If you are thinking of getting an Anthurium, you might be wondering: why are Anthuriums so expensive? These plants are beautiful and unusual, but do they justify their high price point, and should you consider getting one anyway?
Some kinds of Anthuriums are more expensive than others, but Anthuriums, in general, are considered pricey houseplants. There are quite a few factors that affect a plant’s price, including scarcity, ease of propagation, growing time, and how hard the plant is to care for. Rarer, harder to cultivate, slow-growing plants will fetch much higher prices.
Reason One: Transport Fees
Many Anthurium plants are exported from Hawaii, and this means that there is already a high cost associated with distributing them: the transportation fees. To get the plants to mainland US, growers often have to pay a lot of money to transporters. This is true for growers in other parts of the world too.
Shipping plants is a challenging business; they are delicate, they need space, and cannot be deprived of light and water for too long if they are to survive.
It is certainly possible to do, but it takes more care and dedication than shipping other goods, especially when the plants are sensitive to temperature fluctuations – as Anthuriums are. They like humidity and warmth, and neither of these things makes shipping them easy.
You are therefore paying some of the cost that the grower had in transporting the plant in the first place. Growers cannot supply the plants at a loss, and they charge accordingly. The more difficult a plant is to ship, the higher the prices will be. Furthermore, the grower probably loses more stock to shipping accidents, which drives the prices up higher.
You are unlikely to find cheap Anthuriums unless you can buy ones that are grown locally. This may be possible in some locations, but it will depend on where you are and what suppliers are available in your area.
Reason Two: They Are Slow Growers
This is one of the biggest reasons for the high price tag. An Anthurium takes a long time to reach a size that will attract buyers, and sellers, therefore, have to plan for long-term storage and care costs. The hours of watering, fertilizing, repotting, tending to, and removing insects from these plants, plus the costs of materials, are all reflected in the final price point.
If you propagate your own Anthuriums, you will soon see why the large ones can be expensive. It often takes years to nurture an Anthurium into a full, attractive specimen, and the grower has a lot of expenses associated with these early years.
Anthuriums aren’t the slowest growing plants out there, so it is perfectly possible to fill your home with these beauties by propagating them from cuttings, but their medium growth does drive up the price of commercial plants.
Reason Three: They Are Challenging To Care For
Again, Anthuriums are not famous for being difficult to care for, but they certainly don’t rank under the list of “easiest houseplants to keep.”
They need warmth and humidity, which can both have an associated cost. Keeping a room at a certain temperature may require heating; and humidity may require you to purchase a humidifier.
These things both push up the price, especially for some kinds of Anthuriums. For example, the Anthurium luxurians is tricky to grow, particularly when it is a young plant. It has pale leaves, which may mean that it struggles to get enough light (and direct sunlight will burn it). A luxurians becomes easier to care for once it is established, but purchasing one can be expensive.
Some Anthuriums are more challenging in other ways. The watering, light, and humidity requirements can vary from type to type, and the trickier varieties will command higher prices simply because growers have to put in more work and have a lower chance of success.
Reason Four: They Can Be Rare
Even the common types of Anthuriums are fairly unusual plants an the rarer they are, the higher the price it will fetch.
The luxurians, for example, often costs more than $1000 for a single plant, because it is rare and in high demand. It has become a big part of the interior design world, due to its stunning leaves that change color throughout its life. It is among the rarest Anthuriums, and you may struggle to even find a stockist.
That means growers can charge almost anything they like for this kind of plant – because they have little competition and a lot of demand. The higher the prices go, the more likely they are to keep climbing, because this increases the desirability for this plant, and heightens the appetite of growers to own one.
There are other rare Anthuriums that command high prices, such as the Anthurium veitchii, otherwise known as the King Anthurium. This has textured, glossy leaves and impressive foliage that can occasionally grow as long as five feet. It often costs upward of $70 for even a small plant.
Another rare variety is the Anthurium plowmanii, which is a little cheaper and has extraordinary, twisting foliage. Its leaves are narrow and pointed, and ripple dramatically along the edges. It costs a bit less than the others, and you may be able to get a small one for about $30, although larger specimens will be more than $70.
Finally, Queen Anthuriums are an expensive variety that many people love. They have long, rich foliage, and they are beautiful but pricey. A small plant might only cost you around $60, but many are more than $200, and some can cost as much as $400. Even cuttings of this plant can be expensive, and there is no guarantee that they will take.
The rarity of the plant has a massive impact on the price, so make sure you familiarize yourself with the rarer specimens and decide which one you want to own. You can get very beautiful Anthuriums that are commoner and therefore cheaper, but if you want an unusual variety, you will have to pay more for it.
Reason Five: Supply And Demand
Sometimes, the price has more to do with the supply and demand than the plant’s care requirements or rarity. If there are many stockists for a plant in your area, it is more likely to be cheap, because the growers need to compete with each other. However, if your seller options are limited, the plants will cost more.
The online world goes some way to mitigating this issue; if you buy plants from the internet, there is a little more scope to encourage seller competition. However, the downside of this is that sellers have to ship the plants, which introduces other costs.
Because shipping plants can be difficult, some sellers will only ship cuttings. Most will charge high mailing fees for a large plant if they will ship one at all. Mature plants are at great risk of being damaged by mailing, so if you want a full-size Anthurium, you may have to look locally.
If many people are selling Anthuriums in your area, you’re likely to find one much cheaper than if few people are.
Reason Six: They Are Tropical
One of the more minor reasons for an Anthurium’s price tag is that it simply looks more unusual, and therefore sellers can justify charging more for it. Side by side with other houseplants, an Anthurium stands out. It has attractive foliage and highly unusual flowers.
It looks tropical, and this makes it expensive. Many tropical plants do cost more, partly because they are difficult to grow outside of their native environments, and partly just because they are exotic and unusual.
If you find an Anthurium at your local nursery or garden center, it is likely to cost more than the other plants just because it looks more striking and unique than the plants around it. It can easily catch the eye of buyers and become a spontaneous purchase.
A lot of factors go into determining the price of an Anthurium, which explains why these plants tend to vary in cost. Some varieties will cost significantly more than others and are hard to source, while other varieties are cheaper and more readily available.
If you can’t afford the price of the Anthurium you want, consider getting a cutting, but be aware that it may be a few years before you have a full-sized plant.