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Help! Why Isn’t My Anthurium Blooming?

Ask The Plant Expert:

I inherited 2 anthuriums (one pink & one red) about a year ago. both had “blooms” at the time.  Since then nothing. I’ve been wiping the leaves off and don’t think I am over watering, although I think may need to change the soil medium because it appears to be just regular potting soil. As you will see in the pictures attached they are in bright but not direct light. (The large windows are to the right of the bookcase but face due south.)  There are brownish flake-like spots on them; which tend to come off when I wipe the leaves/stems off.  Also, they seem to let off a sticky substance that doesn’t seem to be hurting anything really; just need to keep shelf & floor below clean.  Any suggestions on what I’m doing wrong? – Tammie

Anthurium Houseplants

Anthurium Leaf Anthurium Leaf

Possible Anthurium Infestation

Flower Shop Network Plant Expert Reply:

Tammie,

Anthurium can sometimes be a tricky flower to get to bloom because it’s so picky about it’s environment. First, understand that an anthurium is a tropical plant and being so, it loves moisture. Watering once or twice a week might be okay, but keep checking the soil with your finger, if it is dry to the first knuckle, go ahead and water again. Misting will also help keep the humidity up around your plant.

Lighting is the second requirement for getting an anthurium to bloom. Although it may get a good amount of sun certain times a day, it may not be getting all that it needs to bloom. Indirect light is best for these plants, but they like a lot of it.

Another reason your plant may not be blooming is the type of soil it is in. You mentioned that you use regular potting soil. These plants naturally live in trees in the rainforest, they prefer being in an organic mixture of bark, peat, and even nut shells, this is sometimes referred to as an Orchid Mix. Most of the time, when we transplant a plant, it goes into a bit of shock. If you have recently replanted your anthurium, you might consider waiting a while to make sure it’s healthy before changing it’s soil, if necessary.

How often do you fertilize your plant? I would suggest an orchid fertilizer diluted in water every couple of weeks. Hopefully one or all of these solutions will work for you! Let me know if you have any other questions.

The last thing I am concerned with is the little flakes all over the plant. I would suggest getting a magnifying glass to see if these are possibly tiny bugs or larva. If so, this could be where the sticky substance is coming from. Take a sample to your local garden center and they should have advice on how to treat it.

Hope this helps!

Comments

  1. Pam Dunlap says:

    I inherited this anthurium a year ago. It was very leggy and had about 8 leaves and two sucker like plants on the stem. It looks a lot better now but it has never bloomed. What am I doing wrong? It seems to be happy. I fertilized a few times, once in April and again in August. Should I fertilize during the winter? I used Peters 20-2020 and put a tablespoon in three gallons of water. Any help would be appreciated. I have a picture of the plant and the stem.

    Thanks,
    Pam Dunlap

  2. Pam,

    There could be many different factors in play so let me run through a few of them. If you had to nurse it back to health when you got it, it may just still be in recovery. Still, after a year that seems unlikely. Are you keeping it in brightly lit, warm spot with good air circulation? They want indirect light, but they like it very bright. Low light conditions can completely halt flower production. The temperature needs to remain between 70 F and 85 F. Any colder and it will once again struggle to flower. Also, try to cut down or eliminate drafts as well. Finally, the Anthurium is a tropical plant and is used to almost 100% humidity. You should be misting the leaves daily and it would be even better to have it setting above a pan of water. The evaporating water will increase the humidity as well.

    Fertilizer doesn’t actually help the plant to flower, only grow, and too much fertilizer can cause it not to flower at all. Not to say you shouldn’t be using fertilizer, but you only want to use a very weak concentration and then only once a week.

    Thanks,

    Ed

  3. The brown specks are scale insects. The sticky stuff is their excretions and it often becomes black when moulds grow on the sugars it contains. There are probably bug-killer solutions out there but I do this: Mix a very weak solution of washing up liquid and wipe the leaves with a soft cloth or kitchen roll every week when you water the plant. Wipe the top and underneath of the leaves and also the stems. Useful to have the solution in a spray and then you can give the whole plant a dowsing. It’s a bit of a chore but does reduce them over a while.

  4. For my Anthurium, I water it a little bit every other day. It’s also near my kitchen sink so it gets some humidity from dishwashing steam. It is near a west facing window that gets alot of light but not too much direct sunlight. It is pretty happy and blooms about every three months or so. I haven’t fertilized it, but I think there was some in the soil. For fertilizer you should use one with a high number in the middle (phosphorus) if you want blooms. If it’s not getting enough light it will tell you because the leaf stems will be elongated. If you water it too much it will tell you by the leaves getting yellowish.
    Hope that helps.

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