How to propagate anthuriums?

Anthurium Propagation

The first step is to identify which plants you hope to cross. Do you want to make a new hybrid or just set seed on a particular species?

Some people would rather never see a hybrid, but interesting plants can result. For example, it’s difficult for me to grow both A. warocqueanum and A. papillilaminum in the summer here in South Florida. They just don’t like the heat. However I have a hybrid of the two, originally done by John Banta that grows like gangbusters!

Setting seed among the same species is a great way to increase the diversity. Cuttings are just going to be copies of the plant you started with, but your seedlings will vary a bit. Some are stronger than others, some grow larger, etc.

On an inflorescence the female flowers mature first, followed by the male a little later including pollen production. The inflorescence is ready to accept pollen when tiny droplets of moisture, stigmatic fluid, can be seen on the spadix. This is referred to as anthesis. Often there is even a scent associated with this event. These are pheromones that would normally attract pollinators. In this case, that would be you. First use a paintbrush, your fingers, or collect fresh pollen into a paper towel. Then brush or rub the pollen onto the receptive female flowers. Do this for a couple days in a row if possible. (What the heck, right?). Basically, the biology of it is easy… You need a receptive female spadix AND fresh pollen from another plant. The female flowers are usually only ready for a day or so.

One of the main roadblocks to pollination is not being able to have two inflorescences ready at the same time. It’s a good idea to freeze pollen if there is a specific plant you want to put the pollen on. You can achieve this by using a paintbrush to brush the fresh pollen onto aluminum foil, fold it over, label it and then put the whole thing in a freezer zip lock bag. Make sure you label it with the name of the plant it came from. It’s also a good idea to label the inflorescence you put the pollen on with the pollination information on it. Believe me, you will NOT remember what pollen you slapped on which plant 6 months down the road, especially if you are doing many crosses.

Sometimes very different looking Anthuriums from within the genus can be crossed, but usually plants from different ‘sections’ will not cross… much to my annoyance. I mean, we all need a velvety leaved A. veitchii, right? Obviously there are exceptions.

For some reason I find many of my most mature plants will self pollinate nearly every time they flower. It is impossible to tell if pollen I meticulously applied “took” and will result in a way cool new hybrid, or just selfed again until the resulting seeds are planted and have grown out. If they are eaten by snails or succumb to fungus, you can be assured that your hybrid probably had been a success!

It can take many months for the berries to form before you see if your pollination efforts have been a success. The mature berries can be many different colors depending on the species. Red, purple, orange, red, white, or even green. Usually the color is the same among plants belonging to the same section.

Anthurium Hawaii

Anthurium Propagation: Seeds, Cuttings & Tissue Culture

There are three ways to propagate anthurium plants: you can take cuttings; you can grow them from seeds; or you can tissue culture them. Cuttings are easy for anyone to do. Seeds are a little more difficult to do, and tissue culture is generally reserved for scientists in labs or really advanced anthurium cultivators.

Anthurium Cuttings

Cuttings are by far the easiest way to propagate your anthurium plant. The best part about taking cuttings is that the plants you produce will look exactly the same as the parent plant. First, you must wait until your plant is big enough to allow a cutting to be taken. Generally you’ll want to see at least four nodes, or sets of leaves and roots, before taking a cutting. Once your plant is big enough, cut it in half, so that each portion has at least two nodes. Leave the base of your plant in its original pot and it will generate new growth. Then put the top cutting into a new pot, water it regularly and it will keep growing, too.

Anthurium Seeds

Anthurium Seeds

Anthurium seeds are another way to propagate your plant. However it is a much more difficult process and takes a lot more patience. The stigma and stamen of these flowers are active at different times, so if you want to produce seeds you will have to store pollen in the freezer or have two flowers at different stages of development. So the first thing you have to do is gather pollen. Use a paint brush to scrape pollen off the stamen and into a vial. Keep this vial in the freezer until you see that the stigmas are ready to be pollinated. Once you have a flower with receptive stigmas dust a little pollen over it. Next you will have to wait for approximately a year for seeds to be produced.

Anthurium Tissue Culture

Tissue culture is almost exclusive done within the confines of a lab, with the exception of really high end hobbyists and growers. It is best left to commercial growers because it is very expensive and is generally used when one wants to produce thousands of genetically identical plants. So how does an anthurium farmer tissue culture an anthurium plant?

Baby Anthurium Plants

First, the anthurium farmer chooses an ideal specimen. This specimen will be replicated thousands of times, so a lot of time and effort is put into choosing the very best specimen available. Once this precious plant is selected, the farmer takes it to a lab.

In the lab, a scientist confirms that the specimen is healthy and then chops off a piece of it. Then the scientist will sterilize the sample and put it into a beaker that contains an agar based gel. This beaker also contains special plant hormones that trigger the sample to form a callus, which is an undifferentiated mass of plant cells.

