How to Grow Anthurium Plants

Anthurium Care Made Simple

Here's what you'll discover in Anthurium Care Made Simple eBook: The Two Deadly Watering Mistakes. What is the ideal species of anthurium for you. How To Keep The Deadly Anthurium Blight Away. Where is the best place to buy anthuriums. What To Do If Your Anthurium's Leaves Are Turning Yellow. How to propagate your anthurium. How To Prevent Root Rot. How much light should you give your anthurium plant. What To Do If Your Anthurium Refuses To Flower. What is the best temperature range for your anthurium plant. How To Prevent Fungal Attack. When and how often to fertilize your anthurium plant. Read more...

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Contribution of the Stem

Some trees take on a candelabra appearance (e.g., buckthorn, lilac) because the apical meristem on the main axis dies at the end of the year and two or more branches grow out in its place. In the following year, the apical meristem of each branch dies and two new branches grow out in place of the old one. The death and replacement strategy creates plants with highly regular forms. The same strategy is found in Philodendron and Anthurium, common houseplants, and many orchids, although it is less obvious in these species because only a single replacement branch grows out and subsequent plant growth obscures the branching pattern. The horsechestnut (Aesculus) also has single replacement branches.

Distribution taxonomic and geographic

Imbalance within several families containing New and Old World epiphytes points to additional area-specific reasons for the neotropical bias. More than a third of all American epiphytes are represented by the three exclusively New World orchid subtribes Maxillariinae, Pleurothallidinae, and Oncidiinae. New World Anthurium and Philodendron are much larger than any of seven African and Australasian aroid genera containing epiphytes. Gesneriad epiphytism is best developed in the Americas where subfamily Gesnerioideae and particularly taxa like Columnea, Dalbergaria, Drymonia, and Trichantha have radiated extensively. Pantropical Peper-omia is particularly diverse in tropical America. Only one of the families that contain sizable numbers of epiphytes (Ericaceae) is about equally represented in New and Old World forest canopies. Asclepiadaceae have populated tree crowns in the paleotropics far more extensively than in the neo-tropics, but with relatively few species. Among the larger...

Influence of microhabitat

The question of why certain ant nest-garden plant species are confined to carton is now partially resolved Ants responding to chemical lures, nutritive seeds, and possibly other cues convert their nests into miniature epiphyte nurseries (Fig. 5.10 Madison 1977 Davidson and Epstein in press). Fleshy arils are the reward offered by Codonanthe, apparently the most widely distributed neotropical nest-garden genus. The fruit of Peperomia macrostachya has a large, sticky, basal oil gland serving as an eliaosome. All bromelioids (e.g., Aechmea, Fig. 5.2G Streptocalyx) and Anthurium (Fig. 5.2F) yield fleshy fruit from which attending ants mine seeds. All told, at least 11 species from eight families ripen diaspores which gardening insects carry into nest interiors. Amazonian epiphytes from each of the eight families lure dispersers with similar volatiles. Lemon and or vanilla odors characterize stored seeds of Peperomia macrostachya, Codonanthe uleana, Philodendron uleanum, Streptocalyx...

Circumscribing labeling and documenting the epiphyte community

Wallace (1981) mapped epiphytes on several Australian phorophytes. Of eight species restricted to the shaded trunk of just one Ficus watkinsiana specimen in a subtropical rain forest, six were ferns, one was a dicot, and the other a hemiepiphytic aroid. An assemblage at midcanopy level was mixed Five orchids shared space with a smaller fern contingent, three dicots, and one nonorchid monocot. Another five orchids, including four species of Dendrobium, were anchored in fullest exposure. Kelly (1985) counted epiphytes in a 26- to 28-m-tall Jamaican lower montane rain forest Among compact (nonvining) epiphytes at 12 m and above were nine orchids, five bromeliads, three ferns, and a single Anthurium. In midcanopy (4-12 m) was a mixed assemblage of seven orchids, two bromeliads, three ferns, two dicots, and the single Anthurium. In the 0 to 4-m level resided one bromeliad and three ferns. Numerous vining hemiepiphytes grew throughout all three levels of the same canopy. Hosokawa (1955)...

