How to Care for Anthurium plowmanii

by | Jul 31, 2019 | 47 comments

Anthurium plowmanii

I have to tell you about an amazing plant! The bird’s nest anthurium (Anthurium plowmanii) is I think, going to be the next Instagram star. Move over monstera! I am going to give you a few tips on how to care for your Anthurium plowmanii. I’ve had this plant for quite a few years and purchased it in Ohio at Baker’s Acres Greenhouse. If you’ve never been there, you need to put it on your list of “must visit” places. What a wonderful greenhouse with some really great plants. This is my plant below and I had to take it outside to get a good picture of the entire plant. MIne has become quite large.

Anthurium plowmanii

I took imy Anthurium plowmanii outside to get an entire picture of it

Maybe you never knew there are many more anthuriums other than the ones you usually see with the red patent leather like spathes that are often sold at grocery and big box stores. Those spathes do last a long time so they are a popular gift plant. This plant looks nothing like that plant but is related.

Here is a picture from above so you can see how it gots its name of bird’s nest anthurium.

Looking down into the anthurium

Looking at the bird’s nest anthurium from the top lets you see its nest like shape

Mine is flowering like crazy right now and they are some cool flowers.

Flowers of Anthurium plowmanii

Flowers and a new leaf

Origins of the bird’s nest anthurium

So where does this plant come from? It comes from South America, specifically West and North Brazil, Peru, Bolivia, and Paraguay. There it grows quite often as an epiphyte, clinging to trees. This plant can become so large that it may fall to the ground because of its own weight, where it will continue to grow as a terrestrial plant. Very versatile, right? The plant was named after Timothy Plowman (1944-1989).

A new leaf on Anthurium plowmanii

Anthurium plowmanii leaf with vareigated Ficus elastica in the background

It flowers

While the flowers are nothing to write home about, they are still really interesting. This plant is an aroid so the flowers are composed of a spathe and a spadix and this variety has male and female flowers together on the same plant. The trick it incorporates to ensure cross poilination, is the flower of the male flower does not ripen at the same time as the female on the same plant. So an insect needs to bring pollen from another plant to pollinate the flower and this is usually done by some type of beetle . Mine will not be pollinated, so the beautiful red berries never appear on my plant in the house.

Anthurium flowers with pollen

A flower just starting to show pollen and one already covered

Pollen falling on leaves of Anthurium plowmanii

You can see the pollen all over the leaf

Here are some close ups of the spadix covered with pollen. (Sorry it is a little blurry)

Anthurium pollen

Care

I’ve found this plant easy to care for and forgiving of getting a bit dry. After reading up on them, I found that they are known to be drought tolerant. As a rule, though, I do not let mine dry out to the point of collapsing, but try to keep it evenly moist.  It gets very hot in my sunroom, and the plants get quite dry sometimes, especially when it is hot outside. It has never skipped a beat and it looks amazing.  I have mine in my sunroom on the north side of the house, but it gets plenty of east sun in the morning and it blooms regularly as you can see. An east or west window in the house would be a great spot for this anthurium as it needs a medium light and would probably tolerate low light, but may not flower.

arial roots coming off the stem

Look at the arial roots on this plant

If you have the room for this plant, (certainly not as large as a fiddle leaf or monstera) consider getting one. The ruffled leaves, the bird’s nest shape,  the interesting flowers, and its easy care, make it a must have for your next Instagram post.

A new leaf

A new shiny green leaf

Anthurium

Anthurium plowmanii is a very large statement plant

Please use the Pinterest graphic below for your Pinterest board.

Anthurium plowmanii

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47 Comments

  1. Crystal

    This is great! My plant had a leaf that turned yellow and I’m not sure if it was getting too much water or if it’s not getting enough sun. It’s current facing a west window in a low-light spot and I am wondering if changing its location to a medium light area will improve its condition. I’d greatly appreciate any suggestions.

    Reply
    • Lisa Steinkopf

      Mine gets good light as it is in a sunroom. Yellow leaves are okay if it is an old one. Mine had a couple yellow leaves the other day. I think a medium to bright light would be beneficial.

