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Anthurium Bright Emergents, Nature v Nurture?

In the last few years Anthurium hybrids with bright red, pink or purple emergent leaves became unbelievably popular, and though it is undeniable that good genes are a must i.e. plant naturally has a tendency towards bright pink emergent leaves it is my belief that light conditions contribute greatly to the color intensity.

Whilst hybrids created with Tim Andersons' Wonderboy, i.e. Red Crystallinum and Doc Block hybrids are possibly the most popular ones in the beutiful emergents department a lot can be said for many other anthuriums with stunning emergent leaves. In fact most anthurium emerge red to some degree.

Ace of Spades x Magnificum Verde

Ace of Spades x Magnificum Verde

Video and two photos above are all of my far too frequently photographed Anthurium Ace of Spades x Magnificum Verde. Both AOS and Mag V have beautiful emergent leaves but I am yet to see either of the two quite as incredible as this particular plant. It emerges almost completely black. Only upon closer inspection one is able to notice deep almost blood red veining and purple tinge throughout the blade. Once fully opened leaf starts fading to pink and purple tones seen above with almost neon orange veining. It continues to expand in this purple stage and only when fully expanded starts shifting into more of a chocolatey tone. Eventually of course it darkens to a gorgeous deep green with a blue grey sheen. One of my all time favorites.

This plant came to me a few years ago with a beautiful leaf shape and an unremarkable new leaf slowly expanding. I placed it in quite a high light, in the grow tent with majority of my precious collection and within a few weeks I got to observe what I still consider to be the most beautiful emergent leaf. Over time this vigorous grower decided to take up far too much room in my tent so it got moved into the living room, with humidity of around 50% and considerably lower light levels. Due to its' size and maturity ( I think!) plant handled lower humidity like a rockstar. The only difference I observed was less frequent flowering, and due to lower light, more of a dull emergent color. This and subsequently growing a number of Red Crystallinum and Doc Block hybrids in varying conditions and light levels, has convinced me that light, direct sunlight included, plays a huge part in the color of emergent blades.

Ace of Spades x Magnificum Verde growing in ambient conditions, in medium to low light. No complaints I still find this to be incredibly beautiful!

Anthurium Red Crystallinum above responded beautifully to increased light levels and rewarded me with the most incredible purple tones. Similarly as the one below.

One anthurium perhaps not immediately thought of when talking about bright emergents is Black Velvet Eastern Panama. We usually refer to its' pillowy, almost black velvet blades but how about its' red emergents?

Same Leaf Hardened Off, Anthurium Black Velvet Eastern Panama, BVEP

At the time quite young, this plant, was growing outdoors, regularly bathing in a couple of hours of direct morning sun.

Bright emergent colors are often contributed to drop in temperatures, but in my experience great genes, coupled with bright light is in fact recipe for success. Nature + Smart Nurture = Happy Gorgeous Plants ❤️❤️❤️ In addition higher light levels contribute to more vigorous growth and happier plants, what's there not to like?

Young Anthurium Dressleri, not often admired for its' emergent leaves.

Remember to be patient though, if you are growing from seed or a very young seedling it will take time for your plant to start displaying these beautiful showy characteristics. Anthurium Dresssleri above is about a year old and up until this newest one, emergents were more of a pale brown. The leaf above literarily stopped me in my tracks couple of days ago. Use your judgement of course, if your plants are currently growing in low light conditions / have recently arrived in the mail / are a very young seedling - increase light gradually, feed and water them regularly.

But most importantly enjoy and have fun with it!!

xx M

p.s. check out some of my favorite red, pink and purple pumpkins in the gallery below.


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