Anthurium care: how to care for your anthurium houseplant?

People grow Anthurium for its red, heart-shaped flowers. It is mostly found in Mexico, northern Argentina, and Uruguay. Some call it Flamingo Flower or Tail Flower, while some also name it as Painted Tongue.

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Image Source: Wikimedia

Anthurium houseplant is known for its vividly colorful flower spathes and decorative leaves borne on its long stalks. Though the color of leafy bracts is often pink, it may also be red, green, orange, yellow, or white.

Here is your quick guide to care and pamper your anthurium plant to keep it in good shape.

Best Position for Anthurium

Place your plant in a well-lighted area, but do not put it in direct sunlight. Keeping the plant in a dark place will give you fewer flowers. Anthuriums love the warmth and enjoy the temperature between 20°C and 22°C. The minimum temperature for pot plant and the cut flower is 16°C. Keep your flower plant away from a hot radiator. Anthuriums prefer high humidity so your bathroom could be an ideal place for positioning anthurium plants.

Anthurium plant Watering

Anthurium plants love receiving water daily. But, standing water is not ideal for this flowering plant. Also, exposure to air and moisture are critical for the growth of the anthurium plant. The key is water anthurium regularly while allowing their roots to receive enough air and moisture.

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Image Source: canva

Use proper potting soil to accomplish this. The soil you use for this plant should be fluffy, light, and has to drain well. You can use anything like bark, volcanic cinder, sand, or gravel as long as it meets the criteria. Once you’re done with the proper potting, ensure the complete water drainage out of the pot.

Don’t overlook the water drainage. Standing water is the deadliest mistake when caring for your anthurium plants. It allows roots of the plants to remain soaked in water which prevents the supply of oxygen to their roots. It gives room for growth of anaerobic microbes and fungus and causes roots rot, which eventually kills your plants.

In short, water your plant every day and take care of water drainage out of the pot. If you live in an area with low humidity, mist the leaves of your plant by spritzing them with water twice daily.

Fertilizing Anthurium Flowers

Fertilize Anthurium periodically, but avoid over-fertilizing them. Giving too little fertilizer may cause slow growth and produce fewer flowers. However, you can easily fix this by giving more fertilizer to the plant. On the other hand, if you give too much fertilizer, your anthurium plant can die.

Fertilize them once or twice a year depending on the length of the growing season in your region. The ideal ration for fertilizer is 5-10-5 to ensure a good balance of flowers and foliage. For the best blooms, pick a fertilizer with a higher or middle phosphorus number.

Choose a fertilizer with a slow release variety. This way, you’ll need to fertilize your plants once or twice a year, rather than once a week if you use a liquid fertilizer.

Anthurium Cut Flowers Care Tips

After you buy Anthurium flowers, cut 5 centimeters off the end of the stalk. Now, put the flower in a neat vase and pour clean tap water into the vase. This plant doesn’t require cut flower food.

Make sure you change the water in the vase and cut one centimeter off the stem once a week. If you follow this anthurium flowers caring ritual, your plant will stand easily for 2-3 weeks in the base.

Re-potting

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Image Source: Wikimedia

Has your anthurium grown too big for the pot? Re-pot it! Also, you should re-pot a rootbound anthurium as soon as possible. Look at the following signs of a rootbound plant:

  • Roots growing out of the drainage hole
  • Roots circling the surface of the potting mix
  • Bent or cracked container
  • Water running straight through the drainage hole
  • Wilting foliage, even after watering

Moreover, we recommend repotting in spring because the lighter days help stimulate the buds formation. Put the plant in a pot that at least 20% wider diameter than the previous one. Fill the pot with special anthurium soil or mix in a bit of anthurium feed to reserve for the plant’s growth.

It’s very easy to care for your anthurium plants properly. Just follow the instructions and avoid the mistakes discussed above. And, your lovely houseplant will always be in great shape and keep you happy and positive.

Alocasia: guide to planting, care and growing

Nothing brings a visual flair and drama to a luscious garden like Alocasia, a fabulous foliage plant with bold texture and charismatic appeal.

These tropical beauties flaunt giant green arrow or heart-shaped leaves and decorative veining that steals the heart of a gardener at first glance.

Native to Asia, the plant produces flowers on occasion, but its striking, large dramatic foliage is what makes it popular. It is also famed as elephant ears due to its resemblance to the flappy elephant ears.

If you are looking for a real eye catcher in your shady garden, large containers or warm greenhouse, Alocasia is a great choice. Increasingly gaining hype as a houseplant, it takes proper care and attention to grow this amazing plant indoor.

Here is the complete guide on how to plant, care and grow the tropical plant to make an eye-catching addition to your space.

Planting Alocasias

The tropical plant requires frost-free weather to grow. So, spring or early summer is ideal for planting Alocasias to help it acclimate and establish before winter.

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However, it is not difficult to grow the plant in winter with proper humidity and extra light. You can also plant them six weeks earlier in pots and then relocate it to the outdoors after frost. Plant it 2 to 3 inches deep in the loose, well-drained potting mix or the prepared site.

Make sure the soil is porous, and a mix of well aerated and well-drained soil, perlite, coarse potting sand and peat that remain moist works great for the plant.

