Aroids, Anthuriums & Philodendrons Care & Culture – Tips for Growing Indoors

In Houseplants & Tropicals
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One of the more exotic, striking and designer groups of tropical plants, Aroids often hold a special place at the top of every plant-collector’s wish list. From their crystalline and sparkly leaves, to bold contrasting colors, to enormous foliage that make a living space feel truly like an urban jungle, Aroids are a unique addition to our home. The problem is…they’re often regarded as being difficult to care for.

In this post I’m going to cover the care and culture of Aroids, epiphytic Anthuriums and velvet-leaf Philodendrons, according to my experience as an indoor grower in Canada. That is, growing them in my dry climate (often as low as 18-45%) WITHOUT adding humidifiers to increase humidity. If you disagree with my methods, no prob’, you won’t be the first; but hopefully, my photos and plants will speak for themselves and this post will be a kickoff point for others to learn from.


If you’re new to Here…but not, welcome! I’m Dustin and this is my plant blog. I also have a YouTube channel where I blab about plant care and my collection of orchids, rare tropicals and now aroids. If you’d like to keep in touch with future plant posts, follow my Facebook page or subscribe to my YouTube channel.


This is a long post. I’ve broken it into sections so it’s easier to jump to the parts you care about:

What Makes me an authority on Anthurium & Philodendrons Care?

I’m a long-time orchid grower and currently have over 300 orchids in my condo in Canada. Like many orchids, Aroids are epiphytes (or at least hemiepiphytes) which means they grow on or attached to trees. Aroids and orchids come from tropical jungles and that means their conditions, climate, light, nutrient requirements and humidity are pretty similar.

I currently have a handful of different Aroids that have performed well for me. A few growers have asked for tips and advice after seeing how quickly my newly-acquired plants established with roots and leaves so I’ve put together this care guide based on my experience. Also, I grow all of my Aroids indoors which means the advice in this post is tailored to others who are also growing them indoors (in similar conditions as myself). In general, I can tell you my Aroid care is quite similar to my orchid care (aside from a few tweaks to the potting media and watering frequency).

I currently grow 14 Aroids – there are photos of them at the very bottom of this post:

  • Philodendron melanochrysum
  • Philodendron ‘El Choco Red’ (AKA verrucosum 5)
  • Anthurium salgarense (possibly A. decipens)
  • Anthurium pseudospectabile (8 years in my care)
  • Anthurium forgettii ‘White Stripes’
  • Anthurium crystallinum
  • Anthurium warocqueanum
  • Anthurium rugulosum
  • Monstera acuminata (Guatemala)
  • Monstera adansonii
  • Monstera deliciosa albo variegata (7 years in my care)
  • Amydrium medium (AKA Monstera Spiderman)
  • Epipremnum aureum (AKA the Neon Pothos)
  • Dieffenbachia ‘Reflector’ (AKA the poor-man’s Aglaonema pictum ‘Tricolor’)

 

A Photo of my Favourite Aroids: Philodendron melanochrysum & Phil El Choco Red

Getting back to aroid care…

Care & Culture – Growing Aroids Indoors

Potting Mix for Anthuriums & Philodendrons

I use large-chunk orchid bark, coarse perlite, and peatmoss at equal ratios; and then I add about 10% charcoal to help remove toxicities that can build up (over many months) in the potting mix. After new plants are potted in this mix, I’ll top-dress the media with an additional layer of sphagnum moss. Note that there is a distinction between sphagnum moss and peatmoss—they are not the same thing; I use both but each has a different function. The sphagnum moss get’s mounded up around the base of the plant to a height of about 2″ maximum. This little bit of sphagnum on the top of the pot goes a long way in helping keep the base of the plant (where new roots are emerging) moist (even though my climate is very dry).

