The Anthurium Ace of Spades is a rare, hard to find hybrid. As such, if you’re able to locate some store listing it, the plant is either sold out, not available or costs over $150. In some cases, its price can be as expensive as $450 or higher.
This much sought after anthurium is best known for its large, dark-colored (almost black), heart-shaped, velvet leaves. its stunning color and beauty make it something collectors go after. Of course, its rarity makes it even more desirable.
Note that if you’re able to find the plant, it will look different in its baby or young form. As a juvenile, the Anthurium Ace of Spades has red-purple colored foliage. These will transform over time, turning into bronze-like color before their dark black-green mature color.
The leaves can eventually grow to about 2.5 feet long and 2 feet wide.
Knowing this will help you verify the plant before you pay anything for it.
The Anthurium Ace of Spades is generally believed to have originate and is native to Central and South America. Although it has also been seen in Hawaii and Mexico early on.
Anthurium Ace of Spades Plant Care
The Anthurium Ace of Spades enjoys medium to bright, indirect or filtered light. This will allow the plant to maintain its stunning dark colored foliage.
Note that because of its darker colored leaves, the plant does not need as much light as those with light green colored leaves. That’s because they contain more chlorophyll which is not only the substance that makes foliage green but also what absorbs light for the plant to use in photosynthesis.
Since it has more chlorophyll, it does not need as much light.
As such, this gives you a clue as to which part of the forest the plant grows (under the shade of the larger trees). As such, it has adapted to that environment by producing more chlorophyll.
As a result, it also means the Anthurium Ace of Spades can’t tolerate harsh light or too much direct sun. Otherwise, its leaf color will be affected. And if it stays there long enough, they’ll scorch as well.
On the other hand, the darker leaves also mean it can withstand low light better than species with lighter green foliage.
However, since light is necessary for photosynthesis, past a certain threshold, the plant’s growth will slow down as well with too little light.
Another important aspect to consider when choosing a spot for your Anthurium Ace of Spades is temperature.
It is a tropical plant. Therefore, it enjoys warm, sunny weather all year round. The more consistent the climate conditions, the happier the plant will be.
Its ideal temperature is between 65 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit. More importantly, it is not cold hardy. Therefore, avoid leaving it in places where temperature is below 50 degrees Fahrenheit.
The longer it stays in the cold and the lower the climate gets, the more issues it will experience. This usually begins with a slowdown in growth. But it can escalate into cold injury as time pasts.
Also, the colder the environment gets, the longer it takes for moisture to dry. This causes more issues which I’ll discuss in detail in the soil and watering sections.
As such, the grows very well as a houseplant. Although you can grow it outdoors as well.
That said, with the latter, it can only be kept outdoors all year long in USDA Hardiness Zones 10 through 12. That’s because these areas have mild winter weather with good sunshine.
The plant will not be able to tolerate snow, frost or freezing conditions. So, if you live below Zone 10, you can take the plant outside once things warm up in the spring and leave it there through the summer.
Make sure to bring it back indoors once the cold weather arrives around late fall and keep it indoors through winter.
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An extra aspect of tropical climate is humidity. This is likewise true for rainforests due to the amount and regularity of rainfall.
As such, the Anthurium Ace of Spades prefers humidity of 70% and above. However, be careful not to keep it in overly high humidity.
Although the plant will enjoy this environment, it is not good for it as too much moisture increases its risk of fungus gnats as well as bacterial and fungal diseases.
As such, the risk is not worth it.
In your home, overly high humidity can also increase the risk of mold.
So, if you do leave the plant in a high humidity environment, make sure to keep yourself and the plant safe. You can do so by using a greenhouse, terrarium or grow cabinet.
Obviously, if you live in a tropical location, you don’t have to bother about humidity since the weather will be naturally perfect for the plant.
That said, in most cases, the problem will be getting humidity high enough. At least, try to keep humidity at 50% or higher. This will keep the plant healthy and happy. Although a bit lower than the ideal, it won’t have any issues in this range.
