Anthurium superbum care infographicAnthurium Superbum is the kind of plant you can imagine growing in prehistoric times, long before even dinosaurs existed. With its thick, dark green leaves that can grow several feet tall, this plant is a sight to behold and can add a veritable antediluvian vibe to your tropical garden

Despite its intimidating looks, caring for Anthurium Superbum is not that difficult. So if you’re ready to make your home look like you have a time machine, our plant experts are here to provide you with the best care and propagation tips.

What Is a Anthurium Superbum?

Anthurium Superbum is a tropical evergreen plant endemic to the forests of Ecuador. It belongs to the genus Anthurium which, at over 1,000 species, is the largest genus in the Araceae family, or the Aroid plants family. Anthurium Superbum is popular in indoor cultivation due to its unique foliage.

Anthurium Superbum Care

Growing Anthurium Superbum can be immensely rewarding. These houseplants are not too pretentious, and although they can grow quite tall, they do so at a slow rate. Bear in mind when caring for the superbum plant is the type of potting mix you use. Bird’s Nest Anthurium

In this care guide, we’ll tell you everything you need to know to keep your anthurium healthy and thriving.

Water

Anthurium Superbum needs moderate watering. This plant has very thick, robust roots that look very similar to an orchid, allowing the plant to tolerate a mild drought.

Also, its leaves consist of thick boundary layers which insulate them and prevent water loss through transpiration. This characteristic means that the plant won’t suffer too much if you forget to water it for a couple of days.   

Seasonal Recommendations

Our recommendation is to water your Anthurium Superbum when the top inch of the substrate feels dry to the touch. You may need to water your plant once every four to five days during the hotter months, then gradually reduce the watering to once a week in the colder months.

Keep in mind that a plant growing in a humid home, low temperatures, or low light conditions will need less water than one growing in a very hot and dry environment. 

The most important aspect of watering your Anthurium Superbum correctly is not just the frequency or the amount of water but the type of soil used. Our watering recommendations will keep your plant healthy, but only if you use the suitable potting medium. So, with that in mind, let’s talk about Anthurium Superbum soil

Light

Anthurium Superbum can be grown in either medium or bright indirect light. The dark green color of the leaves allows the plant to produce photosynthesis even in lower light conditions.

However, bright indirect light is preferred because it enables the plant to put out new growth faster. Avoid exposing your anthurium to direct sun, as this will lead to scorch marks on the foliage.

Window Light Exposure

Our recommendation is to keep your Anthurium Superbum plant in a room with eastern exposure, at least two feet away from the window, and with a sheer curtain to filter out any direct sun.

A room with southern or western exposure will receive more sun throughout the day. You can also keep your anthurium there, but you will need to move it at least six feet away from the window. 

Soil

The ideal potting mix for Anthurium Superbum should be very light, well-draining, porous, and aerated. In its natural habitat, this plant grows in a very light substrate, most of it consisting of moss and leaf debris collected by the rosette of the leaves.

Whatever you do, never grow this plant using just universal potting soil from the garden center. Anthurium Superbum is very resilient, but even the toughest plant will suffer if its roots are sitting in compacted soil that stays wet all the time.   

A great potting mix you can use for your Anthurium Superbum consists of two parts coco chips, one part perlite, and one part humus. The coco chips will give the soil a chunky texture that greatly improves drainage; perlite helps retain moisture in the soil, while the humus will provide the plant with the nutrients needed for lush, healthy growth. If you can’t find humus, you can also use a peat-based soil mix as a substitute. 

Temperature

The optimal temperature range for growing Anthurium Superbum as an indoor plant is between 65 and 80 F (18 to 27 C). Like all tropical aroids, it will struggle to grow in temperatures below 55 F (13 C) and will suffer permanent damage if exposed to frost.

We also recommend keeping your anthurium away from any hot or cold drafts, such as those coming from an air conditioning unit, a heating vent, or even drafty windows and doors. Any sudden temperature changes can shock the plant, which will result in wilting. 

Outdoor Cultivation

Anthurium Superbum can be grown outdoors in your garden if you live in USDA hardiness zones 10a and 11. You can plant it directly in the soil, but make sure that it is surrounded by trees and large shrubs to protect it from direct sunlight.

If you live in an area where nighttime temperatures drop below 55 F (13 C), it’s best to keep the plant in a pot and bring it indoors when it gets too cold. 

Humidity

Anthurium Superbum loves high humidity, but it doesn’t always require it. Its thick leaves don’t lose as much water through transpiration as other varieties, such as Anthurium Clarinervium or Anthurium Magnificum.

