Anthurium Veitchii #1 Tips for a THRIVING King

A ribbed and green leaf of Anthurium Veitchii wide version

The Anthurium Veitchii is a sight to behold. Lovingly referred to as the King Anthurium, this Aroid has stunningly long, horizontally-rippled leaves (these are its veins) that resemble quilt!

This unique plant hails from the South African rainforests of Colombia. Despite its royal appearance, it doesn’t need much in terms of care:

  • Ensure your plant gets at least 6 hours of BRIGHT and indirect light per day.
  • Choose a well-draining, airy potting mix to minimize the risks of overwatering and root rot.
  • Water only when the topsoil is dry, and ensure excess water does not stay stagnant in the pot.
  • High humidity (>60%) and indoor temperatures are ideal.
  • Fertilize your Anthurium Veitchii once a month during the growing season, using a nitrogen-heavy fertilizer of 9-3-6 NPK, which supports leaf growth.
  • Do not be alarmed if your plant does not sprout a new leaf every month, even in ideal conditions. The Anthurium Veitchii is quite the slow grower.

Let’s dive into the details!!

How to care for your Anthurium Veitchii

Light

Getting the right lighting is crucial for foliage growth. For your Anthurium Veitchii, there are a few things to consider:

  • Your Anthurium Veitchii does best in bright, but indirect light. In nature, your plant doesn’t typically grow near the rainforest floor. Instead, being an epiphyte, it grows in and amongst high branches of host trees, so is accustomed to brighter light conditions, despite this being filtered through a canopy of taller trees.
  • At least 6 hours of bright (but filtered!) light is essential if you want the leaves of your King Anthurium to grow large. If you leave your plant in a place that does not get enough natural sunlight, the leaves will be smaller.
  • Avoid direct light in the afternoon, when the sun is at its hottest. Anthurium Veitchii is susceptible to burning if left directly under the scorching sun for too long.

Therefore, the best spot for this beautiful plant would be in front of an East-facing windowsill. This provides your Anthurium with a few hours of direct morning light, and plenty of bright indirect light for the rest of the day.

close up of large leaf of the anthurium veithchii, otherwise known as the King Anthurium
How beautiful is this large Anthurium Veitchii leaf!

Water

Watering is a sensitive subject for the Anthurium Veitchii, and striking the right balance between too dry and too soggy is necessary for it to thrive.

Here are some tips:

  • A good indicator of when your Anthurium Veitchii needs a drink is when the top layers of soil feel dry and gritty to touch. Stick your finger into the soil down a couple of inches and feel for moisture. If the soil feels moist and sticks to your finger, hold off watering and try again in a day or two. But if the soil feels sandy and dry, you can go ahead and water your Anthurium Veitchii.
  • As a rule of thumb, watering frequency is typically once every week or so for this tropical beauty.
  • When watering your epiphyte, water deeply, allowing excess water to seep out of the drainage hole. Empty your plant’s saucer so that its roots are never sitting in a pool of water.

It’s as simple as that, but if you’re a beginner gardener, it does take some time to get right. If you’d like more watering tips, check out our guide here.

Humidity

If there is one thing that Anthurium Veitchii loves, it’s humid weather. If the humidity levels in your area are above 60% all year round, you are pretty much sorted.

But if you live in a drier, more arid region, check out our guide on 4 ways to increase humidity in your home.

Temperature

Your Anthurium Veitchii, despite being a tropical plant, loves slightly cooler temperatures than you might expect! Keeping the temperature around 60 – 80 degrees F (15 – 26 degrees C) is ideal.

Though it does enjoy slightly cooler temperatures, your plant is not cold-hardy. Drops below 60 degrees F (15 degrees C) over time will result in wilted leaves.

It’s best to provide stable temperatures in that ideal range. Place it away from air vents and drafty doors and windows.

Growth

The Anthurium Veitchii takes its own sweet time to grow indoors! Ours took almost 3 months to grow a leaf.

While the growth rate definitely can be optimized by ensuring that your plant is getting the essential nutrients, sunlight, and temperature that it needs to thrive, patience is still key. 🙂

However, the results at the end of the day make it well worth the wait. The Anthurium Veitchii can grow leaves as humongous as 6.6 feet (2 meters!) in length when fully mature. Chances are that this plant will outgrow all your other house plants if you give it time and care for it well.

Flowers

Similarly, flowers take a while to sprout as well on this plant. Flowers are tiny and numerous and are found on the central spadix. However, these flowers are insignificant, and what most people think is the flower is actually an inflorescence (spadix and spathe).

