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Also known as flamingo flower, tailflower, and pigtail plant, pink anthurium is one of the prettiest tropicals you can grow. With the right conditions and a few tips, you can enjoy this prodigious houseplant's beautiful blooms all year round. Pink anthurium is native to northern South America and Central America, a relative of both calla lilies and peace lilies. The spathes—shiny, teardrop-shaped structures that surround the long, protruding spadix, the plant's real flowers—range in color from deep red and pink to white and red-speckled white.
While these stunning stems are often used in floral arrangements, they last even longer when grown at home, often blooming for two to three months at a time throughout the year. A mature plant will grow a new flower with each new leaf. Eventually, a happy, healthy, and mature pink anthurium will even grow its own offsets, or baby plants.
- Botanical Name: Anthurium andraeanum
- Common Name: Pink anthurium, flamingo flower, tailflower, pigtail plant
- Plant Type: Evergreen, herbaceous perennial
- Mature Size: 12–18 inches high
- Sun Exposure: Bright, indirect light
- Soil Type: Orchid soil or free-draining soil capable of holding water
- Soil pH: 5.5–6.5
- Toxicity: Toxic
Plant your pink anthurium in a rich, well-draining potting mix. Like air plants and bromeliads, these plants are epiphytes, which grow and climb on trees and absorb moisture from the air with their roots. Many varieties are climbers, and you may want to give them a trellis or moss pole to climb and provide support.
You can make your own potting mix by combining half fir bark and half sphagnum moss, which will hold moisture while allowing water to drain freely. Another good option is orchid bark or perlite mixed in equal parts with regular potting mix. Water your pink anthurium so that the mix is consistently moist but not soggy, and take care not to allow your pink anthurium to dry out completely.
Your plant will thrive with frequent feeding, too. Apply standard houseplant fertilizer diluted to half strength every two weeks during the spring and summer growing season.
As your pink anthurium grows, you may see the crown, or aerial roots, growing at the base of the plant. It's a good idea to wrap the crown in a handful of sphagnum moss. Wet the sphagnum moss when you water the plant to keep it moist. When your pink anthurium begins to outgrow its pot—typically every two years or so—you can either repot in a container one size larger with fresh soil or divide the plant.
Best Growing Conditions for Pink Anthurium
Pink anthurium thrives in humid conditions. If there's a room in your home dedicated to tropical plants with a humidifier running, that's an ideal place to keep it. A warm, steamy bathroom with a window is another moisture-rich spot to keep a pink anthurium. Small specimens can also be kept in terrariums because the closed systems hold in moisture.
In terms of light, your pink anthurium will grow best with lots of bright, indirect light, but make sure it doesn't get direct sun, which can burn the leaves. Ideal temperatures for this plant are 65–85 degrees. Choose a spot for your plant that's away from cold drafts and heat or air conditioning vents.
If you don't have a specific place for moisture-loving plants, never fear. You can boost humidity by placing your plant on a humidifying tray.
Pink Anthurium Varieties
The most appealing feature of an anthurium plant is the gorgeous, waxy flower. However, each variety boasts a different flower shape, color, and pattern. For instance, the velvet cardboard anthurium's flower looks more like a giant lobed leaf with pale green veining, while the black anthurium's flowers are similar in shape to the pink anthurium—but the black ones come in a range of deep purples and violets.
How to Propagate Pink Anthurium
There are several ways to propagate pink anthurium: removing the offsets that grow at the base of a mature plant; rooting stem cuttings with at least two nodes in water or soil; and even removing the aerial roots, applying rooting hormone, and burying them in a small container of fresh soil. But, the simplest and quickest way to propagate your pink anthurium is by division—separating a healthy, abundant plant into two or more smaller plants. Here's how to do it.
Step 1: First, put on your gloves, as anthurium sap can irritate skin.
Step 2: Holding the base of the mother plant, carefully remove it from its pot so the roots are exposed. Use your fingers to gently loosen the soil from the roots.
Step 3: Look for any offsets—baby plants with their own little aerial roots—that may be growing along the crown of the plant. Gently pull them from the mother plant, making sure to include the roots, or use gardening shears to remove the offsets where they connect to the mother plant.
Step 4: Examine the shoots and roots, and look for distinct clumps. Use your fingers to pull these clumps apart.
Step 5: You can separate your plant into two divisions or separate each clump to make many smaller plants. Trim away any rotten or damaged roots, stems, or leaves.
Step 6: Fill an appropriate number of containers halfway with potting mix.
Step 7: Pot each division, topping off with fresh mix to an inch or so below the top edge of the pot, and gently press the mix into place.
Step 8: Water the new plants deeply.
Step 9: Place your new plants in a warm, humid place with bright, indirect light, and care for them as usual.
Common Growing Problems
Fungal infections and root rot are the most common issues when it comes to growing pink anthurium. Both are typically caused by overwatering your plant, so, if this is the case, go ahead and skip the next planned watering session, and let your plant dry out a bit. If the fungus has spread, pick up a bottle of fungicide to spray on your plant, which will kill the fungus and stop the spread.
Is Pink Anthurium Toxic?
If you or your pets accidentally ingest pink anthurium, prepare for some discomfort. You'll probably feel a burning sensation in your mouth and may even develop blisters that last a few days. That said, the plant isn't so toxic that taking a bite could turn fatal.
North Carolina State Extension: Extension Gardener Plant Toolbox. Anthurium.
Norman, David J. and Gul Shad Ali, Anthurium Diseases: Identification and Control in Commercial Greenhouse Operations, University of Florida IFAS Extension. July 2018.