Name: Anthurium species and varieties, aka flamingo flower (or so I read…everyone I know just calls them “Anthuriums.”)
Type of Plant: Herbaceous epiphytes that grow in tropical areas from Central to South America. The heart-shaped spathe that we call the flower is really a colorful, modified leaf. The real flowers are tiny and are located on the spadix, which is a round fleshy stem or spike covered with the inflorescences. This spadix has both male and female flowers on it.
Why I Love/Hate this plant: First of all, I love how fantastical the flowers are – they look plastic! They look like 1950’s Hawaii party decorations! And those incredible flowers last a long time. Secondly, I love how this plant produces blooms pretty much continuously when the plant is happy. And finally, I love that the plant wants bright light but not direct sun in order to grow well and flower…so perfect as a houseplant!
A Word to the Wise: Since these plants are, in nature, epiphytes, they don’t need or want damp soil to grow well. Consider growing them in cactus mix or in a mixture of ½ potting soil and ½ orchid bark. Also, be sure not to over water as they require great drainage. Usually a once-a-week watering will be perfect.
Putting some time-release fertilizer, or a time-release product combined with a granular organic fertilizer in the potting mix is a good way to fertilize so that the leaves are never burned by too much fertilizer.
And finally, grow these in an eastern window, or near but not in a western or southern-facing window. Bright light but not direct sun, that’s what these plants want.