Free Ebooks

Aztec Plants

Anthurium Overview

Scientific name:

Anthurium spp.



Water requirements:


Light requirements:

Indirect Sun


Air Purifying, Toxic

Table of Contents

Introduction to Anthurium

Anthurium is a popular tropical foliage plant known for its striking heart-shaped flowers and glossy green leaves. With its exotic appeal and ability to purify indoor air, anthurium makes an excellent addition to office spaces.

Anthurium plants originate from the tropical rainforests of Central and South America, where they thrive in warm, humid environments with bright, filtered sunlight. There are over 1,000 varieties of anthurium, but one of the most popular is the flamingo flower (Anthurium andraeanum) with its vibrant red bracts and contrasting yellow spadix.

Appearance and Growth Habits

Anthurium plants have large, heart-shaped leaves that can grow up to 30 inches long. The leaves are typically dark green in color with prominent veins. Depending on the variety, the leaves may have various patterns, textures, and colors including white, green, red or pink.

The flowers emerge on upright stalks, consisting of a waxy, modified leaf known as a spathe or bract. The actual flower spike called the spadix protrudes from the bract, coming in various colors like white, pink, orange, green or red.

Anthurium grows slowly, reaching its mature size in about three years. Under ideal conditions, it will produce flowers year-round. The blooms last for six to eight weeks before fading.

Tropical Origins

Since anthurium is native to tropical environments, it thrives in warm temperatures between 15-26°C and high humidity. They prefer bright, indirect sunlight rather than direct sun which can burn the leaves. Well-draining, porous soil amended with peat or bark is ideal to prevent soggy roots.

By providing similar warm, humid, and bright conditions indoors, anthurium makes a perfect houseplant. Its lush leaves and colorful flowers can liven up any living space.

Detailed Description of Anthurium

Appearance and Growth Habits

Anthurium plants have large, heart-shaped leaves that can grow up to 12 inches long. The leaves are typically dark green with prominent white or light green veins. Some varieties have velvety foliage. The leaves emerge directly from the soil and grow on long stalks. Mature plants can reach up to 3 feet in height. Anthuriums produce colorful flowers that grow on erect spikes. The flowers consist of a waxy, heart-shaped bract called a spathe and a slender spike called a spadix. The spathe is often red, pink or white while the spadix is yellow or green. The flowers can last for several weeks or months before fading. Anthuriums grow slowly to moderately fast depending on light and care. They can be grown in soil or as epiphytes mounted on wood or tree fern fiber. As epiphytes, the roots cling to the surface while absorbing moisture and nutrients from the air and rainwater.

Distinctive Features

Anthuriums are well-suited to growing indoors due to several distinctive features:

  • They thrive in shaded areas away from direct sunlight.
  • They prefer warm temperatures between 15-26°C.
  • They grow well in nutrient-poor soil and do not need frequent fertilisation.
  • They are relatively pest and disease resistant.

These traits make anthurium excellent houseplants. Their tolerance for shade and low light conditions allows them to flourish in indoor environments. Their distinctive flowers and foliage also make them visually appealing decorative plants.

Optimal Care Guide for Anthurium

Light Requirements

Anthuriums prefer bright, indirect sunlight from an east- or west-facing window filtered by a sheer curtain. Direct sun will bleach the leaves, while too little light causes yellow foliage and reduced blooming. For optimal growth and flowering, provide consistent moderate light levels. Consider measuring your office’s light levels to ensure they meet an Anthurium’s needs.

Watering Schedule

Water an Anthurium once a week during winter, and twice weekly in spring and summer. Allow the top inch of soil to dry out between waterings. Water less frequently in winter when growth slows. Overwatering causes root rot, while underwatering produces dry, crispy leaves. Measure moisture before watering by touching the soil.

Temperature and Humidity

Anthuriums prefer temperatures between 15-26°C. Humidity levels around 50-60% suit them best. Consider using a humidifier if your office air is very dry. Avoid cold drafts and heating vents directly blowing on the plants. Monitor conditions with a thermometer and hygrometer.

Soil and Potting Tips

Use a well-draining potting mix, or create your own mix with equal parts peat moss or coco coir, perlite, and pine bark fines. Anthuriums dislike sitting in wet soil. Choose a pot with drainage holes, and repot every 2 years in early spring. Gently loosen rootbound plants before repotting to encourage new growth.

Benefits of Anthurium in the Office

Anthurium is an excellent choice for office spaces due to its ability to purify the air. The plant’s large, glossy leaves absorb toxins and release oxygen through photosynthesis. By improving indoor air quality, anthurium can boost productivity and reduce sick days among employees.

Air Purification

Studies have shown that anthurium is highly effective at removing common indoor pollutants like formaldehyde, xylene, and ammonia from the air. These chemicals are emitted from office equipment, furniture, cleaning products and more. Anthurium breaks them down through its natural metabolic processes.

Just one anthurium plant per 100 square feet of office space can make a noticeable difference in air quality. Employees report fewer headaches, less eye and throat irritation when caring for these plants at their workstations.

