If you are a houseplant enthusiast and you have an Anthurium warocqueanum, you might be wondering how you look after this plant. What are its light requirements, what watering schedule does it prefer, and how do you feed it?
The Queen Anthurium, as this plant is often known, is a little bit delicate, and is not the easiest houseplant to look after. However, with good care and attention, it should flourish. These plants like well-draining soil, warm temperatures, and fairly frequent watering.
Anthurium Warocqueanum’s Light Requirements
The Anthurium warocqueanum prefers to be given bright but indirect light. If you leave it in the full sun, it will burn, and if you cram it into a dark corner, it will languish. In their natural environment, some of these plants grow in semi-shade, but as sunlight indoors is more limited, it’s best to give your plant more light.
Your Anthurium warocqueanum should therefore be placed near to a window, but not directly on the sill unless it is a north or east-facing sill. These will get less direct light, whereas west and south-facing sills get lots.
As your Anthurium grows, keep an eye on how it is looking. If it puts out lots of leggy, pale foliage, stretching toward the window, it is likely not getting sufficient light, and you should adjust its conditions.
If brown spots start appearing on the tops of the leaves and around the edges, it’s likely that your plant is getting too much light, and its leaves are burning. You can adjust the position of your plant according to this information.
However, if you can’t easily move it further from the window, consider putting up a shade between the plant and the glass. A thin curtain will work. This will shield the plant from the brightest rays of the sun, while still allowing light to filter through so the plant can photosynthesize.
Anthurium Warocqueanum’s Watering Requirements
An Anthurium warocqueanum does not particularly enjoy getting dried out, and it’s best to keep yours damp most of the time. If its roots get too dry, it is likely to die pretty quickly, and will certainly start to look sick.
On the other hand, Anthurium warocqueanums do not like to be kept too wet, either. This is one of the things that makes them a challenging plant to care for – you have to keep the conditions exactly right, and not stray on one side of the line or the other.
Getting the right kind of potting medium (which we will discuss shortly) will make a big difference to how easy it is to meet your Anthurium’s watering needs, but you also need to think about your watering schedule. Always check how the potting medium feels before adding water.
If it is still noticeably wet, let it dry out a bit before watering the plant. If it is starting to feel only faintly damp, it’s time to give your Anthurium a drink.
Many people find that watering about once a week is sufficient, but this will depend on many factors, including the size of the container, the potting medium used, and the humidity and temperature of the plant’s environment.
If you can successfully avoid drowning or desiccating your plant, you will likely find that your Anthurium warocqueanum isn’t as challenging in other aspects of its care.
Anthurium Warocqueanum’s Soil Preference
Because of its unusual watering preferences, you shouldn’t use ordinary potting compost for your Anthurium. It will hold onto the water too well, increasing the plant’s risk of root rot or fungal infections.
Instead, you want a medium that will absorb the water and release it back to the plant over time. Many people pot their Anthurium warocqueanum in pure sphagnum moss because this offers this property.
If you would rather not do that, you can make your own mix that replicates these conditions. Mix together perlite, potting compost, charcoal, peat moss, and orchid bark. This should provide both good drainage, good water retention, and plenty of nutrients as well.
Whichever of these options you go for, make sure you have enough water-retaining materials to help ensure that your plant’s roots stay damp.
It’s also important to make sure that the mix is loose and aerated. The Queen Anthurium is an epiphyte, which means that it doesn’t grow directly in soil in its natural environment. Instead, it usually grows in moss, among leaves, and up on tree branches, wherever it can get enough grip for its roots.
The roots are therefore used to being exposed to lots of oxygen. The plant will struggle if you put its roots in stifling compost, where airflow is minimal. The more compressed the soil becomes, the greater the issue will be.
Finally, aim for a neutral pH value between 6.6 and 7.5. On either side of this range, the Anthurium will start to suffer and may struggle to output new, strong growth.
Anthurium Warocqueanum’s Humidity Needs
As a rainforest plant, the Anthurium warocqueanum likes lots of humidity, and the average home is much too dry. Your plant will survive in a dry environment, but it will be noticeably happier if you increase the humidity, and preferably, you should keep it at 70 percent or higher.
This will ensure the leaves have enough moisture to keep them fresh and supple, whereas dry air can leave them slightly crispy, and more prone to damage.
You can increase the humidity your plant enjoys in three different ways. The first is to buy a humidifier, which can simply be plugged in beside the plant. It will emit little puffs of humidity throughout the day, and you can turn it off when the air is damp enough.
Another option is to purchase a plant sprayer. This will allow you to mist the leaves and roots of the Anthurium whenever they are looking dry. This is a more time-consuming option, but it encourages you to spend time inspecting your plant, which may help you to spot problems before it’s too late.
