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.
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.
Mine is flowering like crazy right now and they are some cool flowers.
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).
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.
Here are some close ups of the spadix covered with pollen. (Sorry it is a little blurry)
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.
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.
Please use the Pinterest graphic below for your Pinterest board.
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.
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.
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 ?
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.
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.
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!
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?
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?
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?
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!
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!
I guess it was getting too much water. If it’s doing well, I wouldn’t change the care. I love my plant!
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!
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.
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.
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!
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?
I don’t find that it prefers to be rootbound. I up-potted mine and it is doing fine.
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!
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.
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?
It sounds like a fungus. Or maybe just old leaves that are ready to die….?
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
Hi. That sounds unusual. My email is firstname.lastname@example.org and you can send a picture there.
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
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
please share what kind of potting mix you use with your plant. (I see what looks like white pebbles in your picture.) Thank you
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.
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)?
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?
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?
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
Can it be divided and start a new plant
I think if it has two separate stems, you could divide it. I haven’t done that, but I think it would be fine.
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?
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?
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!
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?
Can you send me a picture to email@example.com and I will see if I can help at all. Lisa
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.
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
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.
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.
All but 1 leaf fell off over the winter. It recently gave me a bloom. How can I encourage new growth?
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.
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!!!
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.
Hello! I, too, own a bird’s nest anthurium and agree that it is a stately, gorgeous plant. Recently, I started to notice small tears and little circular holes on a few leaves . I haven’t been able to identify any pests on it or any of the other plants in its proximity, but I am concerned. Any ideas what might be causing this?
I’m not sure. Tears may be just age, being bumped, or something like that. Holes in the leaves is concerning, but not sure what would make small circular holes IN the leaves. If they were along the edges, ZI would suspect black vine weevils. Sorry I wasn’t more help.