The callus is divided into many portions and then allowed to grow once more. This method is replicated multiple times. Once sufficient material is created, the calluses are moved to a growing media which contains plant hormones that cause the undifferentiated cells to transform into roots and shoots. This causes hundreds of plantlets to sprout from every callus.

After the plantlets have grown sufficiently, they’re transplanted into brand new flasks to mature further. Once they have reached a size where they can survive in open air, they are removed from the beakers and transferred into pots. These new plants are allowed to mature in the tightly controlled conditions of a plant nursery for a while. Then, after they have adjusted to growing in open air, they’re returned to the farmer for transplanting into his fields.

Category: Anthurium Plants Tags: anthurium cuttings, anthurium propagation, anthurium seeds, anthurium tissue culture

Seed Propagating Anthuriums: Learn About Planting Anthurium Seeds

Anthurium plants don’t reliably produce fruit, which can make gathering and growing their seed a problem unless you have another seed source. Cuttings are a far easier way to get a new plant, but if you are up for an adventure, some tips on planting anthurium seeds can help you find success. Propagating anthuriums from seed will also require some tricks to make the tiny flowers fertile, as the stigma and stamen are active at different times. Only some pollen saving and tickling can produce any fruit and therefore any seeds.

How to Get Seed from Anthurium

Anthurium flowers are both male and female with the female flowers coming first. This means that unless you have several plants with flowers in different stages of development and of different sexes, an individual anthurium is unlikely to produce fruit. With no fruit, you have no seeds. In order for anthurium propagation by seed to occur, you will need to solve this problem.

Propagating anthuriums from seed begins with tricking your plant into producing that needed seed. The flowers are first female and then turn into males, which emit pollen. Collect the pollen from a ripe male and store it in the refrigerator. To tell if you have a receptive female, the spadix will be bumpy and may be exuding some liquid.

Get your pollen and a tiny art paintbrush and apply pollen to the swollen spadix. The whole process is a lot easier with several anthurium plants, which develop at different times. This is probably how you are going to have to source seed, as it is not readily available. Anthurium propagation by seed is not the favored method, since cuttings and tissue culture are more common.

After pollinating the spadix, the organ will undergo some changes, gradually. Fruits will take 6 to 7 months to develop. Ripe fruits bulge from the spadix, become orange and are quite easy to pull out of the organ.

The seeds inside the fruits are covered in sticky pulp, which needs to be washed off before anthurium seed propagation. The best way to achieve this is to soak the seed several times, swirling the liquid to help wash off the pulp. When seeds are clean, lay them on a paper towel to dry.

Planting Anthurium Seeds

Anthurium seed propagation requires proper planting and continued care. Flats are good containers for planting anthurium seeds. The best planting medium is vermiculite which has been previously moistened. Lightly press the seed into the vermiculite, leaving an inch between.

Covering the container will speed up germination, as it increases heat and conserves moisture. Place the flat where temperatures are at least 70 degrees Fahrenheit (21 C.), using a seed mat if necessary. Keep an eye on the soil and container, however. If too much moisture builds up, take the cover off for a bit to allow excess moisture to evaporate and the seedlings to breathe.

Once germination is achieved, you can remove the cover. Gently move seedlings to individual containers and follow general anthurium care. These little starts can take up to 4 years to produce the lovely spathe, so just be patient.

Seed propagating anthuriums is not the most popular method due to its proclivities, but it sure will be fun when you have your own crowd of these special plants.

How To Propagate Your Anthurium

If you have an anthurium plant that you love, you can easily propagate it so that you will eventually have several plants. Each of the plants that you produce will be exact clones of the parent plant, so that you will have exact replicas of the plant that you enjoy. It is really easy to do and all that is required are cutting shears, extra pots and potting soil.

First you have to make sure your plant is big enough for propagation. Ideally, you should wait until the stem of your plant is a foot or more long and so unwieldy that it is starting to bend from its own weight. When plants make it to this size, it is traditionally the time when anthurium farmers propagate and replant their fields.

Once your plant is big enough to propagate, you will need to sterilize your cutting shears by wiping them down with rubbing alcohol, and then you will need to clip off the top of your plant about six inches down from the growing tip. You should leave two to three nodes (groups of leaves and roots) on the portion of the plant that you have cut off. Next plant the top in a new pot and water it regularly and it will continue growing.

Do not discard the base of your plant. After you have cut the top of it off, it will start to sprout one or more new plants from its nodes. Just keep on watering and caring for it as if it was its regular old self and eventually you will see new growth from it. Let the new growth develop for a while until it has several sets of mature leaves and then you can take additional cuttings. Plant these cuttings in new pots and care for them the same way as you did for the top cutting.

