Anthurium veitchii is a beautiful aroid known for its stunningly rippled, oblong leaves. While this plant is very visually impressive—especially when it’s mature—Anthurium veitchii plant care actually isn’t that difficult.
In this article, we’ll cover everything you need to know about caring for “King” Anthurium so it can grow to produce those massive, showstopping leaves!
Anthurium veitchii is native to the tropical rainforests of Colombia, where it grows as an epiphyte on other trees. It gets its name from John Veitch, a London plant collector who first introduced this and many other tropical plants to Europe.
This plant is a member of the Araceae family along with other aroids such as monstera, peace lily, philodendron, and pothos plants. In the right conditions, Anthurium veitchii will produce light-pink or cream-colored inflorescent “flowers” with a spathe and spadix, much like the flowers that make peace lilies so popular.
The King Anthurium, in particular, is known for its massive rippled leaves. Indoors, a mature plant will produce leaves up to 3 feet long, but wild plants will grow leaves more than double that length! However, it will take several years and consistent care for a veitchii to start producing large leaves.
Younger plants have heart-shaped leaves that may start out a rusty pink color and change to green. Mature leaves are dark green with a bit of a metallic shine with lighter green underneath. The veins are also very prominent and give the leaf a unique puckered texture.
These plants have a reputation for being slow growers; most only produce a new leaf every 3 months or so!
Here’s how to take the best possible care of your Anthurium veitchii.
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Anthurium Veitchii Care
If you’ve cared for other houseplants before, especially aroids, you should have no trouble handling Anthurium veitchii!
Here’s what you need to know.
Soil and Potting
As an epiphytic plant that climbs other trees in the wild, Anthurium veitchii likes to have lots of airflow around its roots. Make sure to use a light, chunky, well-aerated potting soil so there will be plenty of air pockets around the roots.
If you prefer a DIY approach and making your own potting mixes, we love this aroid mix recipe from Kaylee Ellen on YouTube:
In a large bowl, mix together:
- 5 parts orchid bark
- 4 parts coir
- 5 parts perlite
- 2 parts activated charcoal
- 2 parts worm castings
Then plant your King Anthurium!
If you’re not a DIY person and you want something ready to go straight out of the bag, we highly recommend our Premium Monstera Potting Soil, which is perfect for aroids in general!
You can also grow these plants in semi-hydroponic growing mediums such as LECA or even sphagnum moss. Just keep in mind that these mediums are sterile and devoid of nutrients, so you’ll need to fertilize regularly to supply your plant with the nutrients it needs!
As for pots, you can plant your King Anthurium in a hanging basket or even an orchid basket, and a pot with drainage will also work. Choose something that’s just a few inches larger in diameter than your plant’s root ball. This will give the roots room to stretch out and breathe, but won’t hold on to more water than your plant can use.
Like many aroids, Anthurium veitchii does best with consistently damp, but not soaked, soil.
The best way to achieve this is to water when the top 2 inches or so of soil feels dry to the touch, or when a moisture meter reads 3-4. (Here’s the moisture meter we prefer, by the way. It also measures light and soil pH!)
When you determine that it’s time to water, slowly add water to the soil until it just starts to drain out the bottom of the pot or basket. Empty the drainage trays immediately or leave the pot in the sink to drain for an hour or two.
In most environments, you’ll end up watering your Anthurium veitchii every 7-10 days. It’s important to check your plant’s soil regularly to see when it’s ready for a drink because different environmental factors (like humidity, temperature, soil aeration, and light conditions) can affect how efficiently your plant uses water. These factors can even change throughout the year, even if your plant stays in the exact same spot!
It’s a good idea to make a habit of checking your plant’s soil every couple of days.
Since Anthurium veitchii lives under the rainforest canopy, it does best in bright but indirect or filtered sunlight.
An east-facing window is a great place for your King Anthurium because it will get lots of bright light but not much direct light, especially during the afternoon and evening, when the sun’s rays are most likely to scorch the leaves.
A south- or west-facing window can be all right as long as you place the plant back far enough that the sun’s rays will never fall directly on the leaves.
A north-facing window can work, but it might not provide enough light to keep your plant happy, so you may want to supplement with a grow light if this is your only option.
