Anthurium Balaoanum Care (Including Lighting Needs, Watering, Propagation & Problems)

The Anthurium Balaoanum can be a confusing plant because it is labeled differently depending on where you find it. Different shops also seem to use or prefer different names for the plant.

So, whenever you see any of these names, they’ll typically refer to the same plant. As such, the Anthurium Balaoanum is also referred to as:

  • Anthurium Dussii
  • Anthurium Balaoanum
  • Anthurium Guildingii
  • Anthurium Latifolium

Of course, I’ve also seen the name Anthurium Balaoanum spelled incorrectly more than a few times.

Once you know the names that are commonly used to refer to the plant, it should help prevent any confusion then next time you see it.

The Anthurium Balaoanum is one of the bigger Anthurium species around. In the wild, it can grow up to 90 feet high, although it is much smaller indoors (about 6 or so feet tall).

Its most stunning feature are its oddly shaped leaves that are somewhat crumpled. These have a leathery texture although they’re very thin. I remember a grower describing them like tissue paper which is what it felt like when you feel the delicate nature of its foliage.

It is a native of Ecuador which makes it tropical in nature.

Anthurium Balaoanum Plant Care

Light Requirements

The Anthurium Balaoanum tolerates a wide ranges of lighting conditions. And it can be acclimated gradually as well to what you have in your home.

As such, you can place the plant indoors and outdoors.

However, like all houseplants, it is important to understand that lighting indoors and outdoors will vary because of the walls and ceilings of your home.

Indoors, the Anthurium Balaoanum thrives when kept in medium to bright indirect light. It can also take a few hours of direct sunlight. However, avoid that during the harshest time of the day (10:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.)

if left in this environment, its leaves will get bleached. Over time, they will turn brown as well.

Meanwhile, outdoors, it will do best under partial or bright shade. It will likewise do well under dappled or filtered light. Keep it away from full sun.

 

Temperature

The Anthurium Balaoanum is tropical plant. It is native to Ecuador where the weather stays sunny and warm the entire year.

This I why the plant prefers temperatures between 70 and 90 degrees Fahrenheit. Within this range, it will grow faster and have less problems.

Fortunately, this coincides with the temperatures that most homes haves. As such, you don’t really have to do anything.

It is also worth noting that the plant can tolerate about 10 degrees above and below this range without issue. But the farther off you go, the slower its growth will get until it experiences stress.

Above 100 degree temperatures, it will eventually experience heat stress.

More importantly, it cannot tolerate cold weather. As such, keep it away locations where the temperature will drop under 50 degrees.

This means that the Anthurium Balaoanum can be left outdoors all year round if you live in USDA Hardiness Zones 10 to 12. Below these zones, it is better off as a houseplant.

Although you can take it outdoors during the warmer months for some fresh air. Just make sure to bring it back indoors as the weather starts to cool down around autumn.

 

Humidity

Given a choice, the Anthurium Balaoanum prefers 70% humidity or higher. This is something that it is used to coming from a tropical region.

If you’re able to provide it with at least 60% to 70% humidity it will reward you with faster growth and larger, more vibrant looking leaves.

But unless you live in a tropical/subtropical area or somewhere near a body of water like the beach, lake or ocean, it isn’t always easy to maintain this kind of humidity.

Another option is to use a greenhouse, terrarium, grow room or tent.

The good news is the plant can withstand slightly lower humidity as well (40% to 60%). As such, depending on where you live you may not need to employ humidity boosting measures.

However, if your home’s humidity tends to hover in the low 30s or 20s, it is a good idea to invest in a humidifier.

You can likewise mist the plant a few times a week or place it on a pebble tray.

If the air gets too dry, your Anthurium Balaoanum will tell you through its leaves. They will get crispy, brown and dry beginning at the tips and edges.

 

Related

 

How Often to Water Anthurium Balaoanum

Like humidity, watering is the other aspect to pay a bit more attention to when you start caring for the plant.

It is an epiphyte. Therefore, it enjoys moist soil especially during the warmer months of the year. However, it cannot tolerate overwatering.

That’s because the plant does not grow on soil in the wild. Instead, it clings onto trees and larger plants. As such, when the rains come and its roots get wet, they dry fairly quickly after it stops raining.

That’s because they’re exposed to the air.

This is important because as an epiphyte, its roots like a good balance of water and oxygen.

Therefore, too much water means the roots are deprived of air. If this condition persists, the rotos eventually suffocate, which leads to root rot.

Similarly, too much air means the soil has gotten very dry. Again, this is bad for the plant since it needs moisture to survive. Water not only helps transport essential nutrients to different parts of the plant but also helps regulate its internal temperature.

As such, avoid both extremes.

Instead, allow the soil dry a bit between waterings.

At the minimum, wait for the top 1-2 inches of soil dry out before adding more water.

You can likewise wait until the soil is 50% to 75% dry before adding more moisture.

If you stay anywhere between this range, you’ll eliminate the risk of overwatering and underwatering.

 

Anthurium Balaoanum Potting Soil

The best soil for Anthurium Balaoanum is light, airy and well-draining. This makes an aroid mix perfect for the plant. Avoid heavier soils since they tend to hold on to too much moisture, which can result in root rot (over time).

Regular potting mix often retains too much moisture as well. Therefore, I don’t recommend using it on its own without any amendments.

