If you are an exotic plant lover and are especially interested in the specimens that are rare to find, then Anthurium Veitchii is a plant for you.
It is beautiful and magnificent and it is no wonder it is called “The King Anthurium”, although it does not require kingly care. It is easy to care for.
Care highlights: Anthurium Veitchii is an aroid, epiphytic plant with light green foliage which prefers moist soil. Avoid overwatering it, and don’t expose it to temperatures that go below go below 55 F (12 C). Pot it in well-draining soil, rich in nutrients. Fertilize it on average every every 6-8 weeks, and prune it regularly. Repot it every 2-3 years, and inspect occasionally to ensure no pests attacked it.
Take a look!
Meet The King Anthurium
An Anthurium Veitchii (pronounced “vɪkɪaɪ”, although some store owners pronounce it “vɪtʃɪaɪ”) is a tropical plant native to Colombia.
It belongs to the family of Araceae (It is a distant cousin of various Lily flowers that are also Araceae) and the genus Anthurium.
The name Veitchii is a derivation from the name of John Veitch, and owner of the most famous plant nursery in London from the 18th to the 20th century.
Veitch is personally responsible for bringing this, and many other tropical plants to Europe.
It is an aroid, epiphytic plant with leaves that can grow up to 6ft (2m) in natural habitat, although you should expect leaves up to 3ft which still makes for a gigantic indoor plant!
What do all those words mean? Here is an explanation if you are just starting your journey with tropicals.
Aroid means that it is a plant that reproduces by producing inflorescence. The inflorescence is a spathe (a modified leaf) with a peduncle.
We consider this to be a flower which it technically is not but it is still beautiful and mesmerizing.
The spathe is a lighter green color, and the peduncle is cream or pinkish.
Epiphytic means that this plant grows on the surface of another plant, for example, the branches of trees.
When you are growing it indoors you can place it in soil, and it will thrive, but more on that later.
The leaves, which are the main reason why the Anthurium king is loved by many gardeners, are dark green with metallic shine on the front and light green and sometimes even pale, powdery pink on the underside.
The veins on the leaf are prominent, close together, and light green color.
The new leaves have a bit of a rusty shade to them.
There are many different types, of which a few quite popular:
Opposed to what is maybe expected of it, caring for Anthurium Veitchii is not at all complicated, so let’s see how to grow and care for a healthy Anthurium King!
How to grow Anthurium Veitchii
If you purchase a young plant it will take years for it to grow to the representative sizes.
But do not fret, the young plants are also very beautiful although not as striking as when they grow to the maximum extent allowed by the room and pot size.
You could buy a full-grown plant, say if you need it to decorate a hotel lobby, and such a plant will cost a couple of hundreds of dollars.
It is very difficult to grow Anthurium Veitchii from seeds since they are very difficult to collect, and the process requires a lot of patience and many steps.
You should firs follow the development of the plants and decide if the inflorescence is still female or have it formed male parts.
When the flower forms it produces pollen and you can collect it and introduce it to the female plant (in natural conditions insects are the ones who bring the pollen to the female part of the flower).
After the fruit s formed, you can plant it.
Whether you decide to purchase a baby plant, an adult plant, or grow one from scratch, in order to successfully grow it and care for it you will need to recreate the rainforest conditions.
Aside from providing adequate temperature and humidity which can be tricky depending on where you live, other aspects of Anthurium Veitchii care are quite easy, even if you are just beginning to care for tropicals.
Watering Anthurium Veitchii
When it comes to watering the Anthurium Veitchii balance is the key.
The rainforests have periods of very heavy rain so your Anthurium Veitchii will like to be well-watered.
Although, be careful not to overwater it since in nature the plant lives epiphytically so it does not take much water through the roots.
With this in mind, you should spray the plant’s leaves regardless of how you decide to plant it, at least once a day to give it much needed moisture and recreate the rainforest environment.
During the warm months, you might want to water and spray more often than during the winter when you can water even every other week.
If you are not sure how to decide if your Anthurium Veitchii needs watering check the soil.
It should be moist but never soaking.
