The flamingo flower (Anthurium sp.) is a tropical plant native to central and south America. This perennial features large, brightly colored "flowers" which are really modified leaves. Also called "painted tongue," anthurium is hardy when grown in the right conditions and requires only minimal care. For these reasons, the flamingo flower is commonly grown as a houseplant. Anthurium is poisonous, so the plant should be kept out of reach of children and pets.
Flamingo flowers thrive in loose soil that drains well. Potted plants should be grown in containers with draining holes and a water catch tray. The soil should be composed of a high amount of sand, peat moss or tree bark to encourage draining and aeration. Potting soil that is marketed for African violets or orchids works well for flamingo flowers.
Anthuriums enjoy bright sunlight, but not direct sunlight, as this can scorch the leaves of the plant. Morning sunlight followed by afternoon shade is good, as is dappled sunlight or sunlight that is filtered through a curtain. Keep the conditions warm (in the 70s Fahrenheit) during the growing season. In the winter, move the plant to a cooler, darker location for dormancy. Flamingo flowers cannot tolerate freezing temperatures and can only grow outdoors in USDA growing zones 10 or higher.
Water and Humidity
Like all tropical plants, flamingo flowers should be watered with lukewarm, not cold, water. Water when the top layer of soil (down to 1 or 2 inches) dries. If the leaves start to turn yellow, this could be a sign of over-watering. In that case, reduce the frequency of waterings. Empty the water catch tray after the plant has finished draining. If the pot sits in water, this may cause root rot to occur in the plant. In addition, avoid wetting the leaves of the plant when you water. This could lead to the development of leaf spot, which is fungus growth on the leaves.
Flamingo flowers, like most tropical flowers, enjoy a humid environment. Place the pot on a tray of pebbles filled with water. As the water evaporates, it will provide humidity for the plant. Or, simply mist your plant with water each morning, taking care not to drench the leaves with too much moisture.
Flamingo flowers thrive when given fertilizer that is high in phosphorous, which encourages blooming. Do not give the plant a whole dose, however, as this can burn the roots. Instead, give the flamingo flower a half-dose every two weeks from spring through the summer. Stop fertilizing in the winter so that the plant can go through a dormant phase to prepare for spring blooming.