The Mess-Free Way To Grow Anthurium In Water Indoors

Bring a bit of tropical flair into your home with an easy-to-grow anthurium, a striking plant that can thrive in just a vase of water. Found growing wild in the American tropics, anthurium is topped with bright, heart-shaped "flowers" that are actually leaves. Its topmost colorful leaf is called a "spathe," which surrounds a vertical spike called a "spadix." Anthurium spathes are most often red, but you can also find plants with pink, white, or even green spathes. 

Any indoor gardener knows the frustration of a toppled potted plant, be it from enthusiastic pets or a wayward vacuum cord. Eschew the potting soil in favor of a vase for anthurium. There are plenty of indoor plants that can grow in water indefinitely, and this low-maintenance plant is one of them. This member of the Arum family is ready to become part of your mess-free indoor garden once you follow some simple steps. With a clear vase, some mineral water, and some plant food, you have the makings for a tidy addition to your home.

How to grow healthy anthurium in water

There's no need to put on gardening gloves to get this plant growing. Gather your anthurium, a clean, clear vase, some room-temperature water, and a package of houseplant food, and you're ready to set up your plant for success. A clear vase allows you to keep an eye on root growth, and you can get creative by upcycling glass jars you already own.

If your plant is already established in some soil, it can still grow beautifully in a vase of water. Simply remove the plant from the soil, rinse the roots thoroughly, and set it in your prepared vase. To keep your anthurium from experiencing too much stress, be sure to use room-temperature water in both the vase and for cleaning soil from the anthurium's roots. Place the plant in the vase before adding the water, and fill it with enough liquid to cover only the roots. It's best to use mineral water to provide the anthurium with more nutrients. However, filtered water is also okay.

Potted plants get many of their nutrients from the soil. Since it's growing only in water, your anthurium will need a regular nutrient boost to make up for what it's not getting from potting soil. Start the plant off right by adding some plant food or hydroponic fertilizer to the water according to the directions on the package or bottle. Set your anthurium in a warm area with indirect light and watch it flourish!

Caring for your water-dwelling anthurium

While it's nice not dealing with potting soil using this method, it does come with other minor challenges. Plants growing only in water need more frequent attention than ones growing in soil. Properly caring for your anthurium is not intensive, but water-dwelling anthurium requires regular maintenance–a little more involved than what you do for your soil-bound plants. It's important to change the water at least monthly–if not every two weeks, adding more plant food each time. Anthuriums, especially those living in water, shouldn't sit in direct light. Anthurium grows best in indirect light, and too much sunlight can speed up the growth of bacteria on the roots of the plants and on the vase. 

If you're using tap water in your anthurium's vase, you may see minerals or algae build up on the inside of the glass as time goes by. When you change your plant's water, take some time to clean away the deposits with a bit of hydrogen peroxide before refilling with fresh water.