Anthurium Gracile Care, Seed & Seedling Propagation

Anthurium Gracile

The Anthurium Gracile is a rare epiphyte that is also known as the Red Pearl Anthurium. This is because it is known for bearing red berries. Incidentally, using these fruits are also the best way to propagate the plant (which I’ll discuss in detail below).

In case you were wondering, the term Gracile means graceful.

The plant itself features long, narrow green leaves (about 4 to 12 inches long and 2 to 4 inches wide). And after self-fertilization, you’ll see it bear some red berries from its spadix.

The Anthurium Gracile is native to the West Indies, Central and parts of South America including Brazil and Peru.

As a houseplant, it is easy to care for and often grown in pots. Although you don’t necessarily have to grow it in soil. And because its roots can trail downwards while its leaves spread outward, many growers also keep the plant in hanging baskets.

Anthurium Gracile Plant Care

Light Requirements

The Anthurium Gracile will grow at its best when placed in a well-lit location. It needs medium to bright, indirect light to thrive indoors.

And because it is an epiphytic grower in the rainforest that’s shaded by the branches and leaves of larger trees and plants, it cannot withstand a lot of direct sun.

This means it is important to keep it away from the rays of the sun during mid-day (10:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.).

However, it has no problem with a few hours of direct morning sun coming from an eastern window. In fact, the plant will grow faster under this environment.

On the other hand, it can also tolerate low light. But only to a certain degree.

You want to avoid areas with insufficient light as this will slow down the plant’s growth. As such, while a north facing window will work for most of the year, make sure it does not get too dim during the winter.

A simple way to tell whether there is enough light for the plant is to sit in the spot where you plant to put it. Then open up a newspaper or magazine and start reading the content.

If you can easily read the text without turning on any lamp or light, then there’s enough illumination to keep the plant happy.

Outdoors, the plant is best suited to partial shade.

 

Temperature

In addition to ensuring that there’s enough light where you place the plant, it is also important to put it in a warm spot.

The Anthurium Gracile is a tropical plant that is native to the West Indies, Central and parts of South America. Therefore, it is accustomed to moderate to hot weather.

Although it is best served when kept in moderately warm environments. That’s because as a smaller plant in the forest, it gets quite a bit of shade from the forest canopy.

As such, while it can tolerate hotter conditions, it is most comfortable in moderate to warm weather.

Thus, its ideal temperature is between 65 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit. It can likewise tolerate down to 60 degrees Fahrenheit. However, be careful about leaving anywhere colder than that.

Left in temperatures under 60 degrees for prolonged periods of time, the plant’s growth will not only slow down but can also experience cold damage after a certain point.

This means it is a good idea to keep it away from air conditioners and areas with cold drafts.

Similarly, you can keep it outdoors if you wish. However, it can only stay there all year round in USDA Hardiness Zones 10 to 12. In colder regions, it is important to bring it indoors once temperatures drop to 60 degrees.

 

Related Articles

 

Humidity

The Anthurium Gracile enjoys humid environments. Its ideal level is between 60% and 80%.

This is where the plant is happiest. It also grows faster and will produce larger foliage under this condition.

Again, this is due to its tropical nature.

That said, the Anthurium Gracile is unlike many other Anthuriums in that it can tolerate average humidity. This means its easier to care for the plant indoors without having to put in extra effort to increase humidity around it.

That said, be wary of very hot, dry summers and cold winters. Both seasons are known for dry air.

Similarly, keep the plant away from heaters, radiators and air conditioners as these appliances tend to cause humidity in the room drop significantly as well.

anthurium gracile

source: wikimedia commons

 

How Often to Water Anthurium Gracile

The Anthurium Gracile enjoys moist soil especially during its growing season which is between March to September.

During this time, you’ll need to water regularly. Although depending on how hot it gets in your location and how much sun your plant gets, your watering frequency can vary between once every 7-8 days to once every 2-3 days.

The simplest way to tell is to feel the soil. This is something I highly recommend you do every time before you add water.

Just stick your index finger into the soil down to the second knuckle. This amounts to about 2 inches in depth (from the surface).

Only water when the soil at this depth is completely dry. Avoid doing so before that.

The reason is that while the Anthurium Gracile’s roots enjoy moisture, they are sensitive to overwatering. Therefore, leaving the roots in standing water or waterlogged soil will eventually lead to root rot.

As such, always monitor the soil to make sure it does not get wet or soggy.

Also, keep an eye on its leaves. When overwatered, the plant’s leaves tend to turn yellow. On the other hand, lack of water will cause its leaf tips to turn brown.

Therefore, it is important not to allow the soil to go completely dry since the plant does not like to get dehydrated.

 

Anthurium Gracile Potting Soil

The Anthurium Gracile needs loose, well-draining soil that allows its roots to breathe.

As such, the ideal potting soil for the plant is an aroid mix.

This also means that you want to avoid using regular potting mix without any amendment. This tends to retain too much moisture which will leave the roots sitting in water.