The central cream-colored spadix is surrounded by a boat-like green spathe (a modified leaf or bract). You can check out these photos, from the Monaco Nature Encyclopedia, which illustrate this perfectly.

Soil or Growing Medium

In nature, your Anthurium Veitchii grows on other trees rather than in the soil on the ground. This epiphyte relies on nutrients from the air, rainwater, and bits of leaf compost, moss, and other decaying organic material that it may find on or in grooves in the host tree.

Because it is used to growing in literal air (!), you can imagine that it needs a very airy and well-draining medium to thrive when growing indoors. In other words, it HATES compact, dense soils that hold too much moisture and suffocate its roots. This only leads to an overwatered plant with root rot!

We grow our Anthurium Veitchii in this mix, which ticks all the boxes:

  • 1 part perlite
  • 1 part orchid bark
  • 1 part peat moss
  • 1 part horticultural charcoal
  • 1 part sphagnum moss

Alternatively, if you are open to semi-hydroponic solutions, LECA is also an excellent growing medium for Anthuriums. It provides a well-ventilated medium that mimics its natural environment. If you’re interested, here’s our guide on the Pros and Cons of LECA to see if it’s a good fit for you.

Fertilizer

Being an epiphyte, you would expect that Anthurium Veitchii gets most of its nutrients from the air and rainwater. While this is true for the King Anthurium growing in the wild, the one growing in your home could use a little help to reach its full potential.

In our experience, treating your plant with some high-quality, water-soluble fertilizer goes a LONG WAY to support your plant’s growth rate and final height. We like using this nitrogen-heavy fertilizer, which is specifically designed to support large-foliage plants. Nitrogen is a key nutrient for lush green leaves; we find the NPK ratio of 9-3-6 is ideal.

Apply the fertilizer at half strength once a month when your plant is actively growing.

close up of the long, anthurium veitchii wide form leaf
Beautiful leaf of Anthurium Veitchii, also known as King Anthurium

Repotting 

Since the growth rate of your plant may vary according to the surrounding conditions, there is no set frequency for repotting your plant. However, as a rule of thumb, this should work out to be once every 3 years.

As the Anthurium Veitchii grows, your plant’s roots will begin to crowd together, fighting for space. If you notice roots poking out drainage holes, your plant is likely getting root bound – a sign you need to repot it.

  • Gently remove the plant from its previous pot with the roots intact.
  • Place it in a slightly bigger container (2 inches, 5cm bigger) already half-filled with fresh potting soil.
  • Do not re-use old potting mix as nutrients deplete over time.
  • Give the recently repotted plant 24 hours before you attempt to water it.

Toxicity

While it looks magnificent, unfortunately, the King Anthurium is toxic to people and pets when ingested. So, if you have small children or animals running around your home, place your plant in a hard-to-reach spot.

Propagation

There are several ways to go about it when you want to grow your Anthurium Veitchii family. You could either grow your plants from seeds, use the division method, or opt for stem cuttings to propagate the King Anthurium. In commercial settings, micropropagation is a method of mass propagation.

However, for the home gardener, the stem cutting method is the easiest and surest way to get new Anthurium Veitchii plants.

Propagation through Stem Cutting

To multiply your Anthurium Veitchii via stem cuttings,

  1. Identify a healthy portion of the stem that has at least one node and one leaf. Nodes are where new growth will form. Even better if you can take a cutting with aerial roots attached, but are not necessary.
  2. Using clean garden shears, cut the identified stem below the node.
  3. Plant the stem cutting in lightly moist sphagnum moss, ensuring that the nodes are buried under the surface. Of course, the leaf needs to stay above the surface!
  4. Place the cutting in a spot that has plenty of bright but filtered light. If you can, place a humidifier next to the plant, and set it at 70% humidity.
  5. Ensure that the sphagnum moss remains lightly moist.
  6. In about 3 weeks, roots will start growing from the cut stem. Confirm this by giving your plant a very gentle tug – you should feel a little resistance.
  7. Then, repot this plant in an airy, well-draining potting mix.
  8. Treat as you would any other Anthurium Veitchii.

Alternatively, you CAN choose to plant your stem cutting directly into permanent potting mix so that you don’t have to replant it later. It’s up to you.

Propagation through Root Division

Root division is another great way to propagate your plant with high levels of success. Do wait until your plant is well-established with several leaves before attempting this method.

Propagating from root division is only advised when you are repotting your plant. To do this, all you have to do is gently separate the entire plant into two. As a result, you’ll have two separate plants with individual root systems. Ensure your new plant has at least one leaf!

When doing this, be careful to gently work your fingers to untangle roots and free any compacted soil. Try not to damage the roots when separating the plants.

