The black anthurium is something that many collectors love. That’s because it is unique and there aren’t many of them. That said, the term black anthurium is actually more of a generalization.
The reason I say that is because there are many different black anthuriums. It all depends on what you’re looking for.
The most common black anthurium cultivars are the:
- Anthurium black beauty
- Anthurium black love
- Anthurium black queen
These have very dark leaves that are black in color of very close to being black. But, they’re not the only one. In fact, whenever you talk about black anthuriums, it is often very important to qualify what you mean by the term. That’s because you have:
- Black anthurium plant – which are mostly black or very dark color that they look black or very saturated purple/black.
- Black anthurium flower – there are also anthuriums with green leaves but produce black flowers. An example of this is the Anthurium Watermaliense.
- Black leaf anthurium – in most cases, this is what people refer to as black anthuriums. While not technically leaves, the bracts are the most attractive feature of the plant (and they’re actually modified leaves). These are much sought after because they’re hard to find and uncommon.
- Anthuriums with black in their name – these can be misleading because their leaves can be green although at some point in time, they may have had dark colors as well which happens with some anthurium species. One example is the Anthurium Black Dragon.
That said, in this article I’ll be focusing more on the Anthurium Black Beauty.
This is a stunning plant with very dark colored foliage, deep burgundy spathes and light green spadix. The plant blooms during spring and fall although its unique looks and colors are what make it very attractive.
It is worth noting that new leaves have a light green color. But as it ages, its foliage colors will change.
The Anthurium Black Beauty is a tropical epiphyte. It is likewise hardy being able to tolerate dry periods.
Black Anthurium Varieties
Of course, if you’re looking for black anthurium varieties, you can check out the list below. In addition to the varieties and cultivars I’ve mentioned above, these are some of the well-known types of black anthuriums you’ll find available.
Some are harder to find than others. Also, some are most expensive as well.
- Anthurium black velvet
- Anthurium black garuda
- Anthurium black cardinal
- Anthurium black king
- Anthurium black marry or black marie
- Anthurium paris black
- Anthurium black corong
- Anthurium black karma
- Anthurium black veitchii
- Anthurium midnight velvet
Black Anthurium Plant Care
Anthurium Black Beauty Light Requirements
The Anthurium Black Beauty enjoys medium to bright indirect light when grown indoors. Outdoors, it is best situated somewhere with partial shade.
As such, the best locations in your home for the plant are near an east or north facing window. Both give it the light requirements it needs without too much exposure.
I mention that because it is important to keep the plant away from direct sunlight. This will cause its dark colored foliage to lose its color. And it can result it sunburn as well if left for prolonged periods of time.
As such, while you can keep the plant in the west or south, it is important to keep it a few feet from the window. This will let it avoid the sun’s rays during mid-day when they are strongest.
Similarly, like other houseplants, the Anthurium Black Beauty relies on light for photosynthesis. Therefore, while it can tolerate low light, it is not a good idea to keep it in a dark or dim location.
Anthurium Black Beauty Temperature
The Anthurium Black Beauty enjoys moderate to warm climate conditions. It specifically likes temperature to stay between 65 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit during the daytime and down to 60 degrees at night.
It can likewise withstand warmer weather although has a much lower tolerance for the cold. This is because it is a tropical plant.
Therefore, it prefers staying having consistent weather that is sunny and on the warm side. This includes winters.
For this reason, the plant’s ideal regions are USDA Hardiness Zones 10 to 12. In these locales, it gets sunshine all year round even during December to March.
As such, if you live in these areas, you can keep the plant outdoors in a pot or in the ground.
However, anywhere colder, it is a good idea to grow it as a houseplant with outdoor vacation times during when things get warm in the spring and summer. Make sure to take it back inside before the temperature drops below 60 degrees Fahrenheit around late fall or so.
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Another feature that tropical environments have is high humidity. This is why the Anthurium Black Beauty thrives in humidity between 50% and 70%.
Unfortunately, this is something that is not easy to maintain if you don’t live in the tropics or near a body of water. It is also why some people will keep the plant in a greenhouse or grow cabinet. That way, they can control the conditions.
Indoors, it is a good idea to keep a digital hygrometer to keep track of what humidity is in your home. Note that the humidity in the weather forecast is not necessarily the same as what’s in your home. Additionally, different rooms have different levels of air moisture as well.
For example, the kitchen and bathroom tend to have the highest humidity. This makes them good location for the plant assuming there’s enough light to keep it happy there (and that you like keeping it there).
A digital hygrometer will let you easily know the humidity in any given space in your home at any time of the day.
This way, you can adjust as needed.
If the air is too dry, the plant will tell you. Its leaf tips will get dry and crispy. They’ll eventually get brittle as well such that they can crumble when you touch them.
In case this happens or you want to pre-empt it, you can mist the plant or invest in a humidifier. You can also place it on a pebble tray.
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How Often to Water Black Anthurium
The most important thing about watering your black anthurium is to keep in mind that it hates both extremes. Therefore,
- Don’t let the plant completely dry out
- Don’t overwater the plant
The former is easier to do. The key is not to let the soil go bone dry all the way down to the bottom of the pot.
On the other hand, preventing overwatering is a bit trickier. That’s because the weather changes as the seasons change.
Therefore, it is not a good idea to use a fixed schedule. Instead, a more efficient way to know when to water your black anthurium is to check the soil.
To do so, stick your finger into the soil about 1-2 inches from the surface. It is important to wait for the soil at this depth to get completely dry before adding more water.
This way, you avoid watering too frequently. In the process, you’re able to stay away from overwatering (and root rot).
