The Anthurium Scherzerianum is also known as the Flamingo Flower. Some people refer to it as the Pigtail Plant.
It is also worth noting that while it looks very similar to the Anthurium andreanum, the two are different species of Anthuriums. When you put them side by side, the Anthurium Scherzerianum is visible smaller than the Anthurium andreanum.
Also, their leaves have varying shapes. Their spadix are also differ with one being straight and the other being slightly bent.
The Anthurium Scherzerianum grows to between 1 to 1.5 feet tall.
It is also best known for its orange colored curly spadix, lance shaped leaves that can reach 8 inches in length and glossy red colored spathe. Note that the plant does come with other colored spathes as well. Although red is the most common and poplar one you’ll see.
It is an epiphyte that is native to the rainforests of Costa Rica. You’ll also see in it Central and South America.
Anthurium Scherzerianum Plant Care
The Anthurium Scherzerianum enjoys medium to bright light indoors. However, avoid direct sun as it cannot withstand more than a few hours of strong mid-day sun. Otherwise, this can damage its leaves and cause scorching.
Instead, keep the plant in a well-lit location that gets indirect, filtered, diffused or dappled light.
The reason that Anthurium Scherzerianum enjoys this is that it grows as an epiphyte in the rainforests of Central and South America.
Therefore, it is not directly hit by the sun’s rays since the forest canopy filters the natural light.
On the other hand, the plant can likewise tolerate low light. Although, there’s a limit to this as well.
After a certain level, the light becomes insufficient to support the plant’s requirements for photosynthesis.
As a result, when there’s too little light, it will grow much more slowly. Just as importantly, you’ll see fewer flowers or even none at all.
Outdoors, its ideal spot is bright shade or partial shade. You can grow it under a tree or near a patio with some kind of cover.
The Anthurium Scherzerianum tolerates a wide temperature range between 55 and 90 degrees Fahrenheit. However, its sweet spot is between 65 and 75 degrees.
And in ideal situations, try to keep it at 60 degrees or higher.
It does not do well in the cold. And below 55 degrees Fahrenheit, you’ll see it struggle.
Not only will its growth slow down, it may sustain cold injury if the temperature keeps dropping.
Outdoors, the plant is best suited for USDA Hardiness Zones 11 and 12. This is thanks to its tropical nature. As such, it enjoys locations with consistently warm weather and no snow.
The Anthurium Scherzerianum thrives on humidity and given a choice if prefers 70% to 80% humidity. That said, it can tolerate lower levels but only to a certain degree.
So, if you don’t get at least 50% humidity at home, then it is a good idea to consider boosting moisture in the air.
This will keep the plant healthy and looking vibrant.
When humidity gets too low, you’ll notice its leaf tips and edges turn crispy and brittle. They will get dry and brown as well.
These are symptoms to look out for. It is your plant’s way of telling you that it needs more humidity.
To help it out, you can mist it regularly or set up a humidifier. Similarly, you can place the plant on top of rocks in a water tray.
Each of these methods (except for the humidifier) will produce varying effects as to how high they can push humidity. Therefore, you’ll need to test them out to see which one works best for your home.
I do suggest picking up a digital hygrometer. That way, you’ll know how much more you need to bring air moisture up.
How Often to Water Anthurium Scherzerianum
In general, the plant likes to be watered about 1-2 times a week during the summer. You’ll also need to scale back on water during the winter since it is prone to overwatering. Thus, watering about once every 2 weeks often works.
That said, you need to see how your plant responds to the moisture frequency. That’s because you may need to adjust how often you water your Anthurium Scherzerianum based on how hot the summers get and how cold the winters get.
The warmer and sunnier it is, the faster the soil will dry. On the other hand, the colder it gets, the longer it takes for soil to dry.
Therefore, avoid sticking to a fixed watering schedule.
Instead, it is better to water based on how much moisture the soil has.
To do so, stick your finger into the soil down to about 2 inches. Add water once that depth feels completely dry. And avoid doing so before then.
This will reduce the risk of overwatering.
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Anthurium Scherzerianum Potting Soil
In addition to proper watering frequency, using the right kind of soil is likewise essential.
That’s because if the soil retains too much of the water, it won’t matter that you’re watering perfectly.
The reason is that all the moisture is held by the soil which means the roots still end up sitting in water for long periods of time.
Therefore, the best kind of soil is one that is well-draining and allows the plant to breathe. Since the Anthurium Scherzerianum is an epiphyte, it enjoys a good balance of water and oxygen.
Too much of one or the other will give it problems.
- When there’s too much water, the roots will suffocate and be unable to breathe. This causes root rot.
- On the other hand, if there’s too much air, that means the soil is very dry. Since the plant needs water to transport nutrients and hydrate itself, it will likewise deteriorate if this condition is not fixed.
