Anthurium Clarinervium Plant Care (#1 Tips & what you must AVOID!)

anthurium clarinervium in a small pot

The Anthurium Clarinervium, known as the “Velvet Cardboard Anthurium”, is a popular tropical plant from Southern Mexico. It’s nickname refers to its thick and velvety heart-shaped leaves.

Your Anthurium Clarinervium needs specific care conditions to thrive.

  • Choose an East-facing window, give it high humidity (>60%, ideally 80-90%), and water thoroughly with filtered water when the topsoil is dry.
  • Stable indoor temperatures between 70-90 degrees F (21-32 degrees C) are key to avoid slow growth or leaf drop.
  • Apply a urea-free fertilizer during the growing season, as well as choosing a well-draining potting mix, helps keep your plant well-nourished.

I’m a beginner. Should I buy an Anthurium Clarinvervium?

While this Anthurium is undoubtedly a beauty… we do have 2 warnings for prospective owners!!

  1. The popularity of the Anthurium Clarinervium, alongside its scarcity, means that owning a Velvet Cardboard Anthurium is expensive. Expect to pay around US$40-80 for a small potted plant (in a 4-inch pot). Though you can usually find them online from private sellers, you may not be able to find them at local nurseries.
  2. The Anthurium Clarinervium can be a little fussy! If you are new to Anthuriums but want a low-maintenance plant, we suggest starting with a Anthurium Crystallinum and working your way up to the Clarinverium. 🙂

If those warnings didn’t deter you, great!! Let’s dive into how to care for your Anthurium Clarinervium.

Caring for your Anthurium Clarinervium

Light

Getting the right amount of light can be a little tricky. On the one hand, the Velvet Cardboard Anthurium has delicate foliage that scorches in direct sunlight. On the other hand, it is not an actual low-light plant as it requires at least 5 hours of filtered sunlight.

What’s best is placing your plant near East-facing windows. Here, your plant receives some gentle morning sun and ample indirect light for the rest of the day.

If you only have a North-facing window or little natural light, your plant will grow slower and may appear leggy. You can use a grow light to supplement the natural sunlight, but be sure it receives a light intensity of around 1,000-foot-candles.

close up of a anthurium clarinervium leaf

Temperature

In addition to being sensitive to light, the Anthurium Clarinervium is also sensitive to cold. Opt to keep your plant in a stable temperature environment between 70-90 degrees F (21-32 degrees C). Dips below 55 degrees F (13 degrees C) may kill your plant.

Also, never place your plant within 10 feet (3 meters) of high-heat sources, such as a radiator or fireplace… unless you want sunscorched spots!

Humidity

Aim for at least 60% humidity for your Clarinervium… with 80-90%, being ideal.

Our advice is to purchase a humidifier if you live in a dry climate. Many houseplants require high humidity, so it is a worthwhile investment!

Water

As always, mimicking your plant’s native environment is one of the best ways to ensure it stays happy. Since the Anthurium Clarinervium is used to grow on top of other trees, its roots are exposed to the air, allowing it to soak up moisture when it rains and dry off quickly.

With that in mind, here’s how to water your Anthurium properly:

  • Check that the top 2 inches (5 cm) of soil are dry before watering. As a rule of thumb, this usually works out to be around once every 3-5 days in summer and spring. This reduces to once a week during fall and every other week in the winter months (when your plant is dormant).
  • Use filtered, room-temperature water when watering your plant. If you don’t have filtered water, use tap water that has been left out for 24 hours. Tap water has salts that may damage your plant’s sensitive roots. Keeping it outside for 24 hours will allow these salts to dissipate.

Soil

Your plant loves loose and well-draining soils that still retain some moisture. They also grow best in a slightly acidic environment, with a pH of 5.5 to 6.5.

Here’s an ideal aroid soil mix you can use, that ticks all the boxes 🙂

Orchid bark and perlite allow the mix to stay aerated and well-draining, while charcoal stabilizes pH and reduces impurities. Charcoal, a byproduct of wildfires, is also present in Aroids’ natural environment.

As far as your choice of pot or container, use a low pot with good drainage. Good drainage promotes root health, and low pots are ideal for your Anthurium’s shallow root systems. Just remember to empty any saucers so that the roots never sit in a pool of water!

Fertilizer

Your plant is a light feeder with sensitive roots, so choose a gentle, urea-free fertilizer. We like using this liquid fertilizer, applied at half-strength.

