Anthurium is a genus of plants consisting of approximately 800 species. They are characterized by having striking, large and thick leaves with a shape that can vary from oval, heart or arrowhead. Although its leaves are a very characteristic element of this genus, the spathe is even more so, which is always confused with the flower of these plants. The color of the spathe can be pink, yellow, white, apple green, purple, among others. In this post we will see how to use fertilizer for Anthurium, when, how to apply it and what type of fertilizer to use.
1. Caring your anthurium
If you are a novice gardener, and you want to have a striking and easy-care plant, anthuriums may be one of your best options. However, it is always necessary to know some important data for cultivation, so we will begin the article by studying what are the care that must be carried out so that your anthuriums grow healthy and strong.
- Light: you must take into account for this point that it is originally from jungle areas. And what lighting will the anthuriums have in the jungle? Being under other plants will have a semi-shade. And that is what you will have to contribute, good lighting but not exposed to direct sun. If you keep it in the shade it will live, but most likely it will not flower.
- Humidity: another important aspect in the jungle is the high degree of humidity. That is why if you live in areas with dry seasons you should try to modify that condition. You can do this by placing containers of water near the plant.
- Watering: I just said that you like humid inhabitants, does this mean that we must water every day? Not at all, anthurium does not withstand excess water, this can cause problems with root rot or the appearance of fungi. In winter, one watering every 7 days will suffice, while in hot months you will have to water between 2 or 3 times a week. It is better to do small irrigations with some regularity than to do large irrigations that cause flooding.
- Temperature: he likes that the temperature does not undergo great variations. And, of course, stay quite high. The ideal range is between 20-25 ° C. You should always protect it from sources of heat and cold that are in the house, do not place it near heaters or air conditioners.
- Fertilization: in general anthuriums are characterized by a significant rate of development, something that can be further improved if we apply some fertilizer. In the following sections we will see how and when to apply it.
2. What is the meaning of NPK numbers?
Talking about fertilizers is talking about nutrients, because in order to identify one fertilizer from another it is necessary to know what nutrients it is composed of. To easily and quickly recognize a fertilizer, so-called NPK values have been defined.
These values, which you will typically see on the front of any fertilizer container, are three numbers. Each number is the percentage by weight of the nutrient with respect to the total weight of the fertilizer. And will you say what nutrients each number has? The letters NPK represent the three most important nutrients for a plant.
- Nitrogen (N): favors the growth of the aerial part of vegetables (leaves, stems). It is, in part, responsible for the green color of plants and confers resistance to pests.
- Phosphorus (P): it is very important in the ripening of flowers, seeds and fruits. It participates in the formation and development of roots and has an important role in resistance to drought.
- Potassium (K): it is decisive in the development of the whole plant, it allows the roots and stems to be strong and the seeds, fruits and leaves, large. It provides resistance to pests and diseases, helps the circulation of other nutrients around the plant, and regulates the functions of the plant.
So, now you know that if you buy a 10-20-30 fertilizer, 10% of the total is nitrogen, 20% of the total is phosphorous, and 30% is potassium. Pretty easy, don’t you think?
3. Best fertilizer for anthurium
Surely one of the first questions that will arise when selecting which fertilizer to use with your anthuriums is whether you should apply homemade organic fertilizers and commercial chemical fertilizers. Before answering that, let’s see what advantages it has to use one or another type of fertilizer.
- The effects of organics will take longer than commercial ones, which generally react quickly.
- When you use chemical fertilizers you should always be much more careful with the dose. If you overdose, it will probably kill your plant. The risk of killing your plant with too much organic fertilizer is less likely.
- The concentration of nutrients in organics is generally unknown, while in commercials it is known exactly what the proportions are.
- The results obtained with the use of organic fertilizers are much lower than with commercial ones. In general, organics will maintain production, but with commercials you will see a notable jump.
- If you apply organic fertilizers, it favors the microbial community of the soil, while chemicals can affect this community.
- Organic fertilizers are cheaper.
These are some of the differences between using one type of fertilizer or another. It will be up to you to decide which one to use. If you want to see good results with the fertilization of your anthuriums, and at the same time not use chemical fertilizers permanently, from here we recommend that you perform a rotation. You can carry out two fertilizations with chemical fertilizers and one with organic ones.