Using Sphagnum Moss

Sphagnum moss has this fantastic trait of being able to hold like 18x it’s weight in water—which is great for specific applications. While many sites and growers recommend using sphagnum moss exclusively for Aroids, I don’t. I have found that sphagnum moss has a tenancy to stay too wet, especially after about 5-8 months when it starts to decompose, fragment and compact. This ends up reducing airflow to the roots and can lead to issues with rot. You may notice that growers who use sphagnum moss exclusively tend to use terracotta pots and/or net pots. This is because these pots allow for faster evaporation compensating for the above-mentioned issues with sphagnum. I prefer to keep my plant’s roots confined and by using plastic pots in combination with my potting mix mentioned above, I can achieve a consistent dry-out rate (in my dry climate) allowing me to water on a more routine schedule.

Photo of Anthurium forgettii new roots growing in potting media – 6 weeks after acquisition

When to repot Anthuriums & Philodendrons?

Generally an annual repotting is a good strategy to prevent root problems; however there tends to be two points when you need to repot – either when the potting media is deteriorating OR when the plant has outgrown its old pot.

Repot when the potting media is old: A good indicator is that your potting media (which used to dry out more quickly) now it takes longer. As the potting media ages, good bacteria break down the orchid bark and peatmoss. This process of decay takes about a year to a year and a half and with time these organic materials start to fragment and particulate. As they break apart during decomposition, they settle, compact and reduce airflow to the roots—as mentioned above, this process happens faster in sphagnum moss because it has no inert, structure-providing additives like perlite.

Repot when the plant has outgrown it’s old pot: If you have a particularly robust and fast-growing plant (such as a Philodendron melanochrysum), you may find that you have to water too frequently because the plant has filled the pot with roots and is simply pulling more water than the potting media can hold. If this is the case, you’ll want to up-pot the plant into a larger container.

A good repotting rule: If you’re unsure of when you last repotted or if you’re noticing decreased vigor in your plant, it’s a good idea to repot it—you don’t want to risk root rot which may set your plant back (or kill it all together) and repotting is an easy enough process to cover your ass and keep your plant healthy.

What about LECA / Semi-Hydro?

LECA (or ‘Lightweight Expanded Clay Aggregate’) is an inert potting mix that some growers opt for because it doesn’t breakdown and—in theory—is supposed to be an easier growing option. Using LECA in combination with “water culture” (leaving the plant in a shallow tray of water at all times) is called, “semihydro” – often abbreviated “S/H.”

The choice to use S/H for aroids comes down to individual preference; however, I am personally not a fan of it and don’t recommend it and I’ll explain why. A good chunk of the Aroids you see planted in LECA (posted online) tend to be recent transitions into semihydro. Rarely are those plants established for more than a year in S/H and the ones that are, often appear less healthy (not always, but frequently). LECA/semihydro is also a touted method in the orchid world and I tried it on a bunch of orchids for over two years. I didn’t see the results I expected based on what others claimed and I gradually became more critical of the method as my understanding of plant care evolved. I have come to believe that the challenge many growers face with using inorganic media alone, is that it requires they understand, manage and mitigate every aspect and detail of the nutrient solution; this includes pH, nutrient types, ratios, and micronutrients. Same goes for the grower to manage the climate around the plant (humidity & temperature)—meaning that rather than selecting a potting mix that allows one to “bend the rules” of their conditions, they instead have to manually adjust all the individual details. Each one of those topics (pH, nutrient availability, nutrient solution, climate, humidity, etc) can be a complicated explanation and I’ve found most people just want to grow plants well and not be bogged down and  overwhelmed by the details of plant science (though I recognize there are many who love getting lost in the details, like myself).

Inorganic media also limits the growth of soil fauna (good bacteria/fungi) which would normally live in abundance in an organic media releasing additional nutrients from bark and whatever is decaying. AND because LECA dries so fast, the top layer often becomes bone dry, which is also not good for new roots if your climate is quite dry. Opposingly, bark, sphagnum, and peatmoss offer a distributive and moisture-retentive quality across the whole root zone within the pot, which I personally rely heavily on to grow tropical plants better in my dry climate. So it’s for all of these reasons that I don’t think semihydro should be recommended to most growers unless they’ve really got a grasp on botany and the science of plant growth, or unless their climate is already very ideal for growing that species epiphytically without any media at all.

