Anthurium fans already know that the Anthurium Forgetii is a highly sought-after plant from Colombia.
A unique feature of the Forgetii is that its leaves are not heart-shaped, but rather have an upside-down teardrop shape. This is because there it has no sinus (space between the leaf lobes on top of the leaf). 🙂
If you are looking to grow an Anthurium Forgetii, you’re in the right place! Before we go further, there are 2 important things you should know:
- Firstly, growing a Forgetti requires some effort and expertise. It needs high humidity (>60%) and requires stable temperatures between 65 – 70 degrees F (18 – 21 degrees C). They are a little fussy, so we wouldn’t recommend them for beginners. (The Anthurium Crystallinum is a more forgiving Anthurium to grow if you are new to the genus.)
- Secondly, there are 2 forms of the Anthurium Forgetii. The first has dark-green leaves and prominent white-silver veins that run deep and thick. The other form has thinner and less pronounced green veins and lighter green leaves. Both are Forgetii, and both have the same care conditions. Choose the one you want.
Let’s dive into the details of how to care for your plant!
Table of Contents
Caring for your Anthurium Forgetii
Anthurium Forgetii does best in medium levels of filtered light. Avoid mid-afternoon direct sunlight as this burns its foliage. It does great in medium intensity, indirect light; around 5-6 hours of a day is optimal.
For this reason, East-facing windowsills are an excellent option for your plant. If you only have access to North-facing windowsills, you may need to use a grow light.
On the other hand, South-facing windows can be a little intense; move your plant about 3 feet (90cm) away from the windowpane to lessen the sun intensity to a level that supports healthy growth.
This is where things get a little tricky. There are three aspects of watering that are important for your Anthurium Forgetii. These are: 1) when to water your plant; 2) how to water, and 3) what kind of water to use.
When to water:
Anthurium Forgetii likes to have lightly moist soil that doesn’t dry out completely. So when the top 2 inches of soil is only very lightly moist, we water the plant.
We find that our Anthurium Forgetti prefers this method in comparison to waiting until the topsoil is completely dry. That said, this also depends on the specific potting soil you are using. We are using the potting mix stated in the Soil section below.
This is where you may need to experiment a little to see what is best for your Anthurium Forgetii. When you first bring your plant home, check the soil moisture every 2 days.
- If you find that, after watering your plant when the topsoil is very slightly moist, the soil is STILL wet after 6-7 days, reduce your watering frequency. In this case, you find that waiting until the topsoil is dry to the touch before watering is your best bet.
- If, however, the soil is dry after 6-7 days, then continue with the method of watering your plant when the topsoil is very lightly moist.
- In both cases, keep a look out for signs of overwatering (droopy, soft leaves and stems) or underwatering (can also be droopy, but crispy, brittle leaves) so that you can adjust your watering frequency accordingly.
How to water:
When watering, water near the soil level and avoid getting the leaves wet. Wet leaves tend to encourage bacteria and pathogen growth. Water deeply, until excess water runs off the drainage hole.
Then, empty the saucer so that your plant is NOT sitting in a pool of stagnant water. (Again, a recipe for root rot!)
What kind of water to use:
The only other tip to remember is to use rainwater if you can. Room-temperature distilled water is okay too, or tap water that has been left out overnight (this allows mineral salts to dissipate). But the best option is to use rainwater, which is what your plant is used to in nature!
If you have grown Anthuriums before, you already know: Anthuriums love humidity! It’s an important part of care for the genus. And the Anthurium Forgetii is no exception.
Ideally, aim for humidity levels of at least 60%. These humidity levels are not easy to achieve if you live in an arid climate. But the most convenient way to raise humidity levels is to use a humidifier.
If you’re in the market for a humidifier, this is the brand that we recommend. We use it for all our houseplants!
Your plant is quite fussy when it comes to temperature. It enjoys a stable environment between 65 – 70 degrees F (18 – 21 degrees C). Yeah, you got that right; it is a very narrow range, making this plant a lot less hardy or forgiving than others.
For this reason, you MUST keep your Anthurium Forgetii indoors. Keep it away from doors and windows. They will also not tolerate being in air conditioning.
Stable temperatures are essential!
If you love the look of an Anthurium Forgetii but live in an area that experiences temperature fluctuations outside that narrow range (even when indoors), do check out the Anthurium Crystallinum. They have foliage that looks similar to the Forgetii, but can tolerate a wider rage of temperatures: 55 – 75 degrees F (13 – 24 degrees C).
The Anthurium Crystallinum is also a less fussy plant than the Forgetii and is lower in maintenance.
Flowering and Growth
When mature, the Anthurium Forgetii can grow up to 4 – 5 feet (1.2 – 1.5 meters) tall, but be prepared that this will take several years! You can expect leaves to span about 8 – 11 inches (20-30cm) in length.
This houseplant stays pretty compact even when mature, perfect for those with small apartments or limited space. (This is us, and only because other plants take up all the space we have!).
