Anthurium hookeri is one not-so-popular plant we want everyone to have in their collection. Its serrated green leaves are refreshing to look at, and its flamingo-shaped flowers are no less funky.
Go through this extensively researched guide to find out just how easy this plant is to look after.
- What Is Anthurium Hookeri?
- Anthurium Hookeri Care
What Is Anthurium Hookeri?
Anthurium hookeri is an obscure variety of tropical plants. It is also known as the bird’s nest anthurium for its dense roots and the flamingo flowers trailing on the ground. Other than that, it also exhibits large, showy leaves. It can be quite a pricey houseplant to procure and buy.
Anthurium Hookeri Care
The care guide for this houseplant suggests filtered and indirect bright light and more than 80 percent humidity. Keep the soil moist without making it runny. It’s best to allow the top two inches to dry before the next watering appointment.
Maintain temperature strictly between 70 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit. During the growing period, fertilize every month with a double diluted liquid fertilizer. Prune its large leaves every spring to promote more growth.
– Water Requirements
Anthurium hookeri plant likes its soil to stay consistently moist but not overwatered. As a rule, ensure that the top two inches of soil dries up before watering it again.
Before you start watering, put your finger in the soil up to the knuckle to see if the soil has dried. If yes, then take a moderate amount of water and keep watering for as long as it doesn’t come out of the drainage hole.
If you keep watering this plant without waiting for the soil to dry, it will get overwatered. Overwatering also occurs when the soil and the pot start retaining water instead of draining it out quickly.
An overwatered and runny soil makes it difficult for the roots to get the oxygen it needs. The roots begin to rot as a result of this. Water collected in the soil also causes the rapid proliferation of fungi, bacteria, and pests. You will have to deal with tons of problems consequently.
Remember that tap water is a big no-no for the bird’s nest Anthurium hookeri plant. Tap water usually contains various salts, minerals, and gases like chlorine and fluoride.
Constantly watering with municipal tap water will lead to the accumulation of all these substances within the soil and the plant. The salts might also evaporate on the leaf edges and cause chemical burns. Hence, This is why you must go for the safer alternative: distilled or filtered water.
– Light Requirements
This plant must live in a bright environment for eight to ten hours daily. This bright light needs to be indirect, filtered or dappled. Except for very soft early morning light, direct light will cause sunburn to its leaves. Irreversible yellow or brown spots will appear and ruin the look of the leaves.
This plant should be kept inside the house in a brightly lit room. You can place it in any room, kitchen, washroom, or laundry room with large enough windows.
If you decide to place it in a well-lit corner of the room, you must rotate its pot at least once a day. Otherwise, only one-half of the plant will get light, and the other half will suffer. The plant will eventually begin to stretch towards the light source.
When putting it close to windows, ensure no direct light falls on it. Protect it, especially from light coming through a southern side-facing window. Natural sunlight only comes from the eastern and western windows for a few hours and is mild enough to be tolerated well.
Most outdoor spaces are lit brightly by light all day long. Your hookeri plant will need some sort of shade for the most part. The best option is to place it under the leaves of an enormous tree or plant.
Light will appear dappled after filtering through this more giant tree. Look for a north-facing wall as it too keeps sunlight out. You can put decorative umbrellas or shade over the plant outside to keep it safe.
Artificial grow lights work just as well as natural light. In fact, they might even be better, considering they don’t really harm your plant. Attach these lights at the recommended distance from the plant, preferably right on top of the plant. You should go for LED grow lights over fluorescent lights. These are equally effective but much more energy efficient.
– Soil Requirements
Anthurium hookeri needs a potting soil with equal parts well-draining and equal parts water retentive. This is because the roots of this plant are sensitive to both over and underwatering. Make your own soil at home by using the following key ingredients.
- Take one part succulent mix as the base material. It is quite a chunky mixture that is quite loose with lots of free spaces.
