Anthurium Hookeri Care – How to Grow Bird’s Nest Anthurium

The Anthurium Hookeri is also known as the Bird’s Nest Anthurium. It is an epiphyte which means that in its native habits (tropical rainforests) if climbs onto trees and larger plants.

The plant grows large beautiful wavy leaves the come out form the middle. It also features flowers and will produce white berries.

How to care for Anthurium Hookeri? The Anthurium Hookeri does best in bright, indirect light, temperatures between 68 and 86 degrees Fahrenheit and humidity of 70%.

I needs well-draining soil to avoid waterlogging. You also want to allow the soil to dry a bit between waterings to avoid overwatering.

Anthurium Hookeri Plant Care

Bird’s Nest AnthuriumLight Requirements

The Anthurium Hookeri likes bright, indirect light. This will allow it to grow optimally and produce its lovely red flowers.

It will likewise tolerate medium or low light. Although, I don’t recommend placing it somewhere with low light.

That’s because insufficient lighting will prevent the plant from producing flowers. As such, all you’re left which are its lovely green leaves. And while they care pretty, you’ll be missing out of some of brightest colored flowers among the Anthurium varieties.

Similarly, it is a good idea to avoid direct sunlight. This is also the case with strong, harsh light as this can burn its leaves.

Even if the intensity of the light is not high enough to scorch your Anthurium Hookeri’s leave, it will make them become pale in color. Thus, causing the plant to lose a lot of its luster.

In case you happen to live in an apartment or home that does not get a lot of natural light, you can substitute or supplement that with artificial lighting.

However, make sure that you supply it with at least 12 to 14 hours of grow lights daily to make up to for the absence of sunlight.

Also, avoid keeping the lamps or bulbs too close as they emit heat which will also burn its leaves.

 

Bird’s Nest Anthurium Temperature

The Anthurium Hookeri is a tropical plant. This means that it is used to warm weather that is sunny all year round. As such, its ideal temperature range is between 68 to 86 degrees Fahrenheit.

If you want to keep the plant outdoors, it is best do so in USDA Hardiness Zones 11 and 12. In these regions it will thrive outside without any problems.

However, if you live in colder areas, be sure to take the plant indoors once the temperature starts nearing 50 degrees Fahrenheit.

The Anthurium Hookeri is not cold hardy and will have problems if you leave it in conditions below 50 degrees.

 

Humidity

Because the Bird’s Nest Anthurium is native to tropical rainforests, it is used to high humidity. Ideally, it prefers humidity between 70% and 80%.

If you give it this condition, it will grow faster and produce more lush leaves.

That said, most homes have much lower humidity ranging between 20% and 50% depending on where you live and what time of the year it is.

To help the plant stay healthy and avoid brown, crispy leaf tips, try to keep humidity at 50% and above. Below that, the dry air can cause its leaves to change color and become more brittle. This usually becomes more evident in the tips and edges.

If you find that your home’s air is a bit too dry for the plant, consider getting a humidifier, moving it to the bathroom or placing it on a pebble tray.

These strategies will help increase humidity around the plant.

 

How Often to Water Anthurium Hookeri

The Anthurium Hookeri enjoys slightly most soil. As such, avoid letting its soil go completely dry. This will give the plants problems as it gets dehydrated.

When this happens, you will see its leaves curl, wilt and droop. Also, its leaves will turn brown.

That said, you want to be vary wary of giving the plant too much water. The Bird’s Nest Anthurium is a plant that is susceptible to overwatering, which can lead to root tot.

As such, the best way to keep it happy but avoid watering too often is to wait until the soil dries about an inch from the top before you add more moisture.

This will allow the soil to dry out a bit before you add more. In doing so, it prevents the roots from sitting in water for long periods of time which is what eventually leads to root rot.

When following this watering schedule, you’ll likely find yourself watering the plant about once a week (give or take a few days) during its growing season.

In the winter, allow the soil to dry a bit more since the cold weather and lack of sunshine will keep ti wet longer. Often, you’ll be watering about once every 2 weeks or so during this time of the year.

