Anthuriums are relatively easy to grow, have attractive foliage and under the proper environment, produce long lasting flowers year round. Commercially, pot type Anthuriums are grown throughout the world with the heaviest concentrations in the US (Florida) and the Netherlands. They are durable and will survive as an indoor foliage plant for a remarkable period of time, even under adverse conditions. Anthuriums grow best with day temperatures of 78 to 90 F, and night temperatures of 70 to 75 F. Temperatures above 90 F may cause foliar burning, faded flower color, and reduced flower life. Night temperatures between 40 to 50 F can result in slow growth and yellowing of lower leaves. Anthuriums will not tolerate frost or freezing conditions.
Anthuriums prefer a growing media that is coarse and well drained. The potting media should be of a peat moss base with a 1:1:1 ratio of peat moss, pine bark and perlite. Plants when they are youong should be planted in a mix that is not quite so coarse, to retain moisture. The soil should be settled firmly around the roots and the root system should fill the pot before the plant is stepped up to a larger pot size.
While Anthuriums are able to handle dryness around the root ball, they need to be watered thoroughly and allowed to dry slightly before watering again. Allowing the plant to dry out will greatly slow down the growth cycle. Drying out can also cause the tip to burn and root damage, while over watering can also cause root damage and sudden yellowing of leaves.
Anthuriums as a rule (indoors) will take about as much light as you can provide them with-but not direct sunlight. Lower levels of light will slow down or cease flower production. The foliage type species will tolerate lower light levels as they grow in some of the shasiest areas in their natural habitat. Leaves emerging under lower light may stretch and/or become distorted.
A quick word on nutrition. Most growers use a slow time release fertilizer on their plants. Fertilizing should not be an issue for quite a few months. If you are going to fertilize, use a light solution of a 3:1:2 ratio and it is probably best to dilute to 1/4 strength.
PEST AND DISEASE
Anthuriums are susceptible to the usual pests that visit out indoor plants, such as aphids, scales, mealybugs and thrips. Thrips and "mealy" are found more on new growth. You can also find aphids feeding on the flower buds. Scales seem to be particularly fond of the tough bird nest type. The best method of insect control is to monitor your plants and treat them before they get out of hand. There are some "insecticidal soaps" which work well on the soft insects, but scales may need a stronger insecticide. Under low humidity conditions spider mites may show up. One of the best ways to stay clear of the use of chemicals is with periodic wiping of the foliage and a gentle sparay of water. Make sure not to forget the undersides. The biggest disease problem that you will face indoors is RHIZOCTINIA. This is caused by high temperature and humidity coupled with soil that is poorly drained. Don't over water and if you must replant, use a well drained soil, for that will be your best defense. Chemically, RHIZOCTINIA can be controlled with a wide range of fungicides. The best approach is prevention via cultural practices.
13 Februari 2008