General observation of semihydro: I have noticed that Aroids planted in LECA, often appear to start off strong. They push new roots and a few new leaves and then (after they use up their micronutrient reserves) they lag out causing a steady reduction in the size of future leaves and slowed growth. There are cases where this isn’t the norm and occasionally, you’ll see fantastic plants grown this way, but I would caution you about attaching that success to the LECA/semihydro method and look more to the person who may have spent a substantial amount of time (and money) refining their understanding of things like pH, what the they are feeding the plant, and how they are irrigating the plant (is it actually semihydro or is it fully hydroponic with pumps and timers?). I don’t want to keep dragging on about this, so just understand my opinion is that there are smarter options than semihydro for growing aroids successfully. I do not deny that there are a few people who have had good results and swear by it, so if you’re going to try it, use a critical eye, understand that it’s okay if it doesn’t work (you can always switch back to organic later), and beware it may work better for select species, while not work at all for another species or type (you can literally grow monstera deliciosa in a jug of water…it doesn’t mean anthurium forgetii or philodendron melanochrysum will do well with wet roots also).

 

Watering Aroids, Anthuriums & Philodendrons

When to water? How often?

I water on a weekly schedule (every Saturday) because I use the above-mentioned potting media which dries fairly predictably in my climate; however, do regulate my watering schedule slightly. If the potting media is too dry mid week, I’ll water or if the media too moist on the following Saturday, I’ll skip watering that plant.

My tell-tale sign on if I should water is largely based on how the top-layer of sphagnum moss feels. I’ll tap it with a finger and if it’s crunchy, I’ll water (ideally before the inner media gets too dry). If the moss is still cool/damp to the touch, then I won’t water. Your goal should be to keep the media moist (not constantly wet, and not so dry that the potting media is getting dusty). The word moist is an odd definition though because what exactly is “moist”? To me it’s the sweet spot in the cycle between wet (watering day) and bone dry. I hope that makes sense because it was a concept I used to struggle with a lot and I always under watered my plants because I was terrified of “over watering them”.

There are factors that will influence the rate at which the potting mix dries; if the media is too compact then it can stay too wet for too long (because the deeper layers don’t get enough air flow). If your media is too airy, then it might dry too fast and lead to root desiccation. You really want to follow that cycle of wet, moist, *starting to dry* at a tempo that prevents harsh dryness or continuous wetness. If you can do this, you’ll be able to keep the roots happy, hydrated, aerated, and free from pathogens. In my condo under my conditions this cycle takes about 5-7 days to go from wet to dry. However, on very dry weeks (when the humidity is below 30%) the potting mix can dry in as little as 4 days (in which case I’ll give a light sprinkle to the top of the potting media mid week) and on rainy weeks or in the winter, when the humidity exceeds 50% or there is less light, it may take longer. Your climate (how dry/humid or hot/cool your air is and even how bright/dim your light is) will all affect the dry-out rate of your potting mix, so learn to customize the above potting mix by adjusting the ratios of additives so that it dries in about 5-7 days in your conditions. If you find the media is drying too slowly, repot and add more bark and perlite for better airflow; if it’s drying too quickly, repot and add more peatmoss for more water retention and slowed evaporation.

Root Airflow & Oxygen Circulation

If your potting media stays continuously moist for too long (say it doesn’t require water for 10-15 days or more), it needs more airflow or you’re chancing root rot. This can be achieved with active air circulation (a fan) in your growing room, or by adjusting the potting mix as I mentioned above. If the substrate in your pot takes too long to dry, it can become hostile to your plant as stagnant or aerobic conditions are a breeding ground for pathogens and this is what causes root/stem rot. To prevent this in my collection, I also run a fan in my room even though my humidity is often below 40%; this airflow works well to prevent leaf burn when the sun is hitting the leaves in the early hours of the morning.


For more info about root health & growing healthy tropical plants indoors, read this post about

The Best Potting Soil Ever


Fan Tip: The air stream of the fan should be pointed adjacent the growing area, not directly at the plants—the goal is for non-visible air movement…not to blast air on your plant (that will surely dry them out too quickly). A light movement of leaves (or no movement at all) is all you want to see.