A general rule of thumb is to water at least once a week.
To know exactly when your King Anthurium needs watering put your finger in the soil and when the top layer is dry and somewhere about 2in deep is wet you can water again.
If the soil is wet on the top as well, give it another day or two and check again (depending on the temperature). If the inside layer of the soil is dry, you should definitely water your king Anthurium.
If its leaves start to droop or wilt, it is another sign that the plant needs watering.
Checking the soil (and making sure you have chosen the right type) and daily misting, is pretty much the hard work about this plant.
Everything else is quite simpler.
Light and Temperature Requirements
Temperature is something you cannot affect much unless you have a tropical greenhouse.
For all of us who do not have it and still want to nurture this magnificent tropical plant, there are things we need to know and do.
As other tropicals, Anthurium Veitchii enjoys temperatures from 60F to 80F (15.5C to 26.5C) and a lot of moisture.
Depending on where in the world you live, you can easily grow Anthurium Veitchii outside all year round if the temperature does not go below 55F (12 C) during the winter.
In other cases, it is better to plant it in a pot (a hanging pot is a great idea because the leaves go downward) and move the plant inside during the late Fall or Winter.
All the while you should make sure that the humidity level is around 50%, so humidifiers are a good option for indoor planting.
Avoid air-conditioned rooms.
When it comes to the light requirements, king Anthurium is not that demanding- it likes medium lighted rooms with no direct contact with the sun.
Filtered white light (i.e. through a curtain), and partial shade (especially outdoors) is what suits it the most.
Too much direct sunlight will scorch the leaves or make them develop yellow or brown patches or turn yellow from the sides.
These conditions mimic the natural conditions the plant lives in.
This is another reason why hanging pots are a fabulous option for Anthurium Veitchii – the ceilings are usually in the right type of shade and yet in a bright room, they do receive enough light.
Soil Requirements of Anthurium Veitchii
Again, an Anthurium Veitchii does not need to be planted in soil.
It is an epiphytic plant which means it can grow on the branches of other plants so if you want and if you can provide the right conditions temperature-wise mostly, you can be worry-free regarding the soil.
If, on the other hand, you want to play it safe, you can pant Anthurium Veitchii in a pot or even in the ground (again, with proper conditions).
The right soil to plant it in should be well-draining and rich in nutrients.
A potting mix with the addition of perlite or orchid bark, or the orchid mix is a great option since they provide appropriate conditions for the roots to develop.
If the soil retains a lot of moisture the roots can rot, so make sure that the soil has good draining power.
If you plant your king Anthurium in the ground, you do not have to worry about drainage as it will be done naturally.
On the other hand, potted plants tend to retain moisture so it is smart to plant them in terracotta pots as they are porous and will absorb some of the excess moisture
Anthurium Veitchii Fertilizing
You want your King Anthurium to grow fast and happy. So when it comes to fertilizing, here are quite a few guidelines that will help you.
- Fertilizing period:
A key thing with King anthuriums is that you need to mimic the natural processes, so fertilize during the growing period, which is from March to late September, and let the plant take a necessary break, and rest during the colder months as it would in nature.
- Fertilizing type:
For King Anthurium, choose a fertilizer that is rich in potassium, phosphorus, and nitrogen. Avoid heavy metal salts.
Now, following some advice, I used to use a good indoor plant fertilizer but my Anthurium dod not develop flowers, although it did grow beautiful leaves and really fast.
In order to get flowers, I changed to a high-quality orchid fertilizer.
Besides a water-soluble and a temperature-controlled fertilizer, you can use organic fertilizers (fish emulsion) but with any type, depending on the manufacturer follow the instructions on the pack.
For some fertilizers, every 6-8 weeks is enough, while others require more frequent action.
Anthurium Veitchii Pruning
You should prune your Anthurium Veitchii regularly.
Remove dead, sick, and even older leaves to prevent the stems from drooping and, in some cases, the disease from spreading.
You can also gather flowers when the stem is hard enough.
Although pruning sounds easy, there are some things you should take care of.
