How to Care for Your Anthurium Veitchii (King Anthurium)
We were at our local plant market one Sunday afternoon, and I stumbled across one of our local sellers with an excellent price for a huge Anthurium Veitchii. I couldn’t resist buying it! It has since become my favorite plant in my collection because each leaf has come out bigger than the last.
I was nervous to get into Anthuriums because I was used to caring for Philodendrons. But honestly, my Anthuriums have been some of the easiest plants in my entire collection to care for! It does help that I have great lighting and humidity for them, but I’m going to give you some extra care tips to grow a big and beautiful Anthurium Veitchii.
The Anthurium Veitchii is native to Columbia. It is known for its massive, corrugated leaves and is aptly named “The King Anthurium”. They used to be considered extremely rare, but they are more readily available now to houseplant enthusiasts.
Because it is an epiphyte, similar to an orchid, it is usually found in the canopy of trees in the wild. This makes it a great candidate for growing in both Anthurium soil and semi-hydro!
Indoors, the Anthurium Veitchii leaves can reach up to 1m in length, and mine is well on its way to growing even bigger than that! The leaves come out small and light green and quickly unfurl, almost like an accordion, into a dark red color and then back to bright green. It is such a satisfying process to watch.
There are two different types of Veitchii: Veitchii narrow form and Veitchii wide form. This does not refer to the shape of the leaf but rather to the spacing between the ridges on the leaves. The “narrow” has tight spaces between its ridges, while the “wide” has much wider spaces. They are often compared to a rib cage!
How to Care for Your Anthurium Veitchii
|Light||Bright, indirect light|
|Watering||Keep consistently moist|
|Soil mix||Chunky Anthurium mix or volcanic rock|
|Pot||Plastic with drainage holes|
|Temperature||19 – 27 °C|
|Repotting||Every 2-3 Years|
|Pests||Can be susceptible to mealybug and thrips if the plant is unhealthy.|
|Propagation||Stem division, seeds, or cuttings|
|Fertilization||Once every two weeks (spring/summer) or yearly with a slow-release fertilizer|
Lighting & Placement
As you will find with most tropical houseplants, the Anthurium Veitchii likes bright, indirect light. The last thing you want is to damage those beautiful leaves that take so long to grow by burning them with too much light!
If you don’t have access to great lighting, you can also use a grow light for this plant.
Anthurium Veitchiis grow well in cabinets and terrariums, but I prefer to show mine off, so I have it placed on a bright window sill. The leaves can also get enormous, so consider spacing before you decide where to place your Anthurium Veitchii.
The Anthurium Veitchii likes to be kept moist but not wet. This is a fine line to walk, especially if you are new to rare indoor plants.
What I found worked the best was keeping my Veitchii in volcanic rock instead of soil, and I have my humidifier right next to it, which constantly keeps the rock moist. I water it once every second week and make sure there is a little bit of water left in the pot cover to boost humidity.
If you choose to grow your Veitchii in an Anthurium mix, you will need to pay more attention to how dry the soil is, and that will determine if it needs to be watered or not. If the top 3cm of soil is dry, you can give it a good watering and make sure it drains completely.
Soil & Potting
I have my Anthurium Veitchii in Volcanic Rock. Volcanic rock/Leca doesn’t provide any nutrients to my plant, so I use the water from my fish tank when watering it. This helps to bump up the nutrients, but not everyone has access to fish tank water!
A good replacement is a liquid fertilizer mixed into your water. This method allows for great airflow around the roots, and the plant has constant access to water.
We recommend an Anthurium mix if you plant your Veitchii into the soil. This is very similar to an Aroid mix but includes some sphagnum moss for water retention on top.
Our recommended recipe is:
- 25% Pumice (or Volcanic rock or Leca)
- 25% Small bark chips
- 25% Coco chips
- 25% Perlite
- Slight covering of sphagnum moss on the top layer of the soil
I highly recommend planting your Anthuriums in clear pots. This makes it a lot easier to keep an eye on the roots, which will determine when your plant needs to be repotted and show you how healthy it is.
You can put them into a decorative pot for a better aesthetic look. Just make sure that all excess water has drained out of the pot when watering to avoid root rot.
Changing over to Leca (or Volcanic Rock)
As I mentioned before, the Anthurium Veitchii grows well in Leca/Volcanic rock, and changing their growing medium is fairly easy. Before you begin the process:
- Make sure that your Leca/Volcanic rock is washed well and leave it to soak in water.