The reason that loose, chunky soil will good drainage is important is because the Anthurium Gracile grows as an epiphyte in the forest.

Thus, it does not grow in soil. instead, it attaches itself onto trees and larger plants.

As such, its roots quickly dry after getting wet from the rain because they get a lot of air circulation.

This means that besides using an aroid mix, you can also grow the plant using bark (and no soil at all). Another option is to grow it hydroponically.

However, in most cases, home growers opt for soil.

If you prefer to grow it in soil, you can use:

  • 1 part regular potting soil or potting compost
  • 1 part orchid mix

Similarly, you can use:

  • 1 part regular potting soil
  • 1 part perlite

In addition to good drainage, make sure that the excess liquid can get out of the pot. And if you put a saucer or something else beneath the pot to catch the water, make sure to throw that liquid away so the soil does not reabsorb it.

 

Fertilizer

The Anthurium Gracile is a light feeder. Still, it is important to make sure to feed it during its growing season. This ensures optimum growth and also prevents any nutrient deficieny.

You can use a balanced houseplant fertilizer or a general purpose product. Once a month feeding is all the plant needs during spring and summer.

Dilute the fertilizer by half strength. And don’t feed the plant when the soil is dry. These extra measures help prevent fertilizer burn.

It is also a good idea to flush the soil once every 2-3 months to get rid of fertilizer salts that accumulate in the soil.

Although this is less likely to happen if you water thoroughly each time you add moisture.

 

Pruning

The Anthurium Gracile can grow to between 2 to 3 feet tall once it matures. It is a very unique looking plant that will produce red berries.

Its narrow leaves can likewise reach anywhere from 4 to 12 inches in length and 2 to 4 inches wide.

These tend to spread outwards. Although they can look somewhat messy and all over the plant.

The Anthurium Gracile is also known for producing a good amount of roots, be it aerial roots or regular soil roots. You can see the latter if you don’t use soil and just allow it to grow attached to something.

As such, the plant does need some pruning, especially if you want it to look neat and tidy.

However, if you prefer a more jungle look, you can let it grow out and only do minor trimming every now and then.

 

How to Propagate Anthurium Gracile

The best way to propagate Anthurium Gracile is from seeds. From there, allow them to grow into seedlings. Over time, they will grow and mature into full-sized Anthurium Gracile plants.

To do so,

  • Take the red berries and plant these in water. They’ll stay there for about a week. Therefore, change the water regularly to keep it fresh.
  • Once the berries get soft, you can take out the pulp. This will leave you with the seeds.
  • Watch the seeds in water to rinse them. Then leave them on a dry towel to dry. It will take about 2-3 hours for the seeds to dry.
  • Next, place the seeds on a germination tray (or something similar) with loose, airy, well-draining soil.
  • Keep the soil mix moist but make sure not to get it too wet.
  • It will take about a week for the seeds to start germinating. Keep it in a warm, well-lit spot to help speed up the process.
  • Once you see leaflets start growing, you can move the seedlings into a container with potting mix.

 

How to Repot or Transplant Anthurium Gracile

Repotting is something you may or may not do. if you don’t grow it in a soil, then there’s no need to repot.

However, if you keep it in potting soil, then checking its size every so often is needed. The plant needs to be repot every 1 to 2 years. The actual timeframe will vary depending on how fast it grows.

It does not like being pot bound. And its roots like being able to breathe. Therefore, it is a good idea to repot the plant soon after you see roots coming out from the bottom of the pot’s drainage holes.

The best time to repot is during spring and early summer. Although you can technically repot any time as long as you avoid very hot and very cold days.

When choosing a new pot, pick one that is one size larger (2 inches wider). Avoid getting anything bigger as this will give the roots too much space and excess moisture when you water the soil.

 

Is It Toxic/Poisonous to Humans, Cats & Dogs

Keep the Anthurium Gracile away from pets and young children. The plant is toxic and is not meant to be ingested or consumed. In case of any accidental ingestion, make sure to call your vet or pediatrician.

Depending on how much was consumed, this can cause side effects including mouth, throat and stomach irritation, pain, and discomfort. It can also cause vomiting and other issues.

 

Problems & Troubleshooting

Pests

The Anthurium Gracile can experience pests. Although with proper care and cleaning (the leaves), you can reduce the probability of this happening.

Spider mites, mealybugs, aphids and scale are common pest problems. Although, they’re easy to get rid of provided that you spot them early.

The more you let them populate, the harder it gets to completely eradicate these bugs.

 

Diseases

The Anthurium Gracile can experience root rot, blight and leaf spot just like other houseplants. Although it has fairly good resistance to it, you need to do you part by keeping the soil and leaves fairly dry.

Too much moisture will encourage bacterial and fungal infections.

As such, avoid overwatering and waterlogged soil. Similarly, don’t wet its leaves too much when watering or misting the plant.

It is likewise better to water the plant in the morning so the moisture can evaporate. Avoid doing so later in the day when there isn’t a lot of light left.