As a result, you can keep the Superbum plant in the average home humidity, at around 30 to 40 percent. Remember to check its soil regularly, as the plant will need more frequent watering in low humidity conditions.

Indoor Requirements

However, if you can raise the humidity for your Anthurium Superbum to above 50 percent, the plant will thank you for it. Not only is this closer to what it is used to in its native range, but high humidity will also encourage the plant to produce larger leaves at a faster rate. 

The cheapest and easiest way to meet the Anthurium Superbum humidity needs is by placing the pot on top of a pebble tray half-filled with water. You can also group it with other humidity-loving plants, such as ferns and Calatheas, or keep it in a room with high humidity, such as a kitchen or a bathroom with a window.    

Fertilizer

Anthurium Superbum is a light feeder and doesn’t need too much fertilizer. If you’ve recently planted it in a mix that contains humus, we recommend waiting at least three months before giving it any plant food.

Otherwise, you can use a balanced fertilizer once a month throughout the growing season, from early spring until early autumn. 

For synthetic fertilizers, use a 10-10-10 nutrient ratio, or 1-1-1 for organic ones. Always dilute the fertilizers to half strength before use. If you want to encourage your Anthurium Superbum to flower, we also recommend using a fertilizer that has a higher phosphorus content.   

Pruning

Anthurium Superbum needs very little pruning. As the plant grows, it will redirect the nutrients from the older leaves to the new ones, and the old leaves will start turning yellow as a result.

You can leave the yellowing leaves on the plant until they are completely dry, then simply pluck them off from the base of the stem. Or, if you want your anthurium to have a tidy look, you can prune them using a sharp, sterilized pair of scissors.

Unique Foliage

It is important to keep the leaves clean and healthy as it is the plant’s main feature. The leaves are dark green, broad, long, rounded at the tips, with a corrugated look and a coriaceous or leathery texture. They grow in an upright rosette cluster that, in the wild, allows the plant to capture water as well as plant debris falling from the forest canopy.

This wonderful leaf display is also found in other species, such as Anthurium Hookeri or Anthurium Plowmanii ‘Fruffles’, which are commonly known under the name of Bird’s Nest Anthurium. 

Maintenance

The wide leaves of Anthurium Superbum can attract a lot of dust, which will block the stomata on the leaves and prevent the plant from producing photosynthesis at its full capacity.

Once a week, we recommend wiping them with a damp cloth to keep them looking glossy and healthy. Never use leaf shine products on your anthurium. Like the dust, they will clog the stomata and will only cause more harm than good.  

Repotting

Anthurium Superbum has a slow growth rate and only needs to be repotted once every two years. If the roots are starting to come out of the drainage hole or start growing outside the edges of the container, that’s a sign that the plant needs a bigger pot.

The best time to repot your anthurium is in spring or early summer. Simply take the plant out of its pot, and repot it into one that’s one size or two inches (five centimeters) wider. 

Plastic Pots

We recommend using plastic pots for your Anthurium Superbum. This material will keep the substrate moist and prevent the roots from drying out too fast. Large, mature plants can become a bit top-heavy and can be planted in a ceramic pot to give them some support.

When using ceramic or terracotta pots, always check the substrate more frequently, as these materials will wick out moisture from the soil. 

 

Propagation

Anthurium Superbum can be propagated using either plant division or seeds. Let’s take a closer look at each method:

Plant Division

Plant division is the easiest way you can propagate your Anthurium Superbum. We recommend using this method in spring or early summer so that the plants have the rest of the growing season to become established. Here’s what you’ll need to do:

  • Gently take your anthurium out of the pot and remove some of the soil until the roots and the base of the plant are exposed.
  • Take a very sharp blade and sterilize it using rubbing alcohol.
  • Use your fingers to separate the root ball and the clusters of leaves into smaller sections. Then, cut the root ball into two or three sections. Each section should have at least three big leaves and large, healthy roots attached.
  • Fill a container with a very well-draining potting mix. A combination of two parts coco chips, one part perlite, and one part humus is ideal.
  • Place each divided plant in a separate container, water well, and keep the pot in a room with bright indirect light.
  • Monitor your new plant for the next month, keeping an eye out for any signs of rot or sudden wilting.

Seed

Propagating Anthurium Superbum through seeds is difficult but not impossible for an indoor gardener. Compared to plant division, this method is much slower, and you may need to wait several months for the seeds to germinate. The most difficult part, though, is pollination.

Anthurium Superbum flowers contain both the female and male parts needed for reproduction. However, the female part is ready for pollination before the male part has produced any pollen.

This means you will need at least two flowers to pollinate your anthurium. Alternatively, you can collect the pollen, store it, then use it when you have a second flower. 

