Uses and benefits of anthurium plants supported by leading research studies
Beautiful, glossy and colorful, Anthurium plants are a favorite among indoor gardeners for good reason. Native to the warm, humid rainforests of Latin America, these lovely tropical plants add a dash of drama to any space and are rich in meaning and symbolism. But Anthuriums are not just beautiful: They offer a number of uses and benefits, from cleaner air to stress reduction. Read on to learn more about the many uses and benefits of anthurium plants.
About anthurium plants
Anthurium plants belong to the genus Anthurium, also known as flamingo lilies or tail flowers. This genus is the largest in the family Araceae and contains more than 1,000 species.
Anthurium plants are native to the tropical regions of Mexico, the Caribbean and other areas of Central and South America. There they grow in the rainforest’s rich soil, high humidity and dappled light. Often, Anthurium grows as epiphytes or plants that live on wood, trees or other structures.
Although there are many species of Anthurium, the most common is that grown as a houseplant A. andraeanum. This type of Anthurium grows to about 3 feet tall and 2 feet wide. Rarer species include the likes of Anthurium crystallinum. It has glossy, dark green foliage with rounded edges. Anthurium is loved for its dramatic, colorful flowers, which are not actually flowers.
Rather, Anthurium plants produce heart-shaped spathes or bracts. They bloom in a range of colors, from pale pink to orange and red. The waxy spades have a yellow spadix, which stands out dramatically. The plant’s actual flowers are small and inconspicuous.
Anthurium remains green all year round and can flower several times a year. But their stunning appearance is not all these plants have to offer. They also provide many benefits to the indoor gardener.
The benefits of anthurium plants
Here you will find nine incredible uses and benefits of Anthurium plants backed by leading research studies from around the world.
1) Air purifying properties
In 1989, NASA released research detailing the ability of several common houseplants to remove toxins from the air. A. sophomore was among the plants studied and the results show that Anthurium can help improve indoor air quality.
How does this work? Indoor air often contains harmful pollutants, such as carbon dioxide, formaldehyde, benzene, toluene and trichlorethylene. The study also found that indoor plants can help reduce pollutants such as cigarette smoke and organic solvents. Anthurium was found to be particularly good at reducing the amount of formaldehyde, xylene and ammonia in the air.
2) The benefits of anthurium plants in Feng Shui
In the spiritual and aesthetic practice of Feng Shui, Anthurium can be used to attract positive energy. Consider placing the plants in a southwest location in a room or your house. Here they can both facilitate happiness and good relationships and ward off shaor negative energy.
Anthurium is also associated with wealth, thanks to its red spades and yellow spadics. The strategic placement of these colorful plants in the home is believed to promote prosperity.
3) Low maintenance and easy care
Anthurium plants are easy to care for and do not require much maintenance, especially when provided with the optimal growing environment. They grow slowly, so they don’t need much feeding and only need to be replanted every two or three years. In addition, they are not bothered by many pests or diseases.
The key is to replicate the conditions of their natural habitat, the patchy, hot and humid tropical rainforest. Of course, you don’t want the inside of your home to be 85 degrees F with 90 percent humidity. But you can mimic certain conditions, such as:
Look out for yellowing or brown anthurium leaves which can be signs of care problems.
4) Ornamental value
Anthurium plants have great ornamental value and add a tropical aesthetic to any space. That’s one of the main reasons they’re so popular, even on the Forbes list of best indoor plants. Their leaves are deep green and glossy all year round, with attractive, softly rounded margins.
Anthurium blooms all year round with attractive, colorful spades. These heart-shaped, waxy flowers add color and shine to the room. Their upright yellow tips add a touch of drama and texture that draws the eye.
5) Easy to propagate
Propagation offers an inexpensive way to grow your collection of indoor plants. Anthurium is easy to propagate by division.
When your Anthurium grows large enough to need reporting — usually every two to three years, or when you see roots starting to stick out of drainage holes or come through the top of the soil — remove the plant from its pot. Carefully separate and tease apart the roots. You will end up with at least two, and maybe more, plants. Each can be planted separately.
Professional growers usually propagate Anthurium through tissue samples. If you choose this type of propagation, use a very well-draining potting mix that contains an equal ratio of peat, perlite and bark. Aim for an acidic pH of 6.0 to 6.5, a temperature between 70 and 90 degrees F, and high humidity.
It is worth noting that Anthurium plants are considered somewhat toxic to humans and pets, so it is wise to wear a pair of gloves when handling these plants.
6) Help relieve allergies
If you experience allergies, adding an Anthurium to your home can help alleviate your symptoms. Studies show that indoor plants can help remove microbes and pollutants, such as mold spores, from the air. Some of these pollutants play a role in allergies.
Indoor plants such as Anthurium can also help increase humidity. This can cause pollutants, such as pollen, to fall out of circulation. Try placing an Anthurium near your bed or desk and see if your allergies subside.
7) Reduces stress and improves mental health
Just having plants around can help lower stress levels, which can help improve mental health. Studies suggest that looking at green leaves helps people feel calmer.
For example, a study of stress levels in high school students looked at two groups: one attended class in a room with plants and one in a room without plants. Students in the plant-filled classroom reported lower levels of stress and anxiety.
Just having flowers in the home or workplace increases happiness. Even looking at pictures of flowers can help people feel better and relieve stress! Studies show that looking at flowers has physiological effects, including lowering levels of cortisol (stress hormone) and lowering blood pressure.
8) Increases productivity and memory
Plants can even increase productivity. Research shows that employees in plant-filled workplaces are more emotionally, cognitively and physically involved in their work. This resulted in 15 percent higher productivity levels.
Similarly, studies show that people are better able to perform tasks and have increased concentration when they are around plants. In spaces with ornamental plants, employees are more thorough and produce higher quality work. Just being out in nature has been shown to improve memory and concentration by 20 percent!
9) Filter odors
As research shows, indoor plants like Anthurium help clean the air through a process called phytoremediation. Along with removing harmful pollutants, plants can filter out pollutants that carry unpleasant odors.
Cigarette smoke, solvents and other substances that simply don’t smell good – such as the volatile organic compounds released by carpet, paint, glue and other building products – tend to linger in indoor air. But thanks to the purifying ability of the plants, these unpleasant odors can be filtered out.
Anthurium plant benefits – the final word
Anthurium plants add tropical style to any room with their glossy, dark lichens and dramatic spades. But that’s not all these attractive plants provide. From fresh air to reduced stress, more productivity to ease of care and propagation, Anthuriums offer many uses and benefits for any indoor gardener.
If you’re looking for your next anthurium plant, see our in-depth guide to the best plant stores that supply anthurium nationwide.