 

Related

 

Anthurium Hookeri Potting Soil

Since the Anthurium Hookeri is an epiphyte, it does not necessarily need soil to live or thrive. In its native habitat, the plant climbs onto larger trees and plants. There is gets it sustenance from the air and the debris that fall on the larger plants.

Thus, you can grow the plant on a bark or something similar instead of soil.

That said, in most homes, you’ll find the plant pots.

Because of its susceptibility to being overwatered, it is important to make sure the soil is well-draining. The ideal soil for your Anthurium Hookeri moist, rich, light, porous and coarse. Keep soil pH between 5.5 to 6.5 as well.

This makes an aroid mix the ideal choice. However, I’ve noticed that only some nurseries and garden centers carry Aroid mixes.

Therefore, if you want something out of the box, you can use commercial potting mix and add perlite and bark to improve its drainage and aeration.

On the other hand, if you enjoy making your own DIY potting mixes at home like I do you can use this one.

  • 2 parts orchid mix
  • 1 part peat
  • 1 part perlite

If you don’t like using peat because it is not eco-friendly, you can substitute that with coco coir instead.

 

Bird’s Nest Anthurium Fertilizer

The Anthurium Hookeri benefits from fertilizer. However, it does not need a lot. Therefore, the important thing here is to avoid giving it too much.

Excess feeding will result in salt buildup in the soil that can ultimately damage its roots.

Instead, only feed the plant as needed.

Use water soluble fertilizer with higher phosphorus. This is the middle number in the N-P-K ratio in the product’s label. Thus you want the middle number to be higher.

Phosphorus helps with root development, building strong stems and encouraging flower formation.

However, avoid going too high as excess phosphorus will cause deficiencies in other minerals like zinc. Therefore, it can cause other side effects.

Feed the plant once every 2 months during its growing season. Don’t feed it during late fall and winter as it won’t grow much during the cold weather.

 

Pruning

The Bird’s Nest Anthurium can grow to about a foot and a half tall or so (18 inches). Its leaves will also spread out about 20 inches from side to side.

This makes it a balanced plant that you can put on tabletops or counters that gives you a bit of both vertical and horizontal aesthetics.

Because it does not get big, you don’t need to prune it too often. Its lush green leaves also make it very attractive.

So, unless the leaves start to look messy or too bushy for your liking, the plant only requires low maintenance when it comes to pruning.

 

How to Propagate Anthurium Hookeri

The Anthurium Hookeri can be propagated in a few ways. These include:

  • Stem cuttings
  • Division
  • From seeds

Of the 3 methods, stem cuttings is the simplest. Although you do need to wait for the cuttings to root. It also takes a few months before it begins to produce leaves.

Division takes a bit more time at least during the propagation process. You also need to unpot the plant.

However, once you’re done, you have a semi-grown new plant, which means you don’t need to wait for it to root. And it should be growing leaves as well.

Seeds take the longest and the most effort. But it allows you to go through the entire process to learn more about how the plant grows.

It is also worth noting that this is how commercial operations propagate because it allows them to grow many plants at the same time.

In any cases, here’s how to propagate Anthurium Hookeri from stem cuttings and division.

 

Propagating Anthurium Hookeri from Stem Cuttings

Stem cuttings is the simplest way to propagate the Anthurium Hookeri.

The best time to propagate the plant is during spring to early summer. And you want to make sure that it is healthy and not suffering from any stress or problems.

To propagate the Anthurium Hookeri from stem cuttings:

Start by locating a healthy stem. You’re looking for a stem with leaves and at least one node.  Make sure that the node is present as the cutting will not propagate without it. The leaves will likewise help the cutting grow faster.

Once you’ve found suitable stems for propagation, cut them from the parent plant. You can use a pair or scissors or pruning shears. Use rubbing alcohol to sterilize the blades before cutting into the stem. Make sure that you cut below the node so that it is included with the cutting.

Next prepare the pot and soil. Fill the container with fresh, well-draining potting mix. You can use the DIY recipes above or an aroid mix.

Then, plant the cutting into the soil. Use your finger to make a small hole in the potting mix. Then place the stem cutting so that the node or nodes are buried under the soil. Remove any leaves that end up under the soil.

Place the cutting in bright, indirect light with good humidity. Keep the cutting in a warm spot. Make sure it receives enough light as it will need this to grow. If your home does not get good humidity (over 50%), cover the pot with a plastic bag. This will trap the moisture in to increase humidity around the plant.

