Is Anthurium Trimming Necessary: How To Prune Anthurium Plants

Is Anthurium Trimming Necessary: How To Prune Anthurium Plants

By: Mary H. Dyer, Credentialed Garden Writer

Anthurium is highly valued for its waxy, heart-shaped blooms of bright red, salmon, pink or white. Although it is nearly always grown as an indoor plant, gardeners in the warm climates of USDA zones 10 through 12 can grow anthurium plants outdoors. In spite of its exotic appearance, anthurium is surprisingly low maintenance. Pruning can be done any time of year. Wondering how to prune anthurium? Read on to learn more.

Anthurium Trimming Tips

Anthurium trimming should be done regularly to keep the plant upright and balanced. Allowing older growth to remain on the plant may cause the stem to bend and may result in stunted growth. Here are some tips for healthy anthurium pruning:

Take a close look at your anthurium plant, then begin pruning from the top down. Remove any discolored or dead leaves. Cut wilted or dead blossoms down to the base of the stem. You can also remove wayward leaves to improve the appearance of the plant, but leave at least three to five in place. If possible, remove older leaves first.

Remove suckers from the base of anthurium; otherwise, they will draw energy from the plant, thus reducing flower size. Trim the suckers when they are small; trimming large suckers may damage the base of the plant.

Use good quality cutting tools, as dull blades can tear and crush stems, thus making the plant more susceptible to disease and pests. To prevent bacterial infection, wipe cutting tools between each cut, using rubbing alcohol or a 10 percent bleach solution.

Note: Anthurium contains chemicals that are toxic to people and pets. Wear gloves to protect your hands when trimming anthurium; the sap can cause minor skin irritations.

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Now that working from home is increasingly the norm for many people, having a healthy and ergonomic workspace there is also important. Plants in your workspace can play a positive role in this. The Anthurium, for example, has a big heart for the business… Recent research by Wageningen University & Research shows that the Anthurium has excellent air-purifying properties, so it positively contributes to a healthy living environment.


Q. Anthurium Spadix Turning Brown

Hello everyone, One of the spadix on my anthurium is turning brown. I've had the plant for about a week - haven't watered it, haven't fertilized it. The soil is still moist (I use a water meter to test it), I live in Florida, so it's quite warm and humid in my home (about 76 degrees). The plant is placed in a room with bright, diffused sunlight. The rest of the plant looks fine - any ideas? The image shows the plant just as it began to turn brown. You can see it just slightly in the yellow circle. Thank you!

It's significantly darker now - almost black. I should have put that in my initial post.


Common Issues with Anthurium

An array of simultaneous cultivation issues will increase the chance of developing yellowed leaf-sections with browned halos. Firstly, the location may be too dark, with its compost staying too saturated in-between waters if mould is growing across the soil, this is usually a bad sign. Further, you're potentially using too cold water or tap water that hasn't been allowed to sit for 24hrs. This period of rest will not only bunk-up its temperature, but the harsh chemicals used to preserve water hygiene (fluoride & chloride) will begin to evaporate after a few hours. If possible, use fresh bottled water from a shop or supermarket to prevent further chemical burns. The final culprit might be lack of fertilisation, with regular feeds being paramount for long-lasting, healthy leaves. If the specimen hasn't been nourished in over two months, it'll begin to show signs of nutrient deficiencies seen in this article.
If this common problem has occurred with your specimen, remove the affected leaves (not areas) and improve the growing conditions considerably. Fertilise regularly with lukewarm water and be sure to allow the top third to dry out in between hydrations. Its new growth should be problem-free, but if you'd like to speak to ukhouseplants for more advice, don't be afraid to book a 1-to-1 call with us to discuss your issues!

As mentioned above, Flamingo Flowers will only have a certain lifespan in water, so transplanting them into soil is a crucial part of keeping yours alive for years to come. Because of poor air circulation and nutrient deficiencies found in beds of water, prolonged periods of more than two years will eventually see your specimen develop root rot, weak health and yellowed leaves. If this has occurred with yours, be sure to prune away the affected roots and leaves, before transplanting it into an 8cm pot with 'Orchid' labelled compost to see if this helps revitalise its root systems.

Dull, yellowed leaves could be the sign of a nutrient deficiency - most common with water-grown specimens. To rebalance the nutrient value within your plant, ensure to transplant it into an 'Orchid' labelled Bark with an 8cm plastic pot. The nutrients stored in the compost will work for around two months before the specimen will need regular feeds once every four to six waters. The new growth should look fresh and ready for action, with the older leaves eventually dying off through maturity.

