Common Causes of Withering Leaves in Anthuriums

Understanding the Delicate Nature of Anthurium Leaves

Anthuriums, also known as flamingo flowers or laceleaf, are beloved for their vibrant, waxy blooms and ornamental leaves. Maintaining the health of these tropical plants can be challenging as their leaves are prone to withering, an issue that can detract from their beauty and, if left unchecked, can threaten the plant’s survival. Identifying the common causes of leaf wither is essential for the successful care of these delicate plants.

Improper Watering Practices


One of the most common reasons for withering leaves in anthuriums is overwatering. Saturated soil can lead to root rot, which prevents the roots from absorbing nutrients and water effectively. This can cause leaves to turn yellow, wilt, and eventually wither. The presence of standing water in the pot’s saucer is a tell-tale sign that the plant is receiving too much moisture.


Conversely, underwatering can also lead to withered leaves. Anthuriums prefer consistently moist soil, and if the soil becomes too dry, the plant will start to dehydrate, causing the leaves to droop and wither. The key is to maintain a balance where the soil is neither too dry nor oversaturated.

Nutrient Deficiencies or Excess

Another cause for withering leaves can be a lack of nutrients or, in some cases, an excess. Anthuriums require a balanced diet of essential nutrients including nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. A deficiency in any of these can lead to poor plant health and withering leaves. Conversely, too much fertilizer can burn the roots, impairing their function, and leading to similar withering symptoms. A routine feeding schedule with a balanced, soluble fertilizer will keep the nutrients at optimal levels.

Environmental Stress

Temperature Extremes

Anthuriums are native to tropical environments, and their leaves can wither if exposed to temperatures outside their comfort zone. Cold drafts, sudden temperature drops, or excessive heat can cause stress, leading to withered and discolored leaves. Ideally, anthuriums thrive in the 65°F to 85°F (18°C to 29°C) range.

Humidity Fluctuations

Being tropical plants, anthuriums also prefer high humidity levels. When the air is too dry, the leaves can become withered and crispy at the edges. Maintaining indoor humidity levels above 60% can help prevent this issue. Humidity trays, room humidifiers, or regular misting can all help to maintain adequate moisture in the air.

Pest Infestations and Diseases

Withering leaves can also be a symptom of pest infestations or diseases. Sap-sucking pests like spider mites, aphids, and mealybugs can drain the plant’s vigor, resulting in withered leaves. Additionally, fungal diseases like root rot or leaf spot can also lead to withering. Keeping an eye out for pests and signs of disease, and treating the issues promptly with the appropriate insecticide, fungicide, or cultural practice, will help keep anthuriums healthy.

Improper Lighting Conditions

Lighting is a critical factor for the well-being of anthurium plants. They prefer bright, indirect light. Direct sunlight can scorch the leaves, causing them to wither and fade. Conversely, too little light can weaken the plant over time, resulting in leggy growth and withered leaves. A north or east-facing windowsill is often ideal for providing the right amount of light for anthurium plants.


A common issue for anthurium plant owners, withering leaves can signal distress caused by a range of factors from environmental conditions to improper care. By closely monitoring watering routines, ensuring the right balance of nutrients, maintaining the appropriate temperature and humidity levels, and keeping pests and diseases at bay, gardeners can preserve the lush, exuberant foliage that makes anthuriums a captivating addition to any indoor plant collection. Recognizing and responding to these common causes quickly can help restore and maintain anthurium health for the long term.

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