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Anthuriums are among the most cultivated in the apartment, they belong to the aracee family, such as the common white garden calla lilies; the similarities between the two genera are very clear in the flowers, or rather in the inflorescences: as with the calla lilies, the anthurium also produces a thin fleshy stem, which bears a panicle inflorescence, consisting of small leaning flowers, called spadix; under the inflorescence there is a sort of large bract, called spata, consisting of a brightly colored transformed leaf. The most widespread species of anthurium in cultivation in Italy, it is anthurium andraeanum, characterized by large glossy leaves, heart-shaped, carried by long flexible petioles, usually arched, and bright red inflorescences. In the nursery, however, we can find many varieties of anthuriums, with white, pink, orange, purple and cream colored spas. Anthuriums are small in size, generally do not exceed 50-60 cm in height, and require small pots, which is why they are very suitable even in small apartments. In recent years, in the nursery, we also begin to find another species of anthurium, anthurium crystallinum, characterized by large leaves with a velvety upper page, heart-shaped, with dark green foliage, and seen if white veins, very characteristic and pleasant, as the leaves are much more decorative than those of the commonly cultivated anthurium, which is instead particularly appreciated for the flowers.
The Anthurium andraeanum is of fairly simple cultivation, but to obtain a very prolonged flowering and a healthy and luxuriant plant it is necessary to give it some care, or we will get a bread of roots that brings very few leaves and no flower. The anthurium they originate from South America, accustomed in nature to a decidedly tropical climate, characterized by high temperatures and constant good humidity in the air. In the apartment we have no problem in guaranteeing our anturium andraeanum a sufficiently warm climate, all year round, given that in spring and summer the outdoor climate ensures the heat, while in autumn and winter, around 20 ° C they are generally present in our homes; a little more difficult is to keep the air always humid, as the Italian warm seasons are characterized by a decidedly dry air, while in winter the heating system is designed to dry the air. For this reason, it is always advisable to place the anturium andreanum in a large pot holder, on the bottom of which we will place pebbles, or colored sand, so as to be able to hold a few centimeters of water, which never reaches the pot; in this way we will increase the amount of water present in the air around the plant. To increase it further it is advisable to vaporize the hair frequently; it is also essential to keep the plant away from sources of direct heat and drafts.
They prefer quite bright positions, but love directly exposed to direct sunlight, which can quickly ruin the foliage.
Soil and watering
The vase is generally quite small, because the anturium andraeanum produce a semi-epiphytic root system, and therefore the roots tend to develop outside the vessel, without any problem; the soil will be similar to that of orchids, mixed even with little universal soil; therefore we can prepare an ideal soil mixing little soil with pieces of peat, pieces of bark or polystyrene, in order to obtain a lightly cohesive, light and porous material.
Anturiums love a constant humidity even in the soil, so they should be watered regularly, but using small amounts of water; It is advisable to keep the growing substrate moist, and not soaked with water, to prevent it from remaining dry for a long time. So water every two or three days, avoiding watering if the soil is still damp, and intensifying watering during the hottest periods of the year, when the plant tends to develop more.
Anturiums tend to bloom late in the spring or summer, but if they find a sufficiently warm and humid climate they tend to bloom constantly throughout the year; when the flowers wither, it is good to remove the stem that carried them, cutting it off at the base near the roots. To always have a luxuriant plant, it is good, from March to September, to provide a good fertilizer, at least every 12-15 days, mixed with the water used for watering.
Pests and diseases
In general, anthuriums tend not to be attacked by parasites, unless our cultivation treatments are lacking in some way; therefore the best pesticide is always the correct cultivation care, which allows us not to have to use chemicals on our plants.
Excessive watering, which brings the soil to always be wet, soaked in water, often leads to the rapid development of harmful root or collar rots, which manifest themselves with the showy yellowing of the foliage, concomitant with the presence of soggy vegetation, and of stems that fall.
Plants grown in an excessively dry climate, and in poorly ventilated areas are often affected by cochineal or mites, which tend to ruin the leaves, producing showy yellowish specks, or discoloration of the foliage.
Anthurium - Anthurium andraeanum: Spring and houseplants
When spring comes, we often get caught up in enthusiasm, and we immediately dedicate ourselves to setting up the terrace for the summer, or to the first works in the garden, forgetting about our houseplants. In reality, even for them it is the moment of greatest splendor and vegetation, and therefore also these plants need, in spring, to be cured in the best way.
As soon as nighttime minimum temperatures rise above 15-20 ° C, it is good, if possible, to move our indoor plants outdoors, so that they enjoy a more natural climate than they receive at home.
Before taking them out, however, it is good practice to clean them of dust and residues that tend to settle on the leaves; let's arm ourselves with a nice damp microfibre cloth (if desired, dipped in milk) and clean up the leaves of ficus, anthuriums, spatifilli, potos.
Spring is also the best time for the repottings, so if our anthurium is quite enlarged, producing roots even outside the pot, or if it is in the same pot for more than two years, we prepare a container slightly larger than the previous one , and let's move it around, including the soil, replacing it with a new and fresh mixture.