Anthurium crystallinum, also known as crystal anthurium is unique looking flowering plan that traces its origins from the rainforests of Central and South America. Ironically, it isn’t grown for its yellow and green flowers. Instead, it is its heart-shaped, dark green leaves that are lined with white veins that people love about it.
Because of this, crystal anthuriums are often used in special bouquets and cut flower arrangements. Their tropical evergreen nature also means that many of them are grown in greenhouses to take advantage of controlled environments.
That said, you’ll also see them outside in gardens especially in warm climate areas like USDA zones 11 and 12. But more of all, they’re revered are houseplants because of their ability to brighten up or add color to indoor spaces.
These plants can reach about 1 to 1.5 feet in about 2 to 2.5 years. Ultimately, they cant grow up to 35 inches high and have broad leaves.
Anthurium Crystallinum vs. Clarinervium
Because they look very similar, the Anthurium crystallinum is often mistaken for the anthurium clarinervium and vice versa. Being relatives, it’s the two are very similar in their looks as well as behavior, each being very picky about humidity and light.
Most of all, their leaves, which are their most distinctive features, look similar to one another as well, including size and shape.
However, the biggest difference between them are the berries they produce. The clarinervium produces big, orange colored berries whereas the crystallinum will produce white and purple colored berries.
Anthurium Crystallinum Plant Care
Anthurium Crystallinum Light
Anthurium crystallinum do best with bright, indirect sun. Thus, you can place them in areas that get long hours of sunlight as long as you keep them away from the direct path of the sun’s rays.
This makes an east facing window the best place to put your crystal anthurium. The morning sun is nowhere near as intense as that in noon and afternoons. And, it will receive at least a few hours of exposure daily.
You can likewise place it on near a west-facing or south facing window. But, be sure to keep it about 6-8 feet away from the opening. This allows it to get indirect sunlight. Another alternative is to put some kind of layer between the sun and your plant. Whether it’s a tree with lots of leaves or a translucent curtain, these will filter the light so only some light gets through. In doing so, they reduce the intensity of the sunlight that actually hits your plant.
Just as direct sunlight can scorch the leaves of your crystal anthurium, you also don’t want to put it somewhere dark or a location with low light conditions. This slows down its growth, causes them to become leggy and turns their bright colored leaves pale.
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Anthurium Crystallinum Temperature & Humidity
Anthuriums are tropical plants. As such, they thrive on moderate to high temperatures and humidity. This makes homes and other indoor environment perfect for growing them. Although, in certain times of the year, especially winter, you’ll need to adjust the indoor thermostat and alleviate the dry air to help your anthurium crystallinum stay at its best.
The ideal temperature of growing anthurium crystallinum is between 60 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit. This puts their sweet spot at a slightly cooler range compared to other houseplants. Nevertheless, it is around where most homes thermostat levels are.
In addition to humid conditions crystal anthurium need good air circulation. But, make sure that they don’t stay in the way of drafts or areas where the temperature can suddenly drop at night. This makes them susceptible to problems. Additionally, you’ll want to be aware of using air conditioners around them as these will dry the air.
While many anthurium are grown as houseplants, you can likewise plant them outside if you live in USDA zones 11 or 12. If you don’t happen to live in these areas, you can still take them outside during the summer. Just make sure that you bring them back in once the temperature started to get down to 60 degrees.
When outside, keep the plant under a shade. This mimics their natural environment where they’re covered by the large leaves of tall trees.
During its growing season in spring and summer, you’ll want generously water your crystal anthurium. The goal is to keep the potting soil moist without overwatering. More specifically, the top layer should be moist while the lower layers drier.
As much as you want to be able to give enough hydration, you can quickly turn a good thing into bad. Too much water is one of the biggest problems with growing anthurium. Putting them in waterlogged conditions or letting them sit in water places them at risk of root rot. Once wintertime comes, you can allow them to dry out.
As such, asking how many times you should be watering your anthurium crystallinum per week isn’t the right question. That’s because the weather, temperature, humidity, type of soil, size of the plant and pot among other things affect how quickly or slowly the soil dries.
Instead, the best way is to stick your finger into the soil. Once you get past 2 inches or so, if the soil down there is still moist, then it isn’t time to water yet. Once its feels dry, you can water again.
