If you have excellent shade, Anthuriums are a superb choice for an outdoor summer container; they enjoy the heat and humidity and should flower all season. Anthuriums are known for their long-lasting, heart-shaped blooms. The bright, beautiful blossoms add a splash of color to any room, and, once you understand them, they’re easy to care for!
The light requirements of the Anthurium are so vital to the plant’s life and health, that they’re the very axis upon which the plant pivots. Once you’ve got the lighting right, everything else will fall into place. Follow our comprehensive directions below, and you’ll have a happy plant and person!
Anthurium Light Requirements
Anthuriums are a real project for new growers because, while they can’t handle full daylight, they’re not real low-light plants like Ferns or Philodendrons.
They require a lot of light to survive, and have been called difficult, indeed they are picky about how they acquire their light.
It might be irritating for you to try to achieve the perfect combination of light and shade for your Anthurium.
However, if you enjoy gardening, these ‘picky’ plants are available in a myriad of colours – you can buy pink ones, or orange ones, or red, green, purple, black, yellow, salmon, brown and even blue ones.
If you want even more dazzle, choose a variety with multicoloured flowers. We think that makes it all worthwhile.
Anthuriums thrive in the shady underbody of the dense forest canopy. Hearing this, some gardeners assume they’re “shade plants” that should be kept in low light.
It’s fair to be perplexed, especially if you’ve never grown the same plants both indoors and outside at the same time.
The fact is, unless you live in a modern home with floor-to-ceiling windows, even a shaded place outside receives more light than a north-facing room inside.
This is particularly true where Anthuriums developed, in the Equatorial Rainforests.
Most of the light they received in their lush habitat is filtered through leaves or reflected off tree trunks.
However, the sun beams for hours and hours every day of the year and its rays shine through that protective covering.
Even though Flamingo Flowers prefer not to be directly in the sun’s glare, they do enjoy soaking up a lot of photons throughout the day.
“Bright, indirect light” is how experts commonly define the ideal conditions for Anthuriums.
Direct vs. Indirect Sunlight
There is no blockage or absorption of energy as it travels to the leaf when exposed to direct sunshine.
Indirect sunlight is when the sun’s rays embrace your Anthurium after bouncing off nearby objects or traveling through partially opaque obstacles like thin cloth.
Turn off all artificial lighting and place something on the ground in a specific location while the sun is shining brightly to see if it receives direct or indirect light.
A black, well-defined shadow indicates a direct source of illumination. An indirect source of light has a subdued, hazier shadow.
If you’re looking for something a little more specialized, consider purchasing an illuminance meter, which is a small, portable instrument that can provide you with an accurate reading of the amount of light shining on its sensor.
The phrase “foot-candles” refers to the intensity of a single candle as seen from a distance of one foot long. Light with a luminous flux of 1,000 to 2,000-foot candles or more is considered brilliant but indirect.
Choosing the Right Location for Your Anthurium
It’s more of a hint than a hard and fast rule when a houseplant’s care instructions say it needs indirect light.
Your Anthurium isn’t a vampire, so if a stray sunbeam touches it directly, it won’t catch fire. It can’t stand the constant, intense heat of sitting in the sunshine during the hottest hours of the day.
The Anthuriums’ ability to handle sunlight is influenced by factors such as the time of year, ambient temperature, and humidity.
The time of day also affects, as we mentioned earlier: the sun is kinder in the early morning and late evening because the horizon blocks some of its brightness.
You may have to experiment a little to figure out where your plant will thrive the most. However, there are a few basic guidelines that should assist you in finding a suitable spot.
Direction of Exposure
It is not advisable to place an Anthurium directly in front of an unprotected southern window unless you want to roast your plant. For most of the day, it will be bathed in the harshest light your home has ever seen, with the sun beaming directly into the room from all directions.
A room with southern exposure, on the other hand, can be ideal for Anthuriums if it is spacious enough to allow you to place the plant 4-6 feet away from any windows.
For most of the day, the space will be showered in light, but your Flamingo Flower will not be directly in the path of the sun. Instead of burning and withering, it should bloom and grow instead.
With only four to six hours of direct light per day, a west-facing window is a little less bright than an east-facing window. However, it reaches its peak intensity in the afternoon when the air has been heating up since the dawning of the day.
Anthuriums can be overwhelmed by this punch of heat and direct sunshine, which is almost as damaging as southern exposure.