In about 3 to 4 weeks, the cutting will have grown roots. Around this time, you can either take the root ball out oft the pot temporarily to check for roots or lightly tug on the plant. For the latter, the plant should resist as a sign that roots have gotten hold of the soil.

 

Propagating Anthurium Hookeri by Division

Another option to stem cutting is to divide the Anthurium Hookeri to propagate it.

This method is very different from stem cuttings in that you will be dividing the roots of the plant. This means that it is important to have a mature plant that is big enough.

That way, you don’t end up with very small plants after dividing the parent.

Here’s how to propagate Anthurium Hookeri by division.

Begin by unpotting the plant. When taking the plant out of its pot, be careful and gently slide the root ball out. Avoid being too aggressive since the plant’s root system is quite delicate. Damaging it or shocking the plant can cause issues later.

Brush off the excess soil so you can see the rots better. While you’re there, also check the roots to make sure they are healthy. Look for any signs of rotting, pests, disease or anything abnormal. If you find any, treat and fix the issue before you propagate.

Look for sections you can divide. Depending on the size of the plant and how many new plants you want, you can choose the sections you want to split. In most cases, people divide the parent into 2 plants. But you can divide it into more. And you don’t need the divisions to be the same size.

Separate the sections. Use your hands to separate the divisions you’ve selected. Make sure that each section has stems and leaves with matching roots. A section without roots or insufficient roots won’t be able to support the plant above it. If the roots are stuck to one another you can use a knife to cut them apart.

Pot up the plants. Pot up the divisions. Fill the pots with well-draining potting mix and pot each of the sections into their own container.

Place the plants in bright, indirect light. Take care of the new plant or plants like you would the parent. Give it bright, indirect light, keep it in a warm spot with good humidity, feed and water as needed.

 

How to Repot or Transplant Anthurium Hookeri

The Anthurium Hookeri is not a fast grower. And you will only need to repot it once every 2 to 3 years.

Note that these are just guides. Therefore, it is better to listen to what the plant is telling you. To do so, check the bottom of the pot instead.

If you see roots coming out the drainage holes at the bottom of the plant’s container, it is time to repot. This is a sign that the plant is root bound and is looking for more room to grow.

When repotting, move the plant to a pot that is 2 inches larger. Also, be careful with its roots when unpotting since they are delicate and sustain damage easily.

 

Is It Toxic/Poisonous to Humans, Cats & Dogs

The Anthurium Hookeri is toxic as it contains calcium oxalate crystals. Thus, avoid letting pets and young children play around it as they may accidentally ingest parts of the plant.

It is also important to be aware that when the plant produces berries not to eat them. These are not edible and are not supposed to be consumed.

 

Anthurium Hookeri Problems & Troubleshooting

Bird’s Nest Anthurium Pests

The Bird’s Nest Anthurium can be prone to spider mites, aphids, mealybugs and thrips. While it is not a pest magnet, it does become more susceptible when it is under stress, shock or not receiving the care requirements it needs.

Since the insects that it attracts are sap suckers, you want to catch them as early as possible.

The longer they go untreated, the more they will feed on the plant robbing it of moisture and nutrients. This will cause yellow patches on the leaves and foliage damage like holes.

It will also weaken the plant since these pests multiply very quickly. Thus, as their population grows, the damage they inflict grows exponentially.

If the pest problem is small, you can spray them off with water to get rid of them. You can do this 2 or 3 times until all the bugs are completely wiped out.

You can likewise use neem oil or insecticidal soap and spray the affected areas to get rid of them.

 

Diseases

Root rot and leaf diseases the biggest issues you want to watch out for here.

Both are caused by excess moisture. However, they usually occur through different means.

Root rot is caused when the soil is overwatered or gets waterlogged. This causes the roots to drown and suffocate.

On the other hand, leaf diseases like bacterial blight and wilt are caused by excess moisture on the leaves that don’t dry quickly.

Usually this happens when you wet the leaves or mist them too much. Lack of sunlight and air circulation will let the moisture stay on the leaves which eventually leads to bacterial or fungal infections.

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