The epiphytic habitat

Philodendron Epiphyte

Selected epiphyte types (1.2) Tillandsia fasciculata with impounded debris in a South Florida swamp forest (X5i) (1.3) Ionopsis utricularioides growing on guava in Ecuador (XK) (1.4) Hydnophytum formicarium illustrating interior of tuberous hypocotyl (XK) (1.5) a trash-basket Anthurium in Amazonian rain forest (X'A) (1.6) the resurrection fern Polypodium polypodioides growing on Quercus virginiana in South Florida (X0.4) (1.7) Campylocentrum fasciola on Theobroma in Ecuador (X ). much the same way. Broadly creeping taxa with herbaceous or woody stems are well represented in Asclepiadaceae (Fig. 4.24C,D), Ericaceae, Gesneri-aceae (Fig. 1.17), and several fern families (Fig. 1.6). Rosulate shoots are best developed in Bromeliaceae (Fig. 1.2) in Anthurium (Fig. 1.5) and (fewer) Philodendron in Liliaceae (Astelia and Collospermum) in Comme-linaceae (Cochliostema) in Gesneriaceae (Paradrymonia), and in the fern genera Platycerium (Fig. 4.19), Drynaria, and Asplenium. Root...

Reproduction and life history

Marcgraviaceae appear to be mostly autogamous (Gentry and Dodson 1987b). Another more diverse group of purportedly self-fertilizing epiphytes is that associated with ants. Numerous ant nest-garden species and certain ant-fed ant-house epiphytes regularly produce fruits without visitation by pollinators (e.g., Hydnophytum spp., Anthurium gracile, Epiphyllum phyl-

Climate elevation and latitude

Increased, while forest floor herbs dropped off sharply. Primary hemiepi-phytes, including several stranglers, were few and about equally apportioned among the three community types. Overall, 29.3 of the trees and shrubs taller than 2 m, plus 25.8 of climbers and 13.6 of epiphytes, were observed on two or three of the sites. Only terrestrial herbs exceeded epiphytes in insularity just 10.7 of them occurred beyond the rain forest site. Present in all three sites were 10 trees, but the only epiphytes were facultative Anthurium grandifolium, the mistletoe Oryctanthus occidentalis, the strangler Ficus pertusa, and a climber. Secondary hemiepiphytes were not distinguished from other climbers, but most of the scandent aroids and the only Marcgravia recorded inhabited rain forest.

Optical and morphological enhancement of photosynthesis

Shade tolerance could be enhanced in some aroids by velvety leaf surfaces (e.g., Anthurium pallidiflorum) which feature domed, adaxial, epidermal cells thought to gather shade-light. On a larger scale, prominent, lenslike, adaxial, hypodermal tissues in certain Peperomia and gesneriad leaves (Fig. 3.1E) could do likewise and store water as well. Leaves of various Peperomia species range from typical thin bifacial types to the succulent subunifacial forms (Kaul 1977). Light piping through a clear, internal, multilayered hypodermis may preserve photosynthetic capacity in P. dolabriformis while water loss is reduced. Growing conditions affect hypodermal development, thereby substantially altering leaf anatomy. Leaf thickness in Codonanthe paula and Peperomia camptotricha varies several fold, depending on the season. Shifts in gross shoot form that affect photon interception can be pronounced in Bromeliaceae (Figs. 2.11, 2.12). Additional study is needed to confirm the beneficial effects...

Numbers in Phyllotaxis

There are, of course, exceptions to the rule, but in the other cases of spiral (as opposed to whorled) phyllotaxis, the numbers obtained are consecutive terms of a Fibonacci-type sequence. This is a sequence of integers built on the same recurrence relationship as for the Fibonacci sequence, but starting with numbers different from 1 and 1, for instance 1, 3, 4, 7, 11, 18, 29. This sequence, encountered in Araucaria and Echinocactus, is present in about 1.5 percent of all observations, while the sequence 2, 2, 4, 6, 10, 16, 26 (the double Fibonacci sequence called the bijugate sequence) arises in around 6 percent of all the cases and is observed for example in Aspidium and Bellis. The phenomenon of phyllotaxis is thus essentially simple as far as those sequences are concerned, but the matter becomes complicated when on the same plant, such as Bryophyllum and Anthurium, one observes many Fibonacci-type sequences. This phenomenon is referred to as discontinuous transition. In the...

