The Anthurium metallicum is known for its vibrant foliage, which makes it one of the most sought Anthuriums. Mature plants can grow over four feet in height and their leaves have an eye-catching velvety sheen.
This Anthurium has 22 to 28-inch, dark green leaves that have very significant veining and its purplish violet flowers are six to eight inches. If you are keen to grow this plant in your home, read through this informative guide.
- What Is Anthurium Metallicum?
- Anthurium Metallicum Care
What Is Anthurium Metallicum?
The Anthurium metallicum is a wonderful and bizarre plant that has an undisputed magnetism within its foliage. It belongs to the Araceae family, native to Colombia, and grows up to 6.6 feet high, and five inches in width. Its leaves are thick, silky, and evergreen.
Anthurium Metallicum Care
The Anthurium metallicum plant gives you the best vegetation presence in your places due to its large leaves that are very vibrant.
– Water Requirements
The Anthurium metallicum is quite a thirsty plant that needs watering every few days during summer. Adequate or appropriate watering during this period ensures that the plant grows healthy and blooms in time.
We recommend that you let the top layer of the soil merely dry up before watering in the growing period, that is between March and September. Dip a finger into the soil once or twice times a week to inspect moisture levels and water needs.
Keep in mind that your home temperature and humidity determine the frequency of watering your plant. Higher temperatures cause water loss to increase compared to cooler conditions.
Keep in mind that you must reduce watering during winter as temperatures are generally low and the plant will be dormant. Higher humidity calls for reduced watering unlike in drier air conditions where the watering frequency should be increased to replenish the lost moisture.
The most important thing is to make sure that the soil is well-draining and the pot has enough holes to let excess water out. Try not to overwater your Anthurium metallicum because problems like root rot emanate from excessive watering.
The foliage will also start fading, wilting, yellowing, and curling; on the other hand, an underwatered Anthurium metallicum’s leaves become brown, dried up, and droopy.
– Light Requirements
The Anthurium metallicum thrives in indirect light that is medium to bright when grown in homes. This aroid also survives in less light during winter as it will be dormant. You should make sure that your Anthurium metallicum gets adequate light to grow its vibrant leaves together with healthy blooms. At least five to eight hours or 65 to 80 percent of daylight is enough for this plant to flourish when grown indoors.
Position your plant about three to five feet away from a northeast-facing door or window where it will get bright and indirect light. We recommend that you rotate the plant regularly on the same spot so that the whole plant accesses the same light intensity and achieves even foliage development. During low light periods like winter, you can use LED grow lights for at least six hours as alternatives to sunlight.
Exposure to direct sunlight burns the leaves and flowers, thereby discoloring the foliage. You may also notice the leaves becoming dry and crispy. The leaves also start to curl and become brown or yellow. Note that, lower light slows down photosynthesis resulting in weak, curled, discolored, and leggy foliage.
– Soil Requirements
The Anthurium metallicum plant loves well-draining potting mixes that are comprised of peat moss, orchid bark, charcoal, and perlite.
The Anthuriums’ natural habitat consists of decomposed leaf litter and tree branches, which makes orchid potting mixes a good alternative. Air circulation is another feature of a good Anthurium potting mix so you can achieve it by adding peat, pumice, or perlite together with sphagnum moss.
Avoid using heavy and compacted soils as they do not allow free water movement. They also hinder good root growth. A good soil mix allows excess water to drain away leaving it moist.
If your Anthurium’s roots sit in damp soil for a prolonged period, they begin to rot, leading to an ill-looking appearance of your plant and possibly death. You should maintain the pH of your soil at an average of 6.5 to keep the Anthurium metallicum glowing.
– Temperature Requirements
Temperatures between 65 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit are best for the Anthurium metallicum’s upkeep. This plant can survive in cooler temperatures compared to most Anthuriums and Philodendrons.
Temperatures below 55 degrees Fahrenheit are not good for your plant as they can even kill it. In winter, protect your metallicum by moving it away from drafty openings and avoid positioning it near fans, heaters, and air conditioners.
Most Anthurium species, for instance, the Anthurium magnificum, Anthurium cf Metallicum, and Anthurium peltigerum thrive in warm and humid conditions with enough air circulation and Anthurium metallicum is not an exception.
During the growing period, using fluorescent lights helps to maintain a warm temperature without endangering your beauty. Other artificial air conditioning devices like heaters or coolers are not reliable in regulating temperatures for this plant. On hot and humid days, we recommend that you open a window to allow air circulation that aids transpiration.
Given that the temperatures are high, you need to monitor the balance between soil moisture and the heat around your plants. A balance must be kept to avoid exposing your Anthurium to dehydration, which leads to wilting, leaf discoloration, sickly-looking foliage, and death if this condition is prolonged.