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How Often to Water Anthurium Ace of Spades
The Anthurium Ace of Spades enjoys moist soil. However, its roots are also prone to overwatering. Therefore, you need to find that balance between keeping the plant happy but safe from too much water.
It is also worth noting that the Anthurium Ace of Spades has thick, velvet foliage. This allows it to tolerate drought to a certain degree since its leaves store moisture.
The other thing is that the time of year affects how often it needs watering.
Again, this comes down to its roots’ need for moisture and their susceptibility to overwatering.
As such, during the warmer months, water the plant about once a week. During the peak of summer, this can go up to twice or thrice a week depending on how hot it gets in your area.
The easiest way to tell when to water your Anthurium Ace of Spades is to check the soil first. Always do this before adding more moisture. This is the only way to avoid overwatering.
To check, stick your finger down 2 inches into the surface of the soil. The soil at this depth needs to be completely dry before you add more water.
If you follow this rule, you’ll be able to avoid overwatering the plant.
During the winter, allow the soil to dry out a bit more. That’s because it is colder, there’s less sun, and the plant is not actively growing. Thus, it does not need much water.
The environment also means wet soil takes much longer to dry. Therefore, there’s a higher risk of overwatering.
This means you need to cut back on watering to around once every 2 weeks or so.
Anthurium Ace of Spades Potting Soil
The Anthurium Ace of Spades thrives in well-draining soil with pH of 6.1 to 7.5.
This is because the plant is an epiphyte. Therefore, in the forest, its roots are not in soil. Instead, they attach themselves to larger plants and trees.
Therefore, the roots enjoy getting good airflow and staying dry. However, they do enjoy a good drenching every now and then since they’re native to the rainforest.
This means that the roots like to get soaked (so they can get hydrated). But soon after getting thoroughly wet, they’ll dry quickly (due to good air circulation).
Thus, the best soil for the Anthurium Ace of Spades needs to be loose, airy (chunky) and have good drainage.
The easiest way to achieve this is to use a combination of
- 2 parts orchid mix
- 1 part peat
- 1 part perlite
Alternatively, you can also go with:
- 1 part peat
- 1 part perlite
- 1 part pine bark
If your local nursery carries it, you can likewise pick up a package of aroid mix. This will be perfect for the Anthurium Ace of Spades as it is an Aroid. This way, you don’t need to mix the soil components yourself.
The Anthurium Ace of Spades is a light feeder. Nevertheless, it still needs fertilizer. This ensures that it gets all the nutrients it needs. Additionally, it also helps the plant flower.
You can use a regular houseplant fertilizer or one with a higher phosphorus content (if you want it to flower). Phosphors is the middle number in the N-P-K ratio.
Make sure to dilute the strength of the dose to half or a quarter. Use a liquid fertilizer to make it easy to dilute.
Finally, only feed the plant once every 2 months during its growing season (spring and summer). By early to mid fall, you can stop. And don’t feed it during late fall and winter (before starting again next spring).
The Anthurium Ace of Spades will grow to about 2 to 3 feet tall indoors. Its size makes it perfect for indoor home décor especially, if you want to add some dark green or leafy accents.
The plant does start out small, especially if you buy it from the store which will usually give you a juvenile Anthurium Ace of Spades. Sometimes, they’ll even give you a baby Anthurium Ace of Spades.
This will allow you to keep it on a tabletop as it grows. It will take years before the plant reaches it mature size.
So, as it gets bigger, you can gradually place it closer to the ground.
Because, most of the plant’s size is due to its leaves, pruning is not a big deal. After all, its leaves are what make it attractive.
That said, you get to decide how big or bushy you want the plant to get. As such, you can prune more (or less) depending on the look you’re going for.
How to Propagate Anthurium Ace of Spades
Once you have a mature Anthurium Ace of Spades, it would be a shame not to propagate it. That’s because it is a beautiful plant that has a unique look.
