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

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Anthurium plowmanii

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