How to Take Care of an Anthurium


The genus anthurium includes more than 800 species of this tropical flowering plant. They are native to New World tropical areas from Mexico to Uruguay. Anthuriums include the common "little boy flower" to lesser-known varieties that are specific to tropical regions. They are a popular houseplant; you can grow them indoors in all climate zones and outdoors if you live in USDA hardiness zones 10 or higher.

Step 1

Plant your anthurium in a pot with a hole for water drainage. Use a soil mixture with an equal percentage of peat moss, pine bark and perlite or vermiculite.

Step 2

Water your anthurium twice or more each week to keep the soil moist at all times. Anthurium plants can be stunted if they become too dry, but soggy soil can cause root rot.

Step 3

Give your anthurium filtered sunlight or artificial light. In their native habitats, most anthuriums grow in the shade of a forest canopy. Flowers will not form if they do not receive sufficient light.

Step 4

Fertilize your anthurium several months after you plant it. Dilute a solution of a balanced fertilizer having a 3:1:2 ratio to 1/4 strength. Repeat your application of fertilizer every two to three months.

Step 5

Control common houseplant pests such as aphids, scale insect, mealy bugs and thrips by spraying your plant with insecticidal soap when they appear. Monitor your plant for any early signs of insects and when you find them, wipe the foliage, top and bottom, with a damp cloth and spray it gently with plain water.

Step 6

Control fungal diseases such as Rhizoctinia, which can cause stem rot, by avoiding over watering and humidity that is too high. Also, be sure to grow your plant in well-drained soil. You can purchase and use a commercially available fungicide to treat this disease if it occurs.

Tips and Warnings

  • All parts of the anthurium plant contain a toxin that can cause mild to more serious stomach problems. Do not eat them or allow children or pets to eat them. Avoid exposing your anthurium to temperatures above 90 degrees F or below 40 degrees.

Things You'll Need

  • Anthurium plant
  • Pot with drainage hole
  • Peat moss, pine bark and perlite or vermiculite
  • Pebbles
  • Plant saucer
  • Balanced fertilizer
  • Spray bottle
  • Insecticidal soap


  • Hawaii Tropicals
  • Desert Tropicals
  • Orchids Asia

Who Can Help

  • The flower expert
  • Rhizoctinia
Keywords: gardening tropical, anthurium houseplant, flowers unusual

About this Author

Barbara Fahs lives on Hawaii island, where she has created Hi'iaka's Healing Herb Garden. Fahs wrote "Super Simple Guide to Creating Hawaiian Gardens" and has been a professional writer since 1984. She contributes to "Big Island Weekly," "Ke Ola" magazine and various websites. She earned her Bachelor of Arts at University of California, Santa Barbara and her Master of Arts from San Jose State University.