During spring and summer, fertilize every other time you water your plant. Hold off fertilizing during winter and colder months.

Despite light fertilizing, your plant is still prone to mineral salt build-up, which can damage roots. Every 4 months, ensure that you flush the salts build-up by running room temperature tap water through the plant for 3 minutes. This flushes the soil clean of any residue.

anthurium clarinervium plant on a table

Air circulation

In nature, your plant tends to favor locations where it receives good air circulation, such as on top of trees or rocks. The Anthurium Clarinervium also has aerial roots that love to breathe. For best results, find a spot for your Anthurium with some natural air circulation.

Using a ceiling or standing fan is an excellent way to promote air circulation.

However, make sure that your plant is kept at least 10 feet (3 meters) away to be still protected from a strong draft. Also, be sure to avoid anything that causes fluctuation in the air temperature, such as an air conditioner or radiator.

Repotting

Your plant is a slow grower, so you typically only need to report the Anthurium Clarinervium every 2-3 years. Repotting is best at the beginning of spring.

  1. Prepare for repotting by watering your plant the day prior.
  2. Gently remove your plant from its pot. Use your fingers to tease the roots carefully and loosen the soil, making sure not to damage the plant.
  3. Examine the roots. If you identify any brown or decaying parts, snip these off with a pair of clean garden shears.
  4. Take your new pot and fill up 2/3 of the way with fresh potting mix (the Soil section has details on our recommended potting mix). Don’t reuse the old soil as nutrients would have depleted over time.
  5. Lower your plant with its rootball into the pot. Add more soil as required.
  6. Gently tap down the soil to hold your plant in place.
  7. Water your plant the following day.

Propagation

Anthurium Clarinervium can be propagated through division (the easiest method!) or stem cuttings. You can also grow Anthurium Clarinerviums from seeds.

Propagating by division is best done as part of your normal repotting cycle. This method follows the same general steps as repotting, except that you will be separating the root systems into two and repotting into two containers.

Steps to Propagate by Division

  1. Prepare for propagation by watering your plant the day prior.
  2. Gently remove your plant from its pot. Use your fingers to tease the roots carefully and loosen the soil, making sure not to damage the plant.
  3. Examine the roots. If you identify any brown or decaying parts, snip these off with a pair of clean garden shears.
  4. Separate your plant, keeping the healthy roots intact, to form two different plants.
  5. Fill the two new pots with 2/3 potting mix (see Soil section for recommended mix).
  6. Place each new plant with its rootball in the new pots.
  7. Fill with additional potting mix and pat down gently as needed to secure your new plants in place.
  8. Water your plant the next day.

Alternatively, you may choose to propagate your plant by stem cuttings. This is relatively simple for any plant with aerial roots. Just follow the steps below:

Steps to Propagate by Stem Cuttings

  1. Identify a 3 inch part of the stem with at least two leaves.
  2. Cut just above the node.
  3. Lay the cutting out on a paper towel, allowing it to dry out and callous over the next five days. Callouses are healthy for the new plant.
  4. After five days, you should have a calloused end.
  5. Fill the new pot with 2/3 potting mix. Use your finger to form a small hole for the stem cutting to slot in.
  6. Place it somewhere warm and where it can receive ample bright indirect light.

Pruning

Regularly pruning your plant every 4-6 months is a good idea to encourage new growth.

Using clean garden shears and gloves, remove any wilted, damaged or yellowed leaves. Cut just above the node and you’re done.

Toxicity

Like many other Aroids, your plant contains insoluble calcium oxalates in its stems and leaves. This makes your Anthurium Clarinervium toxic when ingested by pets and humans.

Calcium oxalate causes injury when coming into contact with tissues. This manifests as mouth sores and burns and vomiting, nausea, and gastrointestinal issues when ingested.

Though only rarely fatal when ingested in large amounts, ensure your plant is placed away from pets and children.

Pests and Diseases

Root rot

Root rot is one of the most common diseases that affect the Anthurium Clarinervium. Overwatering is the main reason for root rot.

  • Symptoms to look out for are yellow leaves, droopy stems, and moist or waterlogged soil. To confirm, gently release your plant from its soil and examine its roots. Brown or black roots are a tell-tale sign of root rot.
  • Treatment involves pruning off infected roots and replanting in fresh potting mix.
  • The best way to prevent root rot is to i) water your plant properly. See the Watering section for details!; and ii) ensure your plant is in a growing medium that allows roots to breathe. Check out the Soil section for more information!