There are several reasons why your hydroponically-grown specimens are showing signs of root rot and a general decline of health. Firstly, the environment that they're in could be to blame. Is there enough light to read a newspaper? If not, improve the growing conditions by increasing indirect light, avoiding the threat of excessive direct sunlight. The plant's size will play a big part in its success smaller specimens (5cm in length or less) won't root appropriately due to the lower amounts of stored energy. Further, the water must also be replaced weekly to ensure nasty bacteria cannot breed and decay on the plants. If the bottom of the individual stem is brown and mushy, discard immediately as the rot will spread onto unaffected stems. Anthurium are always best grown in soil, as its roots will need a balance of oxygen and water. Remember - the further into the water you go, the less accessible oxygen there is for the plant to utilise, thus resulting in root rot. Check the root tips and along the base of the plants for any signs of this. Transplant your Anthurium into Orchid Bark (available at garden centres) and an 8 - 10cm pot to provide a more oxygen-rich environment to limit the spread of root rot.

Root rot is a common issue among specimens sat in too dark environments with prolonged soil moisture. Symptoms include rapidly yellowing leaves, mouldy soil, stunted growth and a rotten brown base. Take the plant out of the pot and inspect health below the compost line. If the roots sport a yellow tinge, you're good to go, but those that are brown and mushy must be addressed immediately. More information about managing root rot can be found on this link .

Yellowing lower leaves is a clear sign of over-watering, a typical product of too little light. Although they can do well in low light, irrigations must be reduced to counteract the chance of root rot. The soil-bourne disease is the breakdown of the root systems that will inhibit the plant's ability to soak up moisture and vital nutrients for growth, resulting in wilting and yellowing leaves. If you'd like to learn more about how to address root rot, please click on this link.

A decline of health can occur when the specimen is badly treated, usually through it's under or over-watering. The problem may lie sold with your care skills or from the nursery/store you purchased it from. Unfortunately, when an Anthurium looks like this, the outcome is bleak provide bright light, allow the top third to dry out between waters and give it a gentle feed. Give it time and see if the plant develops new growth.

Curling leaves with crispy brown edges symbolise too little water and possibly too much sunlight. Forgetfulness, too much light or a much needed repot are the usual causes. As Anthurium tend to have extensive root systems, a transplant should be considered click on this link for more info.

Green flowers that aren't white is a clear sign of too much sunlight. Due to the heightened levels of photosynthesis, the leaves will be doing overtime on the production of converting sunlight into energy, thus leading to the abnormality. Although this may seem worrying at first, this is a natural process that will not hurt the plant, as long as browning leaves don't occur. The final heads-up to mention is that the prolonged direct light may inhibit the number of future flowers during this specific blooming cycle.

Yellowing sections along its leaves could be the product of many issues, ranging from spider mites to chemical burns. Think about its recent cultivation of how frequently you rehydrate its soil, along with a quick scan over the foliage's undersides. The use of 'Leaf Shine' or other chemical-based products may also have a detrimental effect on its health, as Anthurium are particularly sensitive to inorganic substances. When removing the affected leaf or leaves, be sure to avoid puncturing the yellowed/browned tissue as it may lead to further decline. Prune the entire leaf off via the petiole and investigate the rest of the plant for a potential spread of the problem.

Yellowed leaf areas are a clear sign of over-fertilisation. Although a fortnightly feed during the warmer months is very beneficial, avoid going overboard with the supplementation as Anthurium roots can be highly sensitive to sharp chemicals. Give the soil a thorough soaking to wash away the excess nutrients.

Large quantities of aerial roots that cascade over the pot shouldn't cause concern. Once the flowers have fully elapsed, take the plant out of its pot and remove any brown roots when repotting into a bigger pot. If there are a couple still above the soil, either direct them face-down into the compost or allow them to carry on cascading. Be sure to mist the aerial roots while watering the specimen to ensure sufficient hydration. If they begin to split, it's the result of too little water or humidity or sun-scorch . Remove once they've fully yellowed over.

Short-lived flowers could be the product of low humidity and dehydration. Place the Anthurium on a pebble tray, keeping the reservoir topped up with water while the heaters are operating. Increase watering somewhat, too.

A lack of flowers is caused by an insufficient dormancy period, served in the winter months. Locations that offer near-similar temperatures all year round won't allow the plant to go dormant, resulting in poor spring growth. To achieve, situate in a location that dips to around 15°C (59°F) with fewer waters. Allow the majority of the compost to dry out and provide a humidity tray while the radiators are operating.

Many Anthurium can be split during the repotting period in spring. Here highlighted, is the ideal candidate due to the maturity and presence of roots on each offset.

Origins

Anthurium consists of over one thousand species and hybrids, originating from sub-tropical regions of the Americas . The genus was first described back around 1830, by Heinrich Wilhelm Schott during a visit to South America. The name derives from the Greek words for 'flower' and 'tail', ( anthos , oura ) referring to the oddly shaped flowers that get put out during early summer. The most popular species, A. andraeanum, was first penned by Jean Linden in the 1830s, honouring French botanist, Édouard André.

