Tuesday, December 04, 2007

About Αnthurium (Part 2)


Description - Αnthurium (Part 2)
As the plant develops, its foliage and flowers turn quite heavy and need a stable root system to hold their weight. Every time you repot, add some pebbles or plastic pellets in the soil, in order to provide good drainage and because pebbles help roots to get a good grip. The soil in the pot should be light, containing peat moss and perlite and should have excellent drainage.
Water only when the soil feels dry to the touch, using plenty of water and remove any stagnant water from the dish of the pot (this will help avoid the annoying gnats as well). The best way to water anthuriums is to place the whole pot into a bucket or dish with water and let it absorb as much water as it needs. You will know it is time to take it out when the babbles stop. Let it sit until all excess water drains and return it to its original location. Although anthuriums are draught tolerant plants do not let them stay dry for long because their development will be reduced enormously. On the other hand, if you over water, its leaves will turn yellow and its roots will rot. Always cut off yellowing or dry leaves and spent flowers in order to help production of new buds. As a rule, anthuriums (as all indoor plants) need to be at the spot where they can get as much light as possible. Always provide filtered light and not direct sun. Anthuriums will survive lower light situations but their blooming and development will be compromised. Fertilizing is not necessary, but if you decide your plant could use a little help, use a slow release fertilizer in tablets or pellets and use half the dosage mentioned on the instruction tag. Remember that pellets should not come in direct contact with the trunk or stems of the plant. Also, make sure to select a fertilizer that enhances blooming and not foliage development. Anthuriums are generally resistant to disease but may eventually be attacked by aphids, scale or thrips who constitute the most serious problem for anthuriums. Usually you can notice insects on new growth or flower buds. Take immediate action and either use an insecticide you can buy at any nursery or use the non-toxic mixtures we have covered in many other care sheets. Whatever you decide to use, don't forget to spray the undersides of leaves and flowers which are favorite places for insects. Especially for thrips, you should not waste time as thrips may destroy all the flowers since they attack the buds before they open up. In case a bud is attacked, when it opens up you will notice white lines or cuts on the surface of the flower which could also be slightly deformed. If you have chrysanthemums (mums) or orchids nearby be very alert because these plants are very prone to thirps. Any nursery can provide insecticides for thrips but you will need to spray more than once and always follow the instructions on the label. Taking into account insects and disease in general, still the main (and most common) reason indoor plants die is root-rot because of over watering.

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