Pigtail Anthurium Care: A Beginner’s Guide to Thriving Anthurium Scherzerianum

Introduction to Pigtail Anthurium Care

The Pigtail Anthurium (Anthurium scherzerianum), also known as Flamingo Flower or Laceleaf, is a captivating tropical plant that can bring a touch of exotic elegance to any indoor space. Renowned for its striking waxy flowers, which aren’t actually flowers but are modified leaves called spathes, this plant can be a delightful addition to your houseplant collection. However, to ensure that your Anthurium scherzerianum thrives, it’s imperative to understand its care requirements. Here’s a beginner’s guide to keeping your Pigtail Anthurium healthy and vibrant.

Optimal Growing Conditions

Light Requirements

Anthurium scherzerianum prefers indirect, bright light. A north or east-facing window would be ideal as it provides plenty of light without the harshness of direct midday sun, which can scorch the leaves. If you only have a west or south-facing window, consider using a sheer curtain to diffuse the light, protecting your plant from direct exposure.

Temperature and Humidity

Being a tropical plant, Anthurium scherzerianum needs a warm and humid environment to truly flourish. Aim for a temperature range between 65-80°F (18-27°C) and a humidity level of 60-80%. You can increase humidity by placing a humidifier nearby, using a pebble tray filled with water, or regularly misting the plant. However, be cautious of over-misting, as standing water on the leaves can lead to fungal diseases.

Proper Watering and Feeding

Watering Tips

Watering is crucial for maintaining healthy Pigtail Anthuriums. The soil should be kept consistently moist but not waterlogged. Before watering again, allow the top inch of soil to dry out. Overwatering can lead to root rot while under-watering can stress the plant, so pay attention to the soil moisture and adjust your watering schedule accordingly. During the winter months, reduce watering as the plant’s growth slows down.

Fertilization Needs

Feed your Anthurium scherzerianum with a balanced, water-soluble fertilizer every two months during the growing season (spring and summer). Dilute the fertilizer to half the recommended strength to avoid over-feeding, which can harm the plant by causing a buildup of salts within the soil. Do not fertilize in the fall and winter when the plant is not actively growing.

Soil and Repotting

Soil Composition

The ideal soil mix for Pigtail Anthurium should be well-draining and rich in organic matter. A mixture containing peat, pine bark, and perlite or vermiculite is a great choice as it provides both the necessary drainage and the retention of moisture. Avoid heavy, non-porous soils that can retain too much water and cause root rot.

Repotting Essentials

Repotting is usually necessary every two to three years, or when you notice the roots becoming crowded and starting to circle the inside of the container. Gently remove the plant from its current pot, loosen the roots, and place it in a new pot that’s slightly larger with fresh potting mix. Repotting is best done in the spring before the plant enters its active growth phase.

Pruning and Maintenance

Pruning is not only beneficial for the aesthetic appearance of your Anthurium scherzerianum but also for its health. Remove any yellowed or dead leaves, spent flowers, and other debris to promote better air circulation and reduce the chance of pests and diseases. Use clean, sharp scissors or pruning shears to make clean cuts without damaging the plant.

Common Pests and Issues

Watch for common pests like aphids, scale, mealybugs, and spider mites. These can be treated with insecticidal soap or neem oil applications. Also, be mindful of bacterial blight and root rot which can occur due to poor conditions. Ensuring proper care, such as avoiding overwatering and providing good air circulation, can prevent most of these issues.


Anthurium scherzerianum, with its luscious green foliage and vivid spathes, makes a stunning addition to any indoor plant collection. While it requires a bit of attention to detail, even beginners can successfully cultivate a thriving Pigtail Anthurium by following the care guide outlined here. The effort is certainly worth it as you enjoy the tropical ambiance and vibrant beauty that this plant offers to your home environment.

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