Anthurium magnificum is a leafy, flowering plant of a dark green (or silvery green) color and is one of the most popular species of the genus Anthurium. The leaves have prominent white veins, a glossy look, and a leathery feel. A tropical plant, Anthurium magnificum is probably so popular because it is an evergreen plant and remains green all year round.
- Scientific name: Anthurium magnificum
- Common names: Laceleaf, Tailflower, Flamingo Flower
- Origin: Columbia, South America
- Indoor or Outdoor plant: Indoor
- Height and Structure: Four feet tall with six to ten-inch leaves on long stalks
- Temperature: 55°-80° Fahrenheit
- Flower color: Ranges from green to yellow and grows from a red leaf
The best time to plant Anthurium magnificum is between March and September, during its growing season. The Anthurium magnificum plant is usually purchased as a stem cutting or an adult plant. The stem cutting should be planted about two inches down so that the cut end is completely covered and the leaves are above the soil.
This plant is popular as an indoor plant, where one has greater control over its environment. It can be moved outside during the growing season so long as the temperature doesn’t dip below 55° Fahrenheit. Frost is a killer for this plant.
Being a tropical plant, Anthurium magnificum needs plenty of bright light during the growing season, especially if it is to bloom. (It doesn’t need as much light during the winter.) The light should be gentle and indirect: a filter, sheer curtains, or a shade cloth can keep it from getting scorched. Direct sunlight can damage or kill the Flamingo Flower. Heaters and fans should also be avoided.
This leafy plant needs watered regularly, just often enough to keep the soil moist. During the summer, the Anthurium magnificum will need watered two or three times a week. During the winter season, it will only need a drink about once a week. (There’s a higher risk of over-watering the Laceleaf during the winter because the ground holds more moisture.)
Anthurium magnificum shouldn’t be over- or under-watered. Too much water could cause the roots to rot, and if it doesn’t get enough water, it could dry out and wither away. It helps to check the soil before watering it. One can feel from the topsoil whether or not it’s dry, but it’s wise to use a moisture meter or simply dig a finger into the soil a few inches to make sure the soil is moist. If the ground is still moist, it should be given some more time to dry out.
Anthurium magnificum requires a humid environment. There are a few different ways to achieve this:
- Put it in a room with a humidifier.
- Put the potted plant on top of a pebble tray (i.e., a shallow pan with a layer of small, round pebbles and some water).
- Spray the leaves with a gentle mist when necessary.
- Keep it near some water-loving plants.
Utilizing a pebble tray may prove most effective so the plant can take the water as it needs it.
Anthurium magnificum should be planted in well-draining soil in a pot that allows drainage. Sphagnum moss aids the plant in draining excess water from the soil. The soil should also be airy; perlite helps keep the soil airy while retaining moisture.
An appropriate soil mixture contains sphagnum moss and perlite among other things (like mulch, charcoal, and gravel). Anthurium soil substrates are on the market, but orchid and perlite mixes work as well. The pH level should be kept slightly acidic, around 6.5.
During the growing season, the Anthurium plant could benefit from being fertilized once every two months. Too much fertilizer salt could kill off the roots, so it doesn’t need a lot, especially during the winter. It also shouldn’t be fertilized after being repotted.
Mulch is found in various fertilizers, but Anthurium magnificum plant can benefit from occasional mulching. Cypress, pine, and sawdust mulching work well on this plant.
Anthurium magnificum’s pot should have a wide diameter, about ten to twenty inches, and a depth of about ten inches. As it grows, it will need more space, both horizontally and vertically. Staking these leafy plants can help them maintain their form and live more healthily.
Anthurium magnificum should be repotted in early spring. It will need repotted:
- Every few years
- If the roots start to grow outside of the pot or on top of the soil
- If the pot starts to crack
- If the leaves become yellow or the plant develops an infection
The plant should be given fresh soil, but it shouldn’t be fertilized for a few weeks. It will need to be removed gently, possibly pruned and trimmed, and placed into a slightly wider pot. However, it can’t be given too much space or it will go into shock.
Anthurium magnificum will need occasional pruning. The flowers and foliage die off naturally as it grows, and these should be trimmed back so the plant’s energy is used on growth, not maintenance. Regular pruning can help the plant look its best. Around its fifth or sixth year of life, it might benefit from being cut back to the stalk and letting it grow anew.
To prune your plant, you should follow these steps:
- Prepare disinfectant for the shears. Rubbing alcohol or bleach diluted to ten percent strength should suffice.
- Put on garden gloves. You’ll want to wear gloves to protect your skin from the calcium oxalate in the plant’s fluid. Otherwise, you could get a rash.
- Prune from the top down. Remove discolored and shriveled leaves by making smooth cuts just beyond where the stem meets the main stalk.
- Disinfect the shears. Wipe the shears with every snip.
- Finely mist the plant. Mist the plant evenly with warm water.
The roots may wrap around themselves, sometimes growing out the drainage holes. This is a sign the roots need cut back. Too many roots make it difficult for the plant to absorb water and fertilizer. One must work upward from the bottom-most part of the plant.
Any foliage with small yellow and brown spots on its leaves must be cut away immediately. This is likely leaf blight, a deadly infection that spreads fast.
Anthurium magnificum can be propagated, or multiplied, a few different ways:
- Soil propagation. Plant cuttings of a few inches, applied with fungicide and rooting hormone, should be placed in a pot with fresh soil mixture, water, and covered with a plastic sheet.
- Seed propagation. Seeds can be harvested from the berries of the plant. The berries need to soak, the pulp needs to be removed, and the seeds should be cleaned, dried, and treated with fungicide. Then, they must be put into a tray with some moss and sand, kept under a plastic sheet, and allowed to germinate. After a few weeks, the seedlings can take in more sun and later be transplanted.
- Root division. Root division is the most effective method. The plant will need to be lifted from its pot and the roots may need to be rinsed. The roots must be separated, removed, dried, and then kept in some moist soil. They grow within weeks.
Anthurium magnificums are toxic plants; they should be kept out of the reach of small children and animals. The berries are toxic, and so are its leaves, and they cause inflammation. Protective gloves and clothes should be used when caring for this plant, and any consumption should be followed by a visit to the hospital.
Fungal and bacterial infections (e.g., bacterial blight, fungal root rot, and black nose disease) are common among these plants. Infected plants look pale and develop holes and lesions. The plant needs to be isolated, pruned, and fungicide to bring it back to health. It may even need to be repotted.
Deer and rabbits don’t take to Anthuriums, but thrips, spider mites, and aphids may infest the plant. Periodically cleaning the plant’s leaves with alcohol, pesticide, or a mix of oil and water should prevent infestation.
Because ferns are water-loving plants, they make great companion plants for Anthuriums. Plants that have colors complementary to Anthurium magnificum can also make great companions.
With hundreds of different species of Anthurium, it’s hard to know which is suitable for the home. Some noteworthy Anthurium species are:
- Anthurium crystallinum. The Ace of Spades, this plant grows up to three feet tall with two-foot leaves.
- Anthurium veitchii. Known as King Anthurium, its leaves can grow many feet. Grown indoors, the leaves usually only measure about a foot long.
- Anthurium warocqueanum. Queen of the Anthuriums, its lance-shaped leaves can grow up to six feet.
- Anthurium watermaliense. A dark purple, this “black Anthurium” lacks prominent veins like most other Anthuriums.
- Anthurium scandens. The “pearl laceleaf” has small, lance-shaped leaves and white berries that look like clusters of white pearls.