– Humidity Requirements
Maintaining the humidity around your Anthurium metallicum plants above 60 percent helps them develop vigorously and healthily. Before considering growing this plant in your home, first check if humidity above 60 percent can be achieved.
Without elevated moisture, this plant develops brown edges. Growing it in bathrooms and kitchens with bright light access is best for Anthuriums as these rooms are associated with high humidity.
When humidity runs low, we recommend the use of an electric humidifier. You can also mist your Anthurium regularly.
Alternatively, place the pot of your plant on a pebble tray if you want to grow it in low humidity spots in your homes. Always remember to keep humidity high, especially during the growing season to enhance leaf growth, vibrancy, and blooming.
– Fertilizing Requirements
Anthuriums benefit from normal and restrained feeds. Apply an indoor plant fertilizer every six to eight weeks in the growing season, which stretches from March to September.
We recommend the use of a well-balanced fertilizer to help your plant to flourish and produce healthy blooms. You should not add any fertilizer to your Anthurium plant during winter because it will have entered a period of dormancy.
Winter feeding results in a salt build-up that ends up burning your plants. During this period, the soil revives its natural or original composition and filters salt build-up that would have been caused by fertilizers in the previous growing season.
We advise that you thoroughly water the soil during the growing season to flush out excess salts before applying more fertilizer. This helps to curb over-fertilizing that burns the foliage.
– Pruning Requirements
Pruning is an important part of Anthurium metallicum plant care. If you notice some damaged or discolored leaves, consider pruning them off to keep the plant stunning. The pruning process also helps to do away with infections and pests by cutting off the infected foliage, thereby stopping them from spreading to healthy parts or nearby plants.
Before attempting to cut any part of your plants, sterilize your pruning shears and thoroughly wash your hands with an alcohol-based disinfectant to avoid passing pathogens to your Anthurium metallicum.
Sterilizing your tools before, during, and after use keeps them free from pathogens. Soon after cutting off infected parts, properly dispose of them to avoid reoccurrence of the same infections or passing them to other plants.
We recommend that you isolate an infected plant and treat it while it is further away from the healthy ones. Pruning is also done to keep your beautiful plants’ desired shape by removing messy or uneven leaves.
Older Anthurium leaves turn yellow before naturally falling off nonetheless, you can prune them off once they start yellowing to maintain your plants’ gorgeousness.
The Anthurium metallicum can be propagated by using stem cuttings. The best time for propagation is from the onset of spring to summer during which plant growth is enhanced. You should avoid propagating your Anthurium during winter because plants will be dormant during this period.
– Using Stem Cuttings
To begin the propagation process, get a mature and healthy cutting that is at least six inches long. The stem must have at least two to three-leaf bunch sets. We recommend that you use a 10-inch diameter terracotta pot and fill it with a well-drained potting mixture up to the three-quarter level. Ensure that the pot has holes at the bottom to facilitate proper drainage.
Create a two-to three-inch deep hole in the middle of the potting mix using your finger or any other suitable tool you can get. Now, place the bottom of the cutting into the hole and fill in the cavity with some leftover potting soil making sure the plant remains firmly upright. Make sure that the leaves are not submerged in the soil. If they are, use your fingertips to uncover them.
Water the soil thoroughly and continue doing so every other day. Avoid letting the top layer of the soil dry out and place the cutting in a place with bright indirect light and plenty of humidity. In about four to six weeks, the plants will start growing roots. When you notice the cutting growing taller and new foliage appearing, it is a sign that the roots have grown.
The Anthurium metallicum is mainly grown for the large foliage that requires close monitoring to protect it from pests and diseases.
The Anthurium metallicum is rarely affected by pests, furthermore, when not grown well, it becomes susceptible to pathogen attacks. Be on the lookout for mealybugs, thrips, scale, and spider mites which are some of the most common problems.
If you notice some flat, oval, and tiny white spots on the foliage, mealybugs have invaded your plants. These pests have a fuzzy or powdery appearance and they leave a white residue that is cotton-like on the leaves. If the number of these bugs is small, you can handpick them off your plant. Isopropyl alcohol is also effective in eliminating these troublesome bugs.
Spraying the plant with pressurized water to wash off mealybugs is also helpful. Before attempting to use this method, cover the soil with plastic paper to avoid saturating the soil with water unnecessarily. This also makes sure that the bugs do not fall into the soil and cause future problems again.
Thrips damage the plants, thereby causing dark patches on the leaves. You will also notice some thrips feces on the leaves. They can be wiped out using isopropyl alcohol and make sure to dilute it with an even portion of water. Horticultural oils and Neem oil are very effective in killing thrips.