The easiest way to propagate your Anthurium Ace of Spades is by using stem cuttings. The best time to do so is during spring.
Here’s how to propagate your Anthurium Ace of Spades from stem cuttings (step by step).
- Use a sterile knife or pair or pruning shears. You can disinfect it using rubbing alcohol and some cotton.
- The most important part is choosing a healthy stem with at least 1-2 nodes and at least a leaf on it. If you can get a stem cutting with aerial roots, all the better.
- Aerial roots will produce new white roots in water. And they’ll do so much faster than nodes to. These woody roots also increase propagation success rates and allow the new plant to not only root faster but also sprout leaves earlier as well later on. So, take advantage of them if they’re there.
- Using your cutting tool, cut a 4-6 inch stem cutting below the node (and aerial roots, if any).
- Place the cutting into water making sure that the nodes and aerial roots are submerged into the liquid. Keep any leaves above the water. Remove leaves that touch or end up in the liquid.
- Change the water once a week so it does not get murky.
- In about 3 to 5 weeks, you should see a good amount of roots grow. Use a glass container so you can see the roots as they develop.
- Once the roots get to about 2 to 4 inches long, you can pot up the cuttings in soil.
Alternatively, you can plant the cuttings directly into soil.
- Here, use well-draining potting mix and add water to get it moist. Avoid overwatering. You don’t want wet, soggy soil.
- Place the cut end of the stem cutting in rooting hormone. This step is optional but helps.
- Then plant the cutting into the potting mix with the nodes buried under the soil. if your cutting has aerial roots keep them on the soil or out of the pot. You can also cut them off if you don’t like their look.
- It will take about 4 to 6 weeks for the roots to develop and establish themselves into the soil.
How to Repot or Transplant Anthurium Ace of Spades
The Anthurium Ace of Spades will need to be repotted every 2 to 3 years. During this time, its roots will outgrow its container and they’ll need more space.
Of course, this is assuming you want to plant to grow bigger. As you increase the pot size, you’re giving the plant the “green light” or “go signal” to get bigger.
The easiest way to tell when the plant needs repotting is to check the holes at the bottom of the container. You can do this once every 6 or 12 months. If you see the roots coming out, it means it is time to move it to a larger pot.
You can leave the plant in its pot for a while. But avoid doing so for too long.
Over time, as the pot gets too tight, the plant will experience more stress. Also, as more roots take up space in the pot, there will be less space for soil.
Less soil means it can hold less moisture. Thus, you’ll notice the need to water very often.
When choosing a larger pot, go with one that is 2 inches wider. Avoid using an overly large pot since the extra soil means lots of moisture as well when you water it.
This will leave the roots standing in liquid (which increases the risk of root rot).
Is It Toxic/Poisonous to Humans, Cats & Dogs
The Anthurium Ace of Spades is toxic when ingested. This applies to cats, dogs and humans. Therefore, keep young children and pets away from the plant as they may accidentally chew on or consumer parts of the leaves, flowers, or stems.
Problems & Troubleshooting
The Anthurium Ace of Spades does not attract pests. As such, there’s a high likelihood you’ll never need to deal with any bugs when growing and caring for the plant.
But don’t get complacent.
Proper care keeps its resistance up from pests. Therefore, it is important to give it the requirements it needs (as listed above) to sustain its natural defenses.
When unhealthy, the plant becomes more susceptible to bugs.
The most common pests are spider mites. Although, mealybugs, aphids and scale insects can come along as well.
Again, the Anthurium Ace of Spades has good resistance to disease. However, overwatering, waterlogged soil and too much moisture increases its risk of bacterial and fungal diseases.
Therefore, avoid watering too frequently, use well-draining potting mix and don’t wet the leaves too much. Also water the plant in the morning and avoid doing so later in the day (as there’s less light and it gets colder at night).