      Reply
  2. Holly Kershner

    Hello! I love mine, I have had him maybe 5 years, so easy … I usually take him outside in the summer and do get the red berries. He is blooming away even now (still inside) – what is the visual difference between the male vs female flowers? Right now I have a tall straight mature one and a new bloom with 2 points at the top. Also I just got a new, smaller plant that is incredibly full but the bloom stems are very short and flowers hidden. Since I don’t know this plant yet will the stems get taller as plant ages ?

    Reply
    • Lisa Steinkopf

      There are quite a few hybrids, so not sure if they bloom differently or stay smaller. Anthuriums have perfect flowers so both the male and female flowers are together.

      Reply
      • Noel Abejaron

        I have this beautiful plant for a year now and it just recently got some kind of a disease which I could not find any research material online. Part of the leaves turned white. Maybe you could help me point in right directions or links. I have a photo of it, I wish I could show you.

        Reply
        • Lisa Steinkopf

          Hi Noel, Please send me a picture. You can go to my website and email me through the contact page. I would be happy to look at it for you!

          Reply
  3. Elizabeth

    Hi. I have had my birds nest anthurium for a year now. The tips of the leaves were crusty upon arrival. Still beautiful so I was ok with that. Over the last week i have seen 2 of the leaves turn completely brownish yellow and crusty and fall off. The stem they were attached to is soggy and came off easily as well. I only water mine every 2 to 3 weeks. And it gets indirect bright light from a west window. Is this what happens when the leaves are old? Or should I investigate possible root rot?

    Reply
    • Lisa Steinkopf

      I would say they were just old leaves, but the soggy stem concerns me….Do you have pictures you can send me? Email them at my contact me page on my website. I would definitely investigate the root system. Drainage hole? Good well-draining potting medium?

      Reply
  4. Jim Sargent

    I am also concerned about yellow leaves. Wasn’t sure if I was over-watering but I read somewhere that they prefer to be moist so I water once/week. I have two flower stalks going at the same time now. Also, on the amount of sun, I have him/her behind a shade that blocks out some light as I imagined him/her living on the floor of the jungle under the tree canopy. – Well that and he’s right next to my piano which can’t get direct sun. The plant has grown so large (and it was pretty big when I bought it) that my partner is wondering if it will eventually turn into a tree. Do they or did I read that they get taller and eventually collapse under their own weight and start spreading that way? One last question: Some of the tips of the leaves are dead and brown. What’s that from?

    Reply
    • Lisa Steinkopf

      Hi Jim,
      I do get yellow leaves, usually the oldest ones, but I have let it dry out too much once or twice. It is in my sunroom and in the summer it is really hot. I do have it on the north side of the sunroom so it gets a little morning sun and some afternoon sun. Dead brown tips leads me to believe it may have dried out or needs more humidity. I also don’t water on a schedule, but check the plants on a schedule. I do think eventually they can get a long trunk, but not sure if in our houses they will get too tree like. At least I hope not!

      Reply
  5. Katherine Fife

    I have one, I started off watering every other week. The new leaf at the center turned brown and died. It never grew all winter long (here in warm sunny California). I cut back on watering just once every 4-6 weeks, and it has finally put out a gorgeous giant new leaf, after being dormant for nearly 6 months!

    Reply
    • Lisa Steinkopf

      I guess it was getting too much water. If it’s doing well, I wouldn’t change the care. I love my plant!

      Reply
  6. veronica rivera

    HI! I have a new one joining my living room. Its in a west facing window/ bu t there is a tree outside that filters the most intense hours of sun.

    It was growing a new leaf when I purchased it. I did report it when I got it (didn’t know that wasn’t recommended…) A month has gone by, and the leaf opened up but now the very tip of the new leaf is turning black. Did I do something wrong? I’ve watered maybe every other week since I got it. and I did mist it to get some humidity around it…

    thanks for your help!