For more information, read our guide on rescuing overwatered plants here.

Mildew on Leaves

Powdery mildew is a fungal disease, starting as spores on a leaf surface. Before long, this spreads to appear as a greyish-white powder residue on foliage.

  • Because powdery mildew lives in highly humid and warm conditions, your tropical plants are susceptible to this fungus.
  • Powdery mildew is not as damaging to plants as spider mites or mealybugs when they first appear, but they do look unsightly! When left untreated, powdery mildew can cause leaves to be yellow and die.
  • To remedy this, prune off infected parts and carefully dispose of this. Then, use a neem oil spray to protect against further spread. Here’s how to use neem oil.

Mealybugs

Mealybugs are a common pest of Anthuriums. Similar to spider mites, these pests pierce your plant’s leaves to suck on its sap.

  • Symptoms to look out for include cottony masses on stem and leaves, leaving sticky residue on the skin and plant parts.
  • Spray affected area with Insecticidal Soap Spray every few days until the problem is resolved.

Spider Mites

Spider mites are another pest that may infect your Anthurium Clarinervium. Thankfully the solution is the same as mealybugs – use an Insecticidal Soap spray. (This is a brand we recommend.)

For more information on identifying and preventing spider mites, read this.

Troubleshooting

Why does my Anthurium have yellow leaves?

Yellow leaves signal a stressed plant. There are a few common reasons:

  • Over or improper watering. As with many epiphytes, Anthurium Clarinervium is prone to overwatering. Check the soil to see if it is damp – if it is, chances are you are overwatering your plant.
  • Also, check the growing medium you are using – is it one that allows for adequate drainage? A possibility is that you are not overwatering your plant per se, but the soil is retaining too much moisture for your Anthurium. See the Soil section for our preferred potting mix.
  • Yellow leaves could also signify underwatering. Check your plant’s moisture levels and read the Water section to confirm. Remember only to allow the top 2 inches to dry out; the layers underneath should still be slightly moist.
  • Too little light. This is another reason why Anthurium Clarinerviums have yellow leaves. Relocate your plant to an East-facing window for ample bright, indirect light.

Another reason for yellowing leaves is that your plant is not receiving enough nutrients. This is a less common reason because the plant is a light feeder. Only when you’ve established that you are watering your plant correctly and receiving sufficient light should you consider this.

Why does my Velvet Cardboard Anthurium have brown tips?

Brown tips is usually a sign that your plant is not getting enough humidity. We recommend at least 60% humidity for your Anthurium, and optimally this should be 80-90%. For best results, invest in a humidifier!

Why are the leaves dull?

Likely, your plant is not getting enough sunlight. Relocate your plant to an East-facing windowsill, which gets ample bright but indirect light.

Frequently Asked Questions

Where can I buy an Anthurium Clarinervium?

Etsy is an excellent place to buy one.

How fast does this plant grow?

The Anthurium Clarinervium is a slow-growing aroid. If you are patient, it will grow up to 2 feet tall (0.6 meters). The heart-shaped leaves also grow to about 6 inches (25cm).

Does Anthurium Clarinervium produce flowers?

Yes, it does. They have similar flowers to others in the aroid family (with the small spike, spadix, and a protecting spathe). But these are not the showiest flowers and are considered insignificant.

Do You Need A Moss Pole?

Anthurium Clarinerviums don’t climb moss poles the way vining plants do. So no, you don’t need a moss pole for this plant.

What’s The Difference Between Anthurium Crystallinum and Anthurium Clarinervium? 

Anthurium Clarinervium is often confused with the closely related Anthurium Crystallinum. Here are the key differences to help you tell them apart:

  • The Clarinervium has broader and darker colored leaves than the Crystallinum.
  • Anthurium Clarinervium grows more slowly than the Crystallinum.
  • The Clarinervium has large orange berries, while the Crystallinum has white or purple berries.
two leaves, the anthurium clarinervium on the left and the anthurium crystallinum on the right
Anthurium Clarinervium (left); versus Crystallinum (right). Leaves of Anthurium Crystallinum are brighter and more elongated and pointy than the Clarinervium’s!

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Deborah

Deborah is a plant enthusiast and founder of Gardening Collective.

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