By now you should have several new anthurium plants. It is amazing how one plant can turn into two or more new plants with such a simple process as taking cuttings. You can let these plants grow for a while and then you can repeat the process over and over again to produce as many plants as you would like.

“Hello Dr. Kris
I have an anthurium blooming plant, kept indoors, and I would like to know the steps to take and tips to keep in mind to create a new anthurium plant from the existing one. I am not experienced and this would be my first try. Thank you very much!

As you would already know, Anthurium make ideal indoor houseplants, and you can easily propagate them by dividing the off-shoots or runners. Since the mid 1980′s, the popularity of Anthurium as a flowering pot plant has increased dramatically and it has also become a popular cut flower for sale in florists. Anthuriums are members of the same family as the Arum lily (Araceae).A distinguishing feature of this family is the typical, cup-shaped flower. In its natural environment Anthurium grows in the Andes Mountains of Central and South America, where they prefer shady humid locations. It is characterized by its shiny dark foliage and its heart shaped flowers widely available in variations of red, white and pink. The flower can bloom all year long if cared for correctly. Their preferred growing conditions are warm temperatures and indirect or filtered sunlight. They do like lots of water and humidity (misting), but they certainly don’t want to sit wet, as that would certainly be the quickest way to rot them. Make sure to drain any surplus water from the drip tray that the container is sitting in. and it is also very important that they are planted in a well draining soil or potting mix. You can ensure good drainage by putting pebbles or stones in the bottom of the pot to a depth of 3 inches.

It is possible to quickly create many, many more plants through cuttings. It is common to transplant anthurium plants every year, as they tend to grow to the outer bounds of their pots quite fast. To multiply or to propagate from cutting is a rewarding and straight forward procedure. For the home gardener, the easiest methods of propagation are by stem cuttings, layering and division of offsets that sprout laterally from the base of the plant. It can also be propagated from seeds which are rarely available, and commercially by tissue culture.

I would like to show you how to divide and multiply by stem cuttings, step by step, with photos. The simplest fastest and easiest method to multiply these plants is by taking a top cutting. Simply wait until the stem of the anthurium has grown up to 50cm or more in height and then take a top cutting, by slicing the woody stem of your plant at a length a little more than half of its height. This will encourage the lower portion to produce new off-shoots or runners. Plant the top cutting in potting mix or soil which drains well and keep looking after the parent plant. Ultimately the parent plant will develop new foliage along with the new top cutting. On the parent, any stem node or off-shoot with aerial roots or any slight indication of them is an ideal candidate for new growth, which can be further cut out and divided. Here is a step-by-step guide to a slightly more involved method of dividing by leaf nodes. This method is much more productive.

Step 1 Step one of the process basically follows the aforementioned top cutting method. When the plant has grown tall with thick woody stems, cut off the top crown of the stem with a sharp knife and replant it into new pot. Leave the remaining lower portion of the stem (the parent) in the pot and with regular care it will develop bushy off-shoots all along the nodes and even from the base as seen in the picture. Allow these young plants to mature and produce their own aerial roots before severing them from the parent trunk to pot them individually or in a set of 2 -3 plants depending on the pot size.

Step 2 Remove each individual stem from the soil, by wetting the soil and gently spading out. Try to gently remove one at a time from the pot. It is usually quite easy as they are not deep rooted plants. There in the picture at Step 2, you can see a more detailed view of the stem, with off-shoots and their associated aerial root nodes. Now you can remove these off-shoots to produce new plants.

Step 3 You should be able to see separate growths, and break them apart at those points. Use a sharp knife to separate individual offshoots from the stem, by cutting about half to one inch above and below the node along the stem, being careful to retain the aerial roots. Usually you choose an off shoot or a separate stem with many leaves on it. Cut this as close to its base as you can, and separate it from the main stem. From the main stem in the picture at Step 2, we were able to remove two off-shoots with aerial roots, which can be seen cut, removed and ready to plant, as in the photo at Step 3.

Step 4 Plant the new cuttings in moist soil and out of direct sun for two weeks. It can also be transplanted straight into the ground. Misting a few times a week will help the plant look more vigorous and fresh. It is important not to plant too deep or too shallow. A good guideline is for the aerial roots to be just penetrating the soil while the growing point still captures light. By repeating Steps 2 and 3 you will be able to produce many plants in a short period of time.

One common problem with anthurium plants is pests such as aphids. To keep pests to a minimum keep the soil clear from dead foliage and always drain excess water from the drip tray. You can also mist with a mixture of soapy water to deter pests. This houseplant can be toxic in high doses so be mindful of this when it is kept in the vicinity of children and pets.

Anthuriums are hardy plants and with proper care will reward you endlessly with beautiful and lasting blooms. Good luck and happy propagating!

