The anthurium clarinervium is a wild wonder with its deeply lobed leaves that are shaped like a heart. This evergreen plant makes a wonderful houseplant that is easy to care for and beautiful to look at.
What is an Anthurium Clarinervium?
With its stunning leaves, the anthurium clarinervium looks exotic and has unique flowers with a large spathe and spadix. The plant typically grows to be about two or three feet tall with giant leaves and long-stemmed blooms. It is the thick, velvety leaves that give it the common name velvet cardboard anthurium.
Where Does it Originate?
The anthurium clarinervium is native to Chiapas, Mexico where it grows wild as an epiphyte. It is almost always found growing on trees or other large flora in the depths of the forest where it only gets indirect sunlight. But you should be able to find the plant at your local nursery or plant store.
The anthurium clarinervium houseplant is also known by several other common names.
- Velvet cardboard anthurium
- Queen anthurium
- White-veined anthurium
How to Care for Anthurium Clarinervium
Caring for anthurium clarinervium is similar to many other tropical plants. It does not need a lot of care. As long as you give it the right soil, water, and light it needs, you will rarely have to do much of anything else for it to grow beautifully.
– Light Requirements
Because it is normally found growing on trees and other plants in the woods of Mexico, the anthurium clarinervium requires filtered sunlight or bright indirect light. It does not tolerate direct sunlight because that will burn its leaves.
However, in the winter when the sun is clouded over, your plant would enjoy some sunlight from an eastern window to get the morning sun. This extra dose or winter sun can give it a boost to grow better during the time when it is typically almost dormant.
– Water Requirements
It is essential to water your plant often but make sure that you do not overwater it. Since it typically grows as an epiphyte on the trunks and branches of trees, it is used to getting drenched when it rains but dries quickly.
After watering your anthurium clarinervium, let the water drain away and be sure to dump any remaining water from under the plant. Do not let it sit in a saucer of water like you would with some plants because it will get root rot and die quickly.
Once you have watered your plant, do not water it again until the top two inches of the soil is dry. You can check this by sticking your finger in the soil. Check it daily though so it does not get too dry.
Another tip is to use ice cubes to water your plant. This will keep the soil moist without letting the roots get waterlogged. You can use six to eight ice cubes depending on the size of the pot.
– Soil Requirements
The soil for anthurium clarinervium should be very well-draining. A lot of plant lovers add orchid bark to the potting mix to help keep the soil draining well. This will help in keeping the roots from getting too moist as well.
Just add about one cup orchid bark to three parts of peat-based potting soil. You may even want to add some perlite to the mix and keep the soil slightly acidic at 5.5 to 6.5 pH. This will give your plant the nutrients it needs while also keeping it well-drained.
– Temperature Requirements
Your anthurium loves the heat so keep it at about 70 to 90 degrees. Do not let it get below 60 degrees or it could go permanently dormant. The best temperature is about 75 to 80 degrees. However, the plant dislikes dry air so kicking up the heat will not do the job properly.
– Humidity Requirements
Keep your anthurium clarinervium humid at all times with the humidity at least 60%. But 80% humidity is what your plant really craves. That is what it enjoyed in the wild and it will speed growth and give the leaves a brighter color.
The best way to give your plant both heat and humidity is a terrarium or a sunroom with a humidifier. You can also use a mister to spray the leaves daily. Or you can use a pebble tray under the plant but make sure the water is lower than the pebbles at all times.
– Feeding Requirements
Your anthurium appreciates a little fertilizer now and then but it really depends on the season. During the winter, it does not need any fertilizer at all. But when growing season comes around, you need to start feeding it.
It is best to use diluted indoor plant fertilizer with a high amount of phosphorus. Feed your plant every other month and keep an eye on the growth. You may also need to flush the soil every few months due to salt buildup.
To flush the soil, just run water through the soil for about two or three minutes. Let the water drain completely and do not let it stay wet. Continue to let the water drain from the pot for a few minutes after you stop running the water.