This is even more important during the winter as the cold weather means the soil stays wet longer. Additionally, the plant is not actively growing this time. So, it does not need a lot of water.
Black Anthurium Potting Soil
The best soil for Anthurium Black Beauty is loose, chunky and well-draining. This is very important because the plant is epiphytic.
Therefore, the forest, it does not live in soil. Instead, it attaches itself onto trees and larger plants. This means that its roots can quickly dry when they get wet by the rain due to lots of airflow.
Similarly, because of this, the roots enjoys getting a good amount of oxygen.
It also means that you don’t necessarily need to use soil to grow the plant. Instead, you can grow it on a bark or even hydroponically.
Of course, most home owners will still keep the plant in a container with soil.
This is why it is essential to use airy soil with good drainage. This closely mimics its native environment allowing its roots to get lots of oxygen and quicky dry when they get wet.
The simplest way to achieve this is to pick up an Aroid mix from your local nursery or garden center. Avoid using regular potting soil without any amendments as this almost always retains too much moisture for the roots to handle.
Another option is to make your own DIY potting mix.
You can use:
- 1/3 peat
- 1/3 perlite
- 1/3 pine bark
If you like fewer ingredients, you can go with:
- 1/2 peat moss (or coconut coir)
- 1/2 orchid bark
The key is to use a component that will help drain excess moisture to ensure that the roots never end up sitting in water for extended periods of time.
Finally, make sure to use a pot with drainage as well. This way the water that drains from the soil does not just pool at the bottom of the container but has a way to drip out of it.
The Anthurium Black Beauty needs fertilizer. But is does not need a lot of it. Therefore, it is very important not to overfeed the plant.
Use a liquid balanced fertilizer once a month during the spring and summer. Dilute the application by 50% and make sure to only fertilize when the soil is moist. Too much concentration can likewise burn the roots.
There is no need to feed the plant during fall or winter.
You can likewise use a slow release fertilizer if you prefer to apply less often.
Anthurium Black Beauty Pruning
The Anthurium Black Beauty looks amazing when you allow it to get bushy. It will not grow to become a huge plant although it can still reach around 2 feet or so in height.
As it gets denser, you’ll notice the leaves point in all sorts of directions as well.
I love this as this gives the plant lots of character. However, if you want it to look neater you can trim it.
Similarly prune off any stems or leaves that have gotten too long. This way you keep the plant looking fairly tight and compact.
The other aspect of pruning is to remove any dead, old, yellow, brown or damaged foliage.
Other than that, there isn’t a lot to do when it comes to grooming and maintenance.
How to Propagate Black Anthurium
There are a few ways to propagate the black anthurium. The two most effective ways are via stem cuttings and division.
Division takes a bit more effort since you need to unpot the plant. Although the best time to split your black anthurium is when repotting. So, you’ll be taking it out anyways.
In most cases, you’ll divide the plant because it is getting too big, or you don’t want to move it to a larger container.
The biggest advantage of using this propagation method is that you get a semi-grown plant after your split it. This means no waiting for it to germinate or root.
But, plant division is a fairly limited option as you can’t just keep splitting up a plant. Instead, you need for it to get bigger otherwise you end up with very small divided plants.
This is where stem propagation comes in.
As long as your plant has healthy stems with leaves, you’ll be able to propagate it. And you only need one stem cutting since the process yields very high success rates.
Therefore, you can grow more new plants it you wished.
- Take a healthy stem cutting that’s about 3 to 6 inches long. Make sure it has at least 1-2 nodes and some leaves on it. If you can get a stem with aerial roots even better.
- Cut the stem just below the node.
- Then plant the cutting into a pot with well-draining soil. You can apply rooting hormone before you do this as well. Although that step is optional.
- Water the soil and keep it moist. Avoid adding too much water or watering too frequently. The goal is moist soil. Avoid wet, soggy soil.
- To speed up initial growth (rooting) keep the plant in a bright, well-lit spot with no direct sunlight. It also prefers a warm, humid location.
- In about 4-6 weeks, the cutting will have developed enough roots to grab hold of the soil.
How to Repot or Transplant Black Anthurium
The Anthurium Black Beauty will need to be repotted once every 2 years or so. The best indication of when to repot the plant is to check its roots.
Once you see the roots come out from the bottom of the pot, it is a sign that they’re looking for most space. Similarly, the roots will wrap around the root ball inside the pot.
The best time to repot is during spring or early summer.
Choose a container that is 2 inches wider than the current one. And replace the soil as well with fresh, well-draining potting mix.
Is It Toxic/Poisonous to Humans, Cats & Dogs
The black anthurium is toxic to pets and humans. As such, keep it away from cats, dogs and young kids. Although the plant is only poisonous when ingested, chewed or consumed.
Thus, it is safe to touch the plant.
Problems & Troubleshooting
Black anthurium can be prone to pests. The most common are spider mites, aphids, scale and mealybugs. All of them can get very troublesome especially if you allow them to grow in number.
As such, regular inspection is important as it is so much easier to get rid of them when they are still few.
Once you see these bugs, start by spraying them off with water.
You can use the sink, shower or a garden hose depending on how big the plant is and what’s more convenient to use.
Try to get every little insect including the eggs. Otherwise, the cycle will start over again in a few days.
You may need to spray them off a few times before they’re completely gone.
You can likewise use neem oil (diluted) or insecticidal soap spray.
Diseases are less of a problem. However, excess moisture can significantly increase the risk.
The plant can experience both root and leaf disease. So, you want to avoid too much moisture on both the soil and the leaves.
If you do get them wet make sure that they don’t stay wet for too long.
Thus, good air circulation and sufficient lighting is essential. Also, well-draining soil is key to avoid root rot.