How to grow and care for Laceleaf Anthurium Indoors

Houseplant, Laceleaf Plant

Botanical name: Anthurium andraeanum
Family: Araceae

Laceleaf also called Oilcloth Flower, Painter's Palette or Tailflower is a popular flowering houseplant which bears long, glossy blooms with a straight or arched yellow or white tail. The blooms are not true flowers but are spathes, each with a yellow or white spadix covered densely with tiny true flowers. It grows to a height of 2-3 ft and bears 4 in. long glossy blooms. The leaves are heart-shaped and are 9 in. long. White, pink, orange and red varieties are available. Laceleaf is native to the tropical regions of Columbia and Ecuador where they grow as epiphytes on trees. They may not be easy to grow under room conditions but with proper care they can last for many years. According to a study conducted by NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration), Anthurium andreanum variety was found to be effective in getting rid of common VOCs specifically formaldehyde, toulene, xylene and ammonia from indoor air. Laceleaf is closely related to Anthurium scherzerianum (Flamingo Flower).

How to Grow Laceleaf

Light

Laceleaf prefers bright indirect light. A curtain-filtered sunny window is perfect. Protect the plant from direct sunlight to avoid scorching of the leaves. Learn more on how to ensure your plant receives the correct light in this guide on understanding light for houseplants.

Water

Keep soil moist at all times for Laceleaf during the growing season but reduce watering in the cold season to maintain the soil slightly moist. Avoid waterlogging as it may lead to the root-rot. Learn more on how to water houseplants.

Temperature

Average warmth with a minimum of 150C is ideal for Laceleaf. Protect it from cold draughts. Find out more on temperature for houseplants.

Humidity

Laceleaf requires high humidity. Raise humidity by more frequent misting or set the pot on a wet pebble tray. Clean the leaves by damp-wiping with a soft cloth to get rid of dust and avoid water drops on the leaves as it may cause fungal infection.

Feeding

Feed Laceleaf every 2-3 weeks during the growing period with a phosphorous-rich water-soluble fertilizer. Withhold feeding in the cold season as growth is minimal and feeding at this time can lead to fertilizer burn. Regularly flush out accumulated salts in the soil by running a stream of water through the soil until the water comes out through the drainage hole. Allow it to run for a few minutes and repeat several times. Learn more on how to feed houseplants.

Repotting

Repot Laceleaf every 2 years at the beginning of the growing season. Use a pot one-size larger and free-draining soil that is rich in organic matter. Ensure the pot has drainage holes to prevent waterlogging.

How to Prune Laceleaf

Pruning Laceleaf is easy. Remove yellow and dead leaves to maintain the plant neat and tidy. Cut the leaves at the base of the stem. Wayward leaves can also be removed to maintain the shape of the plant. Learn more on how to prune houseplants.

How to Propagate Laceleaf

Laceleaf can be propagated during the growing season from from splits. Divide the mother plant into several sections while ensuring each divison has some roots. Pot up the splits in moist soil in individual pots. Place the set up in a cool place and maintain the soil moist until new growth emerges. Ensure the crown of the plant is above the soil level to avoid rotting. Allow the plant to be well established before transplanting.

How to force Laceleaf to bloom

After blooming, give Laceleaf a 6 weeks rest period in a cool dimly-lit room at 150C. Give it very little water during this period. Bring it out after the rest period and continue with normal care. This will break the dormancy cycle and signal the plant to start blooming.

Common Problems in Growing Laceleaf

  • Brown leaf tips
  • One reason for this is that the air is too dry for Laceleaf; set the pot on a wet pebble tray to raise humidity. The other reason for brown leaf tips is waterlogging of the soil; maintain the soil moist but not soggy.

  • Yellow leaves
  • There are two causes of yellow leaves in Laceleaf. One reason is waterlogging; maintain the soil moist but not soggy, ensure the pot has a drainage hole and the soil is free-draining. Reason number two is cold draughts; protect the Laceleaf from cold draughts or place it away from windy doors and windows.

  • Brown leaf spots
  • These are sunburn marks caused by exposure of Laceleaf to direct sunlight. Move the plant to a shaded place or use a curtain to filter the light.

  • Drooping leaves and stems
  • There are four causes of this in Laceleaf. One reason is low humidity: raise humidity by setting the pot on a wet pebble tray. Reason number two is incorrect watering, either underwatering or overwatering; maintain the soil moist at all times during the growing season and never allow the soil ball to dry out. Learn more on how to water houseplants. The third reason is too high temperature due to exposure to direct sunlight; protect the plant from direct sunlight. The fourth and last reason is pests and diseases infestation; take control measures for these pests.

  • No blooms
  • Laceleaf that is not getting enough light will not bloom. Ensure the plant is receiving bright light but away from direct sunlight. Also underfeeding will prevent production of blooms. Feed Laceleaf every 2 weeks with a phosphorous-rich water-soluble fertilizer during the growing season.

  • Flowers turning green
  • If the Laceleaf was in bloom when you bought it, the reason could be it was forced to bloom before it was ready to bloom so it loses color as it ages. Improper watering, excess nitrogen fertilizer and wrong temperatures can also cause greening of the flowers. The blooms last for about 4 weeks and as they age, they begin to lose color by becoming green and paler as aging continues. Some species of Anthuriums produce blooms that turn brilliant green in color; check the species you are growing.

  • Pests
  • The common pests in Laceleaf are Spider Mites, Aphids and Fungus Gnats.

  • Disease
  • Laceleaf is prone to Root-rot Disease which is more prevalent in waterlogged soil.

Toxicity

Laceleaf (Anthurium andraeanum) is toxic to both humans and pets. It contains oxalate crystals which can cause digestive distress, breathing problems and skin irritation. Always wear gloves when handling and wash your hands thereafter.

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