With elongated leaves and defined veins, the Anthurium Warocqueanum, also known as Queen Anthurium, is definitely eye-catching. 🙂 When fully grown, each leathery leaf can grow up to 6 feet (2 meters) long!
While Anthuriums have a reputation for being fussy and difficult plants, our experience is that the Anthurium Warocqueanum is not as difficult as you may think.
If you are careful not to overwater, give it warmth (65 – 85 degrees F or 18-29 degrees C) and humidity >50% and choose a fertile but well-draining potting mix, your Queen Anthurium will thrive.
Let’s dive into the details! 🙂
The Anthurium Warocqueanum was first described by Thomas Moore in 1878.
Native to the low wetland forests of Colombia, a young Queen Anthurium grows at altitudes up to 4,500 feet (1,430 meters). When young, it grows near the forest floor, but as it develops, starts to climbs on top of other plants or trees as an epiphyte.
Anthurium Warocqueanum Dark Form vs. Light Form
A quick note on the different forms of Anthurium Warocqueanum.
Though some darker-leafed Queen Anthuriums are referred to as “Dark Form” and lighter green leafed the “Light Form”, they are, in fact, the same species and require the same care.
Caring for your Anthurium Warocqueanum
Like many houseplants, your Anthurium Warocqueanum loves ample amounts (8-10 hours) of bright, indirect light. They do well near East or West-facing windows.
South-facing windows are fine too if you use a translucent curtain or shade cloth to lessen the light intensity. Alternatively, place your plant a few feet away to prevent brown, sun-scorched leaves.
Do note that the amount of light doesn’t change your Anthurium Warocqueanum Light Form to a Dark Form or vice versa. The differences in appearance are due to natural variability within the species, not different light conditions.
However, sufficient light brings out the best color that your Queen naturally has.
Native to moist to wet lowland forests, your Queen Anthurium tends to be a thirsty plant, but at the same time grows aerial roots above the soil, so it HATES waterlogged roots.
What to do then is to pay careful attention to your watering practices. Water ONLY when the topsoil is dry, but check the soil moisture frequently, once every 2-3 days. This ensures that you will respond quickly to your thirsty plant but never risk overwatering it.
It’s really that simple, but a crucial to get right 🙂
Signs of over and underwatering
Dry and crispy leaves with cakey soil mean your plant is underwatered. On the other hand, yellowing leaves and soggy soil are signs that its roots are waterlogged and unhappy.
Check the soil moisture to confirm.
Humidity & Air Circulation
Anthuriums are notorious for needing high humidity levels. Though >70% humidity is ideal for your Anthurium Warocqueanum, they can tolerate 50-70%.
However, we don’t recommend misting your Anthurium Warocqueanum. Fungi spores often breed on the wet leaf surfaces if left for too long, leading to leaf spot or leaf blight. Although you may be able to get away with a light misting in the mornings, we just don’t think its worth the risk.
Lastly, some air circulation is beneficial for this epiphyte. Like the Anthurium Clarinervium, the Crystallinum enjoys locations that have some natural air circulation. A standing fan placed around 10 feet (3 meters) away is a good option to create some air flow without creating a draft.
Mild indoor temperatures are perfect for the Queen Anthurium. Ideally, keep your plant in stable temperatures between 65 – 85 degrees F (18-29 degrees C) for best growth.
While they can tolerate lower temperatures, this leads to slower growth.
Like many Aroids, your Anthurium Warocqueanum is not known for its showy flowers. Blooms are also quite rare when growing indoors.
Nonetheless, a happy and mature Queen may grow inflorescences consisting of a yellowish-green modified leaf called a spathe, and a central spike called a spadix. Flowers are tiny and numerous, growing along the length of the spadix, which can grow up to 15 inches (40 cm).
We personally think the inflorescence is quite elegant, but if you prefer, you can deadhead the flowers to allow your plant to focus its energy on growing leaves!
Best of all? An infloresence is a tell-tale sign that your plant is thriving. 🙂
Given sufficient indirect light and nutrients, your Queen can grow quite rapidly in the spring and summer months.
But while the Anthurium Warocqueanum grows large leaves, they don’t typically grow very many. For young plants, it’s normal for an older leaf to die off when a new leaf forms, but more than 2 leaves in a small pot is a sign of health.