Global occurrence

About 10 of all vascular plant species anchor on bark too often to be accidental epiphytes (Tables 1.1, 1.3), but distribution among higher taxa is uneven. Epiphytism is pronounced among ferns - about 29 regularly occur in tree crowns - but of the microphyllous pteridophytes, only Lycopodium (Fig. 1.18) is extensively epiphytic. Psilotum and Tmesipteris frequently anchor in pockets of suspended humus. Few gymnosperms are arboreal, in part no doubt because of their relatively immobile seeds, but also because of wind pollination - a mechanism that mandates abundant pollen production and dense populations. Surprisingly, rather massive Zamia pseudopar-asitica and a similar unnamed congeneric in Ecuador somehow manage to thrive in the canopies of a few humid Panamanian and northern Andean forests. Even small branches occasionally provide support, apparently after brightly colored seeds are partially eaten and discarded by frugivorous birds, including toucans. Orchidaceae have been more...

Animal Dispersal

Both birds and mammals are very effective dispersers. Birds are particularly effective dispersers since they can move the diaspore the farthest and the fastest. Diaspores dispersed by birds are usually colorful and lack any obvious scent (birds have keen vision but a poor sense of smell). Often the fruits feature contrasting colors so they are more easily seen. Frequently the outer covering of such fruit might be green or brown, but when the fruit opens the inner surface is bright red with a black seed. Often birds eat only the sweet portion of the diaspore and spit out the seed. If eaten, most seeds pass rather quickly through the bird's system and are ejected. Many times tiny colorful berries, such as those of Anthurium (Araceae), are initially quite sweet but quickly turn bitter after being eaten to encourage rejection. Anthurium also produces seeds with a sticky appendage that causes the seeds to stick to the bird's bill.

Velamentous roots

Vanda Roots

Several families contain members equipped with velamentous roots an example is the aroid genus Anthurium. But this character is particularly refined in xeric Orchidaceae (Barthlott and Capesius 1975), both drought endurers and avoiders (Fig. 3.19A-G) thus it serves the majority of the epiphyte flora. The specialized nonliving rhizodermis (velamen) forms an insulating but permeable mantle, 1-24 cells thick, around a living core comprised of an often chlorophyllous cortex (Fig. 2.16) and central conductive stele. Cell walls within the velamen are elaborately pitted and sculptured, and sometimes differentiated into several anatomically distinct zones. Pit membranes rupture throughout the system, allowing extensive infiltration by microbes (Fig. 4.14). An epivelamen (Fig. 3.19B,D), if present, is delicate and, except at the pneumathodes, may disintegrate with age (Fig. 2.10). Although somewhat variable in structural detail, velamina are not very expandable or compressible saturated or...

Antguarded epiphytes

Unlike ant nest-garden species, trash-basket epiphytes create their rooting medium by intercepting falling litter ants may enter the picture later as conditions permit. Frequency of insect colonization has not been reported. Production by some Drynaria and Platycerium of nectar, rich in amino acids, indicates that significant plant benefit accrues from the symbiosis. Birds'-nest Anthurium (Fig. 1.5), Asplenium, the other impoundment ferns (Fig. 4.19), and the trash-basket orchids collect debris but little or no free moisture among leaves or upward-projecting roots. A terrestrial microcosm results. Ants reportedly (Paterson 1982) promote drainage from catchments of Platycerium coronarium by chewing holes in the impounding fronds. Presumably resident fauna are air breathers and distinct from those attracted to the water-filled centers of tank bromeliads. There is no clear distinction between debris collectors and many other epiphytes. Large specimens of ramet-producing orchids and...


Numerous Amazonian epiphytes can be considered restricted to ant nestgardens. Three of the most abundant species observed at Cocha Cashu were rarely seen rooting elsewhere (Davidson 1988) Individual plants utilizing other than the usual substratum were Peperomia macrostachya (5 of 675 sightings), Ficus paraensis (1 of 202 sightings), and Anthurium gracile (6 of 261 sightings). Alternative media did not appear to exist for several additional species, including Vanilla planifolia and a Codonanthopsis, but samples were too small to allow definitive judgments. Nest size, its exposure to irradiance, and ant identity influenced garden floristics. Anthurium gracile was statistically overrepresented on small ant nests, whereas Codonanthe uleana succeeded without respect to carton size. All of the relatively common ant nest-garden species except Neoregelia were more likely to co-occur with others than to live alone on a carton. Near obligacy was further evidenced by reduced density of most...