    Reply
    • Lisa Steinkopf

      How much did you up-pot it? Did you go up one size pot or more? It sounds like it may have too much water…..but if you could send a picture, maybe I could tell more. Check the potting medium to see if it is really wet.

      Reply
    • Goldie Lyons

      I was just about to ask about re-potting. Got mine a few months back. It’s doing fine in my north facing bathroom window. In fact, getting my first flower right now. But wondering if I should re-pot it or if they like to be root bound.

      Reply
      • Lisa Steinkopf

        Hi Goldie,
        Mine is still root bound because I don’t want to break the pot, but there seems to be not other way to get it out. If you want, there isn’t any reason not to up-pot it. I wish I could!
        Lisa

        Reply
  7. kim valles

    We just brought one of these home today and are so excited for something new and gorgeous. Good to know a little about light/water needs. It is quite root-bound in its nursery pot; before I repot it, does it prefer to be somewhat root- bound?

    Reply
    • Lisa Steinkopf

      I don’t find that it prefers to be rootbound. I up-potted mine and it is doing fine.

      Reply
  8. Jill Kemper

    I was wondering if they can handle any direct sunlight? I have a perfect spot for it in an east-facing window that gets a couple hours of direct late-morning sun. I don’t want it to get a sunburn though!

    Reply
    • Lisa Steinkopf

      Yes, it would be fine in east morning sun. Mine also gets some western afternoon sun. It is in a sunroom with shaded light from above as well.

      Reply
  9. Laurie

    My fruffle has gotten a brown then turning yellow dead spot in three of the leaves about 1/3 down on the side of the leaf. Any ideas why?

    Reply
    • Lisa Steinkopf

      It sounds like a fungus. Or maybe just old leaves that are ready to die….?

      Reply
  10. Q. Tran

    My new leaves whither at the ( Curl at the tip/do not fully open Up ). I water every other week/ or 10 day, when soil is completely dry.
    How do I send you a photo

    Reply
      • Linda

        I got this plant a few months ago from a friend who was moving. It’s been pretty happy but very recently started turning yellow. I’ve been misting it regularly and checking the moisture with a meter to make sure it stays happy. Tips please? I have it in the center of my home that gets great lighting. It was in the west facing sun room but I found it got too warm in there and got a couple scorched tips

        Photos after link Variegated anthurium plowmanii https://imgur.com/gallery/f3gjH7D

        Reply
        • Lisa Steinkopf

          Hi Linda, I am so jealous of this variegated anthurium! It’s great! Thanks for sharing it. I think it looks healthy and happy. It may just be the oldest leaf turning yellow and it is time for it to do that. If you are consistently keeping it moist, it shouldn’t be from inconsistent watering. Let me know how it is doing. Lisa

          Reply
  11. Dawn

    please share what kind of potting mix you use with your plant. (I see what looks like white pebbles in your picture.) Thank you

    Reply
    • Lisa Steinkopf

      Hi Dawn, I mix my own soil and use a lot of coarse perlite mixed with a regular potting mix. I also mix in some vermiculite. The perlite is what you are seeing as it floats on top after watering.

      Reply
  12. Nicole

    Hello!

    I’ve recently purchased quite a large one for my home maybe about 4 months ago. It sprouted new growth just once so far and it took time for that leaf to unfurl as well. Sadly, the tips were pretty brown and transparent even before it finished completely unfurling. I decided to cut that part of the leaf once it unfurled and I’m now thinking it was quite a rash decision? I’m afraid the leaf won’t continue to grow to its maximum potential now (both size and shapewise). The large plant also came with some damaged leaves (some with large holes) and it was bothering me as well so I decided to cut half of those off as well. Any advise for a newbie (like me) to save my plant (from me)?

    Reply
    • Lisa Steinkopf

      Hi Nicole,
      The leaf should continue to grow or push out a new one. Why do you think it turned brown? Too much or too little light? Too much or too little water? Low humidity? Bugs? Do you see anything?
      Lisa

      Reply
  13. Angela HM.