Is it okay to get the leaves wet?

This question triggers me a bit, or rather…when people answer, “don’t EVER mist or get leaves wet“—because logic would say that makes no sense. For starters there are a whole slew of reasons why active foliar misting & wetting is valuable: first, plants are foliar feeders, which means they can take in small amounts of nutrients (nitrogen, calcium, iron etc) through their leaves; they can also absorb moisture via the leaves; and water cleans dust and debris off the leaves; AND wetting leaves knocks back pests like spider mites.

Even if all of those things weren’t “value-adds” to wetting the leaves of your aroids…THESE PLANTS GROW IN RAINFORESTS!!! Rain and wet leaves are a defining feature of a rainforest! So, if you think wet leaves are bad, I encourage you to go watch the discovery channel or Nat’ Geo (or even YouTube) and observe how these plants grow in nature. Spoiler alert: they like it wet.

Photo of my Aroids getting their weekly shower

 

Why do people say not to get Aroid leaves wet?

The most common opposition to wet leaves is that those against it, claim it causes fungal or bacterial issues. Which might indirectly be true if your other cultural parameters are off. Like if you’re not giving the plant enough nutrients, if your pH is off, if they have a calcium deficiency, if your not giving them enough light, or not enough airflow. Then yeah, you’re going to run into bacterial rot and fungal issues. However, if you’re pointing your finger at “wet leaves” being the cause, then you’re never going to solve the “root” problem (haha), and what’s worse is you’re spreading misinformation to other growers – preventing their success.

A tip on wet leaves: if you’re going to be wetting your leaves and you’re nervous about fungal/bacterial issues, just make sure they dry quickly (within 3-4h); adding fans to increase airflow to your growing area will help with this but I’ll cover more care details below…

Still not convinced that wet leaves are okay?
Check out these Aroids with wet leaves over at NSE Tropicals

Tips on Water, pH, & Fertilizing Epiphytic Anthuriums & Philodendrons

Water Quality: Pure water is generally more ideal because most Aroids are epiphytes and will be adapted to rain water (pH of 5.5-6) which naturally has a low mineral content. However, from my own experience, alkaline tap water can work – provided you take action to make it more hospitable and lower the pH.

If you’re using tap water, make sure your local municipal water supply isn’t high in sodium; sodium specifically is really bad for plants. Also, don’t use softened water on Aroids (or other tropical plants either); water softeners use sodium to replace the calcium hardness—and again, sodium is bad for plants.

Using Alkaline Tap Water: like I mentioned, my tap water is quite alkaline; it has a pH of 7.9 with 250ppms of calcium carbonate. This is a curse and a blessing. The down side to alkaline water is that repeated waterings can cause the substrate pH to climb as the wet/dry cycles leave behind minerals (this is not ideal and can lead to nutrient lockout). The upside to alkaline water involves acidifying it; when alkaline water is acidified it makes calcium (a vital plant nutrient) more available to the plants, (which is good). So I use tap water…but when I fertilize, I acidify it.

Keep minerals in the pot low: if your water is alkaline like mine, then minerals can build up in your potting media after repeated waterings which isn’t good because it can eventually cause problems like slowed growth and smaller leaves. So, on top of acidifying my fertilizer water, I also regularly flush lots of water through the potting media, a process called leaching. However, in order to do this, you’ll need to plant your Aroids in pots that have holes in the bottom and also use a porous potting media that allows the water to freely run through.

I’ll leach my plants about every second or third watering. To do that, I’ll just use my regular alkaline tap water (7.9pH, 250ppm) and run about 2-3 pots of clean (unfertilized) tap water through the pot. If it’s been more than two weeks since my last leaching, I’ll let the plant sit for 10 minutes after flushing and then do a second flush. Think of it as…a rain storm passing through your city—rainstorms last for a while (sometimes hours or even days), they start and stop, and this abundant flushing of water oxygenates the soil and removes bad shit from building up in the soil and on surfaces. This act of repeated flushing dissolves minerals and toxins from the potting media and root zone AND it keeps the potting mix fresh, oxygenated, and free of junk. It’s a trick I learned with my orchids and the Aroids have responded very well to it also.