Historical notes

Animal dispersal in so many epiphyte-containing angiosperm families also indicates that tree crowns were colonized only recently by flowering plants. Fleshy fruit, and the bats, birds, and mammals that eat it, first became diverse and abundant in the Paleocene Eocene (Tiffney 1984). Involvement of early pteridophytes and primitive seed plants in epiphytism is even more obscure. Petrified stems of arborescent lycopods, calamites, and other potential pre-Cretaceous hosts show penetration by alien roots, but these intrusions probably occurred after death the invading axes appear to belong to other terrestrials. The absence of verified epiphytic angiosperms in ancient geologic deposits and their concentration today in a few large advanced families point to a recent massive expansion (Table 1.1). The present active state of evolution of many tropical orchid clades and other species-rich, canopy-based genera (e.g., Anthurium, Rhododendron, Dry-monia, Peperomia, Tillandsia Table 1.2), as...

Impounding epiphytes

Looser leaves characterize other tank species that intercept little water but considerable litter (e.g., Anthurium, Fig. 1.5 Asplenium). Platycerium (Fig. 4.19) and Drynaria feature appressed sterile fronds that form a plant-to-substratum catchment roots perfuse this cavity, tapping impounded litter moistened with stemflow. Root masses such as those created by several vel-amentous anthuriums, Catasetum, and similar orchid genera, and certain ferns (Fig. 1.19), provide spongelike reservoirs. Trash-basket formation can be facultative and favored by dry substrata (e.g., Cyrtopodium punctatum). The impounding mechanism, effective as it may be, is not without limitation, however tank bromeliads give way to atmospherics as rainfall becomes too scarce. Impoundment types in Ecuador generally occur where precipitation is at least 200 cm annually and 8 cm monthly (Gilmartin 1983). The importance of a filled tank is well illustrated by adult Tillandsia deppeana (Fig. 3.17).

Nonorchid monocots

Aroid, by comparison with bromeliad or orchid, epiphytism is neither as advanced nor as versatile, although a capacity for life in tree crowns has originated at least three times in the family (Madison 1977). There are no reports of CAM here (Table 2.1) although perhaps CAM-cycling exists (Ting et al. 1985b), and overlapping foliage that might mitigate drought lacks the watertight quality of inflated bromeliad leaf bases. Trash-basket catchments (Fig. 1.5) sometimes trap falling litter but little moisture. Roots fail to produce velamina as elaborate as those of the most drought-tolerant Orchida-ceae, nor is there any indication that these organs can contribute substantially to the plant's carbon budget as can those of some orchids. Seasonally deciduous leaves on green or tuberous stems occur in Philodendron and Remusatia, respectively, but these are minor themes represented by few species. Arboreal existence in Araceae is based predominantly on two mechanisms, both humus-based (Table...


Several studies have documented the advantage of using lower concentrations than the standard. Locascio et al. (1992) showed that the quality of chipping potatoes decreased with excessive potassium. Zheng et al. (2005) and Rouphael et al. (2008) proved that nutrient solution concentration used by growers can be reduced by 50 without any adverse effect on biomass and quality parameters in geranium and gerbera, respectively. Dufour and Guerin (2005) demonstrated that more than 60 of the nutrients supplied in the cultivation of Anthurium andreanun were lost in the leachate. This results in contamination of groundwater and is no longer permissible. Efforts should be made, from an environmental standpoint, to find and use the less concentrated but optimum nutrient solution possible.


At least three additional abiotic phenomena beyond coincidence have contributed in various measure to the numerical superiority of American epiphytes topography, ethology, and paleoclimate. Neotropical topography has provided ideal conditions for epiphyte radiation. All but the most stress-tolerant plants in tree crowns are unusually sensitive to climate because they lack access to the more stable resource pools - particularly moisture - of many terrestrial soils. Epiphytic populations growing along roads through montane regions bear witness to this fact species quickly appear and disappear when patterns of temperature, and especially of humidity, change abruptly. Experienced collectors know that clouds channeled through valleys promote greatest epiphyte development along narrow, wet, ridge lines. Adjacent slopes and nearby hill crests tend to support much sparser canopy floras. Founder events must abound where evaporative demand, the most decisive ecoclimatic determinant of epiphyte...

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