The Distribution of Anthurium andraeanum.

Temperature

12° - 29°C (54°F - 85°F)
H1b (Hardiness Zone 12) - Can be grown outdoors during the summer in a sheltered location with temperatures above 12℃ (54℉), but is fine to remain indoors, too. If you decide to bring this plant outdoors, don't allow it to endure any direct sunlight as it may result in sun-scorch and dehydration. Regularly keep an eye out for pests, especially when re-introducing it back indoors.

Spread

Up to 0.8m in height and 0.5m in width the ultimate height will take around 5 - 8 years to achieve.

Pruning

Remove yellow or dying leaves, and plant debris to encourage better-growing conditions. While pruning, always use clean utensils or shears to reduce the chance of bacterial and fungal diseases. Never cut through yellowed tissue as this may cause further damage in the likes of diseases or bacterial infections. Remember to make clean incisions as too-damaged wounds may shock the plant, causing weakened growth and a decline in health.

Propagation

Via Seed, Stem Cuttings & Basal Offset Division (Pups).

Stem Cuttings (Moderate) - Using a clean pair of scissors, cut a 10cm (4 - 5 inches) section off the stem's terminal. Be sure to use a fresh, damage or pest-free piece as unhealthy divisions are more likely to fail. Remove the older half of the leaves, so that the stem's lower portion is bare, to speed the process of root development. Purchase a 'Houseplant' Compost and vertically push the cutting's base into the soil, avoiding the risk of covering the actual foliage with soil. Situate the cutting in a bright, indirect setting with temperatures above 18°C (64°F). As the roots will develop first, remove the bag and treat it as an adult specimen once there are signs of new foliar development.

Basal Offset Division (Easy) - Your plant will produce several basal offsets that can be separated once they have a sufficient root system, and surpass a quarter of the mother's height. If possible, water the soil 24hrs before the main event to reduce the risk of transplant shock when its dry root systems are over-fingered. Take the plant out of its pot and place your fingers close to the nodal junction - compost may have to be removed for better access. Push the chosen offset downwards until you hear a snap. Separate the foliage and its root system away from the mother plant, mentally noting the high risk of damage. Transplant in the appropriate sized pot with a fresh batch of 'Houseplant' soil. Maintain evenly moist soil and situate it in a bright, indirect location away from any direct sunlight. After eight weeks, treat it like a healthy specimen, following the care tips above!

Flowers

Blooms can develop in the spring or summer, lasting up to three months. During this time, be sure to use tepid water as the root systems of an Anthurium can be very sensitive to cold temperatures. The cut flowers can last up to five weeks in a flower arrangement, giving both colour and prestige.

Repotting

Repot every three years in spring using a 'Houseplant' labelled potting mix and the next sized pot with adequate drainage. Anthurium are far better potbound for several years due to the heightened risk of root rot and repotting-issues (like transplant shock), so only repot if you feel it's wholly necessary - restricted root growth will also increase the chance of blooms, too. You can always add a portion of Orchid Bark to the Houseplant potting mix, which will complement the specimen's epiphytic nature. One part Bark to three parts Houseplant compost is the ideal blend.

Hydrate the plant 24hrs before the tinkering with the roots to prevent the risk of transplant shock. For those situated in a darker location, introduce an extra amount of perlite and grit into the deeper portion of the pot to downplay over-watering risks. Click on this link for a detailed step-by-step guide on transplantation, or via this link to learn about repotting with root rot.

Book a 1-to-1 video call with Joe Bagley if you'd like a personal guide to repotting your houseplant. This will include recommending the right branded-compost and pot size, followed by a live video call whilst you transplant the specimen for step-by-step guidance and answer any further questions!

Pests & Diseases

Keep an eye out for mealybugs, spider mites, scale, thrips, fungus gnats, whitefly & root mealybugs that'll locate themselves in the cubbyholes and undersides of the leaves, with the exception of the latter in soil. Common diseases associated with Anthurium are root rot, leaf-spot disease, botrytis, rust, powdery mildew & southern blight - click here to learn more about these issues.

Toxicity

This plant is classified as poisonous, so if small sections are eaten, vomiting, nausea, and a loss of appetite may occur. Consumption of large quantities must be dealt with quickly acquire medical assistance for further information.

Retail Locations

ASDA, Blue Diamond, B&Q, Dobbies, Homebase, IKEA, Tesco, M&S & Online Stores.

Book a 1-to-1 Call with Joe Bagley

If you need further advice with your houseplants, book an advice call with ukhouseplants' friendly and expert writer today! This can be done via a video or audio call on most apps, including Facebook, FaceTime & Skype. A ten-minute call costs £5.99 (US$7), or £15.99 for thirty minutes. You can ask multiple questions, including queries on plants, pests, terrariums, repotting advice and anything in between. Please consider supporting this service to keep ukhouseplants thriving!


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