The Anthurium andraeanum, or Flamingo Lily, is one of the most popular houseplants from about 1000 species of Anthurium. Its glossy, dark green leaves accent the bright, shiny spathes in stunning white, red, and purple variations.
Flamingo Lilies are an anthurium species that are perfect for adding a fresh, tropical look all year-round with long-lasting flowers that will not disappoint.
Below, we walk you through our comprehensive guide on Anthurium lily care, giving you everything you need to grow this flower like a pro.
Table of Contents
Flamingo Lily Overview
|Scientific Name||Anthurium andraeanum|
|Common Name||Flamingo Lily / Tail Flower / Flamingo Flower / Painter’s Palette / Flamingo Plant|
|Origin||Central America and South America – mainly Colombia and Ecuador.|
|Size & Dimensions (Mature)||20-30 cm in height and 25-30 cm in width.|
|Distinguishing Features||Waxy, heart-shaped spathes that are bright red in color.|
|In-Home Placement||On a patio or near windows with bright, indirect sunlight.|
Anthurium Lily Care and Growing Conditions
The beautiful Flamingo Flower came from the tropical rainforests of Colombia and Ecuador, so it will be hard to mimic their natural environment indoors.
Either way, Anthurium is easy to grow and care for as a houseplant, and you’ll get the best results when following our proper care routine.
Flamingo lilies like coarse, well-draining soil. A standard potting mix with sand and peat moss is ideal, but you can also mix it with orchid bark.
Maintain a soil pH of 5.5 to 6.5, as these plants prefer slightly acidic soil.
They live on forest floors – a natural habitat rich with organic matter, so be sure to feed them sufficiently in the first year of growth. The optimal growing medium gives adequate nutrients without going overboard and stifling the growth cycle.
The water requirement for lilies depends on the local weather and climate or how an indoor space reflects that.
If it’s hot in your area or inside your house, consider watering the plant twice a week. If it’s cold, water them just once a week to prevent soggy soil.
These plants are known to have aerial roots that do not like too much water. Overwatering can also encourage the growth of fungal diseases or promote fungus gnats.
Consider the material of the pot, as plastic pots retain more moisture than clay pots.
Anthurium lilies love warm temperatures as tropical plants, so try to keep them out of rooms with cold drafts or strong breezes.
The day temperature should be 65-80 ℉, and the night temperature should not fall below 60 ℉. You should move the plants indoors when the temperature drops during winter months.
Anthurium lilies naturally grow on forest grounds where direct sunlight can’t reach them.
As house plants, they can be placed near windows facing east or west where there is bright light throughout the day, but be sure not to confuse ‘enough light’ with ‘too much light.’
They love spots with bright, indirect sunlight.
These waxy flowers grow best at 60 to 70% humidity levels.
Place it in a bright bathroom where humidity is high throughout the day. Occasional misting may be necessary if an adequate humidity level is not met.
You can also place a humidifier near the plant to maintain humidity or put it on a humidity tray with pebbles and water to keep natural moisture and humid conditions.
Anthurium plants do not need much fertilizer.
You can use a liquid fertilizer diluted in half strength at least once a month. Avoid using too much, as the phosphorus salts can make it hard for the roots to get food from the soil.
If you want your flower to look bright and fresh, apply fertilizer during the growing season in the spring and summer months.
Propagating Flamingo Lily
Anthurium lilies are not propagated by leaf cuttings like many other house plants. They don’t generally have the longest indoor lifespan, so you’ll probably want to propagate and grow new plants at some point.
Here are 3 easy methods to propagate a flamingo lily.
Taking stem cuttings is generally a good idea when you have a healthy mother plant and a suitable environment for young plants.
- Choose a stem about 6 inches long, give or take an inch.
- Cut the stem using a sterile pruning shear and place the cutting in a potting nursery with a drainage hole.
- Bury the stem cuttings 3 inches deep into the soil, ensuring the node is visible at the top.
- Place the new plants in a damp spot with bright indirect light.
- Avoid over-drying the soil until you’ve seen new growth.
This method is best if you trim down the mother plant and give it some fresh soil.
- Remove the plant from the pot exposing the soil.
- Split it into two cuttings using a clean knife or a pruning shear.
- Make sure that both cuttings have roots.
- Clean the roots from the soil debris and plant them in fresh pots.
Growing from Seed
This plant produces seeds through the spadix that can easily be used to propagate new lilies.
- Harvest the seeds from the pulp when it turns red.
- Soak the seeds in clean tap water for 24 hours to remove extra pulp.
- Place on a potting mix and water lightly before covering it with plastic to maintain moist soil.
- After 3 to 4 weeks, it should germinate and have roots.
- Transfer the seedlings into a nursery pot where they can grow freely.
Potting and Repotting Flamingo Lily
Depending on root growth, anthurium plants should be repotted every 2 to 3 years. Ideally, they should be repotted when roots start to poke out from the soil.
- To re-pot your lily, add a layer of soil below the new pot that should be at least 1 to 2 inches wider than the old pot size.
- Remove soil debris from the roots before placing it in the new pot.
- Add more soil media and water it more often than usual until new shoots emerge.
- Ensure the pot has good drainage for the excess water to prevent root rot.
How to get Anthurium andraeanum to Bloom
Anthurium care requires well-drained soil, warm temperatures, and high humidity levels. Typically, these conditions are enough to make the new flowers bloom.
