Anthurium Crystallinum- The Velvet leaf plant care tips

The Anthurium Crystallinum craves long days and ample sunlight, making them difficult to care for in areas with long, cold winters. Which is pretty much everywhere else. Sorry to our readers from the cold parts of Europe

Anthurium Crystallinum- The Velvet leaf plant care tips
Anthurium Crystallinum

From Central and South America (Peru, Panama, etc.), this medium-sized beauty can be found flaunting its captivating foliage from treetops and hillsides. Dark green or reddish heart-shaped leaves + white veins sets this plant apart.

Delicate looks translate into a delicate temperament. The Anthurium Crystallinum craves long days and ample sunlight, making them difficult to care for in areas with long, cold winters. Which is pretty much everywhere else. (Sorry to our readers from the cold parts of Europe)

However, we know it’s hard to resist these beauties. So even if you’re enduring the frozen winters of Winnipeg, we have you covered when it comes to caring for Anthurium Crystallinum.

The Anthurium Crystallinum is commonly mistaken for Anthurium Clarinervium

If you've mistaken the two for each other don't worry, you're not alone–  this is perfectly normal. The next time you're stuck on differentiating between the two, you just have to remember one thing.

Anthurium Crystallinum has brighter coloured green leaves

Anthurium Crystallinum vs Anthurium Clarinervium

The quickest way to tell the difference between Anthurium Crystallinum and Clarinervium is to look at shape of the leaves. The Crystallinum’s leaves are not as heart shaped as the Clarinervium–  it's leaves are a bit longer and brighter in color.

The Clarinervium on the other hand, has a "shorter"and perhaps more accurate heart shape with darker green leaves You can read more about the differences between both siblings here : Crystallinum vs Clarinervium

What are the most important things to look out for in Anthurium Crystallinum?

Here are the critical bits to know before you start planning where to place your Crystallinum:

  • Lighting - Bright but indirect light. Direct sunlight for too long can burn leaves.
  • Water - Once a week, but ensure it drains well. Rainwater or distilled is best.
  • Humidity - High humidity, just like the tropics. Shoot for 70%–80% if possible.
  • Temperature - Around 65 to 75°F is ok. Anything below 55° is harmful.
  • Size - Typically 0.5m in height and the same in spread after 5 years. But some people report leaves as large as almost a metre!
  • Toxicity - Beware—all parts of Crystallinum are poisonous if ingested.
  • Diseases/Pests - Fungal infections are most common.

Because they don’t naturally attract many pests, you won’t have to worry too much about regular treatments or checking. Just make sure they’re separated from any new plants you bring in that might be carriers of pests until you’re confident they’re clean

What temperature does Anthurium Crystallinum need?

Now it gets tricky. Temperature is the most challenging part of Crystallinum care. If you have this beauty pride of place indoors, you have the advantage—but we hope you like it on the warmer side in your home.

Ideal temperatures for Anthurium Crystallinum are between 65 to 75°F (19 to 26°C). Nice and toasty, just like the Peruvian jungles they call home. Temperatures below 55°, however, can be severely harmful to your crystallinum.

In chillier climes, make sure you take this into consideration. Should you have this specimen as part of an outdoor tropical garden, we strongly suggest bringing them inside during the colder months.

Anthurium Crystallinum plant

How should you water Anthurium Crystallinum?

We've said it before, and we'll say it again—natural sources like rainwater are best for your plants. And this is especially true for Crystallinum.

Despite most Anthurium's fondness for acidic soils, Anthurium Crystallinum thrives off neutral pH (or slightly below) water. If you can't get hold of rainwater, use distilled instead for vibrant and healthy leaves. You might get away with using slightly alkaline tap water, but your plant will require more care and attention in other aspects like soil make-up, feeding and light management.

If it's nice and humid where you keep your crystallinum, you'll only need to water it around every two weeks. Thanks to their epiphytic nature, they'll be used to an irregular watering cycle. This gives you a little wiggle room.

For less humid homes and during the growing season (March to September), aim to water your crystallinum 2-3 times a week. When it's sweltering, take regular breaks from sunbathing and cocktails to care for your Crystallinum by watering it up to four times a week.

As always, take special care to ensure you're not overwatering your plants. Don't be afraid to get down and dirty to check if it's time to water. Stick a finger in the soil, and if it's wet lower than 2-3 inches (about the third knuckle on your hand), then it's ok to leave watering for another day.

What humidity does Anthurium Crystallinum like?

Wet, wet, wet. Anthurium Crystallinum likes it moist. The average humidity for most homes hovers around the 30–45% mark. So you’re going to have to put in some work to get up to the 80% that Crystallinum love.

Placing your Crystallinum in naturally humid rooms of the house, such as the shower or bathroom, is a popular move by many enthusiasts.This makes keeping humidity high a lot less of a chore and doesn’t affect your entire home.

Here are some other tips on boosting your home’s humidity.

Spray bottles: Using a spray bottle, you can mist the leaves of your Crystallinum every 2-3 days to mimic the natural dampness of the rainforest. Just be careful not to overdo it, as areas of standing water on the leaf’s surface can cause discoloration.