It’s best to mist early in the morning because it will let the plant dry out a little before the cooler night temperatures. Having wet leaves overnight can make a plant vulnerable to fungal infections and insect attacks, so it’s best avoided. Many people really enjoy misting their Anthurium as part of their morning routine.
Finally, you can use a shallow tray and fill it with pebbles. Pour some water in the tray but stop before it laps over the top of the pebbles, so when your Anthurium stands on them, the water will not touch the pot. That way your plant won’t get too wet, but the liquid will gently evaporate over the course of the day, providing a little humidity as it does so.
All of these methods are acceptable, but it’s a good idea to let your Anthurium’s leaves dry out a bit occasionally to reduce the risk of pests and diseases.
Having a good level of airflow around the plant is also crucial. Use fans if necessary to encourage air movement, and don’t crowd these plants together, or they are more likely to get sick.
Anthurium Warocqueanum’s Temperature Range
The Anthurium warocqueanum is a warmth-lover and will grow best if you keep it in a temperature range between 68 and 86 degrees F. If you don’t live in a warm environment, you will need to keep the plant indoors, in a heated room, to ensure that it doesn’t get cold.
You should think about how you will protect the plant from any chills or drafts during the winter, and consider buying a thermometer so you can measure how warm its environment is. If the room has opening windows or external doors, are there drafts you need to think about? How can you minimize the risk of a sudden temperature drop killing your plant?
You should also be aware that Anthuriums do not like heaters or air conditioners. If you place your plant too close to either, you are likely to find that it starts to wilt and turn brown. You need to keep your plant in a warm spot, but avoid noticeable temperature fluctuations if it is going to survive.
Never stand your Anthurium on a radiator, as it will get too hot, or directly under an air conditioner, as it will get too cold.
Anthurium Warocqueanum’s Fertilizing Needs
You can fertilize your Anthurium warocqueanum throughout its growth season, but it is best not to fertilize it in the winter. The plant will turn dormant or at least slow its growth significantly during the colder months, and will not need much food in the soil then.
Over-fertilizing or fertilizing when your plant doesn’t need food can lead to a buildup of salts and excessive nutrients in the soil. This will burn your plant’s roots and could cause leaf yellowing and other issues.
You should therefore fertilize lightly, using a liquid fertilizer diluted to a quarter strength. Because they are epiphytic plants, Anthurium warocqueanums do not need lots of rich nutrients around their roots; they have evolved to collect trace amounts from water trickling down tree trunks, or from decaying leaves.
Aim to fertilize about once a week so that these nutrients are available, but don’t worry if you miss a week or two. Your Anthurium will continue to grow just fine, and it’s better to under-fertilize than to over-fertilize.
If you do accidentally add too much fertilizer to your plant’s container, you should stand it in the base of your shower or in your bath, and then flush the pot through with clean, fresh water. This will wash the excess nutrients out of the potting medium and ensure the plant’s roots don’t get burnt.
You might be wondering what to grow your plant in, given that these plants tend to anchor themselves to tree branches and like to have plenty of oxygen around their roots. It is best to avoid plastic pots because these limit the exchange of air and moisture.
Many people choose clay pots, which are porous, or orchid baskets, which offer an open structure that the Anthurium can scramble over and expose its roots in. This tends to work well for many Anthuriums and reduces the risk of over-watering your plant by mistake.
If you do use a clay pot, make sure it has good drainage holes so that water can run off the plant’s roots and away, rather than puddling inside the container.
Alternatively, consider mounting the Anthurium on a piece of wood. You can wire the plant into place while its roots get attached, and then remove the wire later, and your plant will grow happily there, in an environment that closely mimics its natural habitat.
One advantage of this is that it’s pretty much impossible to over-water an Anthurium that is growing on a piece of wood. As long as there is some moss for its roots to cling to, you can add water to the plant, but it should never end up sitting in water.
You can use a sprayer to thoroughly mist the moss it is growing in, or you can lightly water it every few days. Either should allow the moss to absorb water, keeping the Anthurium’s roots sufficiently damp.
Additionally, this gives the plant plenty of air around its roots and ensures it can get all the oxygen it needs.
How Do You Propagate Anthurium Warocqueanum Plants?
It is no surprise if you want to propagate your Anthurium warocqueanum since these plants are rare and expensive. If you do, you are far more likely to be successful if you propagate it from cuttings, rather than trying to grow it from seeds.
Follow the below method:
- Step One: Identify some offshoots on the plant. This is where new growth is starting, and the plant is getting ready to unfurl a new piece of stem with a new leaf.
- Step Two: Sterilize some sharp pruning shears with boiling water or rubbing alcohol, so that they are free from any potential diseases.
