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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 growing 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, and this species is 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. These plants grow new flowers with each new leaf. Eventually, a happy, healthy, and mature pink anthurium will even grow its own offsets or baby plants. Grow this species in a safe area of your home away from children, cats, and dogs, as this family of plants is toxic to humans and pets.
- 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 to humans and pets
Plant your pink anthurium in a rich, well-draining potting mix. Like air plants and bromeliads, these plants are epiphytes, which grow without soil on tree limbs and absorb moisture from the air with their roots. Many varieties are climbers, so it's helpful to give them a trellis or moss pole to provide extra 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 option is orchid bark or perlite mixed in equal parts with a regular potting mix. Water your pink anthurium so that the mix is consistently moist (but not soggy), ensuring it doesn't dry out completely.
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.
Pink anthurium thrives with regular feedings. Apply standard houseplant fertilizer diluted to half-strength every two weeks during the spring and summer growing seasons.
Best Growing Conditions for Pink Anthurium
Pink anthurium thrives in humid conditions. If you have other tropical plants, you can place them in the same room and run a humidifier to keep the air conditions moist. A warm, steamy bathroom with a window is another moisture-rich spot to grow your pink anthurium. Small specimens can also be kept as terrarium plants because these closed systems hold in humidity.
If your pink anthurium isn't receiving enough water or humidity, the leaves will begin to shrivel and feel crisp to the touch. Increase your watering schedule to restore its health. An overwatered pink anthurium, on the other hand, can wilt and appear yellowed on the stems and foliage. Cut back on waterings and ensure the plant receives plenty of sunlight.
Your pink anthurium will grow best with lots of bright, indirect light. Make sure it doesn't receive direct sun, which can burn the leaves. Ideal temperatures for this plant are between 65 and 85 degrees. Choose a spot for your pink anthurium that's away from cold drafts and heat or air conditioning vents.
If you don't have a specific place for moisture-loving plants, you can also boost humidity by placing your plant's pot atop a humidifying tray. Fill a tray with pebbles, then add water regularly to allow evaporation around the plant.
Types of Pink Anthurium
The most appealing feature of anthurium plants is their gorgeous, waxy flowers. However, each variety boasts a different flower color, shape, 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. The black variety comes 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; or even removing the aerial roots, applying rooting hormone, and burying them in a small container of fresh soil. The simplest and most common way to propagate this species is by division—separating a healthy, abundant plant into two or more smaller plants. Here's how:
Step 1: Put on a pair of plant-safe gloves, as anthurium sap can irritate your 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 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 to find distinct clumps. Use your fingers to pull these clumps apart.
Step 5: Separate your plant into two divisions or separate each clump to make many smaller plants. Trim away any rotten or damaged roots, stems, and leaves.
Step 6: Fill an appropriate number of containers halfway with potting mix.
Step 7: Pot each division, topping them off with fresh mix to an inch or so below the top edge of the pot, then gently press the mix into place.
Step 8: Water the new plants thoroughly.
Step 9: Place your new plants in a warm, humid place with bright, indirect light, and care for them as usual.
Common Problems With Pink Anthurium
Pink anthurium is prone to a few common growing problems like pests, fungal infections, and root rot. Since fungal infections and root rot are typically caused by overwatering your plant, it's best to prevent them by keeping it on a healthy watering schedule. If your plant experiences any of these issues, here's how to identify and treat them:
Common houseplant pests like mealybugs, scale, spider mites, aphids, and thrips can all decide to make your pink anthurium their home. Before applying any additional treatments, move your plant outside (or in the bathtub during the winter months) and thoroughly rinse its foliage. Pests can then be treated by gently applying insecticidal soap, neem oil, or a diluted solution of dish detergent and water to the plant's leaves and stems.
Root rot is caused by overwatering your plant. Your pink anthurium's leaves may begin to yellow, or you may notice other signs like mold in the soil, rotten stems, or even stunted growth. Treat your plant by removing it from its pot and gently trimming off the affected roots, then repotting it in a fresh soil mixture. Ensure the plant receives plenty of sunlight as it dries out, then cut back on its watering schedule moving forward.
Like many tropical plants, pink anthurium is prone to fungal diseases. If you see signs like yellowed or browned sections along the edges of your plant's leaves (progressively growing inward), it might be infected. While not all cases can be cured, you can help your plant by using clean gardening shears to remove any affected areas from its leaves. Use a fungicide spray on your plant to kill the fungus and help stop the spread.
When trimming infected leaves, stems, and roots from your plant, always be sure to sterilize your gardening tools afterward to prevent any bacteria or fungus from spreading to your other plants during future pruning.
Potting and Repotting Pink Anthurium
When your pink anthurium begins to outgrow its pot—typically about every two years—you can either repot your plant with fresh soil in a container one size larger or divide the plant into separate pots. Anthurium plants can be repotted during any season of the year, but it's best to wait until the spring or summer growing seasons to allow yours to become established in its new pot before winter. Terracotta pots are especially beneficial for this species, as the porous material allows excess water to evaporate. Ensure the pot of your choice has proper drainage holes to prevent root rot.
How to Get Pink Anthurium to Bloom
The colorful flowers of your pink anthurium are most likely to appear when the plant is in a very healthy state. Along with providing the proper amounts of water and fertilizer, it's important to give this species at least six hours of bright, indirect sunlight per day. Keep your plant in a west-facing window or a few feet from a south-facing window for best results. Since pink anthurium is a tropical species, these plants also need plenty of humidity to flower.
Is Pink Anthurium Easy to Care For?
Pink anthurium is a relatively easy houseplant to grow as long as its ideal growing conditions are met, including bi-weekly fertilizer, humidity, and bright, indirect sunlight.
Can Pink Anthurium Grow Inside?
Pink anthurium can easily be grown inside, as this tropical plant doesn't require direct sunlight to thrive. The most important factor to provide indoors is humidity: Place your plant in a bathroom window if possible, set it atop a humidifying tray, or add a humidifier to the room it's growing in.
Does Pink Anthurium Need Direct Sunlight?
Direct sunlight can burn the leaves of pink anthurium. Instead, give your plant plenty of bright, indirect light near a west- or south-facing window. If you don't have a window inside that provides enough light, a plant grow light can also help your pink anthurium reach its daily needs for light.
How Long Can Pink Anthurium Live?
Pink anthuriums typically live for five or more years, but they're especially popular for the long lifespan of their flowers. Your anthurium's flowers can continue blooming for up to three months, and healthy plants flower twice per year in the spring and summer.