Let’s now look at some of the best fertilizers for anthurium, both commercial chemical and homemade organic.
3.1 Homemade fertilizer for anthurium
If you have read any other article on this blog you may have found a section where we recommend homemade fertilizers. In general, we make a more or less extensive list where we list the most common household fertilizers such as compost, well-fermented guano, bone meal, fish meal, compost tea, worm castings, etc.
In order not to repeat and repeat the same concepts, and since I suppose you know those popular homemade fertilizers, this time we will see how to prepare an ideal homemade liquid fertilizer for anthurium. Obviously, you are free to use any of the other fertilizers.
Let’s see what are the steps to make this liquid fertilizer at home:
- 1: Take a container and fill it with half a liter of water, preferably water without chlorine (rain or distilled).
- 2: Cut apple and tangerine peels and place them in the water.
- 3: Let this water with the peels stand for three days.
- 4: After three days strain the water.
- 5: Use this water as a fertilizer along with watering the anthuriums.
If you are reading this post, you will probably be interested in learning about fertilizing these other plants.
There is no doubt that preparing this fertilizer is very simple and inexpensive, so tell me what results using it gives you.
3.2 Commercial fertilizer
As with liquid fertilizers, there are hundreds of different options to choose from with commercial ones. But first you must choose if you are going to apply fast-release fertilizers (ex: in liquid format) or slow-release (they can be granulated). While liquids start to work almost immediately, granulars can take days or even months to release nutrients.
Keep in mind that if you choose to use slow release fertilizers you will have to make more applications, while eltna release fertilizers may be sufficient with a couple of fertilizations per season.
Among those you can select can be granulated fertilizers of the mixture 20-7-20, 19-4-19 or similar. We have already seen that they are NPK numbers, so you will understand that these fertilizers have a higher concentration of nitrogen and potassium. The latter is good to apply before and during flowering, as it will improve the quality and quantity of it.
If you choose to use liquid fertilizers, you can use a fertilizer with concentrations similar to those recommended in the previous paragraph. Or you can look for fertilizers with a mixture specially prepared for anthuriums. Keep in mind that you will need to be much more careful with the dosage when applying fast-acting fertilizers, since it is easier to have overdose problems.
3.3 Extra: Osmocote fertilizer for anthurium
A very common fertilizer that gardeners use on many of their flowering plants is Osmocote 14-14-14. I have seen that many ask about its use in anthuriums, so I wanted to dedicate this small section to confirm that it can be used perfectly in this plant.
This fertilizer comes in granulated format, and with a prolonged release that can last about 4 months releasing nutrients to the soil. You can get it in stores like Amazon or find it in any nursery near your home.
4. How and when to fertilize anthurium
Anthuriums are deciduous plants, this means that fertilization should only be done during the growing season. This is spring and summer. The method and rate of fertilization will vary depending on the type of fertilizer you have selected to apply.
If you are using granular slow-release fertilizer, apply it distributing the dose evenly throughout the plant. Always applying it away from the stem, as it can burn it. Also, whenever you go to fertilize, make sure that the soil is well moistened for a better dissolution. The regularity of fertilization will depend on how slow the release is. In the case of an Osmocote 14-14-14, one or a maximum of two fertilizations will be sufficient during spring and summer.
If what you are going to apply is liquid fertilizer, as a first measure you must dilute enough with respect to the normal recommended dose. And in this case the regularity of the fertilization will be much greater, being able to apply this fertilizer every 7 or 10 days. In general, with this format of fertilizer you will notice the most immediate effects on your anthuriums, so you must be very careful not to exceed the dose.
Finally we recommend again that you can make a combined use of organic and commercial fertilizers. A good combination is two applications of a commercial liquid fertilizer and one of the homemade liquid fertilizer that we teach you to prepare in previous sections.
5. Anthurium Plant care & fertilizer (video)
To finish this article we have selected the following video from the Garden Gyan channel. In it you can consult several of the cares and fertilizations for a better flowering of anthuriums. I hope it serves to complement all the information we have seen so far.
Before leaving, take advantage of and read about the fertilization of some of the following plants:
With this we can finish this post in which we talk about the fertilization of anthuriums. If you have any questions, you can contact us.