First, never use your hands, only sharp, disinfected sheers or knives. Also, use gardening gloves.
The stems are quite strong so plucking the leaves with your hands can damage the plant.
If you are using your bare hands the sap can cause minor skin irritations.
The sheers and knives should be clean and disinfected since Anthurium Veitchii is susceptible to leaf bacteria that can enter the plant if it is injured with a sharp object.
Anthurium Veitchii Propagation
Anthurium Veithii is can be propagated by cuttings but propagating by division is probably the best way.
In any case, propagate early in the spring. If you choose the division method, wait or the re-potting period so as to avoid stressing out the plant, and if you choose the propagation from cuttings, you can do it every year.
- Propagating from cuttings
Cut about 6 inches of a stem that contains a least two or three healthy leaves and place it in a pot with adequate soil, making sure that the leaves are not touching it, and water profoundly.
You will know that the propagation was successful when the plant starts to grow and/or develops more foliage (6-8weeks).
- Propagation by division
When you remove the plant from the soil, carefully untangle the rots and pick a healthy stem with roots to place in a new container and follow the same process as with propagation by cuttings.
This process is easier on the plant because you basically have a fully formed, young plant, that will adapt to the new environment faster than when it needs to develop roots.
Anyway, give it a few weeks to adjust and watch it grow.
Anthurium Veitchii Repotting
You should re-pot your Anthurium Veitchii every 2-3 years.
If your plant is cared for properly, it will outgrow its current container quite fast.
If you keep your King Anthurium in a pot that is too small for it, its growth will be stunted, and it is probable that it will not get enough nutrients.
To check if your plant is overdue for re-potting, check if there are roots coming out of the drainage holes.
To safely re-pot your plant, the first thing you should do is choose the right container.
King Anthurium needs moisture but it can’t be soaked so choose the pot with drainage holes, preferably made of porose material like clay or terracotta, and make sure that it is about two inches bigger than the one it is already in to allow the roots to grow.
The next step is to carefully remove the plant from its current container and examine the roots.
Check the roots for disease ad remove any black or mushy parts.
Remove excess soil and place it in the new container making sure that the lowest leaves are not touching the soil to avoid rotting.
The best time for repotting is early in the spring, in the beginning of the growing season.
Anthurium Veitchii Problems and Solutions
As I have already stated, caring for Anthurium Veitchii is not very hard.
One of the reasons for it is because it does not have too many problems you can encounter while you grow it, and even if you do they are easily fixed.
How can you recognize a sick Anthurium Vitchii?
The most common issues are yellow or brown leaves or parts of leaves.
The cause for yellowing of the leaves is usually overexposure to bright light.
The fix for it is easy, just move the plant away from the direct light source into a shady or partially shady place.
Browning leaves can also be a consequence of a sunburn, and the fix is the same as with yellow leaves (although, the brown part will remain brown).
Other reasons for brown patches on your plant’s leaves can be:
- Root rot and fungal root infections
They happen as a consequence of overwatering in which case you should re-pot your plant after you had removed all the slimy, mushy, or black root sections.
- Inappropriate nutrition
This is especially the case with mature plants when younger plants rarely have this problem. Overfertilizing causes chemical burns so remove the affected leaves and lay low on the fertilizer.
Another issue with nutrition can be nutrient insufficiency, so even if you are fertilizing your plant, make are that you are using the right type of fertilizer-the one that is rich in phosphorus, nitrogen, and potassium.
- Bacterial infection and pests are also a possibility.
Leaf Blight, or better, the bacteria that causes it enters the leaf on the sides or when the plant is unhygienically pruned, even harvested, or due to mechanical leaf damage. In this case, remove all the infected leaves in the correct way so that the infection does not spread.
When it comes to pests, Aphids are common sine the meaty leaves are suitable for them to suck sap. The solution for Aphids is simple, wash them off with cold water in a spray bottle.
another, a bit more serious guest are the scale insects. Preventing them from appearing should not be a problem if you keep your plant’s leaves moisturized since those particular insects do not like moisture.
If they do appear, you will need to use an appropriate pesticide.