I'm having trouble with my Anthurium.

goddess9(7b)July 5, 2012

I bought an Anthurium from Lowe's in March. She was beautiful and had 4 or 5 spathes. Over time, she had those die back but her foliage stayed erect.

Over time, her foliage started to droop but her leaves stayed thick. Now her foliage droops and they feel very thin. I don't see any obvious pest issues. She came in a peat-heavy soil, which I have just recently had the chance to exchange out for a faster draining mix. I water once or twice a week, depending on how the soil felt. Never on a set schedule, only on "need".

Her foliage gets yellow streak on it. At first I thought it was sun scorching the leaves, but I recently brought it back in and re-potted/water and now I'm thinking it's that she doesn't like my watering schedule. She also tends to get brown tips, which I know to usually be due to minerals/underwatering. I don't overwater but her roots needed extensive pruning.

What am I doing wrong? I have another Anthurium I rescued and she is doing valiantly in a much lower light situation. I can't get my head around it. Please help me save the plant.

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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

The brown tips are more likely from over-watering than under-watering. And if you've been watering in small sips to avoid root rot, it may well be an accumulation of salts from fertilizers and/or tap water that is making it difficult for the plant to take up water, which causes the more distal tissues (leaf tips/margins) to die.

Generally speaking, it's easiest to maintain the plant in a soil that drains well enough that you can flush it at will w/o concern that the soil will remain saturated long enough to impair root function (kills tips/margins) or cause root rot.

What have you been fertilizing with? Did you make or buy your soil? If you bought it, did you add anything to it? When you water, do you flush the soil well?


    Bookmark   July 5, 2012 at 8:15PM
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Hi, Al, and thanks for responding.

I think it was really my fault about waiting to get rid of the mositure-retentive soil that came with the plant. I fertilize with a balanced fertilizer and I amended a peat-free soil with lots of perlite.

I actually tend to underwater plants. I have a busy schedule and most of the time I actually battle wilting as opposed to rotting. The plant was watered maybe three or four times a month, but only when I felt it was dry. I think that was the problem - the peat-heavy soil always felt dry to me. I did water until some came out of the bottom everytime.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2012 at 9:18AM
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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

The yellow streak makes me want to note that it's possible there might be a fungal infection involved that is affecting particular roots, the crown, or both. To me, a yellow streak makes be want to look to a systemic condition as the cause. IOW root or crown rot that is first manifest in areas of leaves most vulnerable to the infection as it follows the plants vasculature upward. It may well be a residual problem from before the soil change, it's really hard to tell without a hands-on look.

It sounds like you understand the importance of a well-aerated soil that drains well and the avoiding of over-watering. Unless the material is important enough to you that you'd want to treat with a systemic fungicide, your best course is to make sure you're offering cultural conditions as favorable as possible. We touched on the soil - bright light is important - and I prefer something with more N than a balanced fertilizer, if balanced means a 1:1:1 ratio, like 20-20-20, 14-14-14 ...., but that's not as critical as light and the soil:watering aspect of care.

You've inspected carefully for insect predation?


    Bookmark   July 6, 2012 at 10:30AM
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pirate_girl(Zone7 NYC)

Hey Goddess,

I'm currently trying to learn better for my 2 Anthuriums. May I pls. remind you these are really tropical plants. I'm in NYC where it's been quite hot & I have these plants on pebble trays & am watering them every 3 days or so, otherwise they're wilting.

I was recently given one of my Anthuriums by the head of my local Begonia Society, who explained she's growing this in unglazed terra cotta using the clay pot to naturally wick up water from below & she said, to also keep the plants roots cooler, in this very hot weather.

I think your plants are being underwatered, I'd try watering more often &/or using a pebble tray underneath.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2012 at 10:32AM
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Al,I wish I was going to be home tonight or I'd take pics of the afflicted leaves.

I have. I'm pretty anal when it comes to bug infestations. I've successfully warded off two mealybug attacks on my non-Aroids by vigiliance (each time there was one taunting me on a leaf). I can always recheck when I get home this weekend.

I'll try to buy some higher N fertilizer. I probably should for my foliage plants anyway. As for the possible fungal infection...you could be right. I noticed some fungus on the top of the soil before I re-potted. Is there any way to try to prevent spread?

Karen, thank you for your input. Now that it's in a faster draining soil, I can try to water on a more regular basis. My other Anthurium is in a terracotta pot and is doing pretty well (the ailing one is in a plastic pot). I think they're different species though so that may be why it's so tolerant and this one isn't of my neglect.

I can try the pebble tray technique. I know my apartment gets really hot when I'm not around. I'm sure that while some of my plants love that, this one isn't.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2012 at 11:29AM
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Goddess..Anthuriums are not the easiest house plants.
Most are epiphytes that need constant humidity, and moist, 'not wet' roots.
Is your Anthurium in or outside? Summering outdoors, in shade does wonders.

If your temps, like ours are 100+, keep indoors.
Otherwise plant will over-heat.
65-85F, in a shaded area, is perfect.

Goddess, a link from a wonderful man, may he RIP, who knew and grew beautiful Aroids.


Do you know its species? Toni

Here is a link that might be useful: RE: I'm having troble with my Anthurium

    Bookmark   July 6, 2012 at 12:46PM
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