If you’ve got a bit of houseplant experience and are looking for a small but striking species to add to your collection, Anthurium forgetii might be the plant for you! This beautiful houseplant is known for its unusual leaves, which have no upper lobes or sinus. This gives them a unique teardrop shape rather than the heart-shaped leaves you see on most anthuriums.
Another notable feature of the Anthurium forgetii that makes them so coveted is their stunning white or silver veining that stands out against the deep green of the leaves.
Native to Colombia, this plant is slow-growing and stays fairly small, so it’s great for small spaces—or if you already have a ton of plants and are running out of space! We get it!
Anthurium forgetii comes in a few different forms: the standard form with rich green leaves and less prominent veining; the dark form with very deep-green leaves; and the silver form with distinct silver veins.
This plant is known for being a bit fussy, so attempt this one only if you’re confident in your abilities as a houseplant parent and have a decent amount of experience with anthuriums or other aroids.
With proper care, though, Anthurium forgetii will reward you with beautiful leaves that make a statement in any space.
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Anthurium Forgetii Care
Excellent drainage is crucial for maintaining a healthy Anthurium forgetii. This plant does best in consistently moist but not wet soil because it’s prone to root rot.
A loose, chunky potting mix works best. We don’t recommend using most ready-made potting soils like regular indoor potting mix because they’re almost always too dense for these plants. Your best bet is to make your own mix with plenty of ingredients that promote aeration, such as orchid bark, perlite, or vermiculite, etc. We love this DIY aroid potting mix from Kaylee Ellen on YouTube.
Our Premium Monstera Potting Soil is also a great choice for aroids like monsteras, peace lilies, and anthuriums because it’s light, chunky, and fast-draining, but it also retains just enough moisture to keep these gorgeous plants happy. It also has the ideal pH level and nutritional content to help these plants thrive!
While we’re on the subject of drainage, it’s also crucial that your pot drains well. The most well-aerated soil in the world won’t do you much good if your pot doesn’t have drainage holes! The right pot size can also prevent overwatering issues. Choose a pot that’s just a little larger than your Anthurium forgetii’s root ball. That way, the pot won’t hold on to more water than your plant can handle!
Anthurium forgetii does best in evenly moist soil, which means you should water when the top level of soil dries out. To see whether your Anthurium forgetii is ready for a drink, stick your finger in the soil. If the top 2 inches feel pretty dry or just barely damp, it’s time to water!
You can also use a moisture meter to test the moisture level of the root ball. We actually prefer this method because it gives you a clearer picture of what’s happening deeper in the pot and can alert you to drainage issues with your pot or soil. After all, if your soil isn’t aerated well, it’s possible for the top few inches of soil to feel dry to the touch but the root ball is still soaked.
To use a moisture meter, simply insert the sensor into the soil halfway between the base of the plant and the side of the pot, and about halfway down into the pot. When the meter reads about 4, it’s watering time! (Note: Don’t leave the meter in the soil between waterings. It can ruin the sensor!)
Here’s the moisture meter we like. Not only does it measure moisture, but it also indicates light levels and soil pH!
Once it’s time to water, add water to the top of the soil until it just starts to drain, then empty the drainage tray immediately or put the plant in a place where it can drain completely.
You should be watering your Anthurium forgetii every week or so. If it takes longer than that for your soil to dry out, you might need a lighter potting mix that drains faster.
Your Anthurium forgetii will thrive in medium to bright light. A room with a west- or south-facing window will work well, and you can also place your plant near an east-facing window. A north-facing window is also a good choice!
Side note: This is another factor that might make this plant a great choice if you already have a lot of plants. It doesn’t require as much light as some other tropical varieties, so this can add a pop to some of your other spaces instead of crowding around your east-facing windows.
Whatever you do, keep this plant out of direct sunlight, because it will scorch easily. Throughout the year as the sun shifts, keep an eye on your plant and make sure to move it if the sunlight ever shines directly on the leaves. If you notice dry brown spots or a “bleached” appearance on what should be dark-green leaves, your plant might be getting too much light!
This plant has fairly specific temperature needs, so try to keep temps between 65 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit with as little variation as possible. And it (almost) goes without saying that you should keep your plant away from heaters, air conditioners, strong fans, drafts, fireplaces, etc. The more consistently warm and humid the environment, the better off your plant will be!
These plants LOVE humidity, so the more you can give it, the better!
A kitchen or bathroom might be a good spot for your Anthurium forgetii. You can also set up a humidifier near your plant or group it together with other houseplants where the humidity might be higher.
The easiest and most practical solution might be to place your Anthurium forgetii on a humidity tray. You can buy these ready to go online or at just about any store that sells gardening supplies, or you can make an easy DIY pebble tray. Just fill a shallow tray with pebbles and water and place the plant’s pot on top. (Make sure the roots and soil don’t actually touch the water.) Top off the water when you notice it getting low. As the water evaporates, it will create some nice humidity around your plant to keep the leaves healthy!
Anthuriums can flower year-round, and individual blooms may last for several months. As soon as a flower starts to decline, prune (or deadhead) it to encourage the plant to redirect its energy toward growing new blooms and foliage.
Fertilizing Anthurium forgetii
Anthurium forgetii is a slow grower and therefore a light feeder. Still, the plant needs nutrients to support a healthy root system, strong stems, and healthy, deep-green leaves!