    I just purchased one of these plants and the label said “repot your plant now” it also has roots growing over the side of the pot. It is in a EW facing door (door with a 6″ wide glass panel). It is in a 6″ pot, what size pot should I repot in?

    Reply
    • Lisa Steinkopf

      Hi Angela, I don’t usually up-pot at this time of year as the plants aren’t actively growing like they are in the spring. However, if it is rootbound I would go up one size so an 8″ pot. If it is extremely root bound, I may go up to a 10″ or 8″ now and a 10″ if you feel it needs it in the spring or next summer. Lisa

      Reply
      • Lisa Steinkopf

        I think if it has two separate stems, you could divide it. I haven’t done that, but I think it would be fine.

        Reply
  14. Lauren

    hey! thanks for the post. just got a big one!! I repotted and watered thoroughly. many bottom leaves are turning yellow and new leaves are getting little mushy brown edges. perhaps overwatered initially? what does it want from me?

    Reply
    • Lisa Steinkopf

      Hi Lauren, It does sound like it has received too much water. Check the bottom of the pot to see if it is still wet at the bottom. What kind of light is it getting?

      Reply
      • Lauren

        thanks for your reply! i’ve tried it in a few different spots. it’s in a west facing window now with sheer curtain diffusion. I reported it so it seems to be happier!

        Reply
  15. Nati

    Hi, we have one in the lobby of my building but it seems the caretaker does something wrong! It’s now covered with some sort of white mold! How can we save it/what tips would you give?

    Reply
    • Lisa Steinkopf

      Hi Nati,
      Can you send me a picture to lisa@thehouseplantguru.com and I will see if I can help at all. Lisa

      Reply
  16. JEFFREY VITALE

    Hello, I am wondering if i buy a small one, how fast to they grow, For example a 4″ pot with 8″ tall plant… how many years would it take if properly cared for to be a plant with 2 ft leaves… any questimate appreciated.

    Reply
    • Lisa Steinkopf

      Hi Jeffrey, I cannot tell you how long it will take. I’m not sure how long I’ve had mine, and I think I bought in a 6-8″ pot. Mostly it depends on the care. If it is in the light it likes and you fertilize and keep it watered well, it will get big pretty quick. Lisa

      Reply
  17. Razy

    Hello,I have had a large pot in front of the west window for 4 months, I water it once a week, 2 leaves turn yellow in a week and I do not know why? I give 20-20-20 fertilizer, is it suitable? And it has a new leaf 10 cm long that grows very slowly. Is this normal?please help me.

    Reply
    • Lisa Steinkopf

      Hi Razy,
      I’m not sure where you live or your growing conditions, but I’m wondering if it is root-bound. Mine is and I can’t even get it out of the pot to up pot it. I just answered an email about this same problem. Take it out of the pot and check the root system.

      Reply
  18. Kristen

    All but 1 leaf fell off over the winter. It recently gave me a bloom. How can I encourage new growth?

    Reply
    • Lisa Steinkopf

      I would cut the flower off so more energy would go into growing more leaves. One leaf isn’t much to photosynthesize with and feed the plant.
      Lisa

      Reply
  19. Katherine Bell

    I have my anthurium on my east facing front porch. I water it about once a week. I’m in Oklahoma and it’s been super hot and dry this year. It all of a sudden has yellowing leaves. I thought maybe too much Sun? It
    Only gets morning sun until about 11:00am. Afternoon it’s shaded by the front porch. I’m sick with worry that it’s dying!!!

    Reply
    • Lisa Steinkopf

      Hi Katherine,
      I would think that the east would be fine. It may be getting south sun too if it isn’t on a covered porch. If it has been there for a long time and has just started developing yellowing leaves, it may be another problem. Does it have a drainage hole? Is it clogged? Did it dry out and then get watered and so is developing yellowing leaves? Did you move it and it doesn’t like its new spot? There could be a myriad of reasons it has yellow leaves. Usually, too much sun turns the leaves black.

      Reply

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