Anthurium clarinervium figured out
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Anthurium clarinervium figured out

About the species

Where do I belong?

Anthurium clarinervium is probably endemic to Mexico, known only from areas with limestone outcrops between the Río Grijalva and Río de la Venta, north of Ocozocoautia de Espinosa, Chiapas, at 800 to 1,200 m elevation. As it grows only there, most of the general “how to grow Anthurium” tips don’t apply. This plant was once believed to be a member of section Cardiolonchium, because of its velvety leaf texture. How do we know that it doesn’t belong there? Well, it can’t reproduce with other members of the same section ;), but in many sources, you can still find the old classification. This species is likely related to Anthurium crystallinum. But enough about the affiliation. Maybe you have the feeling that you’ve bought the plant and since then not much have happened. No new leafs, no sign of life. How to get those leather-like leaves happy?

Anthurium clarinervium in terracotta pot
Anthurium clarinervium

Anthurium clarinervium care

Five growing tips

1. Bet on the potting medium

You have a vast choice

This plant really likes a very highly aerated, very freely draining growing medium. But what an individual grower will use will depend on what material is locally available. Thus in Hawaii, growers tend to use volcanic cinders or macadamia shells. The nature of the substrate is not very important, the root environment is, because in the natural environment it grows deeply rooted among rocks. But it is not easy, because you have to keep the rocks wet at all times. And despite what many people say, it is not possible to grow this particular species successfully for a long time directly in water.

It’s certainly possible to grow Anthurium in pots, in compacted garden soil
but they don’t look as good compared to those growing in an aerated, freely draining medium. The mix should be loose, but not all sphagnum moss, because this is a terrestrial plant and id does not climb on trees. This is my proposition for a potting mix that includes everything that this plant needs and what is available on the European market.

  • 30% universal potting mix
  • 20% high quality peat moss
  • 40% orchid potting media
  • charcoal and gravel mixed with 10% perlite

2. Snip those flowers

If you want your leafs to be lush

If you want to focus on the leaves, there is no need to keep the flowers, as they consume a lot of energy to mature. So don’t be shy and if you spot one, snip it immediately (the moment you are sure that it is not a new leaf!)

3. No misting

How did she get those white spots?

Why not mist a tropical plant, you wonder? Seems ridiculous…but the truth is our tap water contains enough calcium, to give her ugly white spots even from the watering, and the misting will make even more mess and she can even get a fungus if the air circulation is bad and the water is cold. It is not worth it. Velvety, leather like leaves can keep the water sitting between the epidermic structures and there is no reason to risk an ugly damage. Keep the humidity on a medium level (about 50-60%) with a humidifier or use a pebble tray. It will be enough. I promise.

4. Light, light, light

Don’t let her slouch

It is a girl from Mexico, so she needs a sunbath, duuh. Keep her near (1 meter from the south one though) your most sunny window and you will nor regret it. Otherwise you will notice, that after some time the leaves will face….the floor. It is frustrating, and unfortunately once they bow, they don’t get up. But also – when she gets a lot of light, keep that soil always moist, otherwise she will get sunburnt.

Anthurium_in a sunbath
Sun, sun, sun for this baby!

5. She is a foodie and a gourmet

How to fertilise

Fertilising once a month? Forget about it. Try adding a small amount of fertiliser to your water and give it to your plant often, best once each week.  Use it diluted to the 20% of the manufacturer’s recommended amount.  Large doses of artificial fertiliser do nothing good for you plant but minimal doses of liquid fertilisers can cause your Anthurium to reach an unusually large size and beauty.

Anthurium species as well as many other tropical plants also enjoy an occasional dose of Magnesium (sic!).   You can buy it in a form of Epsom’s Salt that is available at any garden center, pharmacy, or via internet.  Using this product monthly will make the plants respond well.  How to use it? Take 1 to 2 tablespoons per gallon of water. Use freshly make solution for a single watering.

Something extra

Making Anthurium babies

Anthurium possess perfect flowers. And that is not to say that they are gorgeous, because really, they are not. What it means is that they contain both sexes. So at its first stadium of inflorescence, an Anthurium is a “she”, and after about two weeks you can spot the pollen – it is a male form of the flower.  To help prevent self-pollination, nature has designed the female flowers to be receptive before the males flowers produce their pollen. In most cases, an insect must bring pollen from another plant, but you can also, with enough patience, do it at home by yourself. How? Watch this movie by @urlocalplantboy:

Great easy guide to Anthurium pollination



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