Fertilizer & nutrition: When fertilizing, I add 1/2 tsp of MSU orchid fertilizer per gallon of tap water; then I’ll pH-adjust it to 5.8pH and water the plants. MSU Orchid Fertilizer is 13-8-15 and the bulk of the nitrogen comes from nitrate nitrogen (an easier to use form of N), not ammonical nitrogen; MSU also has a bunch of micronutrients including calcium, magnesium, iron, and so on. Beyond the synthetic fert, I also add 1/4 tsp of organic fertilizer to the potting mix 3 times per year. My organic fertilizers include: bloodmeal (nitrogen) and rock dust (micro nutrients).

 

Light Requirements for Growing Aroids, Anthuriums & Philodendrons Indoors

My plants get direct but filtered sun in the morning until about 11:30am and then LED grow lights turn on in the afternoon from 12 to 5pm. This means they get a total of about 10 hours of moderate-but-continuous light intensity. In the summer when the days are much longer, they probably get about 12-14h of moderate light. You can see them on the shelf in the below photo on the right side (and a few on the floor).

Photo of Anthuriums & Philodendrons growing with orchids under LEDs at an East-Facing Window


How much light do Aroids need? Lots of stuff online says “low light” and a bunch says “bright light”…so it’s confusing right? What makes the topic of plant light more complicated is that our visible perception of light (bright vs. low) is not very accurate in terms of what plants need to grow. So, let’s get a couple things out in the open: Anthuriums and philodendrons often grow as epiphytes or hemiepiphytes, growing on trees (or climbing trees in order to get to the brighter spots). They can survive in “low light” but they still get filtered rays of direct sun in nature and many of the vining aroids seek bright light. They will produce small leaves and large internodal gaps (spaces between leaves) until they reach enough light that fuels better growth, at which point they explode in size and if conditions are right, they’ll even flower.

Photo of Aroids basking in the early-morning sun rays

Light intensity: My observation has been that Aroids grow best in bright light. They need an abundance of energy to produce large leaves, but beware that natural sunlight intensity changes depending on the time of the day. Often, you’ll see super healthy Aroids which are grown in shade houses—you’ll see that these plants do get direct sun but it’s filtered to about 50%. In our homes, early morning sun is good because it’s not too hot yet; however,  direct midday sun is often too hot and can burn/scorch those dark-green Aroid leaves. That doesn’t mean putting them deep into your home away from windows is the solution either. If you do that, you’re essentially putting your plants under 100% shade—and you’ve now gone from one extreme of too bright to the other extreme of too dark. Think about plant life under a concrete bridge—not a lot of things can grow in 100% shade and the walls and roof of your home block 100% of light. So, if you want good growth, you need to find that “Goldilocks zone” for light…not too hot, not too dark, but bright enough to get robust and fast growth—that means near a window or under grow lights.

I have found the best way to get perfect light for ALL epiphytic plants is to either use LED grow lights (because they pump out a lot of energy as photons, but very little heat), or to place plants near an east, west or south window in direct sunlight but screen it to reduce the intensity. Sheer curtains are great for this, they let some sun rays hit your plant, but they reduce the intensity. All of this said, you’ve got to find the spots in your home that work best for your plants. Experiment. Move plants around. Most importantly though, if you have valued or expensive plants…don’t experiment with those; use cuttings of your pothos to see which areas in your home yield the best results. If you’d like more information about LEDs and buying artificial lights for indoor growing, check out this post on the technicalities of grow lights; it covers PAR, PPFD, spectrum and more.

 

Humidity & Climate – Growing Aroids in Dry Indoor Conditions

Everything says Aroids REQUIRE high humidity but my humidity blows

Like my experience with orchids, everyone told me “Aroids NEED high humidity” and also like my orchids, I was suspicious if that was a REQUIREMENT…or a “nice to have.” Most people providing care advice come from tropical climates and many haven’t actually tried growing plants in dry climates to see how they perform (or how you can modify care to improve growth in lower humidity). Yes, higher humidity is more desirable for aroid care; however, I have not found its a death sentence if your humidity is low…provided you keep your plant hydrated (which means when that potting media is approaching dryness, you can’t forget to water for the next 5 days). The biggest challenge of growing plants in lower humidity is understanding that the plant’s roots can achieve a level of dryness that kills them, so you always have to water them before they get too dry.

