Re: Anthuriums

>  Since most, if not all anthuriums are somewhat epiphytic in nature they
>must have that extra air around their roots. Styrofoam packing peanuts can be
>an effective and inexpensive growing media ammendment. This material first
>can be used in the bottom of the pot in place of normal drainage material
>then incorperated in the remaining planting media be it a sphagnum or other
>epiphyte mix. I like the newly available coconut chunks, it holds water and
>nutrients very well. It also seems to have a natural hormone that encourages
>root development.
>  Tim Anderson
>Palm Hammock Orchid Estate
>9995 S.W. 66 St.
>Miami Fl.

My three year old Anthurium andreanums are starting to sprawl and are
exhibiting enlarged upper stems with the ubiquitious "air roots" that give
Aroids their name. The weather has been humid and these roots have been
shooting out everywhere and for considerable length; some have reached over
nine cm from the nodes into the soil mix; others higher up, wander off at

Should I repot the plants with a slab of bark (or otherwise) for them to
climb and, if so, what benefits will this bring to the plant? They are in a
growth spurt and don't seem to mind their semi-trailing habit a bit. I
should think some of the upper stems, by soil-line diameter comparison, to
be grossly top heavy were it not for the aggregation of the supporting
lower stem roots supporting the lower lengths of the stems, which are
firmly and thickly entrenched in the soil medium (bark/sand/medium
perlite/chopped long fiber live sphagnum moss: 3/4/2/1. Has weight, drains
instantly, yet remains moist and is on the acid side of the scale).

One more thing: I have just learned that the trait of trapping new emerging
leaves by the leaf sheath in Anth. andreanum hybrids may not be specific to
my particular plants or methods of culture (Thank you, Geoffrey). Unless
the sheath is removed, the new leaf eventually breaks off at the end of the
petiole stem while the emerging leaf remains trapped and croaks within the
recalcitrant sheath which, stubbornly, outlives it's purpose. In removing
the sheath, I have caused some interesting designs to appear on the leaves
as they mature. Lace work, splits, folds and many eccentric designs that
could be attributed to the North American "Early Moderns." Perhaps a few

Any comments or suggestions are appreciated.

Kind Regards,


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