As with most houseplants, a high quality potting mix works well for anthurium crystallinum. That’s because this medium stays moist while begin well-draining. Thus, using peat moss is a good idea. You can combine it with sand, coconut coir or sphagnum moss to achieve both properties.
The right kind of potting mix is very important for your anthurium crystallinum because bad soil won’t allow water to penetrate through it. Thus, your plant won’t be able to absorb the nutrients from the soil as well as fertilizer. On the other hand, soil that doesn’t hold moisture increases the risk of your plant drying out faster.
Fertilizer plays a big role in proper growth of the anthurium crystallinum. Ideally, you want to use an balanced organic fertilizer. You can choose between liquid and slow release versions as both work really well. That said, you want the product to contain nitrogen, magnesium and phosphorus. All of which is key nutrients the crystal anthurium needs.
Because most anthurium crystallinum are grown indoors, you’ll be using potting mix. This means fertilizer plays a crucial role because potting soil isn’t soil at all. And, it won’t have the nutrients your garden soil has. Thus, all the supplemental nutrients will be coming form your fertilizer.
However, don’t get tempted to add too much. Just like water, too much fertilizer is bad for plants. And, the crystal anthurium is included in this list. Your plant will quickly show you signs of overfertilization as its leaves will turn pale or fail to grow to their regular size.
If you notice either symptom, stop fertilizing immediately and give it some time to recover.
Pruning isn’t necessary for crystal anthuriums. But, it’s a good idea to trim away discolored (brown and yellow) or dead leaves. Doing so encourages new growth and it keeps the plant from expending energy on spent, diseased or dead parts. Similarly, you’ll want to trim away leggy stems.
When pruning, start from the top and work your way down.
Anthurium Crystallinum Propagation
If you want to grow more crystal anthurium, the best time to propagate them is during its growing period, especially the first part of it.
Here, you have 3 options:
- Seed Propagation – this takes the longest among the 3 methods. But, once you’ve done the initial work, it gets easier. That said, you need to wait much longer before you start seeing the plant mature. In general, it takes 2 years for a anthurium crystallinum to mature.
- Root Division – propagation by division is the fastest. But, it is also the messiest and arguably take more work in the beginning. The best time to do this is when you’re repotting because you’ll be taking out the root ball. Once you’ve cleaned out the extra soil and untangled the roots, you can divide a section or sections (if you want more than one). Then, plant the section in a container of its own.
- Stem Cuttings – stem cuttings are a go-between the two. They’re simpler than division and don’t take as long as propagating from seed. Here, you want to cut off a stem that’s about 4-6 inches long. Ideally you want the stem to have 2-3 leaves at least. Next, plant the stem cutting into a pot with fresh potting soil, and water.
Transplanting & Repotting Anthurium Crystallinum
Crystal anthurium are fairly fast growing plants. As such, you may want to start with a 10 inch pot so you don’t have to repot inside of a year. That said, its growth slows down as it grows. And later on, you’ll only need to repot every 2 years or so.
That said, the best time to repot your plant is during the spring or summer. In addition to the start of its growing season, the beginning of fail is also a good time to do it. And, the plant itself will tell you when to do so. Once you see roots coming out from the pot, or if they start covering it, then it is time to move it to a bigger container.
sUnfortunately, yes. As with other anthurium varieties, the crystal anthurium is toxic to both pets and humans. Thus, it is a good idea to keep them away from young kids and playful dogs and cats.
If they happen to ingest the leaves or stem, it can cause mouth, throat, and digestive irritation.
Pests & Diseases
Insects are less of a problem with anthurium crystallinum, in part because they’re not attracted to the plant. However, mealy bugs, aphids and scale can give you some problems.
Of those mentioned, mealybugs are the more problematic ones. Both scale and aphids are bothersome, but they don’t really damage much of your plant. So, once you see the cotton-like white balls on your anthurium’s leaves, it’s time to take action. The good news is, all you need to do is sprinkle them off with water. Be careful not to overdo it because you don’t want to overly wet your plant’s leaves which can make them susceptible to fungal disease.
Like mealybugs, you can use water to remove scale and aphids as well.