Here’s our step-by-step guide for Anthurium Superbum seed propagation:

  •  Wait until your Anthurium Superbum has flowered, then use a small, clean brush to collect the pollen in a paper envelope. Seal the envelope, then keep it in a cool, dry place for a maximum of two weeks. You can also freeze pollen, but for best results, it should be used while it’s still fresh.
  • On your second Anthurium Superbum flower, wait until the spadix produces a clear liquid, called stigmatic fluid. After this fluid has completely dried off, take out your envelope, and use a brush to gently rub the pollen on the spadix.
  • If pollination is successful, your anthurium will produce small, round berries. Allow them to ripen, then collect them, and remove the sticky pulp to expose the seed. Make sure that no pulp is left on the seeds to prevent molding issues. 
  • Take a shallow, transparent plastic container and fill it with a mix of sphagnum moss and some perlite. Place the seeds on top, use a spray pump to moisten the soil, then cover the container with a transparent plastic wrap.
  • Keep the seed tray in a bright, warm room but away from any direct sun. Check the substrate regularly and use the spray pump to keep it moist.
  • Anthurium Superbum seeds take a long time to germinate, but you should start seeing small leaves after a few months. 
  • Keep the young plants in the container until they have at least two leaves each and roots at least two inches (five centimeters) long. Once they are big enough, you can gently separate them and plant them in small, individual pots. 
  • Baby Anthurium Superbum plants are very delicate and need a lot of humidity to grow. Our recommendation is to keep their pots covered with a transparent plastic sheet or even keep them inside a transparent container box. When the plants are at least three inches (7.5 centimeters) tall, you can gradually acclimatize them to your home conditions.

Problems

Anthurium Superbum is a tough and robust plant that very rarely suffers from any pests or diseases. Here are a few things to keep an eye out for, just in case:

Brown, Crispy Leaves

This is a common sign that your Anthurium Superbum is receiving too much sun or is underwatered. Ensure that the plant is not sitting in direct sunlight and never let the substrate dry out to a depth of more than an inch.

Soft, Brown Leaves

If your Anthurium Superbum leaves have soft, brown spots, this could indicate that you’re giving it too much water or that the substrate has poor drainage. In severe cases, this can also result in root rot, which can be fatal for the plant. 

Scale

The thick leaves of the Anthurium Superbum allow it to resist most pest attacks; however, the plant can be susceptible to scale. These tiny insects are usually found along the leaf veins and can cause wilting and discoloration as they suck the sap from the plant.

If you find scale on your plant, take a cotton swab, soak it in isopropyl alcohol, and use it to rub off the insects from the leaves. Then, mix a solution of four parts water and one part alcohol and spray the plant with it once every five to seven days, for a month.

FAQ

Is Anthurium Superbum a Good Indoor Plant?

Yes. When grown as an indoor plant, Anthurium Superbum leaves can grow to a height of five feet (1.5 meters), with a rosette that’s almost three feet (90 centimeters) wide. This beginner-friendly plant is a low-maintenance that can thrive in your collection for many years.  

According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature, it has a vulnerable status and is threatened by habitat loss. So by growing Anthurium Superbum as an indoor plant, you are actively working towards conserving it for future generations. 

Does Anthurium Superbum Flower?

Yes. Anthurium Superbum is a blooming house plant that will produce flowers when it reaches maturity. The inflorescence is typical for aroid plants and consists of a spadix and a modified leaf called a spathe.

The spadix looks a bit like a white cattail, with a vivid green spathe at the bottom. If the flower is pollinated, it will produce small berries, which can be used for propagation.

Is Anthurium Superbum Toxic?

Yes. The leaves and stems of Anthurium Superbum contain toxic calcium oxalate crystals. If ingested, they can cause painful mouth and throat irritations, nausea, excessive drooling, vomiting, and difficulty breathing.

The sap can also cause skin irritations in some people. Our recommendation is to keep this plant away from cats and dogs, as well as small children.

Conclusion

Anthurium Superbum is a robust and low-maintenance houseplant that can find a spot in any home. Let’s go over the basics one more time:

  • Anthurium Superbum is an evergreen tropical plant native to Ecuador.
  • It has a slow growth rate, but its broad, long leaves can reach almost five feet in size.
  • To keep it happy, avoid direct sunlight exposure, plant it in a well-draining potting mix, and water it regularly.
  • You can propagate Anthurium Superbum using plant division or through seeds.
  • This plant is toxic to humans and pets if ingested.

So now that you know how to care for your Anthurium Superbum, we hope that you’ll enjoy having it in your collection for many years to come.

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