant.
If that’s not enough for your Anthurium clarinervium, you may need to look into grow light options. Be very careful if you’re using grow lights, as bright lights could quickly burn this exotic beauty.
Humidity And Air Circulation
The Anthurium clarinervium requires a humidity of at least 50% – but typically does best in high humidity.
You can help your Anthurium clarinervium avoid damage in the summer months by misting it until the topsoil gets moist. You should also keep this plant in a humid bathroom during dry seasons.
If you see brown tips on your plants, it’s almost certainly a sign that your humidity levels aren’t high enough for this green room plant. Remember, Anthuriums are common to tropical forests of Central America, Northern South America, and several Caribbean islands. These are places with higher humidity, and you’re trying to emulate that with your growing practices.
A good humidifier can help you increase your home’s humidity if this is a concern.
Dry air – such as from a vent – can also be damaging to this plant. Keep it away from anywhere with an air conditioner or central heating draft.
Plants that grow in nature on the side of cliffs and rocks, and trees require air circulation. Air circulation is favorable for all plants, but especially epiphytes like Anthuriums.
Like most tropical plants, anthuriums prefer warmer temperatures. You can try keeping them in your sunroom or some other warm place, but don’t expose them to extreme cold if you can avoid it.
This Velvet Cardboard Anthurium – and most Anthurium species – doesn’t deal with change well, so try to avoid extreme temperature drops or spikes if you can help it.
If you’re growing Anthuriums, the ideal temperature is around 70-90F (21-32C).
If temperatures in your home are expected to drop to under 50 degrees F, you should purchase a heat pack to keep them warm.
How To Propagate Anthurium Clarinervium
Anthurium clarinervium is pretty easy to propagate. The easiest way to propagate it is by dividing the root mass of a mother plant into separate clumps. Each new division must contain at least one leaf, but the more leaves there are, the better chance you have at a successful propagation and a new plant.
Can You Grow Anthuriums From Cuttings?
Anthurium plants can be propagated through stem cuttings, which are hardy and resilient. Stem cuttings can be rooted in water or perlite or planted directly into a potting mix.
How To Propagate Anthuriums From Water
The plant contains crystals of Calcium Oxalate in all of its parts. If ingested by a human, it is toxic and will create ulceration in the throat and esophagus and other health problems.
For pets like cats and dogs, chewing or biting into this plant will release these crystals, causing tissue penetration and irritation of the mouth and GI tract. For the most part, this does not mean your plant is deadly to your fur babies. In most cases, they will have the following symptoms.
- Oral pain
- Loss of appetite
If you or your pets ingest Anthurium clarinervium, reach out to poison control or the ASPCA, respectively.
The leaves of the anthurium clarinervium plant grow to between 8” and 10” (20 – 25 cm) as a beautiful indoor plant. Their growing season is in the Spring and Summer. You shouldn’t expect to see more than a new leaf or two during each growing season, even at its fastest.
Most anthurium species, including the clarinervium, have slow growth to moderate growth and reach a height of 1 to 2 feet (30 – 60 cm).
Flowers And Berries
Many Anthuriums produce beautiful bright flowers – clarinervium isn’t one of those varieties. The Anthurium clarinervium flower has small blooms that are light green and have violet hues. This sounds pretty nice, but it’s nothing to write home about.
Having the blooms on the plant won’t hurt anything, but you should cut the clarinervium flower as they start to wilt. A wilting flower can make an otherwise beautiful houseplant look ugly.
But trust us – this beautiful species doesn’t need flowers to stand out. Those sharp white veins are a show stopper.
How To Pollinate Anthurium clarinervium
I’ve noticed a few people asking about this, which is a little odd. There are several Anthuriums you might want to pollinate – but clarinervium has pretty pitiful flowers that shouldn’t be a large focus. If you want to pollinate an Anthurium, though, here are the basics:
Apply the pollen on the spadix (a spike of minute flowers closely arranged) and rub it up and down and around with a brush. Do this for a few mornings in a row. Wait for the berries to form.
Regular pruning is good for the Anthurium clarinervium plant. These plants have sturdy stems and thick leaves. They also grow new leaves even when they only have four. But it is not advisable to prune the plant vigorously as it can cause damage.
Do You Need A Moss Pole?
While Anthurium clarinervium is epiphytic, it is also considered lithophytic, meaning it’s commonly grown on rocks, such as limestone. It won’t climb a tree the same way a monstera deliciosa might. Because of this, a moss pole isn’t typically recommended for this plant.
Diseases, Pests, And Common Problems
There are a handful of reasons your velvet cardboard has yellowing leaves. Here are the most common reasons.
- The space is too dark – move it closer to a window. If you’re already in a north-facing window, try moving it to the east or west-facing window.
- You’re using tap water- tap water isn’t usually recommended, as chemicals like fluoride and chloride can affect growth. Let your water sit out for a night to let these chemicals escape the water.
- You’re overwatering
- You need to fertilize more – make this the last thing you try. It’s less common than the other options.
Small leaves can be a sign that you’re not giving your clarinervium enough light. This can cause small leaves or no leaves to develop.
Depending on the fungus, this is usually a sign that you are watering too much or too little. To get rid of it, remove the top two inches of soil and replace it with a fresh batch of your soil mix and orchid bark.
One of the most common pests to infest your Anthurium is the fungus gnat.
One option to help reduce fungus gnats is bottom watering, which is where you water your plant by placing the pot in a bowl with water. The roots absorb the water for about 10 minutes, and then the soil in the pot is less moist.
If you see some nasty eight-legged pests attacking your clarinervium, you probably have an infestation of spider mites. These little nasties are sucking the sap right out of your plant, which inhibits photosynthesis. If left untreated, spider mites will damage and eventually kill Anthurium – and potentially your other indoor plants.
To treat spider mites, start by carefully rinsing your plant’s leaves and stems under the sink. This can help remove the spider mites. Then follow up with an insecticide, such as neem oil or a stronger insecticidal soap.
If you see brown tips on your Anthurium clarinervium, it’s likely a sign that you don’t have enough humidity in your growing space. Correct this with a humidifier or place your plant in a more humid spot, such as a bathroom or kitchen.
If you have leaves that are entirely brown (or primarily brown), remove them. Don’t yank the leaves, as this could hurt the plant. Snip the leaves with gardening shears.
Other Popular Anthuriums
There are many popular anthurium plants out there. Here are a few of our favorites in the genus anthurium:
- King Anthurium
- Anthurium Pedatoradiatum
- Anthurium crystallinum
- Anthurium ‘Ace of Spades”
- General Anthurium (flamingo flowers)
- Queen Anthurium
- Anthurium andraeanum
- Anthurium Radicans
The Anthurium clarinervium is a great exotic house plant that we highly recommend. While it might be slightly more challenging to care for than the traditional option, it’s a vibrant option that will light up your space.