My climate and humidity ARE TERRIBLE – it’s so dry where I live (often averaging 18-45% humidity) and the effort associated with trying to increase the humidity from 18% to even 60% is nearly impossible. At one point I tried running a humidifier to help with humidity and I had to fill that damn thing every single day. So, instead of fussing with humidity, I’ve learned to ensure my plants are hydrated, and I never miss a watering by more than a few days. I’m also extra diligent with acclimating new plants, making sure they get watered exactly when they need it so that the newly-emerging roots have a chance to establish.

Sphag and bag? There’s a process called sphag and bagging which is intended to stimulate leaf and root growth with high humidity in a ziplock bag. I don’t use the “sphag and bag” method because it only encourages growth that’s adapted to high humidity. Sphag and bag is like…putting a bag over your head and thinking you can live in the ocean and then pulling the bag off 1,000m under water…not a great plan for success. So, if you want your aroids to start off with a fighting chance, just make sure new leaves and roots are growing in your climate and conditions.

Photo of hydrometer showing low humidity & Philodendron melanochrysum

A note about newly-acquired Aroids: New plants are going to be the most susceptible to a change in climate. They’re often recently imported from the tropics and there their old leaves and roots are adapted to their old climate which was more humid;  they also weren’t water-stressed like they might be now in your dry climate. New plants also often have fewer roots because a bunch got hacked off prior to shipping…so you really need to be diligent with your watering cycles for the first few months and focus on acclimating them effectively in order to experience long-term success. That means no skipped waterings if the media is approaching dryness, keeping the light bright but not too hot (you need light to stimulate growth), giving them a good dose of quality fertilizer and possibly even an additional dose of kelp or superthrive (VitB) which are plant hormones and growth stimulants. Also, don’t touch newly-forming leaves too much; they are really easy to damage when they’re first unraveling.

BEWARE: as I mentioned above, your potting media needs to be very airy—I feel like I’m beating this into your brain—however, it’s super important. Rot and pathogens flourish if the conditions are poorly-oxygenated and new plants are the most susceptible to rot and stress-related issues. And again, don’t assume that WETNESS is the goal, continuously moist and airy is the goal: not too wet, not too dry. Got it? Good.

Photo of Anthurium forgettii & crystallinum
Before/after acclimation photos 2 months apart

Knowing if a new plant is acclimating effectively Step 1 – new roots, step 2 – new leaves; If I can get both new roots and a new leaf, I know I’m out of the woods. The same goes for when I get new orchids and other tropicals – after I see leaf and root growth, I stop stressing. If I can’t get a new leaf and new roots within the first month…it generally means trouble.

Comparing the newest leaf size on Anthurium forgettii
7 weeks after acquiring

Anthurium Humidity Problems

One of the down sides to growing aroids in lower humidity is that new plants tend to lose their old leaves during the acclimation period and new leaves can develop with flaws…but otherwise, as long as the plant is kept hydrated, they generally do well—I will be updating this post as my experiment carries on, but my Anthurium pseudospectabile and Monstera deliciosa have been with me for over 7 years and both are happy/healthy.

Photo of Anthurium crystallinum with leaf flaw (Possibly from low humidity?)

 

Temperature for Anthuriums & Philodendrons

This requires a per-species analysis which I’ve started in this spreadsheet. Just understand that individual plant species come from different habitats, climates and elevations and therefore will be better or worse adapted to specific day/night temperatures, seasonal temperature variations, light intensities and humidity variations. In general, many Anthuriums and Philodendrons are lowland species which means they’ll prefer hot/warm conditions; however, a good handful of these genus come from intermediate to high elevation forests in the mountain regions of Central and South America and they will do poorly if grown too warm.