– When to Repot
If your plant starts to get too big for the pot it is in, you need to repot it, which is usually about once every two to three years. You may notice that your plant has a lot of bare stem or looks “leggy.” That is when you should give it a new home.
The best time to repot your anthurium is springtime. Get the pot and soil ready. Make sure the new pot is at least two inches larger than the old one and use well-draining soil just like the original soil.
Carefully remove the plant from the pot and prune away any wilted or brown leaves. Put it gently into a new pot and water it three times the amount that you usually give it. For instance, some plant lovers use 18 ice cubes or 1.5 cups of water for a 20-inch plant in a 10-inch pot.
The Size of the Pot Matters
If your plant does not have enough space for the roots to grow properly, it will not grow as it should. You may notice smaller or fewer leaves when it is being smothered. Giving it too much space is also not good so make sure to only go up one or two sizes when you repot.
– Pruning Your Plant
Unlike some houseplants, your anthurium can benefit from being pruned once in a while. It helps keep your plant balanced so it does not fall over or become stunted by bending the stem. Be sure to use sharp and clean tools.
Starting at the top, remove any damaged or discolored leaves. Cut off dead or wilted flowers down to the stem. Remove the suckers at the base of the stem to keep it from taking energy away from the rest of the plant.
How to Propagate Anthurium Clarinervium
1. Using Stem Cuttings
The trick to getting growth from a stem cutting is getting the right sized stem. It should be about three to six inches long and have at least two leaves. Cut the stem just above the leaf node.
Root the cutting by placing it in a jar of water for several weeks until the roots are about an inch long. Once the roots are long enough, place it into a small pot with moist soil and cover it with a plastic bag to keep it humid. Keep it in a bright location but not in direct sunlight.
After the new plant has been growing for about a year, you can repot it as directed above. Be sure to wait until the plant is well established and be gentle with the roots when transplanting. Otherwise, it may go into shock.
2. Propagating by Root Division
Remove the plant from the pot carefully without pulling on the roots. Rinse the soil from the roots gently so you do not damage them and then gently pull some of the roots apart to start a new plant. Be sure to leave enough of the root to keep your mother plant healthy.
Let the new roots sit out on a paper towel to dry for about 18 to 24 hours. After the roots are dry enough, plant them in soil just like the soil you use for your other anthurium clarinervium. Put the roots into a small hole in the soil so they are almost completely covered.
Growing the Anthurium Clarinervium Outdoors
Growing anthurium clarinervium indoors is the best way to keep your plant healthy unless you live in zone 10 – 12. Even if you do live in one of these warm zones, it can be difficult to control the sunlight and humidity as well as the soil drainage.
However, you can grow your plant outside if the conditions are just right. It is best to keep your anthurium in a pot so you can move it around to keep it from direct sunlight. This is also important so you can bring it indoors if the temperature drops.
Keeping an eye on your anthurium clarinervium leaves is the best way to recognize problems with your plant ahead of time. Often, you will notice the leaves changing color, drying out, or falling off when there is a problem. Like other plants, it is susceptible to root rot as well as certain pests.
1. Brown or Yellow Leaves
If your anthurium leaves start turning brown or yellow, you may be watering your plant too much. The best thing to do in this case is to remove it from the pot, take off the rotten parts of the roots and then replant it in clean soil.
2. Dry or Curly Leaves
Dried out or curly leaves can indicate lack of water or too much sunlight. If the soil is being watered properly, you probably just need to move your plant to a spot with less sunlight. Be sure to remove the dead leaves so the plant can thrive.
Your anthurium clarinervium can be invaded by pests like aphids, fungus gnats, mealybugs, scale bugs, spider mites, and thrips. Signs of infestation vary but you may notice changes in the growth, leaves, or just an overall unhealthy look.
Stunted growth and yellow leaves are the first sign of an aphid attack. You may also see a black sticky sap on the stems or leaves. These tiny pests are carriers of a variety of viruses, so it is important to get rid of them as soon as possible.