During the spring and summer, fertilize regularly with a balanced (but nitrogen-rich) liquid fertilizer, and default on the light side if you aren’t sure how much to use. Stop fertilizing during the fall and winter when the plant is more likely to be dormant instead of actively growing.
We recommend Indoor Plant Food because it contains the right amount of nitrogen and other nutrients to promote deep-green leaves and flowering. The best part is, it’s easy to use! It’s gentle enough to use with each watering, so from spring to summer, you won’t have to remember a fertilizing schedule.
Since this plant grows so slowly, you won’t have to repot often. In fact, don’t worry about repotting unless your plant is visibly root-wrapped or if the soil becomes compacted.
This plant won’t get very tall or wide and doesn’t grow quickly, so it’s unlikely that you’ll have to prune your Anthurium forgetii to control its size.
For this plant, pruning is a matter of health. Make sure to remove any dying or damaged flowers or leaves so the plant can keep putting its energy into healthy new growth. Whenever you prune, make sure to use sterilized shears or scissors to prevent infecting your plant with potential pathogens.
For all its fussiness with humidity, temperature, and drainage, Anthurium forgetii is actually pretty easy to propagate!
You can propagate this plant through separation, cuttings, or air layering.
To separate, simply unpot the plant and carefully untangle the roots until you have two or more smaller plants. You might need to use a sharp, clean knife to cut the roots apart in some places. Pot up each new plant and care for it like a mature plant, but refrain from fertilizing for a month or two to avoid harming the recovering roots.
Cuttings are an easy way to propagate. To do this, locate a section of plant that’s fairly young and healthy. Find a node, which is a little bump on a stem opposite from a leaf. Cut just below the node so that you have a section of plant that includes a leaf or two and the node.
Place your cutting upright in a clear glass container of water and a little Propagation Promoter and place it in a bright place. Top off the water when it gets low and change it out each week. Within a few weeks, roots should start to form. Once the roots are an inch or two long, you can plant the cutting in soil and care for it like a mature plant.
To air layer, locate a healthy, growing section of plant with a node. Use a sharp, clean knife to make a shallow cut next to the node. Then wrap the wound in damp sphagnum moss, and then wrap the wad of moss in plastic wrap secured with string or a twist tie. Keep the moss damp but not soggy.
Within a few weeks, you should see roots forming! Once the roots are an inch or two long, cut that section off the plant, making sure the cutting includes the roots you just worked so hard to grow. Now you have a new baby plant! Pot it up and add it to your collection!
Anthurium Forgetii Common Problems
When caring for this delicate plant, you might run into some issues. Here are the most common signs to watch out for that may indicate you need to adjust your care routine to keep your plant healthy.
Dry brown spots/dry leaf tips: If the tips or edges of your Anthurium forgetii’s leaves start to turn brown and crispy, make sure to check the soil first to make sure it hasn’t dried out. If it’s dry more than an inch or two down, your plant might be under-watered. Give it a good watering and trim any dead leaves.
When the soil feels fine, chances are that your plant needs more humidity. This is a great time to move the plant to a steamy bathroom, set up a humidifier, or put it on a pebble tray.
Leaf scorch can also lead to dry spots and crispy leaves, so make sure your plant isn’t getting direct sunlight or near a vent or heater that might be burning it.
Yellowing leaves: If the leaves are turning yellow, make sure the soil doesn’t feel soggy or overly moist. If you watered days ago and the potting mix is still soaked, your plant might be overwatered or need a pot or soil that drains better.
If the leaves look faded or bleached, your plant may be getting too much light.
Dark brown spots/squishy stems: This is an indication that your plant has root rot. If you notice these symptoms, carefully unpot your plant and get as much of the soil out of the roots as possible. Trim away any rotting roots and repot in fresh, fast-draining soil. Make sure to use a clean pot, or clean the old pot before replacing the plant inside.
Once you’ve repotted the plant, go a little lighter on the water than usual. And when you do water, use our Root Supplement to help the roots heal. Avoid fertilizing for a month or two after repotting to avoid burning the delicate roots.
Drooping: Plants can droop for a lot of reasons. First, make sure your plant isn’t thirsty. If it is, water it!
Check for drafts or temperature fluctuations as well. Your plant can droop if it gets too cold.
Shock can also be the culprit. If you’ve recently moved or repotted your plant, it’s normal for it to droop for a week or so afterward. If that seems to be the issue, leave it alone for a few days so it can get used to its new environment. It should perk back up soon!
FAQ How often do anthurium forgetii bloom?
Anthurium forgetii can bloom year-round, and individual flowers may last for a few months before wilting and falling off. Once a flower starts to decline, you can cut it off to encourage your plant to grow more.
FAQ What is the largest anthurium?
If you’re addicted to anthuriums and want to collect more, there are plenty of varieties to choose from. Anthurium forgetii is one of the smaller (and most beautiful, in our opinion), but if you want to try a larger variety, try Anthurium faustomirandae, also known as Faustino’s Giant Anthurium or Faustino’s Giant, the largest anthurium species out there!
Anthurium Forgetii: Your New Favorite Houseplant for Foliage and Flowers
If you’re up for a bit of a challenge and love striking foliage, look no further than Anthurium forgetii! This plant requires a little more TLC than many other houseplant tropicals you may know and love, but you’ll fall in love with this plant’s beauty, and might even find it quite easygoing once you understand what it needs. Give it a try!