- Then add an equal quantity of organic sphagnum moss, peat, or a combination of both. These materials take water from the soil when it is watered and then release it back when the soil starts getting dry. As they break down over time, they contribute a lot of nutrients to the soil.
- You need small-sized perlite balls to prevent moss from clumping together. The quantity of perlite should be equal to the amount of moss.
– Temperature Requirements
Anthurium hookeri should be kept between 70 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit temperature range. Its growth will be affected below 70 degrees. Below 50 degrees, however, it actually starts dying by dropping all its leaves off.
Follow our temperature maintenance hacks below to keep your plant happy.
- You can keep this plant outside in the summers, but moving it indoors is safer in winter.
- Because of its high humidity and temperature demands, this plant is best kept in a greenhouse.
- Take care that no draft of cold air hits this plant from anywhere. Check that all windows are closed at night before you sleep.
- Many think putting this plant next to or on top of a radiator is a good idea. It is not. Refrain from doing this at all costs unless you want your plant burnt.
– Humidity Requirement
Anthurium hookeri needs more than 80 percent humidity all year round to grow most healthily. Always keep a hygrometer at home to check the air moisture levels around your plant.
In most places in the US, the indoor and outdoor spaces don’t sport such high humidity levels, and you may need to put in some effort to increase humidity artificially at home.
Some rooms in your house will be naturally more humid than the others. You can move the plant to the kitchen or washroom and huddle it together with other humidity-loving plants to create some sort of greenhouse effect. Furthermore, a pebble tray can help improve humidity levels by 15 to 20 percent. It will only help if your area is already humid, to begin with.
Instead of spending money on one, why don’t you make a pebble tray yourself? Put pebbles in it on top of which the pot can rest. Take care that the water within the tray is changed every week. Otherwise, stagnant water might cause pests and mosquitoes to develop in it. Also, ensure the pot’s surface doesn’t come in contact with water.
Additionally, a humidifier would make growing the flamingo-flowered plant so much easier. They are available in different sizes and price ranges. Choose one accordingly to your house and budget.
What we love most about a humidifier is that it will automatically turn off when humidity reaches 80 percent. Similarly, when it starts dropping, it will sense and start back by itself.
Don’t worry about mounting electricity bills with 24/7 humidifier use. Most of the latest ones come with energy-saving options.
– Fertilizer Requirements
Your nest Anthurium will need monthly fertilizing during the time that it is growing. After that, you can fertilize after a gap of three to four months. A fertilizer rich in phosphorous will help produce the most exuberant flowers. You can also use a nitrogen-rich one, but remember that excess nitrogen tends to suppress flowering.
If your plant needs an instant boost of nutrients, go for a rapid-release feed. They mostly come in liquid form, and you must double dilute them yourself before use. Pour gently on the soil at a distance of a few inches from the stem. We always water the plant just before feeding to make it safer.
Rapid release fertilizer needs to be applied every four weeks. It has a tendency to accumulate toxins in the soil with continuous use. Deep water every third month to wash them off.
If you forget to fertilize your plants, this fertilizer is for you. It comes in the form of pellets that are to be buried in the potting mix. Most of these last for a good three to four months. They also pose a far lesser risk of fertilizer damage or toxins accumulation.
– Pruning Requirements
Pruning is one step of plant care many of you tend to skip. This is, in fact, essential and healthy for the plant. Every spring and summertime, cut-off branches that seem to be growing in weird directions.
Closely inspect all the leaves of your houseplant. All those leaves that are ruining its esthetics are better pruned off. This includes discolored, wilted, spotted, or even really old leaves.
Your pruning tools need to be sharp and clean. Rusted instruments might do more damage than good while cutting plant parts. Rubbing alcohol or any disinfectant solution on the blades is a must before any pruning operation.
You can propagate Anthurium hookeri all by yourself using three different ways. All of these methods are simple enough for beginners to try, although with varying success rates.