Grooming

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The Alocasia houseplant can vary in size from as small as 6” to as tall as a tree. Usually, the houseplants can grow up to 4 feet with a leaf growing from the long stem on the ground.

They can also produce small and inconsequential flowers with a calla-like bloom without any fragrance. No real grooming except the removal of older leaves that die off normally is required for Alocasias.

Alocasia Care

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Fertilizers

Some Alocasias are heavy feeders. So frequent and small applications of granule fertilizer or liquid fertilizer feeding during the growth period can promote the growth of the plant.

Fertilize the plant with a basic houseplant food diluted to 1/2 the recommended strength in every two weeks from late March to September to see the active growth.

Light

Direct sunlight can burn the leaves of the Alocasia. So it is advised to keep it under exposure to bright, indirect sunlight.

Water

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This water-loving plant needs to stay moist all the year and grow the best in high humidity. It is better to let the 2″- 3″ of soil dry out before watering.

It should be evenly moist but make sure not to over water it as wet leaves, and soggy soil can make it vulnerable to a variety of serious fungal infections. Frequently analyze the soil to keep track of its watering needs.

Temperature

Its tolerance to temperature varies depending on the variety, but most of the plants can’t stand frost. Usually, the temperature between 60° to 80° is ideal for the plant.

However, the prolonged exposure to temperatures below 60° can harshly affect it and cause the plant to drop all of the leaves.  Keep it away from air conditioners and cold drafts.

Humidity

This tropical stunner is quite fussy, preferring the high humidity to grow best. However, frequent misting of the leaves can offer it the moisture it craves. To increase the humidity around the plant, keep it on a tray filled with pebbles and fill water.

Make sure the plant is sitting on the pebbles and fill water until it reaches to a level just below the pot. Or you can just place a small humidifier near the plant.

Protection from pests

Mealy Bugs, scale, Aphids, and spider mite are the common pests found in Alocasia plants. So, spraying warm soapy water every few weeks can prevent such pests and also keep the leaves dust-free.

African Gardenia: how to plant and care for a unique houseplant

Dazzlingly white star-shaped flowers contrasting shiny green leaves on the backdrop, cute orange fruits and mind-blowing aroma –  Mitriostigma axillary, commonly known as The African Gardenia, appears in all gardeners fantasy who know about it. Though it’s hard to get by, growing African gardenia in your home can turn it into a green oasis and can create a lovely atmosphere.

You can grow the plant both indoors and outdoors adorning patios and tables alike. You can even grow it into small trees. This unique type of shrub is a truly remarkable and sacred treasure to encounter. It is typically found upon the dune forests and coastal regions within the Eastern Cape, Kwazulu-Natal and Mozambique.

How to Plant African Gardenia

The easiest way to get your hands on an African gardenia is to buy one from a nursery or plant festivals. However, if you plan to grow Mitriostigma axillare by yourself, the most appropriate way would involve summer cuttings or seeds. Gather as many fruits of the plant as possible. Because the seeds, and the fruits too, get massively infected with insect larvae. Implant the freshly harvested (remember, vigor and vitality diminish as time passes) seeds in containers or seedling trays.

After the seedlings have risen a few inches tall, transplant the seedlings into sterile and cleaned planting pots that are a bit larger. These planting pots should be full of fresh and highly nutritious soil. Also, make sure the planting pot has well-portioned drainage holes.

If you wish to propagate gardenia via cuttings, you should use those which have been cut in the summer. The ideal cuttings should have a few nodes along with a length of 100-150 mm. To reduce the probability of infection, ensure that cut surfaces are not rugged. Get rid of the buds and leaves from the lower edge of the cutting. Place it into a clean container having seed compost.

Furthermore, you can apply a rooting hormone at the base of the cutting to spur root formation. Put the container in a shady, warm spot.  Ensure the soil remains moist over the next four weeks (it may take longer occasionally) until the root grows. After that, transfer the cutting into a large container and keep introducing larger containers gradually if you want to grow it into a tree.

How to Nurture

Keep your African Gardenia’s soil moist and the plant itself within indirect light all the time. These rare houseplants do not like a direct or overly bright light in contact with them. They are used to growing underneath taller plants. They thrive most often in dimly lighted or shaded rooms.

When watering this houseplant, do not forget to fertilize it as well. This weekly feeding is essential as the gardenia adores high nutrient levels within their soil. In fact, it is proven that nutrients rich and organic soil is the best type to use for the African Gardenia. The reasoning is that it provides the same soil conditions as a subtropical forest provided it is maintained. Also, use frequent misting of water as a way of keeping the air around the plant humid like a subtropical area.

Tips for Optimizing the Growth

The African Gardenia has an extreme intolerance to the over-saturated soil. This means that soggy soil has the potential of drowning this tropical plant. Nevertheless, this type of subtropical plant loves high humidity levels within the air and its surrounding soil. If its leaves look like they are starting to wither, try to water the plant during the day’s heat peak periods.

From spring to summer, feed Mitriostigma axillare with liquid plant food each time you water it.

In a cool atmosphere move the plant indoors. When the plant is blooming in the winter, feed it once in a month with plant food full of phosphorus. Prevent buildup of salts by leaching to the soil frequently.

Finally, African gardenia isn’t the easiest shrub to grow. Still, the striking fragrance and gorgeous, waxy, creamy-white flowers that bloom year-round make up for the extra effort they require.