The Anthurium Vittarifolium is a rare aroid that is unique looking with beautiful long, narrow leaves. Because of how it looks, it is often confused with Anthurium Pallidiflorum.
The two look alike.
But they are different plants of the same genus.
This is a very distinctive looking plant that you can grow in pots and hanging baskets. It will do well indoors and outdoors as well.
How do you care for the Anthurium Vittarifolium? Keep the plant in medium to bright indirect light. It will tolerate low light. But avoid too much direct sunlight.
The plant enjoys warm, humid conditions and moist soil. However, it is prone to overwatering so be careful about wet or soggy soil.
Anthurium Vittarifolium Plant Care
The Anthurium Vittarifolium enjoys medium to bright indirect light indoors. It does best in areas with plenty of light.
Although, it can tolerate low light with no problems or harm.
That said, the plant will grow slower if you keep it in low light. Here, you want to be careful to avoid lack of light as this can easily happen if the location is a bit too dim.
Like all plants, the Anthurium Vittarifolium needs light for photosynthesis.
This is what it uses to create the sugars (carbohydrates) to produce energy for growth and development.
As such, the less light there is, the slower the plant will grow. It will also produce fewer, smaller leaves as well.
On the other hand, be careful with excess sunlight as well.
Too much light can burn its leaves. And even if the leaves don’t get scorched, after a while, they can turn yellow or get bleached in color due to the strong light.
Therefore, be careful of mid-day sun between 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
As much as possible try to keep the plant away from the sun’s rays during this time.
This is why distancing the plant from the west and south facing windows is a good idea. You can likewise filter the light coming in by using sheer curtains or a shade cloth.
The Anthurium Vittarifolium is native to the tropical forests of South America.
As such, it is a fan of warm to hot weather. More importantly, it is used to consistently sunny conditions that do not get cold.
In fact, there is no snow or winter where the plant grows.
This is why it prefers temperatures between 60 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit.
The Anthurium Vittarifolium is not cold hardy as well. Therefore avoid temperatures below 50 degrees Fahrenheit as the plant will struggle in these conditions.
Indoors, temperature isn’t much of an issue since most homes maintain moderate temperatures. This makes the plant easy to care for indoors.
However, if you want to keep it outdoors, it is important to monitor the seasons as they change.
If you live in USDA Hardiness Zones 9 to 11, then the plant will happily stay in a pot or in the ground all year round without any issues.
These locations have sunny, warm weather all year long.
But below Zone 9, it is important to bring the plant indoors once temperatures near 50 degrees Fahrenheit.
The heat is less of a problem as the plant can tolerate weather as hot as 95 degrees without any issues. However, try to avoid letting it go much higher that that because it can dry out really quickly.
Unless, you’re willing to water the plant every other day or daily, excessive heat can eventually lead to dehydration.
The Anthurium Vittarifolium likes high humidity. Its ideal humidity range is 50% to 80%. Although, for best growth, try to keep humidity around 60% to 70%.
The reason it enjoys high humidity is because it is native to the tropical rainforests.
For one, tropical regions like South America are known for their high humidity. This usually ranges from 60% to 75% humidity on an average day.
Additionally, rainforest receive regular rainfall a few times a day. The damp surroundings keep humidity high as well.
Therefore, the Anthurium Vittarifolium has gotten used to living in these conditions.
The good news is that the plant can tolerate 40% humidity. So, if you can keep humidity around 40% to 50%, it won’t have a problem.
The lower you get near 40%, the longer it can sometimes take to get the plant acclimated.
Of course, this depends on where it came from. If the store already has acclimated it to low humidity, then it will easily handle this environment.
That said, be careful with going too low.
From my experience, anthuriums can take lower humidity a bit better than philodendrons. Although, this can vary based on variety.
But once you get past a certain point, you’ll see the tips of its leaves turn brown. These will get crispy, dry and feel brittle to the touch.
That’s your sign that humidity has gotten too low.
If that happens, you can mist the plant, use a humidifier or set up a pebble tray. Any of these will help increase humidity around the plant.
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How Often to Water Anthurium Vittarifolium
The Anthurium Vittarifolium likes moist soil. However, it cannot tolerate wet, soggy soil. Therefore, be careful with adding too much water or watering too often.
The plant is sensitive to overwatering.
