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#82627 December 28th, 2006 at 11:06 PM
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Dommi35 Offline OP
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Hello,

I was given a medium sized Anthurium for christmas, it's in bloom and in a lovely ceramic pot (with no drainage) with the top of the soil completely covered in a layer of small pieces of what looks like marble/stone chips.
This is done for decorative effects I assume.

Here's my problem;
I live in a flat that has poor natuarl light and most of my hosue planst need small but varying amounts of water, I tend to rely on little and often watering and know from looking at the top soil if I've oevrdone/underdone the watering. Also i can rely on the water draining out of the bottom of the pot through the holes.

However I can't do this with my new Anthurium. The pot has no drainage holes and the top is covered with the little stones/chips.

having looked online it says to keep compost moist and avoid overwatering.
I do not want to kill this plant but how do I know when it needs watering?

another similar plant I had died because all the water collected at the bottom and the compost was too wet and I couldn't tell.

The room is heated to about 21 degrees most of the time although about 15 at night time.

Any suggestions?

I once read that if you wait for leaves to droop then a plant needs watering...is this true?

I appreciate any help.

Dommi35

#82628 December 29th, 2006 at 04:47 AM
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hi and welcome!!!

here's a link that explains how to care for your anthurium.

#82629 December 29th, 2006 at 06:54 AM
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Dommi, I suggest that you get it out of the pot that won't provide any drainage, as the roots should never sit in water, & good drainage is an absolute must. (It's better to under-water Anthuriums, rather than to take the chance of over-watering & "smothering" the roots.)

I care for my Anthuriums as I do my Orchids. Although my Orchids are in lava rock or bark only, my Anthuriums are in very light soil. (Lots of lava rock with some Perlite in peat-based soil.)

The temperatures in your house are a bit cooler than I keep mine, but I honestly wouldn't expect Anthuriums to be too happy at temps as cool as 15*C (59*F), so you might have to keep your heat a little higher at night. If I'm not mistaken, they do need to be at least 70*F (21*C) in order to bloom.

Plastic pots aren't always very showy, but seem to be best for this type of plant. You may want to work the little stones/chips into the soil when you re-pot it, as you're probably right in assuming that they were put there for appearance sake (but they do the plant no good, being at the top of the soil!)

I wasn't aware that Anthuriums could also live without soil, until I saw some growing on chunks of bark at a plant store last winter! shk I asked one of the clerks about it, & she said they do fine as long as they're kept moist (not "wet"), with the bark sitting in a container of pebbles in water. The bark draws the water up & the plant's roots take in whatever they need.

I thought it was pretty cool, so I came home & divided my plant & started the babies on pumice stone, with the roots held in place with twisty ties until they took hold.
[Linked Image]
They were fine for quite a while, but during the summer when the humidity was low, I forgot to keep an eye on the water level in the containers, & they got too dry & started looking sick. I decided that they'd be better in soil so I put them back into containers, where they revived & continue to grow.

[Linked Image]

By the way, welcome to the forum & good luck with your new plant! Let us know how it comes along, won't you?

#82630 December 29th, 2006 at 07:40 PM
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Thanks for the help guys.
I am going to consider repotting as a last option but in truth I tend to have plants more for decorative purposes and this one came in a beautiful ceramic pot which is what makes it so attractive. I have just given it a tiny bit of water for the 1st time since i received it (5 days ago) and i did notice this morning it has a few new shoots/flowers so i guess it must be doing ok so far.

I think the temperature/lighting issue is the main problem anyway and there is little I can do about this. I suspect night time temperatures can go even lower than 15 in my home and I cannot afford to leave heating on just for a plant, I actually like living in the cooler temperatures, I guess it's the British in me! <g>
So, with this being a tropical plant and me living in cold and dull south london I guess I don't expect a great long lifespan...sad to say.
However if I really try and underwater maybe I'll get a good few months from it...I hope so.

Thanks again....and if you have any suggestions for tips on avoiding overwatering please let me know (I'll be giving it about 75 ml once a week... the plant is fair sized with about 6 flowers and about 20 leaves...about half of which is full size)

If it looks like its getting poorly I will repot it immediately but in the meantime I will give it my best shot.

Thanks again.
happy new year to you all :-)

p.s: heard you can make bonsai anthuriums using volcanic rock....how unusual? maybe someone on this board could try this....

#82631 December 30th, 2006 at 12:59 AM
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before you water, check the soil...if it's dry a couple inches or so down, then give it some water, if it's not, wait a couple of days and check it again.

since the environment is a bit on the cool side, you probably won't need to water it more than every 8-10 days. maybe a little longer since it's in that pot without drain holes, too.

there are little (unglazed) ceramic things you can get to put in the soil and they change color as the soil dries out...you might want to look around for one as it will be too easy to overwater it in that pot. i forget the product name (and it would probably be called something different in your country anyhoo smile ).

there are also fancy devices (battery operated) that test soil moisture.

some people just use a bamboo skewer (the kind that are used for shish kebobs) and stick that in the soil (all the way to the bottom of the pot) and then pull it out and feel it to see how moist it is...using that as their guide for when to add water.

it should be okay in the cooler temps...it just won't be as vigorous a grower as it would be in a warmer setting. you can put it outside in the summer months...just make sure it's not in direct sunlight and be sure to take it inside if the temp is going to go down too much at night. that will give it a nice boost.

#82632 January 13th, 2007 at 09:31 PM
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Dommi35 Offline OP
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Thanks Joclyn, that was really helpful. I bought a gadget with a long metal probe off ebay which you stick in the soil and a little gauge which says wet/dry etc which is fab.It was only £5 and have no idea how it works but it's very clever! In fact i have discovered that I am overwatering all of my house plants! lol
The ideas you have given are very useful and will pass them on.
thank you all! :-)


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