Aesthetic Appeal

With its vibrant red or pink blooms and deep green, heart-shaped leaves, anthurium brings natural beauty to any office environment. The long-lasting flowers add a pop of tropical color against the plant’s lush foliage.

Anthuriums come in a wide variety of sizes, from tabletop plants to large floor specimens. Their striking appearance makes them ideal statement pieces in lobbies, waiting rooms, conference areas and more. The visual appeal of these plants creates a warmer, more inviting workspace.

Psychological Benefits

Incorporating plants like anthurium into office design provides psychological benefits as well. Studies show that employees who work around plants experience less stress, increased job satisfaction and greater productivity.

The presence of living plants fosters creativity and concentration while reducing fatigue. Anthurium’s bright blooms and graceful leaves have an energising yet calming effect. This promotes a happier, more motivated workforce.

Ultimately, caring for office plants brings employees together in a common purpose. Watering and tending to anthurium becomes a shared responsibility that builds community.

Troubleshooting Common Issues with Anthurium

Address Common Problems

Some common issues that may arise when caring for anthuriums include yellowing leaves, brown leaf tips, drooping leaves, and infrequent or no blooms. Yellowing leaves usually indicate overwatering. Allow the soil to dry out more between waterings. Browning leaf tips often result from low humidity – use a humidifier or place the plant on a pebble tray to increase moisture in the air. Drooping leaves signify underwatering. Give the plant a good soak and water more frequently. Lack of blooms can be due to insufficient light. Move the anthurium to a brighter location, but avoid direct sun.

Preventative Care Tips

Here are some tips to keep your anthurium healthy and prevent issues:

  • Water only when the top inch of soil is dry. Stick to a weekly watering schedule.
  • Mist the leaves daily or use a pebble tray to increase humidity.
  • Apply a balanced liquid fertiliser every 2-4 weeks during the growing season.
  • Prune off dead leaves and flowers to encourage new growth.
  • Repot every 2 years in spring using a well-draining potting mix.
  • Inspect regularly for pests like aphids, mealybugs and scale.

Keeping your anthurium in the right conditions and providing attentive care will help prevent issues and maintain a gorgeous, long-blooming plant.

Fun Facts and Trivia about Anthurium

Anthuriums have a long and storied history, originating in the tropical regions of Central and South America. They were first discovered by European botanists in the late 1800s during expeditions to the rainforests of Colombia and Ecuador. The plant was named after the German botanist Heinrich Wilhelm Schott, who gave it the scientific name Anthurium schottianum in honor of his mentor, Johann Wilhelm Schott.

Anthuriums soon became prized for their vibrant flowers and lush foliage. By the early 1900s, plant collectors had introduced various Anthurium species into European greenhouses. Over time, Anthurium andraeanum emerged as one of the most popular varieties due to its showy red and green blooms.

These tropical beauties also hold cultural significance in many Latin American countries. In parts of the Caribbean and Central America, Anthuriums are used to decorate churches and homes during Holy Week celebrations leading up to Easter. The red flowers are said to symbolise the blood of Christ.

Some unique properties that make Anthuriums fascinating office plants include:

  • They produce flowers almost continuously when grown under optimal conditions.
  • Their leaves have a self-cleaning effect – rainwater easily rolls off and carries away dust.
  • Anthuriums give off a light, pleasant fragrance.
  • NASA research found them to be excellent air purifiers that filter out common office pollutants.

So next time you admire an Anthurium’s vibrant blooms, appreciate the global travels and rich history behind this beloved tropical plant!

Incorporating Anthurium into Office Spaces

If you’re looking to enhance your office space with a touch of natural beauty and freshness, incorporating Anthurium plants should be at the top of your list. With their lush green leaves and vibrant red or pink blooms, Anthuriums not only look stunning but offer practical benefits as well.

The Many Advantages of Anthuriums

Anthuriums are excellent air purifiers, effectively removing harmful toxins like formaldehyde and benzene from indoor spaces. By filtering out air pollutants, they create a cleaner, healthier environment for employees. Studies also show that having plants in the workplace can reduce stress, boost mood and productivity, and increase job satisfaction.

Caring for Office Anthuriums

Caring for office Anthuriums is easy with just a few simple steps:

  • Place in bright, indirect light near a window
  • Water thoroughly once or twice a week, allowing soil to partially dry out between waterings
  • Mist leaves occasionally to increase humidity
  • Remove dead leaves and flowers to encourage new growth

Bringing Anthuriums into Your Office

You can easily incorporate Anthurium plants into your office décor in stylish planters or arrangements. For convenient plant rental and purchase options for businesses, check out Aztec Plants’ exclusive commercial plant service. With proper care, Anthuriums will thrive for years, ensuring your office continues reaping their beauty and health benefits.

Share this plant with your friends

Grab a Free Ebook

How Plants Effect Profitability In The Workplace

Enter your details below to receive your free guide.

Specifiers Guide to Interior Planting

Enter your details below to receive your free guide.