- Step Three: Cut off the identified offshoot and transfer it to a glass of clean water. If you are lucky, within a few weeks, roots will start to sprout. Change the water frequently to keep it oxygenated and free from algae, and place the glass in bright, indirect light.
- Step Four: Regularly inspect the cutting for signs of roots. These should eventually begin to sprout from the cutting’s base. When they are several inches long, you can transfer the new Anthurium warocqueanum into a pot of sphagnum moss or mixed potting medium, and water it well.
Do not try to take cuttings from a plant that has only a few leaves, or that is sickly; you may stress out the mother plant and steal growth that it needs to survive. Instead, take cuttings when your plant is healthy and putting out lots of new foliage.
If your cutting is not successful, feel free to try again in the future, but be aware that the more you cut off your main plant, the fewer resources it will have. Always give it time to recover before removing another section of its stem.
What Pests Are Anthurium Warocqueanum Plants Vulnerable To?
Quite a few insect pests will feed on your Anthurium plant if they get the opportunity. You should make a habit of regularly checking your plant’s leaves to ensure that they are free from pests.
To do this, take a leaf in your hand and inspect its surface, and then turn it over and inspect the underside. Many of the commonest pests will shelter under the leaf, as they are protected from the elements and hidden from unfriendly eyes.
You may see things like spider mites, aphids, mealybugs, thrips, and scale insects. Thrips and spider mites are very tiny, so to check for these, slip a piece of plain paper under the plant and lightly shake its leaves. You may see small black dots appearing on the paper, and a close inspection should tell you what kind of insects you’re dealing with.
Mealybugs look like little white balls of cotton, while aphids are winged insects that should be reasonably easy to spot with the naked eye. Scale insects will usually appear as small brown ovals, pressed flat against the leaves.
All of these insects will attack your Anthurium warocqueanum, robbing it of its resources. They will leave little telltale sticky patches on and around your plant. These patches are honeydew, which the sap-drinking insects excrete.
If you find any insects on your Anthurium, you’ll need to act quickly to deal with them. First, isolate your plant from all the others so that the insects cannot spread (and check that they haven’t already done so).
Next, start treating for whatever kind of bug you find. Many bugs can be washed away with soapy water or wiped off with neem oil, but to get rid of scale insects, you should treat your plant with vodka.
Check your plant daily and keep reapplying the treatment every few days (with care so that you do not damage the foliage). Eventually, you will get on top of the infestation, although this can take time if it is a bad one.
Try to minimize other forms of stress that your plant might encounter while it is dealing with an insect infestation. Keep it humid, its potting medium moist, and the light levels good. This will help to keep the plant strong and ensure it is not killed by its attackers.
What Kinds Of Diseases Do Anthurium Warocqueanum Plants Get?
Your plant is unfortunately also vulnerable to diseases, although ensuring that it enjoys good airflow will help to minimize its risk. Perpetually wet leaves are more likely to suffer from fungal infections than leaves that are allowed to dry out occasionally.
If you notice odd brown spots or patterns on your plant’s foliage, along with leaf yellowing and slow growth, it’s possible that your plant has some sort of fungal infection. You may wish to research its specific symptoms.
Try treating your plant with a mild fungicide, and use sterile shears to cut off any heavily diseased leaves. Do not touch your plant more than necessary, and wash your hands thoroughly to avoid any risk of transferring the fungus via your touch. All tools need to be sterilized.
If you are cutting off multiple stems, sterilize your shears between every cut. This might seem excessive, but the more you spread the fungus, the harder it will be to control.
Isolating the plant and keeping it in slightly drier conditions than normal will be crucial, too. Unfortunately, many plants that enjoy a humid environment are vulnerable to fungal infections, so familiarize yourself with the symptoms and keep a close eye on your Anthurium.
Swift action may save it, but fungal diseases can be very challenging, and may kill even a healthy plant surprisingly fast.
Why Are My Anthurium Warocqueanum Plant’s Leaves Turning Yellow?
The leaves of your plant may be yellowing for a whole host of reasons, including that the plant is stressed or not getting enough nutrients. In some cases, leaf yellowing will be a sign of over-watering or under-watering.
Sometimes, leaves will simply turn yellow because they are old. It is okay to cut off old and dying foliage using sterile shears, and removing it can encourage the Anthurium to focus its energy on new growth. However, if you are seeing lots of yellowed leaves, look for the cause and try to find a solution.
An Anthurium warocqueanum may represent a challenge to even experienced plant growers, but it is also a beautiful and rewarding specimen. Its rarity makes it particularly desirable for some growers, and its extraordinarily large leaves – which can reach over six feet long – make it a spectacular plant to have inside your home.
Familiarize yourself with its care requirements so that you can meet them all to the best of your ability.