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Growing Anthurium From Seed

Hands down the question I get asked most often is with regards to growing anthurium seedlings: "What medium should I use?", "How long can they stay in moss?", "When should I water?", "How much?"etc. Below is how I grow anthurium from seed. I am not an expert, nor should this be taken as gospel, goal here is not to create a recipe you will follow exactly, instead I'm hoping to give you confidence to care for your tiny anthurium by sharing my routine whilst highlighting that plant care is individual, open to interpretation, and dependent on growing conditions like temperature, humidity, light, your habits as a plant parent, etc. Be as creative as you like, experiment fearlessly, research to your hearts content, or don't. Make your plant journey your own.


Anthurium Infructescence

This is an anthurium infructescence. Most of the berries in the photo are ripe and ready to be picked, each berry will contain one to two seeds.

Cleaned Anthurium Seeds

Having cleaned the seeds I will go about germinating them. Most common way of germinating anthurium seeds is on a bed of moist sphagnum moss, in an environment of extreme humidity. This may be achieved in a simple takeout container with a lid, in a greenhouse, tent or similar. To germinate, these little babies, will need to be fairly warm, I am not sure what the ideal temperature is but mine is around 70-82F.

Alternatives to moss are soil mixes, tree fern fiber, coco chips (still experimenting with), fluval (haven't tried but hear great things about), etc. Personally, for the time being, I still use moss, most of the time.

Anthurium Seeds in Moss

Healthy seeds will generally germinate within a few short days. I make sure moss stays moist, and open the lid every few days. At this stage you shouldn't need to add more water, your mini greenhouse (takeout box:) is maintaining extreme humidity levels, especially without plant roots to absorb all that excess moisture.

In case moss was on the dry (ish) side to begin with I may spray using continuous water bottle.

Germinated Seed

Now the fun part! You may have acquired a germinated seed...

Or a seedling as small as this one here. At this stage, in my care, they are still happily living in moss. I keep an eye on the mini greenhouse, and should moss dry out, as before I will spray with water. With potentially dozens of seedlings in the same container, and their growing roots competing for space and moisture, moss will be drying out at a faster rate than before, however do take care not to drown and rot your little seedlings!

Anthurium Seedling

This is how my seedlings travel, cozy in a mini greenhouse of their own. Question I get asked most often is "How long can they stay in the little cup?". The answer is - for quite a while. If you're opening the lid every couple of days to encourage air movement (you will because you're nosy like me:), gently spraying moss when it's almost dry, providing warmth and light, your seedling can stay in this cup for quite a while. Definitely a week, even a few, I know some of you have kept your seedlings in this set up until roots have filled up bottom of the cup. Personally I like to move my seedling to soil based medium sooner rather than later. Moss has no nutrients necessary for healthy growth, in my opinion seedlings planted in other mediums grow significantly faster.

Anthurium Seedling

Most of my anthurium seedlings are potted up at this stage, moved from sphagnum moss to a soil based medium. I gently untangle fragile roots, don't get upset if I break a few, and immediately plant in a 2.5" pot.

Mix above is made using simple potting soil from Home Depot and perlite. I do not have a recipe or a ratio to give you but there's A LOT of perlite. This is basic, affordable and does the job beautifully. When I'm feeling fancy I add small orchid bark, coco chips, charcoal etc. But I should mention that I don't often feel fancy.

Tiny seedling potted up and ready to grow! If you look carefully in this image you may be able to see a couple of bits of slow release fertilizer, however I do not recommend adding it at this stage. Especially if your temperatures are as high as mine! Osmocote and such are temperature activated and will most likely burn fragile little roots. I personally wait about a month before introducing fertilizer but I do encourage you to figure out optimal time for your growing conditions.

From here on it's usually smooth sailing. As mentioned before my temperatures are consistently 70-82F, humidity is 85-90% (although I don't feel that this is necessary!), medium light, and I do my best to provide as good of an air flow as I possibly can. I water when the top of the soil appears to start drying out. Young seedlings will usually be potted up once roots are growing out of the bottom of the pot.

Hope you will find this helpful, and not terribly boring! Hope it brings you closer to successfully growing your own anthurium from seed. I like to joke that my plants thrive on gentle neglect, so try not to stress, or be too hard on yourselves, enjoy the process!

xx M


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