You can kill aphids naturally by introducing some of their enemies like ladybugs or lacewings. However, this may not be practical for indoor plants. Also, if you see any ants, get rid of them because they protect the aphids.
Another way to get rid of aphids is a strong shower. Spray the plant with an intense blast of water to remove them and then wipe the affected area with an alcohol pad. Use an organic pesticide like neem oil or insecticidal soap and reapply once a week to keep them away.
2. Fungus Gnats
If you are keeping your anthurium clarinervium properly drained, you should never have to worry about fungus gnats because they like the moisture. But if you do have an infestation of these pests, the larvae they lay in the soil can kill your plant.
To get rid of these pests, remove the first few inches of soil and replace it with fresh clean soil. Then place yellow sticky traps in and around the pot to catch the flying gnats before they can lay more eggs.
The first sign of mealybugs is a white residue on the back of the leaves that looks like cotton. It will be concentrated on the stems and leaves where the bugs make a meal out of your plant, which is what gives the pests the name mealybugs.
Interestingly, you can make a solution at home with your blender that will get rid of these bugs and keep them away. Combine one teaspoon of cayenne pepper, one small onion, and a garlic bulb in the blender until it is a paste.
Mix this paste with water and let it sit for an hour before straining it through a napkin or paper towel. Add a tiny bit of mild dish soap and put it into a spray bottle to use on your anthurium clarinervium.
If that does not work, there are other alternatives.
Some of these include:
- Wash them away with a high-powered stream of water
- Apply neem oil
- Use a cotton ball soaked in 70% rubbing alcohol
- Spray it with insecticidal soap
4. Scale Bugs
Scale bugs are related to mealybugs, but they come in two different kinds, soft and armored. The armored are more difficult to get rid of but they both do the same damage, which is to suck the nutrients from your plant. They can also carry bacteria and fungus.
Armored scale looks like brown or tan bumps on your plant’s stems, but if you remove the shell you will see the tiny bug underneath. The soft scale are similar but do not have the armor. These bugs cannot move but their larvae will crawl to another section of the plant and start another infestation.
The best way to get rid of scale bugs of either kind is to shoot them with a high-powered blast of water like other pests. However, you can also spray them with neem oil or insecticide soap as well. But you will have to keep doing it every other day to get rid of all of them.
5. Spider Mites
Although they are called spiders, they are not spiders so do not worry about getting bit by these little pests. However, they do leave a web-like substance on the plant that looks just like a spider’s web.
You may also notice that the leaves of your anthurium clarinervium have brown or yellow spots. There are many different ways to get rid of spider mites.
- Oils from cayenne, jalapeno, or chile peppers
- Essential oils like rosemary, spearmint, coriander, or chamomile
- Three tablespoons of mild dish soap with a gallon of water.
- 70% rubbing alcohol
- Insecticide soap
- Neem oil
- Diatomaceous earth
Thrips are tiny black or tan insects that suck the juice out of the leaves of your anthurium clarinervium, spreading disease and causing scarring. Don’t try to catch them because they will just fly or hop away until you leave. They feast in large groups so they can do a lot of damage quickly.
Getting rid of thrips is not as easy as most pests. If you see a few stems or leaves that are infested, it is best to just prune them away and toss them in the trash. Make sure you put them in a sealed baggie, or they will just come back.
Then you should hose off your plant with a blast of water or bug blaster to get rid of any stragglers. Of course, you will probably miss one or two, which will turn into a hundred or more in a few days. So, you need to be vigilant.
Coat your plant with neem oil or insecticide soap once a week to kill any remaining bugs and keep them away. You can also use blue or yellow sticky traps to catch them or sprinkle diatomaceous earth on the underside of the leaves.
Toxic to Children and Pets
If you have any pets or small children in your home, you will need to keep your anthurium clarinervium out of reach because it can make them very sick. All the parts of the plant from the roots to the leaves and the stems are toxic to kids, dogs, and cats. And if you keep your plant outside, keep the horses away too.