Like most Aroids, the Anthurium Forgetii produces inflorescence that consists of a spathe (modified leaf or bract that is boat-shaped, glossy, and green) and a central light yellow-green spadix (central spike). Interestingly, the spadix may actually turn red over time as it ages.
Many people mistake the inflorescence for flowers. This is technically incorrect. Its flowers are actually the reproductive parts that are tiny and numerous that grow on the spadix itself.
While many people prize this Anthurium Forgetii for its foliage and prefer to cut off the flowers, the choice is totally up to you.
Soil or Growing Medium
Anthurium Forgetiis are thought to be epiphytic (climbing on host trees), lithophytic (growing in or on rocks), or terrestrial (growing on the ground). Typically, you would find Anthuriums growing near bits of moss or decaying organic material like leaf compost or dead plant tissue. They also nourish themselves by feeding off nutrients in rainwater.
As a result, it makes sense to grow your Anthurium Forgetii in a nutritious, airy and well-draining potting mix!
Peat moss is a good soil amendment as it lightens the soil while allowing it to retain the right amount of moisture. It is a fibrous material that results from decomposing moss and other organic matter in peat bogs over thousands of years. At the same time, the addition of perlite improves the soil’s drainage.
We love this particular mix, which is slightly acidic, airy, and well-draining. Basically, it ticks all the boxes:
- 1 part orchid potting soil (don’t use any generic type of indoor potting soil as these are typically too dense)
- 1 part sphagnum peat moss
- 1 part perlite
- a handful of horticultural charcoal
On the topic of drainage, do remember to choose a pot with drainage holes to allow excess water to drain out instead of pooling at the bottom of the pot. Stagnant water only leads to root rot. Bonus points if you also select a terracotta planter, as this material is porous (has tiny holes), promoting breathability.
If you’re open to semi-hydroponic alternatives to traditional potting mixes, LECA is a good growing medium for Anthuriums. LECA allows your plant to determine when it needs to be watered; so to risk of over or underwatering is reduced. We’ve written a guide on the pros and cons of LECA for those considering a switch!
Being a light feeder but a plant with large leaves, fertilizer can be helpful for your plant. But it ONLY needs to be in small doses! Too much fertilizer causes your Anthurium Forgetii’s roots to burn.
Choose a liquid houseplant fertilizer (we love this one); use it at half-strength every eight weeks during the spring and summer months. Hold off fertilizing in fall and winter.
Being a slow-grower, your plant doesn’t need frequent repotting. Once every 2-3 years is the average time it takes for your Anthurium Forgetii to outgrow its pot.
When you do repot, use fresh soil, and nutrients in the soil deplete over time. Also, choose a pot just 2-4 inches larger than the original. Having a large pot holds too much water in the soil, which leads to your plant being overwatered.
This is something you definitely want to avoid!
Wait until your Anthurium Forgetii shows signs of being root-bound before deciding to repot in the following Spring. This is a good idea as repotting unnecessarily will only add stress to your delicate Anthurium.
Signs of being rootbound include:
- Roots peeking out of the drainage hole or circling above the soil’s surface;
- Your plant appears thirsty no matter how much you seem to water it; or
- Water drains through the pot immediately without being absorbed.
After repotting, your plant may be slightly droopy or lackluster. This is normal and is due to transplant shock. Be patient as your plant is still adjusting to its new pot. Don’t worry – it will bounce back in time.
Unfortunately, all Anthuriums, including the Anthurium Forgetii, have insoluble calcium oxalate crystals in their stems and leaves. These crystals are toxic when ingested by pets and humans. It’s a good idea to place this plant out of reach from pets and small children.
A mature Anthurium Forgetii is easy to propagate through root division. Spring is the best time for propagation.
- Using your fingers, gently work through your Anthurium Forgetii’s roots, loosening any compacted soil to expose its rootball.
- Divide the roots of the mother plant into two distinct sections.
- Ensure each section has at least one leaf and that the roots look healthy. Healthy roots appear white and firm.
- Place the divided root balls into individual potting mixes.
- Add more potting mix as necessary to secure the plants in place.
- Choose a warm spot with plenty of filtered light for the plant to grow.
- Treat as you would any other Anthurium Forgetii!
Your plant is relatively compact, so pruning is not a significant care component for your Anthurium. Typically, you will not need to prune your plant to maintain its shape until it is a few years old.
Still, it is essential to trim off any dead, dying, or damaged leaves, as this helps your plant refocus its energy on new growth.
You may also choose to utilize stem cuttings for propagation if you intend to trim these parts! We call this killing two birds with one stone! 🙂
Common Pests and Diseases
The Anthurium Forgetii is not overly susceptible to pests and diseases. The most common issues are:
- Overwatering. If this is you, check out our guide on rescuing an overwatered plant;
- Pest infestation from spider mites, aphids, or mealybugs. These pests can be eradicated by using a neem oil spray.
If you follow all aspects of this care guide, you’ll avoid most problems.
Why are the leaves yellow?
Yellow leaves are most commonly due to overwatering. Check your soil’s moisture. If the soil remains moist for more than a few days, your plant is overwatered.
Here are some tips on how to save your overwatered plant!