If that is not the case, you need to tweak some conditions. You may need to add phosphorus to the soil to encourage flowering during the growing season.
Common Problems with Anthurium andraeanum
The Anthurium is a low-maintenance plant, but it can still have issues.
Here are the most common signs of problems in Anthurium plants.
Yellowing can be a sign of several abnormal conditions.
Too much or too little water can starve the plants and cause yellowing. Similarly, low light levels and dry air deprive the plant of food to make more chlorophyll.
Leaf yellowing can also be a sign of spider mites that feed on the surface of the leaves.
Whatever the cause, leaf yellowing is a stress that can cause fewer flowers during the growing season.
Brown spots are a common sign of a leaf burn when there is too much light. Move your plant to a new spot and monitor it to ensure it is not getting too much sunlight.
If the issue is not resolved, reduce fertilizer application or change the kind of fertilizer, as brown leaves, brown spots, or brown tips could also be a sign of toxicity or too many soluble salts.
Brown spots can also signify a bacterial blight called Xanthomonas that starts as brown leaf tips. Remove the infected leaves with a clean pruning shear and spray with a copper-based pesticide.
Leaf curling is the most common sign of underwatering and is a way for plants to cope with less water than needed. Saturate the soil with water, and gradually decrease watering until you find a suitable amount.
Curling can also be a sign of a virus infection. Cut away the infected anthurium leaves using a sterile pruning shear to prevent spreading to other healthy leaves.
The most common pests with Anthurium are mealybugs, scale insects, and aphids. They suck sap from the leaves and cause yellowing.
Wipe the infected leaves with cotton swabs soaked in alcohol or use a lukewarm water spray with neem oil. If damage is more serious, wipe it with cotton swabs soaked in insecticide.
Popular Anthurium andraeanum Varieties
Anthurium andraeanum ‘White Heart’
White heart anthurium, or peace lilies, are known for their beautiful, pure white spathes that stand out from deep green, glossy leaves.
It’s perfect for a classy, delicate look in any space. You can also grow it as a landscape to add a fresh, tropical vibe to your garden.
Anthurium andraeanum ‘Purple Plum’
The Purple plum is known for its deep, purple spathe and spadix, which makes it an exciting piece at home.
The vibrant colors can instantly add an appeal to any space. These can never go wrong as cut flowers or as a gift for those who admire the purple color.
The Bird’s nest, or nest anthurium, has thick, elliptical leaves that form a rosette that is perfect for laying down a nest, hence the name.
The large leaves are dark green with a deep purple on the underside, adding to its elegance. It’s perfect as a layer into your landscape or home decor.
Other Types of Anthurium
Not all Anthurium plants look the same as Flamingo plants. Some have exciting spathe and spadix shapes, and others have beautiful leaves that make them stand out from the rest.
Here is a list of Anthurium variants that you may be interested in.
Anthurium scherzerianum, or pigtail plant, is a unique anthurium known for its curly, red-orange spadix that resembles a pigtail. It can only grow up to 1.5 ft tall, with leaves that expand to 0.6 ft at maturity.
The vibrant orange flowers will really give off a tropical jungle vibe.
One of the rarest Anthurium, Anthurium crystallinum, is sought after by collectors. It is known for its large, velvety leaves with contrasting white veins, which is its unique selling point.
It’s easy to care for, but its slow growth makes it hard to find.
The Anthurium faustomirande, or Faustino’s giant Anthurium, can grow up to 4 feet. The dark green, heart-shaped leaves are flaunted by their long stem that stands firmly from the ground.
It’s perfect to be grown outdoors where there’s enough space to grow.
As its name suggests, the king anthurium has giant, crumpled leaves that reach up to 4 to 5 feet as it matures. Its elongated leaves are leathery to the feel.
It can be grown through tissue culture, so it’s not as rare as it used to be.
Creative Ways to Present Flamingo Lilies in your Home
While Flamingo Lily blooms can be stunning as is, there are ways that you can be more creative with them.
Flamingo Lilies can be placed almost anywhere in your home – including hanging baskets!
You can spice it up into a decorative pot, such as a basket-weaved box, to go with the overall design or tropical vibe.
Anthurium andraeanum crawls on the ground and grows bigger outdoors.
You can plant these beautiful flowers below trees to add layers to your landscape or simply plant in alleyways where you can always see this head-turning piece.
Anthurium flowers can last a long time, making them a good option for cut flowers.
Try mixing spathes of different colors in a clear vase to make it more exciting, and add vibrant colors with purple or red anthuriums in the summer.
Other Useful Information About Anthurium andraeanum
Are Flamingo Lilies Toxic to Cats and Dogs?
As attractive as they look, Flamingo lilies are equally toxic. They contain insoluble calcium oxalates, which are harmful to our pets. They can cause burning pain with symptoms such as swollen lips, mouth, and tongue and excessive drooling.
Rush your pet to the vet for treatment.
Are Flamingo Lilies Toxic to Humans?
Yes, but generally only when sap is present.
Flamingo Lily sap has concentrated toxic insoluble calcium oxalates that are toxic to most living things. If you touch the sap, it causes skin irritation and blisters with a burning sensation.
If you accidentally touch the sap, avoid scratching your eyes, as it can be a bigger problem.
Anthurium andraeanum Benefits
Flamingo flowers add a fresh look to the home and clean the air by filtering toxic substances like formaldehyde, ammonia, xylene, and toluene.