- You will then need to remove your Veitchii from its current potting mix and gently wash the roots until all the soil is removed.
- Get a clear pot with drainage holes and fill it halfway with the new medium.
- Place your plant into the pot and continue filling it with the Leca/Volcanic rock until your pot is full.
The plant might be shocked after such a drastic transplant, so don’t be alarmed if it loses some leaves in the following weeks.
Temperature & Humidity
Anthuriums prefer a temperature of 19-27 ℃ but are usually fine in an average home temperature. During winter, you will find that the growth slows down, and make sure that you keep it away from the window if your windows tend to frost up.
They do love humidity, and I highly recommend keeping your Veitchii close to a humidifier, especially if you’re growing it in Leca or Volcanic rock.
I don’t recommend letting the humidity drop below 50%, as this can affect the leaves and cause them to tear.
Veitchiis are heavy feeders, and if you see that your new leaves are small, it is a sign that your plant is lacking nutrients.
I recommend using a phosphorus-rich fertilizer every two weeks during spring/summer. Stop fertilizing once autumn hits, as your plant will naturally enter its dormancy phase.
I like using a slow-release fertilizer for my Anthuriums as I have a lot of plants, and remembering a fertilizing schedule is almost impossible for me. I use Osmocote for most of my houseplants.
Growth rate & Repotting
The Anthurium Veitchii is a very slow-growing plant. It puts out a new leaf every 3 or so months, and only needs to be repotted every 2-3 years.
I have not repotted my Veitchii yet, and I don’t think I will need to any time soon. The best way to know if your plant needs to be repotted is if the roots start growing out of the pot’s drainage holes.
There is a limited amount of information about propagating your Anthurium Veitchii. This could be because they are such slow growers that only a few houseplant enthusiasts have had the opportunity to propagate them.
A few universal ways to propagate Anthuriums include stem cuttings, seeds, and plant division.
Remove the plant from its pot. Inspect the stem for nodes, and make sure there are at least 2 nodes with an established root system on the top of the plant (this will be considered the mother plant”).
You can then make a cutting with a sterile blade below the last node and repot the mother plant. The remaining cutting can then be divided into separate pieces by cutting between each node.
I recommend letting the “wound” on each cutting dry for a few hours, before planting each piece into sphagnum moss and placing them into a propagation box. The node can sit on top of the moss while the roots are covered to prevent rotting of the cutting.
Anthuriums can grow in clusters which is the easiest way to propagate them. Inspect your plant for any potential baby plants. Once the baby plants have some roots, you can carefully separate them and plant them into their own pot.
Anthurium flowers are not just for aesthetic purposes. They produce seeds if fertilized. Cross-pollination of different Anthurium species is fairly easy. Once pollinated, the flower will produce berries which turn into seeds. The seeds can be harvested and planted in sphagnum moss, where they can sprout lots of new baby plants.
Torn or Damaged leaves
This is usually due to lack of humidity or if the leaf is touched by something nearby. The leaves begin to tear when unfurling if they do not have enough humidity.
This can be resolved by adding humidity near the plant with a humidifier or a tray of pebbles and water.
This can be caused by either too much or too little water, or too much or too little fertilizer.
The process of elimination is the best way to determine the main issue.
The easiest way to check if it is too much water is to inspect the roots for root rot and adjust your watering accordingly.
If you suspect you may be fertilizing too much, cut down on fertilizing your plant and see if the new leaf comes out yellow. If it does, up your fertilizing and see if that makes a difference to the next leaf.
Yellowing leaves are a plant parent’s worst nightmare as the cause is difficult to isolate and treat.
I have found that my Anthuriums aren’t very susceptible to pests and have never had a pest issue with my Veitchii. That being said, it is a good idea to check your plant regularly for mealy bugs, thrips, scale, and the dreaded spider mite, and treat them quickly using an insecticide high in Bifenthrin.
Common & Related Questions
Is an Anthurium Veitchii difficult to care for?
Once you have established a suitable environment for your Veitchii, growing it is easy. It has been the easiest one of my Anthuriums to keep alive.
Is an Anthurium Veitchii rare?
It is considered a rare plant because it is a slow grower and can take quite some time to become an established plant. In my country, we only started seeing them for sale in the last 3 years, and the price is quite high!
Is an Anthurium Veitchii a slow grower?
It is a very slow grower and will only need to be repotted every 2-3 years.
How long does an Anthurium Veitchii take to grow a new leaf?
It can take up to 3 months for a new leaf to appear.