The Spring season and early summer is the ideal time when the plant is undergoing its most active growth. This is when you should try to propagate it. No propagation will be successful during the fall and winter days.
– Propagating Anthurium Through Stem Cuttings
Using a little piece of stem to propagate a new plant is the most convenient method so far. Don’t worry if you are new to propagation. Just follow our steps below to find out how easy it actually is.
- Sharpen and clean your cutting tools with 70 percent isopropyl alcohol. You can rub alcohol on the blades and then wash them. We prefer to soak our tools in alcohol for about 15 minutes to stay safe.
- Cut a three to four inches long piece from a healthy stem with no apparent problems. This piece should have at least two leaf nodes. If it has aerial roots, then that would be the best.
- Pack this cut piece in a paper napkin and store it someplace dark and dry for one whole week. Notice how the cut ends will have formed calluses when you take the cutting out.
- Prepare a well-draining Anthurium soil in a small pot and make a hole in its center. Bury half of your cut piece in the soil.
- If your cutting is having a hard time standing upright, use a pencil or a straw to help it.
- Pick the pot up and look for a bright, warm, damp spot in the house. This cutting will need upto 80 percent humidity in order to grow. A humidifier would make things easier here, but if not available, you can just wrap the whole pot using a transparent plastic sheet.
– Propagating Anthurium Through Seeds
To be honest, seed propagation is a bit tricky. First, you need 100 percent authentic, healthy, fresh seeds to start with. If you have gathered your own seeds from a recent bloom, that’s great. When buying seeds, only go for a trusted and well-reviewed seller.
- Technically you can sow seeds directly in the soil within a pot. We have found that using a seedling tray with a nutrient medium works much better.
- Take a medium-sized tray and spread store-bought nutrition media over it. You can also use sphagnum moss instead. Don’t forget to slightly dampen whatever growth medium you decide to go with.
- Put the seeds in the tray one by one in neat rows. Gently compress the seeds in moss, completely covered but still near the surface.
- Take your seedling tray and keep it someplace brightly lit, warm and humid according to the care requirements of the parent plant.
- Keep on sprinkling water so that the growth medium doesn’t dry out even for a little while.
- It will take a rather long time, four to six weeks, for the seeds to germinate. Then wait a month until you can transfer each little plantlet within its own pot.
– Propagating Anthurium Through Air Layering
This layering technique has a very high success ratio, even though it is a bit complicated.
You may have to begin with choosing the thickest stem or branch of your plant. See that it is not infested by pests or under attack by fungal mold. Furthermore, using a sterilized and sharp knife, make a cut on this stem two inches below a leaf node. This cut shouldn’t be deeper than one-third the diameter of the branch.
In this step, insert a plastic toothpick or a piece of cardboard into this cut; otherwise, it will heal over. Put a handful of sphagnum moss under running water, then squeeze all the extra water out.
Put this moss on the cut that you made earlier. Afterward, you have to wrap a plastic sheet or cardboard over it to keep it safe. Tie it over using gardening strings. Unwrap the outer covering every two weeks and either replace the moss or re-moisten it with water. You will notice new roots growing from the cut every time.
When these new roots grow two to three inches long, you can cut the stem and put it in the soil. The roots will, of course, go within the soil.
The most common problems with Anthuriums hookeri are root rot, leaf yellowing, and pests, particularly mealybugs. This section aims to help you solve these problems using our time-tested care hacks.
– Root Rot
The Anthurium hookeri plant is susceptible to overwatering. If you are not careful, it might quickly succumb to fungal root rot infections. Several fungi in the soil might be responsible for producing root rot. Whenever this problem occurs, you will have a very narrow window of time to treat it.
Root rot develops in a plant that is already overwatered. The leaves will be swollen with water and feel mushy on the touch. Small yellow or brown rot spots will form on the plant’s stem and leaves.