The mild temperatures of the tropics are your best bet for keeping your King Anthurium healthy and thriving. Try to keep temperatures between 59°F (15°C) and 79°F (26°C), and whatever you do, don’t let your indoor temperatures drop below 50 degrees Fahrenheit.
It’s also important to keep your King Anthurium well away from anything that could freeze, scorch, or dry out the leaves. It doesn’t grow many leaves, so keep the ones it has healthy!
Watch out for drafts, space heaters, fireplaces, and air-conditioning and heating vents, etc.
As a tropical plant that grows best in humid, rainforest-like conditions, your Anthurium veitchii will thrive when you keep humidity levels around 60%. If you live in a dry area, you’ll want to take special care to raise the humidity levels around your plant.
You can do this with daily misting, though this doesn’t always solve the problem completely, especially if you live in a warm area where water evaporates quickly.
You can also set up a warm mist humidifier near your plant, place it near other houseplants (their respiration will raise the ambient humidity slightly), or you can put smaller plants in a terrarium or on a pebble tray. You can buy a pebble tray at any gardening store, or you can make your own DIY version by filling a shallow tray with pebbles and water and setting the whole pot on top, making sure the roots don’t actually touch the water. As the water evaporates, it will create more humidity around your veitchii’s leaves!
While Anthurium veitchii can flower, it doesn’t produce flowers as readily as other aroids like peace lilies.
To get your King Anthurium to flower, make sure you’re providing at least 9 hours of bright, indirect sunlight daily. If you aren’t able to do that with natural light from a window, consider using a grow light.
It’s also crucial to give your plant the right amount of water. Now, this doesn’t necessarily mean more water, because your Anthurium won’t flower if it’s sitting in soggy soil. Make sure your soil is fast-draining and well aerated (and that your pot drains well too), and water as soon as the top 2 inches of potting mix feel dry to the touch, or when a moisture meter reads 3-4.
Keep temperatures stable and on the warm side, between 70 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit.
Finally, remember that flower production is a lot of work, and your Anthurium veitchii requires sufficient nutrients to form those flowers. Make sure to fertilize regularly with a phosphorus-rich fertilizer to support blooming. Our Indoor Plant Food works well for flowering plants, and our Monstera Plant Food is a great choice for aroids. You can mix either of these into your plant’s water, and they’re both gentle enough to use with every watering.
With the right conditions, your Anthurium veitchii can flower year-round!
It’s important to provide your veitchii with the right nutrients, even if you aren’t trying to encourage flowering. Leaf, stem, and root growth and maintenance still require plenty of nutrients, as do regular physical processes like respiration, photosynthesis, and the transport of nutrients, water, and sugars around the plant.
As a slow-growing plant, you won’t need to repot Anthurium veitchii often, and it won’t get root-wrapped quickly. If you keep the soil well aerated, you can get away with repotting only every 2-3 years or so.
However, it’s important to keep the soil well-conditioned during that time. Use a wooden chopstick every once in a while to aerate the soil, and be sure to keep fertility high with regular fertilizer and houseplant probiotics.
Anthurium veitchii only produces a new leaf every few months, so it’s highly unlikely you’ll need to prune your plant to control its size. However, if a leaf becomes diseased, dried out, or otherwise damaged to the point that it’s more of a drain than a boon to the plant (usually if it’s more than 50% damaged), it’s a good idea to prune it off so the plant can redirect that energy toward maintaining healthy leaves and growing new ones.
If you do need to prune, make sure to use sharp, clean shears sterilized with alcohol or soap and hot water. The sap can be irritating to your skin, so it’s a good idea to wear gloves and have a towel to catch any sap so it doesn’t damage your floor or furniture.
Anthurium veitchii isn’t the easiest plant to propagate, but it can be done!
The best ways to propagate this plant are through separation or stem cuttings.
To propagate through separation, simply unpot your veitchii and massage as much of the soil out of the root ball as possible. Then gently untangle the roots and do your best to separate the plant into two or more smaller plants. If you need to cut the roots apart, do so with a sterilized knife or shears.
Once you have two or more baby veitchii plants, pot them up in their own little pots and care for them like mature plants! (Just avoid fertilizing for a month or so while the roots are so delicate.)
To propagate your veitchii with stem cuttings, you’ll need to locate a healthy, fairly young leaf and a node. (A node will look like a small brown bump on the opposite side of a stem from a leaf.) With sterilized shears or a knife (and protective gloves), cut the stem below the node so that your cutting contains at least one leaf and at least one node.