Scales cause some rust or yellow-colored dots on the leaves of your Anthurium. Some rough brown lumps can be noticed on the undersides of the leaves. Use a blunt knife to scrape these tiny bugs off from the plant’s foliage and ensure that the bugs do not fall on the soil. Spraying insecticidal soaps or water with soap is only useful after scrapping off the scales’ shells. These shells act as protection so that insecticides cannot penetrate through.
Spider mites cause wilting of the leaves, as well as dropping with a yellow-like halo. Some leaves will appear freckled and this takes away the beauty of your plants. Soak a cotton ball in isopropyl alcohol and rub it on the plant’s foliage to eliminate these bugs. Neem oil and insecticidal soaps also work well.
It is wise to take disease preventive measures because if they get out of control, you may end up losing the entire plant. Keep in mind that regular checks should be done as some diseases spread rapidly throughout the entire Anthurium metallicum plant and also affect nearby plants.
The main characteristics of bacterial blight are yellowish clusters that are water-soaked and can be seen on the plant’s leaf margins. These clusters change into v-shaped lesions that disrupt the vibrancy of your plant.
Bacteria blight penetrates the leaf pores along the margins. Torn leaf tissues can also be used as points of penetration so, be careful not to leave deep incisions that take long to heal when pruning.
Also, when the flowers have been harvested, the Anthurium metallicum becomes vulnerable to bacterial blight inversion.
We advise that you avoid wetting the foliage when watering because bacteria swim through dump surfaces looking for a weak point to penetrate your plant. It is essential to keep the foliage dry by watering the soil only. Drip irrigating is a good alternative as it helps you to avoid wetting the foliage.
You should avoid bacterial blight by maintaining adequate ventilation and air circulation around your plants. Also, reduce humidity and temperature around your plants. Spacing out your plants also reduces bacterial blight transmission to healthy plants.
Rhizoctonia attacks the roots and the plant’s lower stems. When this condition is prolonged, Rhizoctonia can spread to the rest of the plant, especially under wet conditions. Always exercise thermal treatment to tropical soils before including them in content mixes.
Note that, this bacterium thrives in continuously damp soil, which is the reason why we recommend the use of well-drained soil mixtures to release excess moisture.
Do not create potting mixes from chips, sphagnum moss, peat moss, or potting media that were once colonized with the Rhizoctonia fungus. Prioritize placing the pots on elevated benches to protect the roots from contacting the soil that may contain fungi. Remove any dead plant matter that falls on the soil.
Always use sterilized utensils for pruning because these fungi can survive long on contaminated materials. When your plant has been attacked, consider trimming off the affected roots and repot it into a new well-drained potting mixture, although it cannot recover from severe cases.
– Bacterial Wilt
When you see the veins of your plants turning brown or bronze, they are under a bacterial wilt attack. However, the first indication of bacterial wilt is the yellowing of leaves and this disease spreads rapidly across the plant’s vascular system. Highly infected Anthuriums show bacterial oozes that come out when the plant is cut.
Affected plants wilt, even if the soil has enough moisture. Once you detect this disease, immediately isolate the infected plant and apply fungicides with phosphorus acid. However, for systematically infected plants, this solution will not work so you have to dispose of the entire plant.
This disease’s main target is the root systems, and you will notice the plants wilting despite adequate moisture presence. Extreme cases will see the plant having black to brown leaf lesions.
The symptoms are quite similar to those of the Rhizoctonia; however, the fungal strands are not visible with Phytophthora. All plants that show symptoms of Phytophthora should be disposed of.
We advise that you treat the remaining plants using a fungicide drench. Do not reuse infected soil mixes, and be sure to scrub and sterilize pots before using them again. Disinfecting cutting tools before and after using them helps in reducing the transmission of Phytophthora to your beloved plants.
Now that you are well equipped with relevant information on how to care for your Anthurium, let’s revisit the take-home points once again:
- Anthurium metallicum is the best choice for foliage lovers and has proven to be quite beginner-friendly. Let us go through some of the main issues that we have highlighted in this article.
- Position your Anthurium metallicum on a spot with bright and indirect light. Avoid exposing it to direct light that may burn the leaves.
- This plant loves humidity that is above 60 percent to enhance the growth and vibrancy of its large leaves.
- You can grow new Anthurium metallicum beauties from stem cuttings. We advise that you undertake this process during the spring and summer seasons when plant growth is high.
- The Anthurium metallicum’s colorful foliage and gorgeous blooms bring the tropical presence you need to your places especially when grown together with other species like the Anthurium waterburyanun and Anthurium queremalense whose bright foliage ignites your places.
To maintain such beautiful plants, there are special Anthurium Metallicum parenting requirements that you need to closely follow and monitor to avoid deficiencies as well as over-exposure to certain conditions. Enjoy the experience!
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