Soil or Growing Medium
As epiphytes, the Queen Anthurium rarely grows in soil in nature. Instead, it grows in-between rock faces or along trees in leaf litter, and other decomposing organic material.
So when grown as a houseplant, it’s important to find a potting soil that is loose and airy, but one that is also rich in nutrients. Optimally, choose a pH between 5.5-7.0 (slightly acidic to neutral), which is what it’s used to in nature.
Another reason why potting soil is important is that it helps regulate water and air levels at the roots. A heavy and dense mix causes compaction, suffocating the roots. On the other hand, if you have too light a mix, it cannot hold enough water to nourish deep roots.
For best growth, we like using a mixture of:
Those long and velvety leaves need nutrients to grow well, so a light dose of fertilizer is beneficial. Choose a urea-free liquid houseplant fertilizer (we love this brand) and apply at 1/4 strength, once a week during spring and summer.
This gives your plant a light but steady stream of nutrients in the active growing months.
Too little nutrients can cause leaf edges to turn brown and crispy. But be careful not to overdo it – there’s no need to fertilize in fall or winter when growth naturally slows.
Climbing Support – Moss Poles or Stakes
Adding a moss pole or a stake to your plant encourages its climbing habit. Soon, you’ll find aerial roots growing and attaching themselves to the climbing support.
Interestingly, such poles or stakes directly improve the health of your plant. They produce larger leaves and tend to grow more rapidly. (If you’re interested – more details on why this is so in our article on moss poles).
According to Poisonous Plants of Paradise, all parts of Anthurium plants may contain calcium oxalate crystals. These crystals are poisonous to both animals (including dogs, cats, and horses), and humans.
You’d want to place your Queen in a location out of reach of curious pets or children.
To propagate your Anthurium Warocqueanum, you can separate the mother plant from offshoot, or plantlets, that grow from its stem using a sterilized blade.
Unfortunately, you’ll have to wait until your plant is mature before attempting to propagate. For best chances of success, propagate only in early spring.
Propagating through Plantlets (Offshoots)
- Water your plant 24 hours before propagating. This reduces the risk of transplant shock.
- Gently take the plant along with its roots out of its pot.
- Tease away the soil around the roots with your fingers. Uncover the thick stem in the middle and plantlets growing from it.
- Identify a plantlet with developed roots. Plantlets need these roots to grow on its own.
- Separate the identified plantlet from the main stem by a longitudinal cut using a sterilized knife or blade.
- Place the plantlet in a separate pot filled with fresh potting soil, and the mother plant back in its own pot.
- Ensure that the plantlet’s soil is evenly moist, and maintain high humidity levels by covering the plant with a plastic bag. The plastic bag should be removed for an hour every day to allow for fresh air. Alternatively, use a humidifier and set at 80%.
- Ensure that the plantlet is getting lots of indirect sunlight.
- In about a month, the plantlet will adapt to its new pot and form new growth on its own.
Propagation through Seeds
While growing your plant from seeds is possible, it is a complicated process that takes a long time. Best to leave this method to professionals.
There’s very little pruning necessary for a Queen Anthurium, as leaves grow on individual stems.
Common Pests and Diseases
The most common issues for your Queen arise from fungal or bacterial diseases related to overwatering or wet foliage, and from the usual houseplant pests.
Root rot is a headache for many gardeners. It results from overwatering your plant.
Healthy roots are thick and white, while soft, brown or black roots are signs of root rot. Roots are unable to breathe as they are literally drowned out by water. As a result, they started to decay.
Roots perform an important role, brining nutrients from the soil to all parts of the plant. Damaged roots are unable to perform these functions.
To save your plant, you’ll need to use sterilized shears to snip off the infected roots, then repot your Queen in fresh, dry soil. Consult our step-by-step guide for details.
Leaf Spot or Leaf Blight
Leaf Spots and Leaf Blights are a generic term referring to a number diseases that may arise from moisture and warmth-loving bacteria and fungi.
According to the University of Wisconsin, these pathogens are often spread through the wind and rain. Blights or Spots appear as dark brown or black colored lesions on the leaves. Over time, a yellow halo emerges, outlining the dark lesions.
Thankfully, these diseases are usually not fatal to your plant if you catch it early. To remedy,
- Use sterilized scissors to prune away any damaged leaves to prevent their spread.
