Botanical Name: Anthurium clarinervium
This stunning houseplant sports big, beautifully patterned, heart-shaped leaves, making it one of the most exciting houseplants to hit the market.
Caring for this tropical plant is a breeze, once you get to know it and understand its native habitat. Here you'll discover how to grow this beauty indoors.
Velvety, dark-green leaves with daringly bold veins make Anthurium clarinervium a stunning room accent. Spectacularly heart-shaped, the dramatic leaves grow about 1-ft (30 cm) wide in its native habitat, but will likely stay smaller when grown indoors.
Add your houseplant to a grouping, if you want. Whether displayed by itself or added to an indoor jungle, this dazzling beauty is sure to grab attention.
In its native rainforest habitat, Anthurium grows as an epiphyte (a plant that grows on other plants), clinging to tree branches with its aerial roots. High humidity, frequent rains and free-flowing air help to keep this plant hydrated without staying soggy. And it thrives in the same warm temperatures that we do.
I'll just say it up-front, Anthurium clarinervium won't tolerate being wet and cold.
Here are the keys to success with this houseplant:
Yellow leaves? You likely over-watered. Use a pot with drainage holes and a fast-draining mix (see "Soil" below) to prevent root rot. Exposure to cold may also cause yellow leaves. This tropical native likes the same warm temps that we do. Don't test Anthurium on this -- cold and wet conditions for a prolonged time will kill it.
Brown leaf tips are a symptom of dry air. Anthurium clarinervium has thicker leaves than many other tropical houseplants, making them somewhat tolerant of low humidity, but this tropical native will be healthier in humid air. See "Humidity" tips below to find easy ways to boost humidity for houseplants. You can trim off brown tips with sharp scissors, if you want.
Brown spots on leaves may be a symptom of a few things. Soft, velvety leaves of Anthurium clarinervium are prone to brown spots surrounded with a yellow ring, caused by a bacterial fungus, called leaf blight. If you dribble water on the leaves, gently blot them dry with a soft cloth. Hot, direct sunlight will cause dry, brown patches. Badly damaged leaves can be cut off at the base; they won't recover.
Wondering when to repot? Although slow-growing, A. clarinervium will likely need repotted every 2 to 3 years. If your plant is pushing up above the pot's rim or if you see roots growing out of the drainage holes, it's time to move your houseplant to a bigger pot. Use a container that's just 1- to 2-inches larger. Why? A pot that's too big will hold too much water, which leads to root rot. When repotting Anthurium, keep the crown of the plant at the same level it was before; burying the stem will lead to stem rot.
Something bugging your plant? Scale insects, mealybugs and spider mites are possible pests. It's a good idea to look over your houseplants once in a while. Check under the leaves and along the stems, where bugs tend to gather. Isolate an infested plant and treat it right away.
Origin: Southern Mexico and Central America
Height: Up to 2-ft (60 cm)
Light: Bright light, but no direct sun. Hot, direct sunlight can cause scorch marks on the leaves that look like dry, brown patches.
Water: Water thoroughly to ensure that all the roots are watered. Remember to empty the drainage tray; Anthurium won't tolerate soggy soil. Wait till the top couple inches of potting mix is dry before watering again. Water less often in fall and winter, but don't allow potting medium to dry out. Yellow leaves indicate over-watering.
Humidity: This tropical native likes moderate to high humidity. If the relative humidity drops below 50%, set the plant on a humidity tray or use a cool-mist room humidifier. Don't spray with a plant mister because the soft, thick leaves are prone to fungus. Indoor air can become extremely dry during the winter months without our noticing it. It's a good idea to use a humidity monitor near your houseplant, rather than guess. Dry air may cause brown leaf tips.
Temperature: Average to warm (65-80°F/18-27°C). Anthurium clarinervium grows best with even temperatures year-round. Exposing it to temperatures below 60°F/10°C can cause its leaves to turn yellow. It doesn't like drafts either; it's a good idea to keep your Anthurium plant away from heat/AC vents.
Soil: Fast-draining, acidic potting mix is essential for this houseplant to thrive. An epiphyte in the wild, Anthurium clarinervium likes some air around its roots. Mix 1 part peat moss-based potting mix with 1 part medium-grade orchid bark. If your newly purchased plant came in a pot with all-purpose potting mix, especially if it's wet or packed down, you'll want to repot it right away in the peat/orchid mix I recommend here.
Fertilizer: Feed every 2 weeks in spring and summer with a balanced water-soluble fertilizer. Stop feeding in fall and winter, when growth is slower.
Propagation: Take stem cuttings and pot them separately in small pots. Or separate offsets that grow around the plant, making sure the offset has at least 2 leaves and roots attached. Spring is the best time to start new plants, when they begin their most vigorous growth.