Therefore, watering it too frequently especially when the soil is still wet or moist will eventually cause problems.
The reason is that too much water will have the roots sitting or drowning in liquid. This pushes out all the air in the tiny pockets between the soil particles.
As a result, the roots get deprived of oxygen.
If this lasts for too long, the roots end up suffocating. This causes them to die leading to root rot.
Alternatively, the wet conditions also promotes fungi growth which leads to disease that will eat through the roots of your Anthurium Vittarifolium.
Either way, you end up with root rot which can kill your plant.
This is why it is very important to allow the plant to slightly dry between watering.
Wait until at least the top 2 inches of soil has dried before you add more water. In doing so, you prevent overwatering the plant.
Similarly, don’t allow the soil to go completely dry.
The plant is used to moist conditions so it does not like having to deal with drought.
Anthurium Vittarifolium Potting Soil
The best soil for the Anthurium Vittarifolium has good aeration and is well-draining. Also, keep the soil pH between 5.5 to 6.5.
A porous soil helps a lot as it allows oxygen (and water) to easily penetrate it to reach the roots. Good drainage is essential to avoid overwatering and waterlogging.
In doing so, this allows the soil to quickly drain excess liquid so the roots don’t end up sitting in water.
In contrast, avoid using heavy soils or those that tend to retain a lot of water. These will give the plant problems even if you’re very religious about watering properly.
The easiest way to get the perfect soil for the Anthurium Vittarifolium is to pick up a bag of Aroid mix. This is loose, porous and well-draining.
And you can use it for your other aroids as well, including anthuriums, philodendrons, monsteras, pothos and a few others.
If you’re like me, you’d probably be more comfortable making your own potting mix at home.
This works well as it comes out cheaper in the long run. Also, you can easily adjust anything if needed.
Here, a simple potting mix recipe that works really well for the Anthurium Vittarifolium is:
- 2 parts orchid mix
- 1 part peat
- 1 part perlite
You can likewise go with:
- 1 part peat
- 1part perlite
- 1 part pine bark
The two look different but they pretty much achieve the same thing (although in different ways).
The important thing here is they provide ample drainage and aeration.
The Anthurium Vittarifolium appreciates fertilizer. And it will grow faster if given plant food.
Therefore, I do recommend doing so.
However, make sure you don’t overdo it. As long as the plant gets the nutrients it needs it will grow well. It does not need extra. So, don’t try to add more than needed.
I like to emphasize this because excess fertilizer not only causes the leaves to turn yellow, but also results in fertilizer burn that damages the leaves.
So, the best rule with fertilizer is just to follow the instructions on the product label.
The Anthurium Vittarifolium will grow on standard houseplant fertilizer.
You can use an all-purpose product or a balanced one. It is not picky. Only apply once a month during its growing season (spring and summer).
Don’t feed the plant during fall or winter.
Make sure to dilute the application each time to 50% the recommended strength.
Besides using regular synthetic fertilizer, you can go with slow-release or time-released fertilizer as well. This will reduce the number of times you need to apply during the course of the year.
Other options include fish fertilizer or fish emulsion.
And if you want to just amend the soil, you can do so as well and skip the fertilizer.
Here, you can use compost or worm castings. Apply as top dressing by adding a ½ or ¼ inch layer each spring.
The Anthurium Vittarifolium can grow to about 8 feet tall. This is actually a misnomer since the plant won’t get tall.
Instead, its leaves will extend down and reach about 8 feet in length. Each leaf can get as wide as 4 inches.
As such, you have long, narrow leaves hanging downward from the pot.
This is why you’ll often see the plant hanging or on the edge of a table, shelf or cabinet with its leaves extending downwards.
Because of this, pruning is really not needed. You only need to trim the plant once every few months if at all.
In most cases, it is to limit the plant’s length. But other than that, the only pruning you’ll need to do is remove yellow, brown, damaged or diseased leaves.
How to Propagate Anthurium Vittarifolium
The Anthurium Vittarifolium is usually propagated via stem cuttings or division.
In most cases, cuttings will allow you to grow more plants since you can use stems. However, division lets you reduce the size of the mother plant.
It also has the advantage of producing a semi-grown plant immediately.
As such, while division takes a little more work during propagation, it immediately gives you plants that can produce new shoots and leaves.