Pimp up your plant’s base: Add shells, pebbles or sand to the base of your crystallinum. Not only does it look decorative, but they act as fantastic moisture trappers. Shells fill from watering, pebbles retain moisture brilliantly, and sand slows down evaporation.

Scatter bowls of water about: Place small bowls or cups of water around the base of your plant to enhance the natural moisture in the air as they evaporate. Simple.

What should you feed Anthurium Crystallinum?

Feeding can be a divisive topic. Some preach “organic all the way,” while others trust in science and chemically enhanced fertilizers. Choose what works best for you and your beliefs, and pay attention to how your plant reacts.

If the potting mix for your Anthurium Crystallinum is heavily enriched with organic content, you likely won’t need much fertilizer to enhance growth. Epiphytes like Anthurium Crystallinum generally prefer a slow-release feed, which might steer you towards organic fertilizers.

Chemical fertilizers are certainly an option, however. Balanced orchid fertilizers work great for crystallinum and can be picked up from most garden stores. But watch out—chemical fertilizers can sometimes cause salt to build up, which will harm your plants. Take care to wash the rootball thoroughly when watering to avoid this.

Organic or chemical, when growing your Anthurium indoors, fertilizers can boost healthy growth. Incorporate it as part of your usual care routine, and aim to feed your plant on every third or fourth watering during the summer and growing season.

How fast does Anthurium Crystallinum grow?

Hanging off the sides of trees and hilltops means this specimen doesn’t often grow to extreme sizes, unlike some tropical plants. You can expect to see growth to around 0.5m in height and width after two to five years.

Their leaves, however, can get to be an impressive size given the plant’s stature. With proper care, some Anthurium lovers have reported leaves as big as 60 inches!

Better conditions mean more growth. So if your goal is size, consider growing yours in a humid, warm greenhouse environment amongst lots of other tropical plants. And feed it well.

Anthurium Crystallinum

What light does Anthurium Crystallinum need?

Bright, indirect light makes Anthurium Crystallinum happy, so a large, north facing window is perfect. Direct sunlight should be avoided for long periods, as this will cause the leaves to burn, turning brown and crispy at the edge. Not a good look for a velvety crystallinum.

Fifteen to sixteen hours of sun exposure each day is perfect.
Anything under 10 hours of light each day, and you will see your plant’s mood reflected in its leaves—wilting and dropping.

Unfortunately, not everywhere has the privilege of long, 16 hour days full of sunlight. In these cases, grow lights are your secret weapon.

What is the best potting soil for Anthurium Crystallinum?

You’re lucky. Because of their adaptive nature, you can grow Anthurium Crystallinum in a wide variety of soils...or none at all! But let’s be honest—they look great in a nice pot on display for everyone to see. Choosing the right potting mix is an essential part of ensuring they thrive successfully.

The best choice is a nice airy potting mix that drains fast. You can mix the soil with organic matter such as Orchid bark, perlite or walnut shells as it adds crucial nutrients and  creates plenty of air pockets which aids draining.

When should you repot Anthurium Crystallinum?

Every two years as standard is perfect for repotting your Anthurium Crystallinum. Ideally, you’ll want to do this during the spring, summer, or very early fall—which falls in line with the growth period for crystallinum.

Once you repot, make sure to use an organic, slow-release fertilizer. If you can do this in spring, it will set your plant up for some beautiful growth. Fertilizers containing phosphorus, magnesium and nitrogen will supercharge foliage growth and make any crystallinum show-worthy within months.

Many plant lovers advocate terracotta pots throughout a plant’s life cycle. The breathability helps prevent root rot, and you can’t go wrong with this timeless classic. Whatever you choose, make sure it’s a big enough size to allow for more growth.

Where to Buy Anthurium Clarinervium

This is a very difficult plant to find! Many plant parents have struggled to buy this rare plant online, but for the few that were able to get their hands on it – Etsy was the store of choice.  

Just make sure you do your due diligence before you purchase a plant on Etsy by looking at the seller reviews and scouring other plant forums for accreddited Etsy shops.  

How to propagate Anthurium Crystallinum

Variety is the spice of life. So take your pick—Anthurium Crystallinum can be propagated through root division, stem cuttings or seeds.

Seed: Propagating from seed is a popular method amongst crystallinum lovers. Simply sow your seeds in a shallow pan filled with organic matter like moss and something for structure, like sand. Then, cover it with glass or plastic to allow light through. Aim to achieve a temperature of 70 to 75°F, and watch your work pay off.

Cuttings: Choose a slice of the stem that is already sprouting aerial roots for the best chance of success. Anthurium stems are exceptionally hardy, but they’re slow movers. Root them in water, perlite or even straight into your potting mix. After a few months, you’ll see some growth. The rule of thumb for Anthurium is two nodes and two leaves for a healthy cutting.

Division: This is perhaps the most straightforward method of propagating your crystallinum. Just divide the stem with the roots during the spring, then pot each piece. Keep it warm and humid, and treat it like another Anthurium. Easy.

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