Repot the individual plants into separate pots. That’s it!

Propagation through Seeds

While growing your Anthurium Veitchii plant from seeds is theoretically possible, it is pretty complex and best left to professionals. We don’t recommend using this method. Plus, it takes very long for your plant to grow from seeds!

Pruning 

Due to its slow-growing nature, your plant does not need much pruning. However, if you notice a dead or diseased leaf hanging from the stem, it is best to take it off to conserve essential nutrients for the plant’s overall health.

Common Pests and Issues

Like other houseplants, the Anthurium Veitchii can fall victim to a variety of pest infestations. From mealybugs and whiteflies to thrips and scale, there are many conditions that can affect your King Anthurium. A simple solution to all these insect attacks is to use a high-quality insecticidal soap (we LOVE Bonide and always keep a bottle handy) to drive them away.

Alternatively, you can use Castille soap or neem oil as makeshift, DIY insecticides to keep these problems at bay.

In addition to pests, another common, worrying problem with Anthurium Veitchii is damaged leaves.

  • Yellowing leaves are typically due to improper watering, often overwatering. Make sure you only water your plant when the topsoil is dry and use a well-draining potting mix!
  • Brown, crispy leaves are a sign of underwatering or too little humidity. Ensure you water your plant right and use a humidifier if you need to!

Troubleshooting 

Why is my Anthurium Veitchii growing so slowly?

Do not be worried if your Anthurium Veitchii is not sprouting new leaves every month. This Anthurium species is remarkably slow-growing and requires two to four months to grow a new leaf.

If you are still concerned about the growth rate of your plant, you might be able to accelerate it by ensuring all the necessary conditions for growth are met. This includes:

  • At least 6 hours of bright but indirect light. If your plant is not getting enough light, use a grow light.
  • Using a liquid houseplant fertilizer that is nitrogen-heavy to support leaf growth.
  • At least 60% humidity. Use a humidifier if necessary!

Why are my Anthurium Veitchii’s leaves torn?

Torn Anthurium Veitchii leaves are usually a result of low humidity levels or too much airflow. Make sure your plant gets at least 60% humidity, and place it in a spot that is ventilated but away from drafts or vents.

Why are the leaves small?

Small leaves can result from a number of factors: inadequate nutrition or insufficient sunlight. Ensure you use a liquid fertilizer monthly during the growing season, and place it in a spot with at least 6 hours of BRIGHT but filtered light. Lastly, remember that this is a slow-growing plant, so your plant may just need more time for leaves to grow larger!

Frequently Asked Questions

Is the King Anthurium rare?

Anthurium Veitchii was previously very rare, but thanks to mass tissue culture, has become a little more common. That said, they are still not readily available at most local nurseries. Plus, its high demand has also driven up the price… so definitely expect to pay a premium for this King Anthurium!

If you’d like to purchase an Anthurium Veitchii, Etsy is a good platform to find reputable sellers.

Does the Anthurium Veitchii like to be root-bound?

There is a popular belief that Anthurium Veitchii thrives when they are root-bound. However, the reality is slightly different. Though Anthuriums definitely do not enjoy pots that are too big for them (when repotting, always upsize your original pot by 2 inches only), they do not like overcrowded pots either.

Therefore, if you notice roots poking through drainage holes, moving your King Anthurium to a slightly bigger pot is best.

Is the Anthurium Veitchii a good houseplant?

Anthurium Veitchii is a magnificent houseplant if you like luscious, green leaves in your living space that are easy to manage. The vast leaves instantly command your attention!

However, due to its toxicity, if you have small children or pets in your home, ensure that your place this plant on a high shelf or hard-to-reach spot.

What is the Anthurium Veitchii narrow form?

The Anthurium Veitchii plant is available in “narrow” or “wide” forms. Both types of Veitchii are pretty much the same – the only difference between the two is how far the lateral veins are spread between each other. In the wide form Anthurium Veitchii, there is a greater distance between the lateral veins that give the leaves their characteristic rippled appearance. In the narrow form, these veins are close together.

Beautiful ribbed green leaf of Anthurium Veitchii narrow form
Beautiful ribbed green leaf of Anthurium Veitchii narrow form

Is Anthurium Veitchii an epiphyte?

Yes. In the wild, the Anthurium Veitchii grows on surrounding host trees rather than in the soil itself. It draws nutrients from the air, rainwater, and bits of leaf compost or decaying organic material. Therefore, it can rightly be termed an epiphyte.

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Deborah

Deborah is a plant enthusiast and founder of Gardening Collective.

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