Then place the cutting in a clean glass container of water and Propagation Promoter (this helps the cutting take root and protects it from infection in the meantime). Put the container in a bright place and switch out the water and rooting hormone every week. Within a few weeks, you’ll (hopefully) see little white buds on the stem, which are the beginnings of your new baby roots! Within a few months, those roots should be at least an inch long and ready for you to plant in soil.
Anthurium Veitchii Common Problems
Anthurium veitchii isn’t known for being fussy or highly susceptible to pests or disease, but it can happen! Here are some common King veitchii issues and how to handle them.
FAQ Why is my anthurium dying?
If your anthurium’s leaves are turning yellow, it’s most likely due to a watering problem. If you also notice brown spots, squishy stems, or that the yellowing is concentrated on the lower leaves, your plant is probably overwatered. If the soil feels soggy or if a moisture meter reads wet several days after your last watering, it’s possible that your pot and/or soil aren’t draining correctly. You might need to repot into fresh mix and a pot that drains better!
If the yellowing leaves are all over the plant and come with light-brown spots, your plant might be underwatered. If the potting mix feels dry or reads dry soon after your last watering, you might be watering too lightly or not often enough.
If water doesn’t seem to be the problem, yellowing leaves can also be caused by insufficient light or a nutrient deficiency. If your plant is in a dark spot or if the seasons (and light situation) have recently changed, or if you haven’t fertilized in a while, that might be the case.
Brown Spots on Leaves
Brown spots on anthurium leaves can also be caused by watering issues and can be bacterial infections.
Spots caused by overwatering are usually soft and dark brown and may be accompanied by yellowing or squishy stems. This usually indicates severe overwatering and possibly even root rot, so if you notice this, you might want to unpot your plant to check the condition of the roots. If you notice any mushy, stinky, or dark roots, trim those off. Then get as much of the soil out of the root ball as possible, repot into fresh potting mix and a clean pot, and treat with a root supplement.
If the spots are light brown, however, this is a good indication that your plant is underwatered. Give it a drink!
If water doesn’t seem to be the problem, light-brown spots can also indicate leaf scorch. Make sure your plant isn’t in direct sunlight, and watch out for heating elements nearby.
Household pests like spider mites, thrips, mealybugs, and scale can sometimes go after your anthurium, but if you catch infestations early on, you can get rid of them and save your plant!
The first step is to recognize problems. If you see lots of little dark-red, brown, or black dots, you might have spider mites or thrips. White, cottony webbing often indicates mealybugs or spider mites. Sticky, clear residue called “honeydew” can point to mealybugs, and lots of brown bumps are actually scale. We highly recommend giving your plant a once-over every time you water so you can head off any insect issues early!
Once you realize you have insects, do what you can to remove them. For scale, this might mean picking them off or using rubbing alcohol on a cotton swab to get them to release their hold on your anthurium. For other, less clingy insects, you can try spraying them off with a hose or kitchen sprayer, or even using a lint roller to remove them.
Finally, wash your plant with insecticidal soap or a diluted neem oil solution to kill off any stragglers. For some pests, like thrips, that lay eggs on (or in) your plant that will later hatch, you might need to spray your plant down with insecticide or neem oil a few times over several weeks to get rid of the pests completely.
To prevent insects, make sure to isolate any new plants, provide plenty of light, and don’t let your soil get too wet, as most pests are attracted to dark, damp conditions.
If you notice cracks forming in your anthurium’s leaves, your plant probably needs more humidity.
Mist your plant regularly, group it with other plants, and set up a humidifier or humidity tray to create a more rainforest-like environment for your King Anthurium!
The King of Anthuriums
Though this regal plant is impressive, it’s actually relatively easy to care for! This makes it a great houseplant bang for your buck in that you get a visually striking plant without a lot of work. Anthurium veitchii is a great plant for beginner to intermediate houseplant parents, especially if you have experience caring for other aroids. Care for this plant is very similar to care you’d expect to give to other epiphytic rainforest plants!
As long as you can provide plenty of humidity, bright but indirect light, and excellent drainage, this plant will reward you with beautiful rippled leaves and possibly even flowers. Give this beautiful aroid a try!
Ready to expand your houseplant knowledge? Try these resources!