Plants that grow at elevations above 800m generally don’t like HOT conditions (30C+), and will prefer intermediate temps (25-29C) with cooler evenings (16-20C). The higher the elevation a plant comes from, the cooler it’s climate will need to be. Specifically beware of plants that come from elevations above 1,500m, which will be considered “cool” growers (requiring mild temps around 20-27C during the day, and down to 10-15C at night). This means mild home temperatures are generally more ideal for many Aroids and HOT temperatures are sometimes less ideal for rarer plants like Anthurium pseudospectabile (from Panama, Chiriqui Province, near the Continental Divide, at an elevation about 1,200m) and Anthurium decipens (which grows at 1,200m).

As I mentioned above, I have started a database with the elevation, range and associated temperatures that different aroid species come from; you may find it helpful if you’re trying to figure out what will grow well in your home, though it’s very incomplete and some of this data is difficult to find.

Photos of my newest velvet-leaf aroids on my Instagram account

 

Looking for more information on Velvet-Leaf Anthurium care specifically?

I have found the velvet-leaf Anthuriums can be a bit more finicky than the rest of the Aroid family; this specifically includes the Anthuriums from the section Cardiolonchium (including A. forgetii, crystallinum, and warocqueanum). These plants appear to be more fussy or sensitive to low temperatures and they are the only group of Aroids in my collection which have given me grief during the winter when my home temps are cool.

I have had these plants drop all leaves when my home temps were below 18C. I should note: I drop my night temps during Sept—February to 16C; this helps initiate flower spikes and increase bud count on my orchids). I’m guessing that this leaf drop happens because the Cardiolonchium section of aroids are all hot growing, lowland species, native to habitats which are lower than 500m, so they’re adapted to hot, very moist and humid conditions and when temps are low, their metabolism slows reducing transpiration and flow of nutrients through the plant reducing the ability for the plant to sustain the large leaves which may require ample water (it’s a guess though, so don’t quote that as fact).

I don’t think the winter leaf drop is related to low humidity because in the summer the humidity is frequently much lower than in the winter. Those plants grow well in the summer and produce lots of leaves so I’m thinking it’s when temps are cool that the leaves fall. I have heard similar reports of leaf drop from outdoor growers in the Florida area whose plants will drop leaves in the winter if it’s cold.

It might be chemical related: There is a chance that these plants have dropped leaves due to a bad pH-down product I bought, so I will continue to observe and report back if it happens again next winter or if it was a one-off immediately following the pH Down fiasco.

If you’re looking for more velvet-leaf Anthurium info: Check out what other growers do with their plants—some of their advice directly contradicts mine, I’m aware. That’s okay. I’m a big fan of the Plant’s Meow; you can check out her channel on YouTube, she has a few videos on the topic. Jimmy from Legends of Monstera has a good video on Anthurium waroqueanum as well.

My Indoor Aroid Collection

Photos of Velvet Leaf Anthuriums & Epiphytic Philodendrons

2 months after buying – P. melanochrysum & A. crystallinum have HUGE new leaves!
My Newest Addition – Amydrium medium (aka Monstera Spiderman)

Philodendron melanochrysum
Newly Repotted – January 11, 2020

New leaf on Philodendron melanochrysum
Philodendron verrucosum 5 aka ‘El Choco Red’
5 leaves – have to cut the sheaths on newly emerging leaves to prevent damage

Anthurium forgettii White Stripes

Anthurium cf. crystallinum (labeled as clarinervium)
Anthurium warocqueanum
Anthurium salgarense (may possibly be Anthurium decipens)
Newly Repotted – Jan 11, 2020

Anthurium pseudospectabile
Anthurium rugulosum (Acquired Feb 13, 2020)
Latest leaf – bigger than the previous ones (good sign)
Comparing new Anthurium rugulosum leaf to the old

The day I got the Anthurium rugulosum (Feb 13, 2020)
Monstera acuminata (Guatemala)


Monstera adansonii – the thicker leaf

 

 

Meet the Aroid Crew – Video Tour of a few new Anthuriums & Philodendrons