These spots will eventually turn black and even create holes in the leaves. The sick plant will soon start to suffer from falling and drooping leaves. It will even begin to smell rotten.
A tested and recommended way to treat root rot is to take the plant out of its pot. This way, you can also treat its roots which are the most severely affected plant. After taking the plant out, put it on an absorbent paper to soak in all the water.
You can also use newspapers instead. Cut the plant parts that are the most rotten and plant. Then pot the plant in new soil and start a weekly antifungal regimen for the next two months.
– Leaves Yellowing
Anthurium hookeri is sought after for its lush green leaves. So naturally, it will upset you if they start turning yellow instead. Don’t worry too much as this is a common problem. If you can identify what is causing this yellowing, then you can treat it in no time.
Before the leaves get brown and sunburnt from direct light exposure, they will turn yellow. This will be your cue to move the plant someplace shadier. The leaves that are only mildly affected get better with time. Some of the more seriously affected ones will continue to stay yellow. It’s better just to prune and add them to a compost bin.
The abundance of water will make it difficult for chlorophyll to do its work. The leaves will turn swollen with water and yellow-colored alongside. An overwatered plant will be heavier to lift compared to expected. This is a warning to improve your watering habits before roots start rotting.
Lastly, note that you must ensure there is no problem with the soil drainage. If the pot’s drainage holes are blocked, use a sharp-pointed instrument to reopen them.
Furthermore, another reason why your Anthurium hookeri leaves look yellow and dry would be due to the poor plant being underwatered. You can confirm this by touching the soil as it too will feel parched.
The best solution is to place the potted plant in a bucket of water. This water will move upwards from the bottom, watering the roots. When the surface starts to feel moist to the touch, lift the pot out. After this, stick to a regular watering schedule to improve yellow leaves.
Mealybugs are the top among the most persistent plant pests. They are quick to spread from infected plants or gardening tools. Luckily for us, they are also easy to get rid of mealybugs.
You can spot them easily as the white, and round cotton balls spread slowly throughout the plant. Look under the leaves; you will find much more of them hiding there.
We have summarized just some of the ways these sap-eating pests affect your plant’s health to make things easy for you.
- The leaves will have numerous puncture marks, along with yellow spots.
- On touch, the leaves will feel sticky and waxy. The latter is due to a digestive juice called honeydew secreted by these bugs.
- After a few months, you will notice that the plant produces fewer leaves.
- Production of flowers is also seriously affected. You will have much fewer and smaller flamingo flowers to boast.
Mealybugs can be relatively easy to remove from plants. The bad news is that it takes some time and consistent effort.
- Remove as many mealybugs as you can manually. You can use a water jet to force them out, or you simply may pick them off by hand.
- After this, wash the plant thoroughly using a mild insecticidal soap.
- Once the plant has dried, apply neem oil on the plant to kill larvae and eggs.
- Neem oil will have to be applied once weekly for one month.
When Should I Repot My Anthurium Hookeri?
Repot your Anthurium Hookeri when it outgrows its current pot, typically every 1-2 years. Check for overcrowded roots and choose a slightly larger container.
Can I Divide Anthurium Hookeri?
Yes, you can divide Anthurium Hookeri. Carefully separate the plant into smaller sections, ensuring each division has enough roots and leaves to thrive.
Does Anthurium Hookeri Like Big Pots?
Anthurium Hookeri prefers slightly snug pots. While it appreciates being root-bound to some extent, choose a pot that allows for growth without excessive space.
So you have finally reached the end of this comprehensive care guide. Here are our main takeaway points.
- Keep away from direct sunlight but provide indirect bright light.
- Keep the soil moist but not runny, and use distilled water.
- Humidity levels above 80 percent are strictly significant.
- If you want to propagate it, you can use cuttings from stem, seeds, or air layering techniques.
Anthurium hookeri is not your average houseplant. When it is grown somewhere, it grabs eyeballs. Use our guide to develop the best-ever version of hookeri ever.
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