Anthurium is one of the brightest representatives of the Aroid family. It is often called the "flamingo flower" for the similarity of the inflorescence shape with the grace of an exotic bird. Anthurium feels great in greenhouses, but even in a city apartment, it can create suitable conditions for growth.
Life in nature
Anthurium is native to the humid tropical mountain forests of South and Central America. It usually occupies the lowest and darkest tier. Anthurium, like all Aroids, is poisonous. Its juice contains toxins that irritate the skin and mucous membranes.
There are many varieties of anthurium. Mostly these are herbaceous forms or dwarf shrubs. There are also climbing epiphytes, the roots of which hang from tree trunks, reaching a length of several meters. Among anthuriums, there are also original specimens: some grow only on rocks in the middle of mountain rivers, while others can survive only in the immediate vicinity of a colony of tree ants.
Anthuriums are loved for their bright inflorescence, consisting of a cob and a bedspread. The latter is considered by many to be a flower. However, this is just a modified bracts. It is dense, often glossy and painted in various colors. A spectacular bedspread plays an important role - due to its bright appearance, it attracts pollinators to the cob, on which there are small nondescript flowers.
The cobs and bedspread of the anthurium are painted in different colors. Sometimes they are two-colored: the bottom is white and the tip is green. In anthuriums growing in the wild, the coverlet and ear are pale green, orange, white, pink, yellow, red. Thanks to breeders, indoor varieties have even more shades.
Anthurium fruits are juicy berries with one or more seeds. They usually also have a decorative appearance: tight-fitting, shiny, of a wide variety of shades.
The leaves of anthuriums are heart-shaped, oblong or rounded. They are located on rather long and strong petioles. The size of the leaves varies depending on the variety, sometimes reaching a meter in length.
There are about 900 species of anthuriums. Indoor varieties can be divided into three main groups:
- Beautifully flowering species. They are used not only in pot culture, but also for cutting. Outstanding representatives are Anthurium Andre, Sierra, Turenze and Scherzer.
- Species with colored patterns on the leaves and a short climbing trunk. Some of the representatives are Anthurium Khrustalny, Varoka and the Majestic.
- Decorative deciduous species. They have long stems and green leaves. Representatives - Anthurium Baker and Climbing.
Each variety has its own characteristics. So, anthurium Amalia has a subtle aroma, Otaz is characterized by a fetid odor, which makes this species not so popular.
Anthurium needs good lighting, but it does not tolerate direct sun. From its rays, the leaves quickly burn, losing their decorative appearance. On the north window, the anthurium stretches out, on the south it burns. The optimal location of the plant in the house is the east or west window. On the south side, it is permissible to contain anthurium only if one of the conditions is met:
- it will stand a meter from the windowsill;
- there are blinds on the windows;
- a spreading tree grows nearby, which will scatter the sun's rays;
- it's autumn or winter.
In winter, he needs additional lighting with lamps.
Anthurium loves warmth and is afraid of drafts. A suitable temperature in summer is 20-25 ° C, in winter 16-18 ° C. Anthurium tolerates heat well. However, a decrease in temperature stops its growth.
The plant should not be placed in the immediate vicinity of radiators or other heating devices. They dry out the soil inside the pot, dehydrating the anthurium.
Anthurium is native to the humid tropics, so it needs sufficient watering. In summer and spring - once every three days, and in autumn and winter - once a week. For irrigation, use a little warm water so as not to chill the delicate roots of the anthurium, and always soft. With an excess of lime in it, the leaves of the plant turn yellow. They soften the water by settling for two to three days, boiling, filtering or adding neutralizers, which are sold in flower shops.
It is important not to flood the plant! After watering, excess water is removed from the pan.
Considering that anthurium comes from the tropics, at home it needs high humidity. Anthurium leaves love regular spraying, but the flowers do not tolerate water ingress. From this, the inflorescences become covered with spots, and then die.
To increase the humidity, sphagnum moss is placed on top of the soil and periodically sprayed. This provides the aerial roots of the anthurium with sufficient moisture. A similar result will bring the use of pebbles or expanded clay in a pallet or bowls placed near the plant.
Once every 14-20 days, it is useful for anthurium to arrange a hygienic shower. It serves as a prophylaxis against the appearance of pests.
For good growth, anthurium requires:
- slightly acidic;
- nutritious soil.
Flower shops offer both universal and special earthy compounds for anthurium. Some growers prefer to grow the "flamingo flower" in orchid soil. Anthurium roots in such a substrate receive enough oxygen. However, the bark is catastrophically low in nutrients, which is why the plant weakens and withers over time.
You can prepare the optimal earthen mixture for anthurium with your own hands. It is enough to mix:
- 2 parts of humus;
- 1 part peat;
- 1 piece of leafy land;
- 0.5 parts of sand.
For air permeability, sphagnum moss, pieces of cones and bricks, charcoal, pine bark are added to the mixture. The solid fraction must account for at least 15% of the total volume of the soil.
Anthurium is great for hydroponic cultivation. To do this, use expanded clay or sphagnum. With this method of growing, the temperature in the room should not fall below + 18 ° C.
During the period of active vegetation and flowering, anthurium requires additional feeding. Both organic and mineral fertilizers are suitable. With the arrival of spring, anthurium usually comes to life and begins to build up green mass. In this case, he needs fertilizers with a high nitrogen content. From May to the end of September, fertilizers are used, in which phosphorus prevails.
Anthurium is root-fed. After or before that, it is important to shed the soil with plain water so that the nutrients are better absorbed by the plant and do not burn its delicate roots.
Young specimens are transplanted annually, from the age of five - once every two to three years. The best time for the event is early spring. Before retirement, the plant will have time to get stronger over the summer and grow the leaves necessary for photosynthesis and, accordingly, good nutrition.
Anthurium does not have too long roots, so a short but wide pot is suitable for it. Drainage holes are required.
During planting, the soil should not be strongly tamped, otherwise it will be problematic for the anthurium to gain a foothold in it. Dense soil is poorly permeable to oxygen, which is needed by the roots of the plant.
Anthurium can be propagated in three ways:
- dividing the bush;
The simplest are the first two. It is in these ways that anthurium is propagated at home. Seed requires more time, knowledge and conditions close to greenhouse. The right time for anthurium breeding is early spring.
Diseases and pests of anthurium
Diseases and pests are the result of poor anthurium care. The plant is often attacked by pests.They love to parasitize on its succulent foliage and roots:
- Shields. Obvious signs - dark spots have formed on the outside of the leaves, and tubercles on the back.
- Spider mite. This pest covers the leaves with spots and twists.
- Nematodes. A sure sign of infection is tubercle-like seals on the roots.
If there is salvation from the first two pests in the form of insecticides, then with nematodes, only one way out awaits anthurium - isolation and destruction.
The appearance of diseases is immediately reflected in the appearance of the plant. By the nature of the changes, you can find out the cause and eliminate.
- Dark dots on the leaves of anthurium indicate that the plant is cold or sunburned.
- Spots on the leaves may indicate watering with hard water, drafts and low temperatures in the winter.
- Pale or yellow edges of the leaves indicate insufficient lighting.
- The pallor of the entire leaf plate, weak growth are sure signs of a lack of nutrition.
- Mold on aerial roots signals the plant's bay.