Well-draining soil helps retain just enough moisture to keep the roots hydrated. And it will drain excess water to avoid waterlogging or overwatering.
If you want to use a commercial product that’s available in stores, the best option is an aroid mix. I also know a few gardeners who use orchid mix. Although, I’ve never tried it myself so I can’t give you a first-hand experience or assessment of it.
If you don’t mind making your own potting mix at home, here are a few good recipes that are perfect for the Anthurium Scherzerianum.
- 1 part peat moss or coco coir with 1 part orchid bark
- 2 parts orchid mix with 1 part peat and 1 part perlite
The Anthurium Scherzerianum will benefit from regular fertilizing. However, it does not need a lot of it.
Therefore, avoid giving it more than what the instructions on the product states.
It can be tempting to feed it more to help it grow. But with the Anthurium Scherzerianum (and anthuriums, in general) less is more.
You can use a liquid houseplant fertilizer once every 2 months during the spring and summer. Stop feeding by fall and don’t feed it during winter.
Also, dilute the application to half strength when you do.
Flush the soil once very 2-3 months to get rid of any fertilizer salts that accumulate in the soil. This will prevent fertilizer burn which can damage the roots and leaves.
If you see the plant’s tips turn brown and lose their green color, too much fertilizer may be the cause. Although there are other possible culprits as well.
The Anthurium Scherzerianum will grow to between 1-2 feet tall usually it maxes out at 18 inches of so.
Since its leaves and flowers make up most of its size, the plant does not really need a lot of pruning. You also don’t want to prune it too much since these are the plant’s main attractions.
However, if you do see excessively long foliage or those that are turning brown, yellow or dying, then remove them.
This will allow the plant to focus all its resources on the healthy parts.
How to Propagate Anthurium Scherzerianum
You can propagate the Anthurium Scherzerianum in many ways. These include cuttings, division, raising from seed, tissue culture and a few more.
However, for most home growers, the two most common ways are via stem cuttings and division. Stem propagation is by far more popular (and practical).
That said, if you have a bigger Anthurium Scherzerianum that you want to reduce in size, division would be a good option.
To propagate your Anthurium Scherzerianum using stem cuttings:
- Pick out healthy stems. You can use a single stem or multiple stems depending on how many new plants you want to grow.
- Also, pick one that has at least 2-3 leaves on it.
- Once you have the cutting, fill a large pot 6 to 10 inch depending on how big your cutting is.
- Then fill it with well-draining potting mix.
- Make a hole in the middle to fit the stem cutting.
- Insert the stem cutting into the soil but keep the leaves above the soil.
- Water the soil to keep it moist. Do this regularly especially during the first 1-2 months. But avoid overwatering watering. Wet, soggy soil will negatively affect the rooting and growing process.
- Finally, place the pot in a well-lit location with no direct sun. Make sure the spot has moderate to warm temperature and good humidity as well.
- In about 4 to 6 weeks, new roots will have grown and established themselves into the soil.
How to Repot or Transplant Anthurium Scherzerianum
The best time to repot your Anthurium Scherzerianum is during spring to early summer. Although technically, you can repot anytime as long as it does not get too hot or too cold.
Avoid these days as they add stress to the plant.
Also note that you don’t need to repot the plant annually. In most cases it takes 2 years before the plant needs repotting.
However, the exact time will vary depending on how fast your plant grows.
Therefore, it is better to observe what the plant tells you. You’ll know that it has outgrown its pot when roots start coming out from the bottom of the container.
This is a sign that they need more space and thus, are looking outside the pot in hopes to find it.
When choosing a new pot, pick one that is 2 inches larger in diameter. Also make sure it has drainage holes at the bottom.
Is It Toxic/Poisonous to Humans, Cats & Dogs
Yes, the Anthurium Scherzerianum is poisonous when ingested. However, it is not toxic to the touch when the exterior of the plant is not penetrated.
Additionally, the sap of the plant can likewise cause skin irritation in a few people. Therefore, if you have sensitive skin or are susceptible to allergies, it is a good idea to wear gloves when pruning the plant.
Problems & Troubleshooting
The Anthurium Scherzerianum can get attacked by pests. The most common ones to do so are mealybugs, aphids and scale.
Therefore, you always need to be vigilant about pests. Regularly inspecting the leaves and stems is the only way to spot them early.
This is important since it is much easier to get rid of these bugs when there’s only a few of them.
Similarly, keeping the plant healthy also prevents pests. That’s because insects prey on stressed, weak and sick plants.
Diseases can likewise strike. Although a lot of this depends on the environment it is in.
Therefore, avoid damp conditions as the this encourages diseases to grow and spread.
Overwatering, waterlogged soil, too much misting and wet leaves are the most common causes for infections. And they can affect the roots, stems and leaves of the plant.