Anthuriums are beautiful houseplants that can flower year-round if adequately taken care of. However, as your anthurium grows, you might have to replant it occasionally. Knowing what potting soil anthuriums prefer is key to ensuring they transition well once replanted. So, how do you make the best anthurium potting mix?
Anthuriums require a light potting mix with excellent drainage and some moisture retention. Therefore, mixing orchid potting soil with sand, coco peat, and wood charcoal ensures your anthurium has the perfect soil to grow in. Adding compost will also help the anthurium grow.
Anthuriums are epiphytes and naturally grow in the decomposing plant material at the bottom of trees. In some cases, they also develop air roots. Planting your anthurium in the right soil is paramount to ensuring it survives and blooms year-round. This article discusses creating the perfect potting mix for anthuriums and shares some tips for taking care of an anthurium plant.
Making the Best Potting Mix for Anthuriums
Anthuriums are native to the tropical regions in Central and South America. In these regions, anthuriums will grow in high-humidity areas with relatively low sunlight, growing in light, aerated soil. To mimic these conditions when growing an anthurium indoors might be somewhat challenging if you don’t know how.
When and how to water the anthurium plant is an essential step to ensuring its survival. However, equally important is planting an anthurium in the correct type of potting soil.
The potting soil you use for most indoor plants is too heavy and water-retaining for anthuriums. Planting them in this soil might lead to root rot and plant death.
If you purchase an anthurium at a nursery, it will likely be planted in an appropriate potting mix. However, anthuriums become root-bound and need to be replanted occasionally.
This is how to tell when your anthurium needs to be replanted:
- Roots grow through the drainage hole in the bottom of the pot.
- Roots grow on the topsoil or circle around the topsoil of the pot.
- Leaves are wilted, even after watering.
- Water runs straight through the drainage holes without being absorbed by the soil.
- The container is cracking or breaking because of the roots growing too big.
These are all signs that your anthurium is in desperate need of a bigger pot with more soil. If an anthurium becomes root-bound, there isn’t enough soil in the pot to retain moisture or feed the plant. Therefore, the anthurium will slowly start to dry out and die.
Fortunately, preventing anthurium death is as simple as replanting it into a bigger pot. However, anthuriums require a particular type of soil mix.
The soil should be lightweight and have good draining capabilities. The soil should also be able to retain some moisture to increase the humidity around the anthurium and ensure its roots are moist. Finally, the soil should have a pH level between 6 and 6.5.
To achieve all these requirements and ensure your anthurium and healthy and blossoming, you will have to mix your own potting mix. While you could mix half orchid mix and half regular potting soil, adding some other materials will further improve the mixture to ensure your anthuriums are well taken care of.
Most anthurium owners will start their potting mix with orchid potting soil as a base. They will then add various other ingredients to the orchid mix to improve the texture (anthuriums need a course soil) and pH level of the mix, making it the perfect environment for anthuriums.
Here are some common materials to add to orchid potting soil for anthuriums:
- Pumice will improve the soil’s drainage capabilities and add aeration.
- Hardwood charcoal acts the same as perlite but is more environmentally friendly and lighter than perlite. It is used to increase the soil’s drainage and helps keep the soil moist.
- Adding a little bit of coarse compost will improve the nutrients in the potting mix and improve the aeration and moisture retention of the mix. In addition, use a coarse compost mix to prevent the potting mix from becoming dense.
- Coconut husk adds substance to the potting mix and is excellent at retaining moisture.
- Pine bark or fir provides a lightweight alternative and boosts aeration. However, it’s best mixed with materials with good water retention, such as coco peat.
- Coco peat is a great alternative to peat moss (which is not environmentally friendly). It is lightweight and airy but has good water-holding capacity, making it a perfect material for anthurium potting mix.
Once you have selected which materials you would like to add to the orchid potting mix, you can make your own anthurium potting mix.
Step 1: Choose the Materials You Want to Combine
When selecting the materials you want to use, you must look at three categories: coarse woody materials (coconut husks or pine bark), porous materials (pumice or perlite), and organic materials (cocopeat, compost or peat moss).
Choose one material from each category to add to your anthurium potting mix. Take into account how much of each element is already in the orchid potting mix. Also, ensure the elements you are adding to the orchid potting mix provide the final potting mix with a pH level of 6 to 6.5.
Step 2: Combine the Materials to Make Anthurium Potting Mix
After selecting the materials you want to add to the orchid mix, creating the perfect anthurium potting mix is as simple as mixing them all together. Use equal parts coarse woody materials, porous materials, and organic materials. Then, mix those materials and add them to the same amount of orchid potting mix.
Don’t layer the materials in a pot, as this will result in uneven distribution throughout the soil and might contribute to root rot and plant death. Instead, mix all the materials together in a large container and then add it to the pot wherein you will plant the anthurium.
Making an anthurium potting mix is as simple as that. However, when you want to replant your anthurium from another pot, there are some additional precautions to take and tips to note.
Tips for Repotting an Anthurium
Having the perfect potting mix to plant your anthurium ensures your plant is healthy and adjusts to its new environment. However, you can also take other steps for a smooth transition. Remember that your anthurium will likely look slightly unwell after replanting, as it needs time to settle into its new pot.
Here are some tips for when replanting an anthurium to ensure it bounces back and flourishes:
- Water the anthurium thoroughly a few hours before repotting it. This will make it easier to repot the anthurium.
- Ensure the anthurium sits at the same soil level once repotted. If it is placed deeper in the soil, the stem might start to rot.
- Place the anthurium in a dark location for a few days after repotting it to allow the anthurium to settle into its new pot.
- After repotting it, don’t use fertilizer on the anthurium for a few months.
- When repotting an anthurium, don’t increase the pot’s size by more than 2 inches (5+ cm).
- Use a terracotta pot for your anthurium if you tend to overwater it. The terracotta pot will absorb some of the water in the soil, helping to prevent root rot.
- If you often forget to water your anthurium, use a partially glazed pot to plant it in. The inside glaze won’t absorb any of the water, and the soil will take longer to dry out. However, ensure the drainage hole is large enough to drain excess moisture and prevent waterlogging.
Keep it in bright indirect sunlight once you have repotted your anthurium and see that it’s starting to grow again. Anthuriums are extremely sensitive to direct sunlight and will easily burn. However, if their light conditions are too low, they will grow slowly and produce fewer flowers.
Overall, anthuriums aren’t too difficult to take care of as long as they have the right light conditions and their soil is lightweight, has a good water drainage capability, and has a pH level of 6 to 6.5.
Closely monitor your anthurium to see when it needs water and when it might be overwatered. Anthuriums typically need to be replanted every two years or whenever they become root-bound.
Anthuriums require potting mix that is lightweight and can drain water easily. Ideally, the anthurium potting mix should be able to keep some moisture but not retain stagnant water. Anthurium potting mix should also have a pH level of 6 to 6.5.
To create the perfect anthurium potting mix, many anthurium owners mix orchid potting soil with wood charcoal or compost, pumice, coconut husks or pine bark, and coco peat. Unfortunately, anthuriums become root-bound and should therefore be replanted about every two years.