A window that faces west should have your plant at least three to five feet away from the window.
The schedule for an eastern window is the inverse of the western window. It receives direct sunlight during the coolest part of the day when the sun rises and goes to the south when the temperature is the lowest.
Later, as the air begins to heat up, only indirect light is allowed to get through.
Anthuriums thrive in this type of environment, which is great for eastern exposure.
During the morning hours, when the temperatures are lower, they will receive a decent dosage of bright light, but they will be protected from the glaring sunlight that will arrive later in the day.
Rooms with solely north-facing windows will never have direct sunlight streaming in through them. Your Anthurium will only receive indirect light, which is usually insufficient to allow it to live its most productive life.
This, of course, varies depending on the place and time of year. Some northerly rooms, particularly during the summer months, maybe suitable for Anthurium cultivation.
Whatever location you choose, try to keep Anthuriums from being exposed to more than 3-4 hours of direct sunlight each day
Filtering Light for Your Anthurium
Anthuriums can also be protected from direct sunlight by blocking some of it. If you hang some sheer curtains to scatter the sunbeams as they enter, a room with large south-facing windows can still be a wonderful habitat for your tropical beauties.
This creates a wonderfully, diffused light not unlike that which the Anthuriums would see in the rainforest’s upper reaches.
It’s more vital to choose a loose weave that lets in enough light than it is to choose a specific material.
Venetian blinds are another fantastic alternative; you may open them partially but not completely, allowing most of the sunlight to bounce off the bottoms of the slats as it enters the room.
Humidity Levels and Light Exposure
Anthurium thrives in a humidity range of 70 to 80 percent. If you’re not sure how your home’s levels stack up, an affordable hygrometer can help you figure it out.
Because most houses aren’t naturally humid enough to keep a Flamingo Flower happy, growers frequently provide extra moisture to their plants.
A humidifier is the most convenient way to accomplish this. You can acquire a cheap, simple, and compact one to place next to your plant.
Or, if you prefer, you can obtain a beefier machine capable of adjusting the humidity of the entire room, depending on your demands.
If you’re looking for ideas, check out our article on houseplant humidifiers.
Note that this humidity range of 70-80 percent is not suitable for your entire home, as high levels of humidity promote the growth of mold and other fungi.
When we talk about that high degree of humidity, we’re talking about the humidity around the tropical plant, not throughout your entire residence.
More About Anthuriums
We now realise why Anthuriums are notorious for being picky when it comes to their growing circumstances. Placement is one of the most critical variables in keeping them healthy and attractive.
The appropriate quantity of sunshine is essential for your Anthurium’s health, thus it’s critical to find the best location in your home for it.
However, how much light do Anthuriums require?
Anthuriums require a lot of light to thrive. But watch out! Their leaves might be scorched if they heat up too much. The plant will receive rays in the early morning hours but will be protected from the heat of the day if it is placed in an east-facing window.
Keep Anthuriums away from windows if they have a southern or western exposure or use sheer curtains or blinds to screen the sun.
It’s possible that if your Anthurium isn’t producing many flowers or appears to be struggling to grow, then it isn’t getting enough light.
Although these plants may be able to thrive in low light, they will not be at their best. Thus, if your home doesn’t have a site that fulfils the Anthurium’s needs, consider moving it to a brighter location or supplementing with LED grow lights.
Origins and Names
This wonderful tropical plant has its origins in the Americas of which it is native. It’s distributed from northern Mexico to northern Argentina and parts of the Caribbean. General common names include Anthurium, Tailflower, Flamingo Flower, and Laceleaf. Its Botanical Name is Anthurium Andraeanum Princess Amalia Elegance
Properly lighting your Anthurium requires a delicate balancing act between several variables, including the direction, time, amount of heat, and humidity of the air. You’ll most likely have to experiment a little to get the best results.
When adjusting the light levels of your Anthurium, do so gradually to give the plant time to acclimate.
Never give up, because, with some practice, you’ll be able to identify the best location for your Anthurium.
At that time, you’ll realise it was all worth it!
Some members of our GG Tribe have accomplished owning and maintaining a happy Anthurium or two. They all encountered a few ‘iffy’ moments at first but never lost focus – or any plants for that matter. Now they claim bragging rights whenever we admire their lovely Anthuriums!