Here are our tips for keeping your anthuriums looking beautiful and healthy.

How to care for your anthuriums
Anthuriums are great indoor plants, that present in a large variety of striking shades of reds, pinks and white, all set off against amazing, glossy leaves. The colourful thing we call the ‘flower’ is actually a modified leaf, called a spathe. The true flowers are on the yellow spadix in the middle of the spathe and there are hundreds of teensy little flowers on each spadix.

There are over a thousand varieties of anthuriums available, but the most common one is the Anthurium andraeanum, which is native to the rain forest of South America and the Caribbean. In the wild it grows as a semi-climbing epiphyte, meaning that it grows on trees, holding on with its roots.

We need to keep these growing conditions in mind when we pot them. Anthuriums prefer a coarse, well-draining potting mix and adding perlite to the soil mix will help in this regard. Perlite is incredibly light and retains a small amount of water, but it allows the soil to hold a lot of air – and remember, these plants grow on trees where their roots have great access to air. Coconut husk (not peat – anthuriums don’t like peat) is another key component in a soil like this. Coconut husk drains well but also retains some moisture.

How to care for your anthuriums
While it is possible to make your own potting mixture specially tailored to anthuriums, it’s a lot easier to use a quality potting soil as the base, such as Garden Master Premium Potting Soil. This is a rich, good draining medium with perlite and coconut husk already added to it. We recommend adding a few handfuls of bark chips to this soil, as well as a couple of handfuls of organic all-purpose fertiliser. Mix it up and you’re ready to go.

When is it time to repot your anthurium? When you start to see roots poking out of the soil or out of the holes in the pot, it’s time to transfer it into a pot that’s one size bigger than the existing one.

How to care for your anthuriums
Repotting is very simple and should be done every two years, even if the plant isn’t telling you to do so with its roots. Start by adding something to cover the drainage holes to keep the soil from leaking out – a piece of shade cloth, pieces of terracotta pot or some gravel. Place a little potting mix into the new pot. Remove the plant from the old pot and gently tease the roots open. Pop the plant into the new pot and fill around it with new potting mix, making sure that you don’t bury the root ball of the plant (the top of the roots, where they meet the stem). Work the soil into the pot around the plant using a stick or dowel. Finally, remember to leave gap of a couple of centimetres at the top of the pot to make watering easier.
How to care for your anthuriums
You’re going to want to display this plant somewhere prominent, either on the patio or in the house – a decorative pot cover really makes a statement. If you do use one, remember to remove the plant when watering and wait for the soil to drain before returning it to the pot cover. Pot covers don’t have drainage holes, so if you water the plant while it’s in the pot cover the roots will stand in water and rot.

We need to replicate the plant’s natural rainforest growing conditions, so you want high humidity to make sure your plants flourish. To increase humidity, place the pot on pebbles in a tray of water. They also prefer warmth, with temperatures between 15°C and 20°C. Keep the plants out of drafts and position in bright, filtered light.

How to care for your anthuriums
When watering, use a watering can or a rose that fits on a cool drink bottle and water at least once a week – whenever the top few centimetres of the soil feel dry. Add a dose of Kelpak liquid plant food to the water as a pick-me-up. Anthuriums also enjoy a regular misting, but when doing so, avoid the flowers. Feed regularly with a liquid fertiliser that is high in potassium (the last number in the fertiliser ratio), such as Nutrifeed.

And that’s the way to keep your anthurium looking its best, or get your tired one back in top condition. Everything you need for your anthurium is available from Builders, either in-store on online at The plants themselves are also available from the garden department.

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