- Ensure you dispose of damaged leaves securely, and re-sterilize your scissors after pruning to prevent contamination. To properly sterilize your scissors, dip them into a 70% alcohol solution for 45 seconds.
- Then, apply a fungicide to contain the disease. The fungicide will not heal damaged leaves but will prevent further spread.
Like other houseplants, this Queen can fall victim to a variety of pest infestations. The usual suspects are spider mites, mealybugs, aphids, fungus gnats, and scale.
First, the bad news: these pests reproduce extremely quickly, so early detection is key. Regularly inspect your Anthurium Warocqueanum’s leaves (especially the undersides and awkward corners) for pests.
Troubleshooting your Anthurium Warocqueanum
You’ll need a little patience to uncover the cause of an unhappy Anthurium Warocqueanum. Unfortunately, there can be several possible reasons behind any observerable symptom, but with a little persistence, you’ll get there.
An occasional old leaf turning yellow is nothing to worry about, as this is your plant’s way of prioritising energy on new growth.
However, yellowing leaves more generally are a sign of stress, with overwatering being the most common reason. Check out our guide on saving your overwatered plant.
If overwatering is not the problem, check, in order, which of these issues may be the cause:
- Underwatering – is the soil dry and cakey?
- Nutrient deficiency – are you lightly fertilizing your plant?
- Pests – inspect the leaves (especially the undersides) for signs of houseplant pests.
- Humidity – are you providing your plant >50% humidity levels?
Shedding leaves is another sign that your Anthurium Warocqueanum is not happy with one or more growing conditions. The most common suspects are:
- Improper watering (either too much or too little), or
- Using a potting soil that either holds too much water, or too little (see Soil section for more details), or
- Not getting enough humidity, or
- Too cold temperatues.
Brown leaves in Anthurium Warocqueanum may be due to sunscorch, if your plant is baking in direct sunlight for more than an hour or two. Nutrient deficiency (are you forgetting to fertilize?), underwatering or too little humidity are other common reasons.
Curling leaves, like brown leaves, are commonly a sign of too much sunlight, nutrient deficiency, underwatering or too-dry air.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why is the Queen Anthurium so expensive?
Oooh yes, Queen Anthuriums can get expensive. Expect to pay around US$60 for a single leaf starter plant, with prices of US$150-400 for larger and more established, multi-leaf Anthurium Warocqueanums.
There are several reasons why your Anthurium Warocqueanum is expensive:
- First and most obvious – they are moderately rare.
- Transport costs – native to South America, sea freight and transport fees can be high depending on where you are in the world.
- They can be costly to care for – higher maintenance and more specific growing conditions increase costs, especially if the grower is not based in the tropics.
- They are popular – Anthurium Warocqueanum is an exotic and eye-catching variety that has gained popularity. Increased demand means it’s harder to get your hands on!
To buy an Anthurium Warocqueanum, one of our favorite places online is Etsy. You can also try specialist Aroid nurseries near you.
Is the Anthurium Warocqueanum rare?
Yes, they are considered moderately rare. They are found exclusively in the Pacific lowlands and the intermountain ranges of Western and Central Colombia, though tissue culture has increased the production of the Queen Anthurium.
Similar Plants and Varieties
- Anthurium Forgetii
- Anthurium Veitchii, the King Anthurium
- Anthurium Radicans – an easy-to-grow evergreen with “bubbled” leaves and showy purple blooms!
- Anthurium Superbum
- Anthurium Crystallinum – if you’re new to Anthuriums, the hardy Crystallinum is a good place to start 🙂
- 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 Regale – a rare terrestial Anthurium with large, deeply veined leaves.
The Anthurium Warocqueanum is called a Queen for a reason! It’s long, dramatic leaves growing up to 6 feet (2 meters) are both beautiful and eye-catching. To keep your Queen happy,
- Provide it bright, indirect light for 8-10 hours a day.
- Water only when the topsoil is dry, but check the soil moisture often so you don’t accidentally let it dry out.
- Use an airy, fertile potting soil.
- Keep warm indoor temperatures and humidity >50% (ideally 70%).
- Avoid misting the foliage – it is susceptible to leaf spots and blights.
- Fertilize at 1/4 strength, weekly during the growing season.
- Use a climbing support to encourage faster growth.
Love the Queen? Check out the King Anthurium next!
Deborah is a plant enthusiast and founder of Gardening Collective.