With stem cuttings, you’ll need to wait at least 2-3 months before shoots will develop since the plant initially has to grow roots first.
Propagating Anthurium Vittarifolium from Stem Cuttings
The first step in taking stem cuttings is to choose healthy stems.
Here, you’re looking for stems with at least 2 or more leaves. More importantly, each stem cutting you select needs to have at least one node.
Without a node, the cutting will never propagate.
Of course, you can take one or more cuttings. But avoid cutting too much off your mother plant.
Use a sterile pair or scissors or pruning shears. Then cut just below a node for each cutting.
Once you have the cuttings, let them rest for a while and allow the cut ends to dry.
While you’re waiting, prepare a pot and fill it with well-draining potting mix. Then apply rooting hormone on the cut ends of the stems.
Plant the stems in the pot.
You can plant one stem cutting per pot or more. Depending on what you want to do, you can leave them all to make one fuller plant later on.
Or, you can split up the cuttings before they mature.
The choice is yours.
Water the soil and keep it moist.
Also, leave the pot in bright, indirect light with good humidity.
In about 4 weeks, the roots will have grown a bit and being establishing themselves in the soil.
Propagating Anthurium Vittarifolium by Division
Propagation by division is another option you can use for the Anthurium Vittarifolium if you don’t want to wait for the new plant to root.
It is also a good idea if you feel that the plant has gotten too big and you want to reduce its size.
While taking stem cuttings can be done while pruning the plant, the best time to propagate via division is when you repot.
That’s because you’ll be taking the plant out of its container when you repot.
That said, division is best done in spring.
To divide the Anthurium Vittarifolium, unpot the plant and check its roots.
Remove excess soil and dirt so you can see the plant’s root system.
From here, you can decide how and where you want to divide the plant. Make sure that you don’t split up the plant so that you end up with very small plants.
Also, make sure each division has enough roots to support the plant above it.
This means you want enough roots, stems and leaves on each division.
Once you’ve decided, you can use a sterile knife to cut the root ball. Then plant each division into their own pots with fresh, well-draining potting soil.
Here, since each new plant already has roots, stems and leaves, there’s no need to wait.
Soon enough, new shoots and leaves will start developing.
How to Repot or Transplant Anthurium Vittarifolium
The Anthurium Vittarifolium only needs repotting when it outgrows its container.
Since this takes a while to happen, I only like to check for this once a year during spring.
To do so, look under the pot. If there are quite a few roots coming out from the bottom of the pot’s drainage holes, it means that the plant is ready for repotting.
In general, repotting is needed every 1-2 years.
When you see roots coming out of the bottom holes, it means the plant is root bound.
Spring is the best time to repot as it allows the plant to recover faster. And it will be able to grow and entire season in its new home.
Make sure to choose a pot that is one size bigger. Don’t go more than 2 or 3 inches wider in size. The more volume there is, the more soil that’s needed to fill the pot.
The problem here is when you water.
Lots of soil means lots of extra moisture when you water the plant.
As such, it takes much longer for the soil to dry leaving the roots swimming in water longer.
This increases the risk of overwatering and root rot.
Is It Toxic/Poisonous to Humans, Cats & Dogs
Yes, the Anthurium Vittarifolium is toxic to people and pets. This means it is a good idea to avoid letting them near the plant or you can keep the plant out of their reach.
Note that the Anthurium Vittarifolium is only toxic when ingested. It does not pose any poison risk when touched or handled.
Anthurium Vittarifolium Problems & Troubleshooting
The plant is prone to common houseplant pests including spider mites, mealybugs, aphids, thrips and scale. These are bothersome at the least and damaging at their worst.
These pests tend to attack its leaves and also go for its flowers.
Therefore, you want to inspect the plant carefully.
Many of the bugs like to hide on the undersides of the leaves. So, always check those areas as well as the crevices between the stems and the leaves.
Root rot is a serious issue the Anthurium Vittarifolium can experience. This is due to overwatering and waterlogged soil.
As such, don’t water too often and wait for the soil to partially dry between waterings. Also, always use well-draining soil.
The plant is likewise susceptible to bacterial and fungal disease.
Some varieties of each can be deadly.
Systemic bacterial infection has no cure and will eventually destroy the plant. Also, blight is caused by fungi. One or two varieties likewise have no cure which can kill your Anthurium Vittarifolium.