Another reason for yellow or pale leaves is too much sunlight. Remember that your Anthurium Forgetii has delicate foliage sensitive to direct light. Use a shade cloth or translucent curtains to dapple light and reduce its intensity.
Alternatively, move your plant a few feet away from the windowpane to prevent sun scorch.
Why are my Anthurium Forgetii leaf edges brown?
Brown edges in an Anthurium Forgetii typically signify too dry air. You will need to give humidity levels a boost.
Brown leaf tips that are also crispy may also mean too little water. Are you checking the soil moisture with your fingers every few days? Adjust your watering practices accordingly.
Frequently Asked Questions
Where is a good place to buy an Anthurium Forgetii?
Etsy is a great spot to buy Anthurium Forgetiis from reputable sellers.
Is the Anthurium Forgetti rare?
Yes, the Anthurium Forgetii is considered rare. It is an aroid that is little-known and hard to find.
If you’re looking to buy an Anthurium Forgetii, your best bet is to look on Etsy or private sellers specializing in rare Aroids.
What’s the difference between Anthurium Forgetii and Anthurium Crystallinum?
While both species have large, dark green foliage and defined veins, the easiest way to tell the difference between the Anthurium Forgetii and the Anthurium Crystallinum is by looking at the leaf shape.
The Anthurium Forgetii has no sinus at the top of its leaf (so no indents at the top); it, therefore, has an upside-down teardrop shape leaf. On the other hand, the Anthurium Crystallinum has a defined sinus, which gives it a heart-shaped leaf.
Similar Plants and Varieties
Anthurium Forgetii types
There are two types of Anthurium Forgetii. One type that has prominent, white-silver veins. There is another type that has light green veins which are less thick and defined.
Both forms have the same care conditions, and both are still Anthurium Forgetii! Which you prefer is up to your aesthetic preference.
Anthurium Forgetii Dark Form
This is another type of Anthurium Forgetii. It is not a hybrid. The Dark Form refers to its very dark green leaves.
Anthurium Forgetii White Stripe
The Anthurium Forgetii White Stripe is a hybrid between the Anthurium Crystallinum and the Anthurium Forgetii. Like the Anthurium Forgetii parent plant, the White Stripe has a teardrop-shaped leaf that lacks a sinus.
Compared to the Anthurium Forgetii, the White Stripe has more prominent white-silver markings. It is a rare hybrid!
The Anthurium Clarinervium is another velvet Anthurium with large, heart-shaped leaves. It has prominent light green veins on darker green leaves. They are often compared to the Anthurium Crystallinum as they look pretty similar.
However, there are a few key differences between these two species:
- The Clarinervium has broader and darker coloured 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.
The Anthurium Crystallinum is a more easy-going Anthurium than the Clarinervium and the Forgetii. They also have large leaves with prominent veins, but tend to be lighter green than the Clarinervium. The presence of a sinus distinguishes the Crystallinum from the Forgetii.
Another velvet Anthurium look-alike is the Magnificum. Its foliage undeniably resembles that of the Clarinervium’s but has a different growth habit. The Anthurium Magnificum, as the name suggests, is a large species that grows taller and larger than the Clarinervium. It also has a longer, more elongated “elephant-ear” shape foliage compared with the rounder, more heart-shaped leaves of a Clarinervium.
Also known as King Veitchii, this species has giant, narrow leaves with “quilting” or ripples! Leaves can reach up to 6.6 feet (2 meters) in length! Beautiful.
- Anthurium Warocqueanum, the Queen Anthurium!
- Anthurium Superbum
- Anthurium Radicans – an easy-to-grow evergreen with “bubbled” leaves and showy purple blooms!
- Anthurium Pedatoradiatum, the deeply-lobed, “Anthurium Fingers” plant
- Anthurium Rugulosum – a very rare, small plant with pebbled leaves, however they are a challenge to grow.
Anthurium Forgetiis can be a little fussy, but once you know what they prefer, they can be easy to care for. The trickiest part of caring for them is knowing when to water your plant, which may take some experimentation. They may be picky about other care conditions like temperature and humidity, but these are easy to understand and apply.
- Water your Anthurium Forgetii when its topsoil is almost dry, but check back in 6-7 days to see if the soil is still moist. If it is, you may need to reduce the watering frequency and experiment accordingly.
- Keep temperatures within this narrow range: 65 – 70 degrees F (18 – 21 degrees C). Avoid fluctuations in temperature, and place your plant away from drafts and vents.
- Humidity must be >60%, or else your Anthurium Forgetti won’t thrive. Invest in a humidifier if you live in a dry area.
- Medium to bright levels of indirect light is essential; they are sensitive to harsh, direct sunlight. East-facing windowsills are ideal.
- Fertilize sparingly. Applying liquid houseplant fertilizer at half strength once every eight weeks during the spring and summer months is sufficient. Do not fertilize in fall and winter.
- Use a well-draining, airy potting mix of orchid potting mix, peat moss, perlite, and charcoal.
Deborah is a plant enthusiast and founder of Gardening Collective.