Instead, if you can’t find an aroid mix or prefer making your own DIY potting mix at home, you can use equal parts of:

  • Peat
  • Perlite
  • Bark

Mix them thoroughly before filling the container with the mix.

If you prefer to use something more environmentally friendly, you can substitute the peat for coconut coir as well.

Good aeration and drainage are essential since the plant likes both oxygen and water. This kind of mix also ensures that excess moisture drains quickly in order to avoid waterlogging.

Again, always check on the leaves to get any hints of problems.

The plant’s leaves tend to turn yellow when it is being overwatered or is in waterlogged soil. You can likewise easily tell but touching the soil. If it feels wet or soggy, it means you’re either watering too often, too much or using soil that’s retaining too much moisture.

Therefore, check each one and adjust as needed.

 

Fertilizer

The Anthurium Balaoanum needs fertilizer. And you can use different kinds of fertilizer or even a combination of them.

If you don’t like to feed the plant often, you can use a slow-release fertilizer. This will release the dosage over a period of time which reduces the frequency you need to add it.

In most cases, home gardeners will use regular houseplant fertilizer. You can also opt for all-purpose or a balanced one. They all work.

What’s important is to avoid overfeeding the plant. Therefore, read the label and application instructions for the product you get.

With liquid fertilizer, dilute the dose to half strength and apply once every month during the spring and summer. Cut off feeding during the colder months as the plant won’t be growing much during those times.

 

Pruning

The Anthurium Balaoanum is one of the bigger anthurium varieties. As such, you’ll need space for it.

In its native habitat it can grow up to 90 feet high. Obviously, that’s way too big for any home.

Fortunately, its size is much more manageable when kept indoors in a pot. In this environment, it usually maxes out at 6 feet or so. Thus, while that’s still a good sized houseplant, it isn’t tremendously huge.

You can likewise prune it, divide it or limit its pot size to keep it from getting too large.

Another thing to consider is that it is a relatively fast grower.

This, in combination with its potential size means that you will need to trim it regularly if you don’t want it to get too big too quickly.

With proper care it can get between 4 to 10 feet tall with huge leaves that are 8 to 9 inches long. This makes it a stunning accent piece.

Therefore, shaping and trimming will be needed to keep it looking the way you want it to.

 

How to Propagate Anthurium Balaoanum

The Anthurium Balaoanum can be propagated from steed, by cuttings, division and air layering. This gives you a lot of different options depending on what you want to do.

Most commercial operations will grow the plant from seed. However, the time and effort put into this is often not practice for home growers. At least not unless you’re learning how the plant develops from seed to seedling.

In most cases cuttings and division are what you’ll be using. Division is quite useful due to the size of the plant and its fast growth.

This will allow you to limit the parent’s overall size (at least for the moment).

For propagation purposes, cuttings are the most efficient method.

  • You can easily grow a new Anthurium Balaoanum by taking a healthy stem cutting with at least one leave.
  • Plant the cutting into a pot filled with well-draining potting mix. The size of the pot you choose will depend on how big the cutting you get.
  • Remember, the plant will get big. So, you do need some space for its roots to spread out. However, don’t do it in the beginning since overwatering can be a risk.
  • Once you planted the cutting into the soil, water the soil until moist. Avoid watering too much or too often.
  • Then, place the pot in a well-lit location with no direct sunlight. Make sure the spot is warm and humid as well.
  • It will take about 4-6 weeks for the cutting to root in soil.

 

How to Repot or Transplant Anthurium Balaoanum

Since the Anthurium Balaoanum is a fast grower you will need to repot it sooner than most anthuriums. In general, repotting is needed every 1-2 years.

But exactly how long depends on how fast the plant actually grows.

As such, I prefer watching to see what the plant is telling me.

Once you see roots coming out from the bottom of the pot or popping out on the surface of the soil, it is a sign that it needs a bigger container.

The best time to repot is in the spring. Although technically, you can repot any time of the year.

From experience, I’ve found that it is a good idea to avoid very hot or very cold days. These tend to add more stress to what it experiences from the transplanting process.

 

Is It Toxic/Poisonous to Humans, Cats & Dogs

Unfortunately, yes. The Anthurium Balaoanum is toxic to cats, dogs and humans. But only when ingested. Therefore, it is important to keep pets and young children away from it to avoid accidental chewing or consumption.

 

Problems & Troubleshooting

Pests

The Anthurium Balaoanum is prone to being attacked by sap sucking insects. From experience, this is something the aroids seem to have in common.

Therefore, it is important to be on the lookout for mealybugs, spider mites, scale, aphids and thrips. These are the most common pests that tend to come around.

Although the Anthurium Balaoanum is relatively resistant to them, it can only “defend” itself when healthy. Therefore, as long as you keep it healthy, it reduces the risk of pests.

A stressed, weak or unhealthy plant becomes a bigger target to these bugs as they can sense its vulnerability. When they do, they’ll pounce on it.

 

Diseases

Diseases are less of an issue. However, it can become susceptible to bacterial and fungal infections if there’s too much moisture.

Therefore, if you keep the plant in a greenhouse or somewhere with 70% or higher humidity, make sure there’s enough air circulation. Otherwise, too much humidity means too much moisture which will eventually cause fungal infections.

Similarly, overwatering the soil or waterlogged soil will not only lead to infections but also increase the risk of root rot.

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