Dr. Kris
Garden Doctor
Contact: [email protected]
Copyright © 2011 Dr. Kris
You can read all past articles of Garden Doctor at

Anthurium Sweet Queen Flower

Producing some of the most admired flowers on the planet anthuriums come in about 1000 species that are native to South America. They exist as both epiphytes and ground dwellers. Their Family is called Araceae(Aroids) and their Genus is Anthurium. Anthuriums andraeanun and Anthurium scherzerianum are the only Anthuriums that produce bright red bracts.

These two species are the basis for modern day breeding programmes. Both the colourful spathe and upright spadix vary in size, shape, colour and texture. These two Anthuriums like to multiply. As the plant gets older and bigger so do its leaves grow bigger. As the leaves grow bigger so do the showy bracts.

Watch our video on Anthurium Care! Anthuriums are easy care.


When your Anthurium arrives:
1. Do not water it to saturation…..notice how thich the roots are almost as thick as an orchid. Thick roots are the first indication that it does not like to be wet all the time.
2. Do not repot it unless the weather is warm spring to mid autumn
3. This plant develops aerial roots …and it is not unusual to see them at an early age.

Care Notes

1. This plant needs great drainage, warm conditions north of Coffs Harbour NSW or Geraldton WA or protected coastal conditions elsewhere. And filtered light or morning sun. The latest hybrids from Holland are having more cold tolerance built into them.

2. Beware of peat type potting mixes…these are fine for the nursery that grew them under protected controlled conditions but once these mixes get wet for a long period they get very soggy & unsuitable for Anthuriums. This goes fo a lot of plants.
3. A suitable potting mix is a mix of coarse 10-15mm composted bark (say 40%) plus 10% Charcoal and 50% regular well drained potting mix.

4. Keep tight rooted. Do not overpot

5. Its white roots are quite thick….all plants with these type of roots and all orchids do not like being overpotted or overwet.

6. What you get away with in the tropics is not what you can do in cooler areas. In our area you start getting growth at about 28oC. The flowers will fall off when temperatures start dropping below 10oC.

7. Use a little slow release fertiliser with trace elements like osmocote for the pot. Spray your balanced N:P:K liquid fertilisers and your fish/kelp fertilisers all along the plant as it grows.. Spray worm vermicaste solution if you are fair dinkum for great plants and to help your plant thru winter. . See our vermicaste application video.

8. Grow under light shade, filtered light or very early morning sun.

Planting Outside

6. If you wish to experiment planting in the garden you need a warm winter climate. Plant in part shade or early morning sun. Plant it in something like coarse pine bark or well drained compost and a good mix of charcoal in a well drained spot. You need a well drained dryish spot and not somewhere that is cold & wet in winter.


Anthuriums can be divided (see video) but do it only in the warm months from say October to March. You don’t want too much rain on them soon after dividing. Cut the roots back bt about 40%.

The plants can also be cut at the base (see video) and they will reshoot. You can replant the tops if they have some aerial roots……the aerial roots need to be placed under the surface & they will become regular underground roots.

Prepared By Bob Chalmers Paradise Distributors…June 2014

Most of us are adventurous & just dive in when trying something we do not have experience with. This works most of the time but not always!!!

Its easy to grow Anthuriums when you know how…….

Get Access to More of Our Free Previous Tips Here >>

When is the best time to repot?

  • Roots are growing through the drainage holes of the pots.
  • There is dying or wilting foliage even after watering.
  • There is a long, elongated stem with no lower leaves.

How to do it:

1. Water the plant well a few hours before repotting, as a moist root ball is much easier to work with and reduces transplant stress.

2. Now slide the anthurium out of the pot and tease the root ball, removing excess soil and releasing the roots.

3. If there are multiple stems that need to be divided, use a pair of sharp, clean secateurs and cut through the roots to divide the offsets. Remove any dead or damaged leaves and brown leaf scales on the stem of the plant.

4. The offsets normally have long stems that need to be shortened. As a rule of thumb, leave about 5cm of stem below the leaves. You will notice little roots along the stem, which is the start of your new root system.

5. Repot into a pot one or two sizes larger than the existing pot. Place gravel in the base of the pot for drainage and to prevent the soil from escaping through the holes. Try and match up the soil type to the original mix – this is normally a mix of 1 part peat, 1 part perlite and 3 parts potting soil. (An orchid bark mix can be used instead of peat and perlite.) Place a small amount of the mixture on top of the gravel, filling the pot to one third. Place the offset into the pot, ensuring that the top of the offset where the leaves emerge is level with the lip of the pot.

6. Now fill the pot with the soil mixture, then tap the pot vigorously to ensure that the soil mixture secures and anchors the new offset. Water well with a mixture of EcoBuz Startgro and place the newly potted anthurium in a well-lit position.

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