The plant contains insoluble calcium oxalates in every part of it, including the sap. The sap itself can cause contact dermatitis to anyone who touches it so be careful not to come into contact with damaged leaves or stems.
Children and pets can get extremely sick if they eat a substantial amount of the plant.
However, the calcium oxalates are needle-like crystals that cause a lot of pain when crushed so this usually prohibits them from eating too much.
Some of the signs of poisoning in children include:
- Painful or red tongue, mouth, and throat
- Trouble swallowing
- Difficulty breathing
Pets will have the same symptoms, but they have a harder time letting you know what the problem is. They may paw at their mouth or face, refuse to eat, or whine when trying to eat or drink.
The most serious complication for both children and pets is swelling of the throat or upper airway. This can cause suffocation in severe cases, so it is important to treat them as soon as possible.
Remedies for Poisoning
The first thing to do for your child or pet is to remove any pieces of the plant from their mouth and throat. Then, rinse out their mouth with water and then milk. The water will rinse away the oxalate crystals and the calcium in the milk will bind with the calcium in the crystals to reduce the pain and swelling.
Call poison control or your child’s doctor right away and let them know what happened and the symptoms your child is suffering from. They may want you to bring the child into the ER to make sure their airway is clear. Steroids can be given to reduce the swelling.
How to Treat Your Pet for Toxicity
Similar to treating a child, after rinsing your pet’s mouth out, call the veterinarian and tell them what happened. You may need to bring your pet to the veterinary hospital so they can monitor its breathing. If your pet is having trouble breathing, do not wait. Go directly to the vet.
Another complication with pets is dehydration from vomiting and diarrhea. Whether your pet is a huge Mastiff or a tiny kitten, they can become dehydrated quickly, especially if they are refusing to drink. The veterinarian can give your pet intravenous fluids, antinausea drugs, and antidiarrheal medication to help.
Recovery from Anthurium Clarinervium Poisoning
If your child or pet only ate a small amount, they will probably be fine within a few minutes of you rinsing out their mouth. For larger doses or other complications, it may take a few days for them to get back to normal. Whatever the case, it is essential that you move the plant to a safer place.
We have talked about a lot of information about the anthurium clarinervium in this article.
We covered a variety of important topics on caring for your plant and giving it the best care possible.
Here are some of the highlights of what we covered.
- The anthurium clarinervium is a tropical evergreen with large green leathery leaves that grows up to about two or three feet tall.
- Your plant may also be referred to as the velvet cardboard anthurium, queen anthurium, or the white-veined anthurium.
- The best thing for your anthurium is bright but indirect light. Direct sunlight will burn the leaves.
- Only water the anthurium clarinervium when the top two inches is dry.
- Use well-draining soil with orchid bark to keep your plant from getting root rot.
- The humidity for your anthurium clarinervium needs to be over 60% but 80% is ideal.
- Your plant also needs to stay warm. Keep it over 60 degrees for best results.
- Only feed your anthurium once every other month with diluted fertilizer.
- Repot your anthurium clarinervium every two or three years or when it starts to get “leggy.” You may also notice that your plant is not growing, or the roots are coming out of the drain holes.
- You can propagate your plant by cuttings or root separation.
- It is best to grow the plant indoors, but you can bring it outside for a short time during the warm months. Just keep it potted and away from direct sunlight.
- You can tell a lot about your anthurium’s health by its leaves.
- It is susceptible to root rot as well as aphids, fungus gnats, mealybugs, scale bugs, spider mites, and thrips.
- Keep your plant pest free with natural remedies, neem oil, or insecticide soap.
- The anthurium clarinervium contains insoluble calcium oxalate crystals, which are toxic to children and pets. The sap can also cause contact dermatitis.
- If your child or pet ingests any part of your plant, rinse out their mouth with water and milk and call a doctor or veterinarian.
The anthurium clarinervium is a popular houseplant that is easy to care for as long as you follow a few simple instructions. They do not need a lot of care and can propagate easily so you can have more of them to enjoy. Or give them away to friends and family to enjoy.