Anthurium veitchii or the King Anthurium is one of the most recognizable and coveted species of anthurium grown as houseplants.
It’s not difficult to see why, as this species produces beautiful leaves that can reach 6 feet long if the conditions are right for the plant.
As an epiphyte, this can make the care a little difficult as a houseplant, but with a few adjustments, there’s no reason why you can’t grow one of your own.
These plants are absolutely stunning and definitely worth the extra effort. Not sure if Anthurium veitchii will thrive in your home? Here’s everything you need to know.
How To Care For The King Anthurium
Sunlight And Position
As these plants grow on other plants in the wild, they don’t tend to see a lot of direct sunlight. As a result, they can’t stand more than a few hours of direct sunlight, so this is something you need to keep in mind.
Indoors, light tends to be much weaker as it’s filtered by the glass, so a few hours of direct sunlight will give the plant a boost, as long as it is morning sun which tends to be much weaker than afternoon rays.
If you can, give this plant an Eastern-facing window, which will give the plant the sunlight it needs, without too much that it will scorch the plant.
You could use a grow light if your home is very dark, or if you want to grow this plant in an enclosed environment to make it easier.
King Anthuriums require temperatures between 60°F and 80°F in order to grow happily, as well as being kept away from sources of heat, cold, or drafts that could dry out the air.
Before you go and buy an anthurium, it’s worth noting that these plants love a lot of humidity (see also The Secret To Getting Anthurium Clarinervium To Thrive).
Exactly how much depends on the species you go for, and when it comes to Anthurium veitchii, it tends to be higher than other plants need.
While you would get away with grouping plants together for this to create a microclimate, this isn’t enough for a King Anthurium.
The best way to improve the humidity for a King Anthurium is to use a humidifier, and between 50 and 60% is the ideal range.
These plants will grow noticeably better in rooms with higher levels of humidity, and it will also stop the beautiful leaves from crisping up.
In rooms with higher humidity, it is important to make sure that the air can circulate freely, to avoid risk of fungal diseases taking hold of your plants.
To mitigate this, crack open a window (which you should do anyway to prevent mold), or use a fan.
The Ideal Soil Mix For Anthurium Veitchii
Never use generic houseplant compost for a king anthurium. The drainage is not sharp enough to be adequate, which means that when you water your king anthurium, it’s likely to drown.
Don’t forget that this plant is an epiphyte, which means that it’s not used to soil.
But you can adapt houseplant compost to make it suitable for a king anthurium, if you have some to hand already.
You could use a mixture of houseplant compost, perlite, orchid bark, and horticultural charcoal, making sure that all parts bar the charcoal are even, as you only need a little charcoal.
Or, if you have sphagnum moss, you could plant your king anthurium in that, or mix it equally with some orchid bark.
It’s worth noting that you will need to adapt the watering schedule to the kind of potting mix you use, as different types dry out at different rates.
For instance, sphagnum moss will hold onto water for a very long time, so always check the moisture level before you water the plant, holding off until the surface has dried.
What Kind Of Pot Should You Use For A King Anthurium?
Hanging pots tend to do better than normal containers when it comes to growing a King Anthurium.
The reason for this is the way the plant grows: the leaves can get 6 feet tall, so the plant will need plenty of room around it so that the foliage does not get damaged.
A good type of hanging pot to use is the one typically used for Vanda orchids. These allow for plenty of room, but you may need to put some mesh or something similar at the bottom to stop the potting media from falling out when the water drains.
When To Water And Fertilize Your King Anthurium
One thing to note about anthuriums is that they aren’t used to dry spells in their native environment, so they are poorly adapted to drought conditions.
Give them plenty of water (and as long as the potting mix drains sharply, this should not cause root rot). Ensure that you soak all the soil when you water.
You can also give this plant a boost by feeding it occasionally during the growing season, around every fourth watering or so. Use a balanced, liquid houseplant feed, following the dosage on the label.
Avoid feeding this plant during fall and winter, when the plant is not actively growing.
Can You Propagate King Anthurium?
You can propagate King Anthuriums using cross pollination, as long as you have two flowering plants, or one flowering plant and someone who is willing to give you some pollen from their plant.
Or, you can use a stem cutting with at least a few nodes, rooting it in moist sphagnum moss or another damp medium.
Anthurium Veitchii: Narrow And Wide Leaf Forms
It’s helpful to know that the King Anthurium is sold in two forms: a narrow form, and a wide form.
This refers to how far apart or close together the lateral veins form on the leaves. As you might imagine, the veins are closer together in the narrower form.
It’s worth pointing out that these veins won’t be prominent on young leaves. What they lack in texture, they make up for in their beautiful coppery hue, which deepens into a dark green as these leaves get older.
As the foliage and the plant matures, the corrugated texture becomes more prominent, and the texture also changes, becoming leathery.
A Note On Toxicity
It’s worth noting that King Anthuriums are toxic, as they contain calcium oxalate crystals.
King Anthuriums are stunning plants that make a great addition to any houseplant collection, provided that you can give them the right kind of light and high enough humidity for them to thrive.