How to grow and care for Flamingo Flower Indoors

Houseplant, Flamingo Flower

Botanical name: Anthurium scherzerianum
Family: Araceae

Flamingo Flower also called Pigtail Plant is a popular flowering houseplant on account of the glossy red, heart-spaded blooms which can last for weeks. The blooms are not true flowers but are spathes, each with a white spadix covered densely with tiny true flowers. Flamingo flower grows to a height of 1 ft. It bears a 2 in. long waxy flower with an orange curly tail. Brilliant red is the usual color but a white variety (album) is available. The leaves are 8 in. long and are lance-shaped. Flamingo Flower are native to the tropical regions of Costa Rica 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. Flamingo Flower is closely related to Anthurium andraeanum (Laceleaf).

How to Grow Flamingo Flower

Light

Flamingo Flower 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 Flamingo Flower 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 Flamingo Flower. Protect it from cold draughts. Find out more on temperature for houseplants.

Humidity

Flamingo Flower 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 Flamingo Flower 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 Flamingo Flower 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 Flamingo Flower

Pruning Flamingo Flower 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 Flamingo Flower

Flamingo Flower 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 an Flamingo Flower to bloom

After blooming, give Flamingo Flower 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 Flamingo Flower

  • Brown leaf tips
  • One reason for this is that the air is too dry for Flamingo Flower; 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 Flamingo Flower. 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 Flamingo Flower from cold draughts or place it away from windy doors and windows.

  • Brown leaf spots
  • These are sunburn marks caused by exposure of Flamingo Flower 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 Flamingo Flower. 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
  • Flamingo Flower 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 Flamingo Flower every 2 weeks with a phosphorous-rich water-soluble fertilizer during the growing season.

  • Flowers turning green
  • If the Flamingo Flower 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 Flamingo Flower are Spider Mites, Aphids and Fungus Gnats.

  • Disease
  • Flamingo Flower is prone to Root-rot Disease which is promoted by waterlogged soil.

Toxicity

Flamingo Flower (Anthurium scherzerianum) 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.

Was this insightful? Feel free to share on social media.


On the Blog



On the Blog


Houseplants, Indoor garden
Benefits of houseplants

Apart from adding beauty, live houseplants are beneficial to us in many ways. Some of these are quite interesting. Read more »

Houseplant, Peace Lily
10 Houseplants that clean the air

These ten beautiful houseplants have been found to be effective in removing indoor air pollutants. Select some to improve your indoor air quality. Read more »

Houseplants, Golden Pothos
10 easy houseplants

These houseplants are easy to care for which means they are suitable for you if you are just starting out with growing houseplants. Read more »

Houseplants, Snake Plant, Sanseveria
10 hard to kill houseplants

These houseplants are suitable for the forgetful, a beginner or one who has limited time to take care of their houseplants. Read more »

Houseplant, Nerve plant
16 Houseplants for small spaces

Let not space limit you in greening your living spaces. These small houseplants are perfect to additions for such spaces. Read more »

Houseplant, String of pearls plant
15 Houseplants for hanging baskets

Hanging baskets are one beautiful way of maximizing on the vertical space. These easy to grow houseplants are excellent for hanging. Read more »

Aglaonema modestum
15 Houseplants for low light spaces

Even for the poorly lit spaces, these houseplants will adapt very well to the low light conditions and continue to brighten up such spaces. Read more »

Houseplant, Monstera plant
20 Houseplants for the office

Do not let yourself be surrounded by dull plain walls while you are working. Bring some green in and break the monotony of pale boring walls. Read more »

terrarium
10 Houseplants suitable for a Terrarium

One interesting way to display houseplants is the use of a terrarium. These houseplants are well suited for a terrarium. Read more »